89.3 WFPL http://wfpl.org Louisville's NPR® News Station Fri, 31 Jul 2015 20:58:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Center For Women And Families Reopens Old Louisville Campus http://wfpl.org/center-women-families-reopens-old-louisville-campus/ http://wfpl.org/center-women-families-reopens-old-louisville-campus/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 20:37:48 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=40392 Marta Miranda had a difficult year as the executive director of the Center for Women and Families in Louisville. More than a year ago, the roof of the center’s busiest, largest shelter began to leak. Brown water seeped out of … Read Story

]]> Marta Miranda had a difficult year as the executive director of the Center for Women and Families in Louisville.

More than a year ago, the roof of the center’s busiest, largest shelter began to leak. Brown water seeped out of the ceilings; residents told the center’s staff they were getting sick from mold.

The staff and residents at the Old Louisville campus were forced to evacuate. The people that had come to center seeking refuge from abusive relationships had to be transplanted to other locations already pressed for room.

Miranda said the center coughed up $40,000 a month in rental fees to house everyone displaced by the damaged roof.

But now, after a $6-million renovation funded through loans and donations, the Center for Women and Families is opening back up their Old Louisville campus on Second Street.

And Miranda said it’s better than ever.

“We used it as an opportunity to create more client communal spaces, to make it safer,” she said. “We have literally taken lemons and made lemonade.”

The center celebrated the reopening of its Old Louisville on Friday. Some services are being offered at the campus now, but the shelter won’t reopen for about another month.

The Center for Women and Families provides services to anyone who is a victim of intimate partner abuse or sexual violence—men and women, gay and straight, according to the center’s website.

About 7,000 people are served by the center’s five regional locations each year, Miranda said.

People come to the center seeking safety, she said. But it’s more than just a safe house.

“We do advocacy and counseling, we do medical advocacy, we have a sexual assault clinic, we do transitional housing and we have an emergency shelter and we can house up to 79 people in our shelter at a time,” Miranda said.

All the services are free, she said.

With the new space comes a new Kosair Charities Children and Youth Violence Prevention Project, which aims to positively engage young people affected by domestic violence or sexual assault, Miranda said.

Working with children exposed to violence or trauma is a big step in breaking the cycle of domestic violence, she said.

“Children exposed to trauma, children exposed to violence are 50 percent more likely to be a victim or a perpetrator,” Miranda said.

She also points to other programs like PACT in Action and the Green Dot initiatives as other positive tools for reducing instances of domestic violence.

Already in 2015, Louisville police have responded to more than 2,400 reports of domestic violence, according to police data. And Miranda said surveys officers conduct at the scene of such calls shows that nearly 3,000 people are at risk of being killed by domestic abuse in Jefferson County.

“It’s an epidemic,” she said.

The most effective tool to end domestic violence is community support, said Sherry Currens, executive director of the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

She said no one should shy away from alerting authorities when they see domestic abuse in progress.

“It takes everyone,” she said.

And places such as the center are a hub for people that need to get away from violent situations, she said.

About 15 other emergency shelters for people escaping domestic violence across the state are modeled after campuses with the Center for Women and Families, she said.

Services for domestic violence have only been available to people for about 50 years, Currens said.

“It was a very hidden problem and people just suffered in their homes and they were isolated,” she said. “Now they have the ability to escape the violence which is a relatively new ability and is really wonderful, and the services that are provided here are very important.”

Miranda said the center is still working to pay back about $2 million in loans.

 

]]> http://wfpl.org/center-women-families-reopens-old-louisville-campus/feed/ 0 Louisville’s Greg Bourke Hopeful After Boy Scouts Lift Ban on Gay Leaders http://wfpl.org/louisvilles-greg-bourke-hopeful-boy-scouts-lift-ban-gay-leaders/ http://wfpl.org/louisvilles-greg-bourke-hopeful-boy-scouts-lift-ban-gay-leaders/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:38:23 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=40386 A decision this week by the Boy Scouts of America to allow same-sex leaders has a Louisville man ready to serve. Greg Bourke was the leader of his son’s troop for 11 years before he was forced out for being … Read Story

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Gregory Bourke is pictured here with his son, Isaiah.Submitted

Gregory Bourke is pictured here with his son, Isaiah.

