Environment
1:29 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Kentucky Ranks First in Toxic Air Pollution from Power Plants

The smokestacks at LG&E's coal-fired Cane Run power plant.
Erica Peterson WFPL

Kentucky is number one on a list of the states with the most toxic air pollution from power plants.

The Natural Resources Defense Council analyzed the data self-reported by industries in the Toxic Release Inventory, which is managed by the federal government. The most recent data is from 2010, and that year, Kentucky’s power plants emitted more than 40 million pounds of toxic air pollution. This gives the state the dubious honor of being ranked number one in the nation.

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Education
1:19 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

KY Grad Rates Make Small Gains, JCPS Continues Struggle

While Kentucky students as a whole made small gains in graduation rates during the 2010-2011 school year, Jefferson County Public Schools students fell slightly backwards in most major categories.

In all major categories--including gender and race-- JCPS continues to fall at least 7 percentage points behind the state. This has been consistent with the four previous years the Kentucky Department of Education has provided.

The JCPS total graduation rate dropped from 69.3 percent in 2010 data to 67.8 percent in 2011 bringing the number closer to its 2008 rate of 67.7.

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Environment
10:45 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Coal Miners' Union Says Members Aren't Wild About Obama or Romney

Amy Harder of the National Journal has a story out today about the United Mine Workers of America, and the union's reluctance to back either presidential candidate this year.

Harder went to Fairmont, West Virginia and spoke with UMWA official (and Democratic member of the state House of Delegates) Mike Caputo.

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Politics
10:34 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Colbert Lampoons Papa John's

Comparing Papa John's pizza to "the ass of a raccoon that drowned in your birdbath" political satirist Stephen Colbert mocked founder and CEO John Schnatter for his opposition to the Affordable Care Act.

Schnatter, who is a well-known Republican fundraiser, said President Obama's health care overhaul will increase the cost of pizza and hurt business. Since then, he has been criticized for being a cheapskate and mistreating employees, with threats of a boycott by Democratic activists.

Watch below:

The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,Video Archive

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The Salt
8:22 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Here's Where Farms Are Sucking The Planet Dry

Check out some of the world's most important - and threatened - aquifers. Click to see a high-resolution version of this map.
Nature

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 5:49 pm

This map is disturbing, once you understand it. It's a new attempt to visualize an old problem — the shrinking of underground water reserves, in most cases because farmers are pumping out water to irrigate their crops.

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Business
8:20 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Natural Gas Giant Tries To Shift Gears

Workers move a section of well casing into place at a Chesapeake Energy natural gas well site near Burlington, Pa., in 2010.
Ralph Wilson AP

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 3:54 pm

A drop in natural gas prices is hurting balance sheets across the petroleum industry. The second-largest natural gas producer in the United States — Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy — has been hit especially hard.

After 23 consecutive years of touting its increasing natural gas production, Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon told investors during a conference call Tuesday that the company projects its gas output will drop about 7 percent in 2013.

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Environment
4:51 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

July Was the Hottest Month Ever Recorded in Continental U.S.

It's official: last month's heat wave (which cooked Louisville as well as most other states in the region) was the hottest ever on record in the continental U.S. According to an Associated Press story, this beats the record set during the Dust Bowl in the 1930s.

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Education
4:12 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Louisville Forum: School Board Races Need More Attention

A diverse pool of candidates has filed for Jefferson County’s three open school board seats.  The most recent is local radio host Tom Mitchell, who plans on running an anti-student assignment campaign, according to reports by the Courier-Journal.

As the deadline to file nears--Aug. 14--some are hoping interest in the races increases. That idea was included in  former Courier-Journal editor David Hawpe's opening speech at the Louisville Forum Wednesday afternoon.

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Politics
3:46 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Howard Dean's PAC Gets Behind Yoder’s Uphill Battle

Democrat Shelli Yoder

A political action committee founded by former Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Governor Howard Dean is backing Shelli Yoder in Indiana’s Ninth Congressional District race.

Democracy for America unveiled six key races for Congress on Wednesday that the organization will focus on in the 2012 election. The PAC is aimed at building a dozen "progressive powerhouse" in the House and this is the first crop attempting to give Democratic challengers a booster in their general election bids.

Yoder is challenging Republican incumbent Todd Young, but has struggled to keep face with the GOP freshman's fundraising totals.

She says it is an honor to receive Dean’s support and she hopes it will give her campaign a boost.

"We are continuing to work hard and we’re doing everything we can to win back this seat. I think that the 9th District, folks weren’t really paying attention to the race. But in the last few weeks we’ve certainly have work as hard as we can making sure that voters feel like they will have a voice and an opportunity to gain back that voice come November 6," he says.

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Education
3:27 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Former Indiana Chief Justice To Lead U.S. Legal Education Panel

Former Indiana Supreme Court Justice Randall Shepard will lead a task force looking into the state of legal education across America.

The panel was appointed by the American Bar Association.   Shepard says it will examine the way schools prepare their students to practice law, and the economic state of the profession.

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