Local News
4:35 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Who Stole the Green Wall? Louisville Mayor Seeks Rogue Landscaper

Before and after
Credit Metro Government and Gabe Bullard / Metro Government and WFPL News

I left work through the side door, into the alley. I do this all the time. But something was different. The wall of the Clay Commons parking garage, which had been covered in vines, was bare. Remnants of the cut vines were on the ground of the alley between the garage and the Louisville Public Media, on South Fourth Street. It seemed like an odd landscaping choice for PARC, which runs the garage.

But it wasn't a choice.

Someone tore down the green wall without permission.

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Local News
4:15 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Ethics Complaint Filed Over Grimes Fundraising Emails

Alison Lundergan Grimes

A county clerk in southeastern Kentucky has asked the Executive Branch Ethics Commission to determine the propriety of a fundraising email sent to government email accounts by Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes last week.

Republican Laurel County Clerk Dean Johnson filed the complaint today (Thursday), a week after receiving the email from Grimes, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.

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Local News
3:06 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Kentucky State Fair to Have a Free Parking Lot on Weekends (if You're Willing to Ride a Shuttle)

Credit Creative Commons

In recent years, the Kentucky State Fair officials have witnessed issues with traffic congestion around the gates into the fairgrounds on the weekends.

They have a plan to address it during next month's fair—by spreading out the parking options.

This year, the Kentucky State Fair will have two new cheaper parking lots open on weekends in a bid to reduce traffic congestion around the fairgrounds.

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Politics
1:24 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Alison Lundergan Grimes Calls Mitch McConnell's Leadership Spiteful, Petty in Kick-Off Ad

Alison Lundergan Grimes

Speaking directly to Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes says she plans to hold the GOP accountable in next year's election.

In a nearly four minute kick-off ad, Grimes says she doesn't always agree with President Obama, but that McConnell is blocking legislation that would've helped Kentuckians out of spite.

"Your campaign wants to play silly games about where I am and where I stand. Well I'm right here in Kentucky senator, where I'll be holding you accountable," says Grimes to McConnell.

"We'll have this debate senator, and as you've probably already seen, I don't scare easy."

The video also uses a clip from her successful secretary of state bid in 2011, which was praised by observers for its humorous tone and featured Grimes's two grandmothers.

Grimes's paternal grandmother, Thelma, died a few months after the ad first appeared and the Democratic challenger cites her as one of the chief reasons for running.

"Grandmother knew that if you wanted to get something done, you don’t stand in the way," says Grimes. "You stand by your principles, but you also figure out where you can agree and how we can come together. But that's not happening in Washington today, and Senator McConnell is the biggest part of the problem."

Watch:

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Environment
1:13 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

House Passes Bill to Block EPA From Regulating Coal Ash

The coal ash landfill at LG&E's Cane Run Power Station
Erica Peterson WFPL

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill that would block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating coal ash, which is a byproduct of burning coal in power plants, and instead give the authority to individual states.  The bill passed 265 to 155; all of Kentucky's representatives voted in favor of the measure except for Congressman John Yarmuth, who voted against it.

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Politics
12:51 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Fancy Farm Update: Matt Bevin In, Steve Beshear Out

Fancy Farm press
Credit Gabe Bullard / WFPL News

Fresh from his campaign launch, Republican Senate candidate Matt Bevin will speak at this year's annual Fancy Farm picnic.

Bevin faces Senator Mitch McConnell in the GOP primary. McConnell will also speak at Fancy Farm, as will Democratic candidate and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

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Politics
12:01 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

State GOP Lawmaker Compares Matt Bevin Candidacy to 'Don Quixote' Fantasy

State Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, is backing McConnell over Bevin
Credit File photo

The entry of Louisville businessman Matt Bevin into the U.S. Senate race has Kentucky Republicans discussing who is the more conservative between the investor and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

But one state GOP lawmaker is urging the party to remain loyal to McConnell for standing up to President Obama's agenda.

A coalition of Tea Party groups in the state are backing Bevin’s candidacy and outside groups have indicated they’re willing to do so as well.

The primary challenge to McConnell has gained national attention for an already high-profiled race.

McConnell's campaign have referred to Bevin as a "nuisance" and "con man" in the past week, and are pressuring Kentucky TV stations to take down the challenger's first ad for alleged federal election violations.

Observers say this is unchartered territory politically, but the early defense amongst McConnell's supporters is he remains the person who can best advocate for conservative values in Washington.

State Senator Damon Thayer is majority floor whip who represents parts of northern Kentucky, which is heavily Republican. He says McConnell is a conservative leader despite Tea Party criticisms, adding this primary contest won't split the GOP.

"I know what it's like to have a Tea Party primary. I had one last year, and I got 63 percent of the vote. And that's because a lot of Tea Party folks stuck with me because of my conservative values. And I think there will be a large number of Tea Party folks joining with mainstream Republicans to give Mitch a big victory in the primary," he says. "I’ve met Matt a couple times, he’s obviously successful and a nice guy. But he’s a rookie engaging in a Don Quixote-like episode of jousting at windmills that ultimately will prove unsuccessful for him."

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The Two-Way
9:53 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Jobless Claims Rose Last Week; Key Orders Up In June

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 10:04 am

There were 343,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment insurance last week, the Employment and Training Administration says. That was up from an estimated 336,000 the week before.

The increase is from what had been a 10-week low. But basically, claims have been ranging between the mid-330,000s and mid-370,000s all year. Like other employment indicators, the jobless claims figures have been signalling that job growth remains modest.

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Education
6:50 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Brain Drain Series: 'I Don’t Want To Move Back Without Something Lined Up'

Credit Shutterstock.com

WFPL has been exploring the idea of "Brain Drain" and Louisville's ability to keep talented young professionals in the city. What challenges does the city face? What do young workers think about staying in the River City?

In this third installment, we meet Deborah Gray, a Louisville native who has since moved to Houston.

Gray went to Sacred Heart Academy in Louisville and then attended Tulane University. She graduated at the top of her economics class and returned to Louisville for two years to work.

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Arts and Humanities
6:49 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Fandom Festival to Bring William Shatner, Stan Lee and 'Walking Dead' Cast Members

William Shatner
Credit Creative Commons

Here's your chance to see Khal Drogo, Merle Dixon and James T. Kirk up close.

Over the years, San Diego Comic-Con has spawned an annual pilgrimage for people obsessively interested in nerd culture. It's where filmmakers and television showrunners debut trailers and news for upcoming seasons and where celebrities come in close contact with fans.

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