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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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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6:53 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

VIDEO: Matt Bevin Discusses Tax Delinquency Allegation, Tea Party Support and Rand Paul

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin further addressed attack ads by incumbent Mitch McConnell's re-election along with a few other issues in the early primary campaign.

The McConnell campaign is pummeling Bevin's candidacy by spotlighting how his Connecticut-based bell-making company received a bailout  and allegations the business failed to pay its taxes.


Bevin Brothers Manufacturing did receive a $100,000 state grant in the form of a forgivable loan after it was destroyed in a fire last year. But the GOP challenger says the money went to buying needed machinery and represents less than 10 percent of the money being put in to rebuild the company.

Bevin says East Hampton residents lobbied to preserve the company—the last bell manufacturer in the country—and to keep American workers employed.

"If anyone should know a bailout it should be Mitch McConnell," he says. "If you compare that to the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of billions of our dollars that have been wasted at the hands of career politicians like Mitch McConnell. If he thinks this is a bailout it's an indication of the fact that he literally has no idea how the private sector works, which isn't a surprise since he's never served a day in his life in that sector.

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Local News
6:20 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Mandy Connell Leaving WHAS for Denver

WHAS radio talk show host Mandy Connell is leaving Louisville for Denver.

Connell began hosting her show on WHAS three years ago. Beginning next month, she'll be a host at a station in Denver owned by WHAS parent company Clear Channel.

On her show, Connell took calls from listeners and discussed various topics, usually related to politics.

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Local News
6:00 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Louisville Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin's Ethics Trial Focuses On Record Keeping, Transactions

Credit Louisville Metro Council

Louisville Metro’s internal auditor says there were two questions he considered when reviewing the relationship between Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin and the ex-offender program she helped oversee: did her relatives benefit and was there double billing?

Ingram Quick was the second witness to testify for Shanklin’s removal trial since it began Monday. The Council Court--made up of 20 council members who act as jury--will decide whether she can stay on the Metro Council.

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5:04 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

In Kentucky, it Takes More Than Six Years to Renew Five-Year Pollution Permits

Erica Peterson WFPL

Yesterday, a coalition of environmental groups released a report advocating for stricter federal controls on water pollution from power plants. Of the information contained in that report, one thing jumped out: the allegation that 17 of Kentucky’s 20 coal-fired power plants are currently operating under expired water pollution permits.

First: a clarification. Just because the permits have technically expired doesn’t mean that these power plants are operating without a permit. The technical term is that the permits are “administratively continued.” That means the power plants keep operating under the old permit until they get a new one.

But the data is interesting. The permits of the 17 power plants in question expired, on average, more than six years ago. The oldest—for East Kentucky Power’s H L Spurlock plant in Mason County—expired in April, 2004. That power plant has spent more than nine years waiting for the renewal of a five year permit. Both of Louisville Gas & Electric’s Louisville power plants have been waiting for nearly six years.

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Local News
4:53 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Kentucky AG Ask U.S. Supreme Court to Consider School Miranda Rights Case

The Kentucky attorney general's office has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider a case involving whether students must be informed of their rights before being questioned at school.

Attorney General Jack Conway asked the justices Tuesday to overturn a Kentucky Supreme Court decision from April. In that case from Nelson County, the state justices concluded that students must be informed of their legal rights — including the right to remain silent — before being questioned by school administrators working with police or school resource officers.

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Arts and Humanities
3:33 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

In Louisville for Fandom Fest, Jason Mewes Talks 'Clerks,' Drug Addiction and Being Jay

Credit Weinstein Co.

Jason Mewes can't escape it—he is Jay, the obnoxious stoner in several Kevin Smith films.

He's played other characters in films since 1994's "Clerks," but, he tends to always gravitate toward the character.

Not that he's trying to escape it.

In town for a showing of his latest film, Mewes stopped by WFPL on Wednesday to discuss the film, his life as "Jay" and his struggles with drug addiction. 

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