89.3 WFPL http://wfpl.org Louisville's NPR® News Station Fri, 29 May 2015 16:43:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.6 WonderFest Brings ‘Walking Dead’ Producer to Louisville http://wfpl.org/wonderfest-brings-walking-dead-producer-louisville/ http://wfpl.org/wonderfest-brings-walking-dead-producer-louisville/#comments Fri, 29 May 2015 16:42:33 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=37379 A producer of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and the daughters of two horror movie legends will be in Louisville this weekend for long-running  hobby convention. Guests of the 26th annual WonderFest include Greg Nicotero, producer/director of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” and … Read Story

]]> A producer of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and the daughters of two horror movie legends will be in Louisville this weekend for long-running  hobby convention.

Guests of the 26th annual WonderFest include Greg Nicotero, producer/director of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” and Victoria Price and Sara Karloff, daughters of horror movie legends Vincent Price and Boris Karloff, respectively. It’s one of the year’s biggest events in the modeling and special effects community, with a massive model contest as its centerpiece.

Founder and organizer David Hodge said attendees come from all over the world. This year’s attendees include enthusiasts from New Zealand, Australia, Japan, the U.K., Mexico and Canada.

“They come because, as a show, it’s unique in its contest, its presentation of just the sheer volume of dealers and models presented,” Hodge said.

“We actually modeled ourselves after Wonder Festival in Japan, which is a very large affair over there. We had one of our Japanese guests come to us last year and say, ‘Do you know, you have more models in your contest than even Wonder Festival?’”

At last year’s event, the model contest featured more than 660 entries from around the world.

Other guests at this year’s event include Marta Kristen, who played Judy on “Lost in Space,” and C. Martin Croker, the voice of Space Ghost and creator of “Aqua Teen Hunger Force.” The show will also see the U.S. debut of a preview of “Thunderbirds Firestorm,” presented by Jamie Anderson, son of the influential British animator and puppeteer Gerry Anderson.

WonderFest takes place this weekend at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

]]> http://wfpl.org/wonderfest-brings-walking-dead-producer-louisville/feed/ 0 James Comer Concedes Kentucky Republican Governor Nomination to Matt Bevin http://wfpl.org/james-comer-concedes-kentucky-republican-governor-nomination-matt-bevin/ http://wfpl.org/james-comer-concedes-kentucky-republican-governor-nomination-matt-bevin/#comments Fri, 29 May 2015 14:29:15 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=37369 A day after a recanvass of last week’s Kentucky Republican gubernatorial primary showed no significant changes, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer conceded the nomination to Louisville businessman Matt Bevin. Comer on Friday endorsed Bevin for governor. Bevin and his running mate, … Read Story

]]> A day after a recanvass of last week’s Kentucky Republican gubernatorial primary showed no significant changes, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer conceded the nomination to Louisville businessman Matt Bevin.

Comer on Friday endorsed Bevin for governor. Bevin and his running mate, Jenean Hampton, face Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway and lieutenant governor candidate Sannie Overly in the November general election.

Bevin defeated Comer by 83 votes.

Bevin is hosting a rally Friday morning. We’ll have more later on.

]]> http://wfpl.org/james-comer-concedes-kentucky-republican-governor-nomination-matt-bevin/feed/ 0 Police In Kentucky Ship Mentally Ill Man to Florida, Defying Judge’s Order http://wfpl.org/kentucky-police-defy-judge-ship-mentally-ill-man-to-florida/ http://wfpl.org/kentucky-police-defy-judge-ship-mentally-ill-man-to-florida/#comments Fri, 29 May 2015 11:00:56 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=37352 CARROLLTON, Ky.—Adam Horine leaned on the courtroom podium, wept and begged. He called himself “crazy,” but insisted that he could represent himself. He said he was dying. The April 22 hearing before Carroll District Judge Elizabeth Chandler stood out from … Read Story

]]> CARROLLTON, Ky.—Adam Horine leaned on the courtroom podium, wept and begged.

He called himself “crazy,” but insisted that he could represent himself. He said he was dying.

The April 22 hearing before Carroll District Judge Elizabeth Chandler stood out from Horine’s many other court appearances over the years for an array of mostly minor offenses.

In a rambling, sometimes confusing dialogue with the judge, the 31-year-old defendant said, his voice cracking, that he loved Kentucky but “they are trying to force me out.”

Horine was absolutely right. Just hours later, he’d be embarking — alone — on a 900-mile, one-way bus trip to Florida, courtesy of the Carrollton Police Department.

“I should be in the hospital,” Horine had pleaded with the judge during the hearing. “I have mental illness and I say things I shouldn’t say. But I would never hurt anybody. I never have.”

Chandler responded that Horine looked sick, according to a video of the hearing obtained by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting. And she questioned his competence to enter a plea to misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and making verbal threats.

She ordered an immediate mental-health examination and transport to Eastern State Hospital in Lexington for a more thorough psychiatric assessment.

Adam Horine's mughsot taken after his April 16, 2015 arrest.

Adam Horine’s mugshot taken after his April 16, 2015 arrest.

Within hours, a social worker’s preliminary evaluation at the Carroll County Detention Center determined that Horine was hearing voices, felt suicidal, was not sleeping, had no medication and wanted to hurt “certain people.”

The next step was Eastern State, where Horine could receive the treatment that the social worker and the judge thought he so urgently needed.

But Carrollton police had a very different plan for Adam Horine. They wanted him out of town and out of the state. They wanted to rid themselves of this tormented petty criminal. They wanted to make him someone else’s problem.

