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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Douglas Frederick

A Hardin County man who recovered from COVID-19 is urging other survivors to donate plasma to help in research and healing. 

Douglas Frederick, 63, of Elizabethtown, spent nearly 30 days in the hospital during October and November.  He doesn't know where or how he contracted the virus, despite taking precautions. 

The U.S. Army veteran received convaslescent plasma as part of his treatment. Recovered patients have developed antibodies, which researchers think can more quickly fight the infection in sick patients.  Frederick, who is retired from the Elizabethtown Independent School District, says he thinks plasma helped save his life.

“Someone who was very gracious enough to donate so that I could get two bags of plasma, which I believe wholeheartedly helped me out," Frederick told WKU Public Radio. "If they can donate, if they’ve had COVID and recovered from it, then by all means, donate and help someone else.”

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The memory of a young girl from Allen County who was murdered five years ago is helping bring alleged child predators to justice.

On Monday, federal prosecutors announced the arrests of seven men following undercover stings in Elizabethtown and Louisville in late 2019.

The investigation was dubbed “Operation Gabbi Doolin.”  The seven-year-old from Scottsville was kidnapped and murdered while at her brother’s football game on November 14, 2015. 

During a news conference, Russell Coleman, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky, held up a cell phone and said child predators are taking advantage of more kids at home  who are unsupervised during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lisa Autry

State Representative Patti Minter is heading back to Frankfort to represent Warren County in the state legislature.

According to unofficial results, Minter beat Independent challenger Leanette Lopez by 40 percentage points in Tuesday’s election.

Minter will return to the General Assembly as a Democrat in less than ideal circumstances. Republicans built on the super-majorities they already had in the state House and Senate. 

Initial returns on Tuesday night showed Kentucky Republicans gaining up to 12 seats in the 100-member state House, where they already hold 62 seats.  Minter says the GOP will still have to compromise or face the ramifications.

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Any registered voter in Kentucky fearful of contracting or spreading COVID-19 was eligible to request an absentee ballot, but many of those ballots haven’t been returned.

According to data from the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office, 654,397 registered voters requested an absentee ballot, but 79,823 of those ballots have not been returned.

Unlike in the June primary, voters will not be allowed to cancel their absentee ballot and vote in-person.  Secretary of State Michael Adams says as long as voters received their ballot, they’re required to vote that way.


LRC Public Information

Voters in Daviess County are deciding several races for the Kentucky legislature.  Perhaps the most high profile contest on the ballot is a rematch between State Representative Jim Glenn and DJ Johnson for the 13th District House seat.  Their last contest was a nail-biter.

Glenn, a Democrat, held the office for ten years before he was defeated by Johnson, a Republican, in 2016.  Two years later, Glenn won the seat back by one vote. 

Johnson requested a recount, which resulted in a tie.  But a lawyer for Glenn filed a complaint with the office of the Kentucky Attorney General, claiming an attorney for Johnson illegally influenced the recount process. Johnson’s lawyer denied the charge, but Johnson later announced he was dropping his challenge in order to end the controversy.

Lisa Autry

One of the state’s top federal prosecutors says promises made to better protect residents of south-central Kentucky from crime are being kept.

Two full-time U.S. attorneys began working out of the federal courthouse in February.  Since then, the work of that office has resulted in 30 indictments in cases related to firearms, narcotics, and fraud.

Russell Coleman, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky, said during a news conference in Bowling Green on Monday that two of those 30 cases involved child exploitation.

Lisa Autry

Bowling Green voters will soon have a new mayor for the first time in nearly a decade. 

On September 1, the local mayor’s race got more interesting.  Incumbent Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson announced he was withdrawing from the contest due to medical reasons.  That’s also when he endorsed retired Air Force Lt. Col. Todd Alcott, who is the only candidate on the ballot.  Businessmen Tom Morris and Chris Page are running as write-in candidates. 

Morris and Page are making their first bids for public office. Alcott entered politics two years ago when he ran for State Rep. Jody Richards’ seat in the legislature. Alcott lost the Republican primary in that race.

"No one wants to lose a campaign, but when you lose, you persevere and you grow from it," Alcott told WKU Public Radio.

