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
4:12 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

1970 Kentucky Derby Winner Reburied at Derby Museum

Dust Commander's remains were transported in this handcrafted box
Rick Howlett

Nearly 22 years after his death, the remains of a Kentucky Derby champion have been moved to a new grave.  

Dust Commander now rests near the track where he captured the Run for the Roses in 1970.

A ceremony was held Monday morning in the Kentucky Derby Museum garden, where Dust Commander was buried alongside four other Derby winners. 

Dust Commander died in 1991 and was originally buried in an unmarked grave on a farm in Paris, Kentucky that later changed ownership and was divided.

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Local News
10:01 am
Mon July 8, 2013

School Moving Ahead With Plans to Take Down Historic Plantation Home in Bardstown

Anatok in May, 2013
Rick Howlett

Officials at Bethlehem High School in Bardstown are going forward with a campus expansion plan that includes the deconstruction of Anatok,  a nearby antebellum mansion owned by the school.

Under a mediation agreement, preservationists were given until May 31 to raise $500,000 to transform the home, built in 1847, into an arts center and classroom space.

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Local News
10:53 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Louisville Zoo Again Offering Train Rides

Four years after a derailment that left nearly two-dozen people injured, the Louisville Zoo is again offering train rides.

Director John Walczak says the zoo has spent $800,000 for two new trains and nearly $300,000 dollars on track maintenance.

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Local News
1:44 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Indiana Auditor Tim Berry to be New State GOP Chair

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has picked state Auditor Tim Berry as the new Indiana Republican Party chairman.

Berry will leave his job at the Statehouse to run the party full time and Pence campaign manager Kyle Robertson will take over as the state party's executive director.

Berry is from Fort Wayne and is in his second term as state auditor after serving eight years as state treasurer.

He will replace Eric Holcomb, who resigned last month to become U.S. Sen. Dan Coats' state chief of staff.

Local News
11:41 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Few Indiana Businesses Cited in First Year of Statewide Smoking Ban

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Officials say only a tiny percentage of businesses covered by Indiana's first statewide smoking ban have been cited for violations in the year since the law took effect.

State Excise Police say just 108 of the 300,000 Indiana businesses covered by the ban have been written up.   The law took effect in July of 2012.

It bans smoking in most indoor workplaces, including all restaurants, and requires people to stand at least eight feet from an entrance before lighting up.

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Local News
4:29 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

U of L Hospital to Pay $2.8 Million to Settle Medicare Billing Case

University of Louisville Hospital has reached a $2.8 million settlement with the federal government to end allegations that it submitted false Medicare billing claims.

The agreement, announced today, covers a five-year period that began January 1, 2006.

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Local News
11:00 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Historic Gatehouse at Crescent Hill Reservoir Open for Tours

The Crescent Hill Reservoir Gatehouse, built in 1879
Rick Howlett

Louisville Water Company is allowing a rare look inside one of its historic buildings.  

The Crescent Hill Reservoir gatehouse is open for tours, but just for a limited time.

The reservoir is a popular spot for runners and walkers, but most of the time the gatehouse is off-limits to the public.

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Local News
11:21 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Indiana's Oladipo, Zeller in Top Five of NBA Draft; UK's Noel Goes Sixth

Indiana standouts Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller and Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel were among the first ten players selected in the first round of the National Basketball Association draft Thursday night.

Oladipo, drafted by the Orlando Magic, was the second overall pick. Zeller was fourth in the draft, chosen by the Charlotte Bobcats.

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Local News
2:36 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Pence Defends Deletion of Facebook Gay Marriage Comments

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is defending his staff's decision to delete pro-gay marriage comments from his Facebook page that he says included personal attacks.

Pence said Thursday that his social media policy allows for differing opinions without personal attacks. He says it mirrors the online commenting policy of many news organizations.

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Local News
2:36 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Business Group Says It Has Financing to Reopen Kentucky Kingdom

WFPL file photo/Rick Howlett

The Louisville business partners who plan to reopen the Kentucky Kingdom amusement park say they’ve secured the financing needed for the redevelopment.

The group, led by businessman Ed Hart, initially had until late April to have financing in place. They were later given a month-long deadline.

The announcement that Hart's group has financing in place comes days before the deadline.

The lease agreement has already been executed, a fair board spokeswoman tells WFPL.

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