A decision this week by the Boy Scouts of America to allow same-sex leaders has a Louisville man ready to serve.

Greg Bourke was the leader of his son’s troop for 11 years before he was forced out for being openly gay. His departure from the organization about three years ago made national headlines.

This week, the organization ended its ban on gay adult leaders. Bourke said it was time.

“This organization has been around for 105 years and any organization that is going to survive that long has to be willing change with the times,” Bourke told WKU Public Radio.

Bourke, who was also a plaintiff in the ultimately successful legal challenge to Kentucky’s same-sex marriage ban, plans to re-apply for Boy Scout leadership and is cautiously optimistic.

The new policy gives troops affiliated with religious organizations the freedom to choose leaders that fit their beliefs.

Bourke’s troop is chartered by the Catholic church he attends. He said the parish itself has been supportive, but the decision on whether he’ll be allowed back as a troop leader will come from the Archdiocese of Louisville.

]]> http://wfpl.org/louisvilles-greg-bourke-hopeful-boy-scouts-lift-ban-gay-leaders/feed/ 0 Kentucky Coal Production, Employment Numbers Hit New Recent Low http://wfpl.org/kentucky-lowest-ever-quarter-coal-production/ http://wfpl.org/kentucky-lowest-ever-quarter-coal-production/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 16:35:47 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=40375 Kentucky’s coal industry has recorded another dismal quarter, where both coal jobs and production have declined across the state. In the second quarter of 2015, only 9,605 people were employed in the coal industry, down from a recent peak of … Read Story

]]> Kentucky’s coal industry has recorded another dismal quarter, where both coal jobs and production have declined across the state.

In the second quarter of 2015, only 9,605 people were employed in the coal industry, down from a recent peak of more than 19,000 at the beginning of 2009. Kentucky also recorded the lowest-ever quarter of coal production since the 1960s, and the state’s quarterly coal report notes that the state is on track to mine less than 64 million tons of coal this year. As recently as 2008, the state’s coal mines produced almost twice that amount.

Eastern Kentucky used to be the commonwealth’s most productive coalfield, but it ceded that title last year. Western Kentucky now produces more coal, though there are still more working coal miners in Eastern Kentucky.

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The future outlook for the industry is bleak, too.

Stricter federal regulations on pollution like mercury from coal-fired power plants, as well as low natural gas prices, have made it more economical for utilities to retire aging coal plants. Some will switch to natural gas. A lot of those plants are in the Southeast, and have bought coal from Kentucky coal mines. The report says that by the end of this year, one-third of the plants that used Kentucky coal in 2011 will have closed. Other closures are expected over the next few years.

Governor Steve Beshear issued a statement in response to the report, stressing the work the state is doing in transitioning coal workers, coal communities and the state’s energy portfolio away from coal:

“The nation’s recent recession, cheaper natural gas, and federal regulatory impediments have hit the coal industry and the Appalachian region especially hard. While overall rural manufacturing and job growth have improved, the region’s number-one industry continues to decline. According to the most recent state coal report, this is the first time we have seen fewer than 10,000 Kentucky coal miners.

My administration and the SOAR initiative have launched a series of robust initiatives to help families and communities weather the changes in our coal sector. We have directed the Energy and Environment Cabinet to identify alternative energy source opportunities in eastern Kentucky, and we continue to work toward building cooperative research and development opportunities with national laboratories based on the Kentucky-Argonne model that would develop clean coal technologies and alternative energy.  We have also been aggressive in maximizing workforce training opportunities to assist coal industry workers to find jobs.

We are committed to our citizens in eastern Kentucky as we work together to build a more diverse economy in the region to help our workers and their families.”

This post has been updated.

 

]]> http://wfpl.org/kentucky-lowest-ever-quarter-coal-production/feed/ 0 Tonight, Look For A Rare (But Not Quite Blue) Moon http://wfpl.org/tonight-look-for-a-rare-but-not-quite-blue-moon/ http://wfpl.org/tonight-look-for-a-rare-but-not-quite-blue-moon/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 16:30:15 +0000 http://wfpl.org?p=40379&preview_id=40379 The modern definition of a "blue moon" has nothing to do with its color. Read Story

]]> Updated at 11 a.m. ET

Get ready for a very rare event tonight — a blue moon.

