Here is our Byline rundown for today (full audio available below):
At the top – The Louisville Metro Council has approved a $551 million budget for the next fiscal year. We talk about what’s in, and what’s not in the spending plan with WFPL’s political editor Phillip Bailey. Phillip also updates us on legal questions and controversy surrounding Councilman Dan Johnson’s hiring of Bryan Mathews as a legislative aide. Mathews is also the Jefferson County Judge Executive, an office that was stripped of its powers in the city/county merger, and there are allegations of him using a racial epithet that cost him his previous job.
8:50 – Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen has ruled out a run for governor, saying he will instead seek another term as auditor in 2015. Edelen said earlier this week that a gubernatorial bid would have required “difficult sacrifices” for his family. We hear from him later in the show, but first we talk with Kentucky Public Radio’s Jonathan Meador about the decision and who the likely gubanatorial candidates are.
14:55 – Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen has been speaking to the media about his surprising decision not to run for governor. We have his conversation with WFPL’s Jonathan Bastian from earlier this week.
18:30 – Last fall, University of Louisville president James Ramsey recommended that the school hire an outside auditing firm to review U of L’s internal controls following a series of high profile thefts by employees. The board of trustees approved the hiring of Strothman and Company to perform the audit. The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting has been trying, unsuccessfully so far, to obtain a copy of the report, which was presented to trustees in April. Kristina Goetz from the Center for Investigative Reporting tells us about her attempts to get the report prepared for the public university.
23:25 – About two-thirds of Jefferson County Public Schools students qualify for free or reduced lunches. Most of them take advantage of the program during the school year. But when classes are dismissed in June, only a fraction of those kids are served by summer meal programs. WFPL’s Jake Ryan and Devin Katayama look into Louisville’s summer meal opportunities and the effort to bring food to children who might otherwise have limited healthy eating options.
27:45 – The $25 million project to bring Wal-Mart to west Louisville has shifted from a debate about jobs to a conversation about the superstore’s design. Wal-Mart has submitted a standard big-box design with a large parking lot, and a building 400 feet off the street. The city’s land code calls for all projects in the area to have an urban design closer to the sidewalk, and friendlier for pedestrians and public transit use. Wal-Mart has asked for an exemption from the code. WFPL’s Phillip Bailey speaks with Haven Harrington, of the Russell neighborhood association, about why residents are launching a movement to pressure Wal-Mart and Metro Government for a store that fits with the neighborhood.
32:50 – Like others who do the work, Phyllis Cupit loved the satisfaction that came from being a food demonstration representative in supermarkets. Typically they work six hours at a time – all on their feet – and make as much as $75 a day preparing and handing out samples of cheese or other foods to grocery shoppers. In a sense, they serve as one-person marketing departments for companies like Boar’s Head and Spring Mountain Farms. But as Jim McNair of the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting tells us, such contract work doesn’t come without risks.
35:50 – WFPL’s arts and humanities reporter Erin Keane talks about some noteworthy local arts events, then checks in with Talleri McRae, associate director of education at Stage One Family Theatre.