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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Health
6:00 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Launch Date Nears for Kentucky's Health Benefits Exchange

Kentucky is the only southern state implementing all of the federal Affordable Care Act.  A major tenant of the law are the Health Benefits Exchanges, which are online marketplaces where consumers can compare various insurance plans.  Kentucky's exchange, known as kynect, is one week from going live.  Kynect Executive Director Carrie Banahan says a Lexington contact center is fielding more than 100 calls a day.

“People ask ‘Does this affect my Medicare?’ The answer is no.  People want to know how they can qualify and what the eligibility requirements are.  We’ve also received questions about whether there is a limit on the number of people who can qualify for premium assistance, and the answer is no,” explains Banahan.

Kentuckians must be signed up by December 15th in order to receive coverage starting January 1.  The state has about 640,00 people currently uninsured.  It’s estimated that 300,000 will be added to Medicaid and nearly as many will qualify premium assistance.

Regional
1:21 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Bowling Green Man Charged with Violating Federal Gun Laws Released on Bond

A Bowling Green man accused of international gun trafficking is no longer in custody.  A federal judge on Friday morning granted bond to Adam Joseph Bunger. 

Adam Bunger is accused of shipping firearms to England, Sweden, and Australia, all countries with stringent gun laws.  He allegedly used a website called Black Market Reloaded to sell the weapons and used aliases to ship them overseas.  The firearms were supposedly disassembled, and the parts hidden in video game consoles.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jo Lawless argued before U.S. District Judge Brent Brennenstuhl that Bunger should remain behind bars, claiming he was a flight risk and a danger to the community.  She added that the government anticipates bringing additional charges.

“We have truly only scratched the surface,” said Lawless.

Not only was Bunger allegedly shipping firearms in illegal in other countries, Lawless said he was stripping the weapons of serial numbers.  She also contended the investigation had turned up evidence of Bunger also trading in marijuana, fake IDs, and stolen credit cards.

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Regional
2:36 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Bowling Green Man Arrested on Firearms Charges

Adam Joseph Bunger
Credit Warren County Regional Jail

A Bowling Green man charged with using an online black market to ship firearms to foreign buyers is due in federal court Friday for a detention hearing.

Adam Joseph Bunger was arrested this week on federal firearms charges.  He's accused of disassembling weapons, concealing the parts inside electronic devices, and shipping them overseas.  The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said the 33-year-old Bunger pulled off the scheme from June through August. 

ATF Special Agent David S. Hayes wrote in a criminal complaint that Bunger sent firearms to Australia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom by tucking the weapons into Xbox consoles and DVD players.  Hayes said Bunger used a website called Black Market Reloaded to sell the weapons while using the aliases John Smith and Jarvis Smith. 

Bunger made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green on Tuesday where he was assigned a public defender and ordered to remain in custody.

Regional
11:46 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Second Worker Charged with Neglect at Somerset Home for Mentally Disabled

The Kentucky Attorney General’s Office has announced the arrest of a second employee at a home in Somerset for the mentally disabled.                                   

Pulaski County Sheriff’s deputies arrested 21-year-old Cody Burton Wednesday night at his home in Burnside. 

Burton is an employee of Oakwood Manor in Somerset.  His arrest follows Monday’s arrest of 22-year-old Coty King, another Oakwood worker, who’s accused of enticing two patients to hit each other while videotaping the fight on his cell phone. 

Burton is accused of participating in the incident and failing to report it. 

"My office is working hard to help protect our most vulnerable citizens, but all Kentuckians play an important role," General Conway said. "I encourage anyone who suspects abuse of a patient in a nursing home, Medicaid facility or personal care home to immediately report it to our office using our tip line at 1-877-ABUSE TIP."

Oakwood offers care for people with mental and developmental disabilities. It almost closed after a string of citations in 2005 and 2006, but new management took over in 2007 and allegations of abuse and neglect have been rare in recent years.

Health
4:28 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

E-Health Taking Hold in Kentucky, Improving Care

Kentucky has some of the worst rankings in the nation for chronic diseases, but the Commonwealth is a leader for the use of electronic record-keeping.  That’s what Kentucky’s Public Health Commissioner told medical providers and administrators in Bowling Green Tuesday who gathered for an e-health summit. 

Dr. Stephanie Mayfield said one of the benefits of electronic records is more immediate patient care.

“When a patient comes into a hospital or private provider’s office, not having to call or search where that patient’s been, or if that patient isn’t able to tell you where they’ve been, it’s such a medical efficiency to be able to look up that information through the health information exchange," explained Mayfield.

Electronic record-keeping is also intended to increase the accuracy of patient records and reduce medical errors.  Dr. Mayfield said every Kentucky hospital now utilizes electronic records and more than 400 individual providers have signed on.

