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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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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Economy
3:57 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

More than Two-Thirds of Kentucky's Counties Saw Jobless Rates Rise from Last Year

The year-to-year unemployment rate has increased in 88 of Kentucky’s 120 counties. The Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet released figures Thursday comparing each county’s jobless rate from June of 2012 to June of this year.

Overall, the state’s jobless rate rose to 8.9% from 8.6%

Warren County’s jobless rate this June was up .8 of a percent to 8%.

In Daviess County, the unemployment figure increased half-a-percentage point to 7.9%.

Hardin County saw a jobless rate of 8.3% this June, up slightly from last year.

Pulaski County’s unemployment rate stood at 10.1%  in June, up 0.7% from last year.

The current jobless figures in those four counties all exceed the national unemployment rate of 7.8%

Regional
8:57 am
Thu July 25, 2013

One Westbound Lane Remains Closed on Cumberland Parkway Following Accident

Update at 1:05 p.m.:

A spokesman with the Bowling Green Department of Highways says one westbound lane remains closed on the Cumberland Parkway Thursday afternoon following a morning accident.

Crews remain on the scene cleaning up the debris from the crash involving a semi-tractor trailer. The injured driver was taken to a hospital.

The closed lane is expected to reopen within an hour.

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Politics
8:35 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Richards: Plan Putting Three GOP House Members in Same District Scrapped

Warren County Rep. Jody Richards (left) in Frankfort
Credit Kentucky LRC

A Bowling Green lawmaker says a legislative redistricting plan under consideration would not place three southern Kentucky GOP incumbents in the same district.

A plan put forth by House Democrats earlier this year would have placed Warren County's Jim DeCesare, Brownsville's Michael Meredith, and Morgantown's C.B. Embry Junior in one House district. But Democratic Representative Jody Richards told WKU Public Radio that such a plan is no longer being considered.

"Now, C.B. Embry and Jim DeCesare may well run together, but most of that district would be in Warren County," said Richards.

Kentucky lawmakers will meet in Frankfort next month for a special session to draw new legislative maps based on the latest U.S. Census data. Both Richards and Warren County Republican Senator Mike Wilson told WKU Public Radio they believe lawmakers can get a deal done over the course of five days--that's the quickest a special session can start and finish under state law.

Regional
8:24 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Public Input Sought for Long-Term Owensboro Transit Plan

The long-term transit needs in Owensboro will be the subject of a final report issued next week at City Hall.

The Corradino Group will present its final report on the study which makes proposals to improve Owensboro’s transit options. The Messenger-Inquirer reports a public hearing will be held Thursday, August 1, where Owensboro residents can comment on the study’s findings.

Owensboro transit manager Michael Hughes has said the study will recommend that the city’s transit system expand to eight routes from six, with all routes taking no longer than half-an-hour to complete. The study is also expected to call for the city’s bus system to expand its coverage area and include new transfer points that would allow riders to reach their destinations more efficiently.

The public hearing on the transit plan is August 1 at 11 a.m. in Owensboro’s City Hall.

Politics
8:44 am
Wed July 24, 2013

For McConnell, Prospect of Primary Challenge Leads to Tea Party Outreach

Kentucky’s senior U.S. Senator is trying to reach out to Tea Party groups as he seeks another six-year term in Washington.

Mitch McConnell needs to shore up support on the Republican right in order to fend off a primary challenge next year. Sen. McConnell knew he would have a challenge from Democrats in 2014. What he was hoping to avoid was a primary challenge from a fellow Republican.

But that’s exactly what he has now, following Louisville investment advisor Matt Bevin’s entrance into the race. Bevin is officially announcing Wednesday that he will seek the GOP Senate nomination, creating a primary fight for McConnell. 

McConnell isn't taking the news lying down.

Politico reports McConnell played host to the Tea Party caucus Tuesday in Washington, at a celebration honoring the birthday of former Senator Bob Dole. McConnell has had a strained relationship with the Tea Party, at first largely ignoring the movement, and then trying to mend fences when the Tea Party showed it had become a major powerbroker within the GOP.

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Politics
10:28 am
Tue July 23, 2013

McConnell to Face Challenge from Right in 2014 Senate Primary

In addition to fighting off Democratic challengers, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell will also have to to defeat at least one fellow Republican next year.

An aide to Louisville businessman and Tea Party activist Matt Bevin distributed a news advisory Tuesday announcing stops on a statewide tour announcing his candidacy for Senate.

Bevin's entry into the race could force a shift in the McConnell campaign, which had been concentrating entirely on Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky's 34-year-old Secretary of State.

The move by Bevin to challenge McConnell reflects a splintering of the tea party movement in Kentucky. Many activists, including Kentucky's junior U.S. Senator, Rand Paul of Bowling Green, have already pledged their support to McConnell's 2014 re-election efforts.

Not All Tea Party Groups Think Alike Re: McConnell in '14

McConnell’s re-election effort is highlighting divisions between some Kentucky tea party organizations, and national tea party groups backing the U.S. Senate Minority Leader.

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Politics
9:02 am
Tue July 23, 2013

Reid Revels in Possible Tea Party Challenge for McConnell

The U.S. Senate Majority Leader is making some jokes at the expense of Kentucky’s senior Senator.

Democrat Harry Reid, speaking Monday at a gathering of the pro-Obama group, Organizing for Action, said Mitch McConnell "tried to make love to the tea party, and they didn’t like it.”

Reid and McConnell have been at odds recently over the GOP’s use of filibusters to prevent some of President Obama’s executive branch nominees from receiving confirmation votes.

Reid’s comments about the Tea Party and McConnell come as speculation mounts about a possible Republican primary challenge against the GOP Senate leader. Some in the Tea Party have criticized McConnell for not being sufficiently conservative on fiscal issues.

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