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

Thinkstock

Kentucky’s attorney general has joined Indiana, Tennessee, and 15 other states in urging a federal appeals court to uphold an Ohio law that bans abortions when the unborn child has Down Syndrome. 

Attorney General Daniel Cameron has filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.  A three-judge panel initially invalidated Ohio’s law, but the entire Sixth Circuit, which has more than a dozen judges, recently agreed to rehear the case. 

The brief argues while current law allows a woman to have an abortion, she doesn’t have the right to decide whether a child lives or dies based on a perceived disability.  The brief says those types of abortions are discriminatory against the unborn child. 


LRC Public Information

A measure is moving through the Kentucky legislature that would provide the necessary funding to build a veterans nursing home in Bowling Green.

The Kentucky House of Representatives will vote on Monday on HB 24, sponsored by State Rep. Michael Meredith.

The House Appropriations and Revenue Committee  passed the bill last week that puts $2.5 million toward design work.

Alix Mattingly

Frankfort will welcome hundreds of Muslims from across Kentucky on Wednesday, Jan. 22, for the inaugural Muslim Day at the State Capitol.

Muslims from all over the commonwealth will tour the building, meet with legislators, and pray in the rotunda. 

A resolution in the Kentucky House of Representatives in support of the event states that the Muslim community is "a positive contributor to the health and economic well-being of Kentucky, with Muslims serving as doctors, professors, auto workers, small business owners, and in numerous other professions."

Waheeda Muhammad chairs the Kentucky Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR.  In an interview with WKU Public Radio, she said the event is not government-sanctioned.


Lisa Autry

General Motors workers in Kentucky and seven other states are transitioning from temporary to permanent employment.  The automaker announced on Wednesday that 1,350 temps will gain full benefits by the end of March.

One of the main sticking points in last fall’s contract negotiations between GM and the UAW was the use of temporary workers.  Those employees typically put in full-time hours, but don’t have many of the same benefits as permanent employees. 


A Kentucky lawmaker has reintroduced a bill that would give crime victims the same rights afforded to the accused, including a voice in the criminal justice system.

Marsy's Law would guarantee crime victims constitutional protections, including the right to be notified of all court proceedings, the right to be present for those hearings, and the right to be heard in any hearing involving an offender’s release, plea, or sentencing. 


Facebook

One of the races on the ballot this year will feature a rematch for a seat in the Kentucky legislature that represents part of Daviess County.

DJ Johnson is challenging incumbent State Representative Jim Glenn in the 13th District House race.

The 13th District election in 2018 was one for the record books.  Democrat Jim Glenn held the seat for a decade before being defeated by Republican DJ Johnson in 2016.  Two years later, Glenn won the seat back by only one vote.  When a recanvass didn’t change the outcome, Johnson requested a recount, which ended in a tie.  That left a special committee of House lawmakers to decide the winner of the race. 

Lisa Autry

Australia is burning, and across the globe in Kentucky, one man is watching in horror and disbelief.

More than one billion animals have perished in the devastating wildfires ravaging the country, and that staggering loss of wildlife is hard to accept for Australia native Mick McGill, who manages Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo

"Excuse me, excuse me," McGill says as he enters the kangaroo enclosure. "There are 30 kangaroos in here and it’s feeding time now.”

Even 10,000 miles away, he feels at home.  McGill's face beams as he picks up Weston, a red kangaroo who is spoiled.

“He’s my good boy. This is my little baby I raised at home. He thinks I’m his mother," McGill says. "He’s about a year and three months now. When he grows up he’s going to be over six feet tall.”

U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Kentucky

A federal prosecutor in Kentucky says, if warranted, his office is prepared to prosecute those convicted in state court who received pardons from former Governor Matt Bevin.

U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman says if the crimes took place in the Western District of Kentucky, they will be treated like any other violation of federal law.  Once the findings of the investigation are presented to his office, Coleman says he’ll consider the statute of limitations, double jeopardy, and evidentiary requirements to determine whether the cases meet federal standards for prosecution. 

“The uniqueness of a situation of federal prosecution following a state executive pardon will, however, require ultimate approval by the highest levels at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.," Coleman said in a statement.

A coal mine in Ohio County will close in a couple of months, forcing the layoff of about 250 workers. 

In a WARN notice sent to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training on Thursday, the Western Kentucky Coal Company announced plans to close its Genesis Mine in Centertown on Feb. 24. 

The decision comes after parent company Murray Energy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October. Murray Energy also owns Midway Mine in Centertown and Pride Mine in Muhlenberg County. 

Coal companies are struggling to stay afloat as industries switch from coal to cheaper and cleaner forms of energy. 

The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting workers for thousands of temporary positions across Kentucky and the nation to assist with the 2020 count. 

Most of the positions are for enumerators, those who go door-to-door to assist citizens with filling out their questionnaire.  Julie Trovillion, a partnership specialist with the Census who works out of Bowling Green, said 1,800 applicants are needed in Warren County alone.

"We ask people to put in at least 15 hours per week and up to 40 hours per week, but they get to pretty much set their own schedule," said Trovillion. "Whatever hours they’re available, whatever days, we’ll work around their schedule.”

The Census Bureau pays $15 an hour, plus 58 cents for every mile driven.  Those interested can apply online.

creative commons

Warren County is joining at least five other Kentucky school districts in suing Juul, one of the leading manufacturers of electronic cigarettes and other vaping products. 

Electronic cigarettes have become commonplace at middle and high schools, despite a state law requiring a person to be at least 18 years old to buy them. 

Vaping products have spurred investigations by government regulators who blame their flavored varieties for appealing to teens and halting what had been a steady decline of youth smoking rates.  The lawsuit seeks an injunctive order that would require the company to stop marketing its products to youth.

Kentucky State Police

An inmate from the Warren County Regional Jail has escaped while on work release. 

According to Kentucky State Police, the escapee is Michael Lane, 36, of Bowling Green. KSP received a call around 7:15 a.m. Tuesday stating that Lane walked away near Scottsville Road and Oliver Street. 

Lane is a white male with brown hair and brown eyes.  He’s about 5'10" in height, and weighs approximately 175 pounds. He was last seen wearing black pants and a black shirt. 

Lane was in jail on several charges, including being a persistent felony offender, receiving stolen property, and probation violation. 

KSP is asking the public to contact them if they have any information on the escapee’s whereabouts.

WFPL

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is predicting a vote on whether to impeach President Trump will be mostly partisan.

Speaking in Bowling Green on Monday, the Republican lawmaker said he thinks every Republican and half a dozen Democrats will vote against impeachment in the U.S. House on Wednesday. 

Paul has defended Trump's motivation for withholding U.S. aid to Ukraine as a way to root out government corruption, rather than to investigate his political rival, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky’s Muslim community will gather in Frankfort next month for the inaugural Muslim Day at the state capitol. 

Muslims from all over the state will tour the building on January 22, meet with legislators, pray in the Rotunda, and receive training on how to advocate for issues affecting the Muslim community.

Waheeda Muhammad, chair of the Kentucky chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, said one of the goals of the event is to clear up misconceptions about the Islamic faith.

Legislative Research Commission

A Kentucky state senator says he plans to introduce a constitutional amendment to reform the governor's pardoning power.  The move comes after former Governor Matt Bevin issued hundreds of pardons, many for people convicted of heinous crimes.

Governor Matt Bevin issued more than 400 pardons and commutations before leaving office on Monday.  Among the beneficiaries was a man convicted of beheading a woman and stuffing her body in a barrel and a man convicted of child rape.  In another case, Bevin pardoned a convicted murderer whose family held a fundraiser for him. 

Pages