Rhonda Miller

Reporter

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. 

paringaresources.com

The first shipment of coal from a new mine in McLean County in western Kentucky has been sent to utility companies in the state. 

The Australian company Paringa Resources announced on April 28 that it loaded 1,500 tons of washed coal from its new Poplar Grove mine onto barges at its dock on the Green River. This first shipment of coal went to Kentucky Utilities and Louisville Gas & Electric. 

Paringa said in a news release that it plans to bring in additional mining equipment and ramp up operations.

Kentucky Wesleyan College

The president of Kentucky Wesleyan College  has resigned and a long-time Western Kentucky University administrator will temporarily fill the position.

Bart Darrell has served as president of Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro for five years and will step down from that position on June 1. His contract was set to run to 2021.

A statement on the school’s website quoted board chairman, Judge Phillip Shepherd, as saying Darrell was ready to "...embark on new changes in his life and career.”

Darrell's statement about his resignation is on a video at the KWC website.

The statement on the KWC website also credits Darrell with reversing enrollment declines, with growth in Kentucky Wesleyen’s first-year student class size and retention. 

Rhonda J. Miller

With Kentucky’s primary election just three weeks away, Democratic candidate for governor Rocky Adkins described himself as an experienced, moderate legislator during a May 1 presentation at the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club.

State Representative Rocky Adkins is pushing to differentiate himself from his two strongest rivals for the Democratic nomination for governor, Attorney General Andy Beshear and former State Auditor Adam Edelen.

Adkins is emphasizing his centrist stances on issues, especially those that might appeal to the state’s more conservative Democrats. 


Feeding Kentucky

A new report from Feeding America shows that 187,000 children in Kentucky are at risk of going hungry. 

The report, called Map the Meal Gap 2019, details state and county data on food insecurity, which means that a person may not have consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.

The report shows that food insecurity among children in Kentucky actually decreased slightly from 19 percent in last year’s report to 18 percent in the new report. 


Ryland Barton, Kentucky Public Radio

The Poor People’s Campaign brings its national bus tour to Kentucky on April 29 with stops in Eddyville, Hopkinsville and Bowling Green on its mission to focus attention on the challenges facing those who live in poverty. 

The Poor People’s Campaign was organized by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968 to push for economic justice for those in poverty in the United States.

North Carolina pastor Rev. William Barber revived the greassroots movement with rallies at state capitol buildings and other public locations across the country, including Kentucky, to lead what’s called “A National Call for Moral Revival.”


Wikipedia

The wreckage of a small plane discovered near the Henderson City-County Airport Wednesday morning contained a duffel bag with a large sum of cash and suspected cocaine.

The crash killed Sanford, North Carolina residents 47-year-old Barry A. Hill and 48-year-old George Tucker. The plane was taken without permission from the owner in North Carolina.

Kentucky State Trooper Corey King said there’s information leading investigators to think one of the men knew the owner and said he was considering buying the aircraft. That may be how Tucker, who had some training but wasn’t a licensed pilot, got access to fly the plane.

Rhonda J. Miller

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its five-year census on April 11, and for the first time it includes a category for military veterans who are farming. The census shows that Kentucky currently has about 13,000 farmers with miltary service. 

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture recognized the value of this combination in 2013 with the creation of a program called Homegrown By Heroes. It's a marketing initiative to spotlight and support agricultural producers with military experience.


Kentucky Farm Bureau

The new U.S. Department of Agriculture census released April 11 shows the number of young farmers in Kentucky is increasing. 

The USDA Census of Agriculture is done every five years and the newly-released data on crops, acreage and demographics is for the 2017 year. The previous census used as a five-year comparison is based on 2012 data.

David Knopf is regional director of the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service based in Louisville. He said the census shows a significant increase in the number of young farmers in Kentucky. 


KY Grains

The new U.S. Department of Agriculture census released April 11 shows mid-sized farms in Kentucky farms are on the decline.

The new USDA Census of Agriculture is based on data collected from farms across the country for the year 2017. That census is done very five years, so the 2017 state-by-state data is compared to previous statistics from 2012.

David Knopf is regional director of the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service based Louisville. He said the new census confirms a trend in Kentucky that the number of  small and large farms are increasing, while those in the middle are disappearing. 


Rhonda Miller

An innovative residential program to prepare adults with autism spectrum disorder for transition to the workforce was announced April 12 at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green.

Mary Lloyd Moore is executive director of the Suzanne Vitale Clinical Education Complex at WKU. She said the project called 'LifeWorks at WKU' will begin in the Fall of 2020.

“We plan for it to be a two-year residential program whereby there will be supported living, supported employment, supported community engagement, and education for relationship skills in the community at home and in life,” said Moore.

flickr

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its five-year census of farms across the nation on April 11 with data on acreage, economic value and demographics about decision-makers. 

The new USDA Census of Agriculture shows that farming is a $5.7 billion industry in Kentucky. That’s up from $5.1 billion compared to five years earlier.

Kentucky Agricultural Commissioner Ryan Quarles said the new census shows that farming is vibrant in the state, with the number of producers at 124,000, an increase of nearly 10 percent over five years.

Becca Schimmel

Students at Kentucky Wesleyan College are going to get some free rides. The school is partnering with Owensboro Transit System.

The agreement for weekend transportation begins Friday, April 12 with the trolley stopping at the Kentucky Wesleyan campus. Students will be able to use their college ID for the trolley ride of about two miles into downtown Owensboro.

Kentucky Wesleyan College Interim Vice President of Advancement Eddie Kenny said there’s a mutual benefit in building a long-term relationship with the Owensboro Transit System.

flickr

Six of the eight candidates for Kentucky governor are scheduled to take part in a forum April 11  in Lexington that will stream live on Facebook. The forum is sponsored by Community Action Kentucky.

Democratic candidates Rocky Adkins, Andy Beshear, Adam Edelen and Geoff Young are participating.

Republican candidates taking part are Robert Goforth and Ike Lawrence. A spokesperson for Community Action Kentucky said the other two Republican candidates, William Woods and Governor Matt Bevin, were also invited but are not participating.

WKU Dept. of Public Health/Imagewest

Western Kentucky University is hosting its first Refugee Health Summit on Thursday, April 18. Assistant Professor in WKU’s Department of Public Health Michelle Reece is coordinator of the summit. Reece came to the WKU Public Radio studio and spoke with reporter Rhonda Miller about this new project. 

Reece: My colleague and I, Dr. William Mkanta, we have some connection with the International Center of Kentucky here in Bowling Green. And over the course of the years we discovered that there are some issues that providers are facing as they’re interacting with our new residents, who are former refugees. And so we, through the Research and Creativities Program here at WKU, applied for a grant to look at “Provider Needs Assessment in Refugee Health Services.”  This summit is partly a response to the findings from our study, the ethical thing that we need to do and go back to the community and provide the results and how we’re going to address some of the issues that came up in refugee health services.


EMW Women's Surgical Center/facebook

The controversy over Kentucky’s only abortion clinic continues to draw national attention.  The latest development is that Kentucky’s Democratic Attorney General filed a 'friend of the court' brief on April 4, supported by 21 attorneys general from across the U.S. in the effort to keep the clinic open.

The filing is related to a regulation requiring a 'transfer and transport agreement' that would have necessitated the EMW Women’s Surgical Clinic in Louisville have an agreement with an ambulance service to 'transport' a patient to a hospital in case of an emergency. A 'transfer' agreement would mean a hospital agreed to treat a patient of the EMW Clinic who shows up at an emergency room.


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