So, just hours after the hearing, a police officer acting at the direction of Chief Michael Willhoite, plucked Horine from jail. Officer Ron Dickow drove him 50 miles in a police cruiser to Louisville. Arriving at the Greyhound terminal downtown before dawn, Dickow bought Horine a one-way bus ticket to Florida with money provided by the chief.

Dickow forked over the change — about $18 — to Horine. Then he sent the emotionally troubled man away, on a 28-hour solitary bus ride to the Sunshine State’s west coast.

“This just doesn’t happen. It’s not supposed to happen in our system,” said David Harris, associate dean and a professor of criminal law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

Carroll County

Carroll County

The move seemingly defies basic, accepted 21st-century police practices. It also raises questions about why police dispatched this distressed man with pending criminal charges out of state, and whether or not they intentionally ignored the judge’s orders, according to a KyCIR review of court and jail documents and interviews with two dozen local and state officials and criminal-justice experts.

Once Horine was charged with a crime and began his trek through the system, his fate should have remained in the hands of the court, Harris said.

“And to have a police officer come in and simply say, ‘No, we’re not having him get a mental-health evaluation, you’re just getting out of here. You’re too much trouble. We don’t want you here. You’re leaving.’ I’m sorry, that’s not allowed. They don’t have the power to do that.”

It’s unclear if police officials believed their maneuver would go undetected. Horine, after all, was a bit of a vagrant, bouncing between temporary homes, jail and jobs. Who would advocate for him?

Today, Horine is back in Kentucky and in the psychiatric hospital, just days away from his next court appearance. The Kentucky attorney general’s office is investigating the whole affair.

And in one more bizarre twist, the justice system that sent Horine to Florida had to charge him with a new crime in order to extradite him to Kentucky. The offense? Escape from jail, a felony.

(Watch video of Horine’s court hearing)

Dogged by emotional problems from an early age, Horine was confined at least twice in mental hospitals. He got into legal trouble as a teen and quit school at 16, according to court records and his stepmother. His first encounter with adult court occurred in July 2002, at the age of 19, when he was charged with public drunkenness and being a minor in possession of alcohol.

More criminal charges followed, for offenses including theft, drugs, drunken driving and misdemeanor assault. He also lived in Florida for a time, several years ago. There, he burnished his criminal record with cases involving marijuana possession and attempted burglary.

Horine’s most recent arrest in Carroll County, the one that ultimately resulted in his shipment to Florida, involved a dust-up outside a grocery store just a block from the rundown boarding house where he lived. A police report of the incident details a confrontation involving Horine and a cab driver. Horine allegedly issued threats and was “cussing in public.” Off to jail he went.

“He can be a really sweet kid when he wants to be, when everything goes his way,” said his stepmother, Charlotte Horine, who added that Adam called her several times during his police-sponsored bus ride, and also from the psychiatric hospital.

“He’s not a bad person.”

Images from surveillance video

Images from Carroll County Detention Center’s surveillance video

Horine’s last moments in the Carroll County Detention Center are captured on a surveillance video. At about 3 a.m. on April 23, barely 14 hours after Judge Chandler ordered the Eastern State Hospital examination, Officer Dickow strolled into the jail.

In the video, Dickow chats with the deputies on duty, then slouches on a chair in the corner while waiting for Horine to be brought out. One of the deputies offers Dickow some documents. Dickow declines, saying, “No, I don’t need no paperwork.”

Horine emerges from his cell and greets Dickow with a friendly, “What’s up Ron? Me and you’s gonna have a nice little conversation on the way to the ‘crazy house’,” (an apparent reference to Eastern State Hospital).

Moments later, Dickow — perhaps because he knows the encounter is being recorded — puts his finger to his lips, as if signaling Horine to be quiet.

Horine questions why he’s in jail, telling Dickow that all he did was “threaten to kill a dog.”

Dickow tells Horine, “Let’s get out of here, then we’ll talk.”

As he and Dickow walk to the door, Horine refers to Dickow as “my favorite cop. Never handcuff(s) me.” And he asks, “Do I get to ride up front with you?” Dickow says no.

With that, inmate and officer venture into the night on an unusual, if not illegal, jaunt.


(Watch video of Horine’s departure from jail)

Among the documents left behind: an “inmate body receipt,” which is supposed to show where Horine was being taken, and why. Those spaces on the receipt, which Dickow signed, were left blank.

Click to view the document

Click to view the blank “inmate body receipt”

“It is mystifying how Mr. Horine would be taken from the jail and placed on a bus to Florida when there was a court order for him to be evaluated at Eastern (State) Hospital,” said Kentucky Public Advocate Ed Monahan, who oversees the statewide public-defender program.

In an April 30th letter obtained by KyCIR, Carroll County Attorney Nick Marsh told the state attorney general’s office that Dickow said he had been “advised” by Chief Willhoite to remove Horine from the jail, take him to Louisville and buy him the bus ticket to Florida.

Click to read Marsh's letter

Click to view Marsh’s letter

“This was in direct violation of two court orders” by Chandler directing that Horine be evaluated and then transported to Eastern State, Marsh said. He asked the attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor to oversee the investigation into “allegations of misconduct and other criminal violations of Chief Mike Willhoite and Officer Ron Dickow.”

Marsh’s request has since been granted. The Campbell County attorney’s office will serve as special prosecutor for Horine’s pending misdemeanor case.

In addition to the allegations outlined in Marsh’s letter, there are other indications that Willhoite played a key role in the scheme to get Horine out of town.

Before Horine appeared in court for his April 22 arraignment, Willhoite approached Judge Chandler in her office, as well as public defender Serah Wiedenhoefer, in a back hallway near the courtroom, to suggest permanently booting Horine to Florida in exchange for resolving the criminal charges, according to sources with knowledge of the encounters.

