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. 

Kentucky’s Legislative Ethics Commission is asking state lawmakers to update an existing law to specifically prohibit workplace sexual harassment by lawmakers against their staff. 

The legislative ethics law currently doesn’t include such language.  The ethics panel has investigated such cases in the past, mostly recently involving former House Speaker Jeff Hoover, but on the grounds of misuse of public office. 

Legislative Ethics Commission Director John Schaaf told WKU Public Radio that updating the law would remove any questions about whether the panel has jurisdiction to investigate sexual harassment allegations against lawmakers.

Employees of Kentucky’s public colleges and universities will continue to receive tuition assistance in the upcoming fall semester, despite the end of a program that allowed them take some classes for free at other schools. 

The General Assembly this year eliminated a statewide mandatory tuition waiver requirement that allowed full-time employees of post-secondary institutions to take up to six credit hours per semester at no cost.  House Bill 592 retained those benefits only for employees of state and locally operated secondary area technology centers.

A Kentucky soldier who died in the Korean War is finally coming home.  Private First Class Joe Elmore was killed nearly 70 years ago, but his remains were never identified.

The Clinton County man went missing in action in 1950 in Changjim County, Hamgyeong Province, North Korea, but his remains have just been positively identified and are in the process of being returned to Kentucky.  His sister, Mary Bowlin of Bowling Green, got the news in a phone call on July 5.

 


As many Kentucky students head back to school this week, the state Department for Public Health is reminding parents to make sure children and teens are up to date on their vaccines

Students in kindergarten through 12th grade must show proof of having received two doses of the Hepatitis-A vaccine to attend school.  The commonwealth is in the grips of a Hepatitis-A outbreak with more than 400 confirmed cases in the past year.

Pushback to changes made to Kentucky’s public pensions and Medicaid program have led to a drop in Governor Matt Bevin’s job approval. 

A poll by Morning Consult suggests that Bevin is the fourth-least popular governor in the nation.

Fifty-seven percent of Kentucky voters said they disapproved of Governor Bevin’s job performance during the second quarter of this year, compared with 29 percent who backed him.  That’s a 25-point net dip from the first quarter.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andy Beshear says he has his own vision for Kentucky, despite being the son of a former governor. 

Beshear embarked on the second of a two-day swing through the state on Tuesday, launching his 2019 bid for the governor’s mansion.  He’s the first candidate so far to formally enter the race, and he's no stranger to voters as Kentucky’s attorney general and the son of former Governor Steve Beshear.

At a stop in Owensboro alongside running mate Jacqueline Coleman, Beshear said that he and his father are “two different people.”

U.S. Capitol Police have arrested a man accused of threatening to kill Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and his family.  The Republican lawmaker acknowledged the threat during a visit to Grayson County on Monday.

Speaking to the Leitchfield Rotary Club, Senator Paul said the man threatened to “chop up” him and his family with an ax.  The threat was allegedly phoned in to Paul’s Bowling Green office.  Kentucky’s junior U.S. Senator acknowledged the arrest in a tweet on Monday, but U.S. Capitol Police released no information.

"We do not comment on ongoing investigations," said Communications Director Eva Malecki in an email to WKU Public Radio.

The neighbor who admitted to attacking U.S. Senator Rand Paul outside his home last fall was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green to 30 days in jail. 

Rene Boucher was also ordered to serve one year of supervised release, perform 100 hours of community service, and have no intentional contact with the Paul family. 

Boucher addressed the court and offered an apology to the Republican lawmaker who sustained broken ribs and other injuries after being tackled from behind while mowing his lawn on November 3.

"What I did was wrong and I hope he and his family can one day accept my apology," Boucher said.

The board that governs higher education in Kentucky is considering a proposal to change the minimum guidelines for admission to public colleges and universities. 

For students wanting to enter a state-supported, four-year institution, they would need a minimum high school GPA of 2.5, although schools would be allowed to set higher admission standards. 

CPE President Bob King says students with a lower GPA could be still be accepted, but they would have to enter into a learning contract with the college that would include a number of support services such as remedial classes and mentoring.

