Rachel Collins

News Director

Rachel’s interest in journalism began early in life, reading newspapers while sitting in the laps of her grandparents. Those interactions ignited a thirst for language and stories, and she recalls getting caught more than once as a young girl hiding under the bed covers with a flashlight and book because she just couldn’t stop reading. 

That passion led her to Murray State University where she completed an undergrad as an English major before pursuing a career in journalism. 

Rachel recalled listening exclusively to NPR as a college student, dreaming of earning her spot among the ranks of the journalists she admired. She realized that dream when she joined the WKMS team as news director in February 2020.

Rachel particularly enjoys conducting research and digging into even the smallest details, satisfying her natural inquisitiveness while never backing down from the tough questions and topics. 

In her free time, Rachel enjoys traveling and spending time with her family, friends, and cat. 

submitted by James Rhodes

The Democratic challenger taking on Republican Incumbent Congressman James Comer for  Kentucky’s 1st Congressional District said he will be “more accessible” and therefore better able to represent the people in his district. James Rhodes’ platform is founded on the idea that he’s a “common man” who will lead with “common sense.”

Rachel Collins / WKMS

Murray State University is nearing the end of its first full, in-person semester since coronavirus rocked the world, and university leadership is hopeful for a second round of stimulus funding. 

Office of Congressman James Comer


This report is part of a series produced by WKMS News highlighting races appearing on the 2020 general election ballot. Other parts of this series published thus far include a Q&A with the 42nd Judicial Circuit Family Court Judge candidates, voter guide for state legislative races, and a report on the proposed constitutional amendment for judicial reform. 

screenshot / Murray State University

In line with an increase of coronavirus cases across the commonwealth, the number of reported student cases at Murray State University nearly doubled in the last week resulting in the highest case numbers since the beginning of the fall semester.

Rachel Collins / WKMS News

Hugs and handshakes are so intricately woven into the southern culture, asking people not to make physical contact with each other has been a tough adjustment. Then factoring in limited (or no) in-person visits for those who are considered high risk for contracting the novel coronavirus, and what you have is a large number of people who are what Valerie Smothers refers to as “touch deprived.” Luckily, she and other massage therapists have been able to make adjustments to their protocols and procedures, helping to fill that void for their clients.

screenshot / Paducah Chamber of Commerce

Candidates for Paducah’s mayoral office and the District 3 State Representative seat faced off in a candidate forum today hosted by the Paducah Chamber of Commerce. Each responded to a range of issues posed by commerce members and local media.

Rachel Collins / WKMS

Murray State University is just past five weeks into the fall semester, but university leadership is already looking to the spring semester and the budgetary challenges that lie ahead. 

Delta Regional Authority

The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) today announced a more than $4.7 million investment in Kentucky communities. The funds are allocated for projects aimed to improve public infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, broadband services, healthcare access, and job training to support economic development.

Facebook / Kentucky State Police

Kentucky State Police is investigating a house fire and death in Cadiz after responding to calls from a passerby today at 1:20 a.m. 

Courtesy of Barkley Regional Airport Authority

  The Barkley Regional Airport Authority Board of Directors accepted grant funding in excess of $16 million during a special-called meeting today, allowingthem to formally award the first construction project as part of the new terminal and apron--a project that’s been in the works for decades.