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.

Ways to Connect

Following Thursday state-wide recanvass of votes that showed Louisville businessman Matt Bevin still leading Comer by 83 votes, Comer e-mailed the following statement just before 8:00 a.m. Central time Friday morning.

“Within minutes of receiving the results of the recanvass, I called Matt Bevin to concede and congratulate him on a hard fought victory. I asked Matt to afford me the opportunity to personally contact a few of my strongest supporters across the state to again thank them for their support and tell them about my concession. I promised Matt that I would release my statement prior to his Friday morning press conference with the Republican down ballot candidates.

Throughout the entire primary campaign, I grew to appreciate Matt Bevin’s knowledge of the issues, his work ethic, and his morals. Matt ran a clean campaign which focused on the issues important to Kentuckians. Matt Bevin will stand up to the special interest groups that have held our great state back and fight the corrupt elements that still exist in Frankfort. I enthusiastically endorse Matt Bevin for Governor and pledge to do everything I can to see that he wins in November.” 

Comer had until the close of business Friday to call for a full re-count of the votes from last week's gubernatorial primary but that was seen as politically divisive within the Kentucky Republican party and also very expensive; some estimates were as high as $300,000.

Comer's concession sets up a race between Bevin and Kentucky Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway in a rare off-year election that serves as a precursor to the 2016 Presidential contest.

The state board of elections won't officially certify the results of the race until June 8th.

The former Glasgow police chief is suing the city and the interim chief.

Guy Turcotte stepped down from the police chief position at the end of 2014 and was appointed to another post within the department by then-Mayor Rhonda Riherd Trautman. Her successor, Dick Doty, appointed officer James Duff as interim police chief, with a search currently underway for a permanent successor.

The Glasgow Daily-Times reports that Turcotte claims in his suit that he has been subjected to unfounded criticism, micromanagement, harassment, and belittlement. Turcotte claims that despite being one of the highest-paid officers on the force, he has been treated like a “rookie police officer.”

A statement released by Glasgow city attorney Rich Alexander said the city welcomed the scrutiny that will now be placed on Turcotte’s employment history, and that the former police chief will "be required to explain his actions and conduct relative to the Glasgow Police Department.”

"The city is confident in its position and perhaps these recurring issues will be finally resolved and the police department can then get on with the business of protecting and serving its citizens," the statement concluded.

The Kentucky Republican Party’s website is back up and running after an anonymous group of hackers seized control of it over the weekend. 

The website was hacked by AnonCoders on Sunday and it remained down until Tuesday morning.  An online search of AnonCoders only yielded a Facebook page, which gave little information about the group. 

According to Wikipedia, AnonCoders was created in January and "mostly targets Israeli websites in protest of crimes allegedly committed against the Palestinian people on behalf of Israel."

The reason for the attack on the Kentucky Republican Party website is unknown.  State GOP Chairman Steve Robertson told CN-2’s Pure Politics he doesn’t believe any donor information was compromised since that information is stored on a separate server.

Unofficial GOP Primary Totals

With all precincts reporting, Matt Bevin leads James Comer by 83 votes. Those are unofficial totals. Comer says he wants a recanvass, but is also pledging to support Bevin if the numbers hold.  

Bevin Barely Ahead in Republican Primary for Governor

With 99% of the vote counted, Matt Bevin leads James Comer by 83 votes.

Primary Races Called:

Whitney Westerfield, GOP primary for Attorney General

Allison Ball, GOP primary for Treasurer

Rick Nelson, Democratic primary for Treasurer

Voters in Kentucky today are choosing the Republican and Democratic nominees for governor. 

The GOP matchup is extremely close between three of the four candidates. 

James Comer spent the final weeks of his campaign fending off allegations of domestic abuse.  After voting in his hometown of Tompkinsville this morning, Comer told WKU Public Radio he thinks the allegations will "backfire."

"The people who know me are offended by what's been printed.  They're working harder than they've ever worked," said Comer.  "We have a great ground game in just about every county in the state and I feel very confident it's going to be a good night."

