Here are the stories we discussed today on Byline (full audio below):
At the top – After some spirited debate, the Louisville Metro Council narrowly approved a 2% natural gas franchise fee to help generate revenue for more police protection. We talk about the ordinance and what it’s likely to cost LG&E customers with WFPL’s Phillip M. Bailey. He also discusses the EPA’s plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30% by 2030, which has become a big issue in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race, with Sen. Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes both questioning the others’ commitment to the coal economy.
13:45 – Leaders at Louisville’s Atherton High School say they are now fully committed to providing a comfortable school environment for all students, and they have now adopted official policies to that end. The school’s decision making council voted 8-1 on Thursday to adopt a policy modeled after the Los Angeles Unified School district that allows students to use a restroom that correlates with their gender identity. WFPL’s Jacob Ryan explains the details. He also discusses the announcement this week that a pro soccer team will be making its home in Louisville.
18:10 – The Belmont Stakes, the last leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown, takes place Saturday at Belmont Park. California Chrome, the winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, is favored to become the first Triple crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. We talk about it with handicapper and equine commentator, Ed DeRosa.
23:35 – Churchill Downs executives have been busy in recent weeks with damage control, following a spate of public relations nightmares, some involving hospitality issues, others connected with wagering, and one sad incident involving the death of a horse at the track. Gregory Hall wrote about those issues this week in the Courier Journal and joins us to explain.
30:20 – We hear a report from the New York area on another aspect of the horse racing industry: the controversial financials of off track betting. As excitement has been building for a possible Triple Crown champion, so has a bitter feud in the business of horse racing. We hear from Charles Lane of WSHU in Fairfield County, Connecticut.
34:30 – The University of Louisville baseball team is just two victories away from a trip to the College World Series, but this weekend at Jim Patterson Stadium, they’ll have to get past the Kennesaw State Owls from Georgia. We check in with Jody Demling, who covers U of L athletics at WKRD radio and at CardinalAuthority, for a preview of this weekends NCAA super regional matchup.
40:30 – In our arts segment, we hear from WFPL’s Erin Keane about some notable arts events in the area this weekend, and she speaks with Matt Wallace, the artistic director of the upcoming Shakespeare Festival in Central Park.