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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Politics
9:56 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Reports: Pro-McConnell Super PAC Seeing Much More Fundraising Success than Group Supporting Grimes

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes
Credit Offices of Sen. McConnell and Sec. Grimes

A Super PAC supporting Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell is greatly out-performing a similar group that is raising money for Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.

According to a report in the Courier-Journal, the vast majority of the contributions made to the pro-McConnell group Kentuckians for Strong Leadership come from out-of-state individuals.

That Super PAC this week reported raising nearly $424,000 during the months of May and June. None of that money came from Kentuckians. The single biggest donation came from Sam Fox of St. Louis, the CEO and chairman of a private company that acquires businesses.

Reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission show Kentuckians for Strong Leadership has raised more than $3.7 million dollars since it was formed last year, with less than 5 percent of that coming from donors with Kentucky addresses.

A Super PAC supporting Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes called We Are Kentucky raised $50,000 during the second quarter, while spending nearly $65,000 in that same time period. Since forming last year, the group has raised $343,000, a fraction of what Kentuckians for Strong Leadership has taken in to support Senator McConnell.

Education
12:07 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Major Changes Eyed by Campbellsville Regents Draw Concern From Baptist Convention

The Campbellsville University Board of Regents was set to meet today to further explore efforts to change the way it selects board members – including a discussion over whether it could elect a non-Baptist trustee.

The Herald-Leader reports a draft copy of the changes was presented to the Kentucky Baptist Convention last week. The KBC was not supportive of the changes and plans an officers’ meeting regarding the issue on Thursday. 

The Kentucky Baptist Convention contributes $ 1 million in funding per year to Campbellsville University in a relationship that stretches back decades. The funding represents roughly two percent of the university's overall annual budget of $57 million.

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Regional
10:28 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Bowling Green Police Probe Deadly Stabbing

Bowling Green Police are investigating a fatal stabbing that occurred near downtown. 

Just before 10:00 p.m. Monday night, police received a call of a fight in a parking lot at the corner of Fairview Avenue and the 31W Bypass.  By the time officers arrived, a car had left the scene with the victim inside. 

Officers caught up with the vehicle at the corner of 6th and State Streets.  Police say 55-year-old Phillip Cox of Bowling Green was stabbed once and later died at the hospital. 

Police questioned the female driver of the car, but so far no one has been charged.

Transportation
4:05 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Corridor Connecting Southern Indiana to Natcher Bridge in Owensboro Could be Toll Road

An Indiana transportation panel is making recommendations that could lead to the start of a new corridor linking southern Indiana with Daviess County, Kentucky, within five to ten years.  

The road will be called the Mid-State Corridor, and will run from Pike County, Indiana, to the Natcher Bridge east of Owensboro. That road was formally known as I-67, but the name was dropped because only federal officials can create a new interstate.

The Messenger-Inquirer reports the Indiana Blue Ribbon Panel on Transportation Infrastructure also believes construction should start on the proposed Interstate-69 bridge at Henderson within five years. Funding concerns are a major issue for the projects, however, with the federal Highway Trust Fund running out of money.

If a creative solution isn’t found, blue ribbon panel member Hank Menke told the paper that the Mid-State Corridor might have to be built as a toll road.

The corridor is expected to cost Indiana $444 million, with Kentucky chipping in $177 million.

The Indiana panel’s recommendations now go to Governor Mike Pence.

Regional
5:00 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Kentucky Retirement Systems Hosting Online Town Halls

Kentucky Retirement Systems, which includes accounts for state employees and teachers, will hold a series of town hall webinars this month to allow members, retirees, and other stakeholders to ask questions and voice concerns about KRS. 

The Kentucky Employees Retirement System is the worst-funded major public pension system in the country, according to Fitch Ratings. It has an unfunded liability of more than 17 billion dollars. 

The webinars will be hosted by KRS executive staff.  The Monday, July 14 webinar will feature KRS Executive Director Bill Thielen.  To register, click here.

KRS Chief Investments Officer David Peden will host a webinar on July 21.  Click here to register.

