12:59 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Why A 'Fiscal Cliff' Failure Could Help The Economy

If President Obama and Congress fail to reach a deal on tax and spending changes, the nation would feel a lot of fiscal pain. But it also may benefit from the long-term fiscal restraint that would come from keeping tax hikes and spending cuts in place.
Getty Creative Images

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 12:11 pm

It wouldn't be the worst thing that could happen to the country.

If President Obama and Congress can't come to agreement on new tax and spending policies by the end of year, the U.S. could slip into recession, defense and domestic programs will see damaging cuts, and the American people may become convinced that Washington can't govern the nation.

On the other hand, the lack of a deal would do a lot to help erase the federal deficit.

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Local News
12:59 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Officially Awards Bridge Jobs to Walsh Construction

Chicago-based Walsh Construction has been granted approval to contract with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to build its portion of the Ohio River Bridges Project.

Walsh Construction’s $860 million proposal to design and build a new I-65 bridge and rework Spaghetti Junction was named the best of three bids last month.

A panel of transportation cabinet engineers reviewed the bid this week and gave it the okay.

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Arts and Humanities
12:08 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

REVIEW | 'A Christmas Carol' Offers Consistent Message With Humor and Heart

Geoff Rice as Bob Cratchit and Brad DeLaney as Tiny Tim.
Alan Simons Actors Theatre of Louisville

Actors Theatre of Louisville opened its 37th production of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" last night. Actors Theatre's show is the second longest-running production in the country (the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis has them beat by a year), and while small changes happen from year to year, Actors doesn't mess with what works—solid acting paired with lovely music, a liberal dose of humor and the cozy familiarity of a timeless redemption story well-told. 

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12:03 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

New Louisville Public Works Director Emphasizes Employee Morale

Vanessa Burns, the newly appointed director of Louisville Metro Public Works & Assets
Credit Louisville Metro Government

Newly appointed Louisville Public Works Director Vanessa Burns says improving employee morale will be an important first step in the department, and that being an outsider will give her a better opportunity to implement changes.

In August former Public Works Director Ted Pullen resigned while facing a sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit. Burns is coming to Louisville from Connecticut, and has served at public works departments in Washington, D.C. and Evanston, Illinois.

She says making the department more efficient is a top priority, but that relations between employees and managers is just as vital.

"We all have got to work on tweaking and trying to improve what we do and how we do it," Burns said. "And I think one of the good things about not being here is I can look at it with open eyes."

An audit conducted last summer found there was mistrust between public works employees and management. It emphasized that the city should begin shuffling managers to help improve efficiency and city services.

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11:11 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Mayor Greg Fischer Gives Wife Recycling Bin

Calling it "the gift that keeps on giving," Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has given his wife Alexandra Gerassimides a new municipal wheeled recycling bin for Christmas.

In a video released by the Mayor's office, Fischer presents the gift to his wife an unorthodox three weeks before the Christmas holiday. The video shows the gift was a surprise, though Fischer dropped hints in the hours leading up to the gift's presentation.

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All Tech Considered
10:58 am
Fri December 7, 2012

To Catch A Suspect — On Pinterest

People wanted by the police in Pottstown, Pa., are displayed on the Pinterest page of a local newspaper. The police department's social media strategy, which aims to get the images of criminals seen by more people, has also been adapted in Philadelphia.

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 9:35 am

Pinterest is known as a place where people share recipes, crafts or fashion. But a new set of images have started showing up on the social media site: mug shots.

Bonnie Stankunas has come to the post office in Pottstown, Pa., her entire life. She remembers, as a kid, spotting "most wanted" posters hung on a wall.

"It kind of reminded me of the Wild, Wild West," Stankunas says.

None of the people at this post office remembers exactly when the posters went away, but the FBI stopped sending the notices out a couple of years ago.

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The Two-Way
9:41 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Unemployment Rate Drops To 7.7 Percent, As Economy Adds 146,000 Jobs

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 11:44 am

The unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent in November, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says. That's a four-year low.

The economy added 146,000 jobs, beating expectations. Surprisingly the BLS said that Hurricane Sandy "did not substantively impact the national employment and unemployment estimates for November."

The BLS adds that employment increased "in retail trade, professional and business services, and health care."

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7:45 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Tea Party May Be Losing Steam, But Issues Still Boil

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 9:56 am

The battle over how to avoid the looming cuts and tax increases known as the fiscal cliff is a frustrating one for the Tea Party. The movement is still a force within the GOP, even as its popularity has fallen over the past two years.

But in the current debate, there have been no big rallies in Washington, and Tea Party members in Congress seem resigned to the fact that any eventual deal will be one they won't like — and one they'll have little influence over.

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7:00 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Camp to Teach High School Kids How to Turn Ideas Into Businesses

A new state program will advise young entrepreneurs on how they can turn a bright idea into a business plan. In June, 50 high school students will learn more about innovation and creative thinking at Georgetown College.

Liz Knapp, of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation, said she believes some of the ideas will later morph into profit-making products.

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Local News
6:00 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Conway OK with Possible Changes to Pill Mill Legislation

Attorney General Jack Conway
Credit Kentucky Attorney General's Office

Though he pushed for its approval, Kentucky’s attorney general doesn't oppose changes to a law the General Assembly passed last year to curb prescription drug abuse and place restrictions on pain clinics.

Jack Conway said some of the complaints physicians have made about the bill have merit.

Conway said nobody wants to prevent Kentuckians who have legitimate needs for pain medications from obtaining prescriptions.

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