Long Reads

Ayurveda in the West

W hen an upscale boutique in trendy East Nashville hosts an event called “Managing Anxiety with Ayurveda,” they offer rosé. I declined the rosé. Instead, I sipped on the herbal tea I bought at Ugly…

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Parents in Rural Kentucky Struggle to Help Their Foster Sons

Laura Webb talks with her foster sons Dawson and Alex in the kitchen of their home in Edmonson County. Laura has been their foster mother for over three years and will adopt them in the…

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Shelter from the Storm

The main gathering room of the Catholic Action Center is crowded. It’s Sunday, and more than 100 people are sitting and standing at various donated tables, chairs and couches around the room, waiting for the…

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Kentucky’s last abortion clinic

On the sidewalk of a four-lane, one-way street, a woman walks to EMW Surgical Center in Louisville, Kentucky for her appointment. It’s a Saturday morning in the fall and the sun is just about the…

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“Baked” treats defy Kentucky law

O n one cold October night, she walks into her galley kitchen barefoot, scratching her head before switching on the light above the oven. She reaches into her light brown cabinet to grab her white…

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When I’m Healed

Beverly checks for messages on Facebook at the Warren County Public Library. She received a message from her son, Jacob, saying he couldn’t come visit her like he had hoped. B everly Carr, 53, writes down…

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Multicultural dinner is family tradition

T welve ramekin-size white dishes are brought out on a brown plastic tray by an older Korean woman who speaks broken English and spends her time between the front and back of house. We, the…

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Splitting a Family: A Scientology Story

Danni Peck, 24, has lived in an apartment with her husband, Adam Sims, in Bowling Green since 2014. She and Sims moved from Nashville the same year she left the Church of Scientology. J udging…

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Riverview: The house on the hill

The historic house stood on a rounded hill with a slim, autumn leaf-covered driveway looping around it. Christmas wreaths hung from the white double doors and green garland was draped over the railings. The red…

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Diversity born from civil war: refugees from Myanmar in Bowling Green

A traditional dance is performed by members of the Karenni refugee community at Warren Central High School in Bowling Green prior to a screening of “Like We Don’t Exist” Nov. 18.   Lam Nu, 26,…

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Appetite for success

Silverware clinking against plates and light conversation filled the space at The Bistro where 39-year-old owner and executive chef Sasha Mandrapa sat comfortably in a black leather-upholstered booth. On the table there was a notepad…

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Domestic Violence Shelters Struggle to Meet Needs

Domestic violence shelters in Kentucky and nationwide are struggling to meet a growing need for services. In Bowling Green, Kentucky, the Barren River Area Safe Space (BRASS) is at or above capacity most of the year….

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Kim Greene: Chasing Dreams

Kim Greene, 68, stopped practicing law after 25 years to practice dream tending, helping others to better interpret meanings of their dreams. Greene now tends dreams in the upstairs loft of her home in Louisville, Ky….

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Life of mother and pub owner changed by drunk driving

Johnetta Pryor, 56, said it was a normal Friday evening for her at her bar, Johnetta’s Pub on Scottsville Road in Bowling Green, while she was waiting for her son. Jeremy Pryor, Johnetta’s son, was…

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For undocumented immigrant, traffic stop could be much more

Story, photos and video by Nick Wagner I t was a typical Friday morning on April 7 for Diana Lopez, just another day driving her son, Donovan, to school in Nashville traffic. Lopez conversed with…

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Love you forever: a mother survives after daughter’s suicide

I t was a typical winter evening at the Hack household. Melanie Hack had just picked up her oldest daughter Reagan Harley Carter, 12, from a school basketball game. It was nearly half-past eight in…

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A place of new beginnings

Jacob rides a 20-year-old Quarter Horse mare, Amber, for his lessons at New Beginnings. A volunteer assists Jacob as he unhooks the cross ties from Amber’s halter to put on a bridle, which is used to…

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Brothers, from Saudi Arabia to WKU

W hen Fares Al Huraibi was driving to the airport in Saudi Arabia in May of 2013 he felt like he was missing a piece of himself. He had been planning his move to the…

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Human trafficking: awareness fuels increased reports in Kentucky

  While Patterson’s father was working, Patterson said, her mother took her to motor courts and motels by the river where mats were laid out on the floor and large studio lights were set up…

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Hope for Hemp: Cave City family sees future in new crop

Story and photos by Hannah McCarthy Just 2 miles outside of downtown Cave City, Kentucky, the landscape quickly turns from old brick and mortar to farmhouses and dirt roads. Down one such dirt road, a…

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Mind Over Medicine

Story and photos by Hannah McCarthy F irst, she checks the post-it notes on the bedside table, the headboard and the walls around her to remind her of the day’s tasks. Next, it is time…

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Welcome to Eclipseville

Vehicles on U.S. Highway 68, which runs through Christian County and much of western Kentucky, drive past a new sign that advertises the upcoming total solar eclipse. Signs like these have popped up across Hopkinsville…

