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.


9:05 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Kentucky Lawmakers Among Hemp Supporters Applauding Farm Bill

Hemp farming is already legal in the majority of industrialized nations.

Hemp advocates are calling the Farm Bill signed into law by President Obama a major milestone for the crop.

Pro-hemp groups think research pilot programs included in the bill will lead to greater things down the road. The Farm Bill signed by the President Friday contains an amendment that legalizes hemp production in the U.S. for research purposes.

The amendment was originally introduced by a bipartisan group of U.S. Congressmen, including Republican Thomas Massie, from Kentucky’s 4th Congressional district. The amendment gives the green light to state agriculture departments and colleges and universities to grow hemp for academic and agricultural research purposes.

However, the new rules only apply to states like Kentucky that have already legalized industrial hemp farming.

The hemp issue gained momentum in the commonwealth last year, with state agriculture commissioner James Comer making legalization his top legislative priority.

Hemp farming has also been endorsed by Kentucky GOP  Senators Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell, as well as the state’s only Congressional Democrat, Representative John Yarmuth of Louisville.

1:08 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Snow, Ice Stressing Salt Supply in Elizabethtown Area

Credit Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

This week’s snowfall and ice across parts of Kentucky are taking a toll on the Transportation Cabinet’s salt supply. Spokesman Chris Jessie says District 4 – which includes Hardin, Hart, Larue and eight other surrounding counties, has had to order reinforcements and borrow from the reserve stock in Louisville.

“We’re keeping close watch on the forecast through this upcoming week,” said Jessie.  “So while we have salt on hand in our District 4 counties, if we continue to get these rounds of snow and ice as we’ve had over the past week, our situation will become more critical.”

He says crews are currently using salt “wisely”, but if supplies continue to diminish they may have to resort to conservation efforts.  He says that means treating only main routes and those roadways with the highest volume of traffic.  

“We want to be sure motorists understand this potential conservation method before we have to implement it,” said Jessie.

As of last week, the Transportation Cabinet said that crews had spread more than 220,000 tons of salt across the state this winter.

12:49 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

KSP Requests Help in Finding Auto Theft Suspect

Thomas Upton
Credit Kentucky State Police

Kentucky State Police in Bowling Green is asking for the public’s help in locating a wanted Barren County man. 

Thirty-three-year-old Thomas Upton of Glasgow is a suspect in as many as eight auto thefts throughout Barren, Hart, Laure and Warren Counties. 

He is white, 6'1", and 190 pounds with blue eyes and brown hair. 

Upton is believed to be armed and extremely dangerous.  Anyone with any information is asked not to approach him and to contact Kentucky State Police at 1-800-222-5555 or your local police agency.

11:09 am
Wed February 5, 2014

McConnell: Immigration Debate an "Irresolvable Conflict" for Senate, House

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Credit WKU PBS

Kentucky’s senior U.S. Senator is expressing doubts on the prospects of major immigration law overhaul this year.

Republican Mitch McConnell told reporters he doesn’t believe House and Senate leaders will be able to overcome their differences. Senator McConnell describes the differences between the House and Senate as an “irresolvable conflict.” The website Politico reports the Louisville Republican says the problem isn’t specific policy differences between the two chambers, but rather how each side wants to move forward procedurally.

Some Senate Democrats have said they want to tackle immigration overhaul in a comprehensive fashion, by putting all changes in one massive bill.

House Republicans have spoken in support of taking on the issue step-by-step, and passing several smaller bills along the way. While President Obama and some Congressional Democrats have recently indicated they’d be willing to look at piecemeal reform, McConnell says the gulf between the two parties is too great to get reform passed this year.

McConnell is facing a Senate primary challenge this spring by Tea Party activist Matt Bevin, who says he’s opposed to any measure that offers amnesty to illegal immigrants in the U.S.

1:43 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Winter Storm Warning Issued; Several Closures Announced

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the northern reaches of our listening area, including Owensboro, Evansville and Elizabethtown. Forecasters predict multi-inch snowfall in the area as well as a wintry mix of freezing rain and sleet.  Caution is advised on roadways. 

As a precaution, WKU-Elizabethtown and Fort Knox campuses closed at 3 p.m. EST and WKU-Owensboro shut down at 3 p.m. central time.  NEW: Evening classes have been canceled at WKU's Glasgow campus.

1:21 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

WKU Announces Football Schedule For First Year in Conference USA

Credit WKU Athletics

Four new opponents highlight the WKU Hilltoppers’ 2014 football schedule.  The school’s athletic department announced the schedule Monday afternoon.  It will be the first year for the ‘Toppers in Conference USA and they’ll open up the schedule on Thursday,  Aug. 28 against Bowling Green State at L.T. Smith Stadium. 

They’ll take on Illinois for the first time in school history September 6th and will also face conference opponents Old Dominion, Texas-El Paso and Texas-San Antonio for the first time. 

Army travels to Bowling Green to take on WKU November 15th.  The school also announced its ticket plans for the 2014 season on Monday.

WKU 2014 Football Schedule

Read more
8:25 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Winter Weather Snarls Monday Morning Traffic on I-65 in South Central Kentucky

The northbound lanes of Interstate 65 at mile marker six in Simpson County are now open. 

A crash involving multiple tractor trailers closed the northbound lanes around exit 6 for several hours Monday morning. 

Traffic was detoured onto 31W north, but motorists are cautioned there is still some ice on 31W and  traffic is slow going.

The ramp at exit 6 remains closed.

Check back for updates.

9:13 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

WKU Regional Campuses Impacted by Winter Weather Monday

The WKU-Owensboro campus will be closed Monday due to the winter weather impacting the region.

WKU-Elizabethtown and Ft. Knox campuses will be closed Monday.

The WKU-Glasgow campus is opening Monday at 1 pm.

1:40 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

More than Half of Kentucky Kindergartners Were Unprepared to Learn Reading, Math Skills

A new statewide reading survey shows roughly half of Kentucky’s kindergartners entered school this year unprepared to learn the reading and math skills that are expected of them.

The survey shows 51-percent of Kentucky kindergartners who began school last fall were described as “not ready” to learn the basic reading and math skills expected of them. That means those students lacked basic literacy, match, or cognitive skills, such as knowing letters and numbers. The social and physical readiness of the students were also taken into account.

You can read more about the survey results here.

Governor Steve Beshear, who has proposed expanding early childhood initiatives in the state, said the report showed how some students are at a disadvantage “from day one.”

In a statement, the Governor said too often those students who begin school academically behind their peers never catch up, and face poor grades and negative school experiences that “usually only end when they drop out or graduate from high school unprepared for college or career.”

4:27 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Auto Manufacturer Bringing Facility, 75 Jobs to Hardin County

A global auto manufacturer is building a facility in Elizabethtown and creating 75 new jobs.

Hendrickson USA LLC creates suspension systems and components for heavy-duty vehicles. The $20 million facility will be built at T.J. Patterson Industrial Park in Hardin County.

Construction on the 100,000-square-foot building is expected to be complete later this year.