But don’t expect to see a new hue. A blue moon, at least according to the modern definition of the term, has nothing to do with color. Instead, it simply means a second full moon in the same calendar month.

As NASA explains in the video above: “Most blue moons appear pale grey and white, just like the moon you’ve seen on any other night.”

And that doesn’t happen very often (the last time was in August 2012, and the next time will be January 2018), so “once in a blue moon” is a phrase still worthy of a rare occurrence.

This month, there was a full moon on July 1 and tonight, the last day of July, there’s another. (Technically, the full moon occurred at 6:43 a.m. ET on Friday, about 20 minutes after it set for the U.S. East Coast, but it can still be again when the moon rises at at 8:23 p.m. ET for Washington, D.C. residents.)

But the meaning of a “blue moon” has changed over time. It originally meant, according to folklore, something more ludicrous than rare. According to a 2012 Sky & Telescope magazine article: “[The] very earliest uses of the term were remarkably like saying the Moon is made of green cheese. Both were obvious absurdities, about which there could be no doubt. ‘He would argue the Moon was blue’ was taken by the average person of the 16th century as we take ‘He’d argue that black is white.’ “

But a secondary definition — the one about two full moons in a month — popped up (as an error, it turned out) in a 1946 issue of Sky & Telescope. Years later, in 1980, the mistake was amplified by the public radio program StarDate, and later, by the board game Trivial Pursuit. It stuck.

Philip Hiscock, a folklorist at Memorial University in Newfoundland, and Texas astronomer Donald W. Olson “helped the magazine sort all this out and admit the mistake back in 1999. The error led to the widely accepted definition of blue moon today: the second full moon in a given month. A blue moon occurs roughly once every 2.7 years,” according to Space.com.

Even so, “on rare occasions, the moon can turn [the color] blue,” according to the NASA video. It says: “A truly blue moon usually requires a volcanic eruption. Back in 1883, for example, people saw blue moons almost every night after the Indonesian volcano Krakatoa exploded with a force of a 100 megaton nuclear bomb.”

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

]]> http://wfpl.org/tonight-look-for-a-rare-but-not-quite-blue-moon/feed/ 0 WFPL’s Tara Anderson Tells Us What It’s Like To Be on ‘Jeopardy’ http://wfpl.org/wfpls-tara-anderson-tells-us-like-jeopardy/ http://wfpl.org/wfpls-tara-anderson-tells-us-like-jeopardy/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 15:54:50 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=40369 This WFPL News reporter is competing on “Jeopardy!” this Friday night. The correct response: Tara Anderson (if it’s in the form of a question, of course). Because WFPL News’ arts and culture reporter Tara Anderson will appear on the long-running … Read Story

]]> Tara_Anderson_AD_07-31-15_SN_7125Jeopardy

This WFPL News reporter is competing on “Jeopardy!” this Friday night.

The correct response: Tara Anderson (if it’s in the form of a question, of course). Because WFPL News’ arts and culture reporter Tara Anderson will appear on the long-running TV quiz show “Jeopardy!” on Friday evening.

Tara took a few minutes to give us a behind-the-scenes take on what it’s like to appear on “Jeopardy!” and meet host Alex Trebek.

Tara said five episodes are filmed at a time—12 contestants are herded into the prep area, and two at a time are taken out to meet first their make-up helper, and then Alex himself, who walks them through not only the game but the oh-so-awkward interview segment near the beginning of the show.

“We rehearsed all of those,” Tara said. “We have to fill out a form with lots of possibilities for the story that you might tell during the interview.”

And there are several more steps before the interview, she said.

She didn’t spill the beans on whether she won or not, but she does also tell us what Trebek and the contestants are talking about when the credits roll.

Listen

The episode airs at 7:30 p.m. Friday on WLKY.

