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. 

Beckett Gilmore

With the coronavirus forcing schools across Kentucky, and the nation, to shut down, educators are being pushed into new territory.

A husband and wife, both teachers in Owensboro Public Schools, are expanding the boundaries of the classroom to keep students engaged while they’re learning at home. Sarah and Joshua Sullivan are among thousands of teachers across the U.S. who are creating the new reality for education in this unusual time.

When it became clear that Owensboro Public Schools would close down to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, sixth grade social studies teacher Joshua Sullivan said educators leaped into action. 

The school district actually set up Google Classroom to have special NTI classes,” said Sullivan, who teaches at Owensboro Middle School. 


Rhonda J. Miller

The future of recycling in Warren County remains unclear, now that residents no longer have curbside pickup of recyclable aluminum, glass, paper and plastic.

Changes in the international market for scrap materials and the coronavirus have created “double trouble” for recycling.

The international recycling market ran into a roadblock when China stopped importing plastics and other materials in 2018.

That roadblock has hit in Warren County, which stopped curbside recycling pickup on March 31.

Southern Recycling General Manager Keith McKelvey said the challenge of finding markets is the main reason the company decided not to seek to renew its contract  with the county. 


Rhonda J. Miller

As residents of Kentucky and the rest of the nation are advised to stay home as much as possible to avoid the spread of coronavirus, the Bowling Green Housing Authority's "Mobile Grocery" is making that easier, especially for low-income, homebound and elderly residents.

The bus offers food, household items, and a sense of community.

The cheerful white bus painted with pictures of apples, eggs and milk recently rolled to a stop in front of a Warren County mobile home with an American flag.

Nancy Hendricks, 80, is waiting in her driveway with her green cloth bag with the Mobile Grocery logo. Bus driver Danny Carothers fills her shopping list.

“So I’ve got your crackers, your two paper towels, your water and your two percent milk,” said Carothers, as he totals her bill for today: $6.65. 


paringaresources.com

The CEO of the Australian company that owns a financially and geologically troubled coal mine in western Kentucky has resigned.

Paringa Resources announced the resignation of Egan Antill effective March 31.

Paringa’s wholly-owned subsidy, Hartshorne Mining Group, began operations at the Poplar Grove Mine in McLean County, about 30 miles south of Owensboro, in December 2018. 

Paringa has since discovered an unexpected geological fault in the region and has experienced financial trouble.

Owensboro Public Schools

The board of Owensboro Public Schools has named a new superintendent. 

Matthew Constant has been serving as interim superintendent since Nick Brake resigned from that position at the end of December.

Constant has 25 years of experience in public education. He began working in Owensboro Public Schools in 2011 and has served as assistant superintendent and chief academic officer.

In naming him superintendent the school board said, "Constant has led the district through this unprecedented time as the country battles the coronavirus, demonstrating composure, impeccable leadship and transparency with staff and families throughout the district closure."

Rhonda J Miller

Kentucky State Representative Charles Booker is one of 10 Democratic candidates competing to be the party nominee for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Mitch McConnell, who has seven challengers. 

The state primary originally scheduled for May 19 has been rescheduled for June 23 due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. The general election is Nov. 3.

Booker has represented Kentucky's 43rd State House District, which covers part of Jefferson County, since January 2019.

During a campaign visit to Bowling Green, Booker stopped by the WKU Public Radio studio to talk with reporter Rhonda Miller. That conversation took place before the coronavirus required "social distancing" and drew much of the focus away from the state's primary election. This is one of a series of WKU Public Radio interviews with candidates in the Democratic primary.

google.com

Religious faith services are among the parts of life being cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

As a result, one church in Evansville, Indiana, is offering worship at a drive-in service.

Bethel Church in Evansville posted an invitation on its Facebook page: “Join us for a drive-in prayer and worship gathering from the safety of your vehicle.” 

In a video clip, the Courier and Press captured Lead Pastor Dr. Prince Samuel delivering his Sunday morning sermon on the topic "Faith Flattens Fear" on the drive-in screen. 

"There are going to be some tough times," said Samuel. "When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown." 

Samuel and the regular worship team, which includes musicians, lead the service on the outdoor stage set up in the church parking lot. Video screens allowed viewing from every part of the parking lot.

