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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Politics
10:27 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Lanphear Elected to Warren County Family Court

David Lanphear
Credit Facebook

Attorney David Lanphear was elected to a judgeship in Warren County Family Court.  He defeated Rebecca Adams Simpson by just over 1,400 votes. 

The 61-year-old Lanphear has practiced family law for the past 24 years and served as a court-approved mediator.  Lanphear told WKU Public Radio being a family court judge can be emotionally difficult, but also rewarding.

"It will be rewarding to help people to get the assistance they need when they need it and to hold people accountable who need to be held accountable for the benefit of others in their families," Lanphear remarked.

Faced with a growing family court docket, Lanphear says he hopes to help reduce the amount of time it takes for cases to reach a conclusion. 

Lanphear replaces the late Judge Margaret Huddleston who died this year following a battle with cancer.

Politics
1:28 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Labor Groups Watching Kentucky House Races

Voters will determine Tuesday whether Republicans will take control of the Kentucky House for the first time in nearly a century. 

Someone closely watching House races is Jeff Cone, Vice President of the United Autoworkers Union Local 2164 in Bowling Green.  He fears Kentucky will become a right-to-work state under a GOP-lead House. 

Republicans argue Kentucky is losing jobs to neighboring states with right-to-work laws, but Cone says they’re not the kinds of jobs Kentucky wants to attract.

"It's a race to the bottom," Cone told WKU Public Radio.  "These new jobs that are coming in offer lower wages and little to no benefits.  It's fine to be bringing in new industries, but at extremely reduced wages."

Right-to-work legislation is a major tenant of House Republicans’ agenda should the GOP gain enough seats to lead the Kentucky House.  Republicans already control the state Senate. 

Kentucky is one of the last remaining states in the South that does not have a right-to-work law which allows workers the freedom to decide whether or not they want to join a union and does not make union membership a condition of employment.

Politics
2:57 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

McConnell and Grimes Criss-Cross Kentucky on Final Full Day of Campaigning

Sen. Mitch McConnell and Sec. of State Alison Lundergan Grimes
Credit Offices of Sen. McConnell and Sec. Grimes

One of the most expensive Senate races in U.S. history will come to an end Tuesday evening when voters decide between Republican Mitch McConnell and Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Grimes spoke to supporters at the Bowling Green United Auto Workers Hall Monday morning. She was dismissive of recent polls that show Sen. McConnell with a growing lead. An NBC/Marist poll released over the weekend gave McConnell a nine point lead.

“That’s the Washington D.C.-beltway punditry.  As you can see, the energy is palpable,” Grimes said, in reference to supporters at her Warren County event. “Kentuckians will have the final word in this election, and I do believe that they are bringing this race home, and will bring us across the finish line successfully.”

Grimes is hoping to become Kentucky’s first female U.S. Senator. On the final day of campaigning before votes are cast Tuesday, the Secretary of State is flying around the state, making appearances with Governor Steve Beshear, Former Governor Martha Layne Collins, and Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo.

McConnell is spending Monday alongside his fellow Kentucky Republican Senator, Rand Paul of Bowling Green. The two are flying around the state and speaking at airports across the commonwealth, including those in Bowling Green and Owensboro Monday afternoon.

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Politics
8:00 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Election Day Spells End to Contentious Kentucky House Race

Republican challenger Jeff Jobe (left) and Democratic State Representative Johnny Bell
Credit LRC Public Information, Facebook

Republicans will find out in Tuesday's election if they will take control of the Kentucky House for the first time in nearly a century. 

Twenty-nine Democratic incumbents are defending their seats.  With so much at stake, a few of the races have turned especially negative.  Among them, the 23rd District match-up between Representative Johnny Bell and GOP challenger Jeff Jobe, both of Glasgow. 

Personal attacks have dominated the race, which both candidates say were never their intent.  Representative Bell blames a lot of the negative advertising on outside political groups.

"I'm disappointed this race has taken that tone, but in all honesty, it looks like a push from outside interests trying to gain control and power here in the commonwealth of Kentucky without having any connection or vested interest," Bell told WKU Public Radio.

Bell has hammered Jobe for his past DUI conviction and accusations of domestic abuse.  Jobe has made an issue of Bell’s failure to settle a federal tax lien and his legislative record.

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Regional
1:49 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Don't Forget to Change the Time, Batteries This Weekend

Daylight saving time ends this weekend and most Americans will roll their clocks back one hour before going to bed Saturday night. 

It’s also a good time to change the batteries in your home’s smoke detectors.  Kentucky State Fire Marshal Bill Swope says the number of smoke alarms needed depends on a home’s size and layout.

"We suggest you install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside of each sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement," Swope advises.

Swope suggests homeowners consider new technology if they want to cut down on smoke alarm maintenance.

"There are smoke alarms on the market now that have a ten-year battery, so of course if you purchase that, the need to replace batteries every year goes away," adds Swope.

