Lisa Autry


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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As a new academic year begins, Western Kentucky University President Timothy Caboni says the school will continue to build on improvements made toward retaining and graduating more students. 

In his opening convocation to faculty and staff on Monday, Dr. Caboni said the first-to-second-semester persistence rate for students who began last fall was up four percent compared to 2017.  Bigger gains were made among low-income, minority, and first-generation students. 

Lisa Autry

The Allen County man charged in the murder of a seven-year-old girl nearly four years ago is now less than a month away from going on trial. 

Timothy Madden was in court on Wednesday for a pre-trial hearing. 

After multiple delays, the case is on schedule to go to trial on September 4. 

Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet

Search and recovery efforts have been suspended for a worker involved in an explosion at a Muhlenberg County mine. 

Richard Knapp is presumed dead following the blast last week at the Paradise Mine in Bremen.  He was a 62-year-old welder and iron worker from West Frankfort, Illinois. 

John Mura, a spokesman for the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, told WKU Public Radio that crews worked for two days to lower the methane levels so a camera could be dropped into the mine.

Lisa Autry

As Western Kentucky University focuses on retaining and graduating more students, a housing project is getting underway to help the school achieve those goals. 

Demolition begins this week on Bemis Lawrence Hall to make way for the new first-year village that's designed to enhance the college experience for freshmen by connecting students with similar interests. 

The first-year village will feature pod-style housing, social areas, study rooms, and faculty and student mentors.

Most Kentucky schools will kick off a new academic year next month with 5,000 fewer teachers than what the commonwealth needs. 

Kentucky is experiencing a teacher shortage created by educators leaving the profession and fewer college students majoring in education. 

While there have traditionally been shortages in foreign languages and special education, some districts have open positions in the most popular disciplines. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife

Henderson could become home to Kentucky’s second national wildlife refuge.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering the preservation of a 24,000-acre site.

The Green River area of Henderson County is valued for its habitat for fish and wildlife and recreational opportunities such as hunting and fishing.  The area would become known as the Green River National Wildlife Refuge.  The land is located south of Evansville, Indiana near the confluence of the Green and Ohio Rivers. 

Office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

A Barren County native is on her way to becoming the next U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. 

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday advanced the nomination of Kelly Knight Craft. Craft’s nomination now goes to the full Senate where she is expected to win confirmation. 

The Glasgow native was tapped by President Donald Trump at the urging of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.  Craft has spent the past two years serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Canada.  In a comments before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, McConnell credited her tenure with helping build the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement among other things.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is disputing claims that her office is preparing to remove up to a quarter-million Kentuckians from the voter registration rolls. 

Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit in 2017 that claimed Kentucky had more registered voters than citizens over the age of 18.  The conservative watchdog group alleged that the state’s failure to remove ineligible voters violated the National Voter Registration Act.

General Motors

Like kids waiting for Christmas morning, Corvette enthusiasts are on the edge of their seats for a big reveal on Thursday. 

That’s when General Motors will unveil the next generation of the iconic sports car.  Described as a technical tour-de-force, the long-hyped C8 is generating plenty of buzz around the home of the Corvette. 

I recently went along for the ride as a sleek 2017 red Corvette Stingray did laps at the National Corvette Museum’s Motorsports Park in Bowling Green. It won’t be long before a newer, shinier, and more powerful toy hits the asphalt.

Lisa Autry

General Motors and the United Auto Workers Union begin negotiations on Tuesday over a new, four-year contract.  The talks will impact about 900 hourly workers at the Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green.

Despite announcing plans in November to close five U.S. plants, General Motors says it has no plans to move more production overseas.  CEO Mary Barra reiterated the claim in April during a visit to the Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green.

Public Domain

A new Kentucky program is asking businesses to overlook the stigma of addiction when hiring or retaining employees. 

Faced with a low workforce participation rate and a high rate of drug abuse, the state recently launched the Opioid Response Program for Businesses.  The initiative will work with employers to provide free audits of human resources policies and identify how companies can better assist employees through recovery. 

Beth Davisson heads the Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center and says the goal of the new program is to change the culture to treat addiction like any other illness.

A statewide forum on medical marijuana will take place in Kentucky this fall. 

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky will host the forum on September 23 in Lexington.  The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. 

Foundation CEO Ben Chandler said in a statement that it will be a 'balanced' forum designed to answer a lot of questions with experts on all sides. 

Flickr/Creative Commons/Melissa Johnson

As diabetics nationwide struggle to afford the insulin they need to survive, Kentucky lawmakers are working to provide some relief at the state level. 

The price of the two main insulin brands, Humalog and Novolog, has increased more than 1,000 percent since the late 1990s.  

A bill has been pre-filed for the 2020 General Assembly that would cap the co-pay for insulin at $100 for a 30-day supply. 

Flickr/Creative Commons/Jeremy W. Osborne

Non-profits in Kentucky are being urged to take steps that will help ensure an accurate count in the U.S. census. 

From health and education to nutrition and housing assistance, Kentucky has many statewide programs supported by federal funding that’s appropriated based on census results. 

One study finds that an inaccurate count may cause the commonwealth to lose more than $2,000 per person, per year in federal funding. 

Flickr/Creative Commons/James Case

The Kentucky State Police agency says it’s not taking a position for, or against, a new law that allows citizens to carry a concealed firearm without a permit.  KSP is, however, issuing some advice. 

KSP is encouraging Kentuckians to do some homework before traveling to other states.  The new law may not apply elsewhere, and if stopped by police in other states, Kentuckians could be subject to arrest.  Sergeant Josh Lawson says most, if not all, of Kentucky’s surrounding states still require a permit for concealed carry.