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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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.

Flickr/Creative Commons

A bill filed in the Kentucky Senate would offer legal protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals.

The measure is called  the Kentucky Competitive Workforce Act, and would add the LGBT community to those covered under the state’s Civil Rights Act.

The Courier-Journal reports the bill’s six Senate sponsors are all from either Louisville or Lexington, and include five Democrats and one Republican.

Similar legislation has been filed in the Kentucky House.

Read What's In Senate Bill 176, the Kentucky Competitive Workforce Act

The effort has the support of nearly 200 Kentucky employers who have formed the Kentucky Competitive Workforce Coalition. It includes large companies, such as Brown-Forman, as well as small, locally owned businesses.

A “Fairness Rally” in support of the legislation is being held at the state capitol rotunda in Frankfort Wednesday afternoon.

The Senate bill's chief sponsor is Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville.

LRC Public Information

The top Kentucky House Republican says GOP-backed legislation to ban labor unions from requiring employees to join them is unlikely to get a House vote this year.

House GOP Leader Jeff Hoover said Friday that right-to-work legislation isn't among the top priorities for House Republicans. Senate Republicans have identified it as one of their main priorities.

Hoover's announcement comes two days after a U.S. District Judge in Kentucky ruled that local right-to-work ordinances passed by 12 counties in the commonwealth are illegal.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo says right-to-work legislation doesn't have "a snowball's chance" of passing the Democratic-controlled House.

But House Republicans have been using procedural motions to try to force House votes on some bills. Hoover is downplaying the chances of such maneuvering for the right-to-work bill.

Hoover says he plans to keep pushing for an eventual House vote on legislation to put Planned Parenthood clinics last in line for family planning funds.

Abbey Oldham

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is suspending his presidential campaign.

The Bowling Green Republican released a statement to the media Wednesday morning announcing the move.

"Although, today I will suspend my campaign for President, the fight is far from over," Paul said in his statement. "I will continue to carry the torch for Liberty in the United States Senate and I look forward to earning the privilege to represent the people of Kentucky for another term."

The decision comes two days after Paul finished a distant fifth in the Iowa GOP Caucus.

The Republican Party of Kentucky is holding a presidential caucus March 5 so that Paul could run for both the White House and another U.S. Senate term at the same time.

Paul's move to quit the presidential race means he can concentrate on his Senate re-election effort. He faces two little-known Republican primary challengers. Seven Democrats are running for the seat, including Lexington Mayor Jim Gray.

This is a compilation of newscast anchoring by WKYU's Joe Corcoran. It features newscasts aired on May 27 and September 30, 2015.

Thank you for considering this submission in the category of Best Radio Anchor for the 2016 Kentucky Associated Press Broadcasters competition.

This is WKYU's submission in the category of Best Radio Reporter for the 2016 Kentucky Associated Press Broadcasters competition.

It features work reported and produced by Rhonda Miller. This compilation includes a feature piece Rhonda produced about the first same-sex wedding performed in Bowling Green following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage.

It also includes spot news Rhonda produced on a variety of topics, including the impacts climate change could have on our region, efforts in Kentucky to get the DNA from rape kits tested in a more timely fashion, and a local homeless shelter facing a budget crunch as the cold weather season approached.

Thank you for considering this entry in the category of Best Radio Reporter.

This is WKYU's entry in the category of Best Short Newscast. It features newscasts aired on May 27 and September 30, 2015.

Thank you for considering this entry in the 2016 Kentucky Associated Press Broadcasters competition.

This entry contains two newscasts heard during live local broadcasts of Morning Edition on WKYU FM in 2015.

Thank you for considering this entry in the category of Best Long Newscast.

WKU

WKU President Gary Ransdell announced at Friday's Board of Regents meeting in Elizabethtown that he is retiring effective June 30, 2017.

He said he wanted to give the school ample time to find a successor. He will have served as WKU President for 20 years by the time he leaves the post.

Ransdell said picking the right time to step aside has been something he and his wife, Julie, have been discussing for a while.

"We want to do this on our terms, and this has been an incredible 19 years so far, and will be an incredible 20 years," Ransdell told WKU Public radio.  "We just felt like our health is good and I've seen so many people in this job retire and not have the best of circumstances with their health."

In an email to faculty and staff,   Ransdell said he believes he has fulfilled the commitment he made in 1997 to transform the university. 

"WKU is a dramatically different institution today than it was 20 years ago – financially, physically, intellectually and attitudinally.  Serving my alma mater has been a dream come true," said Ransdell.

Office of Lexington Mayor

Lexington Mayor and Democrat Jim Gray is running for U.S. Senate.

Gray, 62, told the Herald-Leader that he decided last week that he would challenge incumbent Republican Rand Paul of Bowling Green.

Gray is a Barren County native and chairman of Gray Construction. He's in his second term as mayor of Kentucky's second-largest city.

Gray posted a video on YouTube announcing his Senate bid.

Gray isn't the only Democrat who has filed to run against Paul.

Phelps manufacturing worker Jeff Kender, retired navy officer Tom Recktenwald of Louisville and Owensboro business owner Grant Short are also seeking the Senate seat.

Paul also has two Republican challengers for the May primary election — Lexington financial analyst James Gould and Stephen Slaughter, an engineer from Louisville.

Kevin Willis

Classes at all WKU campuses have been canceled Monday. Offices will remain open.

Here is the latest update on road condition from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet office in Bowling Green, released Sunday morning:

After making headway on many Priority A routes yesterday, single digit temperatures have caused any water left on the roadways that were clear to freeze overnight. This has created icy patches, some of them large, that could be hard to see for motorists. Also patches of coverage still remain on some priority A routes.

Salting operations were halted last night due to the frigid temperatures, but plowing operations were out in force. Crews were able to plow Priority B and some Priority C routes overnight and will continue to do so today. Temperatures are predicted to be above freezing today with sunshine which will be a tremendous help to clearing roadways. As temperatures begin to rise, salting operations will resume. As the ice and snow left on the roadways begin to melt throughout the day slushy conditions can be expected along with water on the roadways.

Most roadways still have hazardous conditions on them, especially at intersections. Crews will continuing working around the clock in shifts to get the roads cleared.

Lance Dennee / WKMS

The AP is reporting that I-75 in eastern Kentucky has been reopened Saturday afternoon following the winter storm that hit the state Friday.

Some motorists were stranded on the interstate for hours. An official tells the AP there were no injuries related to the traffic standstill.

Update at 10:00 a.m.:

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet office in Elizabethtown issued the following update on road conditions throughout the region Saturday:

With snow and ice teams working around the clock since late Thursday night, most primary routes in District 4 have improved greatly since accumulating precipitation ended and moved east. I-65, Western Kentucky Parkway and Bluegrass Parkway are all open but traffic continues moving at a slower than normal pace.

U.S. highways such as 31-W, 31-E, 60, 62 and 150 are still covered in many places, particularly in our eastern counties where snow accumulation totals are between 12 and 15 inches.

Secondary roads which include many state routes are still mostly covered.  These will be a major focus for snow and ice teams today.  Crews will continue to plow roads and treat where possible.  Sunshine will be very favorable to improving road conditions.  Crews will work into the evening, but with temperatures forecast generally close to zero around the region, chemical treatments will be ineffective.  After plowing is complete today, treatment will resume on Sunday.

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