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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Business
5:00 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Kentucky Congressmen Hold Field Hearing on ObamaCare

Two Republican Congressmen from Kentucky will host a field hearing in Lexington Tuesday titled "Health Care Challenges Facing Kentucky's Workers and Job Creators. 

"This is an official Congressional hearing where witnesses will offer testimony that will become part of the Congressional record," says U.S. Representative Andy Barr of Lexington.

Representative Brett Guthrie of Bowling Green is also hosting the hearing that will focus on the Affordable Care Act.  The federal health care overhaul requires employers with 50 or more full-time workers to provide health insurance or pay penalties.  Last month, the Obama administration pushed back implementation of the employer mandate until January of 2015.

Politics
10:11 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Paul: GOP Can Court Minorities and Support Voter ID Laws

Rand Paul, R-KY

As new voter ID laws take effect across the county, U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is maintaining his position that asking voters to produce identification before casting their ballot has no racial overtones. Paul told WKU Public Radio that voter ID provisions are needed to combat voter fraud and not doing so is a disservice to those who fought for the right to vote.

"Forty, 50 years ago when people were fighting for the right to vote, there were people beaten with clubs, there were people who fought for the Voting Rights Act, and at that time, African Americans weren't voting and weren't allowed to vote," said the Bowling Green Republican.

More states are enacting voter ID laws since the U.S. Supreme Court in June gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act that gave the federal government oversight of states with a history of voter discrimination. Sen. Paul says he hasn't seen any evidence that minorities are facing obstacles in voting.  In fact, he says in the last election, African Americans voted at a higher percentage than White Americans in states that were under special provisions of the federal government. 

His comments come as he urges the GOP to do more to attract minorities, and as opponents of the Supreme Court's decision on the Voting Rights Act point to various voter ID laws they say are designed to discourage election day turnout in minority communities.

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Education
2:05 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Kentucky Education Chief Affirms Enrollment Cap Decision for Bowling Green, Warren County

Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday is affirming a decision to allow 750 Warren County students to attend Bowling Green city schools this academic year, according to a posting on the city schools' website.

Earlier this year, the Warren County school board lowered the cap on the number of county-zoned students allowed to attend city schools.  The city appealed the county’s decision to the state education commissioner. 

Following a three-day hearing last month, the hearing officer recommended to Holliday that the student cap be increased to 750 in the 2013-14 school year and the 2014-15 school years. 

Holliday’s order received Friday by the city school system only addresses this year.

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Business
1:09 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Kentucky Hospitals Announce Partnership to Strengthen Pediatric Care

Kentucky's two largest children's hospitals are partnering to provide better pediatric care across the state.  Kosair Children's Hospital and U-K Children's Hospital have signed a letter intent to join forces and will spend the next few months working out the details. 

"Bottom line is, we can do more together than separately," says Stephens Williams, CEO of Norton Healthcare, which owns and operates Kosair.  "Our goal is to continue to expand services, certainly allowing us to better compete with children's hospitals in our border states." 

Williams says the collaboration will allow the hospitals to recruit more specialty pediatricians to handle some of the chronic diseases that plague Kentucky children such as obesity and diabetes. 

The partnership will also build upon collaborations the two hospitals already have with their cancer and transplant programs. 

Politics
2:06 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Redistricting Plan Moving in the Kentucky House

(From left) Rep. Ryan Quarles, R-Georgetown; Rep. Robert Benvenuti, R-Lexington; Rep. Mike Harmon, R-Danville; and Rep. Stan Lee, R-Lexington, discuss legislation prior to the start of the day's legislative session in the Kentucky House of Representatives.
Credit Legislative Research Commission

A House committee in Frankfort passed the chamber's redistricting plan Tuesday on a 25-4 vote with the support of many Republicans. The lone Democrat who voted against the bill was Representative Jimmie Lee of Elizabethtown. 

The proposed map splits Hardin County among six districts, with only Lee's district--the 25th--remaining entirely within Hardin County. 

"With the other counties involved, someone that would seek the seat living in Hardin County in these various districts will never have enough votes in Hardin County to ever win an election," explains Lee.  "Basically, this map has precluded the northern end of Hardin County from ever having someone who lives there serve as their representative."

The bill is expected to easily win approval from the full House on Wednesday. 

