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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Under President Obama’s budget plan issued Monday, eastern Kentucky and other parts of Appalachia affected by the loss of coal jobs could be thrown a lifeline. 

The federal budget proposal contains $1 billion for redevelopment projects aimed at improving the economy of coal communities.  The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the White House budget also proposes spending $20 million to help laid-off miners find new work.  An additional $25 million is set aside for the Appalachian Regional Commission to help entrepreneurs in distressed coal areas.  The budget would infuse money into the under-funded United Mine Workers of America health and pension plans.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence is ditching a plan to create a state-run news site.

Pence told state agencies Thursday he was backing off plans to launch a website that was to be called Just IN.

The Indianapolis Star obtained planning documents this week about the proposed website.

The plan was to have Indiana’s governmental press secretaries write so-called “stories” and have the state-run “news service” compete with independent news agencies across the region.

The plan came under fire, with critics saying it amounted to passing off pro-government propaganda as news.

Indiana journalists objected to the idea of taxpayer dollars being used to support pro-Pence stories.

In a memo to staff Thursday, Pence said he had made the decision to pull the plug on the Just IN website idea.

This is WKYU's entry in the category of Best Continuing Coverage for the 2015 Kentucky AP Broadcaster Awards.

This entry contains stories produced by reporter Lisa Autry, who covered a deadly Muhlenberg County house fire that claimed the lives of nine family members on Jan. 30, 2014. A mother and eight of her children died in the fire.

Lisa traveled to the scene of the fire and gathered information for reports she filed with the station in time for our local midday newscasts. She also produced reports featuring audio from fire investigators and neighbors of the victims.

You'll also hear reports Lisa produced following a memorial service in honor of those who died.

Thank you for your consideration of this entry in the Best Continuing Coverage category.

This is an entry by WKYU in the category of Best Radio Reporter for the 2015 Kentucky AP Broadcaster Awards.

The entry features reporting done by Emil Moffatt. The first story details efforts at Mammoth Cave National Park aimed at preventing a fungus from destroying the local bat population.

Emil's second story explains how the Bowling Green Regional Airport plans to continue its goal of attracting commercial air service, despite a recent funding setback.

Thank you for your consideration of this entry!

This is an entry by WKYU in the category of Best Radio Anchor for the 2015 Kentucky AP Broadcaster Awards.

This entry contains three local newscasts anchored by Emil Moffatt, our afternoon news host. We hope you'll find these to be great examples of Emil's conversational delivery, combined with well-written local news and quality audio from across our region.

Thank you for considering this entry in the Best Radio Anchor category.

Matt Bevin to Run for Governor

Jan 27, 2015

Louisville businessman and Tea Party activist Matt Bevin is running for Kentucky Governor.

Bevin made the announcement Tuesday in Louisville. Bevin challenged U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell during last year's GOP Senate primary, winning 35 percent of the vote.

Bevin's Lieutenant Governor running mate will be Jenean Hampton of Bowling Green. She ran unsuccessfully against Democratic Rep. Jody Richards  last year for the state's 20th District House seat.

Bevin joins a crowded GOP gubernatorial primary including Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, former Louisville Metro Councilman Hal Heiner, and former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott.

Attorney General Jack Conway and former Congressional candidates Geoff Young have filed to run for the Democratic nomination.

LRC Public Information

Kentucky’s Senate President says a GOP colleague does NOT have legal immunity from being charged with drunk driving.

The Courier-Journal reports that Robert Stivers made the comments after an attorney for Senator Brandon Smith of Hazard filed a motion seeking to dismiss charges against his client.

The lawyer says Smith, who was arrested for DUI on the first day of the legislative session, has immunity under a provision in the state constitution that prohibits lawmakers from being arrested while the legislature is in session.

But Senate President Stivers publicly disagreed with Smith’s interpretation, issuing a statement that said “no member of the General Assembly is above the law.”

Stivers said that while the state constitution afforded some degree of immunity, it clearly didn’t apply in the Smith’s DUI case.

Interstate 65 south-bound will be reduced to one lane Wednesday as crews repair pavement between mile posts 86 in Glendale and 81 in Sonora. The right lane and shoulders will be closed.

Work is scheduled to begin at 7:00 a.m. and should be completed by the end of the day.

South-bound delays will be possible. Motorists may wish to seek an alternate route such as US 31W.