Chandler, the sources said, told Willhoite to talk to the county attorney, who was then prosecuting the case. Wiedenhoefer agreed to convey Willhoite’s offer to Horine, even though she didn’t represent him.

Carroll County Courthouse

Carroll County Courthouse

Both Chandler, who has removed herself from the case, and Wiedenhoefer, declined to be interviewed by KyCIR.

It’s unclear where the idea of shipping Horine out of state came from. The practice of sending undesirables away — often called banishment — dates back centuries and isn’t unheard of in Kentucky and elsewhere today. The maneuver is not only widely criticized, but many criminal-law experts say it’s flat-out illegal for a judge to order someone out against his or her will.

By his own admission, Horine was amenable at one point in the hearing to the idea of leaving Kentucky because it struck him as preferable to spending more time in jail. But the proposed deal unraveled once he behaved erratically before the judge.

Hours after Horine boarded the bus for his long trip south, his picture remained on the detention center’s website. As a result, the judge and other local officials thought he was still incarcerated in Carroll County, one of Kentucky’s smallest, situated at the juncture of the Ohio and Kentucky rivers, midway between Louisville and Cincinnati. Chandler issued an additional court order on April 24, demanding police take Horine to the hospital that same day.

The truth concerning Horine’s actual whereabouts began to emerge on April 27, when Officer Dickow disclosed what he had done, sources said. County Attorney Marsh called the attorney general’s office the following day to request the investigation, which is ongoing.

Campbell District Judge Karen Thomas, who is now handling Horine’s case, has scheduled a hearing for June 3 and notified key police and jail officials to be present. Those officials all refused to be interviewed by KyCIR.

Officer Dickow referred a reporter’s inquiry to City Attorney Ed James, who replied through his secretary that he would not be calling back.

Chief Willhoite, reached at his home, initially begged off an interview, saying he’d just finished mowing his grass and had to rush off to a baseball game. He pledged to call back after consulting with his attorney. He never responded.

Matt Walls, the deputy jailer on duty at the time of Horine’s police pick-up, refused to comment.

After Jailer Mike Humphrey did not respond to several telephone calls and emails requesting comment, a reporter went to the Carroll County Detention Center and asked to speak with Humphrey. He appeared in the lobby just long enough launch into a brief, angry tirade.

“I have no comment for you. I don’t care for you,” he said. “I will have nothing to do with you and I have no comments farther than that.”

He then stalked back inside, refusing to answer questions.

As for Adam Horine: He arrived safely in Florida and did not harm himself or anyone else. He was arrested in Gulfport, near St. Petersburg, earlier this month after the Kentucky attorney general’s office obtained a warrant charging him with — of all things — second-degree escape, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

According to the warrant, Horine left the jail and the state “by bus, with the full knowledge that he was under court order to be transported to Eastern State Hospital.”

But Horine was hardly the only one who knew that. Still unresolved are the consequences police and jail officials might face for their roles in the caper.

Kevin Calhoon, the attorney general’s investigator who requested the warrant, declined to comment.

Click to view the attorney's reimbursement request

Click to view the reimbursement request

Horine was brought back to Kentucky on May 18 and taken to Eastern State Hospital. This time, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office handled the transport. And the county wants reimbursement of $2,470 from Carrollton police for the cost of bringing Horine back.

Harris, the University of Pittsburgh law professor, said officials’ focus now should be not on Horine’s “escape” but on those who planned and executed his release.

‘The real question here is not whether or not Mr. Horine ‘escaped’, because we know that he was in Florida because the police officer put him on a bus there, after getting Horine released,” Harris said. “There’s no way any jury would find him guilty of an escape in those circumstances.

“The important question is, how and why the police got Mr. Horine released and sent him out of the jurisdiction, in the face of existing charges, obvious signs of mental distress and a court order for a mental health examination.”

The police department’s handling of the case not only deprived Horine of needed psychiatric care, Harris said, but also “just dumps him on the street.”

Listen

WFPL News reporter Erica Peterson contributed to this report. Reporter R.G. Dunlop can be reached at rdunlop@kycir.org or (502) 814.6533.

This story was reported by Louisville Public Media’s Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.

]]> http://wfpl.org/kentucky-police-defy-judge-ship-mentally-ill-man-to-florida/feed/ 0 Louisville Metro Council OKs Temporary Change To Controversial Flood Rule http://wfpl.org/louisville-metro-council-oks-temporary-change-to-controversial-flood-rule/ http://wfpl.org/louisville-metro-council-oks-temporary-change-to-controversial-flood-rule/#comments Fri, 29 May 2015 01:43:12 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=37332 Louisville Metro Council members unanimously approved an ordinance Thursday temporarily changing a flood rule that has left a number of homeowners with flood-damaged homes they can’t repair. The newly approved ordinance changes a previous rule prohibiting homeowners from repairing a house … Read Story

]]> Louisville Metro Council members unanimously approved an ordinance Thursday temporarily changing a flood rule that has left a number of homeowners with flood-damaged homes they can’t repair.

The newly approved ordinance changes a previous rule prohibiting homeowners from repairing a house that has sustained damages totaling more than 50 percent of its assessed value over a 10-year period.

That “1o-year period” part of the rule has been changed to only apply to one incident, which will finally let some of the 23 Louisville homeowners fix the unlivable homes they can’t repair. The change will only last for six months until a longer-term solution is reached, though.

Concerns had been raised about changing the rules because of how such a move may affect the city’s flood insurance rate. But many council members said passing the measure was simply the right thing to do to give some immediate relief to some residents who were put in an impossible situation.

“In the name of compassion, which we in Louisville are known for, it was obvious that action by leadership needed to take place,” said Councilman Steve Magre, who sponsored the rule change and fought for its passage.

