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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City of Owensboro

Owensboro's hotels and motels are putting a lot more heads in beds.

The Messenger-Inquirer reports in the past two years alone, hotel revenues jumped 36 percent up to nearly 22-million dollars, and this year is already 13 percent ahead of 2015.

The upsurge really took off in 2014 with the openings of both the Owensboro Convention Center and the Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Downtown Owensboro/Waterfront. Plus, a third 90 room downtown hotel is planned near the convention center with a possible opening in 2018.

Lisa Autry, WKU Public Radio

Grief counselors will be at the Parker-Bennett-Curry Elementary School in Bowling Green Thursday following the death of a 5th grade student Wednesday evening. 

Ten-year-old Giselle Arias was struck by a car on Gordon Avenue near her home. She was pronounced dead at the scene by the Warren County Coroner's Office.

Bowling Green Police Department Spokesman Ronnie Ward said the car that hit Arias was driven by 36-year-old Angela Clark of Bowling Green. Three juveniles were in the car. No one inside the vehicle was injured.  Ward added that he doesn't expect any criminal charges to be filed.

WKU Athletics

WKU has introduced Kentucky native Rick Stansbury as the school's new men's head basketball coach.

Stansbury played his high school basketball at Meade County, and comes to WKU after two seasons as an assistant coach at Texas A&M. He previously was head coach at Mississippi St. for 14 seasons.

Stansbury takes over the WKU job following the resignation of Ray Harper almost two weeks ago.

Stansbury has 293 career wins and 11 postseason trips as a head coach.

During his final ten seasons with Mississippi St., only Kentucky won more SEC championships than the eight won by the Bulldogs. He took the team to the postseason 11 times, with six NCAA appearances, and became the school's all-time wins leader.

Creative Commons

The Kentucky Department for Public Health has confirmed the state’s third case of Zika virus.

The latest case of Zika has been diagnosed in a pregnant woman from Louisville who traveled to region of Central American affected by Zika.

The health department reports that the woman has recovered from the illness.

Scientific evidence is suggesting a link between the Zika virus and babies born with birth defects.

Kentucky health officials are advising anyone  traveling to areas affected by the virus to consult with their doctor. It’s important to avoid bites from mosquitos because they can carry the Zika virus.

The virus has not been found to be circulating in the mosquito population in Kentucky.

WKU Athletics

Western Kentucky University  beat UT-Martin in the second round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament 64 - 57 at E. A. Diddle Arena Monday night. The Lady Tops go on to the Tournament's "Sweet 16" round taking on St. Louis on their home court Friday at 7:00 p.m.

WKU's Tashia Brown had a game high 32 points while playing the game's entire 40 minutes. Kendall Noble, the only Division I player with two triple-doubles this season, nearly added a third finishing with 15 points, 12  assists and 8 rebounds.

WKU trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half before coming back for the win.

Abbey Oldham

Senator Mitch McConnell is planning to block the nomination of a Kentucky judge to a seat on a U.S. Appeals Court.

McConnell’s office issued a statement Friday saying he had no plans to move forward on President Obama’s nomination of Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Lisabeth Tabor Hughes to the Sixth U.S Circuit Court of Appeals.

Watch: President Obama's Interview with NPR's Nina Totenberg

The statement said President Obama hadn’t consulted with McConnell before announcing the nomination Thursday night.

"Leader McConnell tried to work with the White House to fill this vacancy, including submitting a qualified Kentuckian for consideration. Rather than work with him to fill this vacancy, they submitted Justice Hughes without even notifying Leader McConnell. He will not support action on this nomination," spokesman Robert Steurer said in the statement.

McConnell is also refusing to hold hearings on the President’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland.

Kentucky State Police are on the scene of a shooting at the McDonalds in Russellville on North Main Street. According to a news release, a man shot a female and left the scene on foot.

The female pulled across the street where she was treated and then transported to a local hospital.

The alleged shoot, who has not been identified, encountered officers from the Russellville Police Department Officers who shot and killed the suspect near the intersection of Armory Drive.

A man who was inside the Russellville Donut Shop was struck by gunfire and was flown to a Nashville hospital for treatment.

No Russellville police officers were injured during the incident. 

WKU's Lady Hilltopper basketball team received an at-large bid into the Women's National Invitation Tournament Monday night. They'll host the Dayton Flyers Thursday at E.A. Diddle Arena.

In ten previous WNIT appearances, the Lady Toppers stand at 13-12. They reached the tournament semifinals in 2006 and 2007. Their last WNIT appearance was in coach Michelle Clark Heard's first season in 2012-13.