]]> http://wfpl.org/wfpls-tara-anderson-tells-us-like-jeopardy/feed/ 0 Bluegrass Poll: Kentucky Governor’s Race is a Toss-Up http://wfpl.org/bluegrass-poll-kentucky-governors-race-toss/ http://wfpl.org/bluegrass-poll-kentucky-governors-race-toss/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 23:57:30 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=40365 Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway leads Republican Louisville businessman Matt Bevin by a slight margin in the race for governor according to the latest Bluegrass Poll. According to the poll, which is conducted by SurveyUSA on behalf of the Herald-Leader … Read Story

]]> Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway leads Republican Louisville businessman Matt Bevin by a slight margin in the race for governor according to the latest Bluegrass Poll.

According to the poll, which is conducted by SurveyUSA on behalf of the Herald-Leader and WKYT in Lexington and The Courier-Journal and WHAS in Louisville, Conway leads Bevin 45 to 42 percent.

When potential independent candidate Drew Curtis is brought into the mix he takes 8 percent of votes, leaving Conway with 43 percent and Bevin with 38 percent.

Conway has been Kentucky’s Attorney General for the last seven years and famously refused to defend the state’s same-sex marriage ban last year.

20 percent of Democrats polled said they would vote for Bevin instead of Conway. 15 percent of Republicans say they’ll vote for Conway.

Among the 863 registered voters polled, Bevin and Conway fared equally well with male voters, each taking 44 percent. Conway does better among female voters, taking 46 percent to Bevin’s 39 percent.

Conway polled well among the youngest age group, with 42 percent of 18-34 year-olds choosing him versus 36 percent choosing Bevin.

The poll also indicated that current Gov. Steve Beshear has a positive rating in his final year in office, with 51 percent giving him a favorable rating.

 

]]> http://wfpl.org/bluegrass-poll-kentucky-governors-race-toss/feed/ 0 At Memorial Service, Louisville Remembers Kentucky Opera’s David Roth http://wfpl.org/memorial-service-louisville-remembers-kentucky-operas-david-roth/ http://wfpl.org/memorial-service-louisville-remembers-kentucky-operas-david-roth/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 19:53:06 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=40360 Louisville’s artistic community gathered at the Brown Theatre Thursday to honor David Roth, Kentucky Opera’s general director who died unexpectedly on July 19. The memorial included music and remembrances from Roth’s many colleagues and friends, a proclamation from Mayor Greg … Read Story

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David RothKentucky Opera

David Roth

Louisville’s artistic community gathered at the Brown Theatre Thursday to honor David Roth, Kentucky Opera’s general director who died unexpectedly on July 19.

The memorial included music and remembrances from Roth’s many colleagues and friends, a proclamation from Mayor Greg Fischer, and a video that Roth made for the Fund for the Arts in which he spoke about the value of art in the community. Singers Kara Shay Thompson and Jon Burton performed music from the opera “Tosca,” which Roth directed at Kentucky Opera in 2012.

Former Fund for the Arts president Barbara Sexton Smith was the emcee for the event, and she emphasized the connection that Roth had with the Brown Theatre itself.

“Welcome to the Owsley Brown the Second Center for Artistic Excellence, and the WL Lyons Brown Theatre, but we all call this David’s house,” Smith said.

Karl Renninger, past president of the Kentucky Opera board, spoke movingly of Roth, comparing him to Puccini. The composer didn’t live to complete his final opera.

“David didn’t write Italian opera, but he had so much music in him that we will never experience. Last week, his earthly music stopped, and we are stunned,” Renninger said. “But the music must continue, which means that each of us must take up the task and complete David’s masterpiece.”

Roth was a native of Wisconsin and had led the Kentucky Opera since 2006. He was 56 years old.

]]> http://wfpl.org/memorial-service-louisville-remembers-kentucky-operas-david-roth/feed/ 0 In Louisville, a New Technology Helps Children With Spinal Cord Injuries Walk http://wfpl.org/louisville-new-technology-helps-children-spinal-cord-injuries-walk/ http://wfpl.org/louisville-new-technology-helps-children-spinal-cord-injuries-walk/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 19:16:19 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=40311 Four-year-old Evander Conroy was born with a neuroblastoma tumor compressing his spinal cord. Because of the tumor, he’s never been able to move his legs. Now, with physical therapy from a new machine invented in Louisville, Evander has taken his … Read Story

]]> Four-year-old Evander Conroy was born with a neuroblastoma tumor compressing his spinal cord. Because of the tumor, he’s never been able to move his legs.

