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
4:42 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Fundraising Deadline Looms to Save Historic Bardstown Birthplace of a Civil Rights Activist

The antebellum mansion called Anatok has been vacant for five years.
Credit Rick Howlett/WFPL

Preservationists are racing to raise money for the restoration of a 19th century plantation house in Bardstown. If the $500,000 goal is not met soon,  most of the house will likely be dismantled to make way for a high school campus expansion project.   

The site in history-rich Bardstown has a storied past. The plantation was the birthplace of a one-time slave who became a leader of the nation’s black Catholics and a renowned civil rights activist.       

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Local News
5:05 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Preservation Louisville's New List of Endangered Properties, Successes

File photo by Rick Howlett

Shotgun houses and vacant and abandoned properties are at the top of this year’s ten most Endangered Historic Places list, compiled by Preservation Louisville.    

The group says many of the signature shotgun-style homes in Louisville’s older neighborhoods are in distress, as are other, vacant houses with historic significance.

Also on the endangered list is the Colonial Gardens building in south Louisville, the city’s corner storefronts and Lampton Baptist Church on South Fourth Street.

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Local News
4:50 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Documentary Recalls Grief, Healing From Carroll Co. Bus Crash

Credit impactmovie.com

 Today marks the 25th anniversary of the deadliest drunk driving crash in U.S. history.  It happened  in Carroll County, Kentucky.    

A bus carrying 67 members of a Radcliff church group and their friends home from an amusement park outing in Ohio was struck head-on by a pickup traveling in the wrong direction on I-71.   Twenty-seven people were killed in the fiery crash, most of them children. 

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Local News
4:50 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Memorial Service, Documentary Screening to Mark Carroll County Bus Crash Anniversary


Tuesday, May 14 marks the 25th anniversary of the deadliest drunk-driving crash in U.S. history.  

Twenty-seven members of a Radcliff church group, most of them children, were killed when their bus was struck by a pickup traveling in the wrong direction on Interstate 71 in Carroll County, Kentucky.

The group was returning home from an amusement park outing.

The anniversary will be marked with a memorial service, and the screening of a new documentary about the tragedy.

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Local News
4:09 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Prosecutor Opposes Request for Seven Month Delay in Richie Farmer Trial

WFPL file photo by Rick Howlett

A federal prosecutor is objecting to a request by Richie Farmer’s attorney that the former agriculture commissioner’s criminal trial be delayed until February.

Farmer’s trial on charges of misappropriating government resources was originally set for July, but his attorney, Guthrie True, wants to move it until early next year, saying he needs more time to prepare.

But Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken Taylor filed a court brief this week asking that the trial be scheduled for sometime this fall,  saying a delay until February would be excessive.

Local News
1:38 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Remains of Indiana Civil War Veterans Get Permanent Home at Arlington

The new columbarium court at Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery

The cremated remains of two Civil War soldiers from Indiana have been given a final resting place at Arlington National Cemetery.

The Union soldiers were brothers, Zuinglius and Lycurgus McCormack.   Their remains had sat on an Indianapolis funeral home shelf for more than 100 years, unclaimed and largely forgotten.

On Thursday, the national cemetery dedicated a new columbarium court,  designed to hold the cremated remains of more than 20,000 eligible service members and family.

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Local News
12:35 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Funeral for Former Indiana Gov. Otis Bowen is Friday

Gov. Otis Bowen in 2012
Indiana University/Midwest Vision Photography

Flags are flying at half-staff at state facilities across Indiana in honor of former Governor Otis "Doc" Bowen.  

Bowen died Saturday at a northern Indiana nursing home.  He was 95.

Bowen was Indiana’s Republican governor from 1973 to 1981.

He became secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 1985, taking charge of the federal government's response to the spread of AIDS after the Reagan administration had been criticized by activists for a slow initial response.

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Local News
6:15 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Princess of Sylmar Wins The Kentucky Oaks

Princess of Sylmar is the 2013 Kentucky Oaks champion.

With jockey Mike Smith aboard, the longshot filly surged down the stretch to win the race, overtaking second place finisher Beholder and Unlimited Budget, who came in third.

Princess of Sylmar was one of four Todd Pletcher-trained horses in the Oaks.

The morning line favorite, Dreaming of Julia, finished fourth after recovering from a rough start.

Local News
10:59 am
Fri May 3, 2013

O'Neill Seeking Derby Repeat With Goldencents


Trainer Doug O’Neill will join some elite company if Goldencents wins the Kentucky Derby tomorrow.

O’Neill  is trying to become just the seventh trainer to win back-to-back Derbys.      

Last year, he trained I’ll Have Another to victories in the Derby and Preakness Stakes.

Goldencents will break from the number eight post, which came as a relief to O’Neill  as he watched this week’s post position draw.

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Local News
10:23 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Field for 139th Kentucky Oaks Down to 10

Rick Howlett/WFPL

More than 110,000 fans are expected at Churchill Downs Friday for the 139th running of the Kentucky Oaks.

Oaks Day has long been considered “Louisville’s Day at the Races,” and in recent years has also become platform to heighten awareness of breast cancer and raise money for research.

As for the Oaks itself, the field is down to 10 filles after Flashy Gray was scratched, reportedly because of a bruised heel. The morning line favorite is Dreaming of Julia.