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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Regional
5:16 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Bi-Partisan Resolution Marks 50th Anniversary of Bourbon Whiskey Declaration

Credit Abbey Oldham/WKU Public Radio

Two members of Kentucky’s Washington delegation are marking the 50th anniversary of the date congress formally recognized bourbon whiskey as a distinct American product.  The Courier-Journal reports Representatives John Yarmuth, a Democrat and Andy Barr a Republican, have introduced a resolution recognizing the importance of bourbon to the Bluegrass State. 

Bourbon was a $2 billion dollar industry in 2010. Ninety-five percent of the world’s bourbon comes from Kentucky and the industry employs some 9,000 Kentuckians.

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Business
2:50 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Beshear Leading Trade Mission to United Kingdom in Effort to Boost Already Strong Partnership

Governor Beshear is leading a Kentucky trade mission to the United Kingdom this Sunday.

The Kentucky Export Initiative trade mission will make stops in London and Manchester. Bilateral trade between the Bluegrass State and the U.K. was near $3 billion dollars in 2013, and the U.K. is the commonwealth’s third-largest trade destination, behind only Canada and Mexico.

Kentucky exports more horses to the U.K. than any other state, and ranks in the top five in exporting aerospace products, distilled spirts, printed materials, and charcoal to the country.

During the five day trip, Governor Beshear will be joined by representatives from 11 Kentucky companies, including Bluegrass Dairy of Glasgow; Oscarware Incorporated of Bonnieville; and Whitaker Tools of Campbellsville.

Kentucky exporters have been on a roll lately. Last year the commonwealth exported $25.3 billion in products, the third straight record year for exports.

Politics
2:09 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Indiana's Mike Pence "Listening" to Calls for Presidential Bid

Indiana Governor Mike Pence
Credit Indiana Governor's Office

Indiana Governor Mike Pence says he is being pressed by supporters to make a White House bid. 

A front page story of the Washington Post says the Republican governor is making the moves of a potential 2016 presidential contender that includes being a loud critic of the national Common Core education standards.  Pence is also on a speaking circuit across the country, though not necessarily in early primary states. 

Pence tells the newspaper that supporters have reached out to him in the last few months and that "I'm listening.” 

Pence served 12 years in Congress before being elected governor of Indiana.  Now in his first term, he will be up for re-election in 2016. 

The 54-year-old Pence is joined by several Republicans undecided on a presidential run, including Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who this week, was tied for first place with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in a national poll.

Regional
12:23 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Legal Brief Outlines Argument in Appeal of Gay Marriage Ruling

Gov. Steve Beshear

The legal counsel hired by Gov. Steve Beshear argues out-of-state gay marriages should not be recognized, because doing so does not promote natural procreation between a man and a woman and therefore threatens Kentucky's economic stability.   

The legal brief was filed as the state appeals a federal judge’s ruling from February, striking down part of Kentucky’s constitutional ban on gay marriage. Chris Hartman, director of the Kentucky Fairness Campaign says the “procreation” argument is one that was used a generation ago.

“It’s an embarrassing and ludicrous regurgitation of some really archaic talking points," said Hartman. "It’s shocking that the governor would allow the legal team to use them.”

Judge John Heyburn’s ruling earlier this year declared Kentucky’s gay marriage ban violated the equal protection clause.  The brief filed by Beshear’s legal team argues that because same-sex partners can’t naturally procreate, they aren’t entitled to equal treatment under the state’s marriage laws.  

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Arts & Culture
1:15 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Wet Forecast Leads Organizers to Cancel Music Festival

The forecast for rain this weekend has led to the cancelation of the Stucky Music Festival set for Saturday near the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green.

Thirteen bands had been scheduled to play throughout the day Saturday. Organizers say tickets purchased online have already been refunded, while those who purchased them in person will need to return them for a refund.

The event will not be re-scheduled.

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Regional
4:46 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

WKU Names New Regional Chancellor for Elizabethtown/Fort Knox Campus

Dr. Evelyn Ellis
Credit WKU

A new regional chancellor has been named for the WKU Elizabethtown/Fort Knox campus. 

University officials have announced Dr. Evelyn Ellis has been chosen from among four finalists. Ellis joins the WKU family from Seoul, South Korea where she was the Education Operations Manager and Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Defense Dependents School there. 

Pending approval of the Board of Regents, Dr. Ellis will begin at WKU Elizabethtown/Fort Knox on July 28.

Regional
2:40 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Accountant at Nelson County Monastery Indicted on Theft Charges

A sign welcomes visitors to the Abbey of Gethsemani in Nelson County.
Credit Abbey of Gethsemani

Updated Wednesday at 2:17 p.m.:

An employee at a central Kentucky abbey run by an order of Catholic monks has been indicted on charges that he stole more than $1 million from the institution.

Police say John Hutchins, an accountant, began diverting money from an account at the Abbey of Gethsemani in 2008.

Nelson County Sheriff's Detective Jason Allison says Hutchins and his wife, Carrie Hutchins, were indicted Wednesday on multiple counts of felony theft over and under $10,000 and unlawful access to a computer.

Allison says Hutchins wife did not work at the abbey near Bardstown, which has been run by Roman Catholic Trappist monks for more than 150 years. An attorney for Hutchins did not return a call seeking comment Wednesday. A phone message left at the abbey was not returned.

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Regional
3:20 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

South Central Kentucky Police Chief Resigns Amid Investigation

Todd Holder

The police chief of Franklin, Kentucky has resigned, days after being suspended while the city conducted an internal investigation of his office. 

The Bowling Green Daily News reports the Franklin City Commission accepted Holder’s resignation in a special meeting Monday and hired former WKU Police Chief Horace Johnson to serve as interim chief. 

Holder is a retired Kentucky State Police trooper who took the helm of the Franklin Police Department in 2009. 

According to personnel records, the city listed several reasons for his suspension, including allegations that he falsified documents and used city resources for personal benefit. 

Holder was given high marks in his last performance review, conducted in 2013.

Politics
12:32 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Guthrie Says He Considered Run for Kentucky Governor

Kentucky Congressman Brett Guthrie says he strongly considered running for governor next year, but ultimately decided against it for family reasons.

The Bowling Green Republican told students at Daviess County High School Monday that he believes he would have “had a good chance” at winning the race.

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reports Guthrie said he didn’t want to be campaigning across the state during his 16-year-old daughter’s last few years at home.

Guthrie was first elected as Kentucky’s Second District Congressman in 2008 after serving in the Kentucky state Senate.

Health
4:28 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Kentucky Has More ADHD Diagnoses than Any Other State in Nation

Kentucky leads the nation in the number of children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Nearly one in five children in the commonwealth has been diagnosed with the disorder, according to numbers released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nearly 19 percent of Kentucky children ages 4-17 have, at some point, been diagnosed with ADHD. That’s well over the national average of 11 percent.

Indiana’s diagnosis rate is nearly 16 percent, with Tennessee’s rate is 15 percent

You can learn more about each state’s rate of ADHD diagnosis here.

The figures come from a 2011 national survey conducted by the CDCP, and show about 6 million children nationwide have received an ADHD diagnosis. It’s not known if the higher levels are the result of over-diagnoses by doctors, higher levels of awareness, or some combination of those and other factors.

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