12:01 am
Fri September 27, 2013

JCPS Improves in Kentucky School Test Scores, but Middle Schools and Math are Concerns

Credit Amber Sigman/WFPL News

Jefferson County Public Schools has shown overall improvement in the latest Kentucky accountability test scores—and many of its struggling schools are making significant gains. But despite meeting its annual objectives, JCPS still trails behind its peers in some key measurements.

That’s according to new annual accountability results that were released by the Kentucky Department of Education Friday.

Read more
11:00 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Second Kentucky State Lawmaker Facing Sexual Harassment Claim

Will Coursey
Credit Legislative Research Commission

A second Kentucky state lawmaker is being publicly accused of sexual harassment.  

Louisville attorney Thomas Clay is representing Nicole Cusic, who claims she was retaliated against when she complained about the behavior of state Rep. Will Coursey, a Democrat from Symsonia in western Kentucky.

“For instance, I believe he was asking one of the interns to go to the Governor’s Ball with him, and there were some other things that involved explicit language, which she thought was inappropriate," Clay says.

Read more
8:45 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Louisville Metro Council Shrinks KFC Yum Center's Taxing District

KFC Yum Center
Credit File photo

In a unanimous vote, the Louisville Metro Council approved a measure reducing the size of the tax increment financing district surrounding the KFC Yum Center from six square miles to two square miles.

Council members hope this change will develop better revenue projections for the arena to help pay down its debt.

Since February, city officials have been discussing new ways to deal with financial woes at the downtown arena.

The TIF district is made up of property, occupational and sales tax revenue that goes towards the Louisville Arena Authority to help retire the $349 million in construction bonds.

But the taxing-district has fallen far below its expected projections putting a heavier burden on the city—and Louisville taxpayers—to cover more of the costs.

"Reducing the TIF area allows the TIF revenues to directly reflect the success of the arena and eliminates changes in business activities unrelated to the arena," says Council President Jim King, D-10, who sponsored the bill. "This approach is more realistic and gives the city a better monetary outcome in the future. It also taps into promised state tax revenues."

Read more
6:12 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Alison Lundergan Grimes Pressured Over New Sexual Harassment Claims in Kentucky Legislature

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes
Credit Creative Commons

Saying Alison Lundergan Grimes needs to prove her commitment to women, the chair of the Republican Party of Kentucky is challenging the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate to join a call to investigate new sexual harassment allegations in the state legislature.

As The Courier-Journal's Joe Gerth reports, Democratic state Sen. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, is asking for a probe to examine the decision-making by Democratic House leadership.

At issue is House Speaker Greg Stumbo's office ordering the transfer of a female staffer who complained about the behavior of a Democratic lawmaker.

From The C-J:

Legislative Research Commission employee Nicole Cusic said that after she complained to state Rep. Will Coursey, D-Symsonia, about his behavior in 2012 — she alleges he tried to date interns and made inappropriate statements about another staff member — LRC officials moved her out of a suite of offices where Coursey worked to a temporary desk.

Coursey has denied the allegations, but Stein told the newspaper there is "a bad smell, a noxious smell" in the House and a need to regain the public's trust.

In response, the state GOP is pressuring Grimes—who has continually criticized Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell's voting record on women's issues—to speak up.

Read more
4:25 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Dwindling Tea Party Support Among GOP May Impact Matt Bevin's Insurgency

Credit Tim Pierce/Creative Commons

A new poll finds fewer Americans support the Tea Party movement and the noticeable dip among Republican voters could impact Kentucky’s U.S. Senate GOP primary race.

According to a Gallup survey conducted earlier this month, opponents of the Tea Party outnumber supporters by a 27 percent to 22 percent.

Most are indifferent to the movement, but the poll shows the Tea Party's favorable rating among GOP voters is 38 percent compared to 65 percent in 2010.

Those numbers could put a damper on Louisville businessman Matt Bevin's primary hopes as he seeks to overthrow incumbent Mitch McConnell with heavy Tea Party support in the state.

