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Local News
3:34 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Some Kentucky Lawmakers Want to Consider Creation of Independent Restricting Panel

Kentucky lawmakers are back in Frankfort for what they hope will be a quick special legislative session devoted to creating new redistricting maps.

Both Republicans and Democrats have unveiled proposed maps, and leaders from parties say they believe an agreement can be reached by Friday.

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Politics
2:09 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Louisville Councilwoman Attica Scott Talks Vacant Properties With Senator Rand Paul

Democratic Louisville Councilwoman Attica Scott
Credit Louisville Metro Council

Saying neighborhood concerns come before partisan politics, Democratic Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Scott says she had a chance to discuss the problem of vacant and abandoned properties with Republican U.S. Senator Rand Paul recently.

Paul and Scott met at the Louisville Forum last week, where the senator was the featured speaker and addressed a number of issues.

Among the topics Paul talked about were voting rights for minorities where he said there is no evidence that African-Americans are being barred from U.S. elections more than whites.

But Scott—who is vice chair of the council's vacant properties committee—says despite their  political differences Paul is committed to keeping the lines of communication open dilapidated housing.

"I am more concerned about finding solutions to some of our most pressing infrastructure and neighborhood needs than about partisan politics," she says. "Senator Paul and I have ideological differences on some issues, but we agree that we must be more aggressive in addressing abandoned and vacant properties which is a mutual area of concern."

A report shows swaths of empty homes are concentrated in parts of Scott's district, where up to 30 percent of properties are vacant. In a statement, Paul said he is interested in Scott's perspective on how to remove those abandoned properties in west Louisville.

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Politics
1:05 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Congressman Hal Rogers Among Handful of Lawmakers Without Campaign Website

Congressman Hal Rogers, R-Ky.,

Kentucky Fifth District Congressman Hal Rogers is among a handful of lawmakers without a re-election website ahead of next year's election.

The overwhelming majority of those in Congress have a campaign up and running online, but a report by Smart Politics shows nine House members—mostly Democrats—haven't bothered to do so.

Part of the reason is lawmakers such as House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi represent safe districts and have won by comfortable margins for years.

Last year, Rogers, who is a Republican, won re-election by 56 points. He's been in Congress since 1981.

From Smart Politics:

If these representatives have been a bit lackadaisical in creating the digital building blocks for their 2014 reelection campaigns so far this year, it may be for the simple reason that they face virtually no threat of losing.

These nine incumbents have logged in an average 11.4 terms in the House and enjoyed an average victory margin of 65.3 points in the 2012 cycle.

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Education
11:48 am
Mon August 19, 2013

What's New in Jefferson County Public Schools This Year

School begins Tuesday for Jefferson County Public Schools students.
Credit File photo

More than 102,000 Jefferson County Public Schools students are preparing for their first day of class Tuesday.

For the school district, Superintendent Donna Hargens says the focus this year is on executing the district’s strategic plan with the resources available.

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Education
10:44 am
Mon August 19, 2013

How Parents Can Get Information on JCPS Buses

Credit Joseph Lord/WFPL News

Jefferson County Public Schools students return to class on Tuesday and, as always, logistics are getting some attention.

The school district has set up a hotline—485-7433 (RIDE)—for parents and guardians to get information about bus stops and times.  The hotline is open until 4:30 Monday afternoon.

Here's a JCPS website with more transportation information.

JCPS has also released this video with rules and tips for new bus riders:

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Politics
10:02 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Tea Party Ads Pressure Mitch McConnell, GOP Senators to Defund Obamacare

Credit foramerica.org

A pair of Tea Party groups are increasing their pressure on Sen. Mitch McConnell and his Republican caucus to de-fund President Obama's health care at all costs.

Recently, McConnell questioned that strategy and said a government shutdown would not halt the Affordable Care Act's implementation.

The Washington Post's Aaron Blake reports Tea Party Patriots and For America are targeting McConnell's caucus in a series of online advertisements in the hopes of gaining traction.

For America has already put out an ad essentially calling McConnell a "chicken" for not being more supportive.

Watch:

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Local News
9:56 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Could Louisville Support a Major League Soccer Team?

Some local soccer supporters are making their case for bringing a Major League Soccer team to Louisville.

The MLS is seeking to expand from the 20 teams it currently has to 24 teams by the year 2020.

The local supporters are urging the Metro Council to get behind their effort. 

Louisville Metro Councilman James Peden says he’d like to see it happen.

"I think it’s important that we, as a city, be able to label ourselves as a major professional sports team," Peden said.

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Politics
7:59 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Louisville GOP Searching for New Party Chair

Louisville Republicans are eager to fill a vacancy at the top of the party ahead of next year's elections.

Shellie May resigned as Jefferson County Republican Party chair last week to take a job in City Hall as a legislative aide in Councilman Ken Fleming’s office.

The state GOP has made gains in the state House and expanded its majority in the state Senate, and Republicans control five of the six congressional seats along with the two of the more prominent senators in the country.

But locally Democrats control the mayor’s office and the Metro Council. And Democrat John Yarmuth won re-election to the Third Congressional District seat by a 30-point margin last year.

Republican strategist Joe Burgan says redistricting had more to do with the congressional defeat than poor local party leadership, but that a new chair is important for the GOP to be competitive in those local contests.

"There’s no doubt that they are key when it comes to candidate recruitment. And for these Metro Council races and for the mayor’s race it’s really a body you want out there meeting with folks, growing our bench as we move forward as a party," he says.

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Environment
7:00 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Cleanup Begins This Week on Contaminated Homes Near Black Leaf Site

A sign on the fence surrounding the former Black Leaf Chemical site in Louisville's Park Hill neighborhood.
Erica Peterson WFPL

Cleanup begins this week on forty-four homes near the former Black Leaf Chemical Plant in Louisville’s Park Hill neighborhood.

The Black Leaf plant was home to many companies during the 20th century, including several that produced pesticides. In 2011, high levels of heavy metals and pesticides were discovered in the site’s soil. Later, residential testing revealed the dangerous chemicals had migrated to nearby homes.

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Arts and Humanities
7:00 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Review | 'Edgewise' Sees War Through Young Eyes

Casandre Elyse Medel (Emma) and Eli Keel (Louis) in Theatre [502]'s production of Eliza Clark's "Edgewise."
Credit Theatre [502]

A gunfight breaks out on the highway. Another day, another massacre in Eliza Clark's near-future dystopian war-torn America, in which air strikes on major targets and street battles are now routine. The war has waged for eight long years, moving up from the capitol toward New York, and nobody knows who to trust anymore. When a wounded man who's obviously keeping secrets stumbles into a New Jersey fast-food restaurant where three teens work, they have to make a decision—which side is he on?

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