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. 

 

   A new poll on Kentucky’s 6th District congressional race affirms what political pundits have been saying for months. It’s going to be a nail-biter. 

Republican Incumbent Andy Barr is leading his Democratic challenger Amy McGrath by one point. The independent poll was conducted last week by the New York Times and Siena College. Among the 506 respondents, 47 percent favored Barr, 46 percent endorsed McGrath, and seven percent were undecided.

WATE.Com

Kentucky’s public schools would be required to post the national motto of “In God We Trust” inside their buildings under legislation that’s been pre-filed for next legislative session. Hhe bill is being sponsored by a LaRue County evangelist.

Wikimedia Commons

  Kentucky students entering high school next academic year may have more freedom to choose their classes and demonstrate what they’ve learned.

Kentucky’s attorney general says a payment made to the state’s former adoption czar was illegal. Andy Beshear’s legal opinion issued today\yesterday says Gov. Matt Bevin violated the state’s procurement law.

The commonwealth is gaining a new tool to help employers struggling to find 
workers with the skills they need. Kentucky is one of three states in the nation preparing to host statewide Talent Pipeline Management Academies created by the U.S. Chamber Foundation. Participating employers and education providers will use a data-driven approach to connect employers with workers. Beth Davisson is Executive Director of the Kentucky Chamber’s Workforce Center.

WKU.EDU

The governing body of Western Kentucky University made a $388 million decision today.

WKMS

A U.S. Representative from Kentucky says he supports President  Donald  Trump’s plan to sign an executive order halting the separation of undocumented immigrants and their children at the Mexican border. First District Congressman James Comer says he was one of several lawmakers who met with the president this week to relay their concerns about the humanitarian crisis. The Monroe County Republican says the U.S. can both secure its borders and keep families together.

  One of the architects of Western Kentucky University’s brewing and distilling program says the future is bright, despite the end of a corporate partnership. Alltech announced last week the end of its brewing collaboration with the school.

All Tech has decided to end its relationship with Western Kentucky University which will cease production of two WKU-themed beers. 

The Nicholasville-based biotech company will still honor a financial commitment to the school.

Ky.gov

Governor Matt Bevin is on an economic development trip to Asia this week. The trade mission to Japan and the Republic of Korea will encourage more job creation in Kentucky.

  Kentucky continues to make strides in the number of residents who are able to obtain and afford health insurance. But those gains may be at risk if the state moves forward with its Medicaid waiver. 

Fewer Kentucky children are dying at the hands of an abuser, but the number of cases of child abuse is drastically rising. 

WFPL.ORG

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.

A survey of more than 500 of the state’s residents at least 18 years old gave the Senate Majority Leader a 30 percent approval rating. WKU Political Science Professor Joel Turner heads the Social Science Research Center at WKU, which conducted the poll.

He says popularity typically hasn’t been behind McConnell’s rise to leadership.

LRC.GOV

 

An ethics panel will meet tomorrow to consider a case against four Republican lawmakers who signed a secret sexual harassment settlement. The hearing by the Legislative Ethics Commission is the result of a complaint filed by a Democratic lawmaker. 

IStock

Kentuckians are being told to take steps now to prepare for their home heating 
demands this winter. 

Inventories of U.S. heating oil and propane are lower this year than last year. Weather is the main factor in the demand for propane and colder winters both increase demand and impact deliveries. While propane production has increased in the U.S. the past several years, there are several challenges, including less storage capacity at production facilities.

Mary Meehan

Another community in south central Kentucky has signed off on the creation of a needle exchange for drug abusers. In a 4-3 vote, the Barren County Fiscal Court approved the program that will allow intravenous drug users to swap dirty needles for clean ones at the local health department.

Kentucky.com

The backlog of untested rape kits in Kentucky has grown larger than the initial 3,000 discovered in 2015.

While testing is complete on the original backlog, officials uncovered 1,500 so-called “boomerang kits”.

Those are rape kits sent to the crime lab, not tested for various reasons, and then returned to law enforcement agencies.

The state recently received a nearly $3 million federal grant to test those kits from the U.S. Department of Justice.

