WKU Panhellenic Council

Western Kentucky University is offering virtual sorority recruitment on campus this fall, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The school's Panhellenic Council voted to allow WKU's nine sorority chapters to proceed with recruitment using Zoom technology to eliminate in-person contact.  

"Each chapter will have their own Zoom account and they're creating links for all of the parties during the day," said Andrew Rash, WKU's Coordinator for Student Activities. "Move in is still the same, those ladies going through recruitment will still have recruitment counselors who will inform them about the process, show them their schedules, (and) counsel them if they need to counsel them."

Wikimedia Commons

There’s a lot of confusion over whether landlords can kick out renters in Kentucky for not paying rent despite Gov. Andy Beshear’s executive order banning evictions during the pandemic, but it appears that for now, it can’t happen.

A lawsuit brought by several Northern Kentucky landlords is challenging Beshear’s authority to stop evictions during the state of emergency.

Beshear and the landlords met during a mediation session last week in an effort to settle the case. Christopher Wiest, an attorney from Covington representing the landlords, said that as of Monday, no agreement has been made.

Gov. Bill Lee/Facebook

Gov. Bill Lee has asked the Tennessee General Assembly to meet in a special session next week to pass some COVID-19 related bills that previously failed during the regular session.

The legislature will also debate measures that address the protestors at the Tennessee Capitol and its grounds. The session is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 10.

“As COVID-19 continues to present unique challenges, we feel it is in the best interest of the state to convene a special session to address liability protections and telehealth,” Lee said in a news release Monday afternoon.

Abbey Oldham

A new poll shows Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell leading Democratic challenger Amy McGrath by 17 points in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race this year.

The survey of 793 likely voters in Kentucky by Washington D.C. based firm Morning Consult shows McConnell leading McGrath 53% to 36%. The poll was conducted between July 24 and Aug 2.

McConnell is running for his seventh term in the Senate, though this is the first year he is running while also serving as the majority leader, the high-profile position that allows him to set the agenda of the chamber and wield influence on which bills come up for votes.

Stephanie Wolf

Gov. Andy Beshear said he believes the mask mandate has put the breaks on the sharp increase in new coronavirus cases seen in July. 

“What the numbers are telling us is that facial coverings and masks are working,” Beshear said during his briefing Monday.

Data provided during the briefing showed the number of new cases jumped up for the first three weeks of July, but slowed after the third week.

needpix.com

Sen. Max Wise (R-Campbellsville) and former education commissioner Wayne Lewis are calling on the federal government to help expand internet access to all Kentucky students.

“This is not something that states, particularly states like Kentucky, are going to be able to take on all on their own,” Lewis said Monday during a press conference hosted the Walton Family Foundation.

Lewis is serving as the dean of Belmont University school of education in Nashville, after being forced out of his position as education commissioner in December.

Wise, who chairs the state senate’s education committee, said many families struggled in the spring to get online when schools moved to nontraditional instruction, or NTI.

As he has said many times before, the leader of Western Kentucky University is reiterating the upcoming school year will be unlike any other in the school’s history.

During an online forum with faculty and staff on Monday, President Timothy Caboni fielded questions concerning how the campus will operate under the coronavirus pandemic.

"There is no risk-free environment," stated Caboni. "There will be COVID cases on this campus and our job is to identify them, isolate them, contract trace them as quickly as we can."

Dr. Belinda Setters

The Robley Rex VA Medical Center in Louisville provides specialty geriatric care for military veterans 65 and older.

WKU Public Radio reporter Rhonda Miller talked with Director of Inpatient Geriatrics, Dr. Belinda Setters, who says the VA hospital has increased efforts to keep patients active and connected and avoid the negative impacts of isolation, while most visiting is suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Setters:

So, we take care of the frailest, the oldest folks when they're hospitalized. We actually see patients on all different units, including in the ICU, including in the COVID unit, you know, working in different ways to try to keep the patients engaged and as active as we can, which has been problematic with COVID. 

Cheryl Beckley | WKU PBS

Two prominent Kentucky restaurant owners say that without direct support from the federal government, they will have to shut down their businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ouita Michel, owner of eight restaurants in central Kentucky, and Ed Lee, owner of 610 Magnolia and Whiskey Dry in Louisville, say that coronavirus-related restrictions on restaurants have made it nearly impossible to stay open, and that federal support has been deficient.

Michel says that her restaurants can’t rely on takeout orders to stay open as Kentucky now only allows restaurants to have 25% of their occupational capacity.

Colin Jackson

The Bowling Green Police Department honored Ret. Chief Doug Hawkins on his last day Friday with a luncheon at the SOKY Marketplace Pavillion.

Local law enforcement, county and government officials, gathered to celebrate Hawkins' 30 years with the department.

Hawkins said he's most proud of brining a police training academy to Bowling Green.

"Establising the Bowling Green Law Enforcement Academy is going to be, I think, a pivotal moment in the history of the department, and I think it is going to pay dividends for many, many, many years to come," Hawkins said.

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The novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, have had an enormous impact on daily life in Kentucky and the world, prompting governments at all levels to respond. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has been holding semi-regular news briefings about measures being taken in the state to combat the spread of COVID-19. Those briefings are being streamed live at Gov. Beshear's Facebook page and YouTube channel. You can access live webstreaming of the governor's daily news conferences by clicking on the links above.

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