Environment
4:41 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Kentucky is Home to the Types of Chemical Weapons Allegedly Used in Syria

This is a side view of one of the igloos where chemical weapons are stored at the Bluegrass Army Depot in Richmond, KY.
Craig Williams

Richmond, Kentucky is the last site in the U.S. to continue storing the type of chemical weapons allegedly used in Syria.  The nerve agents Sarin and VX, banned worldwide, are housed at the Bluegrass Army Depot. 

Considered two of the world's most deadly chemical warfare agents, the stockpile is on schedule to be destroyed by 2023. 

One of the people overseeing the destruction is Craig Williams, the Chemical Weapons Project Director at the Kentucky Environmental Foundation.  He spoke to WKU Public Radio about the weapons stored at the Bluegrass Army Depot.

Regional
9:01 am
Sun September 15, 2013

Kentucky's Unemployment Fund on a 'Path to Solvency'

Kentucky has borrowed nearly $950 million from the federal government since 2009 to cover a shortfall in the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund. 

The commonwealth wasn’t alone when benefits skyrocketed and the commonwealth’s unemployment insurance fund became insolvent in 2009.  At least 30 states borrowed money from Washington to beef up their funds during the recession. 

Kentucky’s balance on a nearly $1 billion loan is expected to be around $675 million dollars by year’s end.  Thomas Zawacki, secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet briefed an interim legislative committee in Frankfort last week.  He told lawmakers Kentucky’s unemployment benefits fund is now on a "path to solvency" and the state is on target to pay off the federal loan by 2017, five years earlier than originally anticipated. 

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Regional
4:39 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Mammoth Cave National Park Hosts Citizenship Ceremony--Inside Cave

Thirty-nine immigrants from 22 countries participated in a naturalization ceremony on Friday at Mammoth Cave National Park.
Lisa Autry

The United States put on an adoption ceremony today at Mammoth Cave National Park. 

In a courtroom made by nature, the U.S. adopted 39 new citizens.  In the depths of a cave, a federal judge presided over the ceremony featuring natives of 22 countries around the world.  Park Ranger David Alexander sang "The Star Spangled Banner," and Park Superintendent Sarah Craighead gave the country's newest citizens and official welcome.

"We are so pleased and honored to have you spend your first few minutes as citizens in a national park," remarked Craighead.  "There's not a more perfect place to have that occur."

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Regional
12:32 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Mammoth Cave Hosting Citizenship Ceremony Friday--Inside Cave

The historic entrance to Mammoth Cave National Park
Credit WKU Public Radio

Nearly 50 immigrants from 23 countries will become U.S. citizens in a ceremony Friday at Mammoth Cave National Park in south central Kentucky.  The ceremony is possible through an agreement between the U.S.  Immigration and Naturalization Service and the National Park Service.

"There have been a number of them at Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty...and of course national parks are so American, and they're public land, so they belong to all American citizens," says Mammoth Cave Public Information Officer Vickie Carson.

The ceremony will take place inside a cave and feature remarks from Mammoth Cave's deputy superintendent Bruce Powell, a naturalized citizen himself. Mammoth Cave last hosted a citizenship ceremony in 2011.

Regional
11:41 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Three Sept. 11 Firefighters and Fire Truck Honored Wednesday at Ft. Knox

Al Wallace, Dennis Young, and Mark Skipper are in Ft. Knox Wednesday, being recognized for their heroism at the Pentagon. The firefighters were assigned to the Fort Myer Fire Department in Arlington, VA on Sept. 11, 2001.
Credit Lisa Autry

The Fort Knox Army post is observing the twelfth anniversary of 9-11 by honoring some of the firefighters who responded to the Pentagon on the morning of the attacks.

One of those being honored is Al Wallace, who says he thinks about 9-11 every day. 

Wallace was assigned to the Ft. Myer Fire Department in Arlington, Virginia, on Sept. 11, 2001. He remembers getting a call from his chief alerting him about what had already happened in New York City.

Within minutes, Wallace and his comrades found themselves on the front lines at the Pentagon.

"Right there, up against the building--it was very difficult,” Wallace told WKU Public Radio Wednesday. “It was difficult to breathe, and we were already hypoxic from running. The smoke was coming out of the building along with the heat and the fire. And the more we worked, the more we got hurt."

Wallace was reunited Wednesday with two of his former fire department colleagues, and the fire truck they drove to the Pentagon on 9-11.

The truck--known as Foam 161--was damaged by the fire and destined for demolition. But last year Ft. Knox acquired the truck for its permanent collection at the George Patton Museum and Center for Leadership.

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