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.


2:42 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Kentucky Judge Affirms Sanctions Against National College

A for-profit college with six locations in Kentucky will have to pay penalties for not cooperating with an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office. 

Attorney General Jack Conway issued a subpoena to National College in 2010 as part of his probe of some for-profit colleges operating in the Commonwealth.  National refused to respond to the subpoena and instead filed suit to block the investigation.  Franklin Circuit Court ruled the attorney general was acting both lawfully and in the public interest.  National College appealed to the Court of Appeals and Kentucky Supreme Court, but the appeals were denied. 

Franklin Circuit Court affirmed its previous ruling requiring National College to pay $147,000 for failing to comply with the subpoena.  The court also affirmed at $10,000 fine levied on the school’s attorneys for their role in delaying the investigation.

National College has campuses in Danville, Florence, Lexington, Louisville, Pikeville, and Richmond.

11:28 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Kentucky's Rand Paul Proposes Federal Voting Rights Bill

U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-KY
Credit Abbey Oldham/WKU Public Radio

Calling it the biggest voting rights issue of our day, U.S. Senator Rand Paul plans to introduce federal  legislation this week to restore the voting rights of some convicted felons. 

Speaking Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Paul said as many as a million Americans are being prevented from casting a ballot because of prior felony convictions.

"It prevents you from employment, so if we're the party of family values and a party that believes in redemption and second chances, we should be for letting people have back the right to vote," Paul suggested.  "I think the face of the Republican party needs to be not about suppressing the vote, but enhancing the vote."

Senator Paul’s bill would allow felons convicted of non-violent crimes to regain voting privileges after their sentences are completed. 

The Bowling Republican pushed similar legislation in the Kentucky General Assembly this year without success.

11:26 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Keeneland Officially Awarded 2015 Breeder's Cup

Credit Keeneland

Horse racing’s year-end championship will be returning to Kentucky in the fall of 2015.  The Breeder’s Cup has been held at Churchill Downs eight times, but for the first time, Keeneland will be hosting the event.  The awarding of the Breeder’s Cup was confirmed Tuesday by track officials.  A tentative date of October 30-31 has also been penciled on the calendar.  

Keeneland says it will add seven-thousand premium seats for the event. Santa Anita Park hosts the event this year and will again in 2016.

3:42 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Rep. McCarthy Coming to Bowling Green to Raise Money for Kentucky GOP

California Rep. Kevin McCarthy
Credit Rep. Kevin McCarthy

Newly elected U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy will make a fundraising appearance in Bowling Green next month.  The purpose of the visit is to raise money for GOP state house candidates. Scott Lasley, chairman of the Warren County GOP says Congressman Brett Guthrie likely played a big role in helping to bring a high-profile name like McCarthy to Bowling Green.

“There are at least 230 Republican members who would love to have him come to their districts and help raise money for, in this case, the state party. It reflects the level of respect that Congressman Guthrie has from his colleagues and also reflects what types of relationships he’s been able to form while in Washington,” said Lasley.

Lasley says there’s “no guarantee” the GOP can win the five seats needed to take control of the Kentucky House, but he says the party has its best shot in years. He says if they can accomplish their goal, it could move more critical than winning the governor’s office.

“If Republicans are successful and are able to control the House and the Senate, you’re going to see tax reform, you’re going to see some discussion of things like right-to-work and a whole range of issues. It would be significant,” said Lasley.

There hasn’t been a Republican majority in the state house since 1920.  

In a statement sent to the Associated Press, current House Speaker, Democrat Greg Stumbo writes “House Republicans want to bring more Washington-styled politics to Kentucky, which is the last thing we need”


2:40 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Rand Paul in Agreement with President Obama on Iraq

U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-KY

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul threw President Obama a lifeline over the weekend amid questions about U.S. involvement in Iraq. 

Speaking Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the Bowling Green Republican criticized those who pushed the U.S. military invasion in Iraq.

"What's going on now, I don't blame on President Obama, but I do blame the Iraq war for the chaos that is in the Middle East," said Paul.  "I also blame those who were for the Iraq war for emboldening Iran."

Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Sunday he was a strong supporter of going into Iraq during the Bush administration and remains so now. Cheney dismissed Paul as an "isolationist.” 

Senator Paul, who is considering a White House run in 2016, said he supports the president’s decision to send 300 advisers to Iraq in the interest of protecting the U.S. embassy there.  But even as the terrorist group ISIS gains new ground in Iraq, Paul maintains the U.S. should stay out of the region militarily.

