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

Mammoth Cave National Park is making plans for the future in hopes of better serving the roughly half-a-million yearly visitors to the natural attraction in south central Kentucky. 

The park has made a number of improvements within the past year, including a renovation of the lodge, upgrades to concession areas, a new pedestrian bridge, and a new handicap-accessible trail.  The national park has also installed solar panels to power charging stations for electric cars in the visitor parking lot. 

Park Superintendent Barclay Trimble spoke to members of the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club on Wednesday.  In addition to the improvements already made, he said the park is working on a cave management plan that will guide how the attraction operates in future decades.

Western Kentucky University is once again in wait-and-see mode.  The school has announced plans to trim its budget by an additional $16 million. 

State budget cuts and increased pension obligations have already forced the elimination of 119 positions to help make up for a $15 million budget shortfall.

Staff Regent Tamela Smith says the reductions have affected morale and placed more responsibilities on remaining employees.

"You've taken on more work, probably without any additional compensation. You're having to do more, and in some cases, learn new skills even," Smith told WKU Public Radio. "The people that remain, it's very hard on them for a variety of reasons. You can't not be concerned about your job at this point."

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

The Kentucky Board of Education has voted to accept the resignation of Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt.

Wayne Lewis was named the interim commissioner with a salary of $150,000.

Pruitt has been commissioner since September 2015. Bevin said Tuesday before the board's vote he was unhappy with the state's recent decline in test scores but said the decision to keep Pruitt was up to the board.

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says she hopes turnout in Kentucky’s May 22 primary election will be just as large as the ballot.  The deadline to register to vote is Monday, April 23.

The mid-term election will feature a host of county-wide races, all of the seats in the state House, half of the state Senate, Congressional, and judicial races. 

Grimes says she’s optimistic that the activism among teachers and other state workers during this year’s legislative session will translate into high turnout at the polls.

Patrice McCrary Facebook

A Warren County teacher is joining thousands of her colleagues from across Kentucky at the state Capitol Friday.  Busloads of educators arrived in Frankfort to continue their activism, exercised many times throughout this year's General Assembly.

Lawmakers increased funding for K-12 education and restored cuts to school bus transportation in the next state budget.  Governor Bevin vetoed the spending plan, and educators will rally in hopes of convincing lawmakers to override the governor’s veto.

LeKeeshia Rochelle Lawson Facebook

Police have recovered the body of a Bowling Green man who had been missing since late March. 

A property owner near Jennings Creek notified police of a body in the water on Monday evening.  An autopsy confirmed the remains were those of 34-year-old Micah Reed. 

Bowling Green Police Department Spokesman Ronnie Ward says Reed’s exact cause of death hasn’t been determined.

Lisa Howlett

One of Logan County’s oldest manufacturers plans to expand operations in China with a business deal that’s expected to close June 1.  Auburn Leather is selling its leather laces division to ISA Tan Tec, which is an international tanning operation. 

Auburn Leather supplies many shoe brands that have factories in China.  President Lisa Howlett says the company needs a greater Chinese presence so it can get its products to market faster. 

Kim Coomer Facebook

Thousands of teachers gathered in Frankfort on Monday to turn up the political heat on  Kentucky lawmakers. 

An estimated 8,000 educators from Paducah to Paintsville rallied at the Capitol, pressuring lawmakers to adequately fund public education as they voted on a new spending plan and a tax overhaul.

The next two-year state budget increases spending for the main funding formula for K-12 schools.  The measure also restores money for bus transportation that Governor Bevin had proposed eliminating and returns money to school resource centers that help provide school supplies, clothing, and food to low-income students.

LRC Public Information

A hearing in Frankfort Tuesday will determine if four Kentucky lawmakers committed ethics violations when they privately settled sexual harassment allegations last fall. 

The Legislative Ethics Commission will consider a complaint brought by a Democratic lawmaker against four Republican state representatives.  Former House Speaker Jeff Hoover from Jamestown, Jim DeCesare of Rockfield, Michael Meredith of Oakland, and Brian Linder from Dry Ridge gave an undisclosed amount of money to a female legislative staffer to settle allegations of sexual harassment. 

Lisa Autry

Kentucky Congressman Brett Guthrie says a number of actions can be taken to improve school safety without banning assault-style weapons. 

The Republican lawmaker held a town hall in Bowling Green on Monday dubbed "A Conversation With Constituents."

The event drew a small, but passionate crowd frustrated by Congress’ inaction on gun control. Congressman Guthrie said he thinks the most effective response to school shootings is adding resource officers in every school.

"If people go into schools, if they illegally walk into schools with a gun, they know no one else in there has one unless it's a resource officer," Guthrie told WKU Public Radio.  "When you have a sign that says, 'This is a gun-free zone,' and then someone walks in with a gun, they know it's a gun-free zone."

A new pilot project in some Kentucky counties will give the public a window into the child welfare system.  For the first time in state history, some child protection cases will be open to the public under a four-year pilot project. 

The Kentucky Supreme Court issued an order this month allowing the pilot project in Harrison, Hopkins, Jefferson, Nicholas, Pendleton, and Robertson counties. 

Chief Justice John Minton, Jr. says he’s in favor of opening courts if it improves accountability and transparency.

Lisa Autry

A non-profit based in Louisville is recruiting Kentucky’s World War Two veterans for a special trip to Washington D.C. 

The Honor Flight Bluegrass Chapter is looking for at least 60 veterans from south central and west Kentucky to visit their memorials on D-Day.  The trip on June 5-6 is free and open to all World War Two veterans from every branch of the military. 

Ninety-two-year-old Charles Adams of Bowling Green took the trip about ten years ago.

"I enjoyed my flight completely. I got to see things I would have never seen before," said Adams. "If you know a veteran or are a veteran, don't be bashful about signing up for this because you deserve it."

Horse Cave Police Department

The Horse Cave Police Department is operating with a skeleton crew following the termination of one officer and the suspension of two others. 

Police Chief Sean Henry and Officer Christopher Trulock are suspended without pay as a federal investigation into the department continues.  City officials haven’t said why the police force is the subject of an FBI probe.  Search warrants were executed at the department earlier this month.

WKU

The president of Western Kentucky University says the most recent budget reductions to offset a $15 million shortfall were less severe than anticipated, but warns more employee layoffs are on the horizon.

WKU President Timothy Caboni says the past several weeks spent reducing personnel across four campuses have been challenging.  The initial budget reduction estimates announced in February indicated that as many as 100 filled positions would need to be eliminated.  However, the actual number of full-time employees laid off was 62.  The university also cut 57 vacant positions. 

Health care providers in Kentucky have a new tool to gauge how their prescribing patterns compare with their peers.  The state has launched a Prescriber Report Card that’s aimed at reducing prescription drug abuse.

The individualized reports are an enhancement to the state’s KASPER program-Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting.  KASPER shows all prescriptions for an individual over a specified time period, the prescriber, and the dispenser.

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