Dan Conti

Assistant News Director

Dan Conti is a longtime broadcast journalist in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. A graduate of Miami University in Ohio, Conti was an instructor of broadcast journalism at his alma mater for 12 years. He also taught high school for two years, worked in public relations for the American Cancer Society and U.S. Employment and Training Agency and authored his first book in 2006. "POWs: Stories from America's Wars" is a collection of remembrances from veterans of World World II, Korea and Vietnam. Dan supervises the afternoon operations of the MSPR News Department.

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Transportation
4:45 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Morehead to Host Highway Safety Summit

Vehicle Ignition Interlock Device
Credit Stern Law

The Morehead Conference Center will be the site of a summit on highway safety this summer.

The event will take place June 10th and 11th and is being hosted by the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety.       

Director Bill Bell says the meetings are for law enforcement agencies, emergency responders and others and include updates on how new legislation affects their work.

He says the General Assembly this year passed a couple of bills impacting highway safety. One of them, Bell explains, has to do with child safety seats and the other with DUI offenders.

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Environment
5:46 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Morehead Panel to Review Flood Control

Credit The Morehead News

Morehead Councilman Tom Carew says a panel appointed by the mayor will study flooding in the city to see if there are steps that can be taken to mitigate its impact.

Carew says the city has been hit hard twice within the past five years, so a thorough examination is a good idea.

“When they build highways, the culverts under the highways are designed to handle a fifty year rain. Well, maybe the culverts that we got along the bypass, which is U.S. 60 aren’t carrying as much water as they need to carry.”   

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Environment
2:08 pm
Sat April 11, 2015

Ohio River Flooding Causing Problems For Ashland's Veterans Park

Ashland City Manager Benjamin Bitter says it’s been tough to keep the city’s Veterans Park clean when it keeps getting flooded by the Ohio River. He says an abundance of rain recently has forced the Ohio over its banks and into the park.

Bitter says the park was designed to withstand a lot of water but it still takes a while to clean it up and dry it out after flooding occurs.

Crime/Police
1:47 pm
Sat April 11, 2015

Ashland Recognizes Child Abuse Prevention

Credit Word Press

Ashland City Commissioner Amanda Clark says she’s a little surprised by the extent of alleged child abuse in Boyd County, which has a population of nearly 49,000.

Clark participated in a recent child abuse awareness event at the Ashland Post of the Kentucky State Police.       

She says 497 pinwheels were placed in the ground to symbolize each report of child abuse in Boyd County in 2014.

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Education
11:12 am
Thu April 2, 2015

KCTCS President Says Connection Needed Between Education and Jobs

Credit South Carolina Aerospace

The president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) says it needs to do a better job explaining the value of technical and vocational training to younger students.

Dr. Jay Box made the comment during a press conference in Morehead on Tuesday (March 31). It followed a public forum during which he listened to civic and business leaders offer their views on what they think the future focus of the system should be.       

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Health
10:59 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Ashland Considers Creating a 'Walkable Community'

Credit Portland Pedal Power

Ashland Mayor Chuck Charles says he and city commissioners need to develop strategies to make Ashland a more “walkable community."

He says that requires a comprehensive approach beyond additional and better sidewalks.

“We need to start thinking about getting our people walking. Some neighborhoods have actually reduced the speed limits so they could make a bicycle lane within those communities. I think we just need to be open-minded on everything we do to try to get our citizens healthier.”

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Business
6:15 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

New High-Tech Business in Morehead to Partner with MSU's Space Science Center

Credit Morehead State University

Nearly 30 new jobs are coming to Rowan County thanks to Morehead State University’s Space Science Center.

Rajant Corporation says it will invest nearly 800-thousand dollars in a project with MSU to create wireless networks in space that have commercial and military applications.       

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear was in Morehead on Monday (March 30) to make the announcement.

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Education
6:46 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

MSU's Space Science Exhibit at Highlands Museum Nears Completion

Credit Highlands Museum & Discovery Center

Highlands Museum and Discovery Center Director Carol Allen says the second phase of a new space science exhibit at the Ashland facility will be completed next week.

She says the floor is being painted and NASA materials will be hung on the walls to prepare the area for the educational workshops it will soon be hosting for middle and high school students.       

Allen says Dr. Eric Thomas of Morehead State University’s Space Science Center has designed the workshops around a “Mystery Planet” theme.

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Education
5:48 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

MSU Selects Inaugural Craft Academy Students

The inaugural class for Morehead State University’s new Craft Academy for Academic Excellence in Science and Mathematics is now set for the fall. He says the school received more than 100 applications.