Politics
2:03 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Rogers: President's Funding Request to Deal with Border Crisis "Too Much Money"

Rep. Hal Rogers

A Kentucky Congressman who leads the House Appropriations Committee says President Obama needs to lower the amount of funding he’s seeking to address the crisis along the country’s southern border.

Politico reports that Somerset Republican Hal Rogers told reporters Friday that the nearly $4 billion the President wants is “too much money.” The President made the request in response to the growing number of unaccompanied children who are trying to enter the country from central America.

Congressman Rogers said while members of the appropriations committee continue to look through the President’s plan, the $3.7 billion dollar price tag will have to come down in order to gain House support.

While he didn’t suggest a different number, Rogers said he hopes to make a counter-proposal  next week.

Politics
12:55 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Paul Remains Second in Poll of Likely New Hampshire Republican Voters

Sen. Rand Paul

The controversy that has surrounded New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie hasn’t dashed his 2016 presidential aspirations – at least not according to New Hampshire Republicans. 

Christie is first in a poll of potential GOP White House candidates at 19 percent.  Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul placed second in the WMUR Granite State Poll with 14 percent. 

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is third at 11 percent. Those numbers are based on the assumption that Mitt Romney will not run again. 

Paul, for his part,  has said he won’t make a decision on whether or not to run for president until after this year’s mid-term election.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton still leads among New Hampshire Democrats, at 59 percent. But that number has edged down slightly from April.

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Environment
3:37 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

TVA Sued by Kentucky Coal Group, Landowners Over Plans for Natural Gas Unit at Paradise Plant

The Paradise Fossil Plant in Drakesboro, Ky.
Credit Tennessee Valley Authority

A lawsuit has been filed against the Tennessee Valley Authority over its plans to shut down two coal-fired units at its plant in Muhlenberg County.

The suit brought by a group of landowners and the Kentucky Coal Association argues the TVA didn’t perform a proper environmental impact statement before it decided to close the units at the Paradise Fossil Plant, and replace them with a natural gas unit scheduled to begin operations in 2017.

Meanwhile, ground continues to be cleared for the project. Speaking to reporters in June at the Paradise plant in Drakesboro, TVA transition manager Billy Sabin said the excavation stage should be completed within three months.

“That’s expected to complete sometime around the September timeframe. When that is complete, we’ll be working on getting our permits in place, and starting actual construction the end of this year to the first of next year.”

A TVA spokesman says officials are reviewing the lawsuit and will respond appropriately. The federally-owned corporation says reducing the number of coal-burning units at its Muhlenberg County plant from three to one will cut its coal reliance at the facility by half.

Regional
11:44 am
Thu July 10, 2014

State Restricts Medical License of Hart County Physician

A Cave City physician’s medical license has been restricted following an investigation into his prescribing practices. 

The investigation into Dr. Chandra Reddy began when the local drug task force received a tip that he was prescribing prescription drugs without having patients visit his office.  The Glasgow Daily Times reports investigators also found evidence the doctor was trading prescriptions for cash and marijuana and that he was using marijuana himself. 

Reddy, who specializes in internal medicine, is no longer allowed to prescribe controlled substances until he meets a number of requirements set by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure. 

The board previously sanctioned Reddy in 2010 following an investigation that he had inappropriate contact with two female patients during exams.

Regional
5:17 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Bowling Green UAW Leader Fired by GM

Long-time United Auto Workers Union President Eldon Renaud is out at the Bowling Green General Motors Plant. 

Spokeswoman Andrea Hales confirmed that Renaud is no longer employed at the plant.  Renaud had no comment when contacted Thursday morning by WKU Public Radio.  He served as the local UAW president since 1982 and had been a GM employee for more than 40 years. 

Renaud had been critical of Plant Manager Dave Tatman, who resigned abruptly in February.   In April, the union voted to authorize a strike if the plant didn’t resolve some safety and quality issues.  A strike never occurred.

Renaud also served as Bowling Mayor from 1996 to 2000. 

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