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Environment
8:30 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Where Do Kentucky's Congressmen Stand on Climate Change? Hard to Tell

Erica Peterson WFPL

Later this week, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works will hold a hearing on climate change. Called “Climate Change: It’s Happening Now,” the committee’s Democrats are calling on scientists, economists and insurance experts to discuss the science behind climate change, and how it’s affecting the country. That’s Thursday at 10 a.m.

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Local News
7:30 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Corky Miller Settles Into Role as Teacher, Mentor for Louisville Bats, Cincinnati Reds

Louisville Bats

Tonight  in Reno, Nevada, baseball’s top minor league players will compete in the Triple-A All Star Game.   Two members of the Louisville Bats, pitcher Greg Reynolds and outfielder Billy Hamilton, are on the International League roster.   They’ll take on the all-stars of the Pacific Coast League.

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Politics
6:47 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Barbara Shanklin's Attorney Lashes Out at City Officials Over Removal Trial Proceedings

Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin
Credit Louisville Metro Council

A Louisville Metro Council Court hearing turned into a shouting match between city officials and the lawyer representing embattled Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, D-2, in her upcoming removal trial.

Shanklin faces ouster from office after a Charging Committee of five council members filed a petition saying she violated three sections of the city's code of ethics.

The chief allegation is that Shanklin used taxpayers funds to benefit her friends and family through an upholstery program for ex-offenders.

The program was set up to help former inmates learn a trade, but city records showed few ex-offenders attending the class while Shanklin and family members did.

Mayor Greg Fischer's office shut down the program in late 2011, but The Courier-Journal discovered the councilwoman's office continued to fund the program with discretionary  through the Petersburg-Newburg Improvement Association, which Shanklin and her niece were listed as board members.

Attorney Aubrey Williams is representing Shanklin. He strongly objected to the council's handling of the proceedings, exhibits and who will be subpoenaed to testify.

At different points Williams lashed out at Council President Jim King, D-10, Charging Committee attorney David Tachau and Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell.

Williams says O'Connell especially has been engaging in unprofessional "shenanigans" leading up to the removal trial.

"Now you be quiet and let me explain," Williams yelled. "You may think you can push district court judges around, but you won't push me around sir. Your behavior is appalling. How you are practicing this case is appalling."

"How dare you," O'Connell barked. "I'm not going to play your games. You accuse me of unprofessional conduct you better put it on the record."

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Politics
8:15 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Alison Lundergan Grimes Files Paperwork for Senate Race

Alison Lundergan Grimes

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes filed paperwork with the U.S. Senate clerk to officially enter the race to take on incumbent Mitch McConnell next year.

Two weeks ago Grimes, a Democrat, announced her intentions to run for the seat held by the Republican leader at the urging of state and national Democrats.

Since then Grimes has been courting national donors with an ambitious fundraising goal between $26 to $30 million. This past weekend, Grimes reportedly impressed those at a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee retreat in Martha's Vineyard.

In her first campaign e-mail message, Grimes says she has received overwhelming support since announcing and plans to build a grassroots campaign to match McConnell's hefty fundraising machine.

"This campaign is going to require all of us to stand up," says Grimes. "We need to stand up to the Washington insiders and their Super PACs. We need to stand up and demand that we elect leaders who will work to move Kentucky forward."

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Politics
6:44 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Mitch McConnell, Alison Lundergan Grimes to Headline Fancy Farm 2013

Credit Kentucky Secretary of State/U.S. Senate

The campaigns of Republican U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes have confirmed both will be attending the 2013 Fancy Farm picnic, Kentucky's premier political event.

The picnic will be the first face-to-face meeting between the two since Grimes announced her intentions to run against McConnell in next year's election.

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Environment
5:20 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Report: As Water Supplies Dwindle, Energy Mix Will Be Affected

A new report lays out the risks to the nation’s electricity reliability and drinking water as supplies of fresh water dwindle.

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Local News
2:54 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Kentuckiana's Summer Youth Jobs Program Credits Private Business For Its Success

Mayor Greg Fischer announces results of the Summer Works program at the downtown Thorntons.

Officials say a majority of the 1,500 kids participating in Louisville’s Summer Works program are working with private businesses, which has exceeded the city’s overall goal despite raising less private funds than expected.

The Summer Works program is administered by KentuckianaWorks, which is established under federal law to help job training and placement.

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Arts and Humanities
2:53 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Document | What the Kentucky Shakespeare Board Heard About Brantley Dunaway

Credit kyshakespeare.com

In August 2012, the Kentucky Shakespeare board met to discuss allegations made against Brantley Dunaway, then the chief executive and producing artistic director. 

Dunaway answered to the allegations from a report made by board member—and now board president—Allen Harris. Here are excerpts from the board minutes.

The full document is posted at the bottom.

Dunaway resigned this week.

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Arts and Humanities
2:53 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Ex-Kentucky Shakespeare Employees: Former CEO Brantley Dunaway Abusive, Financially Irresponsible

Credit Mathew McFerren/Colorado Shakespeare Festival

Kentucky Shakespeare CEO and producing artistic director Brantley Dunaway resigned Monday, a week after it was revealed his wife and Kentucky Shakespeare actress Madison Dunaway requested and received an emergency protective order against him, alleging domestic abuse.

The action led to the abrupt cancellation of the remainder of the company's run of “Twelfth Night” in Central Park, which Madison Dunaway was starring in. But former employees and documents obtained by WFPL attest to a longer, deeper history of employee abuse and potential financial mismanagement within Kentucky Shakespeare. 

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Politics
2:39 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer Called to Testify in Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin's Removal Trial

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer
Credit File photo

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is among a number of city officials being called to testify in the removal trial of Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, D-2, which is scheduled to begin next week.

Earlier this year, the Metro Ethics Commission ruled unanimously that Shanklin violated various ethics rules, including funding an ex-offenders upholstery program benefiting her friends and family.

The panel recommended the councilwoman’s ouster from office, and a Charging Committee of five council members filed a petition to begin removal proceedings.

Before the ethics complaints were filed the Fischer administration shut down that upholstery program in Shanklin's district, citing concerns about the lack  former inmates participating

Shanklin is being represented by attorney Aubrey Williams, who refused to comment for this story on why Fischer is being asked to testify before the Metro Council Court.

But in court documents provided to the council clerk, Williams says the mayor is expected to testify about "various matters relating to any laws, policies and procedures" that caused Fischer to halt the program.

Attorney David Tachau is the prosecutor in the removal trial. He says it’s unclear why Shanklin wants the mayor to be called as a witness other than an attempt to throw irrelevant issues into the case.

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