Ron Smith, WEKU news http://weku.fm en Al Smith Defines Role of Citizen Journalist http://weku.fm/post/al-smith-defines-role-citizen-journalist <p>It&rsquo;s safe to say Kentucky journalist Al Smith has led a full life. During his teenage years, he was an award-winning writer and speaker.&nbsp; But, then, Smith nearly sank in the sea of alcoholism. He recovered to become a successful newspaper owner, the head of the Appalachian Regional Commission, and for 33 years, Smith hosted &ldquo;Comment on Kentucky&rdquo; on Kentucky Educational Television. The soon-to-be 85 year-old has collected his memories in a new book, &ldquo;WORDSMITH, My Life in Journalism.&rdquo;&nbsp; WEKU&rsquo;S&nbsp; Ron Smith spoke with him&hellip;&nbsp; Thu, 15 Dec 2011 12:30:00 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news 17990 at http://weku.fm Al Smith Defines Role of Citizen Journalist Book Profiles U.S. Grant's Final Difficult Year http://weku.fm/post/book-profiles-us-grants-final-difficult-year <p>The last 14 months of Ulysses S. Grant&rsquo;s life were difficult to say the least. He lost all of his wealth in a Wall Street swindle. Then the former president learned he had terminal mouth and throat cancer.&nbsp; Facing family ruin, Grant decided to write his military memoirs.&nbsp;&nbsp; Richmond author Bracelen Flood chronicles events in his new book, &ldquo;Grant&rsquo;s Final Victory&rdquo;&hellip;Ulysses S. Grant&rsquo;s Heroic Last Year.&rdquo; Flood spoke with WEKU&rsquo;S&nbsp; Ron Smith about the memoirs origins&hellip;&nbsp;&nbsp; Mon, 28 Nov 2011 06:00:00 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news 16884 at http://weku.fm At Ease: EKU Leads National Celebration http://weku.fm/post/ease-eku-leads-national-celebration <p>Eastern Kentucky University was among more than 180 colleges and universities to observe the Remembrance Day National Roll Call. Starting early this morning, campus and community volunteers read the names of all the casualties of the conflicts. &nbsp;</p><p> Fri, 11 Nov 2011 19:29:06 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news 16089 at http://weku.fm At Ease: EKU Leads National Celebration A WEKU Veterans Day Special: 11-11-11 http://weku.fm/post/weku-veterans-day-special-11-11-11 <p>Veterans of America&rsquo;s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are coming home.&nbsp; Withdrawals are underway in both countries.&nbsp; While the wars are winding down, their legacy will live on in America through their veterans.&nbsp;&nbsp; Over the last ten years, an estimated two-point-three million Americans fought in those wars.&nbsp; Today, we hear about their experience through the stories told by eight Kentuckians.</p><p> Fri, 11 Nov 2011 14:38:32 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news & Charles Compton, WEKU 16064 at http://weku.fm A WEKU Veterans Day Special: 11-11-11 Flight Mechanic Carries "Fallen Angels" From Combat http://weku.fm/post/flight-mechanic-carries-fallen-angels-combat <p>The adjustment to military life was relatively easy for <a href="http://www.nunncenter.org/c2ky/">Rebecca Stinsky</a>.&nbsp; Her mother, stepfather, and siblings all wore service uniforms.&nbsp; Their experience encouraged her to join Navy junior ROTC in high school. &nbsp;After graduation it was a natural progression to the Marines.&nbsp; As an aviation mechanic Stinsky wanted to work on the &lsquo;biggest, baddest helicopters the Corps had to offer.&rdquo;&nbsp; But Stinsky found out maintaining a military helicopter and filling in as a door gunner were two very different jobs.</p><p> Fri, 11 Nov 2011 06:00:00 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news 15920 at http://weku.fm Flight Mechanic Carries "Fallen Angels" From Combat Improving Service for KU, LGE Customers http://weku.fm/post/improving-service-ku-lge-customers <p>Improvements in service are planned for Kentucky Utility and Louisville Gas and Electric customers. &nbsp;The Kentucky Public Service Commission plan hopes will address numerous customer complaints. &nbsp;An independent audit found numerous faults with the utilities, ranging from mistaken meter reading to unresponsive call center.&nbsp; Commission spokesman Andrew Melnykovych predicts KU and LGE customers will notice an improvement.