But this doesn’t help everyone. Councilwoman Angela Leet said the change will help a lot of people negatively affected by the rule, but it won’t help all the homeowners who sustained flood damage during rain storms this past April and May.

“There will be some folks who are currently impacted that this will not address their problem because they are beyond the 50 percent for one event,” Leet explained.

But she said it was important to pass the change for the people it would help, such as Louisville resident Justin Brock.

Related Story

A stop work order from MSD.How a Little-Known Flood Rule Has Left Some Louisville Homeowners Homeless

Brock was flooded out of his home in the Riviera neighborhood in March. Because his house had been repaired too often, he was not allowed to repair it and make it livable again.

Since then, Brock has been practically homeless and pleading city leaders to intervene.

Brock, like many of these homeowners, was not made aware of the “10-year rule” or how much damage already repaired at his house when he bought it.

Following the vote on Thursday, Brock said he was relieved to finally get help, allowing him to finally be able to “start rebuilding his life.”

However, he said this didn’t settle the issue for good.

“You know, I think a six-month Band-Aid is not the answer here,” he said. “I think that disclosure first and foremost needs to be important going forward to where the can’s not being kicked down the road and we are continually putting family’s in harm’s way because that’s what we are doing.”

The Flood Mitigation Workgroup tasked with solving some of these long- and short-term problems will next meet Monday. Leet, a member of the workgroup, said the members will talk about short-term solutions for those affected homeowners that will not be helped by this rule change, among other things.

]]> http://wfpl.org/louisville-metro-council-oks-temporary-change-to-controversial-flood-rule/feed/ 0 Fischer Proposes More Spending In Public Safety, Housing In New Louisville Budget http://wfpl.org/mayor-fischer-proposes-more-spending-in-transportation-public-safety-housing-in-new-budget/ http://wfpl.org/mayor-fischer-proposes-more-spending-in-transportation-public-safety-housing-in-new-budget/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 21:14:44 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=37325 Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s budget proposal includes more spending for transportation, public safety and housing. The mayor presented his proposal on Thursday to the Metro Council. Fischer’s budget proposal totals $873 million, with $560 million from the city’s general revenue fund. The … Read Story

]]> Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s budget proposal includes more spending for transportation, public safety and housing. The mayor presented his proposal on Thursday to the Metro Council.

Fischer’s budget proposal totals $873 million, with $560 million from the city’s general revenue fund. The rest will be paid for by federal and state funds, grants and donations.

Here are some of the highlights of Fischer’s budget proposal.

• 30 miles of new bikes lanes in the city. That includes fixing the path along the riverbank at the Portland Warf and Shawnee parks. In total, Fischer wants to invest $13.6 million in roads, sidewalks and bike lanes. The Louisville Loop is allotted about $1 million, which Fischer hopes to leverage into about $3.6 million in federal funds.

• Local parks and community centers are getting about $7.4 million.

• The city also got permission from the state to use half a million dollars from federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding for “low income youth employment.”

• Affordable housing is one of the big ticket items. Fischer wants to make a $12 million investment in 1,500 affordable housing units.

• The Metro Animal Services facility on Manslick Road is also up for some hefty improvements. The building currently sits in a flood prone area. The city will put up $800,000 to match a campaign of $1.6 million in private donations. Last year, the city also pledged $1 million for the shelter.

• In an effort to leverage federal funds for five new zero emission buses, Fischer wants to spend $400,000 on TARC.

• Fischer also wants to spend about $14.5 million to construct a new South Central Regional Library in Okolona.

• Fischer also proposed two big public safety projects. In light of unrest in Baltimore in Ferguson, Fischer proposed spending $2.8 million on body cameras for Louisville Metro Police Department. Louisville’s 911 radio system is also proposed to get a $7.8 million upgrade.

Most of these items represent areas where the city is going to spend more money or at least maintain investments. However, there is a chunk of the budget the city no longer needs to invest as much in, which is also an important aspect of this newly proposed budget.

Fischer said the city doesn’t have to spend more to subsidize indigent care at University Hospital.

“Because of the tremendous success of Kynect and Medicaid expansion, they’ve gone from 25 percent of their patients uninsured to only 5 percent,” Fischer said. “Therefore, we will be able to continue covering the remaining uninsured out of the $5 million appropriation made last year.”

For the same reason, Family Health Centers are cutting spending from $1.5 million to $780,000.

The budget will need to get final approval from the full Metro Council.

]]> http://wfpl.org/mayor-fischer-proposes-more-spending-in-transportation-public-safety-housing-in-new-budget/feed/ 0 Bevin Still Leads Comer Following Republican Gubernatorial Primary Recanvassing http://wfpl.org/bevin-still-leads-comer-following-republican-gubernatorial-primary-recanvassing/ http://wfpl.org/bevin-still-leads-comer-following-republican-gubernatorial-primary-recanvassing/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 19:53:08 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=37318 Update 4:40 p.m.: Comer To Issue Statement on Friday A recanvass of votes from last week’s primary election yielded no change in total votes submitted for James Comer or Matt Bevin in the Republican race for governor. Agriculture Commissioner Comer … Read Story

]]> Update 4:40 p.m.: Comer To Issue Statement on Friday

A recanvass of votes from last week’s primary election yielded no change in total votes submitted for James Comer or Matt Bevin in the Republican race for governor.

Agriculture Commissioner Comer requested the recanvass last week after he was defeated by Louisville businessman Bevin by 83 votes.

All eyes are on Comer to see if he requests a full-fledged recount of the election.

His campaign manager, Edwin King, said in an email that Comer was in Florida on Thursday spending time with his family and will issue a statement Friday  about the next steps his campaign will take in the race.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, the chief election officer in Kentucky, said she spoke with Comer and Bevin over the phone to deliver the recanvass results. Neither indicated whether they’d seek a recount.