Comer has accused Hal Heiner’s campaign of pushing the allegations, though Heiner himself has denied any involvement.  After voting in Louisville, Heiner wouldn't comment on the end of a long and negative campaign, saying only that people in Kentucky are wanting to move the state in a new direction. 

"For 63 weeks, we have focused on what's possible in Kentucky," remarked Heiner.  "I just believe we're at a crossroads right now.  We can do so much better.  I know we can."

Also voting in Louisville was businessman Matt Bevin who said momentum has moved in his direction.

"We've done what we need to do.  We laid down a very good campaign, I think," Bevin commented.  "We've raised the issues, we stayed out of the gutter, and the voters will decide."

WKU has announced head baseball coach Matt Myers will not return for another season.

WKU Athletics Director Todd Stewart says a national search for the next Hilltopper coach will begin immediately.

The team just wrapped upped its fourth season under Myers with a 24-28 record overall and a 10-19 record in Conference USA. They missed qualifying for the conference tournament for the first time since 1998.

In announcing Myers' termination, Stewart wrote in a news release that the team's record over the past four years didn't meet his expectations. He added, "We must have more success in conference play and the postseason."

Myers became head coach in 2012 after being on the staff since 2008. The team went 106-118 overall during his tenure, 54-65 in conference games and just 1-6 in conference tournament games.

KCTCS

Owensboro Community and Technical College didn’t go far in naming its new president. 

Dr. Scott Williams takes the helm after spending the past 15 years at the campus.  He is currently vice president of academic affairs and chief academic officer, a position he has held since 2008. 

“Dr. Williams will be an excellent leader for OCTC,” said Dr. Jay Box, president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. “We are fortunate he already has great knowledge and experience within our system and his vision and ideas will lead to the continued success of the college.”

Williams will begin his new appointment July 1.

Twitter

Locked in a dead heat for his party’s nomination for governor, some prominent Kentucky Republicans are coming to the aid of James Comer. 

On the steps of the state Capitol Wednesday, about a dozen current and former elected Republicans expressed their support for Comer while insisting he never abused his college

The accusations come from Marilyn Thomas, who now lives in New York.  She dated Comer while a student at WKU and says he was physically and emotionally abusive toward her, and once drove her to a clinic for an abortion. 

Former State Senator Julie Denton organized Wednesday's rally and said there’s nothing to the allegations.

"I knew about these allegations last summer and checked them out myself, and found nothing, no substance to them whatsoever," stated Denton.

Denton accused unnamed sources of trying to tarnish Comer for political gain. 

"I think it's diabolical and disgusting, and I'm very disappointed there are folks out there who feel that's the only way they can win political office," Denton added.

Comer has accused fellow GOP gubernatorial candidate Hal Heiner of fueling the accusations. 

The race involving Comer, Heiner, and Matt Bevin is in a statistical tie ahead of Tuesday’s primary election.  Polling places Will T. Scott in a distant fourth place.

A new statewide survey shows the Kentucky Republican primary for governor is a tossup between the top three candidates.

The Survey USA poll found Matt Bevin with 27 percent support, James Comer with 26 percent, and Hal Heiner with 25 percent. Will T. Scott trailed with just 8 percent support.

The poll describes the difference between the top three contenders as “not statistically significant”, and says the trio could finish one, two, and three in any order.

The survey polled 517 respondents who said they were registered Republicans and certain to vote in next week’s primary.

The GOP voter sample has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

The survey was conducted for The Courier-Journal, WHAS-TV, the Lexington Herald-Leader and WKYT-TV.

The Bowling Green Independent School District is close to naming its next superintendent.  The board of education is expected to make the announcement Monday night at its regularly scheduled monthly meeting. 

The hiring follows interviews with four finalists, including Allen Barber from Eagle Point, Oregon, Bowling Green High School Principal Gary Fields, Hart County Assistant Superintendent Wesley Waddle, and Mark Owens, Director of Personnel for Daviess County Public Schools. 