Now, with physical therapy from a new machine invented in Louisville, Evander has taken his first steps.

The new machine is a small locomotor treadmill designed for children with spinal cord injuries. Similar tools exist for adults, but the machine developed by University of Louisville neurology professor Andrea Behrman along with the university’s Speed School of Engineering is the first designed specifically for children.

Behrman said having children use an adult system is like taking a 22 pound child, giving him an adult bicycle and expecting them to ride it.

“Now, we’re designing a system that works for the child, their size, as well as the clinicians. It’s going to be much more sensitive to his weight, so it interacts with the child’s weight to maintain a constant source of input to him,” she said.

Evander is the first child to use the new system at Frazier Rehab Institute. This is the third summer he and his mother, Clare Conroy, have traveled from Sydney, Australia for physical therapy in Louisville.

Conroy said other doctors’ prospects for her son were grim, but Dr. Behrman’s method gave the family a positive outlook.

“What we’ve found here is some hope and some promise and it’s been a lot of hard work but definitely worth it,” Conroy said.

A team of physical therapists guide Evander,4, in a series of exercises to increase mobility and function in his legs. Ja’Nel Johnson

A team of physical therapists guide Evander, 4, in a series of exercises to increase mobility and function in his legs.

Conroy’s family was told that Evander would never walk, stand, sit up or have active trunk muscles. But after working with Behrman and her team, Evander took his first step at the institute.

“The things he’s doing now we were told he would never do. So, the fact that he’s standing and stepping is…a lot of hard work, but it’s amazing stuff,” Conroy said.

Behrman said Evander has made significant progress over the last three years.

“He’s not yet walking from here to there independently, but he can take steps over ground under the right circumstances. He has much more trunk control than he ever would have had,” Behrman said.

During his five weeks in Louisville, Evander will also participate in research to better understand the muscle activity contributing to his progress for sitting, standing and stepping.

]]> http://wfpl.org/louisville-new-technology-helps-children-spinal-cord-injuries-walk/feed/ 0 SonicBernheim Explores Connections Between Music and Nature http://wfpl.org/sonicbernheim-explores-connections-music-nature/ http://wfpl.org/sonicbernheim-explores-connections-music-nature/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 18:00:01 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=40309 An event at Bernheim Forest on Friday will highlight the connection between music and nature. Composer Allen Anderson will be the featured guest at this month’s edition of SonicBernheim, a lecture and performance series that coordinates with lunar events. Friday … Read Story

]]> An event at Bernheim Forest on Friday will highlight the connection between music and nature.

Composer Allen Anderson will be the featured guest at this month’s edition of SonicBernheim, a lecture and performance series that coordinates with lunar events. Friday is the “blue moon,” or the second full moon in a calendar month.

Anderson, a professor of music composition at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, will deliver a lecture, entitled “Edge of the Stage, Edge of the Wild,” about how classical music composers have used elements from nature in their work. He will then lead a performance of his piece “Over the Mountain,” which includes a group of child percussionists who will improvise much of their parts.

“Their charge is to make the sounds of insects, and sound of air, sound of heat, which won’t be any difficulty on Friday night,” Anderson told Daniel Gilliam of Classical 90.5 WUOL, WFPL’s  sister station.

In addition to the percussion ensemble, the piece is scored for violin (Anderson prefers to use the word “fiddle), double bass, and a narrator.

“The narrator is a child as well. It’s essentially a child’s story that is told with the briefest amount of spoken word but a great deal of musical input,” Anderson said.

SonicBernheim starts at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Education Center.

 

]]> http://wfpl.org/sonicbernheim-explores-connections-music-nature/feed/ 0 This Will Be The First Year a Woman of Color Will Speak at Fancy Farm http://wfpl.org/this-will-be-the-first-year-a-woman-of-color-will-speak-at-fancy-farm/ http://wfpl.org/this-will-be-the-first-year-a-woman-of-color-will-speak-at-fancy-farm/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 16:40:13 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=40321 For decades, Kentucky politicians have gone to a church picnic in a small Western Kentucky community to speak before a rowdily partisan crowd. Practically every major candidate for statewide office in Kentucky has spoken at the Fancy Farm picnic. And, … Read Story

]]> For decades, Kentucky politicians have gone to a church picnic in a small Western Kentucky community to speak before a rowdily partisan crowd.

