Rhonda Miller


Rhonda Miller joined WKU Public Radio in 2015.  She has worked as Gulf Coast reporter for Mississippi Public Broadcasting, where she won Associated Press, Edward R. Murrow and Green Eyeshade awards for stories on dead sea turtles, health and legal issues arising from the 2010 BP oil spill and homeless veterans.

She has worked at Rhode Island Public Radio,  as an intern at WVTF Public Radio in Roanoke, Virginia, and at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Rhonda’s freelance work called Writing Into Sound includes stories for Voice of America, WSHU Public Radio in Fairfield, Conn., NPR and AARP Prime Time Radio.

She has a master’s degree in media studies from Rhode Island College and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University.

Rhonda enjoys quiet water kayaking, riding her bicycle and folk music. She was a volunteer DJ for Root-N-Branch at WUMD community radio in Dartmouth, Mass. 

Warren Wong/Unsplash

Western Kentucky University has received a federal grant to conduct research on suicide and self-harm in adolescents. The $413,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is for a three-year project to address a growing mental health concern. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death for ages 15-to-34 in Kentucky. 

WKU Associate Professor of Psychological Sciences Amy Brausch is the lead researcher on the study.

“Non-suicidal self-injury is kind of the technical term for behaviors that are still self-injuring. So most people are familiar with cutting that sometimes adolescents will do. And it’s self-injury that does not have the intent to die. So it’s used for different purposes, usually to help regulate really strong negative emotions,” said Brausch.

Nicky Hayden/Facebook

The city of Owensboro is unveiling the statue of native son Nicky Hayden on Friday, June 8, to honor the  international motorcycle racing champion known as "The Kentucky Kid," who died last year in a bicycle accident in Italy.

Hayden’s family had a dirt track on their property and he grew up riding and racing. He turned pro when he was 16, and that made him a rather unusual student at  Owensboro Catholic High School. The school’s assistant principal Kurt Osborne was a teacher when Hayden was in school.

Kentucky Poor People's Campaign

Two Kentucky lawmakers have written a letter to Attorney General Andy Beshear requesting an opinion on why a group of peaceful demonstrators was denied access to the state Capitol on June 4. 

The request for an explanation is because about 400 demonstrators with the Poor People’s Campaign held an outdoor rally in Frankfort. Then a group from the anti-poverty movement  attempted to enter the state Capitol. The rally was led by the national co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign Rev. Dr. William Barber. The demonstrators were met by uniformed guards at the Capitol entrance and told they could only enter under the “two-in-two-out” rule that was put into effect a couple of weeks ago. 

Kentucky Poor People's Campaign

The national leader of the revitalized Poor People’s Campaign, Rev. William Barber, will lead a rally in Frankfort on June 4. About 350 Kentucky residents are expected to  take part in the movement launched by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Rev. William Barber has gained national attention leading a revitalized civil rights movement aimed at galvanizing a diversity of citizens around a few major issues that include poverty, health care, voting rights, systemic racism and environmental devastation.

Save the Children

Kentucky has slipped to 37th place in a national ranking of states that provide a safe, secure and healthy childhood.      

The second annual report End of Childhood State Ranking 2018 by the international nonprofit Save the Children ranks states by factors that can prevent children from thriving. Those factors include violence, poverty, malnutrition, child abuse, incomplete education and homelessness. 

Kentucky has slipped four places since last year to 37th in the U.S. for states that provide consistent food, housing, prenatal care, safety from violence and abuse and access to early childhood educational opportunites. 

400 Mile Yard Sale

Bargain shoppers will be out in big numbers over the next few days for the '400 Mile Yard Sale' along Route 68 in Kentucky.

When the 400 Mile Yard Sale started 14 years ago, it was to entice drivers to turn off highways and visit  local shops and restaurants along Route 68. At that time, it was the “road less traveled.”

But that yard sale has taken on a festival atmosphere and from Thursday, May 31 through Sunday, June 3 Route 68 will be one of the “most traveled” routes in Kentucky, from Maysville, located 66 miles northeast of Lexington, all the way west to Paducah.

Rhonda J. Miller

A business incubator called ‘The Hub’ in Ohio County has a second training program at no cost to residents. Ten people are enrolled in the ‘virtual assistant’ training.

