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Local News
5:30 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Food Stamp Benefits to Decrease for Nearly 870,000 Kentuckians

Credit File photo

Nearly 870,000 Kentuckians will see a decrease in their food stamp benefits as federal recovery dollars dry up.

As of next month, eligible Kentucky households will experience on average a 5.5 percent reduction in food stamps.

The effects on those families ranges from about $20 to $36 per month, depending upon household size, said Mark Cornett, deputy commissioner in the Health and Family Services Cabinet.

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Politics
10:41 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Louisville Metro Council Eliminates 4 a.m. Alcohol Sales

Credit Creative Commons

After a long and emotional debate, the Louisville Metro Council moved to outlaw alcohol purchases at retail package stores after 2 a.m. by a 15-7 vote.

The ordinance effectively eliminates special licenses allowing sales up to 4 a.m. except for bars and restaurants in an effort aimed at curbing crime and attracting economic development.

Council members kicked the measure back to committee last month over objections to an exemption that would have still allowed beer to be sold up to 4 a.m.

During the council meeting Thursday evening, the debate centered on whether to exempt businesses such as Thortons gas stations, which sell alcoholic beverages but make most of their money on other items.

A committee amendment proposed allowing retailers where non-alcoholic beverages make up less than 50 percent of their revenue to avoid the ban. But supporters of the ordinance argued that would ultimately dilute the measure.

Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton, D-5, who sponsored the measure, says the concentration of liquor and convenience stores in her west Louisville district are the source of blight, crime and deter development.

"I have to leave my neighborhood to get the amenities that you enjoy every day," said Hamilton. "We can't get the businesses to locate in our neighborhoods. So we've been trying to clean up our neighborhoods and revitalize our neighborhoods. We've been investing millions of dollars block-by-block, protest letters and I don't know how much else we have to do."

Opponents of the measure included local liquor store owners and convenience chain representatives who said it was unfair to allow bars and restaurants to serve alcohol after 2 a.m. They also say a liquor ban is a scapegoat and won't address the real problems in the West End or other areas.

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Local News
5:01 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Mississippi Man Accused of Trying to Extort University of Louisville Athletics

Credit University of Louisville athletics

A Mississippi man is under a federal indictment on charges that he attempted to extort the University of Louisville athletics.

Thomas E. Ray, 35, of Jackson, Miss., was indicted this month on a single count of extortion, said the U.S. district attorney's office in Louisville. The indictment was unsealed on Thursday following Ray's arrest.

Authorities allege that Ray adopted an alias—Melinda White—and sent emails from Jackson to Kentucky in April attempting to extort $3.5 million by threatening the reputation of the UofL Athletics Association.

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Arts and Humanities
4:36 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Gershwin Expert Kevin Cole Plays with Louisville Orchestra on 'Rhapsody in Blue'

Kevin Cole, pianist, featured soloist with the Louisville Orchestra on George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue."

"Chapter One. He adored New York City. He idolized it all out of proportion. No, make that, he-he romanticized it all out of proportion. Yeah. To him, no matter what the season was, this was still a town that existed in black and white, and pulsated to the great tunes of George Gershwin." – Woody Allen, "Manhattan" (1979)

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Politics
4:33 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Republican State Senator Damon Thayer Hits Breaks on Kentucky Felon Voting Rights

Kentucky Senator Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown,
Credit File photo

A Republican leader in the Kentucky Senate says GOP members are not warming to the restoration of felon voting rights despite U.S. Sen. Rand Paul's support of the issue.

The response comes days after Paul staffers said they had been in contact with state lawmakers about the voting rights of ex-convicts

Democratic Senator Gerald Neal of Louisville told WFPL he was beginning to see opposition to his proposal wane earlier this week.

Neal's bill would automatically restore the civil rights of certain convicted felons unless they committed an intentional killing, treason, bribery or a sex crime.

Paul spokesman Dan Bayens said no specific bill has been discussed. However, GOP state senators appeared to be "more open to the conversation" than in years past he said.

But Senate Republican Floor Leader Damon Thayer of Georgetown made it clear it's too early to make predictions and that other issues remain a priority.

"It’s way too early for pundits to start handicapping the chances of legislation that may or may not pass sometime between January and April when we adjourn the session," he says.

The GOP holds a 23-seat majority in the 38-member state Senate. The one independent caucuses with the Republicans.

If felons' rights are to come up in the 2014 General Assembly it might have to be tied to a more conservative measure such as a possible voter ID bill in order to pass.

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Education
2:51 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

A Louisville Middle School Student Claims Bullying, and How JCPS Responds

Credit Shutterstock.com

Thirteen-year-old “B.B.”—as he’s called in Circuit Court—says he was teased while attending Thomas Jefferson Middle School and for joining the cheerleading squad there.

“It was in the cafeteria, some was in the classroom and some was in the hallway too and some was in the gym when I was practicing,” he says.

B.B. left Thomas Jefferson and was home schooled beginning April 2012 and now attends Frederick Law Olmsted Academy North, an all male middle school—where he’s still teased, he says.

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Local News
12:58 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

In Third Trial, David Camm is Cleared of Killing Wife and Children in Georgetown, Ind.

Credit justicefordavidcamm.com

LEBANON, Ind. — A onetime Indiana state trooper who was convicted twice in the 2000 slayings of his wife and children has been cleared in their deaths in a third trial.

David Camm had maintained his innocence in the deaths of his wife, Kimberly, 7-year-old son, Brad, and 5-year-old daughter, Jill. All three were found fatally shot Sept. 28, 2000, at the family's home in the southern Indiana community of Georgetown.

Both of Camm's previous convictions were overturned on appeal.

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Environment
11:08 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Louisville Makes Plans for City Trees, Hires Urban Forester

Credit Joseph Lord/WFPL

Louisville’s tree canopy is slowly increasing, due to private and public investment.

Mayor Greg Fischer announced Thursday that waste hauler EcoTech has upped its previous commitment to plant 1,000 trees in Louisville over the next decade.

Now, the company plans to plant 1,500 trees.

Fischer also announced the hiring of an urban forester for Louisville—Erin Thompson. She will  be responsible for creating a city-wide tree canopy assessment, and will also be involved in planting the trees announced Thursday.

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Commentary
9:00 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Louisville Chooses Asthmapolis (That is, Technology and Data) to Fight Pulmonary Disease

Donald Tyler, Asthmapolis participant
Credit Keith Runyon/WFPL News

Now that the crisp days of October have arrived, it’s easy to brush aside memories of what it’s like in Louisville during the long, hot summer days. That’s when the stagnant, humid air hangs like a shroud, and even people with healthy lungs find themselves gasping. For more than 100,000 people who suffer from asthma—many of them children—the challenge is far greater.

Consequently, a pilot program, which has been in operation for nearly a year, promises to help public health officials—and patients—manage their cases better. It may even lead to cleaner air for the entire region.

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Local News
8:00 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Sheriff's Office Following Leads in Case of Pilfered Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon

Credit Wikipedia Commons

FRANKFORT — The Franklin County sheriff's office has a new lead in the disappearance of about 65 cases of one of Kentucky's rarest and most sought-after bourbons.

Sheriff Pat Melton's office on Wednesday released surveillance video that was taken several counties away at a liquor store in Hardin County on Oct. 20. Melton told The State Journal in Frankfort that a man offered to sell the store a "large quantity" of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon.

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