Practically every major candidate for statewide office in Kentucky has spoken at the Fancy Farm picnic.

And, to the best of anyone’s knowledge, none of them has been a woman of color. That changes this weekend.

Jenean Hampton, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, is slated to be the first woman of color to speak at the annual milestone for Kentucky political campaigns.

Part of the reason this milestone is being met fairly late in the game is because people of color have not had a significant presence in statewide politics, said Dewey Clayton, a political science professor at the University of Louisville. He said it’s a good move for the Republican Party to have a candidate setting milestones.

“When you start doing things like this you are clearly moving down the right path because people need to see people of color—particularly in this state,” Clayton explained. “We often don’t have African Americans at the statewide level.

Clayton said it’s also rare to see woman of any race running for statewide office. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway also has a woman as a running mate this year: Rep. Sannie Overly.

“Women do not play a huge role and have not played a huge role in politics at the state level in Kentucky,” he said. “Yes, we have had women to pop up here and there, but for the most part that role has been reserved for white males.”

Al Cross, the director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, said Kentucky has had just a few statewide African-American candidates before, but he explained many were not actively running in time for Fancy Farm.

“Or they had such a small base of support that they weren’t invited,” Cross said.

Mark Wilson who has been coordinating the event for the past 11 years said he can’t remember there ever being a woman of color speaking on the Fancy Farm stage.

Maurice Sweeney was one of the last people of color to speak at Fancy Farm. He spoke as a Democratic primary candidate in 2009 for a U.S. Senate seat.

]]> http://wfpl.org/this-will-be-the-first-year-a-woman-of-color-will-speak-at-fancy-farm/feed/ 0 Rowan County Denies Liability For County Clerk’s Actions In Marriage License Lawsuit http://wfpl.org/rowan-county-denies-liability-county-clerks-actions-marriage-license-lawsuit/ http://wfpl.org/rowan-county-denies-liability-county-clerks-actions-marriage-license-lawsuit/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 11:00:32 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=40292 The government of Rowan County, Kentucky, has denied any liability for the actions of its county clerk, who stopped issuing marriage licences this summer after the Supreme Court lifted same-sex marriage bans throughout the U.S. Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis and … Read Story

]]> The government of Rowan County, Kentucky, has denied any liability for the actions of its county clerk, who stopped issuing marriage licences this summer after the Supreme Court lifted same-sex marriage bans throughout the U.S.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis and the county are being sued by two same-sex and two opposite-sex couples who were recently denied marriage licenses by Davis’ office.

But in a response filed Wednesday, the county government argues that the clerk “performs a state function and does not act on behalf of, or set policy for, the County.”

The county clerk says her religious convictions prevent her from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and she stopped issuing marriage licenses to all couples to avoid being accused of discrimination.

Davis and her attorneys say that her actions are protected by state and federal religious freedom laws, which prevent the state from burdening an individual’s religious beliefs.

Rowan County is one of at least two Kentucky counties that has stopped issuing marriage licenses following the Supreme Court ruling.

Gov. Steve Beshear has sent several directives to county clerks ordering them to issue marriage licenses to all couples who qualify, no matter their sexual orientation.

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In the response filed on Wednesday, Rowan County stated that “the Governor’s letter speaks for itself and requires no further response from the County.”

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are seeking damages against the county and Davis for “irreparable harms, including harms to their dignity and autonomy, family security, and access to the full spectrum of benefits conferred by the state upon others.”

In the response, Rowan County says that the plaintiffs “had a duty to mitigate their damages and have failed to do so.”

One of Davis’ attorneys, John Christman, accused the plaintiffs of singling out Davis by not getting married in other Kentucky counties.

“This case is by the day becoming much more about forcing Kim Davis as a person as an individual to approve and sign and authorize a marriage that she does not agree to and cannot call and deem marriage,” Christman said last week.

U.S. District Judge David Bunning says that a ruling in the case will come in the week of Aug. 11.

