Here are the topics covered in this edition of Byline (full audio link below):
At the top – This week a Louisville Metro Council committee narrowly approved an ordinance that would impose a franchise fee on many LG&E gas customers to generate revenue under Mayor Greg Fischer’s budget proposal. Fischer says the money is needed to help pay for initiatives to enhance public safety. We talk about the proposed franchise fee, and the Metro Government budget process with Sebastian Kitchen of the Courier-Journal.
4:45 – After a brief legal battle that made national headlines, nearly 300 pounds of imported Italian hemp seeds were finally released to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture this month after they were seized by federal customs agents. Now that the seeds have made their way to pilot projects across the state, larger questions remain about the impact hemp will have on the economy. Kentucky Public Radio’s Jonathan Meador reports.
13:15 – Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen says he will examine financial mismanagement allegations at Fayette County Public Schools. Edelen announced the probe Wednesday. The Fayette County inquiry will focus on allegations from the district’s budget director that an accounting error created a $20 million deficit at the school district. District officials have denied the allegations and asked Edelen to audit the district’s finances. We check in with Kentucky Public Radio’s Stu Johnson who has been covering the story.
18:25 – This week WFPL began airing an hour-long documentary called At Risk, in which education reporter Devin Katayama spent three months with some JCPS students and their families, trying to help us better understand what makes a student at-risk and how the problem is dealt with by families and school officials. We hear a brief excerpt, then chat with Devin about making the documentary, and the feedback since the initial broadcast.
24:15 – The Jefferson County board of education this week approved a $1.3 billion budget, the largest in JCPS history. But board members have complained that they don’t have enough time to study the budget before it’s time to approve or reject it, and two of them voted no. WFPL’s Jake Ryan has a conversation with JCPS Chief Financial Officer Cordelia Hardin about how the district’s budget is developed. We then speak with Jake about the newly-approved ban on plastic bags for yard waste which will go into effect next year.
30:50 – Baseball season is in full swing, and in this episode of 99% Invisible with Roman Mars, we take a close look at a particularly interesting part of the major league uniform.
35:35 – In our arts segment, WFPL’s arts and humanities reporter Erin Keane talks with Mark Evans, one of the stars of the Book of Mormon, the Broadway Series production onstage in Louisville through next week.