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. 

Pages

Regional
3:41 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Glasgow Sisters Testify in Federal Trial of Barren County Sheriff, Two Others

Testimony began Tuesday in the federal trial of Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton and two other law enforcement officers accused of beating a suspect in custody. The three are also charged with trying to cover up their actions by lying in documents given to the FBI.

On the witness stand Tuesday afternoon were two Glasgow sisters who witnessed the 2010 episode between the suspect and officers. First to speak was a fifteen-year-old who was 12 when a van crashed into a Glasgow church where she was preparing for evening worship with her youth group. She testified she wasn't sure how suspect Billy Stinnett got on the ground, but she said she saw uniformed officers kicking and hitting him.

She also testified that she didn't remember if Stinnett was in handcuffs or if he had a weapon.

Her older sister, who was 16 at the time, testified she saw Stinnett on the ground, with his hands cuffed behind his back. Defense attorneys asked the girls if they knew anything about the suspect, who was high on meth at time, or the two-county chase he had led officers on before crashing his van.

The girls said they didn't, and also said this was the first time they had ever seen anyone placed under arrest.

Jurors are expected to hear from several other teen witnesses in the trial that is expected to last up to two weeks.

Regional
8:08 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Jury Seated to Hear Excessive Force Case Against Barren County Sheriff, Others

Testimony begins Tuesday in the federal trial of Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton and two other officers charged with using excessive force on a suspect in custody and lying about it to federal investigators. 

Sheriff Eaton, Deputy Aaron Bennett, and Barren County Drug Task Force Detective Eric Guffey are accused of civil rights violations in the arrest of a methamphetamine suspect who led officers on a two-county car chase in 2010. 

The defense will argue the suspect, Billy Stinnett, was combative and the use of force appropriate for the situation. Among the expected witnesses is former Deputy Adam Minor who was originally facing the same charges, but pleaded guilty to one charge of making false statements to the FBI.  In a deal with prosecutors, Minor will testify against the sheriff and two other officers.  

The trial in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green is expected to last at least a week.

Regional
12:16 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Motorcycle Crash Kills Two in Warren County

A deadly motorcycle crash early Monday morning in Warren County is under investigation.  

According to a Kentucky State Police news release, a Bowling Green police officer noticed the motorcycle operator driving recklessly on Lovers Lane.  The officer attempted a traffic stop but the motorcyclist refused to pull over and took off at a high rate of speed.  The operator lost control of the motorcycle and hit a rock fence on Ewing Ford Road. 

The driver was 22-year-old Timothy Madison of Bowling Green and his passenger was 24-year-old Sandrice Parker also of Bowling Green.  Both were pronounced dead at the scene.

Education
10:44 am
Mon April 29, 2013

SKYCTC Presidential Finalists Visit Bowling Green Campus

Four finalists vying for the presidency of Southern Kentucky Community and Technical College will visit the Bowling Green campus this week for interviews and public forums. 

Southern Kentucky Community and Technical College Provost Phillip Neal is the only in-house candidate. Dr. Lynn Moore from Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon is Vice President for Administrative Services and Student Development. Dr. George Sehi is Executive Director of University Relations from the Warren and Butler County, Ohio Educational Service Centers, and Dr. Ralph Sony is the publisher and editor of the North Carolina Community College Journal. 

Current Southern Kentucky Community and Technical College President Nathan Hodges is retiring after eight years at the helm. Under his leadership, the school change its named from Bowling Green Technical College to reflect an expansion of the school’s offerings and reach. 

Hodges’ successor will be named by July first.

Regional
1:41 pm
Sun April 28, 2013

Trial Starts Monday for Barren County Sheriff, Others Accused of Using Excessive Force

Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton, a deputy sheriff, and a detective go on trial Monday on charges of civil rights violations and lying to federal investigators.  The case stems from a 2010 arrest in which the three officers were accused of using excessive force. 

Jury selection begins Monday at 9:00am in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green for Sheriff Chris Eaton, Deputy Aaron Bennett, and Barren-Edmonson County Drug Task Force Detective Eric Guffey. 

According to the federal indictment, a 13-year old girl was at a Glasgow church on the night of February 24, 2010, when she looked out the window and saw suspect Billy Randall Stinnett struggling with the local sheriff and several deputies. 

