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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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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