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

Bowling Green Fairness Coalition

When the Bowling Green City Commission meets Tuesday, it will be a historic moment for members of the LGBT community. 

For the first time, a so-called fairness ordinance will be on the agenda that would make it illegal to discriminate against someone because of their gender identity and sexual orientation. 

Members of the local LGBT community and supporters have spent years making speeches, delivering petitions, and holding rallies in support of extending civil rights protections to individuals based on their gender identity and sexual orientation.  Commissioner Slim Nash is fulfilling a campaign promise by introducing the ordinance. 

“I have come to believe whole-heartedly that there is a problem," Nash told WKU Public Radio.  "I’ve met many people who are willing to share their story with me, but who are reluctant to share their story with the larger public out of fear.”

Nash’s proposal before the Bowling Green City Commission would add lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender individuals to the city's current law that prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, age, color, and nationality.

Flickr/Creative Commons/Adam Theo

A growing movement to amend the U.S. Constitution is making its way to Kentucky.  A group called Convention of States will be in Frankfort Tuesday to lobby members of the General Assembly. 

State Representative Jim DeCesare has filed a resolution on the group’s behalf that calls for a national convention under Article 5 of the Constitution. 

The Warren County Republican says the resolution calls for two amendments.  One would require federal budgets to be balanced, and the other would give states sovereignty from federal mandates.

The Henderson County school system is preparing to begin random drug-testing. 

Starting in the 2017-18 school year, middle and high school students who participate in extra-curricular activities and those applying for a parking permit will be subject to the testing. 

Band Director Adam Thomas says he hopes the new policy will be a deterrent. 

"If they're at a party or something like that and somebody offers them something, we really hope they will say 'What if this is the week I get drawn in the random testing and we've got the big game on Friday or state marching band on Saturday? I don't want to miss out on that because I made one poor decision.'"

National Corvette Museum

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green has named a new curator.  Derek Moore from Garrettsville, Ohio will join the museum staff in early March. 

Moore is currently the curator of transportation history at the Cleveland History Center.  Before that, he held a similar role at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

As curator for the National Corvette Museum, Moore will be responsible for researching  and producing exhibits, as well as planning the acquisition and safekeeping of collection pieces related to Corvette history.

David Osbourne

Twenty-eight years ago, as a Daviess County sheriff’s deputy, David Osbourne went to the home of Darrell Perry to serve an eviction notice.  Perry had never been on the radar of local police, so Osbourne thought serving him with papers would be routine business.

“We didn’t get in an argument inside the house.  He didn’t even raise his voice.  He just said, ‘Why are they doing this to me,'" Osbourne recalled.  "We got back outside by the driveway.  My cruiser was parked behind his car.  I walked to my cruiser.  I didn’t watch him, and the next thing I knew I heard the first shot go off.”

Osbourne was struck four times, including in his back.  The bullet nicked his spinal cord, paralyzing him from the waist down.  The six-foot, 250-pound shooter then jumped on top of Osbourne.

WKU

Western Kentucky University President Gary Ransdell is preparing to write a new chapter in his higher education career.  Dr. Ransdell will retire from WKU on June 30 after leading the school for two decades. 

Next January, Dr. Ransdell will become president of the Semester at Sea program based in Fort Collins, Colorado.  Every semester, 600 students and 30 faculty members from across the world live and study on a ship that circles the globe. 

Ransdell says heading the program will allow him to continue his passion for global learning.

Flickr/Creative Commons/Floyd Wilde

Supporters of building a veterans nursing home in Bowling Green hope a new feasibility study will help make the project a reality.

The study identified south central Kentucky as the region most in need of a long-term care facility for veterans.  The two closest facilities are in Radcliff and Hanson, each more than 60 miles away from Bowling Green. 

The study looked at the projected veteran population through 2043.  Kentucky is currently home to around 330,000 veterans.  While the number of veterans is expected to decrease by about 80,000 by 2043, Kentucky is expected to see an increase in retired female service members.  Commissioner Norman Arflack in the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs says the need reflects the changing military dynamic.

U.S. Postal Service

Bowling Green postal carriers who work out of the downtown post office will relocate later this month. 

The delivery unit will move to the Scottsville Road location on February 21.  U.S. Postal Service Spokeswoman Susan Wright says there should be few disruptions to service.

"Some customers may notice a slightly different time of day in their regular delivery and that's simply because the carriers will have a new line of travel," Wright told WKU Public Radio.

