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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Multiple media reports say WKU has received, and will accept, an invitation to join Conference USA. The Bowling Green Daily News and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel report an announcement from WKU could come as soon as Monday regarding the change in athletic conference affiliation.

ESPN reports WKU will replace Tulsa in C-USA. Last week Tulsa announced it was leaving the conference to join the soon-to-be-renamed Big East.

Sources tell the network the top candidates to replace WKU in the Sun Belt are James Madison and Liberty.

A Politico profile of Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell's reelection campaign describes the effort as using a "scorched earth" policy against any potential challengers.

McConnell has already aired $200,000 in TV and radio ads and has approached state Republican lawmakers in the state in an effort to "lock down" support in his party. The U.S. Senate Minority Leader could potentially face a primary challenge from the right, in addition to a potentially well-funded Democratic opponent in the general election.

With actress Ashley Judd announcing this week that she will not challenge McConnell, many political observers will now renew their focus on the possible Senate candidacy of Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Troopers from the Kentucky State Police Bowling Green post are investigating the death of a woman found dead Thursday morning in Barren County.

The unidentified woman was located in a wood line off of Brock Road.

KSP was contacted Thursday morning about the body.

Actress Ashley Judd announced on Twitter Wednesday that she will not run for U.S. Senate in 2014. She had been rumored to be considering a run against Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell.

In a series of posts, the Kentucky native and current Tennessee resident said "After serious and thorough contemplation, I realize that my responsibilities & energy at this time need to be focused on my family. Regretfully, I am currently unable to consider a campaign for the Senate."

"I have spoken to so many Kentuckians over these last few months who expressed their desire for a fighter for the people & new leader. While that won't be me at this time, I will continue to work... as hard as I can to ensure the needs of Kentucky families are met by returning this Senate seat to whom it rightfully belongs: the people & their needs, dreams, and great potential. Thanks for even considering me as that person & know how much I love our Commonwealth."

It's likely that with Judd's announcement there will be increased attention on Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, a potential Senate challenger many establishment Democrats favored over Judd in the first place.

National Weather Service

According to the National Weather Service, rain will continue to overspread the area from the southwest Sunday. This rain may mix with sleet and snow at times across southern Indiana and north central Kentucky, before transitioning to all rain by Sunday afternoon.

By this evening, cooler air will filter in, changing precipitation to snow from northwest to southeast. The highest snow accumulations will be across southern Indiana, with lesser amounts further south and east, ranging from less than one inch in southern Kentucky to four inches in southern Indiana by Monday afternoon.

More from the National Weather Service.

Kentucy Governor Steve Beshear has announced he is vetoing a controversial religious freedom bill. Civil rights groups had urged a veto, saying the measure would essentially legalize certain forms of discrimination against gays and lesbians by groups and individuals who could claim they were doing so because of their religious beliefs.

Some church groups from across the state have been urging Beshear to sign the bill, saying it would give stronger legal standing to people who claim their religious rights have been violated.

“Religious freedom is a cornerstone of this great nation, and a right enshrined in both the United States Constitution and the Kentucky Constitution,” Gov. Beshear said in a statement released by his office.  “I value and cherish our rights to religious freedom and I appreciate the good intentions of House Bill 279 and the members of the General Assembly who supported this bill to protect our constitutional rights to practice our religion."

It’s been nearly three-and-a-half weeks since a Bowling Green man was shot by an off-duty Warren County court security officer. Many people in the Bowling Green-Warren County area are waiting with intense interest to hear the findings of a Kentucky State Police investigation into the death of 27-year-old Brandon Bradshaw, who died Feb. 26, four days after being shot by Tommy Brown in a parking lot along the U.S. 31-W Bypass in Bowling Green.

The KSP investigation has been handed over to Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Cohron, who says he’s still waiting to receive a few more documents before announcing how his office will proceed.

No charges have been filed against Brown. His attorney, Alan Simpson, says Brown acted in self-defense when he shot Bradshaw.

Earlier this week, about forty family members and friends of Bradshaw protested in front of the Warren County Justice Center, demanding answers in the case. Members of the group say they plan a similar protest next Wednesday, the day grand juries meet in Warren County.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is scheduled to headline the Iowa Republican party’s Lincoln Day Dinner in May. While members of Congress often take part in speaking engagements in other states, Sen. Paul’s appearance in Iowa is making news because the event always creates buzz about the upcoming presidential race.

The Hawkeye State has been a traditional launching pad for presidential candidates from both parties, given that the Iowa caucuses serve as the country’s first major electoral event in the presidential nominating process.