WKU enters the postseason with a 24-6 overall record and are tied with Long Beach State and Wright State for the most wins among teams that accepted an at-large bid for the tournament.

Rae Hodge

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo says his chamber’s version of the state budget will likely include no cuts to higher education in the current fiscal year. 

Speaker Stumbo said Friday that he could almost assure there will be no cuts this fiscal year to any universities in the House budget.  The Courier-Journal reports the Democratic leader made the comment shortly before lawmakers went into session.  Stumbo went on to say that the goal of his chamber would be to restore all proposed cuts to higher education and public school programs. 

Republican Governor Matt Bevin’s proposed budget would make 4.5 percent cuts to universities this year and reduce state funding by nine percent in the next two years.  Bevin argued the cuts are necessary to help make up a shortfall in the state pension system. 

House lawmakers will vote on their version of the budget early next week.  Governor Bevin has said that he will not sign any budget that includes more debt.

Kentucky State Police

Police have captured an inmate from the Warren County Jail who escaped Monday afternoon. 

Twenty-three-year-old Anthony Embry of Morgantown walked away from a work detail on Church Avenue in Bowling Green. 

Embry was found on Morgantown Road just before 10 a.m. Wednesday. According to the Warren County Sheriff’s Department, Embry had in his possession a firearm and a machete at the time of his arrest and additional charges will be filed. 

Embry was already being held on several charges, including Carrying a Concealed Deadly Weapon, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, and Probation Violation.

A second inmate, Bates Cole who escaped with Embry, was caught Monday night. 

Kentucky State Police

Update: The Kentucky State Police said missing Simpson County teenager Julia Bingham has been located.

A statement issued to the media Saturday morning said the 17 year old was home Friday night.

Original story:

Kentucky State Police are looking for a missing juvenile from Simpson County.

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

At least two protesters at presidential candidate Donald Trump’s rally in Louisville Tuesday have filed police reports that allege they were attacked by Trump supporters.

Henry Brousseau, 17, says he was punched in the stomach by a Trump supporter at the event in the Kentucky International Convention Center.

The Courier-Journal reports Brousseau and a small group of other protesters unfurled banners and chanted “Black Lives Matter” about 15 minutes into Trump’s speech. Brousseau told police Trump supporters pulled at the banners and that a woman punched him in the stomach until he dropped the sign he was holding.

Brousseau filed a complaint with Louisville Metro Police, and told officers he had photos of the woman who punched him.

The paper reported Thursday afternoon that a second protester, Molly Shah, also filed a complaint with police alleging she was attacked Tuesday.

Abbey Oldham

Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell is actively working behind the scenes to prepare for the possibility of Donald Trump being the Republican presidential nominee.

An article published by The New York Times has the following details:

*McConnell has "laid out a plan that would have (GOP) lawmakers break with Mr. Trump explicitly in a general election." Sources told the Times McConnell said Republicans would drop a Trump general election bid "like a hot rock."

*McConnell is still hopeful Florida Senator Marco Rubio will win the Republican presidential nomination.

*McConnell has assured Republican Senators facing re-election that he will support them if they feel like they need to "run negative ads about Mr. Trump to create space between him."

*The Times article says McConnell "has raised the possibility of treating Mr. Trump's loss as a given and describing a Republican Senate to voters as a necessary check on a President Hillary Clinton."

*McConnell and other Republican Senators are becoming frustrated with Ohio Gov. John Kaisch's refusal to exit the race.

Allen County Detention Center

Police in Allen County are investigating a murder at a nursing home. 

Thirty-five-year-old Robert Reynolds, who had his name legally changed to The Reverend, lived at the Scottsville Manor nursing home where he allegedly killed 71-year-old Gary Glueck Thursday afternoon.  Strangulation was determined as his cause of death. 

Scottsville Police Detective John Rose told the Bowling Green Daily News that the two residents had been in a verbal altercation prior to the killing.  The Reverend is being held in the Allen County Detention Center. 

As the small town deals with its fourth murder in as many months, a local church has arranged a community prayer service for Friday tonight.

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce says citizens need to understand of  scope of the state’s public pension crisis. 

Governor Matt Bevin's proposed budget makes a down payment on what could be a 20 to 30-year effort. 

The $36 billion shortfall in Kentucky’s public pension plans is more than three-and-a-half times the total general fund tax money the state collected last year. 

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President Dave Adkisson says it will take decades to fix the problem after years of neglect, but the effort must start in the current legislative session.  He adds that the drain on state coffers poses a threat to essential services.

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