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. 

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LRC Public Information

A south central Kentucky lawmaker at the center of a sexual harassment investigation involving three other House members has filed for re-election. 

The Secretary of State’s website shows that Representative Michael Meredith has filed for re-election to his 19th District House seat that covers Edmonson and a portion of Warren County. 

The Oakland Republican is one of four GOP House members who secretly settled sexual harassment claims with a female legislative staffer.  The Legislative Ethics Commission is currently investigating the allegations that included inappropriate text messaging. 

Owensboro city government

An Owensboro city commissioner is launching a bid to replace State Senator Joe Bowen who is retiring at the end of the year. 

Democrat Bob Glenn has filed to run for the 8th District Senate seat that represents Daviess, Hancock, and McLean counties. 

Glenn, a communications professor at Owensboro Community and Technical College, says budget cuts to education is one of the reasons he’s running for the legislature.

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A complaint is being filed with the Kentucky NAACP following an act of racism against two Western Kentucky University students. 

Two students who live at The Crown apartment complex say they were victims of a hate crime this week. 

The African-American females say they found feces smeared on the doors and windows of their apartment unit and a note that contained a racial slur followed by the words “make America great again.”

Owensboro Health

A program to train more primary care physicians in Owensboro is among 70 programs Governor Matt Bevin has tapped for elimination due to budget constraints, but architects of the project say it will move forward. 

In a budget address to the Kentucky legislature Tuesday, Governor Bevin proposed eliminating state funds for a three-year family medical residency program, which is a partnership between Owensboro Health and the University of Louisville. 

While still in the planning phase, Owensboro Health Marketing and Public Relations Director Brian Hamby said the health system isn't worried about the future of the project.

City of Bowling Green

The field of candidates is growing to replace veteran State Representative Jody Richards of Warren County who will retire from the legislature at the end of the year.  A former Bowling Green mayor is expected to enter the race.

Eldon Renaud hasn’t made any official statements, but his LinkedIn profile says he’s a candidate for the 20th District House seat that represents part of Warren County. 

In a statement to WKU Public Radio on Tuesday, Renaud said that he understands the needs of Bowling Green and Warren County, and one of those needs is to protect pensions earned by public sector employees.

Kentucky Attorney General's Office

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear says a new unit in his office is focused solely on investigating and prosecuting sexual assault cold cases. 

A backlog of more than 3,000 untested rape kits has nearly been cleared.  According to www.kentuckybacklog.com, 3,173 kits have been tested, and as of November 28, 2017, 415 DNA profiles had been submitted to a national database that produced 174 links to convicted felons.

Attention is now shifting to bringing closure to victims, some of whom have waited decades. 

In a news conference Tuesday, Beshear said the cold case team consists of a victims advocate, investigator, and prosecutor.

Polaris

An FBI agent in Kentucky says human trafficking is now the third-largest criminal enterprise in the world, and it’s expected to eclipse drug-running in a few years. 

Special Agent Michael Brown, who is based in Owensboro, says sex and labor trading are occurring in cities large and small throughout the commonwealth. 

In a speech Wednesday to the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club, Brown said he investigated a case in Henderson in 2014 where two girls were willingly prostituting themselves in order to earn money to buy a car.

Mike Wilson

Another candidate has joined the race for State Representative Jim DeCesare’s seat in the Kentucky House of Representatives. 

Mike Wilson of Bowling Green has filed to run for the 17th District seat that represents Butler and part of Warren County.  The seat opened up after DeCesare announced he wouldn’t seek re-election this year. 

Wilson is a Republican and works as Director of Facilities for Warren County Public Schools.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky is asking the state Department of Education to establish clear guidelines for teaching Bible literacy courses. 

The ACLU contends the curriculum being taught in some of Kentucky’s public schools violate the Constitution. 

The ACLU found that some districts are using online Sunday school lessons and requiring students to memorize Bible verses, among other things. 

In a letter to the Kentucky Department of Education, the ACLU asks for clear and concise guidance for teachers, as well as mechanisms for monitoring the courses as they are implemented.

When State Representative Jody Richards announced his retirement from the Kentucky House on Monday, two Warren County residents wasted little time in announcing their plans to run for his seat.

As someone who spent more than four decades in the Kentucky General Assembly, Richards wields much power and seniority that has often benefited south central Kentucky.  His retirement from the legislature has gained the interest of two political newcomers.

Lisa Autry

The man charged with killing a young girl from south central Kentucky will have to wait longer for his day in court.  A judge has granted a defense motion to delay the trial of Timothy Madden.

During a pre-trial hearing this morning, Allen Circuit Judge Janet Crocker said this is the most important case she’ll ever preside over and all parties need to be prepared.

Madden’s trial was originally scheduled to start February 26, but his attorney, Travis Lock, argued that he needed more time to review evidence submitted by the prosecution.

Madden is charged in the 2015 death of seven-year-old Gabbi Doolin of Scottsville.  He has pleaded not guilty to the crimes.

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

The sexual harassment investigation involving two state lawmakers from south central Kentucky is leading to plenty of interest in their seats. 

Four candidates have launched bids to replace embattled Republican State Representatives Jim DeCesare and Michael Meredith.

According to the Secretary of State’s office, two Republicans have filed to run for the seat belonging to DeCesare.  The 17th District House seat covers Butler and a portion of Warren County.

J. Tyler Franklin

As the Kentucky General Assembly gavels into session on Tuesday, an advocate is encouraging lawmakers to pass legislation that could help sexual assault victims find justice. 

Gretchen Hunt heads the Office of Victims Advocacy in the state Attorney General’s Office. 

She says Kentucky law enforcement should be taking DNA samples from suspects arrested for committing felony offenses.

Mary Meehan

In this season of giving, one study finds that Kentucky has some room for improvement.

The personal finance website Wallet Hub ranks the commonwealth 41st in the nation overall for charitable giving.

The study used data from a Gallup survey to measure Kentuckians’ percentage of income given to charities and the number of hours spent volunteering. Wallet Hub Analyst Jill Gonzales says Kentuckians appear more willing to open up their wallets than their schedules.

One south central Kentucky community has moved a step closer toward establishing a needle exchange for drug addicts. 

In a 4-3 vote with one abstention, the Barren County Fiscal Court approved a program Tuesday that will allow intravenous drug users to anonymously swap dirty syringes for clean ones at the local health department. 

Kentucky already has a high rate of Hepatitis-C, and health experts say needle exchanges can help reduce the spread of blood-borne diseases likes Hep-C and HIV. 

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