Paul, a Bowling Green Republican, has admitted he is considering a run for the White House in 2016, and attracted a lot of popular press in conservative circles when he launched a 13-hour filibuster earlier this month against the nomination of John Brennan to be C.I.A. chief.

Earlier this week, Paul told the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce that the country needs to find a way to give legal status to undocumented immigrants working in the U.S. While stopping short of saying there should be a pathway to citizenship for such workers, Paul’s latest statements were much more moderate than his previous positions on immigration.

WKU Athletics

No #16 seed has ever beaten a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament. The WKU Hilltoppers are looking to make history Friday night when they take on the Kansas Jayhawks in Kansas City, Mo.

The Hilltoppers are 20 point underdogs heading into their opening game.

It's the second straight NCAA tournament appearance for WKU.

Here's a preview of the Hilltopper-Jayhawks game, courtesy of Kentuckysports.co.

Update at 9:18 a.m.:

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has just said that the southbound lanes of I-65 are now open in Barren County at the scene of a morning accident. Two lanes are open in the northbound direction.

All northbound lanes will be open within the next 15-30 minutes.
 

Original post:

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has issued a traffic advisory following an accident Monday morning on I-65 in Barren County:

A crash involving a tractor trailer with a load of lumber has pushed traffic down to one lane in each direction on Interstate 65 just north of Exit 48 at Park City.

The duration of this crash is 3-4 hours.

Traffic may be closed periodically in order to remove debris from the roadway. Motorists are encouraged to take alternate routes.

A suggested alternate route to avoid sitting in lengthy delays is the use of the Western Kentucky Parkway and the William H. Natcher Parkway.

Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul won the presidential straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference, narrowly beating fellow Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.

According to Politico, Paul received 25 percent of the vote at CPAC Saturday, with Rubio taking 23 percent of the nearly 3,000 ballots cast.

Former Pennsylvania Senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum was third.

Former Kentucky Senate President David Williams and a political action committee have been cleared of any wrongdoing related to Williams' failed gubernatorial bid in 2011.

The Kentucky Registry of Election Finance cleared Williams and the Restoring America PAC of illegal coordination. The Courier-Journal reports the state Democratic Party filed a complaint after Restoring America was forced by a judge to reveal that Williams' then-father-in-law, Terry Stephens, was the only source of the group's $1.3 million in startup funds.

The registry did find that the PAC violated reporting rules when it did not reveal upfront who the primary funding source was and that it had spent large sums of money on polling and other services.

No life-threatening injuries are reported following a bus crash in Tennessee involving students from an Owensboro college. Members of the Kentucky Wesleyan Singers and Chamber Singers were aboard the charter bus that went over a small hill beside a road in Signal Mountain, Tennessee, late Sunday night.

A Chattanooga TV station reports 22 people were taken to hospitals.

A Kentucky Wesleyan College spokeswoman told WKU Public Radio the rest of the group’s week-long tour has been cancelled following the accident. The singers began their tour with stops in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, Nashville and Signal Mountain, Tennessee. They were on their way to sing in Atlanta when the bus accident occurred.

Kentucky State Police were investigating whether distracted driving caused a tractor-trailer to plow into an SUV carrying eight people on Saturday, killing six and possibly triggering a serious crash on the opposite side of the highway.

The truck driver is "telling us that he saw the vehicle that was in front of him and he hit the brakes and he didn't hit them in time," Master Trooper Norman Chaffins said. " ... There was a reason for that and we're trying to figure out what the reason was."

The late-morning crash was followed 15 minutes later by a multi-vehicle crash on the opposite side of Interstate 65 that injured three people. The site was just 15 miles from where 11 people died in 2010 when a tractor-trailer crossed the median and hit a van carrying a Mennonite family. Ten people in the van were killed along with the truck driver and the National Transportation Safety Board determined the truck driver was distracted by his cell phone.

A wintry mix of precipitation is expected to extend overnight into Friday morning for those in the northwestern Kentucky portion of our listening area.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has released the following information:

Crews in Union, Henderson, and Daviess Counties are reporting sleet that is creating scattered slick spots on area highways.  Henderson County had 10 trucks out Friday evening spreading salt.

Motorists should use caution.  Pavement temperatures have been dropping over the last couple of hours and are now hovering just above the freezing mark.  The ambient air temperature is holding at 31 degrees in Union County and Henderson County.

Motorists should be especially cautious around bridges and overpasses which cool down quicker than regular pavement.

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