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1:02 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Kentucky's Intersection of Religion, Energy and the Environment

Sister Claire McGowan, one of the authors of the Energy Vision statement, speaking Tuesday at the Interfaith Prayer Ritual on Boone Farm in Nelson County, Ky.
Credit Courtesy of Diane Curtis/Sister of Charity of Nazareth

Most of the snow from a string of storms over the past week had evaporated in Nelson County, Ky., Tuesday afternoon when more than 60 concerned people, many of them Roman Catholic nuns, gathered on the Boone Family Farm to declare an Energy Vision, and with it they hope to launch a nationwide movement to oppose the practice of “fracking” for natural gas and the transport of its byproducts through pipelines. Their region known as the Kentucky Holy Land contains extensive land holdings by various religious orders. The stewards of these many acres understand that with land comes power, and a good number of them are dedicated to use that power to stop what they see as an onslaught against the earth’s sacred soil, sacred air and sacred water as well as the safety and well-being of human communities.

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Local News
12:26 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Kentucky Corrections Department Addresses DNA Collection Problems

Credit Creative Commons

The Kentucky Department of Corrections has outlined a plan to remedy a faulty DNA collection system for convicted felons months after the Office of the Inspector General reported that more than 16,000 DNA samples were missing.

In 2009, the state legislature passed a bill requiring the collection of DNA samples from convicted felons. So the Department of Corrections delegated that responsibility to its probation and parole officers. But this summer, the inspector general's  investigation found that that this wasn’t happening.

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Media Critic
6:54 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Media Critic: Louisville TV News Stations Devote 40 Percent of Their Time to Crime Reporting

Credit Shutterstock.com

Each October, journalism students at duPont Manual High School watch 20 days of local television news, categorize the types of stories they see, and compile the results. In my second and third columns for WFPL, I discussed their main finding from October 2012, which is that local TV news is swamped with crime coverage.

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Local News
5:18 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad Discusses Racial Disparity in Marijuana Arrest

Steve Conrad
Credit File photo

Racial disparities in marijuana arrests have more to do with the neighborhoods where Louisville Metro Police focuses its attention than with race, Chief Steve Conrad says.

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Education
5:17 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

JCPS Says 67 'School of Innovation' Commitment Letters Received

Credit Hanna-Barbera

Jefferson County Public Schools has received 67 letters of intent to design the first ever School of Innovation.

When JCPS announced its School of Innovation Design Competition last month officials  told the public to think big.  They said any individual or group could submit an  idea, which will be due at the end of January.

The proposals can include suggestions on new ways to educate. City innovation director Ted Smith says the ideas should "make us gasp."

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Politics
5:09 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Kentucky Lawmakers Select National Conference of State Legislatures to Conduct Audit

Credit File photo

  FRANKFORT—Lawmakers approved an audit of the state’s largest bureaucracy Wednesday.

A panel of Kentucky lawmakers voted 9-5 to hire the National Conference of State Legislatures to conduct an audit of the Legislative Research Commission, an agency that provides research and support staff to the General Assembly.

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Arts and Humanities
3:52 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Angels and Jockeys and Rats, Oh My: The Kids of Louisville Ballet's 'Nutcracker'

The young jockeys dance out from under Madame Derby's skirts.
Credit Peter Mueller / Louisville Ballet

Every holiday season during “The Brown-Forman Nutcracker,” the Louisville Ballet’s cast swells with student dancers. This year, there are 118 spread over two casts. They play Christmas party kids, angels, tiny soldiers and rats – some are as young as seven years old.

WFPL’s Erin Keane goes backstage to visit the jockeys during rehearsal and chats all things Nutcracker with Christine Carrigan, a long-time volunteer who works as the children's cast coordinator, and Helen Daigle, a company dancer who choreographs the student dancers. 

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Education
2:51 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Kentucky School Tax Revenue Varies Widely Between Rich And Poor Districts

Credit Shutterstock.com

A non-partisan economic policy group has released a report showing large gaps in per-student funding among school districts that approved tax increases this year.

Around half of Kentucky school boards approved the maximum 4 percent property tax increase to help fund public schools.

That's partly because the state hasn’t raised per-pupil funding for a number of years. 

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Local News
12:29 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

News Special at 1 p.m. Today: Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad

Steve Conrad
Credit File photo

Statistics point to a declining trend for crime in Metro Louisville, but concerns about violence endure.

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Local News
12:00 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Housing Coalition Says Louisville Should Change Zoning Laws

Officials with the Metropolitan Housing Coalition say lawmakers should consider changing zoning laws to embrace new residential patterns that have emerged, which could consequently have a positive impact on public education outcomes. 

It can be controversial to change zoning laws, says MHC executive director Cathy Hinko.

“You own property, you’re kind of afraid of change, rightfully so. You want to be convinced that it’s the logical thing to do, it’s in the best interest of you, your family, your community," she says.

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