Commercial thru traffic may wish to use the Western Kentucky Parkway (Exit 91) to the Natcher Parkway and rejoin I-65 in Bowling Green.

With Kentucky’s gubernatorial primary four months away, candidates are beginning to line up endorsements.

Kentucky’s AFL-CIO chapter officially endorsed Democratic candidate and Attorney General Jack Conway Tuesday. Republican candidate and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has been endorsed by former Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning.

Another GOP candidate, former Louisville Council Member Hal Heiner, this week aired the first television ad of the 2015 election cycle.

The spot touts Heiner’s experience in private business and says he would fight against federal mandatessuch as Obamacare and the Common Core educational standards.

Former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott is also running for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. Secretary of State and former Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes says she’s considering several options, including running for governor, attorney general , and a second term as Secretary of State.

A California man has been convicted of conducting a scheme that defrauded 200 people through phony oil-well investments in southern Kentucky. The alleged fraud amounted to more than $3 million.

The Herald-Leader reports a federal grand jury found John G. Westine Junior guilty on 26 charges of mail fraud and one charge each of securities fraud and conspiracy to launder money.

Each charge carries a maximum 20-year term. According to the indictment in the case, the scheme involved selling interests in Bowling Green-area oil wells from 2012 to last year. The defendants allegedly used fake geological surveys and other documents to trick would-be investors into believing the area contained huge oil reserves.

Three other men have been charged in connection to the scheme.

A new Iowa poll shows Kentucky Senator Rand Paul in the middle of the pack of possible Republican contenders for the White House in 2016. 

The Courier-Journal cites a poll by Gravis Marketing that shows former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in front with 21 percent support.  Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush comes in second in the poll with 14 percent approval.  Next are Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee with ten and nine percent support, respectively. 

Senator Rand Paul was favored by eight percent Iowa Republicans who were surveyed.  Behind Paul were Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, and Marco Rubio. 

The poll was conducted January 5-7 and questioned 404 registered GOP voters.  The margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points. 

Senator Paul has made several trips to Iowa while exploring a run for president.  He continues visiting other early-voting states.  This week, the Bowling Green Republican visited New Hampshire.

Two Elizabethtown cancer doctors are being sued for allegedly extending chemotherapy treatments in order to make more money.

Six former patients and the estates representing two other patients are suing Doctors Yusef Deshmukh and Rafiq Rahman, accusing the two of diluting the drugs used to treat their cancers, so that the treatment period would be made longer. The Courier-Journal reports the alleged actions by the doctors between 2006 and 2014 allowed them to improperly bill Medicaid and other programs for reimbursements.

Deshmukh and Rahman are already under investigation by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure related to the allegations.

The suit asks for unspecified damages and says the patients were made to unnecessarily retain catheters and ports inside their bodies.

The defendants have not yet filed a legal response to the suit. Meanwhile, the doctors accused in the suit are allowed to continue their practice, and their clinic remains open.

Although the numbers are expected to change slightly over the next few months, the board agreed to cut 50 jobs and slice teachers' pay by 9.8%.

According to WBKO-TV, an estimated 500 people jammed into Muhlenberg County High School's auditorium Monday night, mostly teachers and their families opposed to the cuts. Both in their comments and on printed signs, members of the public said the cuts would lead to increased class sizes within the district and impact learning.

Eighteen year old freshman Collin Craig filed a report with Bowling Green city police claiming he was assaulted and forced to drink alcohol during several different hazing incidents.

Bowling Green police spokesman Ronnie Ward confirmed to the Daily News that they are investigating the allegations with WKU's cooperation. WKU is conducting an investigation of its own. The university has a hazing policy in place which expressly prohibits it in all forms.

Craig, who is no longer a student at WKU, was a biology major with plans to attend medical school.


WKU is removing the “interim” label from the title of its Kentucky Museum Director.

Brent Bjorkman hasbeen named the museum’s director after serving as the interim leader since August. The Folk Studies Professor also serves as Director of the Kentucky Folklife Program.

In announcing the decision, WKU Provost Gordon Emslie said in a statement that Bjorkman displayed the ability to lead the Kentucky Museum towards its goal of achieving accreditation with the American Alliance of Museums.

The Kentucky Museum houses permanent and traveling art exhibits as well as historical documents from across the region.