WKU Public Radio News

The award-winning news team at WKU Public Radio consists of Dan Modlin, Kevin Willis, Lisa Autry, and Joe Corcoran.

An Owensboro businessman facing rape and other charges will stand trial early next year.  The special judge presiding over the case has set a January 16 trial date for Billy Joe Miles. 

Miles was indicted last year on charges of rape, sodomy, and bribing a witness.  He is accused of sexually assaulting a home health worker hired to care for him. 

The Messenger-Inquirer reports that one of Miles’ defense attorneys told the judge in court Monday that the charges against his 77-year-old client have taken a toll on his health. 

Applications are now being accepted from those who want to participate in the next growing season for the state’s industrial hemp research pilot program.

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles says he’s hoping the state can continue the progress it made this year, when participants grew more than 3,200 acres of hemp.

That’s the most ever grown under the state’s industrial hemp research program that began in 2014.

***Updated at 2:28 p.m.

According to Warren County Coroner Kevin Kirby, four of the deceased were members of a Beech Grove, Indiana family returning home from vacation in Florida.  The fifth deceased person was a family friend.  They are identified as Robert Hogan, 74, Carl Boster, 17, Jonell Boster, 48, Lonnie D. Boster, 30, and Lonnie Dr. Boster, 59.

A sixth passenger in the same vehicle was a young male child who was flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 

The sixth person killed in the crash was traveling in the other passenger vehicle.

The federal budget passed by both chambers of Congress this week would block a future fee on some southern Kentucky towns that use Lake Cumberland as a water source.

The US Army Corps of Engineers was set to complete a study on allocating water storage capacity.

The Herald-leader reports that the study would have resulted in the charging of a one-time fee to area cities and counties that use Lake Cumberland as a water source. That includes Somerset, Burnside, Monticello, Jamestown, Albany, and McCreary County.

Somerset officials have warned their fee would be around $1 million. Local officials were also worried that they would have to pay fees to help maintain Wolf Creek Dam.