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The award-winning news team at WKU Public Radio consists of Dan Modlin, Kevin Willis, Lisa Autry, and Joe Corcoran.

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Politics
4:35 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

McConnell and Paul in Stronger Positions Following Debt Ceiling/Shutdown Fight?

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)

With a deal to end the debt ceiling debate and ongoing government shutdown apparently in place, a well-respected political column lists both of Kentucky’s Republican Senators as “winners” following the extended drama.

The Washington Post’s political column, “The Fix”, says both Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul come out of the battle stronger than when it began. Post reporter Chris Cillizza says Paul benefited from appearing moderate compared to another Tea Party-backed Republican Senator, Ted Cruz. Both Cruz and Paul are believed to be strongly considering 2016 presidential runs, and both would try to capture much of the same electorate.

Cillizza says that by not leading the charge against the GOP establishment, Paul could come across as a kind of hybrid Tea Party candidate with at least some establishment backing.

Senator McConnell is once again being seen as one of the preeminent dealmakers in Washington, playing a central role at the end to come up with a deal after staying in the background during much of the debate.

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Politics
1:35 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Ethics Commission Finds Probable Cause that Arnold Sexually Harrassed Female Staffers

The Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission has found probable cause that former Union County Representative John Arnold violated ethics rules three times when he allegedly harassed three female staff members.

Commission members met behind closed doors for nearly two hours Tuesday before returning to an open session and voting unanimously on sexual harassment complaints made against Arnold by legislative staffers Yolanda Costner, Cassaundra Cooper, and Gloria Morgan. The Courier-Journal reports the commission has scheduled a full hearing on the complaints for December 12.

Arnold, a Democrat from Sturgis, served in the state House from 1995 until last month, when he resigned after the sexual harassment allegations against him were made public. Arnold has denied the charges, but said he couldn’t move forward politically due to the damage done to his reputation.

The Legislative Ethics Commission said there was probable cause to believe Arnold had “inappropriate and unwanted physical contact” with the women.

Arnold’s attorney, Steve Downey of Bowling Green, didn’t comment after the commission returned its findings.

Sports
2:52 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Nashville Selected as SEC Tournament Home

The Southeastern Conference will make a "historic announcement" Tuesday in Nashville.  Music City is expected to be named the primary home of SEC basketball tournaments. 

The Tennessean newspaper reports Nashville will host 12 consecutive postseason basketball tournaments, nine men’s and three women’s, starting in 2015.  The venue will be Bridgestone Arena. 

The SEC played this year’s men’s championship in Nashville and was already scheduled to return in 2015, 2016, and 2019. 

Back in May, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said the league would explore a primary site for the basketball tournaments, noting success with other permanent sites, in Atlanta for football and Alabama for baseball.

Politics
12:55 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Key County for Republicans Doesn't Make Senate Primary Endorsement

After an hour of debate, the Republican Party of a conservative Kentucky county stopped short of endorsing the Louisville businessman who is challenging incumbent Republican Senator Mitch McConnell.

Boone County is an important county for Bluegrass State Republicans. It sits across the Ohio River from Cincinnati has the fourth-highest number of registered Republicans in the state. That’s why Thursday night’s meeting of the Boone County GOP brought out both Republican Senate challenger Matt Bevin, and Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton.

The Courier-Journal reports that following an hour of discussion, the county party decided not to make an endorsement in the race. Benton told members that it would be a “poor mistake” for any county party to make a Senate endorsement.

That led Bevin to tell members that they should vote their "conscience".

Boone County GOP chairman Rick Brueggemann said while there is “significant dissatisfaction” with Senator McConnell’s voting record, he didn’t think many members were comfortable making a primary endorsement.

Economy
4:42 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Will Kentucky Reopen National Parks Using State Funds?

Mammoth Cave National Park has been closed since the government shutdown.
Credit Emil Moffatt

  Update 6:35 p.m.

Governor Beshear’s Communications Director Kerri Richardson says Beshear needs more information regarding future federal reimbursement and the level at which the facilities could be reopened before deciding on reopening federal parks like Mammoth Cave and Land Between the Lakes.

Original Post

There’s no word yet from Governor Steve Beshear regarding whether he will use state funds to reopen national parks that have been closed due to the government shutdown.

The Obama administration says it will allow states to use their own money to reopen some national parks.

The Governors of Arizona, Colorado, South Dakota, and Utah have asked for authority to reopen national parks within their borders because of the economic impacts caused by the park closures. The closing of parks in Kentucky, such as Mammoth Cave National Park, has sent workers home and is a drag on local economies that benefit from tourists who visit the park and other nearby attractions.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a letter Thursday to the four governors that the government will consider offers to pay for park operations, but will not surrender control of national parks to the states.

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