Kevin Willis

Kevin is the News Director at WKU Public Radio.  He has been with the station since 1999, and was previously the Assistant News Director, and also served as local host of Morning Edition.  He is a broadcast journalism graduate of WKU, and has won numerous awards for his reporting and feature production.  Kevin grew up in Radcliff, Kentucky and currently lives in Glasgow.

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Education
2:59 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

WKU President: Free Community College Plan Has Little Chance of Becoming Reality

Credit WKU Athletics

WKU President Gary Ransdell says he thinks President Obama’s plan to make community college free has little chance of becoming reality.

In his State of the Union speech Tuesday, the President announced a plan to offer two years of tuition-free community college to students who maintained certain academic standards.

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Government
12:55 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Kentucky Receives "F" Rating on Tobacco Policy

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Kentucky is receiving failing grades across the board in a new report from the American Lung Association.

The report criticizes the commonwealth for having one of the lowest tobacco taxes in the nation, as well as poor access to smoking cessation programs.

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Education
9:13 am
Wed January 7, 2015

U-Pike Will Offer Scholarships to Start Online Video Gaming Team

League of Legends is an extremely popular multi-player online game that attracts fans from all over the world.

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 3:53 pm

A Kentucky school is becoming just the second university in the nation to offer scholarships for competitive video game players.

The University of Pikeville will offer 20 scholarships this fall to students who excel in the online multi-player game League of Legends.

The school in central Appalachia hopes the program will draw attention from prospective students who otherwise wouldn’t have considered U-Pike.

The school’s New Media Director, Bruce Parsons, believes it’s just a matter of time before more American universities offer scholarships to gamers.

“I think there’s a good opportunity for colleges and universities to look at starting e-sports programs at their schools—officially supported scholarship programs. It’s growing very quickly, there’s a lot of attention, and it offers opportunities to students who might not have athletic or others scholarships at their disposal.”

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Higher Education
9:08 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Ransdell: Elimination of VP of Research Position to Help Balance This Year's Campus Budget

Dr. Gordon Baylis

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 2:36 pm

WKU President Gary Ransdell says the elimination of a senior administration level position at the school will help balance the campus budget this year.

Vice President for Research Gordon Baylis  sent an email to WKU faculty and staff Sunday announcing that his position had been eliminated, and that he was returning to his faculty position at the Department of Psychological Sciences.

In an email to employees Monday afternoon, President Ransdell said a portion of the money being saved by the job elimination would balance the school’s budget, while the remaining part will be redirected to the Office of the Provost to recreate the school’s research leadership.

"To be clear, this does not signal a de-emphasis of research at WKU, rather it signals a greater engagement of the Division of Academic Affairs in the management of research activity at WKU," Ransdell said in his email. "With this action, undergraduate and graduate research will become a central function of Academic Affairs, reporting directly to the Provost. Effective immediately, the Provost will have signatory authority on research-related matters, and the Office of Sponsored Programs and other related research units will report to him.

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Government
11:00 am
Thu December 25, 2014

What One Representative Expects to Pass in the Next Kentucky General Assembly

Credit Dewayne Neeley / Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Kentucky lawmakers may once again consider restoring voting rights for those who have committed low-level felony offenses in the next General Assembly session.

Daviess County Rep. Tommy Thompson says he hopes the 2015 legislature will join the majority of other states that give voting rights back to those who have served time for non-violent felonies.

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Government
12:41 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Kentucky Chamber Calls for Comprehensive Audit of K.R.S

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce wants a full performance audit of the troubled Kentucky Retirement Systems.

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Government
2:34 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Guthrie Wants Obamacare "Re-Write", Focus on Getting Medical Devices on U.S. Market Sooner

U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, a Republican from Bowling Green

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 2:29 pm

Kentucky’s Second District Congressman is predicting a major “re-write” of the Affordable Care Act next year.

Bowling Green Republican Brett Guthrie would have an up-close view of such an effort, as he was named vice-chair of a key House Health Subcommittee Wednesday.

Guthrie says the complicated structure of the federal health law makes it difficult to change certain aspects of the A.C.A without creating unintended consequences elsewhere.

“You hear a lot of people say, ‘let’s keep what we like and fix what we don’t like.’ And there are things that we need as part of our system. We need to make sure that people have health care if they’re sick, and pre-existing conditions don’t push them out of the marketplace.”

But the Bowling Green Republican said adding so many additional Americans to the healthcare system made it impossible for President Obama to keep his pledge that everyone could keep the doctor and health plan that they wanted.

The Congressman also expressed concern about states—like Kentucky—that expanded their Medicaid rolls as part of Obamacare.

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Society
12:18 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Latest Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame Inductees to be Announced in Bowling Green

WKU's Carroll Knicely Conference Center.
Credit WKU/WKYU

The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights is in Bowling Green this week to announce the latest inductees into the state’s Civil Rights Hall of Fame.

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Politics
4:50 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

McConnell, Grimes Say No to Sending Ground Troops After Islamic State

Kentucky’s senior U.S. Senator says fighters with the extremist group the “Islamic State” represent a “long-term threat” to the nation.

Republican Mitch McConnell told WKU Public Radio today that there is no serious consideration in Washington about sending American ground troops after the group’s forces in Iraq and Syria. But McConnell described the Islamic State as an organization that will cause the U.S. problems for years to come.

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Government
1:08 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Kentucky Pill Take Back Program Starts Saturday

Credit wikimedia commons

Kentuckians wanting to get rid of unused prescription medicines can drop them off this Saturday during a statewide “pill take back” program.

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