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Local News
5:10 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Ohio River Bridges Project Wants Thoughts on Minimizing Toll Costs for Low-Income, Minority Drivers

Credit Ohio River Bridges Project

The Ohio River Bridges Project is seeking public comment on a report looking at the economic impact of tolls on low-income people and racial minorities.

The report recommends making TARC buses exempt from tolls that will be on the East End and downtown bridges. In a news release, the bridges project says: 

Many of the mitigation measures focus on the availability and use of transponders – the electronic, vehicle-mounted devices used to record trips across a tolled bridge. Among the transponder measures recommended for consideration:

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Local News
3:45 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Kentucky Kingdom Lease Finalized; Reopening Slated for May 2014

Ed Hart (left) and members of his investment group. (And a lion.)
Credit Joseph Lord/WFPL

Kentucky Kingdom will reopen next spring, said Ed Hart, the Louisville businessman leading the effort to get the amusement park operating again.

The lease between an investment group Hart leads and the Kentucky State Fair Board has been fully executed now that the requisite financing has been secured, Hart announced Thursday.

Plans include a new rollercoaster and doubling size of the Hurricane Bay water park. Existing rides such as Thunder Run, the Great Wheel and Mile High Falls will also be ready, the new operators said.

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Local News
2:36 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Pence Defends Deletion of Facebook Gay Marriage Comments

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is defending his staff's decision to delete pro-gay marriage comments from his Facebook page that he says included personal attacks.

Pence said Thursday that his social media policy allows for differing opinions without personal attacks. He says it mirrors the online commenting policy of many news organizations.

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Politics
2:29 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Senator Rand Paul Says Bestiality Comments Were Misunderstood

U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky.,

Appearing on NPR's "Here and Now" Thursday, U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., says his controversial comments equating gay marriage to bestiality are being misinterpreted.

During an interview with radio show host Glenn Beck, the two discussed the high court's decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act and uphold a lower-court's decision that struck down Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage in California.

Beck argued that changing marriage laws allows for new definitions of the institution, such as polygamy.

Paul questioned if lawmakers should use their moral beliefs when drafting bills but went further saying: "And I think this is a conundrum...If we have no laws on this, people take it to one extension further—does it have to be humans? You know?"

The senator's office said he was being sarcastic.

Paul told NPR the same thing, but added the comments are being misunderstood and that people should listen to the recording again.

"In the interview we were talking about not having laws. We weren't talking about gay marriage. We weren't talking about DOMA," he says. "What we were talking about was whether state government should be involved at all and if there are no state government rules what could potentially happen."

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Local News
12:35 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Kentucky Death Sentence Case

Sarah Hansen
Credit Evansville Courier&Press

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide the fate of a death row inmate condemned for the kidnapping and killing of a high school honor student in western Kentucky.      

The high court on Thursday granted a Kentucky prosecutor's appeal seeking to reinstate the death sentence of 39-year-old Robert Keith Woodall. A jury sentenced Woodall to die for the 1997 murder of 16-year-old Sarah Hansen.

Hansen vanished on Jan. 25, 1997, after going to a store in Greenville. Her remains were later found in Luzerne Lake.

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Politics
12:25 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Mitch McConnell Says Immigration Reform Fails to Properly Secure U.S. Border

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Credit U.S. Senate

UPDATE: The Senate passed the 'Gang of 8' bill by a 68-32 margin with 14 Republicans joining Democrats to approve the legislation.

Earlier: Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is voting against the comprehensive immigration reform bill due to a lack of border security provisions.

The Senate is expected to vote on the final version of the so-called ‘Gang of 8’ measure on Thursday, and observers predict it will receive bipartisan support.

Earlier this week, lawmakers amended the bill to include a number of security provisions such as doubling the number of federal agents, authorize aerial drones to track illegal crossings and require a 700-mile fence to be constructed along the U.S.-Mexico line.

The changes were co-sponsored by Republican John Hoeven of North Dakota, and received a bipartisan 69-29 vote in the Senate.

But speaking on the Senate floor Thursday morning, McConnell says the legislation still doesn't meet a proper threshold of needed security and that it repeats the problems with previous bills.

"In other words, in the absence of a very firm, results-based border security trigger, there’s just no way I can look at my constituents, look them in the eye and tell them that today’s assurances won’t become tomorrow’s disappointments. And since the bill before us doesn’t include such a trigger, I won’t be able to support it,” he says.

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Arts and Humanities
7:00 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Unbound: Silas House and Manuel Gonzales on 'The War at Home'

On today’s episode, we’re going behind the front lines in the war at home. In our first story, a young boy in Eastern Kentucky writes to his pen pal, an Indian immigrant living in Manhattan, about life in the mountains during the 2008 elections. Silas House reads a chapter from “Same Sun Here.” Then, a man shrinks his wife and gives her a doll house to live in. The wife doesn’t take it lying down. Manuel Gonzales reads “The Miniature Wife.”

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Environment
6:07 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Kentucky Study Finds No Dangerous Levels of Heavy Metals in Public Drinking Water

Gabe Bullard WFPL

A new study by the Kentucky Division of Water finds there isn’t an unhealthy concentration of certain heavy metals in drinking water.

The state’s study is a response to a growing body of work that suggests there is a higher risk of cancer in Appalachian mining communities.

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Environment
4:54 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

White House Releases State-Specific Facts Making Case for Climate Change Action

Axel Kristinsson Wikimedia Commons

The White House has released state-specific facts about climate change, following the release of President Obama’s climate change proposal yesterday.

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Local News
4:38 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Update: Now it's a Flash Flood Warning

Credit National Weather Service

Louisville is under a flash flood warning until 8:30 p.m., the National Weather Service says.

The weather service says it's gotten reports of minor flooding in flood-prone areas. It argues people to not drive on water-covered roads.

Here's what it looked like earlier outside of our office on Fourth Street:

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