Lisa Autry

Friday is the deadline to request an absentee ballot for the Nov. 3 election. 

Any registered voter in Kentucky who is concerned about being exposed to the coronavirus can request an absentee ballot under an agreement reached by Secretary of State Michael Adams and Governor Andy Beshear. 

Ballot requests can be made online at GoVoteKY.com.

Unlike in the June primary, voters will not be allowed to cancel their absentee ballot and vote in-person.  Warren County Clerk Lynette Yates says offices like hers were inundated with requests in the primary election. 

Lisa Autry

The Kentucky Board of Elections has approved Warren County’s plans for the Nov.3 general election. 

Warren County usually has 88 precincts open for in-person voting on election day.  Next month’s election will feature six, including Buchanon Park, Phil Moore Park, Ephraim White Park, Living Hope Baptist Church, Warren Central High School, and the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center. 

Warren County Clerk Lynette Yates says there will be 50 officers at each of the county’s six voting precincts.

“They’re going to be like voting centers, so it’s not just like you’re one precinct you may have out in your community. You may have ten voting lines in that one large facility, so that’s why we still need a number of election officers.”

Ryan Van Velzer

Kentucky is re-launching its online health exchange known as Kynect to provide new features and services, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Monday.  

The original Kynect was launched in 2013 under Beshear's father, Gov. Steve Beshear, and allowed the expansion of Medicaid to some 400,000 Kentuckians. 

The new version of the online portal will allow people to apply for Medicaid and enroll in health insurance on the federal exchange.

City of Bowling Green

Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson is facing an ethics complaint over his use of City Hall to endorse mayoral candidate Todd Alcott. 

Speaking to media inside the City Commission chambers last month, Wilkerson announced he was withdrawing from the mayor’s race for health reasons and endorsing Alcott. 

The anonymous complaint says the mayor doesn’t have the right to use city property or city resources for political purposes.  City Clerk Ashley Jackson says the complaint can’t be made public at this time.

Alan Simpson

A Kentucky attorney says he believes the grand jury that decided whether to bring charges against the police officers who killed Breonna Taylor made the right decision based on the facts that have been made public in the case. 

A Jefferson County grand jury this week indicted former Louisville police detective Brett Hankison, who was one of the officers at Taylor’s apartment in March to serve a search warrant.  Taylor’s boyfriend said he believed they were intruders and fired at police first. 

Hankison was only indicted on wanton endangerment for firing shots that ended up striking a neighbor’s apartment.  He was not indicted in Taylor’s death.  Attorney General Daniel Cameron said that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to suggest any of the bullets Hankison fired hit Taylor.  The two other officers involved in the drug raid were not indicted. 


The Daviess County Clerk’s office has finalized plans for the November election, as they anticipate slightly higher voter turnout than in the 2016 presidential election year.

Unlike the June 23 primary when the Owensboro Sportscenter served as the only voting precinct, the county will have six polling locations open for in-person voting on Nov. 3. Daviess County Clerk Leslie McCarty says COVID-19 has forced her office to forgo places that normally serve as precincts.

“You need a space big enough to distance everything and you need a place that has a separate entrance and exit, so it’s been quite a challenge," she told WKU Public Radio.

Lisa Autry

Western Kentucky University is taking another step toward increasing access and affordability for low-income students. 

President Timothy Caboni announced a new initiative on Thursday called the Hilltopper Guarantee. Starting next fall, WKU will be tuition-free to any first-year students from Kentucky who receive Pell Grants and have at least a 3.0 high school GPA.  

“This is a tremendous promise to the young people of this state, that we can guarantee if you’re from a low-income family but you’re a high achiever, a four-year degree from WKU is in your future," Caboni said.

Fons Cervera

Warren County Public schools will continue with a hybrid schedule of classes through the end of the calendar year. 

The decision is based, in part, on the state’s new system that tracks the number of coronavirus cases in K-12 schools. 

Under the state’s new metric for reopening schools to in-person classes, Warren County is in the Red category, meaning a daily rate of 25 individuals per 100,000 have a confirmed case of COVID-19. 

Gov. Andy Beshear is recommending any county in the Red category postpone all in-person learning until it reaches Yellow status, meaning less than ten confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 individuals. 

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