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. 

File photo / Mercy Health-Lourdes Hospital

McCracken County community and healthcare leaders hosted a virtual conference this afternoon to discuss progress of the ongoing vaccination rollout in Paducah, and encourage the community to continue to be vigilant in health safety measures. 

Screenshot / AT&T Help, Twitter

Several phone lines for emergency response agencies are down this afternoon. AT&T confirmed the outages affecting customers, including emergency response agencies, are linked to the explosion in downtown Nashville earlier today. 

Rachel Collins / WKMS News

Two western Kentucky law enforcement officers in a Calloway County Sheriff’s Office cruiser were conducting traffic stops in Murray on Monday, but they issued gift cards instead of tickets.

Submitted by Wagner

A McCracken County woman thought because she’s young and healthy, if she caught coronavirus, she would heal quickly and move on. After contracting it and suffering a myriad of symptoms for nearly three weeks straight, she said going out to eat isn’t worth the risk.

Screenshot / Murray State University

The Murray State Board of Regents unanimously voted in favor of remaining in the Kentucky Employees Retirement System (KERS) because the financial risk to get out was too high.


Black Lives Matter movements and demonstrations in opposition to systemic racism swept across the nation most of this year, and the small town of Murray, Kentucky joined in the conversation. Multiple protests centered around the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, but also a Confederate monument which still stands in a prominent location in the downtown court square. As a result of the demonstrations, two locals face charges: Linda Arakelyan, a woman who’s charged with false reporting, and David Frymire, a man who’s charged with spraying protesters with mace. Both appeared in court this week.

Rachel Collins / WKMS

The fall 2020 semester is a wrap and the spring semester is on the horizon, but Murray State University’s administration is already looking ahead as far as fall 2021. MSU President Bob Jackson said based on recommendations from health officials, the university is in preliminary stages of making plans for vaccine distribution mid-semester of spring 2021, and he hopes that means returning to a more normal college campus atmosphere is within reach.

UTM Black History Matters Coalition / Instagram

This story was updated at 8 p.m.

The movement seeking a required Black history and culture course at University of Tennessee at Martin (UTM) faced another setback during yesterday’s UTM Faculty Senate Executive Committee meeting. UTM Faculty Senate President Sean Walker said none of the voting members cast a motion to vote on the resolution proposed by the UTM Black History Matters Coalition (BHMC). 

utm_bhm / Instagram

Tension persists between part of the University of Tennessee at Martin (UTM) campus community and the university’s administration. Members of the UTM Black History Matters Coalition (BHMC) told WKMS they feel as if their concerns are falling on deaf ears; university representatives told WKMS procedural changes take time to enact. Tomorrow, the UTM Faculty Senate Executive Committee will vote on a resolution which aims to improve cultural diversity and inclusion by requiring African American History and Thought as a required general education course for all studies.

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.”