The House map pairs eight incumbents, four Republicans and four Democrats, against each other in elections next year.  It varies quite a bit from a 2012 House proposal that pitted nine incumbents against each other, eight of them Republicans.  That plan was thrown out by the Kentucky Supreme Court.

Education
9:28 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Kentucky Pediatricians Feel Reading is Good Medicine

Noah Newman, 5 and brother Brady, 3 get new books from Dr. Billie Galyen at the Community Health Center in Muhlenberg County.
Credit Lisa Autry

Studies suggest reading to children early in their development enhances their vocabulary, helps them identify letters and become better readers.  Yet, less than half of U.S. children are read to on a daily basis. 

To counteract that problem, reading is being doctor-prescribed in certain parts of the commonwealth, like Muhlenberg County.

Dr. Billie Galyen sees about 6,000 kids a year at her pediatric clinic in Greenville.

Five-year-old Brady and three-year-old Noah are there for check-ups. Every child six months to five years old leaves the office with a new book to take home and a prescription to read.

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Regional
7:14 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Tennessee Woman Among the Two Pilots Killed in UPS Crash

One of the pilots killed when a UPS cargo plane crashed Wednesday in Alabama lived in Tennessee. 

UPS has not released the identities of the two crew members, but The Tennessean newspaper and WTVF television quote family and neighbors who say 37-year-old Shanda Fanning died in the crash near the airport in Birmingham.  The flight had originated  in Louisville. 

Fanning was from Lynchburg, Tennessee and those who knew her say she was an excellent pilot who had been flying since she was a teenager.

The National Transportation Safety Board says the pilots did not issue a distress call prior to the crash. 

Agriculture & Health
12:53 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Bowling Green Farmers Market to Cater to Lower Income Areas, Set up Market on Wheels

Customers bought fresh produce Wednesday at a farmers market set up at the Barren River District Health Department in Bowling Green.
Credit Lisa Autry

Bowling Green area farmers set up shop outside the Barren River District Health Department Wednesday, in an effort to make nutritional food easily accessible to the community.

Farmers selling vegetables, eggs, meats, and cheeses set up their tents on the front lawn of the health department, and--within a few minutes--business was booming.

A group of local farmers is working to make their products accessible in low-income areas. The farmers used the health department Wednesday as a testing site to see how many consumers would be willing to turn out.

The farmers have purchased a bus with a USDA grant. The bus is being retrofitted to act as a traveling community farmers market. Starting in April, the bus will stop at various Bowling Green locations where access to fresh foods is limited.

The market will also accept forms of government assistance, and will become Kentucky's first farmers market on wheels.

Regional
6:30 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Man in Jail Says He Killed Bardstown Police Officer, Investigators Dismiss Claim

Brant Sheckles
Credit Nelson County Jail

A man behind bars in Nelson County claims he killed Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis. Twenty-four-year-old Brant Sheckles was arrested over the weekend at a party that got out of hand.  Brant Sheckles is the nephew of Bardstown Mayor Bill Sheckles. 

WAVE-TV in Louisville reports Sheckles is known to associate with the “Bardstown Money Gang.”  Investigators have focused on the group because prior to his death, Officer Ellis arrested three of its members.  However, Police Chief Rick McCubbin says investigators don’t believe Sheckles had anything to do with the murder. 

"They're trying to empower themselves by making that claim, intimidating people, and using the fear factor that 'I'm so bad I killed a cop'," says McCubbin.

Officer Ellis was gunned down in May when he stopped to remove debris from an exit ramp off the Bluegrass Parkway in Nelson County.

Regional
2:04 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

KSP Asking for Public's Help Locating Simpson Jail Escapee

Adonnis Herndon
Credit Kentucky State Police

Kentucky State Police out of Bowling Green are searching for an escapee from the Simpson County Jail. 

Adonnis Cortez Herndon is described as an African-American male, 6’3” tall and 213 lbs.  He was last seen wearing a yellow t-shirt with SCDC on the back in blue. 

Herndon walked away from a work detail at the housing authority.  He may be in a small white, four-door passenger car with dark tinted windows.

Anyone with any information regarding the whereabouts of Adonnic Cortez Herndon is asked to contact Kentucky State Police at 1-800-222-5555.

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