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
10:23 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Winter Storm Pounding Indiana; Louisville Spared Major Snowfall

Heavy snowfall in Bloomington, Indiana
Chris Rall via Indiana Public Media

The Louisville Metro area remains under a winter weather advisory until 7:00 this evening, with about an inch of snow and sleet accumulation expected.

Louisville sits on the southern edge of a huge winter storm system moving across the upper Midwest.

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Local News
3:19 pm
Tue December 25, 2012

Winter Weather System Bringing Heavy Snow, Travel Delays to Region

Forecasters are keeping a close eye on a storm system moving through the region.  It's expected to bring heavy snow and other winter weather to sections of Kentucky and Indiana.

Blizzard warnings are in effect for parts of western Kentucky and southwestern Indiana, along with the southcentral Indiana counties of Dubois, Orange, Washington, Jefferson and Scott.

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Local News
1:00 pm
Tue December 25, 2012

Louisville's Merton Institute Closing Down

merton.org

A Louisville-based center that offers spiritual guidance based on the teachings of Thomas Merton will dissolve next week.

The Merton Institute for Contemplative Living will close December 31. It was founded 17 years ago, but Executive Director Vanessa Hurst says the institute does not have the financial means to continue.

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Local News
6:00 am
Tue December 25, 2012

Year-long Renovations Complete at Brown Hotel

Louisville’s Brown Hotel has just undergone a $4 million renovation of its guest rooms.

Hotel manager Brad Walker says all 293 rooms were given a makeover, reflecting the nearly 90 year old hotel’s place in Kentucky’s history.

"So many hotels have the same look room after room, but we’ve got ten different wall coverings in the guest rooms, and a half dozen different drapes and chair fabrics, we’ve got about a dozen different looks there. So from floor to floor and room to room there’s all kinds of colors and flavors and a lot of different looks," Walker said.

Local News
4:04 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Daniels Authorizes Pay Hikes for Indiana State Workers

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has approved performance-based pay raises for thousands of state workers.

There will be three tiers of raises: Three percent for those whose job performance meets expectations, five percent for those exceeding expectations and eight percent for workers who are evaluated as ‘outstanding.’

Daniels predicts about ten percent of state employees will get no raise for failing to meet expectations or being in need of improvement.

Local News
9:58 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Former McMahan Fire Chief Paul Barth Headed to Prison Today

Former McMahan Fire Chief Paul Barth, who pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $200,000 from the Crusade for Children, has been ordered to prison weeks earlier than originally expected.

Barth's attorney, Thomas Clay, tells the Courier-Journal that Barth was notified about 10 days ago that he should report to the federal prison in Manchester, Ky., today. The prison assignment, which usually takes 45 to 60 days, took less than a month.

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Local News
3:01 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Gov.-elect Pence Announces More Appointments

Indiana Governor-elect Mike Pence has announced five more appointments to leadership posts in his new administration.

Former Hamilton County Sheriff Doug Carter will be the new Superintendent of Indiana State Police. Carter was a state trooper for 18 years before retiring in 2002 and served two terms as sheriff. He’ll replace current ISP Superintendent Paul Whitesell.

Rob Carter will continue as Director of the Department of Natural Resources, a post he has held in the Daniels administration since 2006.

Local News
4:51 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Indiana Lt. Gov. Skillman Returning to Private Sector

Indiana Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman is heading south after she leaves the Statehouse to lead an economic development group.

Skillman announced Tuesday she will become president and CEO of Radius Indiana on Feb. 1. Radius is a group of business and government leaders representing eight southern Indiana counties.

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Local News
4:42 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

WFPL Discusses: Should Louisville Try to Land an NBA Team?

Louisville Metro Councilman David Tandy says he’s open to the idea of luring a National Basketball Association team to town.

Tandy was among the guests who spoke on a WFPL news special today on the subject.

The 4th District councilman says he believes an NBA team could co-exist with the University of Louisville basketball teams in the KFC Yum Center, where U of L is now the primary tenant. He says city officials should do everything they can to maximize the financially-plagued arena’s economic potential and raise Louisville’s profile.

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Local News
3:57 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Auditors Finish Probe of Indiana Tax Accounting Errors

Auditors investigating Indiana's Department of Revenue are saying outdated technology and a work culture that sacrificed accuracy for speed led to $526 million in tax errors from the state.

Auditors for the international accounting firm Deloitte also discovered additional errors with 55,000 taxpayer accounts and 2,880 tax refund requests that were never processed. They credited new management at the agency with trying to correct the problems.

Revenue commissioner Mike Alley says he has been working to change the culture since he took over in May.

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