Byline | Bardstown Officer Fatally Shot; Bridge Progress; JCPS Teacher Contracts

Here are the topics covered in this edition of Byline (full audio available below):

At the top – Last weekend, 33 year old Bardstown police officer Jason Ellis was gunned down as he got out of his cruiser to remove debris from a Bluegrass Parkway exit ramp. The police chief believes Ellis was specifically targeted by the gunman.  Yesterday, thousands of people lined the streets, filed through a local church or gathered at a cemetery to pay respects to the fallen officer. We speak with Tom Isaac, news director and operations manager at PLG-TV in Bardstown, who has been covering the story since the shooting last Saturday morning.  

6:30 – A bankruptcy court judge ruled this week that Patriot Coal can scrap its union collective bargaining agreements. WFPL’s Erica Peterson joins us to explain what this means for retired coal miners in Kentucky.

10:25 – We’ve heard about how the sequester has affected control towers, military budgets and other facets of the government. But what about federally funded medical research? Every year the National Institute of Health distributes billions of dollars to universities and research institutions to explore the biggest medical questions – like cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. Both the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville receive money from the NIH. To discuss how this will affect these schools and Kentucky at large, WFPL’s Jonathon Bastian speaks with Mary Woolley, president and CEO at Research!America.

14:50 – Work has begun on the Ohio River Bridges Project.   A groundbreaking ceremony was held this week for the east end bridge that will connect Prospect, Kentucky and Utica, Indiana, and in Jeffersonville, workers have begun moving several houses to make way for the downtown Louisville crossing. But not all of the pieces of the project are in place, most notably how much motorists will have to fork over in tolls to help pay for the bridges.  Marcus Green of the Courier-Journal and WFPL’s Devin Katayama flesh out the story.

21:30 – Contract negotiations between JCPS and the Jefferson County Teachers Association begin Monday. There is increased anticipation following state takeover threats and the pressure being put on low performing schools. Ahead of the negotiations, a group called Kids First Louisville have begun

running radio ads for at least two weeks, attacking the union for the barriers the contract creates against better student outcomes. Our education reporter Devin Katayama has the details.

27:30 – We speak with WFPL’s Phillip Bailey for the latest on the 2014 U.S. Senate race.   Congressman John Yarmuth says Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes needs to make a decision now on whether she’ll seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Mitch McConnell, and another potential challenger Heather French Henry criticized the Kentucky Republican Party for calling her a ‘bottom of the barrel’ choice.

31:30 – We explore the history of the Old Fashioned cocktail with Matt Frassica of the Courier-Journal. There are many variations of the recipe, but it basically involves a couple of dashes of bitters, some muddled fruit, a little syrup and some Kentucky bourbon.  While some claim it was first created right here in Louisville at the Pendennis Club, others say it was already in existence elsewhere.

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