</p><p> Thu, 10 Nov 2011 18:28:06 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news 15997 at http://weku.fm "11-11-11, a Veterans Day Special" on 88.9 WEKU http://weku.fm/post/11-11-11-veterans-day-special-889-weku <p>War stories as told by 9 student-veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are broadcast Friday on 88.9 WEKU. &ldquo;11-11-11, A Veterans Day Special&rdquo; offers stories told by veterans who now attend Eastern Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky.</p><p> Tue, 08 Nov 2011 19:03:10 +0000 Charles Compton, WEKU & Ron Smith, WEKU news 15850 at http://weku.fm "11-11-11, a Veterans Day Special" on 88.9 WEKU "I Lost My Left Leg Below the Knee, Pretty Much Instantly" http://weku.fm/post/i-lost-my-left-leg-below-knee-pretty-much-instantly <p><a href="http://www.nunncenter.org/c2ky/2010/04/18/an-interview-with-johnathon-hurst/">Jonathan Herst </a>was the stereotypical big man on campus. He went to college on an athletic scholarship, and admits to spending a lot of time partying and chasing girls. But after getting his undergraduate degree in 2001, Herst felt something was missing in his life. He decided to do something, as he puts it, &ldquo;for a bigger cause.&rdquo; So he joined the Army and was eventually sent to Iraq. By 2005, Herst had survived many dangerous patrols without a scratch. But as his squad neared the end of one mission in 2005, Herst felt something bad was going to happen.</p><p> Mon, 07 Nov 2011 06:00:00 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news 15347 at http://weku.fm "I Lost My Left Leg Below the Knee, Pretty Much Instantly" "It was like mob mentality now, so you can’t just fire at someone who’s unarmed." http://weku.fm/post/it-was-mob-mentality-now-so-you-can%E2%80%99t-just-fire-someone-who%E2%80%99s-unarmed <p>Marines are trained to fight proficiently with deadly weapons.&nbsp; But when an unarmed mob in Iraq turned violent, such weapons were literally overkill.&nbsp; <a href="http://bcove.me/wgr6ctvj">Kentuckian Noah Melgar </a>found himself in just such a situation.&nbsp;&nbsp; As a military policeman with the Marines, Melgar had to fight hand-to-hand.</p><p> Mon, 31 Oct 2011 04:00:01 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news 15193 at http://weku.fm "It was like mob mentality now, so you can’t just fire at someone who’s unarmed." "You Become a Real Connoisseur of Eyeballs and Ankles" http://weku.fm/post/you-become-real-connoisseur-eyeballs-and-ankles <p>52 year-old Rocco Pepe has had numerous military deployments. Too many campaigns, he says, to name.&nbsp; His 20 year career with the Marines began in 1976, followed by several years in the Air National Guard.&nbsp; Today Pepe&rsquo;s an officer with the Georgetown/ Scott County Emergency Management Agency.&nbsp; He boasts about seeing 35 percent of the world without paying a penny for transportation. &nbsp;The veteran grew up in Paterson, New Jersey, in sight of the New York City skyline. Despite the cosmopolitan surroundings and his military travels, the veteran is not immune to <u>culture shock</u>, abroad, and in the U-S&hellip; Mon, 24 Oct 2011 06:00:00 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news 14519 at http://weku.fm "You Become a Real Connoisseur of Eyeballs and Ankles" KY Libyans See Gaddafi Death as Closure, Hope http://weku.fm/post/ky-libyans-see-gaddafi-death-closure-hope <p>Libyans living in Kentucky are celebrating the demise of dictator Moammar Gaddafi. The Libyan strongman was killed&nbsp;Thursday in fighting with rebels. Lexington businessman Ibrahim Bakoush says Gaddafi&rsquo;s death brings closure to decades of atrocities. Libyans now, he says, are looking ahead. &ldquo;Now it should be their concentration, what&rsquo;s my future, what&rsquo;s my kids&rsquo;s future, how I can manage my kid&rsquo;s future, there is a bright future for my kids, that&rsquo;s what I&rsquo;m hoping for,&rdquo; said Bakoush. Thu, 20 Oct 2011 16:18:31 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news 14699 at http://weku.fm "I'm not going to avoid memories of what I did in Iraq" http://weku.fm/post/im-not-going-avoid-memories-what-i-did-iraq <p>Some casualties of war are the minds of soldiers thrown into combat. Travis Martin is such a case. As an 18 year-old, the Somerset, Kentucky native found himself driving heavy trucks in Iraq. The target of several ambushes, the soldier suffered head and shoulder wounds when his vehicle ran over a roadside bomb.