Becca Schimmel

Multimedia Journalist

Becca Schimmel is a multimedia journalist with the Ohio Valley ReSource a collaborative of public radio stations in Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio.  She's based out of the WKU Public Radio newsroom in Bowling Green. 

Becca was born in Charleston, SC but grew up in Lexington, Kentucky. You can often find her behind a book or near a cup of coffee. In her time away from the newsroom she enjoys running and lifting weights. She’s a sucker for unintentional puns, a good cup of coffee, a nice craft beer and a story.

Becca earned her Bachelor of Science in journalism from Murray State University with a minor in psychology. She interned with The Paducah Sun in Paducah as a general assignment reporter. From there she went on to become Morning Edition producer and general assignment reporter for WKMS in Murray.

US Army Corps of Engineers Facebook

A Bowling Green microbrewery is teaming up with Western Kentucky University and two non-profit groups to celebrate conservation efforts in southern Kentucky. The White Squirrel brewery is releasing a new beer called the “Belle of the Green River”, which is made with water from the Green River.  

Lauren Hendricks is the chairwoman of the Forecastle Foundation, which works to conserve watersheds and restore the natural flow of waterways. The group supported efforts last year to remove Lock and Dam Number Six on the Green River in southern Kentucky. She said the foundation has already helped restore nearly 200 miles of the Green River by removing locks and dams.

Rhonda J. Miller

A $1 million grant awarded to the Kentucky Labor Cabinet is aimed at increasing the amount of registered apprenticeships throughout the state.

The purpose of this new funding is to help the state establish relationships with third-party organizations and connect apprentices with employers. The grant will also allow the Labor Cabinet to compensate businesses for expenses related to the required training and diversify the pool of apprentices in Kentucky.

Steve Pavey, Hope In Focus

Anti-poverty activists say they will continue a campaign of demonstrations and civil disobedience throughout the Ohio Valley despite arrests at some events and being blocked from Kentucky’s capitol building.

The Poor People’s Campaign has rallied in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia and campaign leaders returned to Kentucky Wednesday after the group was denied access at earlier demonstrations.


3DaysCount

Kentucky’s joining a national effort to reduce the number of people held in jail during pretrial. In Kentucky, counties pay the cost of housing inmates who are awaiting trial.

Pretrial is defined as the period from a person’s first contact with law enforcement through the resolution of any resulting charges, usually through trial, plea or dismissal. The Administrative Office of the Courts manages the state’s judicial system and is joining the 3DaysCount initiative.

Kentucky Poor People's Campaign

The Poor People’s Campaign is returning to Frankfort Monday for another rally. The group was denied access to the Kentucky state capitol building during the event last week. There will also be demonstrations at state capitol buildings in Tennessee and Indiana.

Monday’s rally will focus on living wages, housing and education. More than 30 states will be participating in the demonstration at 2 p.m. local time. Reverend Megan Huston, pastor of First Christian Church in Bowling Green was at last week’s rally when the group was denied access to the Kentucky State Capitol.

UN Jean-Marc Ferre

The United Nations has just published a report on poverty in the U.S. based on a fact-finding tour that included parts of the Ohio Valley.

The UN report says that of the 40 million poor Americans about 5.3 million live in “Third World conditions of absolute poverty.”

 

The study also suggests recent tax reforms will worsen the situation for U.S. citizens and ensure that the country remains the most unequal society in the developed world. UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Philip Alston was the report’s lead author. In an interview with the Ohio Valley ReSource, he said poverty has significant human rights implications.

“I think that if people are really living in very poor circumstances their ability to exercise a lot of their basic civil rights is greatly impaired,” he said.


Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center

Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center in Grayson County has been designated as a Level IV trauma center. The hospital is one of only five trauma centers in Kentucky west of I-65.

A level IV trauma center has 24-hour physician coverage for the emergency department, extensively trained nursing and support staff, enhanced medical equipment, and a comprehensive emergency care program. Twin Lakes is in between Rough River Lake and Nolin lake. Kathleen Peck is the Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center trauma coordinator. Peck said they see more trauma victims in the summer months.