Observers say the low approval numbers are a sign the Tea Party is being blamed for the gridlock in Washington in the face of a possible government shutdown.

"It's so much easier to rail against the establishment, people like that when you show enthusiasm and energy," says University of Louisville political science professor Dewey Clayton. "But once you become the establishment and you actually have to govern things change somewhat. One of the reasons the Tea Party is falling out of favor with many Americans is because people are seeing them as part of problem in Washington now."

Clayton says it's hard to compare Bevin's 2014 bid to Rand Paul's insurgency GOP primary candidacy for a number of reasons, but says the Tea Party doesn't appear to have the same strength it did in 2010.

Read more
Local News
3:21 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Music Venue, Hotel in the Works for Louisville's South Fourth Street

The Wright Taylor Building will be turned into a music hall. A 162-room Hilton Garden Inn will be built in the corner lot at left
Rick Howlett

A long-vacant building on South Fourth Street in Louisville will be transformed into a 900-seat music hall.

It’s part of larger development underway in the downtown district known as Clay Commons.

Officials announced today that the Wright Taylor building in the 600 block of South Fourth has been purchased by the Live Nation entertainment company, which already owns the nearby Louisville Palace.

Read more
Arts and Humanities
2:44 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Le Petomane Opens Tenth Season with Comedy Experiment

Kyle Ware and Kristie Rolape in Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble's "Test Subjects."
Credit Sean Donaldson / Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble

The Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble has been creating and performing original comedies in Louisville for ten years. They open their anniversary season tonight with “Test Subjects,” an original two-person comedy that pays homage to the troupe’s comedy influences.

“Test Subjects” runs through October 6 at The Bard’s Town.

Like all Le Petomane shows, “Test Subjects” started with a title and cast availability. Out of six ensemble members (they all share the artistic director mantle), Kyle Ware and Kristie Rolape were available, so they built the show from the ground up through the group’s highly collaborative devising process.

Read more
11:00 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Remembrance of Bygone French Dining in Downtown Louisville

Credit Photo provided by Keith Runyon

The other day I got an email from Jim Bruggers, my former colleague at The Courier-Journal asking me about an artifact he had discovered on a visit to the newspaper’s Food Department. The Courier-Journal has always prided itself on spectacular recipes, beautifully illustrated in color, and has boasted some of the top food editors in the country, including Sissy Gregg, Camille Glenn, Sarah Fritschner, Ronni Lundy and Lillian Marshall. The most recent of these, Ron Mikulak, is retiring tomorrow from the newspaper.

Read more
7:30 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Trivial Attacks Mark Kentucky's U.S. Senate Race

Credit File photos

When it comes to the 2014 U.S. Senate race in Kentucky, there appears to be no attack that the top campaigns and their operatives won't engage or levy at each other.

The Republican primary contest between incumbent Mitch McConnell and challenger Matt Bevin has been particularly bitter.

At the outset, McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton referred to Bevin as a "con man" who couldn't be trusted. 

Despite efforts to urge the media to ignore Bevin, Team Mitch rarely passes up a chance to take a swipe at their primary opponent. For instance, the McConnell campaign was recently touting this rather embarrassing moment for Bevin at a Constitution Day event in Kentucky.


Speaking at a rally in downtown Louisville, Bevin ripped Benton for saying it was "irrelevant" that McConnell didn't join Ted Cruz's marathon speech on the Senate floor.

Here's what Benton told talk radio host Joe Elliott:

A passing remark? Not according to the Bevin campaign.

Read more
6:35 am
Thu September 26, 2013

JCPS Schools Aren't Using Textbook Money

Jefferson County Public Schools officials say many schools are not spending textbook funds that are allocated to them, which has led the district to reconsider the amount of per-student textbook funding its providing to schools this year.

Over the past several years the Kentucky Department of Education has not supported textbook funding, leaving local school districts to pick up the tab. 

Read more