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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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A federal judge sentenced one Iraqi man accused of entering into a terrorist plot in Bowling Green to a life sentence in prison, with a second man given a 40 year sentence.

Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi appeared at the William H. Natcher federal courthouse in Bowling Green Tuesday to receive sentencing for a serious of charges related to a plot to send weapons, explosives, and money to Al-Qaida in Iraq.

The 30-year-old Alwan was given 40 years in prison for his role in the plot. He could have received a life sentence, but Judge Thomas B. Russell went along with the recommendation of prosecutors to give a lesser sentence since Alwan cooperated in the case.

Hammadi received a life sentence. The two were arrested in Warren County in 2009.

Both men had previously pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization, and conspiracy to send Stinger surface-to-air missiles to Iraq. Alwan and Hammadi also pleaded to making false statements when they applied for admission to the United States as refugees.

The terrorist plot was actually a government sting operation. This led the Iraqis' lawyers to claim they were victims of entrapment.

Join WKU Public Radio Wednesday during Morning Edition for recaps of the sentencing handed down Tuesday in Bowling Green's federal court.

A line of strong to severe thunderstorms is expected to move through the region late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning ahead of a strong cold front. Damaging winds of 60 to 70 mph are expected along this line, with a few tornadoes possible along and ahead of the line. 

One to two inches of rain is also possible within short periods of time, which may cause flooding.

Showers and storms will continue on Wednesday, with temperatures dropping from the low 60's to the 40's by late afternoon.

More from the National Weather Service.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for a large part of the WKU Public Radio coverage area.

A wintry mix of precipitation will move in around daybreak Friday. Expect mostly freezing rain across south central Kentucky. Farther north the precipitation will be mostly snow and sleet, with up to an inch of snow expected across the Bluegrass.

According to the National Climatic Data Center, 2012 marked the warmest year on record for the contiguous United States. The year included a record warm spring, the second warmest summer, the fourth warmest winter and a warmer-than-average autumn. The average temperature for 2012 was 55.3°F, 3.2°F above the 20th century average, and 1.0°F above 1998, the previous warmest year.

The average precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. for 2012 was 26.57 inches, 2.57 inches below average, making it the 15th driest year on record for the nation. At its peak in July, the drought of 2012 engulfed 61 percent of the nation with the Mountain West, Great Plains, and Midwest experiencing the most intense drought conditions. The dry conditions proved ideal for wildfires in the West, charring 9.2 million acres — the third highest on record.


WKU Public Radio would like to share with you some news we learned today regarding several NPR show hosts.

NPR Senior VP of News Margaret Low Smith notified members stations that Michele Norris will be returning to NPR in a new role of Host/Special Correspondent. According to Smith, Norris will produce “signature profiles of leaders in politics, pop culture, business and other fields.”

“While on sabbatical, Michele has spent a good deal of time traveling the country and developing two successful initiatives: The Race Card Project and NPR’s Backseat Book Club.  Her new role will allow her to continue this work while producing in-depth segments for all NPR programs," said Smith.

Norris stepped down from her ATC hosting duties in the lead-up to the 2012 presidential campaign, due to the fact her husband took a job working with President Obama’s re-election efforts.

Smith says Audie Cornish will become a permanent co-anchor on All Things Considered, and Rachel Martin will stay on as host of Weekend Edition Sunday.

The National Weather Service reports that rain showers will change to a rain/snow mix and then all snow across southern Indiana. Accumulating snow appears likely by midnight and after, with around 2 to 4 inches of accumulation expected. Some portions of southern Indiana could see as much as 4 to 6 inches of snow.

North-central Kentucky over to the Bluegrass region should expect 1 to 4 inches of accumulation before the majority of precipitation ends around daybreak.

An intense winter storm system will continue to bring rain, snow and icy conditions to our region through Wednesday evening.

The Blizzard Warning for Owensboro, Henderson, and Evansville has been cancelled, though these areas can expect additional snow today. A Blizzard Warning remains in effect for portions of southern Indiana.

Much of the rest of our coverage area is under a Winter Weather Advisory through early evening Wednesday, with predictions of accumulations around 1", along with icy conditions as rain mixes with sleet. 

More from the National Weather Service.

A wind advisory is in effect across our coverage area through early Friday morning, with some wind gusts expected to reach 40-45 mph.  

Those with loose outdoor objects including Christmas decorations, etc. should take precautions to secure them before Thursday. Drivers should exercise caution, especially when driving high-profile vehicles.

Much colder air will move into the area as the system passes, and may change rain to snow showers in the eastern parts of our coverage area.  High temperatures on Friday will only reach the upper 30s.

Unseasonably strong storms are possible Monday afternoon and evening.  A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for parts of our coverage area until 8pm E.T. 

Showers will continue off and on through the day as a low pressure system moves along the Ohio River. Thunderstorms will be possible as well, mainly in the afternoon. Some storms have the potential to become strong with hail and gusty winds. 

More from the National Weather Service.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet reports that a contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet switched the new 38-mile section of Interstate 69 in Lyon, Caldwell, and Hopkins Counties to new mile points and new signage Friday.   Old mile markers for the former Western Kentucky Parkway have been removed or covered.

The change also reoriented the east-west direction of the former Parkway to north-south for Interstate 69 from the Interstate 24 Interchange near Eddyville to the Breathitt-Pennyrile Parkway Interchange near Madisonville.

Election Day 2012 has come and gone. President Obama has won a second term in the White House, Republicans have held on to control of the U.S. House and made gains in the Senate--but not as big of a gain as they had hoped.

In Kentucky, the GOP picked up a U.S. House seat held by Ben Chandler and four Kentucky House seats, falling short of their goal to take control of that chamber for the first time since the 1920s.

Here's the latest election news:

Come-From-Behind Winner Donnelly Will Focus on Economy, Jobs, and Economy

The archives of the Kentucky Folklife Program is being merged with the existing WKU Folklife Archives. With the transition of the KFP from the Kentucky Historical Society to Western Kentucky University earlier this year, parallel plans were made for the KFP archives to be transferred to the Kentucky Museum at WKU.

A Western Kentucky University student attending the Glasgow campus was found dead at the campus early Friday afternoon. Glasgow Police, emergency medical personnel and the Barren County Coroner’s office responded and are on the scene. The cause of death is under investigation. The name of the student will be released by the coroner’s office pending notification of kin. Classes have been canceled for the remainder of the day at the Glasgow campus.

Centre College

WKU Public Radio's Lisa Autry recently traveled to Centre College in Danville to learn more about preperations for next month's Vice-Presidential debate. The only meeting between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan will take place October 11 at the small, liberal arts school in Boyle County.

Lisa spoke to debate organizers and Centre students about what it means to have the VP debate here in Kentucky. Our story will air Thursday morning on WKU Public Radio at 5:50 and 7:50am central time.

We'll also post an audio archive here at our website.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet reports a tractor trailer crash on Interstate 65 at the William H. Natcher Parkway interchange/Exit 20 has closed two ramps off the Natcher Parkway. This crash has not closed either direction of I-65.