Rick Howlett

Rick has been a member of the WFPL News team since 2001 and has covered numerous beats and events over the years.   Most recently heââ

lrc.state.ky.us

Kentucky lawmakers have entered the final stretch of the 2015 General Assembly, with hundreds of bills awaiting action before the final gavel falls later this month.

In a $16 billion deal this week, Japanese beverage giant Suntory announced it plans to purchase Beam Inc., the maker of Jim Beam bourbon and the owner of other popular bourbon brands like Maker's Mark.

Those and most other bourbons are made in Kentucky, and the deal has some hoping the drink's growth in the global market won't come at the expense of its uniquely Kentucky heritage.

A longtime Kentucky bourbon maker who’s credited with helping spark the industry’s comeback has been laid to rest. Elmer T. Lee died last week in Frankfort at the age of 93. Lee was the master distiller emeritus at Buffalo Trace Distillery. His most notable contribution to the bourbon industry came in 1984, when he introduced Blanton’s, a single-barrel brand of bourbon.   The introduction sparked a trend toward small-batch bourbons that revived the industry.  Read more..

University of Louisville fans have had a lot to cheer about lately — and not just basketball.

Monday's big victory by Louisville's men's basketball team over Michigan is just the latest success for the school and for an athletic department that is quickly becoming one of the country's most admired.

In January, the football team upset fourth-ranked Florida to win the Sugar Bowl, and coach Charlie Strong turned down a lucrative offer from the University of Tennessee to continue rebuilding the Louisville program.

In the back room of Muth's Candies in Louisville, Ky., Jonathon Skaggs and Bobby Masterson are busy dipping marshmallows into a copper pot.

The pot is filled with a top-secret hot caramel mixture. Skaggs and Masterson tap the excess golden caramel off each candy before placing it on a board to cool.

Masterson says it's a rhythm repeated hundreds of times each day.

"They're good ... they're a big-time seller in here in Kentucky, especially right here in Louisville," Masterson says. "There's a lot of people that come and get 'em."

Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another has captured the second jewel of racing’s Triple Crown, overtaking Bodemeister at the finish line to win the 137thPreakness Stakes.

I’ll Have Another now has a chance to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.  The final leg of the series is the Belmont Stakes in three weeks.

As he did in the Derby,  I’ll Have Another came on strong in the stretch to edge out Bodemeister, who led for most of both races.   

The third-place Preakness finisher was Creative Cause.