Here are the topics covered in this edition of Byline (full audio available below):
At the top - Hearings have begun into Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year, and concerns are being raised about cuts proposed for some agencies, or about previous cuts that have not been restored. WFPL’s Phillip Bailey fills in the details.
5:55 – As Louisville begins to confront an urban tree canopy decimated by drought and storms, another hazard is poised to do even more damage. Emerald ash borers are invasive beetles that attack ash trees; if the trees aren’t treated, the pest could wipe out most or all of Louisville’s ash trees. But as WFPL’s Erica Peterson reports, the city still lacks a comprehensive plan to combat the insect.
11:15 – We hear a portion of WFPL’s Gabe Bullard’s lengthy interview with Curtis Morrison. The former volunteer for the political group Progress Kentucky has publicly admitted to secretly taping a McConnell campaign meeting and says he expects to face federal charges for doing it.
16:50 – A report this week from the ACLU finds that African-Americans in Kentucky are six times more likely than Caucasians to be arrested for marijuana possession, even though they’re only slightly more likely than whites to use the drug. We talk about the report and the police response to it with WFPL’s Joseph Lord and hear his interview with the ACLU’s Ezekiel Edwards.
23:40 – School is out for many area public school students and the concept known as Summer Learning Loss says some of those students will lose weeks’ worth of skills over the next few months. And the losses are even greater for at-risk students. The National Summer Learning Association recently completed a survey of five-hundred teachers, a majority of whom say they spend at least three weeks re-teaching old material at the beginning of school. WFPL’s Devin Katayama speaks with Association CEO Gary Huggins.
27:45 – It’s never too late to continue or complete education. As part of his UNIQUE series, WFPL’s Devin Katayama sits down with a woman who went back into the public school system recently, and got her diploma — at age 71.
31:30 – Over the last decade, nearly two dozen massive “Hometown Heroes” photo banners of extraordinary Louisvillians have been affixed to the sides of buildings. Previous honorees have include Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, Diane Sawyer, Colonel Harland Sanders and Muhammad Ali.
On Wednesday, another great boxer was recognized, one who is also remembered for his heroism. WFPL’s Rick Howlett tells us about Rudell Stitch, who gave his life trying to save that of a friend.
36:00 – WFPL’s arts and humanities reporer Erin Keane shares some notable events happening in the near future, then speaks with Amy Attaway and Diana Grisanti talk about a new year-long play project they are embarking on with Theatre 502.