]]> http://wfpl.org/rowan-county-denies-liability-county-clerks-actions-marriage-license-lawsuit/feed/ 0 Kentucky’s Senators Lead Charge to Defund Planned Parenthood http://wfpl.org/kentuckys-senators-lead-charge-to-defund-planned-parenthood/ http://wfpl.org/kentuckys-senators-lead-charge-to-defund-planned-parenthood/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 20:27:40 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=40296 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky are backing an effort to completely strip federal funds from Planned Parenthood. The chain of health clinics is currently under fire over a controversial video that purported to show that the … Read Story

]]> Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky are backing an effort to completely strip federal funds from Planned Parenthood.

The chain of health clinics is currently under fire over a controversial video that purported to show that the organization sells aborted fetal tissue. The video was obtained during an activist’s sting operation, and Planned Parenthood officials argue the footage was heavily edited.

There is a call for health officials to investigate claims raised by the videos.

But ahead of formal findings, GOP Senate leaders—with McConnell and Paul, a presidential candidate, at the forefront— are quickly working to remove all Title X funds from the organization.

This week, McConnell announced that he asked Sens. Paul, Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, to draft legislation to defund Planned Parenthood. During a press conference at the Capitol Wednesday, a group of Republican senators threw their support for the proposed legislation.

Paul took time off from his presidential campaign to attend the press conference and argued thousands of community health centers across the U.S. could take over the health care services Planned Parenthood is currently providing.

“There is absolutely no need for absolutely for any public funding of Planned Parenthood,” he said. “There is no excuse for it and we should end all funding for Planned Parenthood.”

GOP U.S. Senators speak at Wednesday's press conference.Screengrab

GOP U.S. Senators speak at Wednesday’s press conference.

Local Planned Parenthood officials said this legislation could hurt thousands of low-income people in Kentucky and Indiana. In a statement, the group said they operate health centers in Louisville, Lexington and New Albany, which “all benefit from Title X family planning funds.”

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky’s spokeswoman Tammy Lieber said that funding helps “low-income women and men receive preventive reproductive health care, including Pap tests, breast and testicular cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing and treatment, and annual wellness exams.”

She said combined those three health centers in Kentucky and Indiana saw 6,715 patients last year, more than 70 percent of which have incomes below 150 percent of the federal poverty level.

McConnell said he has fast tracked the bill.

“This will ensure that taxpayer dollars that are supposed to be spent on women’s health are in fact spent on women’s health,” he said during Wednesday’s press conference. “It will ensure we funding that and some scandal plagued organization.

Senators will vote on it next week.

]]> http://wfpl.org/kentuckys-senators-lead-charge-to-defund-planned-parenthood/feed/ 0 Downtown Louisville Omni Development Gets Panel’s OK, With Caveats http://wfpl.org/downtown-louisville-omni-development-gets-panels-ok-caveats/ http://wfpl.org/downtown-louisville-omni-development-gets-panels-ok-caveats/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 19:59:50 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=40285 Plans to construct a 30-story Omni Hotel complex in downtown Louisville are moving forward after gaining approval on Wednesday—with some caveats—from a city review panel. The Downtown Development Review Overlay committee voted 6-2 at to approve the near $300-million development plan, … Read Story

]]> Plans to construct a 30-story Omni Hotel complex in downtown Louisville are moving forward after gaining approval on Wednesday—with some caveats—from a city review panel.

The Downtown Development Review Overlay committee voted 6-2 at to approve the near $300-million development plan, which will include a hotel, apartments and retail. Committee members approved the plan with eight added conditions.

The conditions include a call to incorporate public art in the final design, to construct glass garage doors on the loading dock and to report any significant archaeological finds during construction.

Committee member Scott Kremer voted against approving the plan.

He said developers need “to do a little more work” in order to meet the requests voiced by residents and committee members during nearly eight hours of public discussion spanning two meetings this month.

Kremer said the conditions approved will provide only slight differences in the originally presented plan.

“There’ll still be  loading dock there there’ll still probably be a lack of retail storefront, so did we make the difference there I’m not sure. Did we fight for it? Absolutely,” he said.

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omni 1Here Are The Details Of The Downtown Louisville Omni Development

Kemer said the lack of an engaging streetscape along Third Street will not create a good experience for pedestrians.

Omni representatives, Louisville Forward deputy chief Jeff Mosley and Develop Louisville director Jim Mims hurried out of the meeting and declined to comment on the conditions set forth by the review committee. Mosely and Mims worked closely with Omni on the project.

