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

City of Bowling Green

The city of Bowling Green may be exiting the convention center business.  City commissioners have voted to consider selling the Sloan Convention Center to a private company. 

The city commission on Tuesday agreed to issue requests for proposals as it looks to the private sector to possibly purchase and operate the venue.  The bonds used to construct the center were paid off late last year.  Mayor Bruce Wilkerson says local government is better suited for public protection and other services as opposed to competing against the private sector to run a convention center. 

WKU

A south central Kentucky school district has reached an agreement to operate the Confucius Institute formerly based at Western Kentucky University.  The program that promotes Chinese language and culture will be run by the Simpson County school system.

The agreement will allow the Confucius Institute to offer Chinese instruction in 47 K-12 schools in more than a dozen counties in the upcoming academic year.  The deal was reached in the last few days of Dr. Jim Flynn’s tenure as superintendent.  He told WKU Public Radio that the district is a good fit because Simpson County schools has had a long-standing relationship with the Confucius Institute.


Lisa Autry

A career educator is now in the driver’s seat at the National Corvette Museum.  The Bowling Green attraction introduced its next president and CEO in a news conference on Thursday afternoon.

Dr. Sean Preston comes to Bowling Green from Portland, Oregon where he led a non-profit independent school.  He has held other educational posts in North Carolina, Louisiana, and China. 

Preston said the educational nature of the museum is what attracted him to the position.


Lisa Autry

A report from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education shows the state is on pace to meet a 2030 goal of having 60% of the adult population with a college degree.   The student pipeline, however, will need some retro-fitting in the future.

In order to meet the 60x30 goal, colleges and universities as a whole, must have degree growth of 1.7% every year. 

A report released this week from the CPE shows during the past two academic years, the state saw increases of four and nearly three percent, respectively, but that progress can’t be sustained if dependent on high school graduates alone. 


Pine Knot Job Corps Center

The Trump administration is reversing its decision to close two job corps centers in Kentucky, which provide services to at-risk youth in rural areas.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is praising the Trump administration for keeping open Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers in McCreary and Menifee counties.  The centers provide education and job training to disadvantaged youth. 

Tennessee Valley Authority

A new report says the Tennessee Valley Authority made the difficult, but correct decision to close a coal-fired power plant in western Kentucky.  

The study, from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis based in Cleveland, warns potential investors about trying to resuscitate the Paradise Fossil Plant in Muhlenberg County.

The report outlines seven risk factors of keeping the plant open, including the operation and maintenance costs.  Co-author David Schlissel said the 50-year-old plant has surpassed its usefulness as a viable power and profit generator.

Henderson is one step closer to becoming the 11th Kentucky city with a law that bans discrimination against the LGBTQ community when it comes to employment, housing, and public accommodations. 

The city commission voted 3-to-2 in favor of a so-called fairness ordinance during a first reading at Tuesday’s meeting.  Mayor Steve Austin cast one of the two ‘no’ votes but realizes opinions have changed in the past couple of decades.

WFPL

City leaders in Henderson will vote Tuesday on a measure that would extend civil rights protections to members of the LGBTQ population. 

The city commission is going down a familiar road with a so-called fairness ordinance.  Leaders in Henderson passed a fairness ordinance in 1999 but it was repealed 18 months later when the makeup of the city commission was changed. 

Current Mayor Steve Austin recalls it being a divisive time and doesn’t see the need for a fairness law, but the present city commission voted 3-2 earlier this year to revisit the matter. 

Kentucky Afield

State officials are closer to learning the cause of a massive fish kill in the Gasper River in south central Kentucky.

Investigators previously found decreased oxygen levels in the water following the near-total fish kill that occurred over the Memorial Day weekend.  Now, water samples have revealed levels of nutrients and E.coli. 

Robin Hartman, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, says several factors could have contributed to the drop in oxygen.

Flickr/Creative Commons/Susan Sermoneta

An Owensboro facility is among six Kentucky nursing homes named in a federal report as having poor safety records. 

A report shared this week with the Senate Special Committee on Aging named 400 nursing homes across the nation with a 'persistent record of poor care.'  The Courier-Journal reports that the facilities had previously not been identified publicly.

Among them is the Twin Rivers Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Owensboro.  Since 2017, it’s been designated as a “Special Focus” facility, which investigators frequently monitor to resolve violations.  Without improvements, the facility can have Medicare and Medicaid funding revoked.

Joe Ross, Joe Hendricks Facebook

A race is shaping up in Logan and Todd counties to succeed long-time Circuit Judge Tyler Gill.  A private attorney and local prosecutor have announced plans to compete in a special election this fall.

Logan County Attorney Joe Ross is running in the non-partisan election.  In a statement to WKU Public Radio, Ross pledged to be a just and fair judge, and cognizant of the toll that addiction has taken on communities.

City of Bowling Green

A Bowling Green City Commissioner is expressing remorse for  with public intoxication and says he plans to remain in office.  Slim Nash went on social media on Monday to apologize for his May 23 arrest.

In a Facebook post, Nash said he was sorry for re-traumatizing any individual who has been harmed or had a loved one harmed by alcohol. 

“I have spent the majority of my life trying to help people and would never intentionally do harm," he wrote.

Public Domain

A federal appeals court issued a ruling on Thursday upholding Kentucky’s ban on contributions and gifts from lobbyists. 

The lawsuit was filed by Republican State Senator John Schickel of Union and David Watson who ran unsuccessfully for the 6th District House seat in 2016.

They claimed several of Kentucky’s campaign finance and ethics statutes violated their First and 14th Amendment rights.  Several members of Kentucky’s Registry of Election  Finance  and  Legislative  Ethics  Commission were named as defendants in the suit. 

Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner says a legal opinion from the USDA provides much needed certainty for the hemp industry. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says hemp can be transported across state lines, even through states that haven’t passed laws allowing the crop’s production.  The legal opinion notes the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from a federal list of controlled substances. 

City of Bowling Green

A Bowling Green city commissioner has admitted to being intoxicated while in public.  Slim Nash was arraigned on Tuesday in Warren District Court.

Commissioner Nash entered a guilty plea to a charge of public intoxication-first offense, which is not even a misdemeanor in Kentucky.  He was given a $25 fine plus court costs. 

Nash was arrested in a downtown parking lot last week after leaving a concert at the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center.  His attorney Alan Simpson says Nash didn’t dispute that he had been drinking.

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