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. 

Ways To Connect

General Motors has named a new manager for the Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green. 

Kai Spade will take the helm September 2nd.  The announcement was made in a blog post by the National Corvette Museum. 

Spade is currently Director of European Powertrain Test Facilities, Engineering Operations, and Quality in Ruesselshiem, Germany. 

He replaces Jeff Lamarche who was promoted to plant manager at Flint Assembly and Stamping in Michigan.

Gregory Bourke

A Louisville couple was in the U.S. Supreme Court chambers witnessing Friday's landmark decision that makes gay marriage the law of the land. 

Gregory Bourke says he and his husband of 11 years felt a sense of great relief.

"I was in the courtroom with my husband and we were holding hands, Bourke told WKU Public Radio.  "We just looked at each other and it was like a great weight came off our shoulders."

Bourke and Michael De Leon were legally married in Canada in 2004 and have two adopted children.

Under the Supreme Court ruling, the commonwealth must now allow gay unions and recognize those marriages performed out of state.

The Family Foundation of Kentucky, which vigorously opposed same-sex marriage said the justices are a "court gone rogue."  
 
Senior Policy Analyst Martin Cothran said the people of Kentucky have been betrayed by the decision because the people of the state voted overwhelmingly in 2004 to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

With a U.S. Supreme Court decision expected any day now, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says state agencies are making preparations should the justices vote to allow gay marriage. 

"One area would be in taxation," Beshear told WKU Public Radio.  "Our revenue department is looking at that in terms of filing a joint married return."

The wording on marriage license forms would also have to change to accommodate same-sex couples. 

Beshear said his administration has anticipated the ruling going each way and have steps in place to comply if the nation's highest court orders the commonwealth to allow and recognize same-sex marriages.

Many legal scholars expect the Supreme Court to strike down Kentucky’s prohibition on gay marriage.  A federal judge last year struck down the ban, but a federal appeals court reversed the ruling.

Bowling Green Independent School District

Bowling Green High School has named William King as its new principal. 

King had been serving as the Freshman Principal of Bowling Green High for the past five years.  Before that, he spent three years as the school’s Literacy Coach and Curriculum Coordinator and five years as a social studies teacher. 

King is a graduate himself of Bowling Green High.  He holds Bachelor's, Master's and Rank 1 degrees from WKU.

King replaces former principal Gary Fields who was promoted to superintendent of city schools.

KCTCS

Pay raises are on tap for employees of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. 

The Board of Regents approved a new budget of $888,114, 300 during it's quarterly meeting on Friday at Hopkinsville Community College. 

The spending plan represents a $36 million reduction from the previous year due to a decline in state funding, the decision not to raise tuition, and a decrease in enrollment. 

“I applaud President Box and the board for their commitment to keeping education affordable by not raising tuition for 2015-16,” said KCTCS Board of Regents Chair P.G. Peeples in a news release. “Despite these belt-tightening times we cannot continue to place the burden of decreased state support on the backs of our students.”

The budget does allow a one percent or $1,000 salary increase, whichever is greater, for full-time faculty and staff.

LRC Public Information

A state lawmaker from Pulaski County will not seek re-election next year. 

Republican Senator Chris Girdler of Somerset said he never intended to serve multiple terms in the legislature and wanted to focus more on his family and career.

WKU Public Radio was unable to reach Girdler for comment on Friday.  He told CN-2’s Pure Politics he chose to announce his decision early to give prospective candidates time to consider running for the seat which covers Pulaski, Lincoln, and Boyle counties. 

Girdler was elected to the state Senate in 2012.  He said he may make another run for public office in the future.

Union workers at a western Kentucky aluminum smelter have ratified a new contract which ends a month-long work stoppage. 

About 560 employees of Century Aluminum have been locked out of the Hawesville plant because of a contract dispute between Century and the United Steelworkers Local 9423.  

The union posted on its website that its members voted 68 percent in favor of the five-year agreement on Thursday.  The contract includes pay raises and fixed insurance premiums, among other things. 

Union members will report back to work at the plant Monday morning.

Lisa Autry

Site Selection magazine recently ranked Kentucky the top state for economic development projects per capita last year. 

Wednesday, Governor Steve Beshear brought the Governor’s Cup trophy to Bowling Green to celebrate the region’s contributions to the award.

"Bowling Green and Warren County has been one of the brightest spots in Kentucky over this last eight years that I've been governor and it just continues to grow," Beshear told WKU Public Radio.

Site Selection ranked Bowling Green 4th in the magazine’s “Top 10 Metro Areas of 2014” for new and expanded facilities among metropolitan areas with populations less than 200,000. 

Glasgow ranked among the nation’s top micropolitan areas for business creation. 

Beshear said the rankings are a testament to how far the state has come since the Great Recession.

A tentative agreement has been reached to end a work stoppage at a western Kentucky aluminum smelter. 

About 560 employees of Century Aluminum have been locked out of the Hawesville plant for nearly a month because of a contract dispute between Century and the United Steelworkers Local 9423.  A previous labor contract expired in April followed by several rounds of failed negotiations. 

In a news release, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service says an agreement was reached with the help of federal mediators.  The agency declined to comment on details of the agreement. 

Union members will vote on the agreement Thursday.

Abbey Oldham

Work crews are prepping the Skydome at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green for reopening in July. 

Construction began last November in an area where eight prized cars fell into a massive sinkhole in February 2014. 

The hole was filled with crushed limestone and flooring supports were added underneath to prevent future collapses.

"If there were ever a future collapse of any kind, the floor is not going to go anywhere, it will stay in place," says NCM Marketing and Communications Director Katie Frassinelli.  "After that, they've been installing guardrail around the perimeter of room, cleaning, and painting."

The $5 million project converted the Skydome from two levels to one and added more display space. 

Once complete, all eight Corvettes will return to the Skydome.  Three of the cars were restored by General Motors.  The other five were too mangled for restoration.

A new sinkhole exhibit will open in the fall.

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