All retail and P.O. Box services will remain downtown.  Passport services, package pickup, and hold mail pickup will move to the Scottsville Road site.

An executive order from the White House has hiring at Mammoth Cave National Park in limbo. 

President Donald Trump has issued a hiring freeze across federal government, including national parks.  Some new exemptions appear to roll back the freeze on hiring seasonal workers, who are crucial to Mammoth Cave in south central Kentucky. 

Spokeswoman Vickie Carson says the park is still waiting for the National Park Service to give the all-clear for hiring.  Otherwise, Carson says a lack of seasonal workers could force the park to alter its cave tour schedule.

"Here at Mammoth Cave, our primary resource is the cave, and to go inside the cave, you have to have a ranger go with you, and that's partly for protection of the visitors, but it's also for protection of the cave," Carson told WKU Public Radio.

Lisa Autry

More Kentuckians are getting involved in their communities, but fewer citizens are trusting of the media.  Those are some of the findings contained in the 2016 Civic Health Index released by Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Speaking Wednesday at Western Kentucky University, Grimes said the growing distrust of the media is perpetuated by fake news.  As more people get their news online, she said it’s important to get it from multiple sources.

"While it makes people feel good about hearing the same news they like over and over again, and they're communicating with folks of similar values, they're not hearing both sides of a story, and importantly, there's someone making a profit off all of this," Grimes told WKU Public Radio.

Lisa Autry

The head of the Kentucky International Center in Bowling Green says he is disappointed by President Trump’s proposed plan to restrict the flow of refugees to the U.S. 

Albert Mbanfu says it’s now unlikely that any Syrian refugees will be coming to Bowling Green.  Forty Syrians were scheduled to arrive in Bowling Green this year, despite concerns from many in the community. 

"This goes against everything the U.S. stands for," Mbanfu told WKU Public Radio.  "It pains me that we've reached the point where fear has overcome reason and passion is just taking over."

President Trump is expected to sign an executive order that includes a four-month halt on all refugee re-settlements, as well as a temporary ban on refugees coming from predominantly Muslim countries.

WKU

The man chosen as the preferred candidate to lead Western Kentucky University is meeting with the campus community this week. 

Dr. Timothy Caboni comes from the University of Kansas where he serves as Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs.  He brings experience in teaching, administration, fundraising, communications, and legislative relations. 

Dr. Tamela Smith represents staff members on the Board of Regents, and says she hopes their concerns will be recognized by the next president.

"There's things we're behind on for compensation.  We had over 22% turnover in 2015 and outsourced 200 staff positions in 2016," Smith stated.  "Those are significant issues that affect morale."

Flickr/Creative Commons/U.S. Department of Education

The birthday cutoff for kindergarten in Kentucky is moving up two months. 

Children must be five years old on or before August 1 of this year in order to enter kindergarten for the 2017-18 school year.  The previous cutoff was October 1. 

Bowling Green Schools Superintendent Gary Fields says the change won’t affect that many students.

"I think this is an acknowledgement that many parents were not opting to start their children in kindergarten if their sons or daughters were born in August and September," Fields told WKU Public Radio.  "As an example, in the Bowling Green schools, we currently have 312 kindergarteners, and this law would have impacted ten of those students."

The General Assembly changed state law to implement the earlier cutoff based on the premise that younger students may not be ready for kindergarten and may not get off to a successful start.

Warren County Regional Jail

A Bowling Green man involved in a shooting Sunday night outside a restaurant has died. 

Witnesses told police the incident happened in the parking lot of Puerto Vallarta on Scottsville Road. 

Twenty-two-year-old Victor Rangel Orozco died from a gunshot wound to the chest.  Twenty-one-year-old Jamie Garcia, also of Bowling Green, told police he was sitting in a vehicle behind Orozco looking at a handgun he was attempting to purchase from the victim.  Garcia said he thought the gun was unloaded, pulled the trigger, and fired into Orozco’s vehicle.

Jenean Hampton

Kentucky’s lieutenant governor wants to inspire the next generation of small business owners. 

Jeanean Hampton has launched the state’s first Entrepreneurship Challenge, which is a business pitch competition open to all Kentucky students in grades 9-12. 

Teams must have between two and four students with two adult advisers who could be parents, teachers, or business leaders.

Hampton is a retired Air Force captain who earned an MBA with a focus on marketing, entrepreneurship and electronic commerce. 

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