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.


Local News
8:15 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Louisville's First Memory Cafe to Open Today


The University of Louisville School of Nursing and the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association are teaming up to open Louisville’s first Memory Café.

It’s a social group gathering where people struggling with Alzheimer’s or dementia can socialize and take a break from the routines associated with their disease.

The Memory Cafe concept originated in Britain more than a decade ago.  There are now about 100 cafes in the United States.   The Louisville café will be the second in Kentucky.

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Local News
1:18 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

State Fair Grand Champion Ham Brings $350,000 at Auction

Miss Kentucky Jenna Day displays the 2013 grand champion country ham.
Rick Howlett

The Kentucky State Fair grand champion country ham fetched $350,000 at a charity auction today. 

The sale was conducted during the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s 50th annual country ham breakfast.

History was made on a couple of fronts at this year’s auction.   For the first time in a half-century of sales, the auctioneer was a woman—Danetta Allen of Mt. Vernon, Kentucky.

And the 13.3 pound ham was bought by a first-time bidder, Yum Brands Foundation, the charity arm of the Louisville-based fast food company.

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Local News
2:27 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

U of L/UK Football Game Will Become Teams' Season Finale Starting in 2014


The University of Louisville's annual September football showdown with Kentucky will now be a regular season-ending rivalry game starting next year.

The schools on Wednesday announced an agreement that shifts the intrastate matchup to the regular season's final weekend. Louisville will host the 2014 game on Nov. 29.

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Local News
12:04 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Aide to Indiana Gov. Pence Takes New Job; Was Involved in Grade Change Controversy

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's chief lobbyist is leaving her post,  three weeks after her involvement was revealed in the manipulation of the grades Indiana hands its schools.

Heather Neal is joining Limestone Strategies, a political consulting firm, as president of its public affairs practice. The company is based in Indianapolis and Washington, D.C.

Neal was the chief of staff to former Indiana schools Superintendent Tony Bennett last year before joining Pence's team in January as his legislative director.  

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Local News
10:35 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Dwayne Sawyer Appointed Indiana Auditor; Becomes First Black Republican to Hold Statewide Office

Brandon Smith/Indiana Public Broadcasting

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has appointed a new state auditor.

Pence today announced the appointment of Dwayne Sawyer to replace Tim Berry, who stepped down to become the chairman of the state Republican Party.

Sawyer will be the first black Republican to hold a statewide office in Indiana.

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Local News
3:51 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to Name New State Auditor Thursday

Tim Berry stepped down as Indiana's State Auditor this week to become chair of the state Republican Party
Indiana state government

Indiana’s new state auditor will be announced Thursday. 

Governor Mike Pence is naming a replacement for Tim Berry, who resigned this week to become the new Indiana Republican Party chairman.   

Pence appointed Berry to that post last month.

The new auditor will serve the remainder of Berry’s term through 2014, but Pence has said he wants Berry’s replacement to seek a full, four-year term.

Pence will announce his choice tomorrow morning at the Indiana Statehouse.  He has interviewed at least six people for the job.

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

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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