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
4:05 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

College Basketball: Cards Visit Notre Dame; UK vs Auburn; IU at OSU

File photo

The Louisville Cards return to the court Saturday  night at Notre Dame.

Number 11 U of L is coming off a victory at Rutgers Wednesday.   The Cards are now 19-4.  This is their  first matchup with the Fighting Irish since the semifinals of the Big East Tournament last March at Madison Square Garden.  The Cards won that game.

Notre Dame is 18-4 and ranked 25th in the country.   The Irish had a three-game winning streak broken Monday by Syracuse.

Tipoff at South Bend is at 9:00pm Saturday.

The Kentucky Wildcats host Auburn at 4:00pm Saturday.  

Local News
4:13 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Indiana Senate Links Up With Space Station Commander


The commander of the International Space Station spoke via video hookup to the Indiana Senate today.

Astronaut Kevin Ford is a native of Blackford County, Indiana and a graduate of the University of Notre

During a 20-minute chat with lawmakers and schoolchildren, Ford said dozens of experiments are being conducted aboard the space station, many of them medical tests involving the station’s zero-gravity environment.

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3:50 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Indiana Sunday Alcohol Sales Bill Gets First Hearing


Indiana lawmakers held a lengthy hearing today on a bill that would allow Sunday retail alcohol sales.

The measure before the House Public Policy Committee would broaden a state law that currently restricts Sunday sales to restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries.

John Elliott spoke on behalf of the Kroger Company and the Indiana Retail Council Board.   He says customers are being inconvenienced, retailers are losing money and the state is missing out on tax revenue under the current law.

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1:53 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Indiana "Right to Hunt" Proposal Advances

A proposal to amend Indiana’s constitution to guarantee residents the right to hunt, fish and farm has cleared a legislative committee.

The Senate Agriculture Committee voted 7-0 today to advance the measure, which now goes to the full Senate.

The proposal is sponsored by Republican Sen. Brent Steele, who says hunting and farming are being threatened by animal-rights activists and other groups.

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Local News
12:49 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Big Four Bridge to Open Thursday

Louisville Waterfront Development Corporation

The Louisville Waterfront Development Corporation says the long-awaited opening of the Big Four Bridge to pedestrians and bicyclists will be Thursday.

"Thursday at 11:00am we’re going to do what we’ve been calling the soft opening of the Big Four Bridge, meaning, since Indiana is not completed yet, everyone wants up on the bridge, so we’re going for it," said the agency's executive director, David Karem. 

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Local News
7:02 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Astronaut Kevin Ford to Appear Before Indiana Senate—From Space Station

Astronaut Kevin Ford

The Indiana native who's commanding the International Space Station will make a very long distance video call to the Indiana Statehouse this week.

Astronaut Kevin Ford is scheduled to speak from Earth orbit via video hookup with the Indiana Senate Thursday.

Ford is from Blackford County, and his older brother, David Ford, was a state senator who died of pancreatic cancer in 2008.

4:23 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Lawmakers: Decision Coming Next Week on Indiana Gay Marriage Amendment

Indiana legislative leaders expect to decide soon whether to take up a proposal during the current session to write a gay marriage ban into the state constitution.

Republican Senate President Pro Tem David Long and Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma say they will make their decision after consulting with their respective caucuses next week.

Their statements follow reports from the Evansville Courier and Press that a majority of lawmakers on the House and Senate panels that would vet the ban want to wait until next year.

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4:19 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Indiana Student Restraint Bill Gets Legislative Hearing

Wikipedia Commons

An Indiana Senate committee heard public comment today  on a bill that would require  school corporations across the state to develop and publish a policy on the restraint and seclusion of children, typically involving youngsters in a special education setting.

Officials say most of the state’s school corporations have restraint policies, but they’re inconsistent and some are vague.

Senate Bill 345 would require them to include specific information, provide training for teachers and staff and publish the policies in a handbook.  

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2:46 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Hearing Delayed on Indiana Specialty License Plates Bill

Indianapolis Youth Group

An Indiana legislative committee has delayed a hearing on a bill that would place new limits on specialty license plates.

Rep. Ed Soliday's proposal would create an eight-member bipartisan panel to review requests from nonprofit groups and universities for specialty plates. The Republican says state roads are crowded with so many different plates that it's difficult for police to identify vehicles.

Soliday delayed a hearing of the House Transportation Committee Wednesday to review amendments filed to the bill.

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Local News
2:40 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

In Protest of Proposed Amendment, Bloomingon Mayor to Conduct Same-Sex Wedding


The mayor of Bloomington, Ind., plans to conduct a wedding ceremony for more than a dozen gay and lesbian couples this week to protest a proposed state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

The ceremony Thursday in Bloomington, presided over by Mayor Mark Kruzan, coincides with a local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender film festival.     It was first reported by the Indianapolis Star.

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