Because this weekend’s forecast has very cold low temperatures, Swope also advises homeowners to check heating appliances to ensure they’re in safe working order.

Regional
12:31 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Bowling Green House Fire Claims Life of WKU Student

Update: 3:43 p.m.
WKU has confirmed the victim of this morning's house fire, Tyler English, was a sophomore student from Louisville.

Original Post:

One person died Friday morning in a house fire near downtown Bowling Green.

"We got the call at 5:12 a.m. and when we arrived there was heavy smoke showing," says BGFD Public Information Officer Marlee Boenig.

The Warren County Coroner’s Office confirms the victim was 20-year-old Tyler English.  A second person was taken to the hospital with injuries. 

The property on East Main Street was an older home divided into three apartments.  Most of the damage occurred on the second floor of the home. 

Investigators are on the scene working to determine the origin and cause of the fire.

Education
11:00 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Minter Reflects on Tenure as WKU Faculty Regent

Outgoing WKU Faculty Regent Dr. Patti Minter
Credit WKU

After seven years as the faculty representative on the WKU Board of Regents, Dr. Patti Minter will step down after Friday's meeting. 

Often an outspoken critic of athletic salaries, Minter always pressed the board to put more emphasis on academics. 

“I think many people are troubled that as the cost of tuition increases, we continue to privilege entertainment over education," Minter told WKU Public Radio.  "We fund a lot of wants over needs."

Dr. Minter said one of her most rewarding experiences was being a voice not just for faculty, but the students and the community.

"One of the things I noticed when I spoke about these inequities at the Board of Regents, people would stop me at the grocery store, people would stop me on campus, and thank me for what I said and they were  glad someone was giving voice to that."

Dr. Minter feels some of her best achievements were bringing domestic partner benefits to WKU and making salary information more transparent.  Still, she says there is work to do in the area of faculty compensation, which is below benchmark.

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Politics
2:34 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

GOP Critical of Kentucky Governor's Tour in Districts with Competitive House Races

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear

The Kentucky Republican Party is blasting Democratic Governor Steve Beshear for traveling the state just days shy of the election, handing out checks in the districts of Democratic incumbents who are defending their seats in the state House. 

Governor Beshear traveled to Glasgow Thursday to present a check for a local bridge project.  He was joined in the announcement by Representative Johnny Bell, whose race against Republican challenger Jeff Jobe has turned nasty. 

On Wednesday, Beshear was in Owensboro alongside incumbent Jim Glenn, who has narrowly won his last two elections.  Glenn is in a competitive race against Republican Alan Braden. 

The Governor also visited Kuttawa to announce funding for projects in the Lake Barkley region.  There, he appeared with embattled Representative Will Coursey, who is facing a stiff GOP challenge from Keith Travis. 

The governor has delivered economic development news and checks in several other districts where Democrats are locked in competitive match-ups.

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Arts & Culture
3:32 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Deal in the Works to Reopen Horse Cave Theater

Seats are installed inside the Kentucky Repertory Theatre in October 2012 for opening night of Sherlock Holmes.
Credit Facebook

The shuttered Kentucky Repertory Theatre in Horse Cave could be on the verge of coming back to life. 

The regional theater company Kentucky Stages has made an offer to purchase the three buildings that once housed the Horse Cave attraction. Mayor Randall Curry is thrilled at the prospects for reopening. 

"I've been in Horse Cave all my life," Curry told WKU Public Radio.  "I remember when the theater was organized back in the 70s and I'd like to get that relationship back into this community, people coming back here and sharing their talents with the people of south central Kentucky."

Once a destination for people all over Kentucky and beyond, financial problems forced the Kentucky Repertory Theatre to close last year. It was purchased at auction by Citizens First Bank in Horse Cave and has been for sale since then. 

Kentucky Stages hopes to close on the deal by the end of the year and open the theater for performances next summer.

Politics
4:37 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

McConnell, Grimes Making Final Arguments to Kentucky Voters

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell appears with singer Lee Greenwood at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green.
Credit Lisa Autry

One week from now, Kentucky voters decide whether to give U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell another six years or replace him with Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes. Both are crisscrossing the state trying to convince the still undecided. 

McConnell brought his "Kentucky Leads America" bus tour to the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green Tuesday. Joining the five-term incumbent on the road was Grammy award-winning artist Lee Greenwood who energized a crowd of party faithful as McConnell sounded a familiar theme on the stump.  He said the makeup of the Senate must change in order to change the country. 

The Senate Minority Leader pointed a finger at the Obama administration for what he called a slow economic recovery, over-regulation, and a takeover of healthcare. McConnell suggested America was on the decline and said the eyes of the world are on Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race.

"Right here in our state is the only test of whether America is coming back, and with your help by golly, a week from today, America is on the way back," McConnell told the audience.

If Republicans win six seats next Tuesday, McConnell is positioned to become Senate Majority Leader, and-- in his words--call the plays for the country while still looking out for Kentucky.

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