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.

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Local News
1:39 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Indiana HS Coach Defends 107-2 Basketball Blowout

Wikipedia
File photo

The girls’ basketball coach at Indiana’s Bloomington South High School says he and his players were not trying to embarrass an opponent they defeated by a score of 107-2 this week.

The team’s rout of Arlington has sparked outrage among some fans and prompted a state prep sports association official to say he never wants to see anything so one-sided again.

Bloomington South coach Larry Winters tells the Indianapolis Star that he played everyone on his team and they didn’t stop shooting because he felt that would have been more embarrassing to Arlington.

Education
11:43 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Bennett Named Florida Education Commissioner

From tonybennett2012.com

Indiana's recently ousted state school superintendent is Florida's new education commissioner.

The State Board of Education selected Tony Bennett, a Republican who lost a bid for re-election in Indiana last month, today in Tampa.

The board picked Bennett from a slate of three finalists.

The others were Murray State University President Randy Dunn, who once served as state superintendent in Illinois, and Arlington, Va., education consultant Charles Hokanson, a former deputy assistant U.S. secretary of education in President George W. Bush's administration.

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Business
2:57 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Nine Companies Promising More Than 2,500 Indiana Jobs

Nine companies are promising to bring more than 2,500 new jobs to Indiana within the next six years by locating or expanding operations in the state.

Gov. Mitch Daniels joined executives from the companies for Tuesday's announcement at his Statehouse office. He says the companies, ranging from Indianapolis-based Angie's List to an Arizona-based food maker, expect to hire 2,550 new workers by the end of 2018.

The companies' plans vary widely.

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Politics
1:05 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Kentucky State Sen. Kathy Stein Plans Apology for 'Nimrod' Comment

A Lexington lawmaker says she will apologize for making a disparaging comment about another legislator that appeared on Facebook.

Democratic state Sen. Kathy Stein told the Lexington Herald-Leader that she made the comment on an old blog and thought it would be private, but the commenting system was powered by Facebook and so her post also appeared on her Facebook account.

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Local News
5:14 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Petrino Introduced As New Coach of the WKU Hilltoppers

Western Kentucky University has introduced Bobby Petrino as the school’s 18th football coach.

Petrino returns to the college game eight months after his firing from Arkansas for lying about an extramarital affair he had with a woman on his staff.

"I'm honored to sit in front of you as the head coach of Western Kentucky University," Petrino said at a late afternoon news conference.

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Business
2:58 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Official Says Japanese Distiller May Bid For Beam, Inc.

A Japanese company is said to be considering making an offer to buy Beam, Incorporated.

An official with Suntory Holdings tells Bloomberg News that the Osaka-based whiskey and beer maker could make a solo bid for the American distiller or a joint offer with Diageo, the global spirits company headquartered in Britain.

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Local News
12:59 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Western Confirms: Petrino Is New WKU Football Coach

wkusports.com

Former University of Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino will be introduced as the new head coach at Western Kentucky University today.

Western has confirmed that Petrino will be the Hilltoppers’ 18th football coach.  

Western has been looking to replace Willie Taggart, who’s leaving the school to take the head coaching job at the University of South Florida.   Taggart led the team to a 7-5 record and a berth in the Little Caesar’s Bowl December 26 in Detroit.

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Local News
12:14 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Study: Indiana Taxpayers Will Take Hit on Toll Road Lease

A new study concludes the state's decision to lease the Indiana Toll Road to a private operator was a bad deal for taxpayers.

Indiana received $3.8 billion for leasing the toll road to a private consortium for 75 years. That money helps pay for major work on state highways.

But a public policy expert from the College of William and Mary says taxpayers will pay the price for the 2006 deal in lost toll road revenue that otherwise would have gone into the state treasury.

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Local News
10:48 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Heitzman Named Permanent MSD Director

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has appointed Greg Heitzman to be the permanent executive director of the Metropolitan Sewer District.

Heitzman, who’s also president of Louisville Water, has been MSD’s interim executive director since a leadership shakeup at the agency over the past year.

Fischer says Heitzman will oversee the potential merger of MSD and Louisville Water.

This story will be updated.

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Politics
4:33 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Lugar to Become University Lecturer, Lead Internship Program

U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana will continue wielding influence in Washington after he leaves office, but with a much younger audience.

Lugar is starting an internship program with the University of Indianapolis that will operate out of Washington. He has also agreed to deliver a handful of lectures each year as a distinguished professor at the private university.

The 80 year old Lugar will split his time between Washington and Indianapolis in the new job.

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