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

Jataun Isenhower FB

A Kentucky nurse is at the epicenter of the nation’s coronavirus outbreak.  More than 15,000 patients in New York City alone are overwhelming hospitals and creating the need for more frontline workers. 

Jataun Isenhower is a nurse at the Medical Center in Bowling Green.  She left her job and family behind to work at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens for at least three weeks. 

"We talked about the risk, and I said if I worked in Bowling Green, Louisville, or Nashville, I would be exposed to the same thing," Isenhower said in an interview with WKU Public Radio. "The difference is, I'd be bringing it home to you guys everyday, so this seemed like a better option for the family overall."

Office of U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie

U.S. Representative Brett Guthrie is urging Kentucky’s small business owners to take advantage of relief funds in the CARES Act approved by Congress last week. 

The Bowling Green Republican held a conference call with reporters on Thursday to highlight some of the financial aid in the coronavirus stimulus package. 

The relief package includes a Payroll Protection Program to help small businesses continue to pay their workers through the pandemic. Guthrie says the aim is to prevent companies from going out of business.

“They can still write checks to their employees, pay rent to the person who owns their building, or if they own their building, pay interest on their mortgage, and pay their utilities, so they just don’t have to shut down," Guthrie said. "When we open this up, they’re ready to start business."

Lisa Autry

A Fairness Ordinance failed to pass the Daviess County Fiscal Court at its Thursday meeting. 

 

The ordinance would have offered legal protections for members of the LGBTQ population in the areas of employment, housing, and public accommodations. 

 

The ordinance needed three votes to pass. The vote total was 2-2.

 

Daviess County Judge Executive Al Mattingly and County Commissioner Mike Koger voted in favor of the proposal.

 

County Commissioners George Wathen and Charlie Castlen voted against it.

Mason Stone FB

The coronavirus is making a lot of students anxious to see the pandemic, and home quarantines, come to an end. High school seniors, especially, are missing out on some rites of passage. 

The Class of 2020 has unwantedly become the Class of COVID-19. Eighteen-year-old Kallie Wood attends Bowling Green High School.  She realizes there will be no sports, prom, or senior trip to New York City.

“We were looking forward to going and seeing all the sights in New York," Wood told WKU Public Radio. "I’ve never been to New York so I was looking forward to it, and I was looking forward to spending one last trip with my friends and teachers.”


Fort Campbell is reporting its first positive case of the coronavirus.

The infected person is a dependent of a military retiree at Fort Campbell and is currently isolated at their home, which is outside the army post.

A statement from the installation says officials with Blanchfield Army Community Hospital are working to determine whether any others may have been exposed.


Toyota

Some businesses in Kentucky are coming to the aid of the medical community as it works to combat the spread of COVID-19. 

The coronavirus has led to shortages of face masks, latex gloves, hand sanitizer, hydrogen peroxide, medical grade thermometers, and other products. 

Ashli Watts, president of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, says many manufacturers use those products in their daily operations, so they’re being asked to donate supplies.

Chris and Nikki Hall

An Owensboro couple is under quarantine at their home following an eventful vacation cut short by the coronavirus.

The couple tested negative for COVID-19, but must remain quarantined at their home until Mar. 25.

Chris and Nikki Hall left for a Hawaiian cruise on Feb. 21.  Toward the end of their vacation, they learned the ship and passengers may have been exposed to the coronavirus.  They spent eight days quarantined in their room.

BGMU

All utilities regulated by the Kentucky Public Service Commission are being ordered to temporarily suspend disconnections for non-payment to provide some relief to customers affected by the coronavirus. 

Utilities are also being told to suspend late payment fees for at least 30 days.  The order states that disconnections pose a risk of COVID-19 transmission to utility employees and are a waste of utility resources at a time when there is a "pressing need to ensure continuity, and thus adequacy, of service."

Bowling Green Municipal Utilities isn’t under the jurisdiction of the PSC, but is voluntarily halting disconnections through the end of the month, although late fees will still accrue.  Christie Twyman, Customer Relations and Communications Manager at BGMU, says its decision is mostly aimed at relieving financial stress.

Lisa Autry

A vast majority of Kentucky’s 120 counties are now considered Second Amendment sanctuaries.  Leaders in those counties have re-affirmed their oath to uphold the Constitution when it comes to the right to bear arms, but what’s known as the "2A Movement" has hit the brakes in Daviess County.  

Jason Potts is a certified public accountant, and it’s tax season.  You could say he’s blowing off a little steam at Rock Hill Range in Daviess County.  He brought with him his AR-15, and two semi-automatic handguns for target practice. He says shooting is in his blood.

"I’m 45, and my entire life I’ve been a gun owner," said Potts. "My dad was in the Army, I grew up around it, and I grew up hunting with him.”


Some hospitals and long-term care facilities in Kentucky are restricting visitors to help stem the spread of coronavirus among the most vulnerable populations.

Following a recommendation from the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Governor Andy Beshear issued an executive order placing mandatory restrictions on long-term care centers

"We do know the elderly or people with underlying health risks are more likely to have poor outcomes if they’re infected with the virus and the death rate is higher in those individuals," said Sharon Ray, a registered nurse at the Barren River District Health Department in Bowling Green.


Ryland Barton

Long-awaited construction of a veterans nursing home in Bowling Green has taken another step forward. 

Governor Andy Beshear signed HB24 on Tuesday that appropriates $2.5 million for pre-construction on the nursing home. 

The General Assembly approved $10.5 million in state bonds in 2017 to fund the project. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has committed $19.5 million, but the design work must be completed before the state can receive the federal funding.  In a news conference at the state Capitol, Beshear said signing the bill was a way to show appreciation for veterans and their sacrifice.


Warren County Emergency Management

The area of southern Warren County where a tornado touched down early Tuesday morning was never put under a tornado warning. 

The agency charged with issuing such warnings failed to do so, which meant no sirens were activated.

Warren County has 33 sirens that make up the Community Outdoor Warning System, or COWS.  The siren in Alvaton didn’t activate before an EF-2 tornado struck just after midnight when most people were sleeping. 


Lisa Autry

The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down in Warren County early Tuesday morning.  

Based on preliminary damage surveys, the tornado was an EF-2 with peak winds of 115 miles per hour.  Marty Morgan lives on Alvaton-Scottsville Road and was awake just after midnight when the storm hit.

“It was the old proverbial 'It sounded like a freight train,' or more than one freight train," Morgan told WKU Public Radio.  I really thought the house was getting ready to go. I’ve never heard my house make sounds like that.”


Lisa Autry

As medical marijuana legislation inches closer toward approval in the Kentucky General Assembly, one group is urging lawmakers to consider the risk to public health. 

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky hasn’t taken a position on the issue because of what it says is a lack of science behind the effectiveness and potential dangers of medical marijuana.  However, a poll released last month by the group found that 90 percent of Kentucky adults support legalizing medical marijuana.

Foundation President Ben Chandler says there are lessons to be learned from the 33 states that already allow the drug to be used in various forms.


Lisa Autry

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear helped break ground today for a new manufacturing plant in Warren County. 

Crown Cork and Seal USA produces metal beverage cans and will begin operating in spring 2021 at the Kentucky Transpark.  This will be its first plant in the Bluegrass State, and its 240th worldwide. 

Joined by company leaders and local elected officials, Beshear said the company will offer 126 technical, high paying jobs, with an average hourly wage of $31.

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