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. 

Rhonda J Miller

A judge in Warren Circuit Court ruled on Monday that the neighbor who attacked Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul over yard debris must stay away from the Republican lawmaker and his family. 

Senator Rand Paul suffered broken ribs and pneumonia after his Bowling Green neighbor, retired anesthesiologist Rene Boucher, attacked him over yard maintenance in November. The day before that attack, Boucher trespassed onto Paul’s property and set fire to yard debris. Boucher suffered some burns in the process.

Rhonda J Miller

The agency with a mission to control and reduce pollution in the Ohio River is considering lowering water quality standards. The mayor of one riverfront city is urging the agency to maintain pollution controls.

Indiana, Kentucky and six other states are part of the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission.

In a letter to the commission this week, Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke said pollution controls must be enforced because the Ohio River provides drinking water to five million people and serves as a vital recreational resource.

United Soybean Board

Kentucky soybean farmers are struggling with uncertainty and loss of income because of tariffs imposed by China, in retaliation for President Donald Trump’s tariffs on Chinese products coming into the U.S. 

The impact of the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China began reverberating on Kentucky soybean farms about three months ago. The uncertainty hit the soybean market even before China’s 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans went into effect in July.

Jed Clark is vice chairman of the Kentucky Soybean Board. He farms 1,100 acres of soybeans in Graves County and said he’s seen the value of his crop decrease in the past few months because of the Chinese tariffs.

Nancy Dawson/facebook

The ‘8th of August’ is a day that holds special meaning for some Kentucky communities. It’s a time to remember emancipation and celebrate freedom.

It’s considered the day African-Americans in western Kentucky heard about the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 as a presidential order, but it wasn't until December 1865 that Congress ratified the 13th Amendment that permanently abolished slavery in the United States. 

Nancy Dawson, who lives in Russellville and is a former professor and director of African-American studies at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn., said emancipation is a part of history that everyone in the United States should remember. 


Warren County Regional Jail

The Warren County jail has launched a new program called the ‘Inmate ID Project.’ The goal is to make it easier for those who are released to start building a new life.

Four inmates at the Warren County Jail are the first to particpate in the project. They've received a state-issued Kentucky ID from the Circuit Court Clerk. 

The ‘Inmate ID Project’ is intended to give former prisoners a jump start on finding housing and a job by providing them with a state ID 30 days before they’re released.

Warren County Public Schools

Warren County's newest elementary school that opens Aug. 8 is on the leading edge in both sustainability and tech curriculum. 

Jennings Creek Elementary will have ‘coding’ as part of the curriculum from kindergarten through sixth grade. Coding, which is writing the language for computer programs, will be taught on an age appropriate level, so students naturally expand this essential 21st Century skill.

Morgan Watson is a spokeswoman for Warren County Public Schools. She said there’s another advantage of having coding embedded in the elementary curriculum.

Thomas Aquafarms

The Owensboro Regional Farmers Market will soon have a very different kind of locally-raised product for its customers. That new item is expected be ready in August.

Among the zucchini, tomatoes and cabbage at the Owensboro Regional Farmers Market, there will soon be tilapia.  The fish are being grown at Thomas Aquafarms in Daviess County.

Eric Thomas is co-owner of the aquafarm and created the unique environment to raise tilapia beginning with a traditional greenhouse you might see at a nursery.

“I designed and built the fish tanks for the fish to actually grow in," said Thomas. "So in the greenhouse currently we have over 12,000 gallons of space to grow our Blue Nile tilapia in.”

Ellis Park

Kentucky horse racing regulators have approved the sale of Ellis Park racetrack to a group that's had a minority ownership in the track for several years.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Tuesday approved the sale of the track in Henderson County to the Saratoga and Hospitality Group.

The track's primary owner has been Ron Geary, who purchased Ellis Park from Churchill Downs in 2006.

Warren County Sheriff's Office

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office held a memorial ceremony on July 12 to honor a member of its team that died under suspicious circumstances. The law enforcement agency is continuing the investigation into the death of K-9 Kane.