&nbsp; For two years his hands shook uncontrollably, and his personality changed for the worse. He was not diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, but insists he&rsquo;s a victim of P-T-S-D. After two tours of duty, Martin earned a master&rsquo;s degree in English literature at Eastern Kentucky University.&nbsp; In the latest in our series on student veterans, Martin talks about coping with severe anxiety&hellip;</p><p> Mon, 17 Oct 2011 06:00:00 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news 14214 at http://weku.fm "I'm not going to avoid memories of what I did in Iraq" Dorm Fire Investigated at EKU http://weku.fm/post/dorm-fire-investigated-eku <p>Police are conducting an arson investigation at Eastern Kentucky University. &nbsp;Authorities say at about 4:13 am&nbsp;Thursday, hallway bulletin boards were set on fire on two floors of the 20-story Commonwealth Hall. The fires caused minor damage to the walls, but a sprinkler system was activated and the building was evacuated. The dorm houses 422 students. A major event on campus just two weeks ago stressed fire safety. Richmond Fire Department spokesman Corey Lewis thinks some people didn&rsquo;t get the message. Thu, 13 Oct 2011 16:20:13 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news 14236 at http://weku.fm "We actually caught 3 young men that were making a bomb" http://weku.fm/post/we-actually-caught-3-young-men-were-making-bomb <p>Fighting a war often immerses a soldier in a foreign environment and culture. That was the case for Phil McKenzie, the latest in a long line of McKenzies who served in the military. &nbsp;As a 20 year-old Bradley tank driver, the eastern Kentucky native and Tennessee National Guard member, recalls his first impressions of Iraq, its first real election after the American invasion, and the bomb that wasn&rsquo;t&hellip; Mon, 10 Oct 2011 06:00:00 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news 13792 at http://weku.fm "We actually caught 3 young men that were making a bomb" Upcoming Summit Focuses on Lack of Rural Wireless http://weku.fm/post/upcoming-summit-focuses-lack-rural-wireless <p>With wireless internet almost fact of life, there remain sections of America where residents don&rsquo;t have fast and easy access to the internet.&nbsp; The Center for Rural Strategies in Whitesburg next week co-hosts a discussion on how improve broadband internet service in central Appalachia. &nbsp;Center spokesman Tim Marema says access to digital communication is a modern must. Mon, 10 Oct 2011 06:00:00 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news 13871 at http://weku.fm Poor Ky. Economy Could Jeopardize Workplace Safety http://weku.fm/post/poor-ky-economy-could-jeopardize-workplace-safety <p>These tight economic times could tempt some companies to&nbsp;cut back on workplace safety. Kentucky Labor Secretary Mark Brown says that may mean spending less such things as protective equipment and training sessions. Brown understands business concerns but insists there&rsquo;s no substitute for safety. Tue, 04 Oct 2011 14:01:24 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news 13652 at http://weku.fm "Did that just happen? Did I just kill somebody?" http://weku.fm/post/did-just-happen-did-i-just-kill-somebody <p>As a 19 year-old Army paratrooper, Jeremy Bowen was thrust into the bloody battle of Falluja, Iraq. In comments made as part of the University of Kentucky&rsquo;s oral history project with student veterans, &ldquo;From Combat to Kentucky&rdquo;, Bowen recalls a night mission in an area nicknamed &ldquo;Little Detroit&rdquo; when he and his team shot two insurgents. Tue, 04 Oct 2011 06:00:00 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news 13436 at http://weku.fm "Did that just happen? Did I just kill somebody?" EKU Begins New Diversity Effort http://weku.fm/post/eku-begins-new-diversity-effort <p>Thirty-five percent of college students from Eastern Kentucky come from backgrounds where there&rsquo;s little diversity of race, religion, and culture. At a diversity breakfast Wednesday, Eastern Kentucky University President Doug Whitlock asked those students a blunt question. &ldquo;If you&rsquo;re not exposed to people who look different from you, have a faith that is different from yours, might have sexual orientation than you do, have different political thought than you do, how are you going to be able to think critically if everybody you meet looks like you, thinks like you and believes like you?