Rhonda Miller

Rhonda Miller began as reporter and host for All Things Considered on 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.
 

A new study shows Kentucky is among the top 10 states in the nation where women are murdered by men. Women in intimate partner relationships are especially vulnerable.

The report called “When Men Murder Women” is by the nonprofit Violence Policy Center in Washington, D.C. and uses data from the FBI.

The report says having guns in the home can allow domestic violence to escalate to murder. And women are much more likely to be a victim at home than in any other place. 

Timothy D. Easley / AP

Although the Bluegrass State is outperforming some of its neighbors, Kentucky trails the nation in the growth rate of jobs, population and wages.

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.

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.

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.


Kentucky has slipped to 37th place in a national ranking of states that provide a safe, secure and healthy childhood.      

The second annual report End of Childhood State Ranking 2018 by the international nonprofit Save the Children ranks states by factors that can prevent children from thriving. Those factors include violence, poverty, malnutrition, child abuse, incomplete education and homelessness. 

Kentucky has slipped four places since last year to 37th in the U.S. for states that provide consistent food, housing, prenatal care, safety from violence and abuse and access to early childhood educational opportunites. 

Educators from across Kentucky will be at the state Capitol this week encouraging legislators to restore funding that’s been eliminated in the governor’s proposed budget. Gov. Matt Bevin has proposed eliminating funding for 70 state programs. More than 40 of those programs are related to education.

Wednesday is Education Advocacy Day at the Capitol, an annual event sponsored by the Kentucky School Boards Association.

Jim Flynn is superintendent of Simpson County Schools and chair of the Green River Regional Educational Cooperative that represents 43 districts.

The Kentucky Mesonet dramatically increased data collection at its 68 weather and climate monitoring stations during the solar eclipse. 

Melissa Griffin is responsible for data quality for Kentucky Mesonet, which is based at Western Kentucky University. She says the data that came in during the eclipse provides almost a real-time collection of atmospheric conditions.

Kentucky has the highest percentage of children who have had a parent in jail. A report released April 25 by the Annie E. Casey Foundation puts that figure at 13 percent, nearly double the national average of 7 percent.

That means there are 135,000 kids in the state who have had a parent who has been incarcerated.

Terry Brooks is Executive Director of Kentucky Youth Advocates. He says one of most important ways to address that problem is job training for the parents.

“Are there some things that we could do, while that citizen is locked up, to think about when you get out, where can you go to work, what skills do you need, can we use your time in prison to develop those skills?” says Brooks.

Local communities can provide employment opportunities when parents are released from jail. Brooks says the number of incarcerated parents in Kentucky is a call to action.