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
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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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


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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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.

3:55 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Lugar to Announce Post-Senate Plans Friday

U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar is preparing to announce his plans for the future after spending 36 years in the Senate.

The Indiana Republican will reveal his plans during a news conference Friday afternoon at the University of Indianapolis.

The university might be part of those plans. School President Robert Manual will join Lugar at the news conference.

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Local News
4:14 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Pence Names Three to Cabinet Posts

Indiana Governor-elect Mike Pence has announced three cabinet appointments.

All three appointees work in the current administration of Governor Mitch Daniels.

Pence announced today that Ron Wynkoop will continue as commissioner of the Department of Administration and Mike Alley will stay on as commissioner of the Department of Revenue.

Anita Samuel, who has been serving as Daniels’ general counsel, will become director of the Department of Personnel in the Pence Administration.

Pence will be publicly sworn in as Indiana’s next governor on January 14.

2:46 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Indiana School Board Approves Changes to Teacher Licensing Rules

Incoming Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz/Photo from stateimpact.npr.org

The Indiana Board of Education has approved changes to Indiana's teacher licensing requirements despite arguments from opponents that the new rules could hurt the quality of classroom instruction.

The board voted in favor of the rules changes supported by outgoing Republican state schools superintendent Tony Bennett. Incoming superintendent Glenda Ritz, a Democrat, had asked the board to delay action until after she takes office next month.

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Local News
4:35 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Barth Placed Under Stricter Bond Rules

A federal judge has placed tougher bond restrictions on former McMahan Fire Chief Paul Barth.

Barth was sentenced last month to 41 months in prison for embezzling nearly $200,000 intended for the Crusade for Children charity. He was given up to 60 days to report to prison.

The new bond restrictions were imposed after prosecutors learned that Barth failed to report recent real estate transactions, including the sale of a Florida condo, that would have affected his ability to make restitution prior to his sentencing.

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