The main goal of ‘The Hub’ is to create jobs, especially high-tech remote jobs, that offer Ohio County residents a chance to continue to live in this rural community and have a 21st Century career with a good income. 

Chase Vincent is Executive Director of the Ohio County Economic Development Alliance. He says the 10 residents who are currently enrolled in the ‘virtual assistant’ program are getting training that will prepare them to manage a distant office, for instance a medical practice, from home or from co-working space in ‘The Hub.”

Kentucky Poor People's Campaign

About 20 residents of Bowling Green will be at the state Capitol Monday, May 21 speaking out for the Kentucky Poor People’s campaign. 

Reverend Megan Huston is senior minister at First Christian Church in Bowling Green. She’s one of three Kentucky coordinators for the Poor People’s Campaign, a national effort originally launched in 1968 by Martin Luther King.

Huston says the goal of the campaign is to bring awareness to issues that include mass incarceration, voting rights, immigration, systemic racism and poverty.

Daniel Johnson, Bill Fishback, Jacob Moore

Three Democratic candidates are competing in the primary to represent the 19th state House district, which includes Edmonson County and part of Warren County. The race is among Bill Fishback, Daniel Johnson and Jacob Moore.               

There’s a priority issue that comes out loud and clear from the three Democratic candidates in the 19th District primary – the value of teachers.

Michael Meredith & Brian Strow

Two Republican candidates are competing in the primary to represent the 19th  District, which includes Edmonson County and part of Warren County, in the Kentucky House of Representatives. Incumbent Michael Meredith and is being challenged by Brian Strow.

It’s no surprise that banker Michael Meredith and economist Brian Strow  agree that the main issue facing Kentucky is the state’s financial situation. Meredith is a loan officer for the Bank of Edmonson County running for a fifth term in the state legislature. He says lawmakers have to address the issue of state revenues not growing to meet financial demands.

Kentucky Mesonet

Kentucky Mesonet survived a threatened state budget cut and is continuing to expand. The Western Kentucky University-based statewide weather and climate monitoring network is adding  two new stations.

For a while, Kentucky Mesonet’s state funding of $750,000 was on the chopping block. WKU President Timothy Caboni says it’s a positive step that the funding was restored for Mesonet.

"It continues to provide a remarkably important service, not just to the community here in Bowling Green, but to communities across the state who are interested in using those data for agriculture, for road planning and for other important things in those communities.," said Caboni. "It’s really part of our statewide mission, and we’re glad it was preserved.”

Rhonda J. Miller

The president of Western Kentucky University unveiled phase two of the school’s budget cuts on Thursday. WKU President Timothy Caboni says this second round of cuts will result in $14 million in savings. The two rounds of budget cuts amount to $27 million.

The second round of cuts includes 10 filled staff positions and the elimination of 20 vacant positions. Of those 20, 12 are faculty and eight are staff.  The specific positions will be announced in about week, after employees are notified.

Rhonda Miller

A Kentucky program to train shelter dogs so they have a chance to be adopted has reached a milestone.  Inmates at a Muhlenberg County prison have trained 1,000 canines in a project called 'Death Row Dogs.'

In a bright sunny room at Green River Correctional Complex, 12 dogs are sitting beside their trainers. It’s week 11 of a 12-week program called 'Death Row Dogs.'

Allen Hearld says the lab mix named Snookie is the sixth dog he’s trained.  

Kentucky was one of the states that contacted Facebook requesting information on how many residents have been affected by the recent privacy breach when Cambridge Analytica got access to the personal data of an estimated 87 million people.  Now the state numbers are in.

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear is reporting that more than 1.3 million people in the state have been impacted by the Facebook data breach.

Beshear was one of a group of attorneys general who sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in March out of concern that personal information was provided without permission to Cambridge Analytica.

Nonviolent Owensboro

As mass shootings and other violence seems to occur ever-more frequently in our country and around the world, an Owensboro organization has the goal of encouraging peace, one person and one community at a time.

Nonviolent Owensboro is working with other local organizations to support peaceful public dialogue, even among those with differing opinions. The group is sponsoring a workshop on how to step out and offer an opinion – peacefully.

Daviess County teacher Peggy Wilson is a member of Nonviolent Owensboro.