As Samuel wrapped up his message with, “Have a great week. We’ll see you next week," the response from the members of the congregation in their parked cars was a chorus of honking horns. 

Henderson City Government/Facebook

Health care and local government leaders in Henderson and Daviess counties reported on Thursday the first two cases of COVID-19 cases in Kentucky's Green River region. 

The Green River District Health Department said the first two cases in the area are a 51-year-old male in Daviess County, and a 63-year-old female inHenderson County. Health officials said the cases do not appear to be connected.

Both of the individuals are isolated at home and the health department is contacting anyone who may have been exposed to the infected Kentucky residents.

Henderson Mayor Steve Austin said at a news conference Thursday that testing for the coronavirus is the main concern right now.

Heather Shadwell

With Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s order for child care centers to close by 5 p.m. Friday in response to the coronavirus outbreak, parents are scrambling.

That includes one Warren County couple whose daycare is already shut down.

Heather Shadwell is an Emergency Medical Technician who lives in Warren County and works 24-hour shifts for Logan County EMS in Russellville. Her husband works in distribution for the Medical Center in Bowling Green.

They have a 5-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old son who have been going to First Baptist Child Development Center in Bowling Green. Shadwell said that changed when the daycare center shut down last Friday. 


Rhonda J. Miller

With schools closed across Kentucky, Warren County is among many districts making sure students get their breakfast and lunch while life is turned upside down because of coronavirus.

Many school bus drivers are delivering food to neighborhoods and trying to make life better during this global crisis.

Warren County school bus drivers Marvin Beresford and Ed Swinney are a team bringing meals to students while schools are closed.

The bus had coolers filled with bag lunches on Tuesday that included milk, a ham sandwich, an apple, and fresh carrots. 

Beresford, who wore gloves in line with safety precautions, said this is a little different than their usual job.


Arts for All Kentucky

The response to the coronavirus has caused closing of schools and community organizations across the state, including Arts for All Kentucky.

It’s a statewide organization based in Bowling Green that sponsors art programs for children, youth, and adults with disabilities. 

One project in suspension is the Side by Side program based at the Kentucky Museum at Western Kentucky University that partners children with disabilities with a local artist. 

Arts for All Kentucky Director Delaire Rowe said it’s one of the many programs in limbo.

Western Kentucky University

Many students arrived at Western Kentucky University on Sunday during the extended spring break. But coronavirus is forcing people to change their plans, and many of those students are not staying.

About 1,200 people came into WKU buildings between noon Sunday and 6 a.m. on Monday. But university staff is reporting that most were students picking up their belongings and leaving.

With coronavirus upending plans for students across the nation, WKU is transitioning to online courses.

The school decided to remain open for students who choose to stay and finish the semester in dorms, with access to computer labs, meals and jobs. 


Hillvue Heights Church

Churches across south-central Kentucky are responding to the coronavirus outbreak by following advice from medical professionals and state government to avoid large gatherings.

One of those making adjustments is Hillvue Heights Church in Bowling Green, which has thousands of congregants who attend multiple services througout the week.

But they won’t be gathering in-person for the next two Sundays.

The church will livestream worship services on March 15 and 22 through YouTube and the church’s Facebook page.

Rhonda J. Miller

Western Kentucky University announced changes Wednesday in response to the coronavirus.

Spring break has been extended a week and faculty will develop new ways to deliver instruction without being in the classroom.

The first change announced by President Timothy Caboni is that spring break will run until March 22, instead of ending on Sunday, March 15.

However, residence halls will open on March 15, as planned. 

President Caboni said closing residence halls isn’t an option. 


TriStar Greenview Regional Hospital

Tristar Greenview Regional Hospital in Bowing Green said on March 10 that it has conducted just one test for COVID-19 and is still awaiting the results. 

Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Smith said the first thing to do in the case of mild respiratory symptoms is to treat them as the traditional flu.

That means stay home, drink plenty of fluids and get advice from your primary care physician. Any high fever should be checked out.

Dr. Smith said if symptoms worsen, especially a cough or shortness of breath, the hospital is ready to treat patients for COVID-19 or other respiratory illnesses. 


Pages