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Local News
10:42 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Kentucky Couple Challenges Ban on Same-Sex Marriages in Federal Court

Credit Google Maps

A Louisville couple has filed a challenge to Kentucky's ban on same-sex marriages and has asked a federal judge to require the state to recognize valid unions from other states and countries.

Gregory Bourke and Michael Deleon filed suit Friday morning in U.S. District Court in Louisville.

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Local News
7:00 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Officials: Kentucky Missing DNA Samples from 6,300 Felons

Credit Creative Commons

FRANKFORT — Kentucky corrections officials say they failed to take DNA samples from between 6,300 and 7,000 felons as required by law over a four-year period.

Justice Cabinet Secretary and Corrections Commissioner LaDonna Thompson said during a news conference Thursday in Frankfort that they are now trying to locate about 3,900 people no longer in state custody or on probation or parole to take samples from them.

Gov. Steve Beshear appointed Transportation Cabinet Inspector General Cindy James to investigate why the DNA samples weren't taken.

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Politics
10:05 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Councilwoman Shanklin's Defense Attorney Grills City Officials Over Upholstery Program Details

Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin
Credit Louisville Metro Government

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin’s defense attorney forced city officials to concede key points about an upholstery program at the center  her removal trial.

Shanklin is accused of misusing taxpayer dollars to benefit herself and her relatives through classes promoted towards ex-offenders, which records show she attended over a dozen times.

Attorney David Tachau is prosecuting the case and has called the upholstery courses a "phony" that Shanklin and her family members used for their own benefit rather than district residents.

Corrections Director Mark Bolton, who had described the program as "goofy," told juror halting it in November 2011 was a "no-brainer" given the lack of former inmates involved. But during cross-examination Shanklin's defense attorney Aubrey Williams rattled Bolton, who admitted the department's agreement with the course instructor didn't limit participation to ex-offenders.

Williams says the contract was vague and Bolton’s department was sloppy in that it established few rules, which shows the issues with the program were the city's fault and not Shanklin.

He also got Bolton to admit that the corrections director continued to sign-off on the program's pay invoices for three years despite knowing ex-offenders weren’t involved.

"Please explain why if you had determined that these funds were not being used for their intended purpose would you approve their payments," Williams asked.

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Politics
8:00 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Congressman John Yarmuth Calls for More Accountablity at NSA

Despite objections from the Obama administration, Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth joined a bipartisan effort to limit the Nation Security Agency's ability to gather Americans telephone records.

The House ultimately rejected the amendment co-sponsored by Republican Justin Amash and Democrat John Conyers in a 205-217 vote, but this could be just the beginning of legislative attempts to curtail the intelligence agency.

Since agency contract employee Edward Snowden leaked details of a massive data collection program, the NSA has been criticized by libertarian-leaning conservatives and liberals for some time.

Appearing on MSNBC, Yarmuth says he isn't pleased with how the information came to light, but says there is considerable concern among lawmakers regarding privacy rights.

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Local News
5:35 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

New Louisville Water Co. President Discusses Possible Future Working With MSD

Jim Brammell
Credit Louisville Water Co.

The Louisville Water Company has selected a new leader as the utility continues its exploration of a possible merger with the Metropolitan Sewer District.

Jim Brammell was unanimously named the water company’s chief executive  on Thursday. His predecessor Greg Heitzman was appointed in May to lead the Metropolitan Sewer District.

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Local News
5:00 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Kentucky Attorney General to be Dropped From Parenting Columnist's Lawsuit

John Rosemond
Simon and Schuster

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway says his office and attorneys for nationally syndicated parenting columnist John Rosemond have agreed that Conway should be dismissed from a lawsuit filed by Rosemond.

Rosemond filed a federal lawsuit this month saying his first amendment right to free speech was violated when he received a cease and desist letter from Kentucky authorities because he isn't licensed to practice in the commonwealth.

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Local News
4:35 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Who Stole the Green Wall? Louisville Mayor Seeks Rogue Landscaper

Before and after
Credit Metro Government and Gabe Bullard / Metro Government and WFPL News

I left work through the side door, into the alley. I do this all the time. But something was different. The wall of the Clay Commons parking garage, which had been covered in vines, was bare. Remnants of the cut vines were on the ground of the alley between the garage and the Louisville Public Media, on South Fourth Street. It seemed like an odd landscaping choice for PARC, which runs the garage.

But it wasn't a choice.

Someone tore down the green wall without permission.

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Local News
4:15 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Ethics Complaint Filed Over Grimes Fundraising Emails

Alison Lundergan Grimes

A county clerk in southeastern Kentucky has asked the Executive Branch Ethics Commission to determine the propriety of a fundraising email sent to government email accounts by Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes last week.

Republican Laurel County Clerk Dean Johnson filed the complaint today (Thursday), a week after receiving the email from Grimes, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.

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Local News
3:06 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Kentucky State Fair to Have a Free Parking Lot on Weekends (if You're Willing to Ride a Shuttle)

Credit Creative Commons

In recent years, the Kentucky State Fair officials have witnessed issues with traffic congestion around the gates into the fairgrounds on the weekends.

They have a plan to address it during next month's fair—by spreading out the parking options.

This year, the Kentucky State Fair will have two new cheaper parking lots open on weekends in a bid to reduce traffic congestion around the fairgrounds.

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Politics
1:24 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Alison Lundergan Grimes Calls Mitch McConnell's Leadership Spiteful, Petty in Kick-Off Ad

Alison Lundergan Grimes

Speaking directly to Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes says she plans to hold the GOP accountable in next year's election.

In a nearly four minute kick-off ad, Grimes says she doesn't always agree with President Obama, but that McConnell is blocking legislation that would've helped Kentuckians out of spite.

"Your campaign wants to play silly games about where I am and where I stand. Well I'm right here in Kentucky senator, where I'll be holding you accountable," says Grimes to McConnell.

"We'll have this debate senator, and as you've probably already seen, I don't scare easy."

The video also uses a clip from her successful secretary of state bid in 2011, which was praised by observers for its humorous tone and featured Grimes's two grandmothers.

Grimes's paternal grandmother, Thelma, died a few months after the ad first appeared and the Democratic challenger cites her as one of the chief reasons for running.

"Grandmother knew that if you wanted to get something done, you don’t stand in the way," says Grimes. "You stand by your principles, but you also figure out where you can agree and how we can come together. But that's not happening in Washington today, and Senator McConnell is the biggest part of the problem."

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