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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Owensboro Municipal Utilities

Now that a boil water advisory has been lifted for most customers, Owensboro Municipal Utilities is working to fortify the pipes that burst on Monday. 

About 100,000 residents of Owensboro and Daviess County had little to no water before service was restored on Wednesday. 

OMU Spokeswoman Sonya Dixon says it’s believed that a cast-iron pipe more than 100 years old ruptured and caused another pipe to leak.

Lisa Autry

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andy Beshear says he has his own vision for Kentucky, despite being the son of a former governor. 

Beshear embarked on the second of a two-day swing through the state on Tuesday, launching his 2019 bid for the governor’s mansion.  He’s the first candidate so far to formally enter the race, and he's no stranger to voters as Kentucky’s attorney general and the son of former Governor Steve Beshear.

At a stop in Owensboro alongside running mate Jacqueline Coleman, Beshear said that he and his father are “two different people.”

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Motorists who use the William H. Natcher Parkway in Warren County can expect traffic delays through the end of the year. 

Construction work begins on Monday that will upgrade the parkway into an Interstate 65 spur. 

The Natcher will be down to one lane in both directions between exit six at US 31-W, which is Nashville Road, and exit seven at US 68, which is Russellville Road. 

WFPL

U.S. Capitol Police have arrested a man accused of threatening to kill Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and his family.  The Republican lawmaker acknowledged the threat during a visit to Grayson County on Monday.

Speaking to the Leitchfield Rotary Club, Senator Paul said the man threatened to “chop up” him and his family with an ax.  The threat was allegedly phoned in to Paul’s Bowling Green office.  Kentucky’s junior U.S. Senator acknowledged the arrest in a tweet on Monday, but U.S. Capitol Police released no information.

"We do not comment on ongoing investigations," said Communications Director Eva Malecki in an email to WKU Public Radio.

Judy Schwank FB

An immigration attorney in Bowling Green says she doesn’t think the government can realistically reunite the more than two thousand children separated from their parents who illegally crossed the southern border. 

Most families are coming from Central America where gang activity and drug trafficking are creating chaos. 

As the U.S. government works to reunite parents and children, immigration lawyer Judy Schwank says making matches has several challenges.

Warren County Regional Jail

U.S. Senator Rand Paul has filed a civil lawsuit against his neighbor who was sentenced this month for assaulting the Republican lawmaker.

A civil complaint filed in Warren Circuit Court says Paul is seeking an unspecified amount of compensatory and punitive damages from Rene Boucher for "physical pain and mental suffering."

Boucher admitted to attacking Senator Paul outside his Bowling Green home on November 3.  Paul suffered several broken ribs and contracted pneumonia as a result of his injuries. 

The governing body of Western Kentucky University made a $388,000,000 decision on Friday. 

The Board of Regents approved a budget that will increase tuition and fees by four percent for the next academic year.  The increase will fund four percent raises for faculty and staff, their first substantial salary increase in a decade.

Christian County Detention Center

The Allen County man charged in the brutal death of a young girl nearly three years ago was in court Tuesday afternoon with his lawyer for the last time.  Timothy Madden’s defense attorney was disqualified from the case in May.

The 41-year-old Madden has been declared indigent and in need of state funds to prepare his death penalty case for trial.  Attorney Travis Lock has been representing Madden pro bono for more than a year, but the defendant and his family can no longer afford to hire expert witnesses who would, among other things, conduct psychological evaluations of the defendant. 

Creative Commons

Kentucky’s attorney general wants the state to stop investing taxpayer dollars and retirement contributions in companies that have profited from the opioid crisis. 

It’s Andy Beshear’s latest attempt to punish the makers and distributors of highly addictive painkillers.

Beshear sent letters this week to the Kentucky Retirement Systems and the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System, urging the agencies to stop investing funds in the six opioid manufacturers and distributors that his office is currently suing for helping fuel the state’s prescription drug abuse.

Warren County Regional Jail

The neighbor who admitted to attacking U.S. Senator Rand Paul outside his home last fall was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green to 30 days in jail. 

Rene Boucher was also ordered to serve one year of supervised release, perform 100 hours of community service, and have no intentional contact with the Paul family. 

Boucher addressed the court and offered an apology to the Republican lawmaker who sustained broken ribs and other injuries after being tackled from behind while mowing his lawn on November 3.

"What I did was wrong and I hope he and his family can one day accept my apology," Boucher said.

All Tech

Alltech has decided to end its brewing partnership with Western Kentucky University which will cease production of two WKU-themed beers. 

The Nicholasville-based biotech company collaborated with WKU three years ago to open a fully operational brewery that would support new graduate and undergraduate certificates in Brewing and Distilling Arts and Sciences. 

Alltech leased space on WKU’s campus and provided the brewery with production equipment.  Communications Director Susanna Elliott told WKU Public Radio that the company has decided not to continue the lease.

Ryland Barton

The head of Kentucky’s troubled pension system says there’s light at the end of the tunnel, but the light is a long way off. 

"For the past two years, we've been seeing increases in funding levels and investment returns. That's the light," said David Eager, executive director of the Kentucky Retirement Systems. "The distance is that it will take perhaps 35 years before we get out of this severely under-funded position."

Kentucky's pension plans for public employees face a combined $40 billion in unfunded liabilities.

Creative Commons

The board that governs higher education in Kentucky is considering a proposal to change the minimum guidelines for admission to public colleges and universities. 

For students wanting to enter a state-supported, four-year institution, they would need a minimum high school GPA of 2.5, although schools would be allowed to set higher admission standards. 

CPE President Bob King says students with a lower GPA could be still be accepted, but they would have to enter into a learning contract with the college that would include a number of support services such as remedial classes and mentoring.

Simpson County Tourism Commission

A small town in south central Kentucky is preparing to celebrate one of country music’s greatest love stories. Franklin will commemorate the 1968 wedding of Johnny and June Carter Cash with the unveiling of a historical marker outside the First United Methodist Church where the country music stars became man and wife in a surprise, low-key ceremony. 

They may have gotten married in a fever, but it wasn’t in Jackson as the couple’s 1967 hit suggested.  It was in Franklin, Kentucky, the first town north of the Tennessee line on I-65.

“Franklin and Simpson County had a bit of a reputation from the 1930s through the 1970s as a place for couples from northern middle Tennessee to come to get married because they could do it all in one day," explained Dan Ware, Simpson County's tourism director. "In their home state of Tennessee, there was a mandatory three-day waiting period, by law, that was in place at the time.”


Creative Commons

Like several other states, Kentucky is dealing with a statewide outbreak of Hepatitis A. 

The virus can lead to a potentially deadly liver infection.  It's most often transmitted through fecal matter coming in contact with a person's mouth. 

Dr. Jeffrey Howard, Acting Commissioner of the state Department for Public Health, says Kentucky averages 20 cases of Hepatitis A a year, but the commonwealth has seen more than 600 cases since the outbreak started in the fall of 2017.

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