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Wiley, like Calvin

Story and photos by Joseph Barkoff Flying with wasps, part 1 One last trick, showing off the skills that partially enabled his world travels. Climbing up, up, up, pushing the little-two-seat pearl sky blue 1947…

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A Home for Judy

Story and photos by Allison J. Call I n the middle of a cold Kentucky winter while most were trying to stay warm, Judy Cardwell stole a bag of ice from a Kroger in Bowling…

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Between two schools: High school life on a college campus

Students enter Florence Schneider Hall which houses the Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science on Western Kentucky University’s campus. Since it was established in 2007, the Gatton Academy has consistently been rated one of…

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Flawed system for Kentucky’s mentally ill

Wellness Connection, a center for volunteer support efforts for people with mental illness, located in downtown Bowling Green. By James Line An unusually large snowfall had blanketed the small Kentucky town of Scottsville. On the…

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Remembering Hopkinsville’s Peter Postell Building

The entrance to Sixth Street with the empty lot, where the Peter Postell building once stood, on the right. Story and Photos by Jodi Camp Flames reached 40 to 50 feet in the air as…

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Bird Dog: A Local Legend in Hopkinsville

Jim Moss Electric where Bird Dog stores his lawn mower during the off season. It is run by Chip Moss, a long time friend of Bird Dog. Story and Photos by Jodi Camp Walking down…

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Stuck Between Two Worlds

Noah Hancock chats with other ASL students at the member retreat for the American Sign Language Organization at Western Kentucky University.  (About this story: Author Austin Rutland conducted some interviews for this story in American…

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Unbridled: A story of Kentucky’s forgotten recreational horses

Free-roaming horses eat long grass planted by coal companies with obligations to reclaim strip mined land in Breathitt County, Kentucky. These horses have been abandoned by their owners in the coal reclamation lands of Eastern…

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The Deli

Story and Photos By: Bryson Keltner Nestled on winding Highway 68 between Edmonton and Sulphur Well, there is a landmark. It does not bear a monument, nor does it have historical significance. It is a…

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A Joyful Noise

Story and photos by Bryson Keltner In the outskirts of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, her house is surrounded by farmland. Her carport is painted red. A cement Tennessee Volunteer dog sits by the front door–it weighs more…

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Bosnia to Bowling Green: Finding a Place to Call Home

Gina Dzelil looks through an old suitcase kept by her mother, full of old letters from friends, school supplies and a folder full of  clippings of every Michael Jackson photo Dzelil ever found during high…

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Time Stands Still in Tompkinsville: Community Votes to Remain Dry

Downtown Tompkinsville. Photo by John Reecer. By John Reecer It’s a typical Sunday afternoon and, just like any other day in Tompkinsville, Kentucky, there aren’t too many cars on the roads. With a small population…

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A Transplanted Purpose

Amelia Wilson showcases one of the shirts she designed and sold in order to increase awareness about organ donation. Photo by John Reecer. By John Reecer One by one, each student nervously walked up to…

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PTSD Affects Veterans Long After Combat

by Casey McCarthy When Jeff Reece first came home to Metcalfe County, Kentucky, after 11 months in Iraq, he thought everything would be the same. A year after returning, Reece fell asleep holding his son, Chase, an…

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A Place of Healing

By Allison Call Reuben Schwartz’s office is nothing like I expected. A small, seven-foot-by-eight-foot room right off the front office, it is furnished with only an aged, wooden desk and matching chair, a wheeled stool…

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Faith in Science

By Justin Turner The small sanctuary of Franklin Presbyterian Church comes alive with music and chatter in the time between Sunday school and the start of the service. Two young girls twirl their dresses as…

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Satanism, schizophrenia, and seclusion: Scottsville murder suspect has tumultuous past

By James Line At 2:30 a.m. on March 9, 2016, the emergency dispatch center in the sleepy town of Scottsville, Kentucky, received a 911 call from a local nursing home. When police arrived at Scottsville…

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A changing city: examining Bowling Green’s growing refugee population

By Helen Gibson It’s Tuesday, Nov. 9, the day that America elected Donald Trump its 45th president, and the Bowling Green office of the International Center of Kentucky is busy. The two story, red brick…

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Refugees form supportive community at Lee Pointe Condos

By Adam Sims Mike Baker, maintenance man of Lee Pointe Condos, walks across the parking lot. One resident hands him a doorknob from her door, saying it’s broken, and Baker promises to fix it as…

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WKU student connects with Chinese heritage

By Alexandra Sandefur On almost any given Sunday afternoon during Angie Willemsen’s childhood, one could find her and her family at China One, a buffet-style Chinese restaurant in their hometown of Kansas City, Missouri. Angie’s…

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Koch Foundation causes controversy by donating to universities

By Leah Johnson Back in 2009, Western Kentucky University started the BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism on campus with a $1 million grant from the BB&T Charitable Foundation. Dr. Brain Strow, an economics…

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Bowling Green fire department accused of lacking diversity and acceptance

By Brittiny Moore Jeff Queen stood silent as his fellow firemen debated their course of action concerning the unconscious man lying on the floor of his home. Another man who the firefighters suspected was the…

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Redevelopment threatens historic black community in Bowling Green

By Brittiny Moore The sun sets on vacant buildings and dilapidated homes that now rest along the north end of State Street in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The area known as the Shake Rag Historic District…

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Sinkholes present an unregulated risk in Bowling Green

Geologic map of Kentucky depicting areas with high karst potential (shown in light red).  Warren County is indicated by a yellow box outlined in red. By Brittiny Moore Just over two years ago, on Feb….

