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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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.”


Creative Commons

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. 

A six-year-old boy from Hardin County is in the hospital after being struck by a vehicle while preparing to board his school bus. 

The accident happened Monday morning in the 500 block of Balmoral Road.  According to the Elizabethtown Police Department, the child was hit by a bus owned and operated by Communicare, which is a regional provider of mental health services. 

The police department’s public information officer, John Thomas, says it’s too early in the investigation to say if any charges will be filed.

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.

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