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
1:22 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Dreaming of Julia Leads Field of 11 in Kentucky Oaks

Dreaming of Julia

A field of 11 is set for Friday’s running of the 139th Kentucky Oaks.

The post positions for the fillies-only race were drawn this  morning at Churchill Downs.

The early favorite, at 3 -1, is Dreaming of Julia, one of four Todd Pletcher-trained entries.    Jockey John Velazquez will be aboard.

Dreaming of Julia is coming off an impressive victory last month in the Gulfstream Park Oaks, which she won by nearly 22 lengths. 

She'll  break from post position eight in the Kentucky Oaks.

Local News
1:25 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Bob Baffert Won't Have a Horse in Derby Field


For the first time since 2008, Bob Baffert won't saddle a Kentucky Derby horse.

The Hall of Fame trainer said Monday that Govenor Charlie would not run, nor would his other possibility, Code West.    Baffert said neither horse would have been competitive.

Govenor Charlie was 11th on the points leaderboard that determines the 20-horse field for the 1¼-mile race.   Code West was ranked 21st, but was likely to make the field.

Baffert hasn't sat out a Derby since 2007 and '08. He has won the race three times, but not since 2002.

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Local News
7:16 am
Sun April 28, 2013

Two Southern Indiana Landmarks on Endangered List

Old Clarksville Site
Indiana Landmarks

Two southern Indiana sites are on the latest list of the state’s Most Endangered Places, compiled by the preservation group Indiana Landmarks.   

One of the places, the Old Clarksville Site, is a holdover from last year.

The nearly 300 acre site along the Ohio River includes remnants of pre-historic settlements, and the spot where Lewis and Clark launched their expedition of the western U.S. in 1803.

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Local News
4:57 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

"Ag-Gag" Bill Apparently Dies in Indiana General Assembly

A bill that would have made it a crime to secretly videotape the operations of a farm or factory with the intent to harm the business may have  died in the Indiana General Assembly.

Without comment, House Speaker Brian Bosma abruptly withdrew the measure during floor debate today, the final day of the session.    

The heavily amended legislation had earlier won Senate approval, but some lawmakers raised concerns about its constitutionality.

Opponents of the bill say it would weaken effort to expose the mistreatment of workers or animals, or other illegal activity.

Local News
3:04 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Indiana Lawmakers Approve Criminal Code Overhaul

The Indiana Senate has given final approval to a bill that would overhaul the state’s criminal code, with the aim of sending fewer nonviolent, low-level  offenders to prison. 

The measure calls for most felons to serve at least 75 percent of their sentences.   Current law allows most felons with good behavior in prison to be released after serving half of their sentences.

But the overhaul would also direct many people convicted of drug or property offenses to work release or other local programs.  

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Local News
3:18 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

U of L's Russ Smith Coming Back for Senior Season

Rick Howlett

Saying he wants to earn his degree and defend the school’s national championship, University of Louisville basketball player Russ Smith announced today that he’ll be back for his senior season.

Smith led the Cards in scoring this season and in the NCAA Tournament, which U of L won for the first time since 1986.

Smith has been wrestling with a decision on whether to enter the NBA draft.   He says he made up his mind this  morning after talking with coach Rick Pitino about his prospects in the league.

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10:20 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Indiana Lawmakers Could Wrap Up Session This Week

The 2013 Indiana General Assembly is winding down, with legislative leaders saying they may be able to wrap up business early.

The Indiana General Assembly faces an April 29 deadline to wrap up its business, including adoption of a new, two-year state budget.

Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma said last week that he thought the legislature might be able to finish its work by the end of this week.     If that happens, lawmakers would not have to return to the Statehouse for a final day on Monday, April 29.

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8:00 am
Fri April 19, 2013

The Cowsills: Siblings Share a Musical Family's Joy, Pain in Documentary


In the late 1960s, The Cowsills, a family band from Rhode Island,  rose to pop music stardom with hit singles like “The Rain, the Park and Other Things,”

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4:33 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Bill to Hasten Start of Indiana Online Sales Tax Collection Stalls in State Senate

Republican state senators in Indiana have blocked a vote on a bill that would force Amazon.com and some other online-only retailers to start collecting Indiana's seven percent sales tax this summer.

The bill, which had cleared the House by a wide margin, was scheduled for a Senate vote Thursday until the Senate Republican caucus decided to have the measure pulled for more negotiations.

The bill would require Amazon to start online sales tax collection in July, six months earlier than under a deal that former Gov. Mitch Daniels brokered with the company last year.

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Local News
2:47 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Stripped-Down School Safety Bill Clears Indiana House

The Indiana House of Representatives has approved the creation of a state grant program to help school districts hire police officers and buy safety equipment.

Lawmakers removed a provision that would have required all public schools to have a gun-carrying employee on site during school hours.

That amendment from Republican Rep. Jim Lucas was taken out after concerns were raised about training standards and the safety of having non-police officers carrying guns in schools.

The bill now calls for the issue to be taken up by a study committee this summer.  

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