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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An education board in Kentucky has voted to eliminate a requirement that public school teachers earn a Master’s degree to continue in the profession. 

The Education Professional Standards Board voted on Monday to approve a waiver that eliminates the mandate for teachers to move to Rank II.  The panel said the move will provide school districts with greater flexibility in recruiting and retaining educators. 

Warren County Schools Superintendent Rob Clayton says when he initially learned of the decision, he was worried the state was lowering standards for teachers.

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

Kentucky’s public schools would be required to post the national motto of “In God We Trust” inside their buildings under legislation that’s been pre-filed for next legislative session.  The bill is being sponsored by State Representative Brandon Reed, a LaRue County evangelist.

“In a time of rampant drug use, increasing school violence, and mounting cases of suicide among our youth, we need God in our schools now more than ever,” stated Reed.

WKU PBS

U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky says President Trump should continue revoking the security clearance of former government officials. 

Paul is applauding the President's decision to revoke the security clearance of John Brennan.  The former CIA director has been critical of the president for meeting with Vladimir Putin and maintaining a dialogue with the Russian leader.  Trump and Paul maintain that diplomacy with Russia is necessary.

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A former Western Kentucky University football star has been charged with drug trafficking.  Nacarius Fant was arrested in Bowling Green on Tuesday afternoon. 

The Bowling Green -Warren County Drug Task Force with help from Kentucky State Police took Frant into custody during a traffic stop at Chesnut and Regents Streets. 

Fant was charged with four counts of trafficking in a controlled substance (over four grams), which is a Class C Felony.  Drug Task Force Director Tommy Loving says the investigation began six weeks ago and police made four undercover cocaine purchases from Fant before his arrest.

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

Kentucky’s Legislative Ethics Commission is asking state lawmakers to update an existing law to specifically prohibit workplace sexual harassment by lawmakers against their staff. 

The legislative ethics law currently doesn’t include such language.  The ethics panel has investigated such cases in the past, mostly recently involving former House Speaker Jeff Hoover, but on the grounds of misuse of public office. 

Legislative Ethics Commission Director John Schaaf told WKU Public Radio that updating the law would remove any questions about whether the panel has jurisdiction to investigate sexual harassment allegations against lawmakers.

WKU

Employees of Kentucky’s public colleges and universities will continue to receive tuition assistance in the upcoming fall semester, despite the end of a program that allowed them take some classes for free at other schools. 

The General Assembly this year eliminated a statewide mandatory tuition waiver requirement that allowed full-time employees of post-secondary institutions to take up to six credit hours per semester at no cost.  House Bill 592 retained those benefits only for employees of state and locally operated secondary area technology centers.

A former Simpson County physician will spend more than four years in prison for over-prescribing pain killers and anti-anxiety medication.  Roy Reynolds was sentenced in federal court in Bowling Green on Friday. 

Roy Reynolds has been held in the Grayson County Detention Center since his conviction in April on 15 counts of illegal distribution of controlled substances outside the course of professional medical practice and without a legitimate medical purpose. 

Joe Elmore family

A Kentucky soldier who died in the Korean War is finally coming home.  Private First Class Joe Elmore was killed nearly 70 years ago, but his remains were never identified.

The Clinton County man went missing in action in 1950 in Changjim County, Hamgyeong Province, North Korea, but his remains have just been positively identified and are in the process of being returned to Kentucky.  His sister, Mary Bowlin of Bowling Green, got the news in a phone call on July 5.

 


Public Domain

As many Kentucky students head back to school this week, the state Department for Public Health is reminding parents to make sure children and teens are up to date on their vaccines

Students in kindergarten through 12th grade must show proof of having received two doses of the Hepatitis-A vaccine to attend school.  The commonwealth is in the grips of a Hepatitis-A outbreak with more than 400 confirmed cases in the past year.

Bryan Lemon/WKU

Western Kentucky University has new roadmap that will guide the school for the next decade. 

The Board of Regents met on Friday and approved a new strategic plan.  Developing it was a nearly year-long process, which WKU President Timothy Caboni described as a semi-herculean task. 

The plan is centered around retaining and graduating students.  The university will transform advising to give special attention to first and second-year students.

Credit Flickr/Creative Commons/Frances Storr

The city of Elizabethtown is dealing with a major influx of panhandlers since a 2017 Kentucky Supreme Court ruling that said local ordinances prohibiting begging and soliciting on public streets are unconstitutional. 

Justices struck down Lexington's pandhandling ordinance last year, ruling that panhandling is protected speech under the First Amendment.

Officer John Thomas with the Elizabethtown Police Department says panhandlers sometimes misrepresent their situations, preying on the sympathies of other people.

Lisa Autry

A capital murder case in Allen County is facing more delays now that the defendant has a new attorney. 

Timothy Madden, who is charged with kidnapping, raping, sodomizing, and murdering seven year-old Gabbi Doolin, returned to court on Tuesday for a pre-trial hearing. 

His newly appointed public defender Tom Griffiths told the judge that he had not received any files in the case from Madden’s former attorney Travis Lock.

Ryland Barton

Kentucky’s attorney general is calling on Governor Matt Bevin to rescind his executive order abolishing a board that protects the health and safety of workers. 

Governor Bevin’s July 17 executive action abolished the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board which is responsible for workplace safety regulations.  The independent panel is made up of 12 members who represent industry, labor, agriculture, and safety and health professions. 

Attorney General Andy Beshear says abolishing the board removes the expertise of the members and transfers it to a single individual, the Labor Secretary, who is an at-will employee of the governor. 

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank is closing its home mortgage call center in Bowling Green, affecting about 100 workers. 

Employees were notified on Wednesday that operations at the Louisville Road facility would cease by the end of September. 

U.S. Bank Regional President Craig Browning says a few of the displaced workers will remain with the company but work from home.  Others will go to a much larger call center in Owensboro.

WFPL

About 125,000 Kentuckians served in the military during the Vietnam War and many were exposed to a harmful herbicide used to clear vegetation on the battlefield.  Illnesses from Agent Orange are showing up more in Vietnam veterans as they age. 

Veterans exposed to Agent Orange have an increased risk of developing illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.  Many veterans who served on the ground in Vietnam were exposed to the chemical and, for a majority of them, their health has been affected in some way. 

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