Becca Schimmel

Construction of the new University of Kentucky College of Medicine-Bowling Green campus will be completed in mid-September to welcome the inaugural class of 30 medical students.  

 

The Bowling Green facility is UK’s first four-year regional campus to open that will utilize the same curriculum as UK’s main campus in Lexington. Dean of the UK College of Medicine Robert DiPaola said building this regional campus will help address the shortage of healthcare workers in Kentucky and across the nation.

Becca Schimmel

The Trump administration has made good on a promise to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on some major U.S. trading partners, including the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

The U.S. commerce department exempted the EU, Canada and Mexico from a 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminum in March. Those exemptions were set to expire in May, but countries were given one more month. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced Thursday the exemptions were expiring and the tariffs will go into effect at midnight. The President is still able to cancel or extend those exemptions.


Kentucky Labor Cabinet

Kentucky’s Labor Secretary said the state has one of the lowest labor force participation rates in the nation. Derrick Ramsey said an estimated 200,000 people left the workforce after the 2008 recession and haven’t yet returned. But he said the recession isn’t the only reason the state’s labor force participation is so low.

“Further numbers that are worthy of conversation, the penal system,” he said. “We have 26,000 people that are incarcerated in our state today and that number keeps growing quicker and faster than one could even imagine.”

Wikimedia Commons

A study by the United Health Foundation ranks Kentucky 48th in its annual report on senior citizens. That’s a slight improvement over the state’s ranking last year.

According to the study seniors in Kentucky are not excessively drinking and are doing a good job of managing their diabetes. But the report says there’s still a high prevalence of smoking and preventable hospital visits. Rhonda Randall is a senior medical advisor for the United Health Foundation. The report ranks Kentucky 11th for diabetes management.

hank4ky.com

Democratic Nominee Hank Linderman toured Kentucky’s 2nd Congressional District Wednesday after winning in Tuesday’s primary. Linderman faces Republican incumbent Brett Guthrie in the November general election. Linderman made eight stops throughout the district, stopping to talk to voters.

 

The 2nd Congressional District House seat has been under Republican control for the past 24 years. Linderman said he thinks this is the year that could change because Kentuckians are frustrated with the way the government is running, regardless of their political party affiliation. He said there’s a laundry list of things he wants to work on and improve but he wants to start by bringing people together.

Kentucky Department of Corrections

Kentucky’s new Department of Corrections commissioner says one of his top priorities is reducing recidivism.

Jim Erwin said 34 of Kentucky’s jails and prisons are about 140 to 300 percent over capacity. Erwin said the opioid crisis is a major reason behind the overcrowding. He said the department is seeing an increase in people violating their parole for technical violations driven by drug use.  

 

“We are basically the largest substance abuse treatment provider in the state. The department of corrections is,” he told WKU Public Radio.

Kentucky’s 2nd Congressional District seat has been held by Republicans for the past 24 years. Four Democrats are running for the chance to unseat incumbent Republican Brett Guthrie. One of the Democrats hoping to win Tuesday’s primary is Rane Sessions of Breckinridge County.

Sessions said she decided to run for the seat because she doesn’t believe incumbent Republican Brett Guthrie represents her or her community. She works in a veterinarian office and said she’s seen first hand how hard it is to attract and keep people in that profession in rural Kentucky.

Becca Schimmel

Kentucky Labor Secretary Derrick Ramsey was in Barren County this week to announce new youth apprenticeship programs. The new programs include the fields of culinary arts, office management, and transportation maintenance.

Secretary Ramsey said people are beginning to understand what the state’s apprenticeship program is and how it can help Kentucky’s economy. He said it’s important to have more local businesses of all sizes involved in the program. Ramsey said it’s vital for employers to connect with local youth, some of whom could be part of their future workforce.

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