WKU

Becca Schimmel

Kentucky is coal country, and is heavily reliant on the dirty fossil fuel for power. A study underway at Western Kentucky University is examining the effectiveness of a water-based clean coal solution.

The coal is treated with the solution at Big Rivers power plant in Ohio County, Kentucky. WKU partnered with Big Rivers and the state’s Cabinet for Economic Development to determine if the solution reduces carbon, sulfur, and nitrogen emissions.

Researchers at WKU are taking an enzyme from a mushroom and growing it in water. That solution is then sprayed on coal as it falls down a chute. The coal then sits for a few days before it’s burned.


WKU

The University of Kentucky's newly renamed Kroger Field will host high school state championship football games in 2017 and 2018.

The school and the KHSAA on Wednesday announced the Gridiron Bowl's move from Western Kentucky's Houchens Stadium in Bowling Green after eight years. The early-December games for six classifications will be played on the Wildcats' 61,000-seat home field for the first time since 1976. Lexington was the finals' original home, with contests at Stoll Field from 1959-66 and 1968-72.

Also, Kentucky's girls' Sweet 16 basketball tournament will return to Northern Kentucky's BB&T Arena next year before moving to Lexington's Rupp Arena for 2019 and 2020.

Kentucky's attorney general is asking a court to deny Western Kentucky University’s request for a stay in its lawsuit against the campus newspaper. 

WKU is suing the College Heights Herald after the school denied the newspaper's open records request for documents related to sexual misconduct investigations involving university employees.  The university maintains the records are not subject to disclosure under the Kentucky Open Records Act.

WKU is asking for a stay until a similar case is resolved involving the University of Kentucky and its student newspaper, the Kentucky Kernel.

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Western Kentucky University is renaming an academic building after a longtime Warren County lawmaker.

The school’s Board of Regents Friday approved renaming the Mass Media and Technology Hall after Jody Richards.

The Bowling Green Democrat has served in the Kentucky House of Representatives since 1976, and was House Speaker for 14 years—the longest anyone has ever held that position.

A statement from the university said Richards was instrumental in securing state funding to construct the Mass Media and Technology Hall, as well as at least seven other campus buildings.

A renaming ceremony will be held Thursday, May 4, at 1 p.m.

Sherri Ter Molen got her first exposure to South Korea at an early age.

“In the 1970s my aunt and uncle, they adopted a daughter from South Korea and I remember the very first day that they brought her to my house. I was only three years old at the time, but it made such an impression on me that I still remember,” she said.

Western Kentucky University students and faculty have a new funding source to tap into for things like research, travel, and equipment. 

SpiritFunder will allow the public to contribute money to various projects and initiatives at WKU, much like GoFundMe and KickStarter. 

Similar platforms are being implemented at universities across the nation as a way to bring attention to small projects that might otherwise go unfunded.  Typical campaigns will range between $2,ooo and $10,00o.

"When you're talking about two thousand dollars, a gift of five dollars or ten dollars really adds up," said Heather McWhorter, Director of Leadership Annual Giving at WKU.  "Even if you can't make a major gift to the university, you can still make a difference."

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An attorney representing Western Kentucky University’s student newspaper thinks an open records lawsuit could take several months to resolve.

The comments from Mike Abate come after a hearing related to the lawsuit scheduled for Monday was canceled.

WKU is suing the College Heights Herald and the University of Kentucky student newspaper to prevent the release of documents related to potential sexual harassment allegations made against university employees.

The hearing was canceled after WKU agreed to a motion allowing the state Attorney General’s office to intervene on the side of the newspapers. Abate says it’s a key development.

WKU

Attorney General Andy Beshear filed a motion Thursday to intervene in Western Kentucky University’s lawsuit against two college newspapers.

WKU has denied open records requests by its own student paper, the College Heights Herald, as well as the University of Kentucky’s student publication. The newspapers are seeking documents related to investigations of alleged sexual harassment by WKU employees.

