WKU Public Radio News

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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
1:26 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Sen. Paul Says He'll Filibuster Obama Judicial Nominee Over Drone Issue

Kentucky’s junior U.S. Senator says he plans to filibuster one of President Obama’s judicial nominations.

Bowling Green Republican Rand Paul says he wants to block the President’s nomination of David Barron for the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals because of Barron’s legal memos related to drones. During his time as a U.S. Justice Department lawyer, Barron reportedly authored at least two classified opinions giving the go-ahead to use drones to kill the U.S.-born extremist Anwar al-Awlaki in 2011 in Yemen.

Paul has been a strong critic of the Obama Administration’s policy of using drone strikes against Americans overseas, and gained national attention in 2013 for a 13-hour filibuster he conducted against the nomination of John Brennan as CIA chief.

Paul was demanding the White House state it would not use drones to kill a non-combatant American citizen on U.S. soil.

The Kentucky Senator now wants the White House to release at least one of the drone memos authored by Barron.

Regional
4:50 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Weather Service: Christian, Bullitt Counties Saw Tornadoes Wednesday

Credit NWS

Survey crews from the National Weather Service spent Thursday fanned out across Kentucky checking out damage from Wednesday's severe storms.

In Christian County, five miles northeast of Hopkinsville, the NWS says it found evident of 125 mile per hour winds in an EF-2 tornado that formed just after 4:30 Wednesday afternoon.  No one was injured by the fierce winds damaged at least six homes, two banrs and knocked over several trees.

Several minutes later, meteorologists say the area experience downburst winds. 

Meantime in Bullitt County three hours earlier, a weaker, EF-0 tornado with winds topping out at 80 miles an hour did minor structural damage to homes southeast of Shepherdsville.

Regional
4:44 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Kentucky Could See Severe Storms This Afternoon, Evening

Update: 7:09 p.m.
The Tornado Watch has been extended through 8 p.m. central/9 p.m. eastern. Bowling Green and Somerset are now under a Flash Flood Watch.

Update: 5:50 p.m.

The National Weather Service in Paducah says a line of strong storms in Muhlenberg and Todd counties is expected to move out around 6:30 p.m. or so. Also, a Flood Advisory has been issued for the greater Owensboro area.

Update 4:44 p.m.

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for Muhlenberg and Todd Counties until 5:30 p.m. CDT.  Forecasters say the storm could contain 60 mph winds and quarter-sized hail.

Update 4:38 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Warning for parts of Allen, Barren, Green, Hart, Metcalfe and Monroe counties until 7 p.m. CDT tonight.

Original Post:

The possibility of strong to severe storms, possibly even tornadoes exists for Wednesday afternoon and evening for much of Kentucky.  The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch until 7 p.m. central/8 p.m. eastern.  The watch means atmospheric conditions could produce a tornado.

Showers and thunderstorms are expected to continue throughout the night and into Thursday morning. Rain chances are forecast to taper off as we head toward the weekend.

Regional
2:46 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Kentucky's Public Protection Secretary Announces Retirement

Bob Vance
Credit Commonwealth of Kentucky

One of Gov. Steve Beshear’s first appointments after he took office in 2007 will retire this month.  Kentucky’s Public Protection Secretary Bob Vance says he’ll leave the job, effective May 31st. 

The cabinet Vance oversaw regulates banks and investment companies along with the horse racing industry, insurance companies, plus alcohol sales and licensing.

Governor Beshear says his chief of staff Larry Bond will be the acting secretary until a permanent replacement is named.

Regional
10:25 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Twenty Years After Joining Department, Stauffer Promoted to Henderson Police Chief

Chip Stauffer
Credit Henderson PD

Henderson has a new police chief.  Major Chip Stauffer was promoted Tuesday night by the Henderson City Commission.  Stauffer joined the department in 1994 and was promoted to Major in 2013.

He's been involved in traffic and patrol, criminal investigations and operations with the Henderson PD.

Stauffer received his master’s degree in public administration from WKU after earning his bachelor’s degree from Kentucky Wesleyan.

Regional
1:21 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

KHSAA Awards High School Girls' State Basketball Tournament to NKU

Diddle Arena has hosted the girls' high school state basketball tournament since 2001.
Credit WKU Athletics

Next year’s girls high school basketball state championship will be the last one played at WKU’s Diddle Arena for at least two years.  The Kentucky High School Athletic Association has voted to award the girls’ basketball championship to Northern Kentucky University for 2016 and 2017.  The girls tournament had been held at WKU every year since 2001. 

The Bowling Green Convention and Visitor's Bureau says an estimated 39,000 visitors came to town during the course of the 2013 tournament.

Bowling Green also lost out on the state high school softball tournament which will remain in Owensboro through 2018.

Politics
2:22 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Poll: McConnell Up Big Over Bevin, in Dead Heat with Grimes

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell speaking at the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club
Kevin Willis

A new poll shows Kentucky’s incumbent U.S. Senator coasting to victory against his Republican primary challenger.

But that same poll shows a dead-heat between Sen. Mitch McConnell and presumptive Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.

The NBC News-Marist poll shows Senator McConnell with a lead of 57-25 percent over his primary challenger, Louisville businessman Matt Bevin. Things are much tighter for the fall general election, however, with the poll showing McConnell with just a 46-45 percent lead over Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Sen. McConnell faces low approval numbers in the new poll, with 46 percent of registered voters saying they disapprove of the job he’s doing, while 41 percent say they approve.

Far fewer voters have formed an opinion about Secretary Grimes, with 27 percent of those surveyed saying they’re unsure, and another 10 percent who say they’ve never heard of her.

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Regional
11:33 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Marion County Priest Placed On Leave As Archidiocese Investigates Abuse Allegations

The Archdiocese of Louisville says it has opened an investigation into sexual abuse allegations against a Marion County priest. The Courier-Journal reports a May 8th letter written by Archbishop Joseph Kurtz says the church is looking into complaints against the Rev. Joseph Hemmerle.  Hemmerle, who is the pastor of two Marion County parishes, has been placed on leave. 

Kurtz says the archdiocese has reported the allegations to the commonwealth’s attorney in Meade County where the alleged abuse took place in the 1970s.

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.

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