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
4:00 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Strong's U of L Contract Extension, Pay Raise Approved

The University of Louisville has approved an eight-year contract extension for football coach Charlie Strong.

The deal will pay Strong an annual base salary of $3.7 million, plus numerous performance bonuses, making him one of the country’s highest-paid college football coaches.

U of L Athletic Director Tom Jurich says Strong deserves it.

"I think he’s already lived up to it and earned it and in every aspect of his coaching ability, he’s got an A+ from me," he said. 

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8:20 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Pence Pushes for Tax Cut in State of State Speech

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence used his first State of the State address to lobby for a personal income tax cut, an expansion of Indiana's school voucher system and improved vocational training.

The Republican's speech tonight didn’t reveal much new information about what he wants to accomplish. Instead, he's used it to push for a handful of priorities he's laid out since taking office last week.

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4:07 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Bill Would Close Early Release Loophole for Indiana Sex Offenders

People sent to prison for sex offenses couldn't receive credit toward an early release by earning college degrees under a proposal supported by an Indiana Senate committee.

The Indiana Senate's corrections committee voted 8-1 today to advance the measure.

Bill sponsor Sen. Jim Merritt cited the case of a former high school swim coach who was released after serving less than two years of an eight-year sentence for having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl he coached.     The man was able to use his education credits to help shorten his time in prison. 

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Local News
1:06 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Report: NCAA to Cite U of L Assistant Hurtt

University of Louisville

University of Louisville assistant football coach Clint Hurtt could be accused this week of violating NCAA rules when he was an assistant at the University of Miami.

A source tells CBS Sports that Hurtt, who’s U of L’s recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach, will be cited for unethical conduct for alleged recruiting violations at Miami, where he was on staff from 2007 to 2009.

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8:30 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Indiana Lawmakers Considering Criminal Code Overhaul


A proposed overhaul of Indiana’s criminal code has cleared its first legislative hurdle but will be the focus of much more debate in the weeks to come.

Last week, an Indiana House committee approved the legislation, which proposes the first major changes to the state’s criminal code since 1977.

Supporters say the state is long overdue for an adjustment of punishment for certain crimes.

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4:30 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Pence to Address Indiana Lawmakers This Week

Indiana’s new governor will deliver his State of the State address to lawmakers this week.

Governor Mike Pence is expected to reiterate his call for a ten-percent cut in the state income tax and urge lawmakers to approve other elements of his budget proposal, which includes a one-percent increase in education spending and modest hikes for other programs.

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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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