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. 

After struggling with low recruitment numbers in recent years, Kentucky State Police are opening doors for a larger pool of applicants.

The Kentucky State Police agency is holding town hall meetings across the state in an effort to boost recruitment numbers that have declined in recent years. 

The meetings will highlight some new requirements aimed at attracting a larger pool of applicants.  Aspiring troopers were once required to have 60 hours of college credit and two years of active duty service as a soldier or police officer. 

"There's a lot of young men who come out of school and go to work on the family farm or straight into the workforce," said Trooper BJ Eaton.  "Out east or west, we have a lot of young men who follow in family footsteps and go to work in the coal mines, so they wouldn't have those minimum requirements that we've always required."

Trey Grayson is leaving the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.  The former Republican politician says he is “looking at other options,” but has not yet decided on his next career move. 

Grayson has served as president and CEO of Chamber since 2014. 

“Trey has accomplished many great things as the leader of our Chamber and presided over one of the best legislative sessions for Kentucky businesses in recent history,” said Brent Cooper, who will serve as interim president of the Chamber. “I know I speak for the entire Chamber membership and staff as well as the Northern Kentucky community when I say that we are extremely grateful that Trey came back home to lead our organization.”

Many companies in Kentucky say the jobs are out there, but the workers are not. 

The state Society for Human Resource Management released a survey this week of 1,084 companies.

Eighty-four percent of the companies surveyed said they’re having trouble filling jobs.  The survey found the biggest shortages are in healthcare, engineering, and skilled trades.  Most of the businesses are expecting growth in the next few years, increasing the need for qualified employees. 

Secretary Hal Heiner in the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet says a high school diploma is no longer enough.

"Many of the experts are predicting that in about eight years, 2025, 80 percent of all jobs in the U.S. will require a credential or some education past high school," Heiner told WKU Public Radio.

Members of the LGBT community and their supporters want a judge in south central Kentucky to resign over his opposition to gay adoptions. 

Judge Mitchell Nance, a family court judge for Barren and Metcalfe counties, has recused himself from presiding over adoptions by homosexual parents.  He said he believes allowing gay couples to adopt is not in a child’s best interest.  His announcement has drawn a range of opinions, some calling for him to step down from the bench.

In a rally outside the Barren County Courthouse, Chadwick Shockley of Glasgow said he knows Judge Nance personally and was surprised by his recusal.

"It was like a kick in the head for him to infer that I was not fit to be a parent," Shockley told WKU Public Radio.  "I've raised two sons and a daughter with my husband."


A southern Kentucky education leader is issuing a warning to parents about a controversial new series on Netflix.  The superintendent of Warren County schools is worried about the way the show handles the issue of suicide and young people.

The series “13 Reasons Why” chronicles the suicide of a young woman who leaves behind 13 messages to people in her life that she blamed for her death.  The drama also addresses bullying, substance abuse, rape, and depression. 

Warren County Schools Superintendent Rob Clayton says he doesn’t recommend young people viewing the series.

"I do think that if a parent finds that their child is going to watch it, it would be best if they would watch it with them," Clayton told WKU Public Radio.  "The one benefit of that is that it would open up some potential dialogue."

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin has vetoed a portion of a bill that will help fund a veterans nursing home in Bowling Green. 

Part of the bill would have required the state to pay back bonds supporting the project before it spends money on another debt.  Bevin vetoed that language, saying it sets a bad precedent. 

The bill was co-sponsored by State Representative Michael Meredith.  The Brownsville Republican says the vetoed portion contained language added by a Senate committee.

Kentucky is making progress in addressing a backlog of untested rape kits.  A 2015 audit revealed the commonwealth had more than three-thousand untested kits, which include physical evidence collected from sexual assault victims. 

Attorney General Andy Beshear says about 1,500 of those kits have now been examined and the DNA entered into a national crime database.

"We have active investigations going on right now," Beshear told WKU Public Radio.  "The hits suggests there is at least one serial rapist that has been identified and this is an absolute critical step that we are going to follow through with until every single victim has their kit tested."

Although the Kentucky General Assembly met for only five days in January, lobbyist spending broke a record for the first month of an odd-year session. 

Lobbyists spent $2.1 million in the five days kicking off the session before lawmakers recessed until February.  This year’s total is a 14% increase from the $1.8 million spent in the first month of 2015, the previous odd-year session. 

According to the Legislative Ethics Commission, January 2017 spending almost reached the total spent in January 2016 when lawmakers were in session for the entire month. 

Some Kentucky businesses are placing their names on a growing national list of sanctuary restaurants. 

At least ten businesses in the commonwealth have declared themselves sanctuary restaurants, meaning they have zero tolerance racism, sexism, and xenophobia.  The designation also bans harassment against anyone based on their immigrant or refugee status. 

Home Café in Bowling Green has joined the movement.  Owner Josh Poling says restaurants can’t survive without immigrants, documented or undocumented.

Twenty-eight years ago, as a Daviess County sheriff’s deputy, David Osbourne went to the home of Darrell Perry to serve an eviction notice.  Perry had never been on the radar of local police, so Osbourne thought serving him with papers would be routine business.

“We didn’t get in an argument inside the house.  He didn’t even raise his voice.  He just said, ‘Why are they doing this to me,'" Osbourne recalled.  "We got back outside by the driveway.  My cruiser was parked behind his car.  I walked to my cruiser.  I didn’t watch him, and the next thing I knew I heard the first shot go off.”

Osbourne was struck four times, including in his back.  The bullet nicked his spinal cord, paralyzing him from the waist down.  The six-foot, 250-pound shooter then jumped on top of Osbourne.