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7:03 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Senator Rand Paul Introduces 'Secure the Vote' Amendment to Immigration Bill

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

Republican Rand Paul is introducing an amendment to the Senate immigration reform bill that would bar undocumented immigrants from voting in federal elections until they obtain U.S. citizenship.

The proposed is being put out on the same day the Supreme Court struck down an Arizona law that required residents to prove their citizenship before voting.

Paul's "Secure the Vote" amendment is aimed a tackling voter fraud and ensures those on work visas or given status under the Senate bill are not allowed to vote in federal elections until they become citizens.

The amendment would also provide states with new procedures to check that those individuals are not illegally registered to vote.

"Not only would this amendment prevent voter fraud, it would also clear up the problem created by today’s Supreme Court decision," Paul said in a statement. "My amendment requires states to check citizenship before registering people to vote in federal elections."

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Local News
7:00 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Cards Eliminated From College World Series, 11-4; Indiana Suffers First Series Loss

The season is over for the University of Louisville baseball team.

The Cards were eliminated from the College World Series today in Omaha, losing 11-4 to Oregon State.

The Beavers capitalized on four U of L errors and broke the game open with a seven-run fourth inning to stay alive in the double-elimination series.

The Cards, who lost their series opener Sunday to Indiana, finish the season with a 51-14 record.

Oregon State will play Indiana Wednesday in an elimination game.  The Hoosiers fell tonight to Mississippi State, 5-4.

Education
6:49 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

What is JCPS Doing to Improve Literacy?

Credit Shutterstock.com

Literacy is a gateway skill for the American dream, says Dr. Robert Cooter, dean of Bellarmine's School of Education.

Illiteracy impacts the economy. Children who can't read are less likely to go to college. It can effect their lifespan and it correlates with the School-to-Prison Pipeline.

On Monday, I hosted a WFPL news special on literacy with Gwen Snow, associate principal of JCPS' ESL Newcomer Academy,  Maria Carrico, an Extended School Services (ESS) coordinator and Dr. Robert Cooter, dean of Bellarmine’s School of Education. Listen to the full show below.

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Politics
6:13 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Congressional Redistricting May Be Done Over, Says Beshear

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear
Credit Kentucky Governor's Office

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Congressional redistricting that was completed last year may have to be redone in an upcoming special legislative session, adding one more potential complication to what has become a protracted effort by Kentucky lawmakers redraw political boundaries.

Gov. Steve Beshear raised the possibility of redrawing congressional maps during an impromptu press conference Monday outside his Capitol office.

The prospect arose because House Democrats are looking to exclude some 8,500 federal prison inmates from the population count used to redraw legislative districts. The problem is that those prisoners were included when lawmakers reconfigured congressional lines.

Beshear said if lawmakers decide to exclude federal prisoners from legislative and judicial districts, then they'd have to be taken out of the congressional ones as well.

"The idea is to make sure that all of them are done on a consistent basis," Beshear said.

The governor said the congressional districts would require only "limited" adjustments if that's the route lawmakers choose to take.

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Education
5:14 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Louisville Ministers To Address Teachers Union Contract Negotiations Tuesday Morning

Credit Shutterstock.com

Jefferson County Teachers Association President Brent McKim says contract negations with the school district could last up to two more weeks as a second group plans to voice its opinion of the union’s proposed contract Tuesday.

    

“I feel like we are taking the time we need to look at it thoughtfully and improve for the future," McKim says.

This is the first time the JCTA contract will  be updated in eight years, and McKim says they've scheduled up to two more weeks to finish the negotiations that began early this month.

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Environment
4:59 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Magazine's Analysis Shows Stockpiles of Ammonium Nitrate in KY, IN, TN

Federal investigators are still looking into the April explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas that killed 14 people. The explosion was called by a chemical called ammonium nitrate, and a new media analysis shows the chemical is stored in locations in Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee.

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Local News
4:55 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Transylvania University President to Step Down Next Year

Transylvania University

Transylvania University has accepted the resignation of embattled President R. Owen Williams, effective at the end of the 2013-2014 academic year.

The Lexington liberal arts school issued a news release today saying Board of Trustees Chairman William T. Young Jr. announced Williams' decision in a meeting with faculty and staff.

Young said in the statement the resignation was accepted "with regret" and that the board "fully supports" Williams' decision to stay on through the end of the school year.

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Arts and Humanities
4:38 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

U of L Approves Studio Art MFA Program

Rodin's "The Thinker," University of Louisville.
File photo

The University of Louisville board of trustees voted last week to approve a new graduate degree in visual art with the goal of matriculating its first class next fall. The Master of Fine Arts in studio art and design is a 60-credit hour terminal degree. 

The University of Kentucky also offers an MFA in studio art, but U of L’s hot glass and graphic design studies will distinguish the program from the competition -- a not-insignificant consideration for the art department, which has been working on refining their proposed degree program for more than a decade. 

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Politics
4:15 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell Faces Political Threats Amid Legal Controversies

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell
Credit louisvilleky.gov

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell is rejecting a private ethics sanction from the Kentucky Bar Association.

As a result he is facing harsher penalties and increased scrutiny from critics, who are openly recruiting former Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Stengel to run against O'Connell next year.

In January, O’Connell wrote a stinging letter to Jefferson district court judges demanding they put a stop certain legal maneuvers in DUI cases. A number of judges and defense lawyers called O'Connell's letter "inappropriate," and asked for ethics sanctions to be filed.

The Courier-Journal reported this week an inquiry commission ruled on May 8 that O’Connell violated rules barring attorneys from contacting judges without the other side present.

Legal observers are surprised O’Connell made the matter public, and many critics acknowledge it has given momentum to efforts at recruiting Stengel to take on the incumbent county attorney in 2014.

"I don’t know if you want to call it arrogance, feistiness or defiance. But I think (O'Connell) has made it clear that he’s going to do what he wants and doesn’t care what anybody has to say or do about it," says defense attorney Christian Mascagni.

"I call tell you there are many private attorneys who would love Mr. Stengel to run against him. I believe that especially in light of what's come out now, if Mr. Stengel were to run—and we're all hoping that he will—I think he would be a very tough candidate for Mr. O'Connell."

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Local News
3:58 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

ACLU Sues Indiana Over Changes in Disabled Woman's Benefits

A lawsuit filed against Indiana's social services agency claims it wrongly barred a disabled woman from Medicaid waiver programs and left her without enough income to survive.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed the lawsuit on behalf of 27-year-old Karla Steimel  in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis.

Steimel has cerebral palsy and other medical needs.

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