MSU President Dr. Wayne Andrews says 60 gifted high school juniors have been chosen to attend the academy.

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Drugs/Alcohol
5:33 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Lewis County Conducts Historic Drug Bust

Credit Haaretz

Lewis County Sheriff Johnny Bivens says “Operation March Madness” began early on Thursday (March 26) with a goal of busting drug dealers all over the county. He says the raids have been conducted in conjunction with Vanceburg police and the FADE Drug Task Force. 

Bivens says some 30 suspects are being rounded up in the county.

“Without a doubt, when all is said and done, this will be the largest drug sweep in the history of Lewis County. You know, our purpose for this operation is obviously to enforce the laws and our mission is to save lives.”

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Drugs/Alcohol
5:41 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Gov. Beshear Signs Heroin Legislation

Credit CBS

Governor Steve Beshear is praising what he calls a robust and comprehensive new law that attacks the spectrum of heroin abuse in Kentucky.

The bill was passed late Tuesday night (March 24) by the General Assembly.

Beshear says he signed it immediately because Kentucky can’t wait any longer for the tools it provides.       He says the measure punishes traffickers, supports addiction treatment and protects public health.

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Health
5:29 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

MSU Plans Eagle Walk Project

MSU University Boulevard
Credit Wikipedia

Planning and design of an initiative to make Morehead State University’s central campus more pedestrian and bicycle friendly should be completed by the end of May.

MSU’s Chief Financial Officer Beth Patrick says the “Eagle Walk Project” will create more green space and paths through the closure of Battson-Oates Drive between the student center and Lappin Hall.

Patrick says the plan also calls for closing off University Boulevard, starting at Elizabeth Avenue and moving toward the center of campus.

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Education
9:46 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Adkins Supports Education Funding

Credit Gazette

Kentucky’s House Majority Leader says education funding in the Commonwealth is simply not where it needs to be. State Representative Rocky Adkins is a Democrat from Morehead.

Adkins says that’s true for primary and secondary schools, as well as the state’s colleges and universities.

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Government/Politics
5:44 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Kentucky's Gas Tax Discussed

Credit Community Table

Governor Beshear says failure to stabilize Kentucky’s gas tax would pose big challenges for the state’s current and future infrastructure needs.

Revenues from the tax have been declining because it’s pegged to the wholesale price of fuel, which is substantially lower than it was last year.       

The governor spoke to reporters Tuesday at a press conference in Frankfort.

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Environment
8:41 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Maysville Escapes Recent Ohio River Flooding

Flood wall in Maysville, KY
Credit Trip Advisor

The cleanup from weekend flooding continues in communities along the Ohio River but officials in Maysville say the city’s flood wall was a savior when the waters began rising Saturday (March 14).

Mason County Emergency Management Director Tim Nolder says the structure protects the community to a stage just above 79 feet.       

He says that kept high waters from reaching most of city.

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Transportation
5:27 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Traffic Delays Expected During KY 32 Road Project

Credit Fox 17

Morehead area residents are going to be happy when a three-million dollar improvement of Kentucky 32 north of the city is completed, but a spokesman for the State Transportation Cabinet says they should prepare themselves for some inconvenience in the meantime.       

Allen Blair is with the District 9 office in Flemingsburg.  He says the resurfacing work and wider shoulders that are part of that project will cause congestion during the construction period.

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Environment
5:11 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Morehead and Olive Hill Recognzied For Trail Town Initiatives

A new report by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services cites the addition of “Trail Towns” in Morehead and Olive Hill as among the state’s efforts to increase physical activity and prevent obesity.

The annual report notes that the State Office of Adventure Tourism expects to certify eight more trails by the end of 2015.

The Cabinet’s report indicates that the Dawkins Trail, a rail to trail initiative in eastern Kentucky continues to grow. Eighteen miles of the path have now been completed.

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Government/Politics
9:56 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Rep. Sinnette Supports Local Option Sales Tax

A bill that could give cities and counties the option of placing sales tax issues on their local ballots to fund capital projects appears unlikely to pass in this session of the Kentucky General Assembly.

That’s the view of State Representative Kevin Sinnette. The Ashland Democrat says that’s too bad because he likes the idea.

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Transportation
11:36 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Motorists Cautioned for Possible High Water on Rural Roads

Credit Wikimedia

High water on eastern Kentucky roadways is causing problems for motorists in the region, and that’s why the State Department of Highways is recommending they drive with extra caution, particularly in low-lying areas.

Allen Blair is a spokesman for District 9 and he says motorists need to be aware of possible high water conditions on the roadways.