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Warren County teacher diversity stands out in Kentucky

By Hunter Frint Warren County Public Schools has been hiring minorities at a higher rate than the Kentucky state average in recent years in order to diversify its teachers. In 2014-2015, 9 percent of teachers hired…

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Tomorrow’s Woman helps out after mastectomy

By Monica Kast After Bonnie Strode’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1990 and had a mastectomy, they began shopping for post-mastectomy products, like mastectomy bras and prosthetic breasts. Strode and her mother soon…

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From the Hill to the Times

Nikita Stewart, a 1994 WKU alumna and member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, talks to students, faculty, and the public about her experiences as an investigative reporter for the New York Times in Mass…

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Hijab boutique is American dream

by Alexandria Clark A small white building sits beside Hobby Town on Russellville Road. Inside, Emina Hotilovac sits in an elegant gray fringed chair. Her small boutique is filled with jewelry, clothing, and various pieces…

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Families divided by high rate of women in Kentucky prisons

By Leah Brown Mary Thomas-Spears sits cross-legged on her family room floor with an American Spirit cigarette in one hand and a black lighter in the other. The sunlight peaks through the window illuminating her…

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Kentucky lacks college degrees, ranks low in adult education

  By Kae Holloway The clock ticked to 3 p.m. on a cool Saturday afternoon. Bradley Moore’s room door in his grandparents’ basement remained shut, a sign that he was still sleeping despite the late…

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Kentucky leads nation in ADHD

By Alexus Furlong Brenton Cox sits at a tall glass table in his grandmother’s kitchen. Bills, papers and cans of food are scattered in the room. It’s almost dinner time as he looks through his…

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Kentucky’s Coal-Colored Climate Change Denial

By Tanner Cole he sun is still rising, and the small front office of Trimble County High School is already crowded. There are 11 people standing in the building’s doorway, letting in the cool morning…

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Legalizing alcohol sales divides Russell County residents

By Jacob Dick Every September, Lake Cumberland Poker Run brings a surge of boaters to the docks and marinas of Russell County, Kentucky. Spectators and competitors alike crowd the concrete boat ramp with trucks and…

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Restoring the fifth sense

By Austin Rutland Mylan Larsen, sporting a black “Deaf and Loud” t-shirt, darted his eyes back and forth between the Applebee’s waiter and his friend, Rebekah Thompson, as he tried to keep up with Thompson’s sign…

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Historic Bowling Green church transforming into restaurant

By Lindsay Whittington Standing in front of his pulpit on Sunday, July 1, 2012, Pastor R.B. Adamson of Victory Baptist Church reminded his congregation that people said their church would never make it. They had…

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Community still recovering 15 years after environmental disaster

By Mollie Moore Abraham Chapman started Oct. 11, 2000 like he does most fall days. Planning to go bow hunting, he woke up around 4 a.m. and was out of the house, driving up the…

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Recovery: WKU student fighting for a healthy body, mind

Story by Ally Griggs. Photos by Allison Thompson. Seven. Zero. Zero. Start. Inside the microwave, a fairly large sweet potato sits centered on a revolving plate. Turning back to the stove, placing one hand around…

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Professional game developers struggle to turn profit

By Eric Zimmer It’s about six in the evening, and a group of high school freshmen were at a Chipotle close to school after band practice. They’re clustered together, noses buried in their phones as…

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The Move Toward Her Dreams

By Shantel-Ann Pettway Tears of defeat were flowing through Lauren Cunningham’s fingers as she explained to her mother figure, Lynne Holland, how she’d lost sight of her vision when she lost her dream job in 2009….

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How a traditional Tennessee church grew into a modern megachurch

Abba’s House is a megachurch in Hixson, Tennessee, just outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee. The statue out front, which thousands of churchgoers stream past every Sunday, depicts Abba, the Holy Father. By Tanner Cole HIXSON, TENNESSEE…

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That’s the ticket: Section 105, Row F, Seat 1.

By Kyle Williams The man walks into a basketball arena on a cold, early-November night while the home team gears up for its lone exhibition game of the young season. He takes his usual route…

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Law to shield student privacy is often misused, critics say

By Taylor Harrison The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act became law in 1974 and required schools to enforce policies to protect the privacy of students’ education records. But some people think it is being…

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