Lisa Autry (KPR)

Kentucky Public Radio Correspondent

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 two largest children's hospitals are joining forces to provide better pediatric care across the state. 

University of Kentucky Children's Hospital in Lexington and Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville announced the partnership this morning. However, the hospitals will continue to operate independently.

In a speech yesterday to the American Bar Association, Attorney General Eric Holder proposed changes in the federal criminal justice system, including scaling back the use of harsh prison time for some drug-related offenses. A 2008 report found Kentucky had the fastest-growing prison population in the nation.  The General Assembly responded by changing how some low-level drug offenders are punished. 

Jonathunder, Wikimedia Commons

When Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear called a special session this month of legislative redistricting, he left open the possibility that judicial districts could be addressed, as well. 

The Kentucky Supreme Court last year certified the need for two family court judgeships in Daviess county.  Chief Justice John Minton says family court positions have not made it into the budget in previous sessions.

House Republican leaders are offering a legislative redistricting plan that would force eight incumbents to run against each other next year. 

The map unveiled today by House GOP Leader Jeff Hoover affects four Republicans and four Democratic lawmakers.  Hoover says the GOP plan is very different from a plan put forth earlier this year by Democrats that had nine Republicans running against each other but no Democrats.

Wikimedia commons

Kentucky lawmakers will go into special session later this year to craft new maps of political districts based on the most recent U.S. Census data.  Legislative leaders want a tentative agreement in place before returning to Frankfort and one of the hang-ups is whether to include federal prisoners being held in the commonwealth.

Fort Campbell photo

Army installations in Kentucky and elsewhere began receiving furlough notices this week. 

Under across-the-board spending cuts in the federal budget, civilian Defense Department employees must be furloughed 11 days between July and September. At Fort Campbell, that affects about 4,000 workers in support roles such as schools and the commissary.

iStock

One week from today is the tax filing deadline. More than one million of the expected 1.8 million Kentucky returns have been filed and processed. 

Pamela Trautner in the Kentucky Finance Cabinet said the vast majority of taxpayers are filing their returns electronically.

“Electronic filing has grown in popularity since Kentucky implemented that in 2003,” she said. “I think that year there were 50 percent who filed online. Last year there were 77 percent.”

iStockPhoto

April 18 is National Tax Freedom Day, the point at which Americans will have earned enough money to pay this year's tax obligations at the local, state and federal levels. Elizabeth Malm is an economist with the Washington-based Tax Foundation. She said Americans this year will work five days later than in 2012 to pay all their taxes.

governor.ky.gov

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear says he still has concerns about the only bill to get a veto over-ride in this year's legislative session and doesn’t know if he’ll allow hemp legislation to become law. 

The so-called religious freedom bill gives stronger legal standing to people in court who claim the government infringed on their religious beliefs. Opponents fear someone's claim of religious freedom could undermine civil rights protections for gays and lesbians.

Wikimedia Commons

A hospital in Daviess County is looking to bring additional primary care physicians to the region. Owensboro Medical Health System is recruiting two dozen doctors this year to meet the needs of the hospital's service area in western Kentucky and southern Indiana.

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