National Institutes of Health

Kentucky is dealing with a statewide outbreak of Hepatitis-A, which can lead to a potentially deadly liver infection. It's most often transmitted through fecal matter coming in contact with a person's mouth.

Howard Wilkinson / WVXU

Republican and Democratic voters in Kentucky are choosing nominees today to compete in the November general election. A large number of races are on the ballot from county offices to the state legislature and Congress, and Kentucky’s top election officer says voting in today’s primary has gone smoothly for the most part.

President Donald Trump has called the opioid crisis a national health emergency, ravaging Appalachian states like Kentucky, West Virginia, and Ohio.  That’s helped put the spotlight on the role doctors play in prescribing powerful pain relievers that sometimes lead to addiction and overdose deaths. 

A former Warren County physician will get a stinging reminder on Monday that his medical career is over, and that his freedom is being taken away.  Fred Gott will be sentenced in federal court for over-prescribing powerful painkillers, including Fentanyl and Methadone.  The case against the 66-year-old heart doctor started to build in 2012.


child abuse
Pixabay

A new report paints a sobering picture when it comes to child abuse and fatalities in Kentucky. 

mitch mcconnell
United States Congress/Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

A poll released this month by Western Kentucky University suggests that Mitch McConnell is the least popular among the state’s two Republican U.S. Senators.

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says she hopes turnout in Kentucky’s May 22 primary election will be just as large as the ballot.  The deadline to register to vote is Monday, April 23.

The mid-term election will feature a host of county-wide races, all of the seats in the state House, half of the state Senate, Congressional, and judicial races. 

Grimes says she’s optimistic that the activism among teachers and other state workers during this year’s legislative session will translate into high turnout at the polls.

As someone who spent most of her career in international business, Joann Bundock has seen some amazing sights all over the world, but she’s headed home to her native Kentucky to see something else pretty spectacular-the first total solar eclipse to travel the width of North America in 99 years.

“My husband woke me up one morning and said ‘We’re going to Kentucky. There’s going to be a total eclipse of the sun and it’s going right over your family’s farm in Kentucky,'" Bundock told WKU Public Radio.  "This has been on his bucket list forever.”

The couple from Toronto, Canada will be among the sea of humanity rolling into western and southern Kentucky this weekend.  NASA estimates that as many as half-a-million people will converge on the region.


Six months after being elected, a poll gives Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin one of the lowest approval ratings in the country. 

The survey by Morning Consult shows Republican Governor Matt Bevin with a 33 percent approval rating.  Bevin is ranked in the bottom ten among the nation’s governors.  That’s a stark contrast to former Governor Steve Beshear’s approval rating of 57 percent before he left office. 

Job performance ranking vary in surrounding states.  Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam enjoys 63 percent approval among respondents in his state.  Indiana Governor Mike Pence has a 48 percent approval rating among Hoosiers, and 61 percent of Ohio voters approve of the job Governor John Kasich is doing. 

Morning Consult is a non-partisan media and technology company.  Its survey on the job approval of governors was taken between January and early May.

More than 1.2 million registered Republicans in Kentucky have the chance to take part in the state’s Republican presidential caucus on Saturday.  At stake are Kentucky’s 46 delegates to the national convention. 

Some are predicting only a fraction will turn out to cast their ballots.

"I’m telling you, across the state I’ve talked to any number of Republicans who don’t even know there is a caucus," said Scott Hofstra of Elizabethtown.

Hofstra chairs the Central Kentucky Tea Party and is the volunteer chairman for the Ted Cruz campaign in Kentucky.  He says the voters who are going to the caucus are excited, but a little apprehensive.

"Even if they’re aware of it, they’ve not been very well-informed about what the caucus is all about and how it’s going to work," Hofstra added.  "The state just has not done a good job of getting the word out.”

The Kentucky Republican Party set up a website and telephone hotline for voters to get more information ahead of Saturday.  State GOP Chairman Mike Biagi says he feels good about the public’s awareness of the caucus.