LRC.GOV

An ongoing investigation into sexual harassment in the Kentucky legislature still hasn’t determined who paid to settle the claims and for how much. Former House Speaker Jeff Hoover and his accuser are denying the hush money came from political donors.

WFPL

U.S. Senator Rand Paul is breaking his silence about this month’s attack outside his Bowling Green home.  His neighbor, Rene Boucher, is charged with misdemeanor assault after allegedly tackling Paul from behind while he was mowing his lawn.

Senator Paul told Fox News Tuesday that Boucher made some comments right after the attack to “try to indicate why he was unhappy,” but the Republican lawmaker didn’t elaborate.

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles says Kentucky farmers continue to gain more access to major grocery chains. 

Quarles says the Kentucky Proud program is expanding to help the state’s beef producers. 

A plan is underway to process beef cattle in Wolfe County, and distribute the ground beef to more than 80 Kroger stores in Kentucky.

The superintendent of Owensboro Public Schools says the pension proposal unveiled by Kentucky’s Republican leaders is "second-rate" compared to the current retirement system. 

Dr. Nick Brake applauds GOP leaders for not raising the retirement age to 65 for teachers, but fears that other reforms, if enacted, would make it harder for the state to attract quality educators.

The superintendent of Owensboro Public Schools says the pension proposal unveiled by Kentucky’s Republican leaders is second-rate compared to the current retirement system. 

  Attorney General Andy Beshear is asking the General Assembly to consider legislation that would provide better protections to Kentuckians affected by a data breach.  The proposed changes to state law follow a major hacking at Equifax.

Eastern Kentucky residents have access to more mental health providers than the rest of the state, but proportionately, there are fewer primary physicians in the Appalachian region.

Public employees in the Bowling Green region worried about their retirement benefits have a chance to hear from state lawmakers in a town hall. 

Legislators from south central Kentucky will speak in Bowling Green Wednesday evening at a public meeting hosted by the Fraternal Order of Police. 

Governor Matt Bevin has promised to call a special legislative session this fall to rein in the state's pension debt.  Consultants have recommended pay cuts for some retired workers while freezing the benefits of most other public employees. 

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green knows a thing or two about natural disasters, having experienced a massive sinkhole in 2014.  Now the museum is offering a hand to Florida residents trying to escape Hurricane Irma. 

The museum off I-65 is opening its parking lots for cars, trailers, and RVs.  The offer is extended to anyone, not just Corvette owners. 

Ken Herald and his wife were visiting the museum Thursday.  The couple from Fort Meyers, Florida was headed to Indianapolis to stay with relatives.  While they won’t be camping out at the museum, Herald says he appreciates the gesture.

Eighteen members of the Kentucky Air National Guard are in Texas helping stranded residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. 

The 123rd Special Tactics Squadron out of Louisville specializes in swift-water rescues, confined-space operations, and emergency medical care. 

"The 123rd STS has taken all of it's equipment down, ATVs and inflatable motor boats, to provide search and rescue, and any support as needed," said Major Steve Martin.

Kentucky state senator Dennis Parrett is joining the chamber’s Democratic leadership. The senator from Hardin County will replace ousted minority whip Julian Carroll in the 2018 legislative session.

Kentuckians wanting to fly on a plane, enter federal buildings, or visit military posts will need a new driver’s license or identification card in the near future. 

Unlike most states, the commonwealth is out of compliance with the Real ID Act, a federal law that was passed in 2005 following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. 

The law requires new cards with added security features, and a new process for how the cards are issued. 

As the U.S. Senate this week voted to hold debate over repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear accused some Republican politicians of “religious hypocrisy.”

Beshear said some lawmakers have turned their backs on people who need health care. The former Democratic governor said it’s unfortunate that elected leaders take advantage of religion and use it as a political tool.

"When a politician running for office talks in religious terms people believe them and think that's a good person, and vote for them.  The problem is that a lot of these guys and gals preach like the prophets when they're running and govern like Pontius Pilate when they're serving," Beshear told WKU Public Radio. "What kind of Christian principles is it when you want to throw 22 million people off health care coverage? There may be problems with the Affordable Care Act, and we need to fix them, but the answer isn't to turn millions of people out of the health care they desperately need."

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