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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Regional
2:49 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Barren County Treatment Center Administrator Indicted

A former co-owner of a mental health treatment center in Barren County is facing theft and fraud charges. 

According to the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office, 36-year-old Jeremy Catron was indicted last month.

He’s accused of defrauding  Medicaid by billing the program for therapy services he did not perform.

Prosecutors claim he stole more than $10,000 from the state’s Medicaid program. 

Catron formerly co-owned Alliance Counseling Associates.

He pleaded not guilty Monday in Barren Circuit Court. If convicted, Catron faces up to 15 years in prison.

A pre-trial hearing was set for April 28.

Regional
5:00 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Kentucky Chief Justice: Court Worker Pay 'Woefully Inadequate'

One-fourth of the judicial workforce in Kentucky falls under the federal poverty guidelines for a family of four. 

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Minton calls the broken salary structure the most pressing issue in the state’s judicial system. 

Minton is asking for funding to in the next two-year state budget to bring salaries more in line with wages in the private sector and the Executive and Legislative branches of state government. 

He says that a judicial brain drain is occurring in Kentucky.

"We find that our best qualified people are snatched away from us rather quickly.  I also find that the greatest competitor that the judicial branch has are the other two branches of government because they pay better for the same type of job."

Minton says the situation has been worsened by years of frozen raises and the judicial branch furlough of 2012.

Education
12:24 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Bowling Green Principal Honored with National Award

William King was surprised during a school assembly with a Milken Educator Award.
Credit Bowling Green High School

A school administrator in Bowling Green says he is still in shock and hasn’t slept much this week. 

What was supposed to be a school assembly on Wednesday turned into a surprise award ceremony for William King.  The Freshman Class Principal of Bowling Green High School was presented with a national Milken Educator Award. 

"The award isn't something you apply for, so nobody sent in anything nominating me.  I'm glad I dressed up that day and wore a coat," laughed King.  "All I knew was that the Commissioner of Education was coming to speak to our students that day."

The honor also comes with a $25,000 cash award. 

King's roots run deep at Bowling Green High School, where he graduated in 1996. After earning his teaching degree at WKU, King returned to Bowling Green High where he taught history before moving into administration. 

Education
9:31 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Warren County School District Names New Class of Distinguished Alumni

Professionals in the fields of business, medicine, athletics, and education, and entertainment make up the newest class of the Warren County Public Schools Hall of Distinguished Alumni.

The school district will honor 13 graduates of Warren County high schools at its second annual induction dinner April 12 at the Sloan Convention Center.

The 2014 inductees include:

*Norah Lee Allen, a 1966 graduate of Warren County High School, has been a singer on the Grand Ole Opry stage for more than 25 years.

*Dr. Jack Britt, a 1962 graduate of Warren County High School, has fashioned an impressive career in agriculture and education. He has conducted research that has contributed to advances in veterinary medicine.

*Sam Bush, a 1970 graduate of Warren Central High School, is a legendary musician and one of the founders of the band Newgrass Revival.

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Regional
6:25 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Corvette Museum Begins Restoration Efforts; Will Enlist GM Help To Restore Cars

Workers want to stabilize the red spire in the center of the Skydome before removing of the Corvettes that fell into the sinkhole.
Credit National Corvette Museum

General Motors says it will oversee the restoration process for the eight sports cars that fell into a giant sinkhole Wednesday morning at the Corvette Museum.  Bowling Green Corvette plant manager Jeff LaMarche  says they won’t know the exact condition of the cars until they’re recovered.

“We know that these cars represent significant milestones – not just in our history in Chevrolet and General Motors but also in the automotive history. And nobody really has a better understanding of their significance and what it takes to properly restore these than the engineers and designers at Chevrolet where they were developed," said LaMarche.

The lead engineer for the reconstruction project says it will take 2-3 weeks to stabilize the ground around the sinkhole.  After that, he says it will take 4-6 days to remove the cars. Museum officials say repairs will start Friday and they hope to have everything complete by August when the museum celebrates its 20th anniversary.

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Regional
5:45 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Matt Bevin Looks to Seize on Voter Apathy Among GOP

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin speaks with a citizen during a stop Thursday in Bowling Green.
Credit Abbey Oldham

Matt Bevin thinks he is the only Republican who can beat Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in this year’s U.S. Senate election in Kentucky. 

