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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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Politics
7:46 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Rand Paul to Put Hold on Comey's Nomination as FBI Director

Kentucky’s junior U.S. Senator says he will put a hold on James Comey’s nomination as FBI director. Bowling Green Republican Rand Paul wants the agency to answer questions regarding the use of drones for domestic surveillance.

Speaking on Fox News, Paul said his intention was not to defeat Comey’s nomination, but to “slow it down enough” to get answers from the Obama administration about drones monitoring American citizens on U.S. soil. Paul says until he gets those answers, he will place a formal hold on Comey’s nomination, a tactic that any Senator can use to prevent a nomination from moving forward.

In March, Paul held a 13-hour talking filibuster of CIA Director John Brennan’s nomination over similar concerns over domestic drone use.

Kentucky Bourbon
12:45 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Bourbon Pioneer Elmer T. Lee Passes Away at Age 93

Elmer T. Lee
Credit Buffalo Trace

The man who introduced the world's first single barrel bourbon has died at the age of 93. Buffalo Trace Master Distiller Emeritus Elmer T. Lee passed away Tuesday morning following a brief illness.

Lee's connection to Kentucky's signature spirit began in 1949, when he started working in the engineering department of the George T. Stagg Distillery in Frankfort. In 1966, Lee was promoted to plant superintendent, and three years after that he became plant manager.

Lee's most lasting contribution to the world of bourbon came in 1984 when he introduced the first-ever single barrel bourbon, called Blanton's. Taking a cue from the scotch industry that gained popularity in the U.S. through single-malt varieties, Lee honed the technique of identifying and cultivating the best bourbon that could be produced in his distillery's warehouses. He took into account where the barrels were located in the warehouse, how often they were rotated, and how long the whiskey aged in the barrels.

In 1986, Buffalo Trace honored Lee by naming a line of single barrel bourbons Elmer T. Lee.

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Business
10:11 am
Fri July 12, 2013

General Dynamics Adding 1,300 New Jobs in London and Winchester, Kentucky

An international information technology company is adding 1,300 new jobs at its facilities in London and Winchester, Kentucky.

The new General Dynamics positions will provide technical assistance for the implementation of the federal government’s Health Insurance Marketplace. The General Dynamics site in London will employ up to 1,000 people, with the Winchester facility taking on 300 new workers.

The company already employs 400 people at a site in Corbin.

The new positions are for customer service representatives who will work in call centers at the facilities.

General Dynamics is holding job fairs for prospective applicants July 20 and 27 at the Somerset Community College Laurel Campus in London from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Job fairs will be held in Winchester July 15 and 16 at Bluegrass Community and Technical College campus in Clark County.

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Agriculture
8:51 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Hails Historic Hemp Vote

Industrial hemp production is legal in most countries, but not in the U.S.

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer is cheering House passage of legislation to allow university research on industrial hemp. The measure was an amendment to the farm bill that passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday.

“Without a doubt, this was an historic day for industrial hemp in America,” Comer said. “There’s a long way to go in the legislative process. And I won’t be satisfied until Kentucky farmers can legally grow industrial hemp again. But I am pleased that we have made it this far.”

The amendment would allow colleges and universities to grow hemp for research purposes in states where hemp production is allowed by state law.

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie of Vanceburg was one of three co-sponsors of the amendment and has filed a bill that would remove hemp from the federal definition of marijuana.  U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, and Reps. Andy Barr, Brett Guthrie, and Ed Whitfield also have also publicly supported restoring legal hemp production to Kentucky.

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Politics
4:27 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Rand Paul Wants U.S. Aid to Egypt Cut Off

Violent clashes have broken out in Egypt after the military removed President Mohammed Morsi from office.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has introduced legislation that would cut off foreign aid to Egypt. Politico reports the bill is the first in Congress to directly address what many observers describe as a military coup in the north African nation.

For Paul, a Republican from Bowling Green, there’s no debating what happened in Egypt last week. He says President Mohammed Morsi was taken down by a military coup, and under U.S. law Congress can’t provide aid to countries where a democratically elected government has been removed by such an action.

In a statement, Senator Paul accused President Obama of ignoring the rule of law by refusing to call last week’s action a coup, and by continuing the flow of U.S aid to Egypt.

The President this week ordered a review of all aid sent to Egypt.

Paul has previously called on Congress to halt foreign aid to Pakistan, and is a general critic of foreign assistance, saying it’s money better spent at home.

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