Lisa Autry

Reporter/Producer

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum.  She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years.  Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville.  She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky.  Many of her stories have been heard on NPR. 

Ways to Connect

Kentucky’s Republican U.S. Senators are on opposite sides in the latest attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. 

The bill by Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy would give block grants to states to create their own health care systems.  The funding would replace Obamacare's tax credits and Medicaid expansion.  The measure would also repeal the individual and employer mandates. 

Speaking on the Senate floor, Kentucky Senator and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell praised the legislation for taking more decision-making power out of Washington.

Lisa Autry

A new ambulatory surgery center is coming to Bowling Green.  Tristar Greenview in partnership with Graves-Gilbert Clinic broke ground Wednesday on a new facility off Lovers Lane. 

Dr. Kamal Singh practices general medicine and says the facility will include three operating suites and areas for other procedures.

"We will be at par with all of the other metropolitan areas as far as the sophistication of the equipment and the quality of care," Singh told WKU Public Radio.  "Rather than going through the bureaucracy of a hospital, it will be more like a doctor's office experience."

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

The research and support staff arm of the Kentucky General Assembly is bouncing back from a difficult era. 

The National Conference of State Legislatures has released a satisfaction survey among employees at the Legislative Research Commission in Frankfort.  The agency improved in nearly every category since a 2014 audit when at the height of a sexual harassment investigation involving a state lawmaker and female LRC staffers.

The number of Kentuckians who plan to retire from state and local government this month is up nearly 38 percent from September of last year.  Some state legislators and advocates for public workers fear many of them made their decisions prematurely.

Data released Thursday by the Kentucky Retirement Systems Board of Trustees shows that about 750 public employees will retire this month. The average number of September retirements over the past four years was around 550.

Lisa Autry

Some Kentucky lawmakers say drastic recommendations issued to pay down the state’s pension debt have no legislative support. 

Legislators from south central Kentucky addressed a packed room last night of public workers and retirees in Bowling Green concerned about how pension reforms will change their benefits.  Among them was Terry Eidson who retired from state government in 2006.

"Employees and retirees are feeling a little devalued and demeaned in all this, and it just doesn't sit well," Eidson told WKU Public Radio.

Public employees in the Bowling Green region worried about their retirement benefits have a chance to hear from state lawmakers in a town hall. 

Legislators from south central Kentucky will speak in Bowling Green Wednesday evening at a public meeting hosted by the Fraternal Order of Police. 

Governor Matt Bevin has promised to call a special legislative session this fall to rein in the state's pension debt.  Consultants have recommended pay cuts for some retired workers while freezing the benefits of most other public employees. 

City of Bowling Green

A Bowling Green city commissioner charged with DUI will have to wait longer to have his day in court. 

The trial for Slim Nash was postponed after the commonwealth’s key witness didn’t appear at Tuesday's proceedings.

Officer Larry Zuniga with the Bowling Green Police Department, who arrested Nash, was absent from court because he was checking on family in south Florida following the hurricane.

"The judge issued a show cause and Office Zuniga will have to explain to the judge what happened," Special Prosecutor Don Jones told WKU Public Radio.  "I do think we're all understanding of where the officer's heart was, but there was a subpoena issued, so the judge will want him to explain that on the record."

The American Red Cross expects to be in Texas helping residents recover from Hurricane Harvey for several months, and in Florida if Hurricane Irma strikes.

Jennifer Capps heads the South Central Kentucky chapter which will hold an orientation and training session on Monday in Bowling Green.

"The country is being impacted greatly," said Capps.  "We have our seasoned volunteers that have done this for years and gone out on ten, 20 deployments. There is a great interest right now and people want to get involved, and there are lots of ways to do that."

National Corvette Museum

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green knows a thing or two about natural disasters, having experienced a massive sinkhole in 2014.  Now the museum is offering a hand to Florida residents trying to escape Hurricane Irma. 

The museum off I-65 is opening its parking lots for cars, trailers, and RVs.  The offer is extended to anyone, not just Corvette owners. 

Ken Herald and his wife were visiting the museum Thursday.  The couple from Fort Meyers, Florida was headed to Indianapolis to stay with relatives.  While they won’t be camping out at the museum, Herald says he appreciates the gesture.

American Red Cross

A Bowling Green woman has responded to more than two dozen natural disasters but says Hurricane Harvey is the worst she's seen because it’s so widespread. 

Carol Gray is a Red Cross volunteer working near Corpus Christi, Texas.  She’s going to shelters and neighborhoods, providing meals to displaced or stranded residents.  This is her 24th disaster response, and Gray says each experience is different, but the takeaway is the same.

"Always appreciate what you have because it can be gone in the blink of an eye," Gray told WKU Public Radio.

Gray plans to leave Texas this weekend and will likely head to Florida as that state braces for a possible hit from Hurricane Irma. 


Western Kentucky University is reacting to President Donald Trump’s decision to suspend the DACA program which has given undocumented students temporary protection from deportation since 2012. 

In many cases, DACA or Deffered Action on Childhood Arrivals, has given young immigrants known as Dreamers the opportunity to pursue a college education.

Lisa Autry

A trial date has been set for the Allen County man charged in the brutal death of a young girl nearly two years ago. 

Timothy Madden was in court Thursday for a pre-trial conference where the judge also ruled on a change of venue request. 

Timothy Madden will stand trial February 26, 2018 in the death of seven-year-old Gabbi Doolin.  Her body was found in a wooded area behind Allen County-Scottsville High School in November 2015.  The child had been sexually assaulted, suffocated, and drowned.

Staff Sgt. Joshua Horton, U.S. Air National Guard

Eighteen members of the Kentucky Air National Guard are in Texas helping stranded residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. 

The 123rd Special Tactics Squadron out of Louisville specializes in swift-water rescues, confined-space operations, and emergency medical care. 

"The 123rd STS has taken all of it's equipment down, ATVs and inflatable motor boats, to provide search and rescue, and any support as needed," said Major Steve Martin.

Kentucky’s public universities are debating whether to break off from the state’s troubled retirement system and create a pension plan of their own. 

New Western Kentucky University President Timothy Caboni says it’s an idea that has to be considered.   He told WKU Public Radio that pension obligations are consuming an increasing amount of money from university budgets. 

"One of the things I've learned in the last few months is how much of a cost driver pensions are for WKU," stated Caboni.  "In one of our pension systems, the university's contribution in the past decade has gone from eight percent of an employee's salary to 48 percent."

Attorney General Andy Beshear says part of the solution to Kentucky’s drug epidemic begins at home. 

Beshear announced a new program Tuesday that will help get unused pain killers out of home medicine cabinets, a place where family or friends often begin their drug abuse. 

The AG’s office has launched the Kentucky Opioid Disposal Program which uses the drug deactivation pouch Deterra.  Kentuckians will be able to place their unused medication into the pouch, fill it with warm water, wait 30 seconds, seal the pouch, and shake the pouch before disposing of it in normal trash. One pouch destroys 45 pills, six ounces of liquid or six patches.

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