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. 

Rhonda J. Miller

A community art project in Kentucky involves tramping around in the woods and cutting down young trees to create a large-scale sculpture made from sticks. The Western Kentucky University project is led by a sculptor whose studio is the outdoors.

Artist Patrick Dougherty organizes volunteers who have come out on a clear, autumn morning to 160 acres of wilderness in Allen County, Kentucky, about half an hour south of Bowling Green.

“You can work in teams, if you want to, or work alone, however you want to do it," said Dougherty. "One person can cut and the other person can drag out and bundle, I mean and drop it, and then we’ll have a bundling crew bundle.”

flickr/Robert Nelson

A new study shows Kentucky is among the top 10 states in the nation where women are murdered by men. Women in intimate partner relationships are especially vulnerable.

The report called “When Men Murder Women” is by the nonprofit Violence Policy Center in Washington, D.C. and uses data from the FBI.

The report says having guns in the home can allow domestic violence to escalate to murder. And women are much more likely to be a victim at home than in any other place. 

Daviess County Public Schools

The chairman of the Daviess County Public Schools Board of Education, who began working in Kentucky schools more than 50 years ago, has resigned.

Mike Clark began his education career in Michigan. He started teaching in Kentucky in 1963 as a chemistry teacher at Apollo High School in Daviess County. He’s also been principal at Burns Middle School and Daviess County Middle School.

Clark retired from Daviess County Public Schools in 2000 and went on to be a principal in the Owensboro Catholic schools system.

He’s been a member of the Daviess County Public Schools Board of Education since 2011, and been chairman for two years. He told the board his resignation is because he is moving out of District 1, which he was elected to represent.

Dr. Kim Cecil

An Owensboro native who does research on how chemicals in the home and air affect the brain says we can make informed choices to minimize exposure.

Researcher Kim Cecil will discuss how she discovered her career path and her work at her alma mater, Kentucky Wesleyan College, on Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m. in Rogers Hall at the  Winchester Center.

Cecil’s presentation titled, “Finding Significance: How We Make A Difference in the World,” at Kentucky Wesleyan is the annual Ellie Magnuson Lecture in Literature and Science. The event is open to the publc.

Anglia Ruskin University

Professionals from nine southeastern states who work with older adults will gather in Kentucky beginning Sept. 30. Louisville is the host city for the regional conference on aging that will offer 42 workshops on topics ranging from health concerns to social and community issues.

Barbara Gordon is director of social services for the Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency and is chairwoman of the conference. She said the pre-conference sessions on Sunday are open to public, including one reviewing the latest research on Alzheimer’s.

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

The Hardin County Playhouse has a new home that’s actually one of its previous locations.

During its 48-year history, the Hardin County Playhouse has performed in locations that include Radcliff Park and the old Sears outlet building. Since 2005 the playhouse has been at the Plum Alley Theater at the Historic State Theater in Elizabethtown, but that lease expired last month.

That gave the Playhouse an opportunity to return to a venue where it was based quite a few years ago - Elizabethtown Community and Technical College.

Katrina Eicher is a theater professor at the college and said part of the mission of the school is encourage people from the community to come to campus.

Kentucky Wesleyan University

A Holocaust survivor and attorney who helped prosecute the murderers of three civil rights workers, brought to the screen in the movie "Mississippi Burning," is speaking in Owensboro on Sept. 25. 

John Rosenberg has also provided years of legal service to residents of Kentucky. Eighty-six-year-old Rosenberg was the founding director of the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund and served in that position for more than 30 years. He had a precarious childhood journey that eventually led to  that legal aid organization and Prestonsburg, Kentucky.

He was seven years old on Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, Nov. 9, 1938 when the Nazis broke windows of Jewish businesses and burned synagogues across Germany. Rosenberg says one of the synagogues that was burned was next to his home in the town of Magdeburg. 

Amanda Matthews

A statue of Russellville native Alice Dunnigan is being unveiled Sept. 21 the Newseum, a Washington, D.C. museum that promotes an understanding of freedom of the press and the First Amendment. Dunnigan was a Kentucky journalist who broke racial and gender barriers.

