The Two-Way
2:17 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Newtown Shootings Inspire '26 Acts Of Kindness' Campaign

A woman and child earlier this week at a makeshift memorial in Newtown, Conn.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:33 pm

The idea is simple:

Do "26 acts of kindness" — one for each of the 20 children and six adults killed last Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Since NBC News' Ann Curry tweeted that idea earlier this week, it's taken off. Thousands have tweeted back to her about things they've done.

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Local News
1:20 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

USA Harvest Founder Stan Curtis' Plea Delayed Due to Competency Concerns

Photo from KET

A federal judge has delayed the expected guilty plea of the founder of USA Harvest because of questions about his competency to understand the proceedings.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Dave Whalin today rescheduled a change of plea hearing for 63-year-old Stan Curtis until Jan. 31.

Louisville attorney Scott Cox, who represents Curtis, said his client's health has declined in recent days and he appears unable to grasp the legal proceedings. Prosecutors did not object to the delay.

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The Two-Way
12:37 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Armored Backpacks, Volunteer Guards Among Responses To School Shootings

U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Sgt. Craig Pusley stood guard Wednesday at Hughson Elementary School in Modesto, Calif.
Ed Crisostomo MCT /Landov

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 11:47 am

The latest stories about how the nation is reacting to last Friday's school shooting in Newtown, Conn., which left 20 first-graders and six adults dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School, include:

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Politics
11:05 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Mitch McConnell's Campaign Poll Shows Higher Approval, Lead Over Ashley Judd

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell
Credit File photo

The campaign to re-elect Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell leaked an internal poll showing him with a far better approval rating than the Public Policy Polling survey released earlier this month.

Earlier this month, PPP showed Kentucky's senior Senator is the most unpopular Senator in the country with a dismal 37 percent approval rating and a 55 percent disapproval.

But McConnell's re-election campaign has him at 51 percent approval and only 40 percent disapproving.

What's interesting is that both the PPP and McConnell numbers show the GOP leader ahead of Democratic activist and actress Ashley Judd—the most popular choice for Kentucky Democrats—by just a four-point margin.

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The Two-Way
11:04 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Today's 'Plan B' Vote: Part Of Posturing Or A Push Over The 'Fiscal Cliff?'

Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 12:45 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': Mara Liasson and David Greene

With the House set to vote this afternoon on Republicans' "Plan B" for avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff, the questions that have been asked every day for weeks are being asked yet again, with added urgency:

Are we headed over that "cliff" of automatic spending cuts, tax increases and expiring job benefits? Or are President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, closer to a deal than they're letting on in public?

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Local News
10:56 am
Thu December 20, 2012

The Leading Man, Regalo Among Six Shops Opening on Fourth Street

South Fourth Street
Credit Joseph Lord/WFPL

Mayor Greg Fischer's office has announced six new retailers for the South Fourth Street corridor in downtown Louisville -- citing a study that says downtown has thus far reached only 52 percent of its retail sales potential.

The announcement Thursday was touted as a successful public-private partnership between the city, business owners and the Louisville Downtown Development Corporation, which commissioned a market study that showed "you can double your retail potential downtown if its done right," said Alan DeLisle, executive director of LDDC. 

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Local News
9:58 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Former McMahan Fire Chief Paul Barth Headed to Prison Today

Former McMahan Fire Chief Paul Barth, who pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $200,000 from the Crusade for Children, has been ordered to prison weeks earlier than originally expected.

Barth's attorney, Thomas Clay, tells the Courier-Journal that Barth was notified about 10 days ago that he should report to the federal prison in Manchester, Ky., today. The prison assignment, which usually takes 45 to 60 days, took less than a month.

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The Two-Way
9:51 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Blizzard Warnings In Upper Midwest; Possible Tornado In Alabama

A snow plow made its way down a county road in Waupun, Wis., earlier today.
Jeffrey Phelps EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 12:26 pm

A winter storm that has brought blizzard conditions to parts of the Upper Midwest from Iowa into Minnesota and Wisconsin has authorities urging folks to stay off the roads and airlines warning of flight delays at Chicago's O'Hare and other airports in the region.

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Politics
9:30 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Councilwoman Attica Scott Announces “Bringing Down the House” Campaign

Councilwoman Attica Scott
Credit Louisville Metro Council

In a new effort to tackle the city's housing crisis, Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Scott, D-1, is announcing a campaign to demolish the worst vacant and abandoned properties in her district.

Scott joined worked crews from the city's Inspection, Permits and Licenses Department on Thursday morning to launch "Bringing Down the House," which is aimed at razing properties that are not habitable and have become serious neighborhood eyesores.

The effort will cost a little over $1 million, according to Scott. It is being funded with $60,000 in council appropriations, around $420,000 in federal HUD money and $500,000 from a settlement secured by Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway's office.

Scott is vice chair of the council's vacant properties committee. She says the demolition process takes a long time, but that the new campaign is worth the cost.

"I wish that we could demolish more of the houses that have been abandoned and vacant, and have just destroyed neighborhoods in our district," says Scott. "These are houses that are far beyond rehabilitation, they're house that neighbors have been crying out to city government for years to demolish. They're a public health nuisance and a public safety issue for neighborhoods."

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The Two-Way
7:58 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Maya Expert: The 'End Of Times' Is Our Idea, Not The Ancients'

Tourists are seen in front of the "Gran Jaguar" Mayan temple at the Tikal archaeological site in Guatemala, where ceremonies will be held to celebrate the end of the Mayan cycle known as Baktun 13 and the start of the new Maya Era on December 21.
Johan Ordonez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 4:05 pm

Update at 7 a.m. ET, Dec. 21: We're Still Here.

Our original post continues:

It is Dec. 20, 2012 — and citizens of Earth are panicking, consumed by the idea that the world will end Friday, something they say was predicted by Mayan astronomers. Of course, most people are not panicking, and Maya expert David Stuart says no one should. The calendar, he says, has plenty of room to go.

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