5:45 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Kentucky Sees Increase in Number of College Grads

Kentucky saw a 1.2 percent increase in degrees conferred in 2013-2014, according to the Council on Post-Secondary Education
Credit Abbey Oldham/WKU Public Radio

The number of degrees and credentials conferred this year by public and private college and universities across Kentucky has gone up.  The Herald-Leader reports the total of 63,148 represents a 1.2 percent increase over last year, according to statistics released Friday by the Council on Post-Secondary Education.

Private universities saw a nine percent growth in degrees handed out. The numbers are preliminary with a full report from the CPE later this year.

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12:42 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Daviess County Public Schools Bans E-Cigarette Use By Students

Superintendent Owens Saylor
Credit Daviess County Public Schools

Daviess County Public Schools has become the latest district to ban e-cigarette use by students. Superintendent Owens Saylor says whether or not the devices are hazardous to one’s health, they’re intended for use by adults

“We have a parents committee here called the Council of Councils and there’s been some good discussion there about what’s in the health interest of our students,” said Saylor. “So, anything that would even represent smoking or inhalants or anything like that is not appropriate for our students. That’s why we felt like this was really an addition on to our tobacco ban and it’s a way for us to keep up with what’s happening."

Saylor also says e-cigarettes became a distraction.

“I think we’ve seen them popping up – and we’re learning a couple things. They’re expensive items, to begin with.  There were even situations where we had folks complaining that they were being stolen,” said Saylor. “And we’re not about to chase someone’s personal smoking device.”

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10:02 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Paul Backs Effort to Defend Those Using Medical Marijuana in States Where It's Legal

Kentucky Republican Rand Paul is teaming up with a Democratic colleague to defend states that have legalized medical marijuana.

Paul and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker are sponsoring an amendment to a spending bill being debated by Congress that would prohibit the federal government from spending money to combat medical marijuana in states that allow it. The U.S. House recently passed a measure similar to what Paul and Booker are proposing.

The amendment wouldn’t legalize medical marijuana nationally, but would instead prevent the Drug Enforcement Administration and federal prosecutors from investigating and bringing charges against individuals who are complying with state law.

Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia currently have laws that legalize or regulate the use of medicinal marijuana. While Kentucky isn’t on that list, state lawmakers recently passed a bill that would allow research to be conducted on the possible prescription of cannabis oil to treat certain medical conditions. The oil is extracted from hemp and marijuana plants.

4:09 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Survey Ranks Kentucky Last For State Spending On Long-term Care For Elderly

AARP Kentucky says more long-term care money from the state should go to home and community-based services
Credit Greg Stotelmyer

Kentucky received low marks on a report card issued Thursday regarding state funding for long-term care services for seniors. In fact, the commonwealth ranked 51st, behind all 49 other states and the District of Columbia. The survey, conducted by three organizations including the AARP, measures the effects of state policy on the ability of older Americans to live independently. 

Cathy Allgood Murphy with AARP Kentucky says too much of the state’s money is spent in nursing homes rather than at-home and community-based services.

“The get all the money and it’s all for intuitional care, even though everyone says keeping them at home is cheaper and is a better quality of life,” said Murphy.

The state-by-state survey focused on key factors like choice-of-setting, quality-of-care and support provided to family caregivers. Murphy says most caregivers need just a small break from time-to-time to prevent burnout.

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1:48 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Contract Awarded to Complete Next Phase of I-69 Project in Henderson, Hopkins, Webster Counties

The next phase of the Interstate-69 project is to completed by Aug. 1, 2015.
Credit Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Governor Beshear has announced the awarding of a contract that will lead to the next round of highway improvements related to the Interstate-69 project. Hall Contracting of Kentucky Inc. won the contract with a bid of just under $12 million.

The new project involves upgrading a 36-mile stretch of the Pennyrile Parkway that runs through Henderson, Hopkins, and Webster counties. The improvements will  include new pavement and lighting, and the widening of overpass bridges.

The project’s targeted completion date is Aug. 1, 2015.

The ultimate goal is to have Interstate-69 in Kentucky run from the Ohio River in Henderson south to the Tennessee border at Fulton. Before that can happen, portions of three parkways have to be upgraded—the Pennyrile, Western Kentucky, and Purchase.

Those three parkways were all once toll roads. One of the challenges of finishing the I-69 project has been the rebuilding of interchanges originally designed to handle motorists stopping at toll plazas, as opposed to merging and exiting from 70 miles per hour interstate traffic.