Current Superintendent Joe Tinius is retiring June 30.

Ashley Lopez, WFPL

An analysis of fundraising data from the beginning weeks of Rand Paul’s presidential campaign shows he has strong support from donors in small towns.

The New York Times reports the Bowling Green Republican took in $1 million online in less than 30 hours after formerly launching his campaign April 7.

A quarter of the more than 15,000 donors who gave to Paul list addresses in communities that have populations under 10,000 people.

The 2010 Census shows only 15 percent of Americans live in communities of that size.

The average donation made at Paul’s website was around $60  during the first weeks of his campaign, meaning Paul will be able to ask many of those same donors for additional gifts during the primary season.

Another takeaway from the analysis is the overlap of donors who have given to both Rand Paul’s campaign and the 2012 White House bid by his father, then-Texas Congressman Ron Paul. At least 2,000 of the donors to Rand Paul last month also gave to his father’s campaign, although the Times says that number is likely higher because many small donors don’t appear on federal filings.

City of Owensboro

Owensboro City Commissioners appear set to give final approval to a city budget that includes fundingfor a golf course and the new International Bluegrass Music Center.

The Messenger-Inquirer reports that the city commission Tuesday night gave first approval to a budget plan that increases Owensboro’s occupational and net profits tax rates by six-tenths of a percentage point. Final approval of the budget is expected at a special called meeting Thursday afternoon.

The slight tax increase would generate more than $834,000 a year, which would be used to keep the nine-hole Hillcrest Golf Course open.

It would also cover the city’s $2.4 million dollar commitment toward the building of a new downtown bluegrass music center.  

Mayor Ron Payne says the city has reached an agreement with the Hillcrest Golf Association that will turn the course into a city park if less than 10,000 rounds a golf are played there each year.

Flickr/Creative Commons/Lee Royal

Tennesseans will soon be able to have alcoholic beverages delivered straight to their doors.

A law signed by Governor Bill Haslam that goes into effect July 1 allows third-party restaurant delivery services to buy alcohol from retailers and deliver it to consumers. The Tennessean reports that the owner of a Nashville-area food delivery service predicts his sales will increase 50-to-100 percent once he’s able to deliver alcohol to consumers.

Companies will be allowed to deliver up to a gallon of alcohol per customer, per delivery.

Consumers must show a valid form of ID, and all delivery drivers must be at least 21 years of age and pass a criminal background check. Any business delivering alcohol must get at least half of its gross sales from food delivery.

An Amish father and son will be in a Logan County courtroom Wednesday.  The men are facing charges of violating a local ordinance requiring owners to clean up after their large animals.

Amos Mast and his son Dan, both of Auburn, were cited this year by police for refusing to fit their horses with special bags to collect their droppings.  The ordinance requires large animals to wear the collection devices in order to keep streets clear of feces. 

Members of the Amish community object to the law, claiming the devices can spook their horses.  The Mast family will take their case before a jury in Logan District Court. 

The Masts are members of the Old Order Amish, the same sect involved in a legal battle a few years ago when they refused to place a slow-moving vehicle emblem on the back of their horse-drawn buggies.  They objected to the bright orange emblem on religious grounds.  The General Assembly eventually passed a law allowing the Amish to place reflective tape on their buggies.

The mayor of Owensboro is planning to introduce a plan to save a city-owned golf course from being sold.

The Messenger-Inquirer reports Mayor Ron Payne will share the plan with the city commission at its Tuesday evening meeting. The city’s proposed budget does not include funding for Hillcrest Golf Course, listing it as eligible to be sold to private interests.

A new ordinance that includes funding for the nine-hole course will be introduced as an amendment to the budget during the city commission meeting.

The ordinance proposes to fund the golf course through a slight increase in the city’s occupational tax.

The increase would also help cover the city’s recent $2.4 million commitment to the construction of the new downtown International Bluegrass Music Center.

Pages