Local News
1:37 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

High Court Asked To Review Indiana Robocall Ban

An automated phone messaging company wants the nation’s highest court to review Indiana’s state law banning robocalls. 

FreeEats.com has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for the review.  The law was upheld last December by the Indiana Supreme Court.

The law bars anyone from auto-dialing Hoosiers unless the recipient first gives permission to a live operator or by e-mail.

FreeEats.com, which placed thousands of political calls on behalf of another group during a 2006 congressional campaign, contends the law infringes on free speech rights.

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Education
1:22 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Community and Technical Schools Increase Tuition, Approve Staff Raises

 

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System’s (KCTCS) board has approved a tuition increase and raises for full-time staff for next year.

The state’s Council on Post-Secondary Education still needs to grant final approval this Thursday, but the KCTCS is within the council’s four percent tuition cap.

In-state students will now pay $140 per credit hour. For students living in contiguous counties to Kentucky that amount will be $280 and nearly $500 for all other out-of-state students.

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Education
1:03 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Group Will Discuss JCPS Disciplinary Practices

African American non-special education students made up 33 percent of the enrollment. White students made up 51 percent.

Residents, child advocacy groups, and Jefferson County Public Schools officials will attend a meeting Tuesday night to discuss the district’s disciplinary practices, which have been called into question in the past year.

JCPS is one of the top districts in the state that disproportionately disciplines minority and disability students, according University of Kentucky report based on 2008-2009 data. 

Of the top 10 districts that show disproportionate ratios, JCPS is the only one that hasn’t adequately changed its policy, said attorney Leslie Jones with the independent state agency Kentucky Protection and Advocacy.

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Environment
12:45 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

High Ozone Levels Forecasted Wednesday

The Louisville Air Pollution Control District has issued an Air Quality Alert for tomorrow. Levels of ozone are forecasted to be high, and the air will be unhealthy for sensitive groups. The district recommends the elderly, the young and those suffering from heart or lung diseases stay indoors, if possible.

This is the eighth Air Quality Alert so far this year.

Politics
10:59 am
Tue June 19, 2012

McConnell Being Scolded for Opposing Disclose Act

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is being scolded for flip-flopping on campaign disclosures after his denunciation of legislation requiring that Super PAC donors provide their names.

Speaking before the American Enterprise Institute last week, McConnell argued that contributors to third party organization have a right to remain secret and that the Disclose Act is threatening their free speech. But local and national critics point out that wasn't McConnell's position a few years ago when he was at the forefront of opposing campaign finance reform.

"Money is essential in politics, and not something that we should feel squeamish about, provided the donations are limited and disclosed, everyone knows who's supporting everyone else," McConnell told NPR's Talk of the Nation in 2003.

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Education
6:42 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

Report: Achievement Gaps Higher in East End

The Bluegrass Institute has released a report showing the largest achievement gaps in Jefferson County Public Schools occur in classrooms in the eastern part of the county.

The policy group created the report for the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO), which is urging lawmakers to approve charter schools. Charters were rejected by the General Assembly this past legislative session, but some believe the issue made progress.

“Let’s bring somebody into this state that has a proven record that will make a difference with our children,” said Pastor Jerry Stephenson, Louisville's BAEO coordinator. The current education system isn’t working and the despair of the education system can be seen in the violence in certain West Louisville neighborhoods, he said.

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Environment
6:15 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

Ford Reports 22 Percent Energy Reduction Over Last Six Years

Ford Motor Company has reduced the energy used in its plants significantly, according to the company’s annual sustainability report.

The company says it reduced the amount of energy needed to produce each vehicle by 22 percent over the last six years. Spokeswoman Marcey Zwiebel says that’s due to conservation in several different departments—like new lighting and new paint booth technologies.

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Environment
5:42 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

Study Finds Surface Miners Are at Risk of Black Lung Disease, Too

A new study shows that black lung disease isn’t limited to coal miners who work underground.

Studies for coal workers’ pneumoconiosis—or black lung disease—haven’t been done on surface miners in a decade, and the miners were commonly thought to be less at risk for the disease than underground workers. Surface mines are open to the air, after all, and underground coal mines have frequent dust issues caused by mining in constricted spaces without much ventilation.

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Politics
5:06 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

City Pledges Support to Reopen Old Kentucky Kingdom

File photo

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is pledging his support for Kentucky Kingdom days after Bluegrass Boardwalk Inc. announced it was pulling out of the project to re-open the old amusement park.

Last Friday, the Koch walked away from its deal with the state fair board despite approval of hefty tax incentives. Bluegrass Boardwwalk CEO Natalie Koch told WFPL that the board voted against the deal because the group’s business model wouldn’t fit well with state regulations and oversight.

Councilman David Tandy, D-4, is chairman of the labor and economic development committee. He says council members were surprised to learn the project had failed, but city and state leaders need to move forward.

"There are a number of different amusement park operators out there that I’m sure are wanting to take a look at this opportunity now that it has re-presented itself," he says. "And we’ll go forward from there."

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