The only K-9 with the sheriff’s office was found unresponsive in his outdoor kennel at the home of his handler, Deputy Aaron Poynter, in late April. Kane was rushed to the vet, but couldn’t be saved.

"A necropsy was done immediately and evidence was sent to numerous labs for testing," said Sgt. Curtis Hargett, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office. "As time went on, we have determined now that the cause of death was foul play.”

Prometheus Foundry

A statue of Kentucky native Alice Dunnigan will be on display at the Newseum, the Washington, D.C museum that promotes an understanding of freedom of the press and the First Amendment. Dunnigan was the first African-American woman to get credentials to cover Congress and the White House.

Dunnigan was a sharecropper’s daughter from Logan County who became a teacher and then a journalist working for the American Negro press. In 1947 she was the first African-American woman to receive  Congressional press credentials. 

Her statue will be on display at the Newseum beginning September 21 and will remain there for several months. After that, the statue will become part of the West Kentucky African-American Heritage Center in her hometown of Russellville.

Michael Morrow is a volunteer historian in Russellville who serves as a guide at the African-American Heritage Center. Morrow said Dunnigan had to push hard to get access to the highest levels of government.


Community Farmers Market Bowling Green/Facebook

A new program called ‘Fresh RX for Moms’ is for pregnant women who are on Medicaid and seeing a doctor or a certified nurse-midwife. 

The Community Farmers Market in Bowling Green  began the program on July 7. The goal is to provide fresh produce for pregnant women so they maintain good nutrition during their pregnancy.

Community Farmers Market spokeswoman Nikki Gray said it’s a quick and simple process for women to join the program.

“All they’ll need to do is come to the market, show us their ID, as well as their Medicaid card, fill out a short informational survey and then from there they get $20 in tokens each week to spend on fresh food at the market.”

Poor People's Campaign

The Poor People’s Campaign in Kentucky will be back at the state Capitol July 10, expecting to enter the building in a group after previously being required to go in two at a time. 

Police at the Kentucky state capitol previously told demonstrators with the Poor People’s Campaign that they could enter only two at a time for safety reasons. The policy was put into effect after previous rallies by the anti-poverty group.

An opinion from Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear said proper procedures were not followed to begin the two at a time policy. 

Prairie View A&M University

As the U.S. House and Senate consider legislation to finally make lynching a federal crime, a Kentucky historian who has written a book on racial violence said the shameful actions of the past have lessons for us today.

The anti-lynching legislation being considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee (S. 3178) and the House Judiciary Committee (H.R. 6086) is seen as a way to acknowledge the wrong done by the lynching of more than 4,000 people, mostly African-Americans, from the mid-1800s through the mid-1900s.

The legislation mentions the opening in April of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama that is dedicated to the legacy of African-Americans terrorized by lynching.

Kentucky native George C. Wright is president emeritus of Prairie View A&M University in Texas and author of the book Racial Violence in Kentucky 1865-to 1940: Lynchings, Mob Rule and "Legal Lynchings." He said understanding the reasons behind lynching has lessons for today.


Emil Moffatt

The International Bluegrass Music Museum's 2018 ROMP festival held during the last four days in June was so successful that organizers had to stop selling tickets at the gate. 

This year was the first time in the 15-year history of ROMP that one-day ticket sales for Saturday had to be stopped about 3 p.m. That final day of the festival on June 30, featuring headliners Alison Krauss and Sam Bush, maxed out the site at Yellow Creek Park in Daviess County, mainly for parking.

Art Matters / Facebook

A rally will be held in Bowling Green Saturday in support of the national 'Families Belong Together' event. 

Thousands are expected in Washington, D.C. and in cities across the county to protest the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy on immigration that separated more than 2,000 children from their parents.

Now the administration is scrambling to adhere to a court order to re-connect those children with their families.

Teresa Christmas is owner of the ‘Art Matters’ studio in Bowling Green and works with many children of immigrant families in her art classes.  She's taught English as a Second Language at the International Center of Kentucky in Bowling Green.

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