WKU Public Radio News

News Team

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

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Regional
4:13 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Meredith: Lawmakers in Region Still Pursuing Ideas Intended to Speed Up I-65 Work

If you've been on I-65 in south-central Kentucky in recent years, you know the road has been undergoing a major facelift. A lawmaker from the region says he and his colleagues are continuing to look at ways to speed up the ongoing interstate lane widening.

Representative Michael Meredith of Brownsville tells WKU Public Radio that many legislators from the region remain interested in a possible public-private partnership that could drastically cut down on what they fear will be a 20-year project.

Meredith said while the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has expressed concerns over such a partnership, the state's Legislative Research Commission believes such a union is legal.

"There have been some offers made by some contractors to partially finance that project," said the Edmonson County Republican. "And as lawmakers in this region, we're especially open to those ideas. And there's some money still set aside in the budget to study some of those issues and see if there's a possibility of moving it along a little faster than what it is now."

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Environment
3:38 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Gov. Beshear's Son, Andrew, Helps Represent Company Behind Bluegrass Pipeline

Governor Steve Beshear’s son is working on behalf of the developers behind the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline. The project would carry natural gas liquids through Kentucky and down to the Gulf Coast region.

The State Journal in Frankfort reports that attorney Andrew Beshear works for a law firm that has performed services for a subsidiary of Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, one of the two companies developing the Bluegrass Pipeline. The younger Beshear told the paper his firm was hired through a long-time client and that services are provided by more than a dozen attorneys.

The news comes as critics of the pipeline have been asking Governor Beshear to consider adding the issue to the agenda of a special legislative session coming up later this month—something Beshear says is unnecessary.

A spokesman for the Bluegrass Pipeline project says Andrew Beshear was not hired because of his relationship to the governor.

The pipeline would cut through northern Kentucky and into Hardin, Larue, Meade, Nelson, and Breckinridge counties.

Politics
8:45 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Grimes in Bowling Green Wednesday for "Road to Fancy Farm" Bus Tour

Secretary of State and U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes will be in Bowling Green Wednesay at noon, as part of what her campaign is calling the "Road to Fancy Farm" bus tour.

Grimes will be at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge on Corvette Drive. Her campaign also has a meet-and-greet scheduled Wednesday at 5 p.m. in Central City.

WKU Public Radio will be at the Warren County event to interview Grimes. We'll have those stories throughout the afternoon during our local newscasts and here at our website.

Regional
5:38 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Tennessee Mosque Opponents Appealing to State Supreme Court

Residents opposed to a Tennessee mosque are trying to take their case to the state Supreme Court. The Tennessean reports the plaintiffs are hoping the high court will hear the case and overrule a Tennessee Appeals Court decision in late May.

That ruling supported a decision by the Rutherford County Regional Planning Commission to approve construction plans for the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro.

Some mosque opponents said they opposed the new facility because it would cause traffic problems, while others said the Muslims worshipping in the mosque were attempting to overthrow the U.S. Constitution and replace it with Islamic law.

A local Chancellor ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in 2012, saying the county failed to provide adequate public notice before the planning commission approved the mosque plans. But a federal court in Tennessee later intervened, overruling the Chancellor’s decision and allowing the construction to move forward.

Regional
7:38 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Motorists Should Expect Delays on I-65 South in Hart County

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has issued this advisory impacting those going south on I-65 around Hart County:

Motorists traveling South on Interstate 65 in Hart County should be prepared for delays Tuesday and Wednesday.  Contract crews will be working on the bridge over Green River near Mile Point 62, just south of Munfordville (Exit 65).  This work will require reducing the interstate to one lane on approach to the bridge from 7am to approximately 6:30pm both days.

While congestion and delays are expected on the interstate, motorists may find using US 31W as an alternate route just as time consuming.  Traffic overflow from the interstate and local traffic through the city of Munfordville (south to Horse Cave) are expected to create lengthy delays during the interstate lane closure.  With this in mind, anyone traveling south from Elizabethtown through to Bowling Green (or beyond) should consider using Western Kentucky Parkway to Natcher Parkway and rejoin Interstate 65 on the south side of Bowling Green.  