In testimony to the FBI, the girl and four other teenagers present say they saw Eaton and the deputies beating Stinnett to the point where they thought he was being murdered. 

Read more
Education
12:10 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Merger Plan Moving Forward in Two Southern Kentucky School Districts

A financially troubled school district in southern Kentucky has voted to merge with the county school system. 

The Monticello school board approved a plan Monday night that calls for merging with the Wayne County School District, effective July 1st. 

Monticello schools went under state management in February after borrowing more than a million dollars from the state just to keep its three schools open for the rest of the academic year. 

The Wayne County School Board has called a special meeting Tuesday night and members are expected to sign off on the merger.

Education
10:08 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Kentucky Governor Signs into Law New Teacher Effectiveness System

Education advocates join Governor Steve Beshear for a ceremonial bill signing that clears the way for Kentucky to implement a new teacher evaluation system.
Credit Kentucky Department of Education

Kentucky Governor Beshear has put his signature on a bill that clears the way for a new statewide teacher evaluation system. 

In a private ceremony in his office on Monday, the governor signed into law House Bill 180.  The legislation is intended to move educators from simply being qualified to being highly effective.

“Current evaluation systems in Kentucky do not provide our educators the information they need to support their professional growth and effectiveness and in turn, to support increases in student achievement,” Education Commissioner Terry Holliday said.

The new evaluation system calls for multiple measures of effectiveness.  The system, which is being field-tested in 54 school districts this school year, will be piloted statewide in the 2013-14 school year.

Education
5:00 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Southern Kentucky School Districts Consider Merger

The Monticello Independent and Wayne County school boards both meet Monday night to consider a merger proposal.  The state board of education rescued the Monticello school system in February by lending it a million dollars to keep its three schools open until the end of the academic year.  The state then assumed financial management of the district.  Associate Education Commissioner Kevin Brown says merger is the only viable solution at this point.

"There's no scenario that exists that would give Monticello Independent enough revenue to meet that shortfall for next year," explains Brown.  "Because of declining attendance in the district and other reasons, the writing just basically on the wall that it's not able to survive."

Under the state takeover, Jim Hamm was appointed to manage Monticello schools and he told WKU Public Radio on Friday the city and county school districts were very close to a merger agreement.  If the local boards fail to reach an agreement, the state can force merger under current law.

Regional
10:49 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Corps of Engineers Ceremony to Mark Completion of Wolf Creek Dam Project

Wolf Creek is the largest dam east of the Mississippi River
Credit USACE photo by Lee Roberts

The Army Corps of Engineers has wrapped up a six-year project to repair Wolf Creek Dam near Jamestown, Kentucky. 

Engineers says the repairs will permanently stop seepage, that in 2005, deemed the structure at high risk of failure.  Project Manager Don Getty says the scope of the project was unlike any other.

"We put in what we call a barrier wall," explains Getty.  "It's an underground wall that's never been attempted on this scale in the world."

To facilitate repairs, the water level on Lake Cumberland was lowered 40 feet below normal, affecting recreation.  The level has been raised ten feet since the project was finished in early March.  The Corps plans to raise the level again this summer and gradually return the lake to normal pool levels by the end of the year.

The Corps will hold a ceremonial placing of the last piece of concrete on the barrier wall April 19.

Sports
7:53 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Kentucky Wesleyan Basketball Coach Considering Job Offer

Todd Lee is mulling a coaching offer from Grand Canyon University
Credit Kentucky Wesleyan College

The men’s head basketball coach at Kentucky Wesleyan College has been offered a job at Grand Canyon University in Arizona. 

Kentucky Wesleyan Athletic Director Dave Williams confirms to the Messenger-Inquirer that Coach Lee has been offered the associate coaching job at Grand Canyon.  According to Williams, Lee is mulling over the contract and expects to make his decision today. 

Grand Canyon is in its last season as a Division-two school and will move to Division-one in the fall as a member of the Western Athletic Conference.  Kentucky Wesleyan will move from the Great Lakes Valley Conference to the Great Midwest Athletic Conference in the fall. 

Todd Lee just wrapped up his eighth season coaching at KWC.  Until this season, his teams made five straight NCAA tournament appearances.

Pages