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

WFPL

U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky says Brett Kavanaugh “absolutely” still has his support. 

The Bowling Green Republican says he thinks the U.S. Supreme Court nominee will be confirmed in the next week or so, despite accusations that he sexually assaulted a young woman when he was in high school. 

Paul told WKU Public Radio on Thursday evening that he thinks it’s a mistake to discredit Kavanaugh’s personal life and career based on accusations.

"I think we should be judged on the totality of our life. He's been married for 25 years, he's a good husband and father, he's been a judge for 12 years," Paul commented. "I think we shouldn't discount that when someone comes forward with an accusation from 35 years ago."

A Barren County man has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the city of Horse Cave and its police department.  The civil complaint alleges that officers tried to coerce the citizen into orchestrating a drug deal. 

Travis Branstetter of Glasgow is also suing former Horse Cave Police Chief Sean Henry and officers Larry Dale Martin and James Roberts.

According to court records filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, Branstetter claims he was unlawfully detained and arrested at a police roadblock in August 2017.  He alleges that Horse Cave police told him he was being arrested for DUI, yet officers didn’t perform any field sobriety tests.

Public Domain

Kentucky health officials want to avoid a repeat of last year’s flu season that reached an epidemic level. 

The flu virus killed 325 Kentuckians and sickened more than 10,000. 

A coalition that also includes the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and the Kentucky Medical Association launched a statewide flu prevention campaign on Tuesday.

Rebeka Abram

The captain of the Salvation Army in Owensboro is preparing to head to the east coast to assist in Hurricane Florence recovery efforts. 

Rebekah Abram is expecting to leave Sunday or Monday, and while her exact destination is unknown, she suspects she’ll be sent to the Wilmington, North Carolina area. 

This isn’t her first disaster relief mission, and says each experience brings challenges and rewards.

"I think being able to go and serve individuals who are hurting, being the hands and feet of Christ to them, giving a hot meal to a child who has lost everything," Abram stated. "It seems like something small, but to them it means a lot."

Diocese of Owensboro

The Catholic Diocese of Owensboro says two victims have recently stepped forward with allegations of sexual abuse.  One victim claimed the abuse occurred between 1944 and 1947.  The other was in 1962. 

Bishop William Medley says the accusations are against two different priests who are now deceased.  In an interview with WKU Public Radio, he declined to release their names, but said there had been other complaints about them in the past.  Medley says, to his knowledge, the priests were never disciplined because all of the complaints came after their deaths. 

Bishop Medley says while he is horrified by the claims, it’s important to note the alleged abuse occurred before 2002 when U.S. bishops enacted a series of reforms.

LinkedIn

A former Western Kentucky University professor is facing a federal charge of wire fraud stemming from his time as a civil engineering faculty member. 

Matt Dettman was placed on unpaid administrative leave in October 2017 and resigned from his position last December. 

According to documents filed in U.S. District Court, Dettman is charged in connection with the testing of concrete and soil samples for local companies.  The testing was performed by the WKU Engineering Department. 

Somerset Mayor's Office

Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler made his first court appearance on Friday stemming from a hit-and-run involving a juvenile last month. 

Girdler’s arraignment was postponed after the prosecutor recused himself.  Pulaski County Attorney Martin Hatfield filed a motion to step down from the case, citing a conflict of interest. 

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear will either appoint another county attorney or have an attorney from his Special Prosecutions Unit prosecute the case. 

Thinkstock

Kentucky’s top corrections official says staying out of prison could be as easy as having a job for some former inmates.

The state is developing a partnership between prisons and industries in hopes of both decreasing recidivism and filling vacant jobs.  Under the initiative, industries would move some operations to prison grounds, and provide training and near private sector wages to inmates.

A felony record often shuts former inmates out of the job market and that increases their chances of committing more offenses and returning to jail.  

Thinkstock

The chief justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court says there’s a growing movement across the nation to reform the pre-trial justice system. 

John Minton, Jr. says the current method of setting bail disproportionately affects low-income defendants who aren’t able to pay for release after being charged with low-level, non-violent offenses.

“We don’t need to lose sight of the number one, bedrock principle and that is the presumption of innocence operates in every case, so that presumption does not need to be lost," Minton told WKU Public Radio.

Jane Venters\Melinda Dalton

A new family court judgeship for Pulaski, Lincoln, and Rockcastle counties has created a three-way race.

A second family court judge is being added to the 28th Judicial Circuit, which has the heaviest family court caseload in the state.

Among the candidates is Somerset attorney Jane Adams Venters.  Venters has been practicing since 1985 and specializes in family law and civil litigation.

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour has lost one of its attractions with the closure of a Bowling Green distillery. 

Corsair Distillery closed its doors on Friday, laying off six employees.  Founded in Bowling Green in 2008, the small-batch distilling company became a stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour and exposed the city to visitors from around the world. 

Thinkstock

A new poll suggests that a majority of Kentuckians think the nation’s criminal justice system is in need of reform, and they want U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring reform legislation to the floor for a vote. 

Kentucky’s other U.S. Senator, Rand Paul, has long been a proponent of criminal justice reform.  He spoke in a teleconference on Thursday with Senior White House Advisor Jared Kushner and representatives from the Justice Action Network and Freedom Works.

Bobby Ellis

Kentucky’s interim education commissioner says more high school students need to take advantage of early opportunities to earn credits in postsecondary education. 

During his State of Education Address this week, Wayne Lewis encouraged more participation in the state’s Dual Credit and Work Ready scholarships that offer tuition assistance and a path toward college or a technical career. 

WKU

Western Kentucky University President Timothy Caboni says the first year of his tenure wasn’t what he envisioned as financial challenges forced the school to make difficult decisions through reorganizations and layoffs.

"I can't tell you how proud I am of the way our campus responded.  And yes, we bent as a university, but we did not break," Caboni said.

As a new academic year gets underway, Dr. Caboni outlined his priorities in the annual Convocation to faculty and staff on Friday. 

Credit Kate Ter Haar/Creative Commons

The public is being asked to weigh in on Kentucky’s foster care and adoption system that has ballooned to include more than 9,000 children. 

The state’s Citizen Foster Care Review Boards are preparing to hold community forums around the state and the first one takes place Friday in Elizabethtown. 

Recommendations gathered at those meetings will be sent to the Kentucky legislature, governor, and Supreme Court. 

Pages