“We did not delve into any discussion of further actions that Commissioner Comer or his campaign may or may not take,” Grimes said.

In the more comprehensive recount process, precincts from all of Kentucky’s 120 counties send in their ballots to be reviewed by the Franklin Circuit Court.

“What we are seeing is that there have been no substantial changes after a review of the totals on the machines that would indicated a manual recount could possibly change the vote totals,” Grimes said.

The recanvass did yield three additional votes for former Louisville Metro Councilman Hal Heiner in Fayette County—not enough to sway the election.

Related Story

Bevin supporters gathered in Louisville.Kentucky Republican Gubernatorial Candidates Trade Lead In Indecisive Primary Night

If Comer were to further contest the election results, his campaign would have to come up with legal grounds for to challenge the results, including voter fraud, intimidation or violence. His campaign would also have to cover the costs of the recount.

Candidates have until 4 p.m. Friday to request a recount or contest the election.

Also, in the race for the Republican nomination for agriculture commissioner, Richard Heath picked up one additional vote and his opponent Ryan Quarles picked up two additional votes due to absentee ballots. Quarles narrowly won the primary last week.

Matt BevinJacob Ryan | wfpl.org

Matt Bevin

Earlier: Louisville businessman Matt Bevin still has an 83-vote lead for the Kentucky Republican gubernatorial nomination following a recanvassing Thursday of last week’s votes, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

But a more comprehensive recount may still be called before the Friday deadline. Bevin’s closest challenger, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, was on vacation in Florida on Thursday; a spokesman said he’d announce his plans sometime Friday afternoon.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said Thursday’s recanvassing showed no significant changes in the May 19 election results.

We’ll update this story later today.

]]> http://wfpl.org/bevin-still-leads-comer-following-republican-gubernatorial-primary-recanvassing/feed/ 0 Luallen Hopes More Kentucky Women Run for Elected Office http://wfpl.org/luallen-hopes-kentucky-women-run-elected-office/ http://wfpl.org/luallen-hopes-kentucky-women-run-elected-office/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 19:36:33 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=37311 The highest-ranking woman in Kentucky government says she’s hopeful more women will become political candidates. Speaking to the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club on Wednesday, Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen said a recent study showing Kentucky near the bottom of the nation … Read Story

]]>

CritLuallenLieutenant Governor’s Office

Crit Luallen

The highest-ranking woman in Kentucky government says she’s hopeful more women will become political candidates.

Speaking to the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club on Wednesday, Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen said a recent study showing Kentucky near the bottom of the nation in the number of women office-holders is proof there’s a problem.

The report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research ranks Kentucky 46th in the nation when it comes to the number of females holding elected office.

“I think women have to work harder to prove themselves,” Luallen said. “I think often they are considered not to have the strength that a man has, or the power that a man has. And the truth is women are doing everyday an incredibly courageous job of balancing complicated lives and careers.”

Despite her concerns, Luallen said she believes an increasing number of younger women in Kentucky are beginning to believe they can succeed at all aspects of running for office.

Related Story

I VotedKentucky Earns 'D' Grade For Political Participation Among Women, Study Says

“They can raise money successfully, they can convince people to support them—it’s a very, very achievable goal to run for office as a woman,” she said.

Cynthia Hess, one of the authors of the study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, said the state did well in some metrics of political participation.

“In Kentucky women are actually 13th in the nation for the percentage women of who register to vote and 26th for the percent who voted,” she said. “So, [it’s] one of the higher ranking states in terms of registration and in the middle in the percent who actually go to the polls.”

]]> http://wfpl.org/luallen-hopes-kentucky-women-run-elected-office/feed/ 0 Where Are Louisville’s Most Dangerous Railroad Crossings For Bikes? Survey Seeks Answers. http://wfpl.org/louisvilles-dangerous-railroad-crossings-bikes-survey-seeks-answers/ http://wfpl.org/louisvilles-dangerous-railroad-crossings-bikes-survey-seeks-answers/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 18:56:42 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=37297 Louisville cycling advocates are working to identify railroad crossings in the city that are dangerous to cross on a bicycle. Chris Glasser, president of Bicycling For Louisville, developed a basic survey that asks residents which railroad crossings are the most … Read Story

]]> Louisville cycling advocates are working to identify railroad crossings in the city that are dangerous to cross on a bicycle.

Chris Glasser, president of Bicycling For Louisville, developed a basic survey that asks residents which railroad crossings are the most troubling for cyclists to cross, and which crossings are considered “model” crossings.

The survey is available here. Responses will be accepted for the next couple of weeks.

To date, Glasser said more than 100 people have provided feedback.

Here is a map showing which crossings in Jefferson County respondents consider to be the most dangerous. (Map provided by Bicycling For Louisville.)

Glasser said the crossing at River Road near Edith Avenue is overwhelmingly considered the most dangerous in the city. Nearly 60 percent of responses so far mention that crossing, Glasser said.

Other notable crossings considered dangerous by respondents include a crossing of Algonquin Parkway near Gibson Lane and St. Matthews Avenue near Westport Road.

The crossing at Frankfort Avenue near New Main Street is “by far the most commonly cited as the one with the best infrastructure in place to make for a safe crossing” in the feedback provided so far, Glasser said. But other residents also wrote that they consider the same crossing to be dangerous for cyclists.

He said the paving, bike lanes and directional arrows at the Frankfort Avenue crossing make it a model crossing, despite it not being a perpendicular crossing angle.

The Federal Highway Administration recommends a 90-degree crossing angle as “ideal.”

