Whitney Jones

News Reporter

Whitney grew up listening to Car Talk to and from her family’s beach vacation each year, but it wasn’t until a friend introduced her to This American Life that radio really grabbed her attention. She is a recent graduate from Union University in Jackson, Tenn., where she studied journalism. When she’s not at WKMS, you can find her working on her backyard compost pile and garden, getting lost on her bicycle or crocheting one massive blanket.

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Politics
7:16 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Kentucky Senator Proposes Doubling Fines to Fund State Raises

Credit Julian Carroll

Sen. Julian Carroll has filed a bill that would pay for state employee raises by doubling fines for traffic and misdemeanor offenses. The Madisonville Messenger reports that if Senate Bill 171 passes it would raise enough money to pay for a four percent salary increase for state employees by 2015. Carroll says the cost would be about $20 million.

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Morning Cram
8:55 am
Mon February 18, 2013

The Morning Cram [seed wars edition]

From NPR: An Indiana farmer looking for cheap soybean seeds for a second, smaller harvest has been taken to the Supreme Court by the largest seed company, Monsanto. 75-year-old Vernon Hugh Bowman signed a contract with the seed giant to not save and replant any of his harvest.

Monsanto wants to be his sole provider, but their seeds are “Roundup Ready” and more expensive, especially for a small second planting. Bowman bought a motley of seeds from his neighbors for his second harvest thinking Monsanto wouldn’t care. Boy, was he wrong.

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2013 KY General Assembly
8:48 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Hemp Bill Faces Challenges in Kentucky House

Credit wikipedia.org

An industrial hemp bill that sailed through the Kentucky Senate is facing a more skeptical House. The top House leader has doubts about the crop and a committee chairman has lots of questions. The bill's next stop is expected in the House Agriculture Committee. Its chairman, Tom McKee, hasn't made up his mind about the bill, which would regulate the crop if the federal government lifts its ban on hemp.

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Politics
8:40 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Ramsey Against NRA-Backed Sealing of Carry Permits

Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey is opposing a National Rifle Association-backed effort to block public access to the state's handgun carry permits. Ramsey says the ability to scrutinize the identities of people with handgun carry permits strengthens gun advocates' arguments that they are worthy of carrying loaded firearms in public.

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Society
8:30 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Ohio County Seeks Rehearing in Monroe Bluegrass Festival Case

Credit Wikimedia Commons

A court fight over the name of legendary bluegrass musician Bill Monroe isn't over yet. The Ohio County Industrial Foundation has filed a petition with the Kentucky Court of Appeals seeking a rehearing on whether a nonprofit organization can use Monroe's name to promote The Jerusalem Ridge Bluegrass Music Festival and for tours of the musician's home place in western Kentucky.

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Government
8:22 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Quinn Urges Eligible Illinois Taxpayers to File for Credit

Gov. Pat Quinn wants taxpayers to take advantage of a newly expanded tax credit. The Illinois Earned Income Tax Credit provides low-income families with tax relief and an incentive to work. But the nonprofit Center for Economic Progress estimates between 10 to 20 percent of eligible taxpayers didn't file for the credit last year. 

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Politics
8:10 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Voucher Plan Gearing Up in Tennessee Legislature

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to create a school voucher program is drawing mixed response from lawmakers and educators.

Proponents say it’s another option for parents seeking to provide a better education for their children. Those opposed say voucher programs are unproven, and they don't like the idea of taking funds from public schools and giving them to private institutions. 

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Crime
8:00 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Prosecutors Offer Plea in Stabbing of Murray Mom

Prosecutors have extended a plea offer to a man charged with stabbing and killing his mother last summer in Murray. Commonwealth Attorney Mark Blankenship says he made the offer last week to the attorney of Michael Joseph Burke. Burke's attorney, Cheri Riedel, confirmed receiving the offer Friday during a hearing before Calloway Circuit Judge Dennis Foust.  Riedel says she hasn't met with Burke about the offer.

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Business
7:58 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Clarksville's Trane, Union Reach Deal with New Contract

A machinists union has reached an agreement on a new 4-year contract with Trane to avert a possible strike at Clarksville's largest private employer. The International Association of Machinists and Trane agreed to a new 80/20 match Blue Cross/Blue Shield Health Insurance Plan effective Jan. 1 of next year.  There will be no change in existing plans or employee premium contributions for the remainder of 2013, and the employee premium contribution won’t increase in 2014.

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Government
7:49 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Insurance Exchange Grows Into $39.5M Operation

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Federal health care reforms have led to the creation of a government agency in Kentucky comparable in staffing to the secretary of state's office, with 30 employees. But it also has scores of contract workers and an annual budget more than 10 times larger, at $39.5 million.  The Kentucky Health Benefits Exchange will help more than 600,000 uninsured residents arrange coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

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