A spokesperson for the city’s economic development department also declined to comment.

The review committee also approved plans to remove the old Louisville Water Co. building which has set on the site of the development for more than a century.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said he’s “pleased with the enhancements” presented by Omni developers.

Earlier this week, Omni revealed reworked plans that include windows along Third Street. Initial plans featured a wall along Third Street.

Eddie Abeyta, chief architect on the project, said the Third Street side of the development will also be fortified and built in a way so that it can accommodate retail spaces in the future, if the need arises.

Omni will next take their plans to the Board of Zoning Adjustment for approval before they can apply for construction permits. Mosley said the aim is to break ground by early 2016 and have the hotel, retail and apartments open for business by March 2018.

 

]]> http://wfpl.org/downtown-louisville-omni-development-gets-panels-ok-caveats/feed/ 0 GE Plant Fire Probe Finds Problems With Sprinklers, Hydrants http://wfpl.org/ge-plant-fire-probe-finds-problems-sprinklers-hydrants/ http://wfpl.org/ge-plant-fire-probe-finds-problems-sprinklers-hydrants/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 19:17:10 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=40286 An outdated sprinkler system, alarms that didn’t activate properly and inoperable fire hydrants contributed to the intensity of an April fire at General Electric’s Appliance Park that destroyed a giant warehouse. The Courier-Journal reports an investigation by Louisville Metro’s Arson … Read Story

]]> An outdated sprinkler system, alarms that didn’t activate properly and inoperable fire hydrants contributed to the intensity of an April fire at General Electric’s Appliance Park that destroyed a giant warehouse.

The Courier-Journal reports an investigation by Louisville Metro’s Arson squad says the company had been warned of the problems more than a year ago by an insurer. Among other things, that warning said the building’s 1950s-era sprinklers would not be able to handle a fire stoked by the heat of burning plastic parts.

GE is disputing the arson squad’s report, saying it contains factual errors. GE also says there was nothing that could have been done to save the building.

Neighbors and a clean-up contractor have sued GE over the blaze.

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]]> http://wfpl.org/ge-plant-fire-probe-finds-problems-sprinklers-hydrants/feed/ 0 After 50 Years, Medicaid Continues to Help Kentuckians, Official Says http://wfpl.org/50-years-medicaid-continues-help-kentuckians-official-says/ http://wfpl.org/50-years-medicaid-continues-help-kentuckians-official-says/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 19:16:51 +0000 http://wfpl.org/?p=40261 Fifty years ago Thursday, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid. into law, initially creating programs to provide health care to the elderly and the poor. The programs have been through many changes over the years. In Kentucky, the expansion … Read Story

]]> Fifty years ago Thursday, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid. into law, initially creating programs to provide health care to the elderly and the poor.

The programs have been through many changes over the years. In Kentucky, the expansion of Medicaid in recent years has drastically reduced the number of uninsured individuals in the state.

Prior to implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2013, Kentucky’s uninsured rate was 20.4 percent. Now, the state has the second largest drop in uninsured individuals in the country at 9.8 percent.

The Medicaid expansion has played a big role in that.

Cost had long been a barrier to receiving health care for low-income individuals and minorities, said Carrie Banahan, executive director of the Kentucky health care exchange Kynect.

“Before the Affordable Care Act we didn’t have the Medicaid expansion, and the only way individuals could obtain health insurance is if they purchased it through the commercial health insurance markets, which were very,very,very expensive,” she said.

Earlier this year, a report analyzed Medicaid expansion in Kentucky. It found a total of 310,887 people enrolled in Medicaid in 2014.

The report also found the expansion had economic benefits for the state, as well. In 2014, more than 12,000 jobs were created with nearly half of them being in health care and social services. More than 40,000 jobs with an average salary of $41,000 are expected to be created by 2021.

The net economic impact to the state is estimated at $30 billion over eight years.

“And with the expansion where individuals are covered at 138 percent of the federal poverty line—that’s about $16,000 for a single individual—it’s giving people who have lower incomes, maybe making minimum wage jobs an opportunity to have healthcare coverage for the first time,” Banahan said.

 

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