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The award-winning news team at WKU Public Radio consists of Dan Modlin, Kevin Willis, Lisa Autry, and Joe Corcoran.

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Two people are reported dead after authorities say their vehicle drove into the rain-swollen Green River at Mammoth Cave National Park.

The vehicle was reportedly trying to load onto the ferry from the river's south side just after two o'clock Tuesday afternoon.

Emergency responders from surrounding counties, including the dive teams from Barren and Warren Counties, located the vehicle two hours later about fifty feet downstream from the ferry in 16 feet of water.

Divers attached a tow truck cable to the vehicle to pull it to shore.  The vehicle was brought out of the water at 7:45 p.m. last night. Two adult occupants were found dead inside.

The Green River Ferry will open on a delayed schedule Wednesday morning.

More than $2 million in liens have been filed against Hitcents Park Plaza in downtown Bowling Green. 

The Daily News reports the liens were filed Friday against Mills Family Realty for money unpaid to construct the commercial wrap of the parking garage.  The liens were filed on behalf of Alliance Corporation of Glasgow and D&M Electric in Bowling Green. 

Mills Family Realty owns and operates Mariah’s and 6-4-3 restaurants, which has posted signs reading “closed until further notice.”  Three other restaurants in the commercial development closed last year. 

Meanwhile, negotiations are underway for the owners of the Bowling Green Ballpark to take over development and operations of the wrap.

Kentucky State Police

A settlement has been reached in a civil lawsuit against a Kentucky State Police trooper who caused a fatal collision in Barren County. 

A jury trial was scheduled to begin Tuesday. 

Trooper Jonathan Biven was behind the wheel of his KSP cruiser when he crossed the center line on U.S. 31-W near Park City in September 2011.  He struck a car driven by 33-year-old Nurcan Ceylan of Greensburg who died from her injuries.  A passenger in the car, Samuel Parker, filed a lawsuit against Biven. 

Attorneys for both parties did not return phone calls to WKU Public Radio, but in an email to the Glasgow Daily Times, confirmed a settlement had been reached. 

Driver inattention was determined as the cause of the crash.  Trooper Biven has said he was reaching for a soft drink when his cruiser veered into the other lane of traffic. 

Biven served several years as the public information officer for the  Bowling Green post state police post.  He was recently named commander of Trooper Island, a KSP camp for at-risk youth.

Update at 11:01 am:

All lanes of I-65 southbound in Hart County are now open following a Friday morning crash involving a semi.

Original post:

A crash involving a semi in Hart County has caused lane closures on I-65 Friday morning.

According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet:

I-65 Southbound - Near Mile Point 69 between Bonnieville and Munfordville is closed due to a semi crash.  Closure is required for a period of time to remove the vehicle. One lane will be opened when possible.

Estimated time to completely clear the scene will take until 9:30-10:30 am central.

During the closure, motorists will use Exit 71 at Bonnieville to US 31-W south to Munfordville and rejoin I-65 South at the Exit 65 interchange.

A Japanese corporation is planning a $15 million expansion at its manufacturing site in Bowling Green.

NHK of America Suspension Components Incorporated (NASCO) is adding a new building next to its existing facility in Warren County. The new location will manufacture automotive suspension coil springs, and is expected to be completed within two years.

NASCO employs 280 people, and its  Japanese parent company owns another operation in Warren County (Topura America Fastener), Franklin (New Mather Materials), and Louisville (NHK Spring Precision of America). In all, NHK International Corporation employs about 1,000 Kentucky workers.

Update at 3:42 pm:

All lanes of I-65 north are now open.  

Original post:

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet issued the following advisory Saturday morning:

Traffic advisory for I-65 north in Hardin County:

I-65 Northbound is reduced to one lane between Sonora and Glendale at Mile Point 83. A semi has lost a load in the median and is also blocking the left lane. Traffic is backing up. Time to clear is estimated to take until noon central/1:00 pm eastern.

With reduced traction due to icing and ponding of water conditions, we are particularly concerned as motorists slow down upon approach to the traffic queue.

Motorists are asked to please slow down well in advance. Driving the posted speed is still too fast for current weather conditions. This is in a construction zone, so responding to crashes is complicated and will require longer durations to clear. Even if crashes happen at low speeds with no injuries, the backup and effects along detour/alternate routes is extraordinary and hazardous for motorists on I-65 and for local traffic.


Update at 4:12 p.m.:

A series of weekend events hosted by Kentucky churches aimed at connecting minority students with higher education information is being postponed because of the weather.

Kentucky Community and Technical College System and churches throughout the state were scheduled to host “Super Sunday” events, targeting African-American and Latino students. Events in Bardstown, Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, Henderson, Leitchfield, Owensboro, Somerset and several other cities  are being postponed to later dates.

You can see which Super Sunday events are impacted by the postponements here.

Original post:

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System is making a special effort this weekend to reach out to prospective minority students. 

