Colin Jackson

Morning Edition Host/Reporter

Colin Jackson joined the WKU Public Radio news team in October 2018 as Morning Edition Host and Reporter. Jackson comes to Kentucky from Michigan where he worked in the newsroom of NPR member station WDET in Detroit. He also has experience as a host and producer with Townsquare Media in Lansing, Michigan and Impact 89FM in East Lansing.

Colin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Relations & Policy and Spanish from Michigan State University. 

Warren County Public Schools

Two new therapy dogs will be waiting for Warren County Public Schools students who are returning this fall. 

The addition is among the latest steps to better serve children's mental health needs ater the school received a federal grant last year.

Todd Hazel is director of student services for WCPS, and a caretaker for one of the new labradoodles. He said dogs have a unique way of helping students.

"In schools for over 20 years, I've seen how well dogs interact with students. And you can take a child who's going through a crisis that may not want to talk to an adult, or have anything to do with an adult. But you can bring a dog in, and it's amazing how quick that child can open up," Hazel said.

Colin Jackson

Around 100-150 south central Kentucky residents met in Bowling Green's Circus Square Park Sunday evening to voice their concerns about discrimination, policing and city government. Meanwhile, a handful of city leaders listened on a nearby panel.

The discussion and a candlelight vigil that took place afterward are the latest events in Bowling Green to stem from a recent wave of activism that started with the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police.


WKU

The Trump Administration this week announced international students holding F-1 visas would have to return to their home countries if they do not attend in-person classes this fall.

The move took many in higher education by surprise, including Western Kentucky University Associate Provost for Global Learning and International Affairs, John Sunnygard.

In an interview with WKU Public Radio, Sunnygard discussed how he found out about the change.


Becca Schimmel

A Bowling Green group that has been organizing local protests recently gathred hundreds for a different kind of event over the weekend.

The Bowling Green Freedom Walkers is expanding its reach with a Juneteenth celebration in a historic part of town.

Juneteenth marks the symbolic moment on June 19th, 1865, when Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, and informed enslaved individuals of their freedom. 

The Shake Rag District is a historically Black part of Bowling Green, and the namesake for Chris Page's Shake Rag Barbershop. He said it's a meaningful location to host Friday night's celebration.


Becca Schimmel

With protests against racial injustice happening across the nation, WKU Public Radio reporters sat down with community activists who have been organizing individuals in Bowling Green.

Sitting under a pavilion at Keriakes Park, members of the Bowling Green Freedom Walkers and Bowling Green for Peace, as well as Kentucky Rep. Patti Minter (D-Bowling Green), discussed where the summer goes from here.


Daniel Cameron

The police-related deaths of George Floyd and Louisville resident Breonna Taylor have sparked mass protests in recent weeks.

The Minneapolis officers involved in Floyd's death are facing prosecution.

During a recent conversation, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron gave an update on whether Louisville Metro Police Department officers involved in Taylor's death will also face charges.


Colin Jackson

By now, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery have become household names. 

The deaths of the three Black individuals have sparked days of nationwide protesting against racism and police violence. 

Over the weekend in Bowling Green, a crowd estimated at 1,000 people gathered in Circus Square Park for the city's largest demonstration yet.


Colin Jackson

A midday protest against racism and police drew a crowd of around 180 people Wednesday morning in Bowling Green.

It was the latest in what has now been six straight days of peaceful gatherings in the city following last week's death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd, a black man who died after an officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

The video-taped incident, along with the police-related death of Louisville Emergency Medical Technician Breonna Taylor, and the shooting of Georgia jogger Ahmaud Arbery, have spurred protests nationwide.

Becca Schimmel

Protests against racism and police violence directed at minorities continued for a fourth striaght day Monday morning in Bowling Green.

Posts spread across social media and text message drew dozens of people outside the Warren County Justice Center to hold signs, march, and hear speakers discuss the civil unrest seen in much of the country.

Derik Overstreet is a local mixed martial arts fighter who agreed to help oragnize and co-lead the mostly college-aged crowd in its peaceful gathering.

Colin Jackson

A speech from a former member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), an arrest for wanton endangerment, and a peaceful march marked some moments Friday and Saturday during protests in Bowling Green.

Dozens gathered Saturday evening in the city’s Circus Square Park to march against racial injustice and violence in the wake of the recent killings of three unarmed black individuals.


Colin Jackson

The COVID-19 pandemic means stadiums and ballparks nationwide have been empty since mid-March.

Weeks later, the teams and fans that normally fill those venues are feeling the pain.

Everyone on the Bowling Green Hot Rods roster has been back home since the league suspended spring training. 

To make up for it, team broadcaster Shawn Murnin has been challening players like Chris Betts to play him in MLB The Show live on a Twitch stream.


Courtesy of Goodwill

Efforts to help individuals with criminal records are continuing in Kentucky despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Goodwill Industries of Kentucky is still offering services like expungement clinics, its soft skills academy, and its Louisville-based RISE program through virtual methods.

Normally, individuals who complete Goodwill's RISE Louisville program would gather in-person for the week-long class. It provides students information on topics like computer lieracy, banking and wellness.

Goodwill Industries of Kentucky Director of Reentry Services Dennis Ritchie said the group worked to make sure people could still access their classes once they went online.


WKU Public Radio

The SoKY Marketplace in Bowling Green is going back to holding its in-person farmer's market on Saturday mornings this month.

The season was set to begin in April, but management pushed it back due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Changes made to prevent the spread of COVID-19 include the spacing of stalls by 10 feet, the installation of mobile handwashing stations, and requirements that all vendors wear a mask.

Sarah Cline, director of operations for SoKY Marketplace, said not all sellers feel comfortable setting up this year.

WKU

The president of Western Kentucky University says the school will host students back on campus this fall.

The university suspended in-person classes and sent most students home from on-campus housing midway through the current spring semester as part of its COVID-19 response plan.

Speaking with the school's staff senate this week, WKU President Timothy Caboni said, while the school does plan to resume in-person instruction, any return to the hill will take place based on meeting benchmarks from the federal and state government, as well as the Centers for Disease Control.

Amy Hardin

The coronavirus outbreak has impacted lives across Kentucky. Whether through lost work, lost loved ones, or lost social interaction, everyone is feeling the effects of the pandemic.

Near the beginning of social distancing restrictions, WKU Public Radio asked for listeners to share their stories. Here are three of our submissions:


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