Commercial traffic is strongly urged to consider this route.

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Politics
11:21 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Grimes to "Officially" Kick Off Her 2014 U.S. Senate Campaign

Kentucky Secretary of State and Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes
Credit Office of Sec. Grimes

Consider it a "take two": Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes Tuesday will officially kick off her U.S. Senate campaign in Lexington.

When Grimes first announced she was joining the race earlier this month, the event was widely described as disorganized and uninspired. The campaign's senior adviser in later days told reporters Grimes would soon have a second "official" announcement of her Senate campaign.

That's taking place Tuesday afternoon in Lexington. Gov. Steve Beshear will be joining Grimes. When Grimes first announced she was running for Senate, Beshear said she hadn't given him any heads up that she had made a decision.

With Beshear's appearance Tuesday, it appears the Grimes camp is hoping to display a unified Democratic front behind the Secretary of State. Last week, longtime U.S. Senator, former Governor, and Owensboro native Wendell Ford endorsed Grimes for Senate.

Grimes has accused U.S Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of being "out of touch" with Kentucky voters and values. And several polls show the Louisville Republican holding dangerously low favorability ratings with Kentucky voters.

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Business
10:51 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Automotive Parts Manufacturer Plans to Add 40 Jobs in Franklin

A new distribution and manufacturing facility in Franklin plans to add 40 new jobs over the next few years. MultiTech Industries creates springs, wire forms, machined components, and other parts for automotive manufacturers.

MultiTech will occupy a 32,000-square-foot spec building in the Sanders Interstate Industrial Park in Simpson County.

The company will initially employ ten workers, and says it wants to add up to 40 positions over time.

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Sports
2:28 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

WKU Releases 2013-14 Men's Basketball Schedule

WKU will be counting on a big season from junior forward and Bowling Green native George Fant.
Credit WKU Athletics

The WKU men’s basketball team opens its upcoming season on the road in Wichita.

The 2013-14 Hilltopper schedule was released Friday, and WKU begins its quest for a third straight NCAA tournament appearance November 11 at Wichita State.

Other highlights include a December 14 road game against the defending national champion Louisville Cardinals. That’s followed by home games against Southern Mississippi, Murray State, and Ole Miss.

WKU opens Sun Belt Conference play at South Alabama on January 2.

The Hilltoppers won the Sun Belt Conference tournament last season, winning four games in four days. In their NCAA tournament opening round game against #1 seed Kansas, WKU led at the half before losing by seven points.

You can find a link to the entire WKU men’s basketball schedule here.

Health
1:30 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Drug Overdose Deaths Drop in Kentucky, but Deaths from Heroin Skyrocket

Heroin deaths in Kentucky increased dramatically in 2012.

A report released Friday shows that overdose deaths in Kentucky declined in 2012—the first time there has been such a drop in a decade.

But the report issued by the Office of Drug Control Policy also found that heroin deaths in the commonwealth last year increased by 550 percent over 2011.

The office’s executive director, Van Ingram, says Kentucky first started seeing an increase in heroin use and overdoses when the formulation for the painkillers Oxycontin and Opana were changed in order to make them more difficult for intravenous drug use.

The report also shows that two of the counties in the top ten for overdose deaths in 2011 and 2012 are in our listening area. Whitley County was eighth, with 56 overdose deaths per 100,000 people.

Monroe County was ninth, with 53 deaths per 100,000 people.

Politics
7:38 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Rand Paul: FBI Answers to Questions about Drones "Insufficient"

A letter sent to Kentucky Senator Rand Paul from the FBI says the bureau has used domestic drones for surveillance in ten cases since 2006. The letter came in response to a series of questions Sen. Paul asked the FBI regarding its drone use.

Sen. Paul says he will maintain a hold on the nomination of James Comey to be the next FBI Director. Senators can place holds on Presidential nominations, something that is often done to draw attention to a specific issue.

Paul says the FBI’s answers to his questions about domestic drone use are “insufficient”. The Bowling Green Republican has sent the bureau a follow-up letter with more questions.

Politico reports that in its response to Paul, the FBI says the agency has used domestic drones for surveillance in the U.S. in eight criminal cases and two national security cases since 2006.

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