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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Health
3:37 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Kentucky's Attorney General Tries to Head Off Crushable Pain Pill Abuse

Kentucky's attorney general is urging the Food and Drug Administration to make generic pain pills harder to abuse.  

Forty-seven state attorneys general have signed a letter asking the FDA to require drug manufacturers to develop tamper-resistant versions of their products. 

The FDA is currently considering generics for two of the most commonly abused pain killers, Oxycontin and Opana. 

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway explains that generic crushable drugs lack the tamper-resistant gel coating on many name brand drugs. "Oxycontin is normally delivered in time release over 12 hours, but addicts can snort 12 hours worth of the medication in about 12 seconds," says Conway.

If generics come to market without being tamper-proof, Conway says much of the work Kentucky has done to curb drug abuse will be lost.

Regional
11:47 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Kentucky Official: Child Abuse Death a Major Failure of Policy

A state official says there were “egregious” failures of Kentucky’s child-protection system leading up to the 2011 death of a Christian County toddler. Community Based Services Commissioner Teresa James spoke Monday to an independent panel investigating the deaths or abused and neglected children. 

Three-year-old Alayna Adair died from head trauma, and her father is scheduled to go on trial in September for murder. Child-protection worker Donna Currey will go on trial in May. She resigned and was indicted for tampering with public records. 

Following Alayna’s death, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported that Currey was told to look into suspicious injuries on Alayna three weeks before her death. An internal probe found the Currey never saw the toddler and lied about investigating the complaint. 

Community Based Services Commissioner Teresa James called the case unfortunate, but added she doesn’t believe it’s indicative of the work being done across the state by social workers. 

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Politics
10:12 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Kentucky House Speaker Declares Hemp Bill Dead for the Session

House Speaker Greg Stumbo announced Monday that hemp legislation won't be going any further this legislative session. 

The Courier-Journal reports the bill has been assigned to the Rules Committee. Stumbo told the newspaper "the calendar won't allow us to consider any bills that are in the Rules Committee."

Monday is the 26th day of the 30 day session. Monday and Tuesday are devoted to bills that have cleared both chambers, while the final two days of the session are reserved for overriding any gubernatorial vetoes.

Regional
5:00 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Tennessee Woman Goes on Trial for Murder of Newborn Twins

Credit Sumner County Sheriff's Office

Lindsey Lowe of Hendersonville is charge with two counts of first-degree murder. 

He defense attorneys will argue the 26-year-old woman had some form of mental impairment when she delivered the twin boys in her bedroom at her parents’ home. 

According to an affadavit, she admitted to police she suffocated the newborns so her parents, would did not know she was pregnant, would not hear their cries. 

Lowe, who graduated from WKU in 2008, was engaged at the time, although paternity tests revealed her fiancé was not the father of the babies. 

Lowe has been free on a quarter-million-dollar bond since the crime in September 2011.  Prosecutors claim it was premeditated murder and are seeking a life sentence if Lowe is convicted.  Jury selection begins Monday.

Health
8:05 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Midwife Aims to Open First Alternative Birthing Center in Kentucky

Midwife Mary Akers delivers a baby boy January 19th.

Mary Carol Akers looks in the trunk of her car before she leaves for work to make sure she has all the necessary tools for her job. 

"You can see the oxygen tank, medications. I've got catheter kits and IVs, anything mother and baby might need," she says.

Akers makes a lot of house calls. She is a certified midwife serving Hardin and surrounding counties in central Kentucky. The retired Army lieutenant colonel has delivered babies at military hospitals throughout the world, and over the course of her career, she estimates she has delivered six thousand babies. 

In the car with Akers on her way to a house call, she explains why some women choose not to give birth at a hospital.

"I think that one of the things about birth centers and midwifery is high touch and low tech, and high touch and low tech require a lot more work than putting them on the monitor and going to the desk to watch it from there," explains Akers.  "I've also seen women go to the hospital with a birth plan in mind and be bullied out of it."

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