The fifth annual “Super Sunday” will be held at churches across the state.  KCTCS President Jay Box says the recruitment initiative targets African-American and Latino students.

Kevin Willis

Campbellsville University Cancels Classes Remainder of the Week

There are no classes tonight, Thursday, Feb 19, at all Campbellsville University locations.

There are also no classes tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 20, at all locations, according to Dr. Frank Cheatham, senior vice president for academic affairs.

Staff are to travel to work at their own discretion.

WKU Closed Thursday and Friday

All WKU campuses are closed the remainder of the week.

Kentucky House Won't Meet Remainder of the Week

The Kentucky House of Representatives is taking the rest of the week off due to the winter weather. A statement issued by House Speaker Greg Stumbo Wednesday afternoon said the chamber would reconvene at 4 pm on Monday.

The House was initially set to meet today, but lawmakers decided the combination of snowfall and record-low temperatures made travel to the state capitol too dangerous.

As of late Wednesday afternoon, the Senate was still planning to meet Thursday at 2 pm.

Kentucky State Police

Update at 3:23 p.m.:

I-65 northbound at mile point 61 in Hart County has been reopened following a Wednesday morning accident involving a tractor trailer on the Green River Bridge.

It will take awhile for backed up traffic to clear the interstate and detour route.

Update at 5:45 pm:

All lanes of I-65 north at mile point 49 in Barren County have been reopened following a Wednesday afternoon wreck involving three tractor trailers and a passenger car.

Update at 1:54 pm:

KSP is estimating that the northbound lanes of I-65 at the 49 MM will be closed until about 5 pm central/6 eastern. The injured have been removed and transported and the processes of removing the vehicles are underway, along with clean-up of another diesel fuel spill. Crews are in the process of establishing a detour at this location at this time.

Original post:

The Kentucky State Police reports there has been an injury collision on Interstate 65 northbound Wednesday afternoon at mile marker 49 northbound involving 3 tractor trailers and a passenger car. 

All northbound lanes are closed at this time and updates will come when available.

Update at 3:05 pm:

The Kentucky House will not reconvene until Monday, Feb. 23, at 4 pm. A statement from House Speaker Greg Stumbo says the combination of snowy road conditions and extreme temperatures made travel to Frankfort too dangerous for the remainder of the week.

Original post:

Due to additional snowfall and concerns about hazardous road conditions, the Kentucky Senate and House of Representatives will not convene Wednesday.

Wednesday's legislative committee meetings have also been canceled.

As of now, both chambers are scheduled to convene on Thursday, February 19, with the Senate going into session at 2 p.m. and the House at 4 p.m.

A published report says Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is eyeing April 7 as the date he will announce whether or not he’s running for president.

The story in The New York Times quoted anonymous sources close to the Bowling Green Republican as saying only family doubts regarding a run could keep Paul from entering the race.  If Paul officially enters the GOP primary field at such an early date, it would give him 10 months to raise money and hire staff ahead of the Iowa caucuses.

The report says Paul would most likely declare his White House bid in Kentucky, followed by a tour of states with early nominating contests, such as Iowa, New Hampsire, and South Carolina.

Paul has already announced plans to run for re-election to the Senate in 2016. Kentucky law prohibits a candidate from appearing on the same ballot for two different offices. Paul is actively lobbying the state Republican Party to hold a presidential caucus in 2016 instead of the usual primary vote, which would allow him to simultaneously run for his Senate seat and president.

Update at 12:22 pm: 

There will be no day classes (those 5 p.m. and earlier) tomorrow Tuesday, Feb. 17 at Campbellsville University.

Dr. Frank Cheatham, senior vice president for academic affairs, said a decision on night classes for tomorrow will be announced later.

Staff members are to travel to work at their own discretion tomorrow.

Original post:

All WKU campuses will be closed Monday in anticipation of the winter storm.  Essential personnel should report as scheduled.

A WKU graduate believed to have been held as a prisoner of war longer than any other Kentuckian has died at the age of 85.

The Courier-Journal reports Col. Dewey Lee Smith of Louisville passed away this week while on vacation in Alabama.

Smith served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. The plane he was flying was shot down June 2, 1967, over North Vietnam.  Smith was captured and held as a P.O.W. for nearly six years until his release on March 4, 1973.

He was awarded the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Purple Heart.

Smith was commissioned a second lieutenant through the WKU Air Force ROTC program in 1953, and joined active duty later that year. He also played on the WKU football team.

Under President Obama’s budget plan issued Monday, eastern Kentucky and other parts of Appalachia affected by the loss of coal jobs could be thrown a lifeline. 

The federal budget proposal contains $1 billion for redevelopment projects aimed at improving the economy of coal communities.  The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the White House budget also proposes spending $20 million to help laid-off miners find new work.  An additional $25 million is set aside for the Appalachian Regional Commission to help entrepreneurs in distressed coal areas.  The budget would infuse money into the under-funded United Mine Workers of America health and pension plans.