&rdquo;, asked Whitlock. Wed, 28 Sep 2011 17:14:19 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news 13313 at http://weku.fm Fire Safety Project Launched at EKU http://weku.fm/post/fire-safety-project-launched-eku <p>The mother of a Murray State University student killed in a 1998 dormitory fire is involved in a new project that promotes fire safety on campus. After Michael Minger&rsquo;s death, Gail Minger pressed Kentucky lawmakers to pass laws making sprinkler systems mandatory in all state university residence halls. But the law does not apply to all colleges. Speaking at Eastern Kentucky University today Minger said that deficiency needs to be corrected.</p><p> Mon, 26 Sep 2011 19:58:48 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news 13167 at http://weku.fm Former UK Player says Experience Helped Shape War Discipline http://weku.fm/post/former-uk-player-says-experience-helped-shape-war-discipline <p>The teamwork mentality required in football can ease a transition into the military. In the latest installment of our series of interviews based on the University of Kentucky&rsquo;s oral history project, &ldquo;From Combat to Kentucky,&rdquo; WEKU&rsquo;S Ron Smith focuses on a walk-on football player turned soldier&hellip; Mon, 26 Sep 2011 10:00:00 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news 12920 at http://weku.fm Former UK Player says Experience Helped Shape War Discipline EKU Arts Center Ready for Inaugural Performance http://weku.fm/post/eku-arts-center-ready-inaugural-performance <p>The stage is set for Saturday&rsquo;s inaugural performance at Eastern Kentucky University&rsquo;s new Center for the Arts. Executive Director Debra Hoskins says ticket sales for Saturday&rsquo;s performance by Kentuckian Wynonna Judd have been unbelievable. &ldquo;The support that the Center has gotten from Madison Countians, from Lexington, from the entire region has just been unbelievable. I am so proud of the people in this area who are supporting this venture and all that they&rsquo;re doing to make sure that it&rsquo;s a continued success&rdquo;, said Hoskins. Thu, 22 Sep 2011 16:58:11 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news 12943 at http://weku.fm Silent Service and its Veterans often Overlooked http://weku.fm/post/silent-service-and-its-veterans-often-overlooked <p>America&rsquo;s war on terror features familiar images of soldiers in body armor, Humvees and attack helicopters.&nbsp; Submerged in war coverage is the role played by submarines and their crews.&nbsp; In the latest installment of our series of interviews based on the University of Kentucky&rsquo;s oral history project, &ldquo;From Combat to Kentucky,&rdquo; WEKU&rsquo;S&nbsp;&nbsp;Ron Smith has memories from a submariner&hellip;</p><p> Mon, 19 Sep 2011 10:47:33 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news 12689 at http://weku.fm Silent Service and its Veterans often Overlooked "In surgery there’s a sheet up so you don’t have to connect face to face" http://weku.fm/post/surgery-there%E2%80%99s-sheet-so-you-don%E2%80%99t-have-connect-face-face <p>Kentucky veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are telling their stories while they&rsquo;re still fresh in their minds. The recollections are the basis for an <a href="http://bcove.me/d670o5xz">oral history project at the University of Kentucky</a>, &ldquo;From Combat to Kentucky.&rdquo; Beginning this month WEKU will air capsule versions of the original interviews.&nbsp; Today, we profile Army Reservist Stephanie Murphy, a veteran of the Iraq war.