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.


2:42 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Judge Dismisses Right-to-Work Suit; Appeal Considered

Leaders of an Indiana union local say they considering an appeal of a federal judge’s dismissal this week of their suit challenging the state’s right-to-work law enacted last year.

Judge Philip Simon in Hammond ruled Thursday that none of the union's arguments against the law could succeed in federal court, although a challenge could still be made in state courts.

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Local News
4:44 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Crusade, Fire Department To Get Barth Restitution Payment

Federal court officials in Louisville say the court will secure more than $130,000 this week in restitution owed by former McMahan Fire Chief Paul Barth.

Barth is serving a three year, five month prison sentence for defrauding the WHAS Crusade for Children and the department.

U.S. Attorney David Hale says the funds, from the sale of Barth’s former home in Jeffersontown, will be applied toward his ordered reimbursement of more than $198,000.

An additional $66,000 will be deposited with the court clerk and may be available for restitution.

Local News
4:31 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Pence Budget Proposal Presented To Lawmakers

Gov. Mike Pence is asking lawmakers to spend most of Indiana's cash surplus on a 10 percent cut in the personal income tax.

Pence Budget Director Chris Atkins submitted a two-year spending plan Tuesday with a modest increase for the embattled Department of Child Services and 1 percent more spending for education.

But the new Republican governor limits spending growth in his roughly $29 billion budget to cover the $790 million cost of the tax cut.

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Local News
2:40 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

U of L No. 1 in College Basketball Polls; Beats UConn 73-58

For just the second time in program history, the Louisville Cardinals sit atop the latest Associated Press college basketball poll.   The Cards are also number one in the USA Today coaches poll.

U of L captured the top spot Monday in both polls following weekend losses by previously unbeaten Duke and Michigan.

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12:39 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

In Inaugural Address, Pence Urges Hoosiers to "Tell Indiana's Story"

Republican Mike Pence became Indiana’s 50th governor today, taking the oath of office this on a cold morning outside the Statehouse.

With the temperature in Indianapolis around 20 degrees, the ceremony, and Pence’s inaugural address, were relatively short.

Pence called on Hoosiers to take steps to improve themselves and to better the state.

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Local News
8:00 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Clark Bridge Repairs Begin; Rush Hour Delays Likely

Wikimedia Commons

Motorists who use the Clark Memorial Bridge will likely endure some rush hour delays as repair work gets underway this week.

Andrea Clifford with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says the work will require around-the-clock lane reductions.

"The contractor is allowed two, 30 day segments," Clifford said. "It will be 30 days for one half of the bridge and 30 days for the other half because we’ll be reducing the bridge from four lanes down to two lanes, so we’ll always have one lane going in each direction."

Local News
7:00 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Pence To Be Sworn In As Indiana's 50th Governor Today

Indiana’s new governor will be sworn in today outside the Statehouse in Indianapolis.

Republican Mike Pence will become Indiana’s 50th governor during an 11:00am ceremony, taking the oath of office along with Lt. Gov.-elect Sue Ellspermann and Attorney General Greg Zoeller.

Pence spokeswoman Christy Denault says the incoming Republican governor hasn’t revealed much about his inauguration speech.

"He promises that it will be short out of respect for cold weather, and that it will be aspirational," she said.

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2:25 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Koch Family Members In Legal Battle Over Control of Holiday World

A judge has placed control of Indiana’s Holiday World theme park in the hands of the widow of the park's late president.

A Vanderburgh County circuit judge has ruled that Lori Koch is majority owner of the holding company that operates Holiday World & Splashin' Safari. She's the widow of former park president Will Koch, who died in June 2010.

Dan Koch had served as Holiday World's president following his brother's death, but Lori Koch fired him after the judge's ruling.

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3:55 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Indiana Education Panel Hears Cursive Writing Bill


A bill that would require Indiana school districts to teach cursive writing was the focus of a legislative hearing today

In 2011, the Indiana Department of Education dropped its requirement that schools include cursive writing in their curricula, telling them that students are expected to become proficient in keyboard use.

Republican state Sen. Jean Leising says that’s troubling.

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Local News
4:23 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

College Basketball: Cards Visit Seton Hall; Behanan Out With Ankle Injury

After a week off, the third-ranked Louisville Cardinals return to the basketball court tomorrow with a visit to Seton Hall.

U of L will have to play without forward Chane Behanan. The Cards’ leading rebounder will be sidelined for up to ten days with an ankle sprain suffered in practice Monday.

This is the Cards’ first Big East road game in what coach Rick Pitino promises will be an unpredictable conference run.

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