Here are the stories we discussed today on Byline (full audio below):
At the top – The 2014 Kentucky General Assembly ended this week. Lawmakers passed a two-year state budget and a new road plan. There was also final action on a bill to revamp Kentucky’s juvenile justice system. Gov. Steve Beshear’s push for expanded gambling and an overhaul to the state’s tax code fizzled, though lawmakers gave tax relief to the state’s bourbon industry. We discuss the ending of this legislative session with Kentucky Public Radio’s Jonathan Meador.
6:00 – This week, the Louisville Metro Police Department settled a whistleblower lawsuit filed by an officer who had raised questions about the handling of a murder case by Kentucky State Police. WFPL’s Phillip M. Bailey and Jonathan Meador have been investigating the chain of events that led to the suit filed by Officer Barron Morgan.
10:00 – There was a surprising turn of events this week in a murder trial in Jefferson Circuit Court. The judge presiding over the case against Dejuan Hammond declared a mistrial after Hammond’s lawyers complained that prosecutors failed to share with them a key piece of evidence. WDRB’s Jason Riley joins us on Byline to discuss the case and the Judge’s declaration of a mistrial.
14:20 – The growing inequality between the richest and the poorest Americans is a constant theme of political discussion, but few journalists have given it the level of attention that Matt Taibbi has. Taibbi visited Louisville this week to talk about his new book, The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap. WFPL’s political editor Phillip M. Bailey sat down with Taibbi to talk about the role journalism plays in America’s view of crime and justice, wealth and poverty.
22:15 – As Kentucky tries to improve its public education system, one national voice continues to warn against many reforms she says are actually hurting students. Diane Ravitch was in town this week to accept the University of Louisville’s 2014 Grawemeyer Award for Education. Ravitch once worked in the U.S. Department of Education under presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. She now criticizes many education reforms that she once supported, like testing and charter schools. Ravitch joined us in-studio this week and spoke with WFPL’s education reporter Devin Katayama.
27:35 – The University of Louisville is a leading institution when it comes to breakthroughs in medical research. The research that led to the detection of cervical cancer in its earliest stages and the development of an electronic stimulator that can give mobility back to patients with spinal cord injuries didn’t begin in people, but rather in rodents. WFPL’s Jake Ryan visited University research facilities and filed a report.
30:45 – This summer, Carnegie Hall will present its first-ever LGBTQ-focused concert, headlined by violinist Tona Brown. This week she spoke to Jaison Gardner and Kaila Story, hosts of WFPL’s Strange Fruit podcast, about the music she will play, the importance of transgender people in LGTBTQ history, and what it means to be Carnegie Hall’s first transgender performer.
36:45 – More than twenty-five-thousand native Spanish speakers live in Louisville, and the city’s arts scene has been slow to embrace this growing population. But recently, Spanish-language theatre started experiencing a boom of its own. WFPL’s Erin Keane has more on Louisville’s first Spanish-language theatre.
40:45 – The annual New Voices Young Playwrights Festival opens next week at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Short plays by local middle and high school writers are selected for production by the theater’s apprentice/intern company. Erin Keane has guests from Actors Theatre to talk about the plays. Also we have a clip form “What Not to Wed” by Male High School student Madisen Zirnheld.