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Local News
7:00 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Kentucky Wildcats are No. 1 in the State — in Specialty License Plates

Credit Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

The Louisville Cardinals and Kentucky Wildcats kickoff their annual football game Saturday with the team in red as big favorites. But, if you're heading to Lexington—or just driving around the state—what type of license plates are you most likely to see?

Well, University of Kentucky plates. The UK logo is on 25,533 specialty license plates, according to  2012 data provided to WFPL from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

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Politics
11:18 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Louisville Ordinance to Prohibit 4 a.m. Alcohol Sales Sent Back to Committee

Credit Creative Commons

In a bipartisan decision, the Louisville Metro Council voted 16-10 to send an ordinance limiting when liquor and wine can be sold back to committee.

The legislation would've prohibited liquor stores from selling wine and distilled spirits from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., but a proposed amendment that sought to ban late night beer sales put the measure on hold.

Joined by constituents who favor the bill, Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton, D-5, argued that cutting off alcohol sales at 2 a.m. would help reduce crime and spur economic development in the West End, where most of the late-night liquor stores are concentrated.

"We have to take control of our neighborhoods (and) this is a related issue," Hamilton said. "There are 13 districts here that don't have this problem. Seven of us have an inordinate amount of package liquor stores that have with them the alcohol and drug-related arrests."

But the exemption of beer sales in the ordinance did not sit well with many council members and was roundly criticized by Democrats and Republicans for being unfair to businesses.

"The present ordinance before us deals strictly with packaged liquor and wine. It does not deal with beer, and beer is alcohol. It’s as simple as that," said Councilman Brent Ackerson, D-26, adding he agrees with lawmakers about the problems those stores create. "If a person can’t buy their vodka or their bourbon, they are going to turn to buy a beer. So if we are going to truly address the problem, the problem needs to be addressed across the board and that is alcohol sales after 2 a.m."

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Education
5:05 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

U of L Hiring Auditor, Consolidating Management To Improve Financial Oversight

Credit File photo

The University of Louisville has announced it will hire a firm to look into the school’s financial management.

The board’s decision Thursday is a response to allegations by the IRS that a high-level employee wrote himself checks in excess of $2 million.

U of L spokesman Mark Hebert says the firm will review all internal audits for the past several years, review personnel with financial responsibilities and recommend whether more oversight is needed.

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Politics
3:14 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Rand Paul, James Comer to Notify Justice Department That Hemp Permits May Start in Kentucky

James Comer
Credit File photo

Sen. Rand Paul and Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer are playing a game of chicken with the federal government over the growing of industrial hemp in the state.

Encouraged by the state’s Industrial Hemp Commission, Comer and Paul plan to draft a letter to U.S. Department of Justice indicating that Kentucky will proceed with adopting regulations and issuing permits for farmers to begin planting the controversial crop as early as next February, unless they are told otherwise.

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Politics
3:00 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Mitch McConnell Looks to Reclaim Anti-Obamacare Narrative from Conservative Critics

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

Speaking on the Senate floor Thursday, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky called for a one-year delay to Obamacare for all Americans as its implementation approaches.

The move comes as public support for the president's health care law is waning, including public criticism from labor unions who call it "highly disruptive."

But McConnell's renewed push against the law is also a political calculation back home. It is an attempt to counter-punch a growing chorus of conservative activists and a primary opponent who argue the GOP leader isn't doing enough to de-fund it.

A recent CNN poll shows support for the Affordable Care Act dropped 12 point since January, with just under 40 percent saying they favor the law.

The survey found support plummeted the most among women and Americans who earn less than $50,000 annually.

McConnell says that is a sign Congress must heed, and urged lawmakers to give individuals and families a reprieve as the administration is doing for businesses.

"We need to pass a one-year delay of Obamacare for everyone. That’s what the amendment I’ve filed will do," McConnell said. "And then enact what Kentuckians and Americans really need: a full repeal of this job-killing mess of a law. And that’s just what I intend to keep fighting for."

The senator's amendment to do just that has been attached to an energy bill, and is being co-sponsored by a handful Republican senators 

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Local News
2:44 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Kentucky Lawmaker Calls for Review of Legislature's Workplace Policies

Rep. Sannie Overly
Overly campaign

State Rep. Sannie Overly is calling for an independent review of the legislature's policies regarding workplace behavior in the wake of sexual harassment complaints against a western Kentucky lawmaker. 

Overly, chairwoman of the House Democratic Caucus, said Wednesday she intends to file a bill next year to mandate the review and create a new personnel system that would ensure a harassment-free workplace. 

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Education
1:18 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Kentucky—and Most States—are Spending Less Per Student Than Before the Recession, Report Says

Credit Shutterstock.com

Kentucky lags behind its peers for funding its public education system since the recession, a new report from the Washington-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows.

The report released Thursday shows 34 states provide less per-student funding than they did in 2008. Of those, 15 states are giving less than they did a year ago.

Kentucky is among both these groups.

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Local News
12:15 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Charts | Louisville Alcohol-Related Arrests by Metro Council District

Credit Shutterstock.com

The Louisville Metro Council tonight will consider a proposal that cuts off packaged liquor sales at 2 a.m. (At the moment, the limit is 4 a.m.) Stores need a special permit to stay open until 4 a.m., and the majority of them are in West Louisville.

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Politics
6:49 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Fundraiser List, Emails Raise Questions About Former Indiana Schools Superintendent Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett
Credit fldoe.org

INDIANAPOLIS — Former Indiana schools chief Tony Bennett faces scrutiny over the discovery of lists of Republican fundraisers on Department of Education servers and emails he sent directing staff to dissect a speech by Democrat Glenda Ritz.

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Environment
6:31 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Judge: Kentucky Power Plant Permit Must be Reworked

LG&E's Trimble County Power Station
Credit Erica Peterson / WFPL

A Franklin County judge is ordering state officials to rework a water permit for a Trimble County power plant that discharges into the Ohio River.

The ruling by Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd says the state's Energy and Environment Cabinet failed to conduct the correct analysis for scrubber wastewater at the plant.

Environmentalists had challenged the Trimble County Generating Station's permit, saying it did not properly control toxic pollutants like arsenic and mercury going into the river. The power plant is owned by LG&E in Louisville.

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