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

The Student Government Association at Western Kentucky University has voted in favor of relocating a historical marker on campus. 

The marker identifies Bowling Green as the Confederate Capital of Kentucky during the Civil War.  The marker was erected in 1952 during the civil rights era and stands in front of the Kentucky Museum.  SGA member Symone Whalin is an African-American student from Hardin County.

“I just feel like people should understand there is a time and setting for history to be remembered and I don’t think that every time I walk to class, I should be reminded that people who looked like me were not allowed to be here," Whalin told WKU Public Radio.

The American Lung Association and other health advocates will gather in Frankfort on Thursday in hopes of rescuing legislation that would make all of Kentucky's public schools 100% tobacco-free.

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky’s signature piece of legislation this year is stalled in the waning days of the 30-day session of the General Assembly.

HB 11 would prohibit cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and vaping items both during and after school hours.

A Warrick County coal mine in southern Indiana will shut down this spring, affecting more than 80 employees. 

In a notice to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, White Stallion Energy of Evansville says surface mine operations at Liberty Mine in Boonville will shut down on April 5, though the company says the date may change "depending on business circumstances."

A program born out of Kentucky’s opioid crisis is putting drug offenders into treatment faster and reducing the cost of incarceration.

The Rocket Docket initiative allows local prosecutors to expedite non-violent felony drug cases through the judicial process.  It also allows certain defendants rapid entry into substance abuse treatment. 

The Prosecutors Advisory Council in the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office recently issued a report examining Rocket Docket in the three-and-a-half years since the program began.

Edelen Strategic Ventures

One of Kentucky’s Democratic candidates for governor will lay out his vision for the state before an audience in Bowling Green on Friday evening. 

Adam Edelen is holding a public forum to talk about his campaign platform that includes making the bluegrass state competitive in a modern economy.

"We've got to get broadband to every community in Kentucky," Edelen told WKU Public Radio. "We got to embrace renewable energy as part of our energy portfolio in order to be attractive to recruiting and developing new companies in Kentucky."

Becca Schimmel, Ohio Valley Resource

The small town of Paradise, Kentucky isn’t feeling so blissful these days as the the future of the Paradise Fossil Plant remains in question.

The western Kentucky community could learn on Thursday the fate of its last coal-fired power plant in Muhlenberg County.  The Tennessee Valley Authority’s Board of Directors will meet in Chattanooga, TN to consider closing the Kentucky plant, as well as the coal-powered Bull Run Fossil Plant in Oak Ridge, TN.

Lisa Autry

A leader in the Kentucky Senate wants to limit the number of syringes handed out in local needle exchange programs. 

Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer is sponsoring a bill in this year’s legislative session that would require programs to give only one sterile syringe for every dirty needle that’s turned in at local health departments.

SB 69 is awaiting a vote in Senate Health and Welfare Committee.

marsyslaw.us

Marsy’s Law will go before the Kentucky Supreme Court on Friday, three months after the state's voters approved the measure as a constitutional amendment. 

The measure giving constitutional rights to crime victims was approved by voters in the Nov. 6 election with 63 percent support, but a legal challenge has prevented the law from being enacted.  The law gives crime victims the same rights as the accused, including a voice in the judicial process. 

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

Kentucky’s attorney general is being asked to investigate a recount for a disputed seat in the state House of Representatives. 

Democrat Jim Glenn won the 13th District House race in Daviess County by one vote in last year’s election, but a recount over the weekend resulted in a tie with Republican DJ Johnson. 

In a letter to Attorney General Andy Beshear dated Feb. 6, Representative Glenn’s attorney, Anna Whites of Frankfort, asks for an immediate investigation into the February 2 recount in Owensboro.  Whites argues that Johnson's attorney illegally meddled in the recount by asking the Daviess County Board of Elections to review a ballot they previously rejected. 

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

An election contest board will meet on Friday and could decide who finally will occupy the 13th District seat in the Kentucky House of Representatives.

Over the weekend, a recount resulted in a tie between Democrat Jim Glenn and Republican DJ Johnson, both of Owensboro.  Johnson requested the recount after losing his reelection bid to Glenn by a single vote last fall.

Over the weekend, the Daviess County Board of Elections recounted more than 12,000 ballots by hand.  Glenn came out ahead by three votes, but after an appeal by Johnson's attorney C. Michael Shull III, the board voted to give one of those votes back, leaving Johnson down by two votes.  The panel then decided to count five of 17 rejected absentee ballots.  Three were in favor of Johnson, one went for Glenn, and one was blank, resulting in a tie.

Kevin Willis

A Kentucky Congressman says he expects President Trump to make a case for strong border security as he delivers his second State of the Union address. 

In a speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night, Trump will likely urge Congress to pass a comprehensive border package or else watch him go it alone.

A February 15 deadline threatens to close the federal government again without a border security agreement between Democrats and Republicans. 

Lisa Autry

Update:

A Warren Circuit Court jury has returned a verdict in the civil trial of U.S. Senator Rand Paul and the neighbor convicting of assaulting him. 

After one-and-a-half hours of deliberations on Wednesday, jurors awarded Paul $7,834.82 in medical expenses and $200,000 for pain and suffering.  Rene Boucher was also ordered to pay $375,000 in punitive damages to Paul.

"Certainly not what we expected. I haven't gotten my head around it yet," responded Boucher's attorney Matt Baker. "It's just not what we expected."

The Republican lawmaker was seeking a maximum of $1.5 million in damages stemming from the attack outside his Bowling Green home in 2017.

LinkedIn

A former Miss America is preparing a walk on Kentucky's political stage.  Heather French Henry is launching a bid for Secretary of State. 

Bob Silverthorn, a spokesman for French Henry, confirmed to WKU Public Radio that she will file for the statewide office on Friday morning at 10:00 a.m. at the secretary of state's office in the Capitol.

The Democrat filed a letter of intent on Jan. 22 with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance to begin fundraising. 

Two men charged in the execution-style murders of three people in Owensboro made their first court appearance on Wednesday. 

Thirty year-old Arnett Baines and 31-year-old Cylar Shemwell were assigned public defenders and ordered to return to a Daviess County courtroom on February 1.  The pair is charged in the shooting deaths of three people last week at a home on Audubon Avenue.  A fourth person was left in critical condition. 

Nicole Erwin, WKMS

One year after a teen gunman killed two students and injured 14 others, some parents are now suing the Marshall County school district in western Kentucky

The families of four students shot on January 23, 2018 by classmate Gabe Parker say the school system knew or should have known of his “dangerous propensities” and failed to prevent the rampage. 

The lawsuit filed on Tuesday in Marshall Circuit Court names Parker, his mother, and stepfather as defendants, as well as the superintendent, five school board members, and the former principal of Marshall County High School.  Four assistant principals and the school resource officer are also named in the suit.

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