Here are the topics covered in this edition of Byline (full audio link below):
At the top – U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is defending his record on civil rights after coming under criticism from former state Sen. Georgia Powers and others. We talk about that war of words that broke out this week and Sen. Paul’s claims that he’s doing more for minorities than anyone in Congress with WFPL Political Editor Phillip M. Bailey. We also talk about fundraising in the Kentucky gubanatorial race, and the Indiana governor’s office saying the state won’t recognize same-sex marriages performed before a court halted a decision that lifted the state’s ban.
9:40 – Three administrators at Louisville Male High School, including the principal, could have their teaching certificates revoked or face other disciplinary measures following allegations that they helped students cheat on an ACT test. A report released by the Kentucky Education Department Monday said Male High Principal David Mike, counselor Rhonda Branch and teacher Debbie Greenberg “failed to ensure the integrity” during administration of the ACT Compass test. We check in with WFPL’s Jacob Ryan.
13:25 – Gas prices in the Louisville area have been at or above the four dollar mark per gallon for much of the summer, with many motorists complaining that prices are considerably cheaper in surrounding communities and similar sized cities in the region. Soaring gas prices six years ago prompted attorney general Jack Conway to launch an investigation, but little has changed since then. WDRB’s Chris Otts has been looking into it and joins us to tell us what he found.
20:25 – Earlier this year, the Indiana approach to the Big Four pedestrian and bicycle bridge opened to great fanfare. People can now cross the Ohio River into Jeffersonville and Louisville’s Watefront Park. Now city and Waterfront officials have their eyes on another railroad bridge to the west, the K&I, which has been closed to public access for decades. Officials say opening the K&I to pedestrian traffic would be ideal for completing an recreational trail being developed, but the bridge’s owner is resisting allowing public access. Grace Schneider has been reporting on this for the Courier-Journal and joins us to explain.
26:30 – This past Wednesday marked the 164th anniversary of the death of Zachary Taylor. The 12th president grew up in the Louisville area and is entombed here in the cemetery that bears his name. The 65 year old Taylor, also known as Old Rough and Ready, was just 16 months into his presidency when he suddenly fell ill. Rumors abounded for years that he may have been poisoned. The Courier-Journal’s James Carroll recounted Taylor’s final days in a piece this week and he joined us from the CJ’s Washington Bureau.
36:40 – This week marked a milestone in Kentucky political journalism: Ryan Alessi signed off for the final time on Pure Politics, the CN2 program he’s hosted for several years and where he has been senior managing editor. Alessi is leaving broadcast journalism, at least full-time, to enter the world of academia, as a student at Murray State University, where we caught up with him by phone.
41:10 – Earlier in the show today we heard about a six-year inquiry into gas pricing in the Louisville area. BackStory producer Nina Earnest steps further back in time to tell the story of the oil shocks of 1973 and how they continue to shape the world we live in today, with help from writer Andrew Scott Cooper.