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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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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The percentage of middle school students in Kentucky using electronic cigarettes and other vaping products has doubled since 2017. 

The Youth Risk Behavior Survey conducted last spring shows the rate of vaping increased from 15.1% in 2017, to 31.4% in 2019.  High school students saw a nine percent jump in the same time period. 

"The Department for Public Health is really working to provide resources to schools and communities to do what we can to prevent students from using these products and to get them to quit using them," said Stephanie Bungee, a school health consultant with the Kentucky Department of Education.

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Workers at two Western Kentucky coal mines are preparing to be laid off in the coming days. 

The Genesis Mine in Centertown previously announced it would close Feb. 24, but Ohio County Judge-Executive David Johnston said on Tuesday that Saturday is expected to be the last day of operation. 

Two informational sessions will be held in Muhlenberg County on Wednesday for the 250 workers at that Genesis mine.


Lisa Autry

Warren County is one of only four counties in Kentucky that’s currently issuing Real ID driver’s licenses.

Congress passed the Real ID Act in 2005 following the nine-eleven terrorist attacks.  The law mandates every state issue driver’s licenses that are more resistant to tampering or fraud.

Warren Circuit Clerk Brandi Duvall spoke to the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club on Wednesday.  She said the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, which is issuing Real ID licenses, plans to open 12 regional offices in the state with each serving ten counties, following approval from the General Assembly.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

A federal judge has ordered the state of Kentucky to pay more than $150,000 in legal fees stemming from a lawsuit against the state Transportation Cabinet. 

The state must pay for work performed by attorneys for the ACLU of Kentucky and the Freedom from Religion Foundation.  The two groups represented Kenton County resident Ben Hart. 

Hart, who is an atheist, filed a lawsuit in 2016 after the Transportation Cabinet denied him a personalized license plate that read “IMGOD.”  The Division of Motor Vehicles said the message was “not in good taste.” 


Kentucky Division of Emergency Management

Emergency crews in Kentucky are monitoring continued rainfall that poses the risk for a second round of flooding in some counties. 

Many homes were damaged and several people had to be rescued from their vehicles last week in some of the worst flooding to hit the region in decades.  Michael Dossett, director of the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management, says the flooding rivals the historic 1977 flood that resulted in ten deaths in eastern Kentucky.  A 74-year-old man from Whitley County who was reported missing last week was found dead in his submerged car on Monday night.

Eight counties in southeast Kentucky are under a state of emergency.


Lisa Autry

The Bowling Green Police Department has won approval to open its own training academy.  

Recruits in Warren and surrounding counties currently have to travel to the Department of Criminal Justice Training in Richmond, and be away from their families during weekdays for five months. 

Police Chief Doug Hawkins says the local academy will offer curriculum and training that’s specific to Bowling Green.


Some federal lawmakers from Kentucky are urging the Army to choose Fort Knox for a new leadership headquarters.

The Hardin County post is one of three finalists for the Army’s fourth corps headquarters, which is a three-star level command that oversees deployment of divisions and brigades throughout the world. 

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, U.S. Senator Rand Paul, and Congressman Brett Guthrie sent a letter this week to Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy.  The letter lists Fort Knox’s assets such as housing, education, and medical services both on post, and in nearby Louisville. 


Lisa Autry

The U.S. Department of Justice is opening an office in Bowling Green that will house full-time federal prosecutors.

Until now, local law enforcement had to make the two-hour commute to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Louisville when working on federal cases. 

Russell Coleman, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky, said having federal prosecutors working out of Bowling Green will expedite the resolution of cases.


Lisa Autry

Kentucky’s first anti-discrimination law protecting gays, lesbians, and transgender individuals was approved 20 years ago by the city of Louisville, ushering in a new era of LGBTQ rights. 

Since then, more than a dozen communities have passed what supporters call fairness ordinances.

Mark Twain once said “When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Kentucky, because everything there happens 20 years after it happens anywhere else.”

LGBTQ individuals and their advocates are hoping Daviess County joins the national trend of protecting members of the group through a change in local law. Often referred to as a fairness ordinance, it would protect the LGBTQ population in the areas of housing, employment, and public accommodations.  Gender identification and sexual orientation would be added to an existing law barring discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, and age.

TVA

The Tennessee Valley Authority shut down the last operating unit at its coal-fired power plant in western Kentucky over the weekend.

The TVA board of directors voted last year to retire the unit at the Paradise Fossil Plant in Muhlenberg County.

For more than 50 years, the Paradise Fossil Plant has kept the lights on for nearly ten million customers across seven southeastern states, including Kentucky and Tennessee. 

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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.


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