The school also refused to allow Beshear’s office to confidentially review the documents.

Beshear released an opinion in January saying WKU violated the Open Records Act by denying the documents to the newspapers.

Jacob Ryan

A Bowling Green immigration attorney says many undocumented immigrants in the region are asking if they’ll be impacted by President Trump’s recent executive orders.

Brett Reynolds says it’s a hard question to answer amid court challenges and a lack of consistency in messages coming from Washington.

He’s advising people in the country illegally to lay low for the time being.

"My advice would be to just stay the course, and stay under the radar. Don't call attention to yourself. Don't get a speeding ticket, don't get a DUI. Anything like that is going to put you at risk for being removed fairly expeditiously."

WKU

Western Kentucky University President Gary Ransdell is preparing to write a new chapter in his higher education career.  Dr. Ransdell will retire from WKU on June 30 after leading the school for two decades. 

Next January, Dr. Ransdell will become president of the Semester at Sea program based in Fort Collins, Colorado.  Every semester, 600 students and 30 faculty members from across the world live and study on a ship that circles the globe. 

Ransdell says heading the program will allow him to continue his passion for global learning.

Attorney General: WKU Open Records Denials Were Illegal

Feb 2, 2017
WKU

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear has found that Western Kentucky University officials acted illegally by turning down open records requests from two student newspaper representatives.

The Daily News of Bowling Green reports that Beshear concluded in a Jan. 26 ruling that WKU's decisions to turn down open records requests from Matthew Smith of the Kentucky Kernel and Nicole Ares of the College Heights Herald violated the state's open records statute.

Both students last fall sought access to records related to sexual misconduct investigations.

The attorney general wrote that Smith and Ares must be allowed access to the disputed records, with the exception of personal identifiers of the complaintant and witnesses.

Western Kentucky University has identified 22 students and two faculty members who are from the countries impacted by President Trump’s executive order banning entry into the U.S.

The school issued a statement Monday saying it doesn’t know of any affected students or faculty members who are currently overseas or being prevented from re-entering the U.S.

Trump’s order barred travelers from seven majority-Muslim nations from entering the U.S. for 90 days.

WKU says its advising students and employees from those seven countries to avoid leaving the U.S. while parts of the ban are still in place.

David Brinkley

Western Kentucky University has its next president.

The school’s board of regents voted unanimously Friday to offer the job to Timothy Caboni.

The 47-year-old currently serves as vice chancellor for public affairs at the University of Kansas.

He was formally introduced as WKU’s next president at a Friday afternoon news conference.

In an interview with WKU Public Radio, Caboni said his top challenge as the school's next leader is figuring out how to retain more first-year students.

"Those first-year students that we recruit must graduate in four years. Right now we're losing about a quarter of those students, and that's not acceptable. I've told that to faculty, staff, students, and anybody else who will listen. We're going to do better, and we're going to do better starting next year. It's going to take the entire community creating a culture of completion."

Becca Schimmel

The man picked to be Western Kentucky University’s next president says every employee’s mission must be to help students attain a degree.

Timothy Caboni is holding forums with WKU staff, faculty, and students Thursday. A forum for community members is being held Thursday from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Augenstein Alumni Center.

The school’s presidential search committee announced last week that Caboni was their “preferred candidate” to be WKU’s tenth president.

WKU

The man chosen as the preferred candidate to lead Western Kentucky University is meeting with the campus community this week. 

Dr. Timothy Caboni comes from the University of Kansas where he serves as Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs.  He brings experience in teaching, administration, fundraising, communications, and legislative relations. 

Dr. Tamela Smith represents staff members on the Board of Regents, and says she hopes their concerns will be recognized by the next president.

"There's things we're behind on for compensation.  We had over 22% turnover in 2015 and outsourced 200 staff positions in 2016," Smith stated.  "Those are significant issues that affect morale."

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