“The more the crossing deviates from the ideal 90-degree crossing, the greater the potential for a cycle wheel to be trapped” in the the gap between the rail and the pavement, the FHWA states in its Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing handbook.

The premise of the survey goes beyond simply identifying potentially dangerous railroad crossings, Glasser said.

“We want to, first, make public works aware of these problems,” Glasser said.

Beyond that, Glasser said he hopes to work with city and state officials, as well as the railroad companies, to build a partnership that works to effectively improves crossings across the city.

Louisville boasts 198 grade-level railroad crossings, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. A grade-level crossing is one which vehicles, bikes and pedestrians must traverse to cross, rather than an underpass or bridge.

State and local crews are responsible for pavement on the outer sides of railroad crossings, said Andrea Clifford, a spokeswoman for the state’s transportation cabinet 5th District, which includes Louisville.

Between the rails, she said, is left up to the railroad companies.

“The crossing, itself, is maintained by the railroad company,” she said.

Crossing approaches, which are under the purview of state and local paving authorities, are commonly resurfaced when they fall along a route scheduled for fresh pavement.

Only if an approach shows “severe deterioration” would crews perform a specific repair without resurfacing the entire route, Clifford said.

]]> http://wfpl.org/louisvilles-dangerous-railroad-crossings-bikes-survey-seeks-answers/feed/ 0 Kentucky Officials Begin Recanvassing Election Results http://wfpl.org/kentucky-officials-begin-recanvassing-election-results/ http://wfpl.org/kentucky-officials-begin-recanvassing-election-results/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 16:15:05 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=37292 Election officials across Kentucky’s started rechecking vote totals Thursday morning in a recanvass of last week’s close Republican primary for governor. Agriculture Commissioner James Comer asked earlier this month for the recanvass after losing the Republican gubernatorial primary to Louisville … Read Story

]]> Election officials across Kentucky’s started rechecking vote totals Thursday morning in a recanvass of last week’s close Republican primary for governor.

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Bevin supporters gathered in Louisville.Kentucky Republican Gubernatorial Candidates Trade Lead In Indecisive Primary Night

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer asked earlier this month for the recanvass after losing the Republican gubernatorial primary to Louisville businessman Matt Bevin by 83 votes. In Louisville, Jefferson County election officials were reloading and re-checking memory cards used in voting machines during the election.

Because the process is digital, vote totals almost never change during recanvasses here, Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw said.

“That’s not to say never because I would not want to say that,” she said. “Things can make mistakes, but they normally do not come out any different.”

Representatives from the Bevin campaign and the Comer campaign, as well as members from the state board of elections, monitored the process. Holsclaw said recanvasses can be comforting to candidates in Comer’s situation when elections are this close, even if the process doesn’t yield any changes.

“You know, I am sure it’s very hard to accept,” she said. “I am sure he worked very, very hard and to come down to those few votes when you are talking about a whole state—120 counties. Mistakes can be made. I am sure that’s what they are looking for today.”

Comer has until Friday to ask for a full-on recount, which he’d have to pay for.

Officials are also conducting a recanvass of the GOP primary for agriculture commissioner.

The Secretary of State’s office will announce the final results later Thursday.

]]> http://wfpl.org/kentucky-officials-begin-recanvassing-election-results/feed/ 0 How a Louisville Ad Agency Helped Create Kynect http://wfpl.org/louisville-ad-agency-helped-create-kynect/ http://wfpl.org/louisville-ad-agency-helped-create-kynect/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 11:08:10 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=37249 Since its launch, Kentucky’s health insurance exchange has gained a variety of national praise as a model for enrolling people for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. It recently gained another accolade. The advertising agency that marketed Kynect, Louisville-based Doe-Anderson, … Read Story

]]> Since its launch, Kentucky’s health insurance exchange has gained a variety of national praise as a model for enrolling people for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

It recently gained another accolade. The advertising agency that marketed Kynect, Louisville-based Doe-Anderson, has won an Effie Award for having the most effective marketing campaign in North America.

The North American Effie Awards honors the most effective marketing communications efforts in the United States and Canada.

Doe-Anderson Chief Creative Officer David Vawter said the agency’s main goal in creating the campaign was to keep the contentious political arguments surrounding the  Affordable Care Act out of the overall message.

“We wanted to make it really simple and really optimistic and explain to people that a new day was coming–that things were going to be better,” he said.

So, how exactly did the team at Doe-Anderson come up with the concept for Kynect?

After securing the job through idea pitches to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Doe-Anderson staff spoke to consumers throughout the state, Vawter said.

“In talking to consumers we had some initial logo designs, one of which incorporated this rising sun motif and people really responded very strongly to that … and it’s what ended up being the campaign that got produced,” Vawter said.

He said the agency decided to go with an animated approach in order to make the conversation friendlier and less complicated.

“We just knew that there were a lot of people who needed health insurance. We wanted these people to know that there was now going to be something that was going to make it possible for them to get covered,” Vawter said.

20150226_124613_Richtone(HDR)Ja’Nel Johnson | wfpl.org

David Vawter, chief creative officer, admires the work of the Doe-Anderson team.

To be considered for an Effie, an agency had to prove a campaign’s measurable and significant impact to its intended audience.

When the campaign began, there were 640,000 uninsured and eligible Kentuckians who could enroll in the state’s new health insurance exchange.

During the first open enrollment period, 413,410 people enrolled in health insurance through Kynect.

Kentucky now has the second highest reduction in the rate of uninsured people in the U.S.

“Kentucky has been recognized for really kind of being the role model in terms of the roll out for the program,” Vawter said.

Another key element in the success of the campaign is the name, Kynect.

Vawter said people really sparked to the name Kynect during an early focus group. He said they wanted to come up with a name that made it clear that they were working to connect people to affordable, quality health care.

