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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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Politics
10:32 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Congressman Brett Guthrie Announces Re-Election, Bypassing Governor's Race

Congressman Brett Guthrie, R-Ky.,

Kentucky Second District Congressman Brett Guthrie announced he is running for re-election next year, but made it clear he is bypassing a bid for governor in 2015.

Guthrie is a Republican from Bowling Green who has represented the district covering parts of western and central Kentucky since January 2009.

"We are fighting in Washington to balance the federal budget, to cut wasteful spending, and to create an environment where small businesses can create good paying jobs," he says. "My work in Congress is all about providing opportunity. I am passionate about improving the economy, cultivating educational opportunity for people of all ages, and getting our nation’s finances under control."

The GOP lawmaker was a top contender for the party's nomination in the 2015 gubernatorial contest. But Guthrie clarified he is not interested in statewide office and will keep his full attention on representing the state in Washington.

"I am not running for any state office in 2015, although I was humbled by the number of people who asked me to run for governor," he says. "I went to Washington solve big problems and to leave a better America behind for the next generation. I’ve spent every day doing that and I feel that my time and energy is best spent on solving the big financial and economic problems we face as a nation."

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Politics
6:59 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Despite Beshear's Support, Kentucky Legislators Unlikely to Look at Tax Reform Anytime Soon

Gov. Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

In just over a month, Kentucky lawmakers go back to Frankfort for a special session on new boundaries for the state's legislative districts. But, there are no plans yet to resolve another issue facing the state.

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Politics
5:28 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Nate Silver Gives Alison Lundergan Grimes One-in-Five Chance in Senate Race

Credit Kentucky Secretary of State/U.S. Senate

Election guru Nate Silver is giving Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes a 20 percent chance of beating Senator Mitch McConnell in next year's election.

The Democrats hold a 54-46 majority in the Senate and are expected to regain the New Jersey seat later this year.

But the early speculation is Republicans will pick up at least three seats in 2014.  It's possible the GOP have enough to gain the majority, but Silver puts control of the Senate as a "toss-up" overall.

In regards to the Bluegrass, he says McConnell's seat could be vulnerable given his noted unpopularity, but the "fundamentals" favor the GOP leader over Grimes.

From FiveThirtyEight:

Kentucky. Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader, has only break-even approval ratings, and Democrats got one of their better potential recruits in Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Kentucky secretary of state.

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