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Local News
11:31 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Kentucky's Health Insurance Marketplace Back Online After Experiencing Technical Problems

UPDATE: 3:50 pm: Kentucky officials says the technical issues have been fixed and the state's online health insurance exchange known as kynect (sounds like 'connect') is up and running.

"The Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange system was thoroughly tested prior to Oct. 1, however, the issue discovered today could not be replicated within the test environment," officials say.

Activity on kynect as of 2:30 p.m. Oct. 1 (info from Cabinet for Health and Family Services)

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Politics
11:17 am
Tue October 1, 2013

In Lawsuits, Kentucky Statehouse Employees Claim Sexual Harassment, Retaliation

Attorneys filing lawsuit with clients Cassaundra Cooper and Yolanda Costner.
Credit Jonathan Meador/WFPL News

FRANKFORT — In the latest salvo in the sexual misconduct allegations in the Kentucky General Assembly, three Statehouse staffers filed lawsuits Tuesday against two state legislators, claiming sexual harassment and retaliation.

The lawsuits also name the Legislative Research Commission as a defendant. The lawsuit filed against former state Rep. John A. Arnold Jr. also names House Speaker Greg Stumbo, claiming he didn't prioritize an investigation into sexual harassment claims.

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Local News
9:00 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Jimmy Carter and Others to Receive Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award in Louisville

Muhammad Ali
Credit Ira Rosenberg / Wikimedia Commons

Former President Jimmy Carter and singer Christina Aguilera will be among the first recipients of the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards.

The awards will be handed out  Thursday evening at the Muhammad Ali Center in downtown Louisville. 

Carter will be recognized with the Muhammad Ali Lifetime Achievement Award for his efforts in humanitarian rights. Others include singer Christina Aguilera, who’ll receive the Humanitarian of the Year Award for her efforts to end world hunger.

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Local News
6:00 am
Tue October 1, 2013

WFPL Panel Discussion on 'Building a Healthier Louisville' Today

Credit Shutterstock.com

Last month, the Greater Louisville Project released a study that said how long residents live depends largely on their level of educational attainment and their neighborhood. 

City leaders said they wanted the study to galvanize residents to act upon the health issues facing Louisville. 

The study will be the topic of a WFPL panel discussion  on Monday in Louisville Public Media's performance studio.

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Politics
9:59 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Mitch McConnell: 'Americans Don't Want a Government Shutdown and They Don't Want Obamacare'

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.,
Credit U.S. Senate

Hours away from a government shutdown, the Democratic-controlled Senate once again rejected a House Republican spending plan that seeks to delay the president's health care law.

The party line 54-46 vote continues the back-and-forth between the two chambers with less than three hours before the midnight deadline.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky also repeated his statement blaming Senate Democrats as a partial shutdown appeared inevitable.

From McConnell's office:

"Americans don’t want a government shutdown and they don’t want Obamacare. But Senate Democrats have once again blocked a House-passed bill to keep the government open while protecting Americans from the consequences of Obamacare.

The fact that the President is unilaterally granting waivers to some Americans but not others shows that even he doesn’t think Obamacare is ready for primetime. There is bipartisan support for providing the same treatment to individuals and families that the White House has already given employers.

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Politics
7:10 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Acknowledging GOP Will Be Blamed, Congressman Thomas Massie Describes Shutdown as 'Not a Big Deal'

Congressman Thomas Massie, R-Ky.,
Credit U.S. Congress

Rep.Thomas Massie acknowledges Republicans will face the brunt of the blame if the government shuts down at midnight.

But the freshman lawmaker from Kentucky's Fourth District says constituents have told him it is "not a big deal" if certain federal agencies and functions close.

"I’m certain we'll get blamed for it," Massie told WFPL this afternoon. "But that’s also (Senate Democratic Leader) Harry Reid’s motive for running out the clock today. And they’re hoping there is a shutdown for their own political gain."

On Monday afternoon, the Senate once again rejected a House spending bill backed by Republicans, which sought to delay Obamacare by one year and repeal the medical device tax.

This was slightly different measure than an earlier GOP pitch to take out funding for the Affordable Care Act altogether.

Democrats have made it clear any efforts to undermine the health care law are a non-starter, however.

Polling figures show 46 percent of Americans would blame congressional Republicans if a shutdown takes place. The same survey finds 36 percent believe the Democrats and president would be responsible.

The political backlash isn't lost on a group of moderate House Republicans who are reportedly planning a revolt against GOP leadership and more conservative members.

Massie is part of a group in the House members who spoke with Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas who strategized to oppose House Speaker John Boehner's plan. Asked about the impact on Kentucky, he told WFPL a partial shutdown will have limited real world effects.

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Local News
5:47 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

U of L Gets $23 Million in Grants for Tobacco Research

The University of Louisville will receive or oversee more than $23 million in grants for tobacco-related research.

Most of the funds will be used to establish the Tobacco Regulation and Addiction Center.  Its work on the health effects of tobacco will be used to help shape FDA regulation of tobacco products.   U of L will also oversee the allocation of funds to six other universities for the same purpose.

Environment
4:52 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

University of Kentucky Awarded Federal Grant to Develop Carbon Capture Technology

Erica Peterson WFPL

The University of Kentucky will receive nearly $3 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to further develop technologies that can reduce the emission of green house gases from coal-fired power plants. 

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Local News
4:23 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Greater Louisville Inc. Undergoes 'Organizational Change,' Senior Staff Reportedly Cut

Richard Craig
Credit File photo

The administration of Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer doesn't believe that reported staff cuts to Greater Louisville Inc. will harm economic development initiatives for the city.

Greater Louisville Inc. officials confirmed that the organization had endured "organizational change." GLI board chairman Kerry Stemler blamed the situation on the economy and a new agenda for GLI under CEO Craig Richard, who arrived in November 2012.

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Local News
3:00 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Ohio River Bridges Crews Reach New 'Milestone' Phase for Downtown Crossing

Credit Ohio River Bridges Project

Crews on the downtown crossing of the Ohio River Bridges Project have begun a new phase of construction that project officials are calling a milestone. This is the first work in the project that is primarily above the surface of the water and will be visible to residents.

Max Rowland, the project manager with Walsh Construction, said setting the first of six concrete and steel tubs over foundation shafts on Thursday was met with ideal conditions and the 243,000 pound tub “fit like a glove.”

“We just hope the next five go as well as this first one did,” he said.

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