“One of the writers cleverly realized that we could put a ‘K,’ ‘Y’ on the front of connect and we’d have a memorable name that nobody else could use,” Vawter said.

This isn’t the first time the agency has won an Effie Award. In 2003, the agency won the award for a Maker’s Mark campaign.

Doe-Anderson will accept the  newest award in June in New York.

]]> http://wfpl.org/louisville-ad-agency-helped-create-kynect/feed/ 0 Louisville Flood Work Group Considers Buyout For Homeowners http://wfpl.org/flood-mitigation-work-group-considers-buy-out/ http://wfpl.org/flood-mitigation-work-group-considers-buy-out/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 21:43:00 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=37248 A work group tasked with coming up with solutions for Louisville homeowners affected by spring flooding is considering a “quick-buy” program that would provide money to qualifying residents to help them raze their homes and relocate. But Greg Heitzman, executive director of … Read Story

]]> A work group tasked with coming up with solutions for Louisville homeowners affected by spring flooding is considering a “quick-buy” program that would provide money to qualifying residents to help them raze their homes and relocate.

But Greg Heitzman, executive director of Metropolitan Sewer District (the groups tasked with enforcing that rule) and chair of the work group, on Wednesday said there is not enough money to “deal with all the homes” affected by the flooding.

He said MSD will need at least $1 million to kick-start the quick-buy program. The program, he said, is still in need of more consideration and is in a preliminary state, but it could potentially provide a flat rate of $50,000 to all qualifying homeowners affected by the flood.

A $50,000 buyout, for example, would still leave nearly $50,000 in unaccounted costs for demolishing a home valued at $100,000, Heitzman said. And that is accounting for FEMA grants and small business loans available for moving or demolishing a home, he added.

“The higher price of home, the more subsidy or grant would be needed” to buy out the home, he said.

Many homeowners who attended Wednesday’s meeting said $50,000 isn’t enough for them to get out of their damaged home and find a new home in the county.

Heitzman said local, state and federal funds are available—as well as insurance money and funds from MSD—that could be put toward helping residents out of a situation that many say has them stuck.

Heitzman also said the work group in a future meeting will consider a variable buyout program that will provide payments based on a home’s value.

Metro Councilwoman Angela Leet, a Republican from District 7, said the homeowners are going to have to make a “tough decision” about whether to try to rebuild or take a buyout.

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At Thursday’s Metro Council meeting, members are expected to vote on a proposed amendment to the 2006 ordinance that would change the rule prohibiting repairs to some flood damaged homes from 50-percent damage over 10 years to 50-percent “per incident.”

On Wednesday, the work group agreed to endorse the proposed amendment to the ordinance.

If the council approves the amendment, some homeowners will be eligible to rebuild their homes.

Leet said homeowners would have to decide if they will rebuild or rather try to qualify for the buyout payment. The specific criteria for what would potentially qualify a homeowner for a buyout program has yet to be set.

Howard Wuest, 52, said amending the ordinance is a “scapegoat” for MSD.

But Leet said she doesn’t feel amending the ordinance is a “scapegoat,” but rather a “tool in the toolbox.”

“It gives homeowners an option,” she said.

If the amendment to the current ordinance is approved at Thursday’s meeting, it would be null in six months, Heitzman said. By then, the work group must come up with a long-term solution to deal with flood plain management.

The work group was developed earlier this month by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Metro Council president David Tandy.

]]> http://wfpl.org/flood-mitigation-work-group-considers-buy-out/feed/ 0 U.S. Finalizes Rules To Protect Rivers, Streams From Pollution http://wfpl.org/u-s-finalizes-rules-to-protect-rivers-streams-from-pollution/ http://wfpl.org/u-s-finalizes-rules-to-protect-rivers-streams-from-pollution/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 19:33:50 +0000 http://wfpl.org?p=37245&preview_id=37245 The regulations are intended to clarify recent court decisions on which bodies of water are protected, but many farmers and congressional Republicans oppose what they call an EPA "land grab." Read Story

]]> The Obama administration announced new clean water rules today that it says will protect sources of drinking water for 117 million Americans, rules welcomed by environmental groups, but bitterly opposed by congressional Republicans and farm state democrats.

The rules clarify which waterways fall under the Clean Water Act.

President Obama, in a statement released by the White House, said that in recent years:

“Court decisions have led to uncertainty and a need for clarification. One in three Americans now gets drinking water from streams lacking clear protection, and businesses and industries that depend on clean water face uncertainty and delay, which costs our economy every day. Too many of our waters have been left vulnerable to pollution. That’s why I called on the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to clear up the confusion and uphold our basic duty to protect these vital resources.”

The rules have been in the works for some time, and have already drawn opposition from many Republicans in Congress, along with farm groups. The House approved a measure to block the new regulations earlier this month, and a similar bill is pending in the Senate.

David Luker, a cattle farmer in central Missouri, told NPR’s Scott Horsley:

“Anyone that owns any land in this country that has any type of little creek or puddle or anything in it, in order for you to do anything on your property you’re going to have to go to someone and ask permission from them to do it and then they’re going to tell you how you have to do it and they don’t care what it costs.”

The Associated Press reports that Republican Sen. James Inhofe, the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said his panel will consider a measure this summer and “continue our work to halt EPA’s unprecedented land grab.”

But EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, writing in a blog post on the agency’s website, said the measure doesn’t add any new burdens for agriculture:

“The final rule doesn’t create any new permitting requirements for agriculture, maintains all previous exemptions and exclusions, and even adds exclusions for features like artificial lakes and ponds, water-filled depressions from construction, and grass swales — all to make clear our goal is to stay out of agriculture’s way. Just like before, a Clean Water Act permit is only needed if a water is going to be polluted or destroyed — and all exemptions for agriculture stay in place.”