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Education
11:29 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Open Forums Planned to Discuss Academic Self-Study

Credit IUON

If new fields of study are recommended at Morehead State University at the end of an academic self-review now underway, those programs would need a “thumbs up” from Kentucky’s Council on Postsecondary Education

MSU Provost Dr. Stephen Ralston says MSU’s faculty would also have to agree to them.

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Area News
4:51 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Martin County Opens Emergency Shelter

Credit American Red Cross

The Big Sandy Chapter of the American Red Cross has set up a shelter in eastern Martin County for people who’ve lost power or whose homes have been flooded in recent days.

Emerson Varney is disaster relief specialist for the agency and says the river is already high because of melting snow from last week’s winter storm. Heavy rains are expected in the region this week.

Varney says some homes near the Tug Fork River have been flooded as snow from last week’s winter storm has begun to melt and the waterway has spilled over its banks.   

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Transportation
4:35 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

KY 32 Road Project to Begin in Rowan County

Credit Cement

A major improvement of Kentucky 32 north of Morehead will get underway later this month.

Kentucky Department of Highways spokesman Allen Blair says just over two miles of the road will be re-paved with wider shoulders and culvert extensions.

Blair says the project is expected to cost about three million dollars.

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Education
4:08 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Morehead State Conducting Self-Study of Academic Programs

Morehead State University campus
Credit Morehead State University

If any new programs are recommended at Morehead State University as a result of the university’s current self-study of its curriculum, they’ll have to be approved by the faculty and Kentucky’s Council on Postsecondary Education.

That’s according to MSU Provost Doctor Stephen Ralston who is leading the review. Ralston is leading the self-study of MSU’s academic programs, which is targeted for completion in early May.

Suggestions for new programs, he points out, would still be a long way from happening.

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Transportation
11:23 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Kentucky and Ohio to Construct Bridge in Covington

Brent Spence Bridge
Credit Bridge Hunter

The governors of Kentucky and Ohio have agreed on a plan to split construction costs and build a new bridge linking Covington and Cincinnati.

Steve Beshear and John Kasich outlined the proposal at a press conference on Wednesday (Jan. 28).

Beshear says the two states would divide the costs evenly, each committing part of their transportation budgets toward the mega project. He says there would also have to be tolls on those using the structure.

However, Beshear says there would be a substantial discount for regular commuters.

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Health
10:17 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Kynect Retail Store a Big Success

Credit WUKY

An official with Kentucky’s Health Benefit Exchange says the opening of a retail store this fall has been a big help in getting people signed up for health insurance.

Nicole Comeaux is deputy executive director of Kynect. She says the store in Lexington’s Fayette Mall has been a hub of activity.

“We decided to experiment with it this year and it has been a great success. We’ve had over 5,500 individuals who have come into the store to work on an application and it has been a great place for individuals to get in person access to assistance.” –Nicole Comeaux

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Education
10:05 am
Mon January 19, 2015

MCTC Rowan Campus Fundraising Phase Underway

Credit MCTC Rowan Campus

The director of the Rowan Campus of the Maysville Community and Technical College is confident a new school will be built in the John Will Stacy Industrial Park within the next two years.

However, Russ Ward is reminding people that the project can’t get underway until several million dollars have been raised.

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WMKY Feature Reports
10:04 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Feature: MCTC Student Veteran Center

Maysville Community and Technical College will soon be adding a new facility to serve those who have served their country. MSPR's Sam Steiert reports...

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Employment
3:08 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

KY Workers Comp Costs Decline

Kentucky’s insurance commissioner says workers compensation costs in the Commonwealth have declined for the 9th consecutive year. In fact, Sharon Clark says only eight other states have a lower rate for workers comp than Kentucky…

Clark says controlling workers compensation costs is a tremendous incentive for a company to locate in Kentucky.

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Employment
3:03 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Governor Beshear on 'Right to Work'

Governor Beshear says it’s apparent that “right to work” states don’t have the drop on Kentucky when it comes to attracting foreign investment. Tennessee, which is a “right to work” state, competed with Kentucky to lure Kowa Incorporated to the U.S.

The Japanese firm that makes a surface treatment for automotive suppliers announced this week it would locate its first plant in Corbin, Kentucky.

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Employment
2:28 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Maysville Regional Job Fair To Be Held October 3rd

Organizers of the Maysville Regional Job Fair are expecting a big crowd for the October 3rd event at Mason County High School. It’s sponsored by the Kentucky Career Center and the Tenco Workforce Development Board and takes place between 1 and 6 p.m.

Jeremy Faulkner coordinates business services for the KCC. He thinks the turnout will be larger than other job fairs because all the companies participating are planning to hire employees…

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