</p><div> Mon, 12 Sep 2011 11:30:00 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news 12128 at http://weku.fm "In surgery there’s a sheet up so you don’t have to connect face to face" Richmond Clergyman Recalls 9-11 Counseling http://weku.fm/post/richmond-clergyman-recalls-9-11-counseling <p>In good weather, retired clergyman Bob Vickers spends much of his time driving his snazzy, green sports car with the top down. On the afternoon of September 11, 2001, Vickers, then Director of the Chaplaincy for the Southern Baptist Convention in Atlanta, was in a van headed to New York, to counsel victims of the attacks. As he approached the city, Vickers was overwhelmed by the sight of billowing smoke, and the silence. &ldquo;In the far distance you could hear a few sirens, but it was just, it was eerie. It was like another world that I could not imagine&rdquo;, recalled Vickers. Vickers spent the next two weeks in New York counseling first responders and others. He remembers two firefighters in particular. Fri, 09 Sep 2011 10:00:00 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news 11980 at http://weku.fm Richmond Man has Mixed 9-11 Emotions http://weku.fm/post/richmond-man-has-mixed-9-11-emotions <p>The 10<sup>th</sup> anniversary of the September 11<sup>th</sup> terror attacks is burned in our memories.&nbsp; WEKU reporter Ron Smith &nbsp;says the occasion is&nbsp; meaningful on several levels to a Richmond man. Many Americans shared Mustapha Jourdini&rsquo;s initial reaction to the events of 9-11. &ldquo;Aaaaahhh&hellip;it&rsquo;s, it&rsquo;s very depressing actually, since I heard the news, I&rsquo;m psychologically depressed,&rdquo; recalled Jourdini.&nbsp; At the time of that September 12th, 2001 interview, Jourdini was a 24 year-old Eastern Kentucky University student. Today he&rsquo;s academic advisor in EKU&rsquo;s Honors program. Jourdini, who&rsquo;s a native of Morocco, was not only saddened by the loss of life that day. Thu, 08 Sep 2011 10:00:00 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news 11981 at http://weku.fm Lexington Libyans Hopeful of Gadaffi Fall http://weku.fm/post/lexington-libyans-hopeful-gadaffi-fall <p><a href="http://www.kentucky.com/2011/08/23/1854047/lexington-families-with-ties-to.html">For Libyans living in Lexington,</a> it&rsquo;s not another August day but more like the 4<sup>th</sup> of July.&nbsp; With rebel victory over dictator Moammar Gaddafi seemingly at hand, emotions are running high. A Libyan expatriate in Lexington has no words to describe his feelings amid rebel gains in his homeland.&nbsp; Ibrahim El Bakoush has been waiting for the Gadhafi regime to fall for decades. Mon, 22 Aug 2011 18:27:39 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news & Valarie Honeycutt Spears, Lexington Herald-Leader 11006 at http://weku.fm EKU President Touts Accomplishments, Challenges http://weku.fm/post/eku-president-touts-accomplishments-challenges <p>Classes begin next week at Eastern Kentucky University, but a combination pep rally/reality check took place Monday on the Richmond campus. The fall annual convocation drew hundreds of faculty and staff. President Doug Whitlock says to expect about 16-thousand-500 students. Although that&rsquo;s about the same as last year, Whitlock sees positives in the numbers. Mon, 15 Aug 2011 16:14:50 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news 10596 at http://weku.fm EKU Anchors First Responder Training http://weku.fm/post/eku-anchors-first-responder-training <p>A federally funded program based at Eastern Kentucky University is helping rural communities across the country prepare for emergencies and disasters. Consortium director Amy Hughes says the program is meeting a real need. Sat, 13 Aug 2011 17:04:54 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news 10511 at http://weku.fm Motorcyclists Raise Money for KY Guard http://weku.fm/post/motorcyclists-raise-money-ky-guard <p>For many Kentuckians, next Saturday will literally be a day to remember.&nbsp; Hundreds of motorcyclists and others from around the state are expected to converge on Lawrenceburg to honor Kentucky National Guard members killed in the line of duty. Kentucky National Guard Memorial Fund Board member Jason Lemay recalls a man who died in the great flood of 1937. Mon, 08 Aug 2011 11:47:50 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news 10097 at http://weku.fm Despite Progressive Image, Berea's Fairness Law Stuck http://weku.fm/post/despite-progressive-image-bereas-fairness-law-stuck <p>Berea has a history of being in the forefront of social change, but an effort to protect citizens based on their sexual orientation faces an uncertain future.&nbsp; WEKU&rsquo;S Ron Smith has the story. This report contains language that&rsquo;s objectionable to many people. Tue, 02 Aug 2011 06:00:00 +0000 Ron Smith, WEKU news 9562 at http://weku.fm Despite Progressive Image, Berea's Fairness Law Stuck