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
9:25 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Rally Leads WKU Women Past Louisiana-LaFayette

Chastity Gooch scored 21 points Wednesday night as the WKU women's basketball team defeated Louisiana-Lafayette 67-61 in the opening round of the 2014 Sun Belt Conference Championships in New Orleans.  

WKU trailed by 10 points at one juncture of the game and didn't have its first lead until 11:30 into the second half.  

Gooch also contributed 14 rebounds and three assists in the win.

The Lady Toppers will face either the University of Arkansas-Little Rock or Troy in the semifinals of the SBC championships on Friday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. CDT.
 

Politics
2:29 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Bill Allowing Simultaneous Campaigns Passes Kentucky Senate Committee

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul

A revised bill that would allow Rand Paul to run for Senate re-election and the White House at the same time is gaining ground.

A Kentucky Senate committee passed the measure after it was changed to specify that the bill applies only to those running for either President or Vice-President of the U.S. Every Republican and one Democrat on the committee voted to forward the bill on to the full Senate.

Current Kentucky law disallows a candidate from appearing twice on a general election ballot.

Bill sponsor Damon Thayer told the Lexington Herald-Leader that the changes to the bill were modeled after a statute in Wisconsin that allowed GOP Congressman Paul Ryan to run for Vice President and the U.S. House in 2012.

Senator Reggie Thomas, one of the Democrats who voted against the measure, said it “defies common sense.”

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Regional
2:13 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Senate Committee Passes Bill to Reduce Length of Legislative Sessions

Senate President Robert Stivers and Floor Leader Damon Thayer during the 2014 General Assembly
Credit Kentucky LRC

A proposal to limit the number of days lawmakers spend in session in Frankfort has passed the Senate State and Local Government Committee.  The bill sponsored by Senate President Robert Stivers would reduce the length of the session from 60 days to 45 days in even-numbered years, like this one. 

Odd-numbered year sessions would go from 30 days to just five days, with an option to add 10 more days. Stivers says the bill would save the commonwealth seven million dollars. If the legislation clears the full Senate and house, voters must approve it in a November referendum.

Sports
2:23 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Three Hilltoppers Honored as WKU Preps For Conference Semifinal

Chris Harrison-Docks was named the Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year on Tuesday
Credit WKU Athletics

A trio of honors came down Tuesday for WKU men’s basketball players.  Redshirt-freshman Chris Harrison-Docks has been named the Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year, becoming the fourth Hilltopper to win that honor in the SBC. 

Meantime, junior guard T.J. Price was named second-team all-conference after leading the team in scoring with 15.4 points per game.  Junior forward George Fant was named to the third team, All Sun-Belt Conference. Fant led the team in scoring ten times during the regular season.   

The Hilltoppers play in the semifinals of the Sun Belt Conference tournament Saturday afternoon in New Orleans.

Also Tuesday, junior Chastity Gooch of the WKU women’s basketball team was named the conference Defensive Player of the Year.  Kendall Noble was named the women’s Freshman of the Year.  The WKU women open up the Sun Belt Conference tournament Wednesday night against Louisiana-Lafayette.

Regional
4:28 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Safety Is Top Concern at Corvette Museum Sinkhole Project

Credit Lisa Autry

The Kentucky Labor Cabinet has signed a Construction Partnership Program agreement with the company repairing the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green to ensure and enhance safety during the complex repair process.

Cabinet Secretary Larry Roberts said they were proud to work with Scott, Murphy and Daniel Construction on the "unique challenges to the workers who are part of the rebuilding process."

WBKO reports the construction will require fall protection, trenching and excavation safety measures as well as proper procedures involving heavy equipment such as cranes all inside an existing structure. The worksite will involve as many as twenty people working in close proximity at one time. That led Scott, Murphy and Daniel to request the partnership with the Labor Cabinet.

Engineers, geologists and emergency officials are also involved in the project. Faculty and students with Western Kentucky University's Engineering department as well as the Geography and Geology department are assisting with the evaluation of the ground surrounding the worksite. Their goal is to make sure there are no further collapses and the renovation is on a solid and safe foundation.

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Education
4:14 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Kentucky House Budget Would Let Schools Forgive 10 Days

Kentucky public school students would not have to make up as many as 10 canceled school days under a proposal in the House budget.

State law requires public schools to have a minimum of 170 days and 1,062 hours of classroom instruction. But 31 of the state's 173 school districts have missed at least 20 days because of snow and ice, according to the Kentucky School Boards Association.

Lawrence County School District in eastern Kentucky was one of the hardest hit. Superintendent Mike Armstrong said the district has missed 32 days so far. In January, students were in school just five days.

House lawmakers are considering a separate bill that would let school districts lengthen the school day to make up missed time because of an emergency.

A check of school districts in our listening area reveals Warren and Hardin County schools have missed 13 days a piece, while Daviess County schools have missed 14 full days.

Sports
9:18 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Kentucky Girls High School Basketball Champion to Be Crowned Saturday at WKU

E.A. Diddle Arena at WKU is the site of the 2014 Girls Sweet 16 tournament.
Credit WKU Athletics

The 2014 girls' high school basketball season will culminate Saturday night in Bowling Green.

WKU’s E. A. Diddle Arena is the site for the four-day Sweet 16 tournament that gets underway Wednesday afternoon.

Two teams from our listening area play on the tournament’s opening day, with Henderson County facing Ashland Blazer, and the Glasgow Scotties taking on Lexington Lafayette.

The fifth-region champion Elizabethtown Panthers play Sacred Heart of Louisville Thursday. Meade County faces Anderson County that day, and Corbin plays George Rogers Clark.

You can see the complete tournament bracket here.

Health
3:00 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

Health Insurance Enrollment Deadline Three Weeks Away

A major deadline looms at the end of the month for Kentuckians still seeking health insurance. 

March 31 is the last day until November to sign up for insurance on Kynect, the state’s online health exchange.

"They would not be able to enroll in coverage again until the next open enrollment  period which, right now, we understand to be starting November 15 for effective dates of coverage of January 1, 2015," explains Janie Miller, CEO of Kentucky Health Cooperative.  "So basically for the remainder of this year they would not be able to get coverage for themselves or their family."

There will be exceptions for qualifying events such as marriage or job changes.   

According to the state, 279,601 people had obtained health coverage on the exchange, including 222,719 individuals who enrolled in Medicaid and 56,882 individuals who picked up private insurance as of last Friday.

Regional
4:54 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Kentucky Senate Passes Bill Banning E-Cigarette Sales to Minors

A bill that would restrict the sale of e-cigarettes to minors is one step closer to becoming law.  The Kentucky Senate passed the measure on a nearly unanimous vote, with only two Senators voting “no”.

The bill treats e-cigs like traditional tobacco products.  Although e-cigs don’t contain tobacco, some people worry, and some studies have shown, that use of the devices could lead young people to start using tobacco.  A similar bill is being considered by the Kentucky House.

Regional
2:48 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Ft. Knox to Welcome Home Soldiers from Afghanistan

Ft. Knox is home to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, First Infantry Division.
Credit U.S. Army

Soldiers from a Fort Knox-based infantry brigade combat team are set to return home from Afghanistan.

The 110 members of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division are scheduled to arrive at Ft. Knox Friday at midnight. They’ll be welcomed home during a ceremony at the Natcher Physical Fitness Center at the army post.

The event will be the final redeployment ceremony for the brigade, signaling the end of its nine-month deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The unit has been stationed in the Zabul province in southern Afghanistan, an area larger than the state of Connecticut. The soldiers have been assisting Afghan security forces, government members, and police forces in the province.

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