Bevin is challenging Incumbent Mitch McConnell in the GOP primary.  At a meet-and-greet in Bowling Green Thursday, Bevin claimed McConnell can’t win a general election.

“There’s a fatigue for Mitch McConnell.  After 30 years, there are many people who won’t vote for him again and that gives Alison Grimes the ability to essentially beat him by default," suggested Bevin.  "It’s not as if those Republicans that voted for him in the past will vote for her, but what I think will happen is that they just won’t vote again.”

A Bluegrass poll conducted this month showed Bevin trailing Grimes only five percentage points in a potential November match-up.  The same poll gave McConnell a 26-point lead over Bevin in the primary.

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Regional
2:07 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Process Moves Forward to Fill Open Warren County Family Court Seat

An open judicial seat in Warren County Family Court may get filled next month.

Governor Steve Beshear has appointed four Warren County residents to the seven-member Judicial Nominating Commission.  They include Kim Dobler, Larkin Ritter, Travis Russell, and Gracie Hunt.

The commission will recommend three people to the governor who will appoint one to serve as Family Court Judge until the November election. 

Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John Minton chairs the commission, and says the panel doesn’t have to recommend any of the Six Bowling Green attorneys who have filed to run for the seat this year.

"The fact that the person is a candidate for the position doesn't necessarily mean that he or she would be considered by the commission," explains Minton.  "They could be, but the commission is not bound by the names of those persons who have filed for the office."

Justice Minton says the commission will meet and forward its nominees to the governor in early March. 

The vacant seat belonged to the late Judge Margaret Huddleston.

Regional
12:11 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Kentucky State Employee Faces Child Porn Charges

Gordon Bowers
Credit Kentucky Attorney General's Office

A Kentucky state worker has been arrested on child pornography charges. 

According to a news release from the Attorney General’s Office, 49-year-old Gordon Bowers was arrested Monday afternoon at his office in London, Kentucky.  He worked as an environmental scientist for the Department for Natural Resources Division of Mine Reclamation and Enforcement. 

The investigation, which began last November, revealed that Bowers, using a file sharing software program, downloaded images and saved them to his state office computer.

Dick Brown, a spokesman for the Department for Natural Resources told WKU Public Radio that Bowers has not been fired and the state is cooperating with the investigation.

Bowers is facing four felony counts of possessing matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor.  Each count carries one to five years in prison.

Regional
2:49 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Kentucky Addiction Treatment Center Settles Fraud Claims

Two doctors and a chain of addiction recovery centers operating in Kentucky have reached an agreement with the federal government to settle fraud allegations. 

SelfRefind, as well as its owners Dr. Bryan Wood and Dr. Robin Peavler will pay $15.7 million dollars to resolve allegations that they fraudulently billed Medicare and Kentucky’s Medicaid program for unnecessary and excessive urine tests. 

The business required clients to take urine tests to make sure that they weren't abusing drugs and that they were using treatment medication as prescribed. 

According to federal prosecutors, the chain submitted reimbursement claims for tests that were medically unnecessary or more expensive than the actual tests that were performed.

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Regional
9:25 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Western Kentucky Community Remembers Family Killed in Fire

Pallbearers carry the nine caskets following the funeral service.
Lisa Autry

Several hundred mourners filed into Muhlenberg County High School Saturday to remember a mother and her eight children who died in a house fire. 

Among them was Charlotte Groves, who had a firsthand account of the tragedy.

“I lived next door to them, I’m the one who called 911,” she said.

Charlotte Groves was awakened in the middle of the night on January 30 to screams coming from her neighbor’s home engulfed in flames.  Chad Watson and his 11-year-old daughter Kylie escaped the burning home, but his wife Larae and his eight other children did not.

“He kept it together for his daughter.  He kept saying 'God is a good God, they're in a better place.'  He was remarkable,” said Groves.  “He tried to go back in there three times but he told us the fire was so hot every time he tried, he got burnt.”

Inside Muhlenberg County High School, nine closed white caskets were lined up on the stage of a packed auditorium.  Propped up on easels behind the caskets were large pictures of each family member: 36-year-old LaRae Watson, and her children, 15-year-old Madison; 14-year-old Kaitlyn; 13-year old Morgan; 9-year old Emily; 8-year-old Samuel; 6-year-old Raegan; and 4-year-old twins Mark and Nathaniel.

“In the 27 years I’ve been in the ministry, I’ve never had anything that has devastated me and touched me anymore than this,” said Tim Burden.

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