Dunnigan rose from her childhood in Logan County as the daughter of a sharecropper and a laundress to become the first African-American woman to get press credentials to cover the White House and Congress. She achieved that journalistic breakthrough in 1947.

Sculptor Amanda Matthews created the statue of Dunnigan in her Prometheus Foundry in Lexington, Kentucky. Matthews said she got input from members of the Russellville community on how to express Dunnigan’s character in a sculpture.

"They wanted her to seem self-assured. They wanted her to seem humble but also knowledgeable," said Matthews. "They wanted her to be represented in a very fearless way.”

Mammoth Cave National Park

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Mammoth Cave National Park are marking the completion of a tree removal project on the Nolin River  with a ceremony on Sept. 18.

The 1 p.m. ribon cutting at the Tailwater Recreation Area boat ramp located below the Nolin River Dam signals the clearing of hundreds of trees that slid into the river when a major leak occurred at the 114-year-old Lock and Dam Number 6 in November 2016. 

Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives

Kentucky electric cooperatives have crews ready to be deployed to help with the recovery from Hurricane Florence. The exact destination, however, is still a moving target.

Hurricane Florence has been a shifting monster of a storm, taking a southward turn that’s been keeping recovery crews from Kentucky and many other states ready to assist, but waiting for the route to become clear.

Of the 24 local electric co-ops in Kentucky, 19 have crews ready to assist. At least 160 lineworkers are set to be deployed this weekend.

Joe Arnold is a spokesman for the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives. He said the deployment involves collaboration with electric cooperatives across the county and detailed planning.

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

Like states across the nation, Kentucky has a critical shortage of workers. The problem is even more severe in the Bluegrass State because the percentage of adults working in Kentucky is lower than the national average.

A new report, “A Citizens Guide to Kentucky’s Economy since the Recession,” shows Kentucky’s workforce participation rate is 55 percent. That compares to the national rate of 59 percent.

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President Dave Adkisson said Kentucky is thousands of workers behind the national average.

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

Although the Bluegrass State is outperforming some of its neighbors, Kentucky trails the nation in the growth rate of jobs, population and wages.

A new report called “A Citizens Guide to Kentucky’s Economy since the Recession,” shows the state added 180,000 jobs since 2009. That’s a 10 percent increase in job growth compared to the national increase of about 13 percent.  

Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Louisville Paul Coomes prepared the report for the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. He said some regions of the state have been showing steady progress in several economic indicators. 

Goodnight Memorial Library

The Goodnight Memorial Library in Franklin is beginning a $6 million renovation this month. The library in Simpson County was built in 1936 as a project of the Works Progress Administration and renovated in 1976. The current renovation will restore some of the original 1936 style of the library.

Library director Audrey Phillips says the move to temporary space is a major effort.

“We have over 40,000 items that are going to have to be moved. We have tried to weed some down, we’re only taking with us what we need, what we want on the shelf.”

Rhonda J. Miller

Western Kentucky University is launching a new center focusing on the health and wellness of the growing demographic of older adults in the state and the nation. The new Bowling Green facility opens Sept. 11.

The Center for Applied Science in Health and Aging combines several research specialties, including exercise, communication and psychology.  The center will expand current projects that take a holistic approach to the issues facing older Kentuckians.

Rhonda J. Miller

A father and son who share an entrepreneurial spirit are bringing a new product from their Kentucky farm to the regional marketplace. Tilapia is the first locally-raised fish from the Daviess County aquafarm. The project is part of Kentucky’s fledgling aquaculture industry that produces fish for commercial customers.

Inside the greenhouse at Thomas Aquafarms in Daviess County, water is constantly flowing through nine bright blue tanks that are shoulder height and eight feet in diameter. Each tank has about 500 tilapia of various sizes swimming around.

Forrest Wynne, an aquaculture extension specialist for Kentucky State University, is dropping a probe into one of the tanks.