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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Diocese of Owensboro

The Catholic Diocese of Owensboro says it has received 66 sexual abuse allegations since it was founded in 1937. 

The diocese released newly compiled statistics on Monday showing that the accusations were against 27 priests, 11 of whom were deceased at the time the claims were made. 

The diocese released the information in a news release.

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U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul of Kentucky have joined a growing list of lawmakers who have had their private information made public.  The information leaks come as both lawmakers report increasing bouts of threat and intimidation.

The Washington-D.C. newspaper Roll Call reports that McConnell’s home addresses in Washington and Kentucky were posted on his public Wikipedia page this week.  In an op-ed to CNN, Rand Paul’s wife Kelley wrote that someone posted the address of their Bowling Green home online, as well as the senator’s cell phone number. 

WKU Public Radio

The wife of Republican U.S. Senator Rand Paul says her family has endured violence and threats at a “horrifying level” over the last 18 months. 

Kelley Paul is blaming some of the acts on comments from one of her husband’s Senate colleagues. 

In an op-ed for CNN, Mrs. Paul asks Senator Cory Booker to retract comments he made urging activists to “get up in the face of some congresspeople." 

Lisa Autry

The leader of a health advocacy group says Kentucky isn’t investing enough in the prevention of cancer. 

Ben Chandler, President and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, says many of the state’s cancer cases are related to smoking.  In a speech to the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club on Wednesday, Chandler said the state isn’t doing enough to curb the habit. 

The Foundation wants a higher tax on cigarettes.  While the General Assembly raised the tax this year by 50 cents, Chandler says that’s not enough to make people kick the habit. 

The Kentucky Board of Education has signed off on new graduation requirements for high school students. 

Under the new standards, 10th grade students would have to pass foundation exams in reading and math in order to receive a diploma.  They could take the tests multiple times, but if they still can’t pass, they could appeal to their local superintendent.

Students would also have to meet benchmark test scores or prove career readiness by earning industry certification or completing an apprenticeship.

Despite some education groups, including the Kentucky Education Association, wanting the vote postponed, the Board of Education gave preliminary approval to the new requirements during a meeting in Frankfort on Wednesday. 

Kentucky Department of Education

The Kentucky Board of Education has voted to make Wayne Lewis Kentucky’s education commissioner on a permanent basis. 

Board members on Tuesday chose to bypass a national search and give Commissioner Lewis the top job permanently, pending approval of a contract.  The board could vote on the terms of the contract, including salary, at its meeting on Wednesday.

“I can think of no better person than Wayne Lewis to affect the type of change that is needed in public education in Kentucky right now,” said Kentucky Board of Education Chairman Hal Heiner. “His vision for Kentucky’s students will help accomplish what educators and politicians have struggled to accomplish for many years – to close achievement gaps for students of all races, socioeconomic backgrounds and learning abilities.”

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The nation’s largest professional sports organizations are registering in Kentucky for the first time following a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. 

The high court in May ruled that a federal gambling statute violated the U.S. Constitution and cleared the way for individual states to decide on sports betting. 

The National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, and the PGA Tour have all registered to lobby during the 2019 General Assembly.

Christian County Detention Center

The family of a young Scottsville girl murdered nearly three years ago may see the case go to trial next fall. 

A new trial date was set on Tuesday in the capital murder case against Timothy Madden who is charged in the death of seven-year-old Gabbi Doolin. 

Allen Circuit Judge Janet Crocker set a September 4 trial date for Madden who is charged with kidnapping, rape, sodomy, and murder. 

Lisa Autry

At 3.3 million, a record number of Kentuckians are registered to vote ahead of the November general election, according to the Secretary of State's Office. 

The commonwealth will try to grow its voter rolls even further on Tuesday in conjunction with National Voter Registration Day. 

Many agencies, high schools, and colleges and universities in Kentucky will be conducting voter registration drives with the signup deadline only two weeks away.

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. 

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