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Local News
3:51 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to Name New State Auditor Thursday

Tim Berry stepped down as Indiana's State Auditor this week to become chair of the state Republican Party
Indiana state government

Indiana’s new state auditor will be announced Thursday. 

Governor Mike Pence is naming a replacement for Tim Berry, who resigned this week to become the new Indiana Republican Party chairman.   

Pence appointed Berry to that post last month.

The new auditor will serve the remainder of Berry’s term through 2014, but Pence has said he wants Berry’s replacement to seek a full, four-year term.

Pence will announce his choice tomorrow morning at the Indiana Statehouse.  He has interviewed at least six people for the job.

Politics
3:47 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Rand Paul Says No Evidence of Racial Discrimination in Elections

U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky.
Credit U.S. Senate

Speaking at the Louisville Forum this week, Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., says there is no evidence that African-Americans are being barred from U.S. elections more than whites.

The comments come as several civil rights leaders announce they are launching a 50-state project aimed at reviving a historic law after the Supreme Court struck down a key part of it this year.

Many proponents argue a recent voter ID law in North Carolina is an example of legislation that wouldn’t have passed if the full Voting Rights Act was intact. Both the ACLU and NAACP have filed a pair of lawsuits alleging the state law is aimed at suppressing minority voters in upcoming elections.

Paul says there was once a time for the Voting Rights Act and there is still justification for the federal government to intervene if an individual's civil rights are violated.

But Kentucky's junior senator says any new provisions shouldn’t focus on southern states based on past cases of discrimination.

"The interesting thing about voting patterns now is in this last election African-Americans voted at a higher percentage than whites in almost every one of the states that were under the special provisions of the federal government," he says. "So really, I don't think there is objective evidence that we're precluding African-Americans from voting any longer."

In 2012, census figures showed black voter turnout was around 66 percent compared 64 percent among whites.

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Arts and Humanities
3:42 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Musical Brings Songs to Life After Near-Death Experience

Jordan Price as composer Gordon with Jason Cooper as children's television show character Mr. Bungee in CenterStage's "A New Brain."
Ben Goldenberg CenterStage

CenterStage at the Jewish Community Center opens a musical about creativity, legacy and brain surgery this week. "A New Brain," by the Tony Award-winning creative team behind "Falsettos," chronicles the creative struggles of a composer diagnosed with a terminal brain disorder.

“It is an obscure musical," says artistic director John Leffert, who also directs. "I think the subject matter scares people away.” 

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Education
2:45 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Report: Louisville Improves Standing for College Degree-Holders (But We're Still Behind)

Credit Shutterstock.com

In the Louisville area, 25.4 percent of adults have a bachelor's degree—moving Louisville ahead of two peer cities in an annual progress report on educational attainment.

But even with that progress toward the city's top economic development goal, Louisville still ranks 14th out of 16. In last year's report, Louisville ranked last.

The KentuckianaWorks Human Capital Scorecard—released Wednesday—looked at Census data from 2009 to 2011.

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Environment
1:42 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Natural Gas Liquids Pipeline Explodes in Illinois

Think Progress

Earlier this week, a natural gas liquids pipeline exploded in western Illinois. This pipeline was a different diameter than the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline (10 inches, rather than 24 inches), and it wasn't owned by either of the two companies involved in the Bluegrass Pipeline (Williams and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners). Even so, it provides a reminder of the safety hazards associated with NGL pipelines.

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Local News
1:22 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Grandstand Terrace Project Underway at Churchill Downs

A warehouse area behind the grandstand is taken down to make way for the new Grandstand Terrace at Churchill Downs
Rick Howlett

Work is underway on the creation of a new venue for racing fans at Churchill Downs.

Demolition has begun to make way for the $14.5 million Grandstand Terrace.    It’s scheduled for completion in time for next year’s Kentucky Derby.   

The project will add 2,400 seats and more amenities to the grandstand at the head of the track’s homestretch that also overlooks the Kentucky Derby starting gate.

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Environment
11:56 am
Wed August 14, 2013

County Fiscal Court Opposition to Bluegrass Pipeline Grows

Opponents of the Bluegrass Pipeline gathered at the Capitol last week.
Erica Peterson WFPL

Washington County has passed a formal resolutions opposing the construction of a natural gas liquids pipeline across Kentucky, and the Woodford County fiscal court has unanimously voted to allow the county attorney to draft a resolution. This brings the total number of counties passing or considering similar resolutions to six: Franklin, Marion, Scott and Anderson counties have approved measures over the past few weeks.

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Politics
11:02 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Louisville Tea Party President Warns McConnell Attack Ad Could Benefit Bevin

Senator Mitch McConnell at a Tea Party rally in Frankfort, Ky.
Credit Kenny Colston / Kentucky Public Radio

The president of the Louisville Tea Party says local members could endorse Senate Republican candidate Matt Bevin over incumbent Mitch McConnell in the GOP primary after she was featured in an online attack ad.

A web ad released by the McConnell campaign this week questioned Bevin's conservative credentials and affiliation with the Tea Party.

The online spot also points out Bevin has donated to Democrats, namely $500 to Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer in his 2010 primary battle. It shows he gave another $250 to Wendy Caswell, who is a registered Democrat but also a founder and current president of the Tea Party in Louisville.

Caswell ran for state House last year. She says the spot is misleading because she ran as a fiscal conservative with no Republican in the race, adding McConnell is alienating local Tea Party members.

"I don't know how you can make an ad that in the beginning says Bevin has never supported the Tea Party and then in the next instance show my face and I'm the president of the Tea Party. That's pretty contradictory," she says. "I was really surprised, but this certainly isn’t the way to get the Tea Party involved or excited about your election."

Thus far the Tea Party movement in the state has been decidedly behind Bevin, with a group of over a dozen groups under the United Kentucky Tea Party backing him over McConnell.

But the GOP leader retains the support of fellow Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and was endorsed by the former vice president of the Louisville Tea Party last month.

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Local News
7:17 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Two Dead in UPS Cargo Plane Crash in Birmingham

National Transportation Safety Board

A federal aviation official says a large UPS cargo plane has crashed near an airport in Birmingham, Ala.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen tells The Associated Press that the A300 plane crashed on approach to the airport before dawn Wednesday.

Bergen says the plane was en route from Louisville to Birmingham.

Few other details were immediately available.

Bergen says she had no information on injuries.

Update: 10:51 a.m.

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Local News
7:29 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Louisville Metro Police: VIPER Unit Has Helped Reduce Violent Crime in First Year

Credit Shutterstock.com

  Louisville Metro Police's VIPER Unit has helped reduce violent crime in nine out of 10 areas they've targeted, and they've also helped with the confiscation of 270 illegal guns—half of which were in the hands of convicted felons, officials said.

Police officials updated the Louisville Metro Council's Public Safety Committee on Tuesday as the VIPER UNIT approaches the one-year-anniversary of its creation.

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