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 Northern Kentucky city has become the 12th in Kentucky to pass a law protecting the LGBTQ population from discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations. In a unanimous vote this week, Dayton city leaders approved a so-called fairness ordinance. Mayor Ben Baker urged members of the General Assembly to pass a statewide law extending civil rights protections to the LGBTQ community. Next year will mark 20 years since legislation was introduced in the General Assembly.  

A Clinton County doctor will serve prison time for over-prescribing pain and anti- anxiety drugs. A federal judge has sentenced Dr. Michael Cummings of Albany to two-and-a-half years behind bars. 

The investigation in Cummings began in 2015 after the Clinton County coroner noticed several overdose deaths involving  Cummings’ patients. The probe discovered that patients drove from as far as Indianapolis to obtain prescriptions from the long-time family practitioner.

  Governor Matt Bevin has issued a State of Emergency due to recent flooding across Kentucky. The declaration allows the state to use emergency funds to activate the National Guard or purchase goods and services for affected communities. 
Michael Dossett heads the Kentucky Emergency Management Agency. He says roads and other infrastructure are the most impacted.“In one county in particular, they had 80 roads out of commission. While they may only be under water, some may have experienced faulting of the asphalt. Others may have experienced, mudslides, rockslides.”

Nicole Erwin/Ohio Valley ReSource

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that Kentucky soybean farmers harvested a record breaking crop last year, with 103 million bushels. That’s up one percent from the previous year. The increase was due mainly to more acreage, with 50,000 additional acres of soybeans planted across Kentucky last year.

But that record harvest is facing market forces impacted by America’s tariff and trade disputes, especially with China.  Some Kentucky soybean farmers are storing the beans, trying to wait until market conditions improve. 

Kentucky’s auditor said Crittenden County needs to address weak internal controls over debt, disbursements and payroll found in a state audit released Monday.

State Auditor Mike Harmon said the county charged $1.2 million in the 2016 fiscal year that was not in its budget. Harmon said any bill should be budgeted or get pre-approved by the fiscal court.

Mary'sLawUs

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. 

Kentucky.com

Governor Matt Bevin is asking the federal government for an emergency disaster declaration in support of Kentucky farmers.  The request follows months of heavy rains and severe weather in the commonwealth.

The remnants of two hurricanes produced flooding and wind damage in many Kentucky counties, affecting yield and the quality of crops.

Courier Journal

Kentucky’s attorney general is suing another pharmaceutical manufacturer for contributing to the state’s opioid crisis. Andy Beshear filed a lawsuit today\yesterday in Fayette Circuit Court against Pennsylvania-based Teva Pharmaceuticals. In a news conference, Beshear accused Teva of promoting highly addictive Fentanyl-based cancer drugs for off-label use.

"Teva's products were approved for a narrow use, to treat cancer and end of life pain, but for Teva, that was not profitable enough," said Beshear.

Wikimedia Commons

An increasing number of Kentucky students are earning college credit while in high school.The number of students taking dual credit courses and the amount of credits they’re earning have both risen sharply. Lisa Autry from member station WKYU reports.

Statewide, nearly 35-thousand high school students enrolled in dual credit courses through a college or university during the 2017-18 academic year. That was a 45 percent increase from the 2015-16 school year.

 

   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. 

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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.

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