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Politics
5:02 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

James Comer, Thomas Massie Lobby for Hemp in Washington, D.C.

James Comer
Credit Ben Droz, Vote Hemp

Two Kentucky elected officials made the case for industrial hemp Tuesday at a briefing in Washington, D.C., in an effort to lobby Congress to legalize the plant for commercial production.

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie and state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer briefed Congressional staffers on the benefits of industrial hemp at a forum hosted by Vote Hemp, touting the benefits of the research and commercial production of industrial hemp, and how it’s radically different from its psychoactive cousin, marijuana. They were joined by Rep. Jared Polis, a Colorado Democrat.

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Local News
4:15 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

University of Louisville, Norton Healthcare to Meet on Kosair Children's Hospital Issue

Kosair Children's Hospital
Credit Kosair Children's Hospital

The University of Louisville and Norton Healthcare officials will meet next week to discuss issues surrounding Norton's intention to partner with UK Healthcare in running Kosair Children's Hospital, the university and healthcare system said on Tuesday.

"Both organizations have agreed that there be a meeting early next week to discuss the legal issues which Norton believes must be resolved before productive discussions can occur regarding an update to the existing 2008 academic affiliation agreement," said Thomas Johnson, a spokesman for Norton.

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Local News
3:49 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Ohio River Tolling Body Scheduled to Approve Tolls Wednesday

The Kennedy I-65 bridge will be one of three that will collect tolls as part of the Ohio River Bridges Project.

After delaying action on toll rates for the Ohio River Bridges Project last week, the bi-state committee in charge of setting rates will meet Wednesday morning to finish the job. 

It was a surprise to Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Mike Hancock last week, when Indiana officials said they weren’t ready to approve tolls.

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Arts and Humanities
3:31 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

'Boy Meets Boy' Musical Launches Pandora's Marriage Equality Season

Bill Solly and Donald Ward’s musical romantic comedy “Boy Meets Boy” premiered off-Broadway in 1975. It’s a sweet and charming old-school musical with a premise – in an alternate 1930s London, gay marriage is so normalized, it’s not even remarked upon – that was daringly ahead of its time.

The musical pairs a reclusive English lord who left his socialite groom at the altar with an American journalist sent to cover the scandal of King Edward’s abdication and engagement to the divorcée Wallis Simpson.

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Arts and Humanities
1:16 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Louisville Filmmaker Asks: Where are the Homeless Buried?

Credit Potter's Field

Louisville filmmaker, Edward Heavrin, begins his new documentary with a very simple and dark question:  Where are the homeless buried?

Answering this question takes Heavrin from Louisville to Chicago to New York City. He discovers mass graveyards, called "Potter's Fields," where the indigent are dumped in cheap wood caskets. 

The film, titled "The Potter's Field," has a strong local tie as well.

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Education
12:49 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Kentucky Education Commissioner Commends JCPS Efforts To Fix Struggling Schools

Commissioner Holliday and JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens discussed criticism of the school district earlier this year in a public forum.
Credit Devin Katayama

Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday says he wants to recognize what’s working in Jefferson County’s lowest performing schools, following criticism of the school district earlier this year.

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Politics
12:38 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Senator Mitch McConnell Opposes President Obama's Syria Resolution

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Credit File photo

Speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell ended days of speculation and came out in opposition to President Obama's request for military strikes against Syria.

McConnell said he is not an isolationist and argued the U.S. has a role on the world stage that cannot be ignored, but the GOP slammed the president's foreign policy strategy overall.

He says Obama has been a "reluctant commander-in-chief" and that the administration hasn't made a compelling case for intervention.

“So I will be voting against this resolution. A vital national security risk is clearly not at play, there are just too many unanswered questions about our long-term strategy in Syria, including the fact that this proposal is utterly detached from a wider strategy to end the civil war there, and on the specific question of deterring the use of chemical weapons, the president’s proposal appears to be based on a contradiction," he says.

Watch:

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Environment
12:24 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

CycLOUvia: Car-Free Events Coming to Bardstown Road, West Broadway, Frankfort Avenue

CycLOUvia 2012, Bardstown Road.
Credit Erica Peterson / WFPL

Mayor Greg Fischer announced today that the city will sponsor three CycLOUvia events this year, starting on Bardstown Road next month. The  car-free street event will also come to West Broadway and Frankfort Avenue in the spring.

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Politics
9:59 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Study: Local Option Sales Tax Would Generate Significant Revenue, but Burden Louisville Taxpayers

A 1-percent local option sales tax would generate $138 million in revenue for the city, but add to an already heavy burden for Louisville taxpayers.

That's according to a study by a University of Louisville research center released Tuesday.

The report conducted by the Urban Studies Institute was paid for with discretionary funds from Republican Councilman Ken Fleming's office earlier this year.

It is the first official examination of the idea, which is being spearheaded by Mayor Greg Fischer as a way to create additional revenue for Metro Government.

Among the chief findings in the 40-page report is that Louisville has the highest income tax rate among its 14 peer cities at about $7,720 for hypothetical family of four with two income earners. The city also has the third-highest overall tax burden when compared to competitor cities property, income and sales taxes combined. 

Fischer has said the local option isn't a tax increase but rather emphasized it's choice for local voters to invest into the community and fund key capital projects. But according to the study, introducing a 1-percent sales tax would bump Louisville up to the second-highest overall taxed city among its peers.

Fleming says he sponsored the study to examine the economic impact and better inform the public, adding its shows the benefits and pitfalls of the plan.

"This study does a really good job at taking an objective point of view and looking at data that provides both the pros and cons of what we're trying to do," he says. "We should have had this debate last year or two years ago, and we need to have it now to understand where we are economically."

Among the benefits of a local option outlined in the study is it help diversifies the city's revenue stream, which is limited to occupational, insurance premiums and property taxes.

The study says due to Louisville's position as a retail shopping and entertainment center a local option could shift a sizeable percentage of the sales taxes those who live outside the county. The effect could mean residents would enjoy economic windfalls for infrastructure or other capitol projects at a reduced tax price.

And depending on the economy, it estimates anywhere from $140 million to $160 million in projected revenue, which is nearly twice as much as the $95 million a year that Fischer's office estimated.

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Education
8:18 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

JCPS Board Approves Cell Phone Use For Student Learning In Eight High Schools

Credit Shutterstock.com

Some Louisville students will soon be able to use cell phones in class after the Jefferson County Board of Education unanimously approved waivers for eight high schools Monday night.

Fairdale, duPont Manual, Iroquois, Seneca, Southern, Valley, Waggener and Ballard high schools requested to be exempt from the district's student conduct policy banning cell phone use throughout JCPS facilities.

The board updated the Code of Conduct this year to allow schools to apply for waivers as long as they seek board approval.

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