Rick Howlett

Broadcast Managing Editor

Rick has been a member of the WFPL News team since 2001 and has covered numerous beats and events over the years.   Most recently he’s been tracking the Indiana General Assembly and the region’s passion for sports, especially college basketball.

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Local News
1:22 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Grandstand Terrace Project Underway at Churchill Downs

A warehouse area behind the grandstand is taken down to make way for the new Grandstand Terrace at Churchill Downs
Rick Howlett

Work is underway on the creation of a new venue for racing fans at Churchill Downs.

Demolition has begun to make way for the $14.5 million Grandstand Terrace.    It’s scheduled for completion in time for next year’s Kentucky Derby.   

The project will add 2,400 seats and more amenities to the grandstand at the head of the track’s homestretch that also overlooks the Kentucky Derby starting gate.

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Local News
1:48 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

U of L: Teddy Bridgewater Has Broken No NCAA Autograph Rules

This football is one of many items signed by Teddy Bridgewater that are available for sale online
eBay

The University of Louisville says it’s “comfortable” that quarterback Teddy Bridgewater violated no NCAA rules in the signing of memorabilia that was put up for sale online.

The statement comes amid an investigation of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel , who’s accused of accepting money for autographs.

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Local News
5:04 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Fischer Orders Review of Air Pollution Control District Following Audit of Monitoring Program

Louisville Air Pollution Control District officials are awaiting the EPA’s response to a state audit that found serious problems with the district’s program for monitoring soot pollution.

The audit by the Kentucky Division for Air Quality found flaws with the district’s handling of data and other procedures going back as many as 10 years.  

The findings could potentially affect the Louisville area’s compliance with federal air quality standards.

District spokesman Tom Nord said the agency had no immediate public comment on the audit this afternoon.  

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Local News
1:39 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Demolition of Historic Bardstown Mansion Halted Again

Anatok in May, 2013
Rick Howlett

Anatok will remain standing for at least a few more months.

A judge has reinstated an order halting the demolition of the antebellum mansion in Bardstown.

The owner of the home, Bethlehem High School, has for years planned to deconstruct the building as part of a campus expansion project, but preservationists argue that it should be saved because of its historical significance.

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Local News
12:32 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Auditor: Kentucky Emergency Management Misused Funds, 'Caught Red-Handed' Altering Documents

The Kentucky Auditor says the state agency responsible for responding to weather disasters and other emergencies used taxpayer funds to pay for $100,000 in alcohol, entertainment and other disallowed expenditures—and officials altered documents to hide it.

The review also alleges intimidation of employees who cooperated in the investigation. State Auditor Adam Edelen today released the results of an examination of Kentucky Emergency Management that was launched in March. 

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Local News
3:13 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Former Auburn Star Michael Dyer Joins Louisville Cardinals Football

auburn.scout.com

University of Louisville football coach Charlie Strong says he wants to give running back Michael Dyer an opportunity to turn around his troubled past by allowing the former Auburn star to join the Cardinals this season.

Michael Dyer was the Most Valuable Player of the 2011 national championship game but eventually left Auburn after he was suspended for violating team rules.      Dyer has acknowledged he was using marijuana at the time.

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Local News
12:00 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Louisville Re-Embraces its Bourbon Heritage as Distillers Return to Main Street

These buildings housed some of the many distillery offices and warehouses that made up Louisville's Whiskey Row in the 19th and early 20th centuries
Rick Howlett

For much of the 19th and early 20th centuries, Louisville's waterfront was the marketing center for one of Kentucky’s signature products, bourbon whiskey.

Dozens of distillery owners had offices and warehouses along the Ohio River.    The waterfront operations were known collectively as Whiskey Row.

Those businesses disappeared with Prohibition, but thanks to the libation's new popularity, Louisville is re-embracing its bourbon heritage.

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Local News
3:35 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

President Obama Honors Louisville Cardinals at White House

University of Louisville/Kenny Klein

The University of Louisville men’s basketball team was honored at the White House today for winning the 2013 NCAA championship.

President Obama commended the team for its 16 game winning streak that ended with a victory over Michigan in the title game in Atlanta.

"Today we’re here to celebrate a Louisville team that always played hard, that always worked together, that stayed focused on one singular goal, and that is to bust my bracket," Obama joked. 

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Local News
12:50 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Buffalo Trace Master Distiller Emeritus Elmer T. Lee Laid to Rest in Frankfort

Buffalo Trace Distillery

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.

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Local News
6:04 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Louisville Cardinals Heading to White House

The national champion University of Louisville men’s basketball team will visit the White House this week.

The Cards will be honored by President Barack Obama Tuesday afternoon in the Rose Garden for winning the 2013 NCAA championship.

Afterward, the team will tour the Capitol building and visit with U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, a U of L alumnus.

The Cards won this year’s championship in April, defeating Michigan in the title game.

It was U of L’s third men’s NCAA title, and the first in 27 years.

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