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

Christian County Detention Center

The Allen County man charged in the brutal death of a young girl nearly three years ago was in court Tuesday afternoon with his lawyer for the last time.  Timothy Madden’s defense attorney was disqualified from the case in May.

The 41-year-old Madden has been declared indigent and in need of state funds to prepare his death penalty case for trial.  Attorney Travis Lock has been representing Madden pro bono for more than a year, but the defendant and his family can no longer afford to hire expert witnesses who would, among other things, conduct psychological evaluations of the defendant. 

Creative Commons

Kentucky’s attorney general wants the state to stop investing taxpayer dollars and retirement contributions in companies that have profited from the opioid crisis. 

It’s Andy Beshear’s latest attempt to punish the makers and distributors of highly addictive painkillers.

Beshear sent letters this week to the Kentucky Retirement Systems and the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System, urging the agencies to stop investing funds in the six opioid manufacturers and distributors that his office is currently suing for helping fuel the state’s prescription drug abuse.

Warren County Regional Jail

The neighbor who admitted to attacking U.S. Senator Rand Paul outside his home last fall was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green to 30 days in jail. 

Rene Boucher was also ordered to serve one year of supervised release, perform 100 hours of community service, and have no intentional contact with the Paul family. 

Boucher addressed the court and offered an apology to the Republican lawmaker who sustained broken ribs and other injuries after being tackled from behind while mowing his lawn on November 3.

"What I did was wrong and I hope he and his family can one day accept my apology," Boucher said.

All Tech

Alltech has decided to end its brewing partnership with Western Kentucky University which will cease production of two WKU-themed beers. 

The Nicholasville-based biotech company collaborated with WKU three years ago to open a fully operational brewery that would support new graduate and undergraduate certificates in Brewing and Distilling Arts and Sciences. 

Alltech leased space on WKU’s campus and provided the brewery with production equipment.  Communications Director Susanna Elliott told WKU Public Radio that the company has decided not to continue the lease.

Ryland Barton

The head of Kentucky’s troubled pension system says there’s light at the end of the tunnel, but the light is a long way off. 

"For the past two years, we've been seeing increases in funding levels and investment returns. That's the light," said David Eager, executive director of the Kentucky Retirement Systems. "The distance is that it will take perhaps 35 years before we get out of this severely under-funded position."

Kentucky's pension plans for public employees face a combined $40 billion in unfunded liabilities.

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The board that governs higher education in Kentucky is considering a proposal to change the minimum guidelines for admission to public colleges and universities. 

For students wanting to enter a state-supported, four-year institution, they would need a minimum high school GPA of 2.5, although schools would be allowed to set higher admission standards. 

CPE President Bob King says students with a lower GPA could be still be accepted, but they would have to enter into a learning contract with the college that would include a number of support services such as remedial classes and mentoring.

Simpson County Tourism Commission

A small town in south central Kentucky is preparing to celebrate one of country music’s greatest love stories. Franklin will commemorate the 1968 wedding of Johnny and June Carter Cash with the unveiling of a historical marker outside the First United Methodist Church where the country music stars became man and wife in a surprise, low-key ceremony. 

They may have gotten married in a fever, but it wasn’t in Jackson as the couple’s 1967 hit suggested.  It was in Franklin, Kentucky, the first town north of the Tennessee line on I-65.

“Franklin and Simpson County had a bit of a reputation from the 1930s through the 1970s as a place for couples from northern middle Tennessee to come to get married because they could do it all in one day," explained Dan Ware, Simpson County's tourism director. "In their home state of Tennessee, there was a mandatory three-day waiting period, by law, that was in place at the time.”


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Like several other states, Kentucky is dealing with a statewide outbreak of Hepatitis A. 

The virus can lead to a potentially deadly liver infection.  It's most often transmitted through fecal matter coming in contact with a person's mouth. 

Dr. Jeffrey Howard, Acting Commissioner of the state Department for Public Health, says Kentucky averages 20 cases of Hepatitis A a year, but the commonwealth has seen more than 600 cases since the outbreak started in the fall of 2017.

Christian County Detention Center

The judge presiding over the case of an Allen County man charged in the 2015 murder of a young girl has dismissed his defense lawyer from the case. 

At a pre-trial hearing Tuesday, Attorney Travis Lock requested that his client Timothy Madden be declared indigent, and therefore, entitled to money from the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy.  Lock has been representing Madden pro bono for a year, but he argued the state funds were needed to hire expert witnesses. 

Three Warren County Republicans are running for the southern Kentucky House seat held by Democrat Jody Richards since 1976.  Ben Lawson, Troy Brooks, and Todd Alcott are seeking the GOP nomination for the 20th District House seat, which covers part of Warren County including Bowling Green.

WKU Public Radio is introducing you to all the candidates on the ballot in next week’s primary election.  We previously reported on the five Democrats in the race, including Patti Minter, Slim Nash, Ashlea Shepherd Porter, Rick DuBose, and Eldon Renuad. 

When veteran State Representative Jody Richards announced earlier this year that he wouldn’t seek re-election, several political newcomers were waiting in the wings. 

Eight candidates are running for the Kentucky House in the 20th District, a seat that hasn’t been vacant in more than four decades. 

In the days leading up to the May 22 primary election, WKU Public Radio is profiling each of the candidates.

Lisa Autry

President Donald Trump has called the opioid crisis a national health emergency, ravaging Appalachian states like Kentucky, West Virginia, and Ohio.  That’s helped put the spotlight on the role doctors play in prescribing powerful pain relievers that sometimes lead to addiction and overdose deaths. 

A former Warren County physician will get a stinging reminder on Monday that his medical career is over, and that his freedom is being taken away.  Fred Gott will be sentenced in federal court for over-prescribing powerful painkillers, including Fentanyl and Methadone.  The case against the 66-year-old heart doctor started to build in 2012.


Hardin Memorial Health

Louisville-based Baptist Health has agreed to purchase Hardin Memorial Health in a deal worth more than $361 million. 

The sale approved on Tuesday by the Baptist Health Board of Directors will build on an existing partnership between the two health care systems.  Hardin Memorial Health is owned by Hardin County, but Baptist Health has managed the 300-bed facility and system for the past 20 years.

A new report paints a sobering picture when it comes to child abuse and fatalities in Kentucky. 

In 2016, the most recent year for which data was available, the bluegrass state had the second-highest rate of child abuse in the nation.  The report is from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau.

Kentucky reported 20,000 cases of abuse in 2016, or about 20 out of every 1,000 children. That's a six percent increase from the year before.  The state experienced a 34 percent increase in child abuse cases from 2012-2016.

A former Simpson County physician has been convicted in federal court of illegally prescribing prescription pain killers and anti-anxiety medicine. 

Dr. Roy Reynolds was found guilty on Monday following a nine-day trial in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green.  He was convicted on 15 counts of illegally distributing controlled substances. 

Reynolds was the treating physician to one patient who overdosed and died.  According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Kentucky, the patient had a documented history of illicit drug use and psychiatric issues. 

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