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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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Arts and Humanities
10:57 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Updated: Jennifer Lawrence Nominated for SAG Award, Golden Globe for 'American Hustle'

Jennifer Lawrence in "American Hustle"
Credit Columbia Pictures

Louisville native Jennifer Lawrence was nominated Wednesday for a Screen Actors Guild for her supporting role in the upcoming drama "American Hustle."

The film stars Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and Amy Adams and regards the Abscam scandal in the 1970s. Lawrence plays the wife of a con man played by Bale.

"American Hustle" slated for release later this month. Here's a trailer:

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Local News
8:30 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Kentuckians Urged to Get Flu Vaccine

Credit Shutterstock.com

The Centers for Disease Control is focusing on flu prevention this week as part of National Influenza Vaccination Week.

Complications with the flu result in nearly 23,000 deaths annually, according to reports from the CDC.

Louisville health officials said the best way to avoid the virus is prevention and a flu shot is the best method of prevention.

Dr. Ron Waldrige, physician executive with KentuckyOne Health, said the vaccine is recommended for everybody from “birth to 100 years old.”

“We encourage everyone to get flu vaccines,” he said.

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Environment
6:55 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Hollowed Mountains, Now Hollowed Towns: Coal in Eastern Kentucky

A truck in Harlan, Ky., proclaims its support for coal and coal miners.
Credit Erica Peterson/WFPL News

HARLAN—People in Eastern Kentucky are used to the ups and downs of a coal-based economy. Prices plummet. Production slows down. Coal miners get laid off. Several months later, prices rise. The phone rings. Miners pick up their helmets and go back to work.

We're in one of those slumps now—but, this time, things are different. In the hardest-hit counties, the bumpers of heavy-duty Ford pickup trucks still host Friends of Coal license plates, next to stickers telling other drivers that coal keeps the lights on. But the winding mountain roads are a little quieter.

You can drive miles without seeing one of the lumbering coal trucks that, for years, carried away the region’s resources.

Coal is embedded into the culture and image of Eastern Kentucky, but the industry is declining in the region. And it's declining permanently. The coal miners—who've known coal through the generations—are being left behind.

Kentucky political leaders largely resort to finger-pointing and rhetoric. 

The coal miners, however, are left with few options but to adapt.

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Politics
9:31 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Republican Suzanne Miles to Replace Democrat John Arnold in Kentucky House

Suzanne Miles
Credit milesforky.com

Republican Suzanne Miles has won a special election in Kentucky’s 7th House District.

Miles, an Owensboro field representative for GOP Rep. Brett Guthrie, earned over 3,500 votes in her race against Democrat Kim Humphrey, community affairs director for Alliance Coal.

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