Environmental groups praised the new rules. Friends of the Earth President Erich Pica says the “common sense steps” will “ensure our waterways stay clean.”

On the other side, according to Politico, are some of the most powerful lobbyists in Washington:

“The Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers have joined the American Farm Bureau Federation, Dairy Farmers of America, pesticide manufacturers, mining companies, home builders, state and local governments, water utilities, flood control districts, the timber industry, railroads, real estate developers and even golf course operators among the more than 230 organizations and companies that have listed ‘Waters of the United States’ on federal lobbying disclosures since the administration proposed the rule in March 2014.”

Several farm-state Democrats are also on record opposing the new rule. In a statement, North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp pointed to bipartisan legislation she co-sponsored to send the rule back to the EPA and “require the agency to consult directly with states and those affected by the proposed rule, like local farmers and ranchers.”

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

]]> http://wfpl.org/u-s-finalizes-rules-to-protect-rivers-streams-from-pollution/feed/ 0 Louisville Police, Council Members to Introduce Body Cameras http://wfpl.org/louisville-police-council-members-introduce-body-cameras/ http://wfpl.org/louisville-police-council-members-introduce-body-cameras/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 18:31:59 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=37101 City officials are encouraging residents to attend a public meeting on Tuesday during which Louisville Metro Police will introduce the body cameras that will soon be worn by some officers. The meeting comes at the request of Metro Council members Bill … Read Story

]]> City officials are encouraging residents to attend a public meeting on Tuesday during which Louisville Metro Police will introduce the body cameras that will soon be worn by some officers.

The meeting comes at the request of Metro Council members Bill Hollander and Tom Owen, Democrats from the council’s 9th and 8th districts.

Both council districts cover Louisville Metro Police’s Fifth Division, which will host the department’s body camera pilot project.

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The pilot project is expected to begin later in June. About 100 officers work in the Fifth Division. The pilot program is expected to last about 45 days, and then the body camera program will expand to other divisions, said Chief Steve Conrad. Officers in the Second Division, in west Louisville, will be next to wear the cameras.

Hollander said the meetings will give a chance for officers to demonstrate the cameras and allow residents to ask questions.

“I think body cameras are proven to work very well, but they work because everybody knows the police officers are wearing body cameras,” he said. “So, the more that know the police officers are wearing the cameras the better they will work.”

Louisville Metro Police has been looking to outfit officers with body cameras since about 2012. Earlier this month, Conrad and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced the program’s details to the public.

The total cost of the body camera program will be about $2.8 million, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said.

field elemAbout $950,000 will come from the city’s general fund, about $900,000 will come from a short-term debt note, and about $900,000 will come from federal forfeiture funds, said Daniel Frockt, interim chief financial officer for Louisville Metro.

The public meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Fiels Elementary School in the Crescent Hill neighborhood.

“It’s really just an awareness meeting,” Hollander said. “Show people what’s going on and answer any questions.”

]]> http://wfpl.org/louisville-police-council-members-introduce-body-cameras/feed/ 0 Kentucky Sports Radio’s Matt Jones To Host Fancy Farm Political Speaking http://wfpl.org/kentucky-sports-radios-matt-jones-host-fancy-farm-political-speaking/ http://wfpl.org/kentucky-sports-radios-matt-jones-host-fancy-farm-political-speaking/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 15:17:45 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=37233 Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones will host the political speaking at Fancy Farm this year. Jones will introduce the candidates and make remarks as the emcee of the 135th annual St. Jerome Catholic Church picnic that has become the … Read Story

]]> Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones will host the political speaking at Fancy Farm this year.

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Jones will introduce the candidates and make remarks as the emcee of the 135th annual St. Jerome Catholic Church picnic that has become the premiere political event in the state. The picnic is known more for the crowd than the speeches, as supporters holler and heckle in equal measure throughout the event.

The highlight of this year’s event will be speeches from the Democratic and Republican nominees for governor, who are both vying to succeed term-limited Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear.

Jones, whose Kentucky Sports Radio show is broadcast on more than 30 stations statewide, called it a tremendous honor. He said he hopes to bring the uniqueness of Fancy Farm to a new audience.

]]> http://wfpl.org/kentucky-sports-radios-matt-jones-host-fancy-farm-political-speaking/feed/ 0 Bevin, McConnell Joint Appearances Will Have to Wait http://wfpl.org/bevin-mcconnell-joint-appearances-will-have-to-wait/ http://wfpl.org/bevin-mcconnell-joint-appearances-will-have-to-wait/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 11:09:58 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=37230 Kentucky Republicans waiting to see U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell put his arm around his political nemesis Matt Bevin will have to wait a little longer. Bevin canceled an appearance at the Elizabethtown Rotary Club on Tuesday where McConnell, the Senate … Read Story

]]> Kentucky Republicans waiting to see U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell put his arm around his political nemesis Matt Bevin will have to wait a little longer.

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Bevin canceled an appearance at the Elizabethtown Rotary Club on Tuesday where McConnell, the Senate majority leader, was the scheduled speaker. And McConnell has said he will not attend the state Republican Party’s Lincoln Day dinner on Saturday when Bevin will be the featured speaker.

The absences seem to highlight a tense relationship between the state’s senior senator and its likely Republican nominee for governor one year after McConnell defeated Bevin in the Senate primary.

A spokesman for Bevin said a scheduling conflict forced him to change his schedule. McConnell said he has to return to Washington on Saturday to prepare for a rare Sunday session to vote on the Patriot Act.

]]> http://wfpl.org/bevin-mcconnell-joint-appearances-will-have-to-wait/feed/ 0