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8:40 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Vision Louisville Gives Mayor Greg Fischer Chance to Tout Local Option Sales Tax

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is inviting residents to share their big ideas at a town hall meeting this week, but the administration has an added incentive—promoting the local option sales tax.

Vision Louisville is a public forum series scheduled to take place throughout the city and is part of Fischer’s 25-year strategic plan.

The mayor hopes to gather 45,000 ideas from citizens over the next 45 days on how Louisville should develop and feel. Among the issues heard at the first public forum held last month were public transportation, quality of life and arts funding.

Many of those and other ideas being shared concentrate on economic development, and mayoral spokesman Phil Miller says Fischer believes any future for Louisville must include a look at the cost of and how to pay for large-scale development.

"Certainly the idea of a progressive Louisville where progressive projects are undertaking is tied very closely to the LIFT initiative. And I think that’s why he thinks it’s important for the future of the city,” he says.

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Environment
6:46 am
Mon July 8, 2013

What Role Would Coal Play in a Grimes-McConnell Senate Race?

Decumanus Wikimedia Commons

Now that Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes has announced her intention to seek the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, the speculation about how Grimes will campaign against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell—and on what issues—has begun.  

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Education
6:44 am
Mon July 8, 2013

JCPS Board To Approve New Dropout Age And New Code of Conduct

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Jefferson County Public Schools is expected to join the 88 Kentucky school districts that have voluntarily approved a new dropout age of 18, following approval by the school board at Monday night's meeting.

Many of those districts rushed to voluntarily approve the new dropout age, raising it from 16 to 18. This is partly because Gov. Steve Beshear and the Kentucky Education Department are giving $10,000 grants to the first 96 districts that approve the policy. 

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Local News
7:02 am
Sun July 7, 2013

What We're Reading | 7.7.13

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Each week, members of the WFPL News team spotlight interesting stories we've read and enjoyed, for your weekend reading pleasure:

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Local News
7:00 am
Sun July 7, 2013

Kentucky Child Care Subsidy Cuts Will Cost Jobs, Options in Louisville

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Richard Morris owns a dozen child care centers around Louisville.

He expects he'll have to eventually close them all because of recently enacted cuts to a Kentucky financial assistance program for low-income families to cover child care costs.

The cuts may gradually cost more than a thousand day care workers their jobs in Louisville and force many day care centers to close, advocates warn.

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Local News
6:00 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

You Can't Pay Court Fines at 3 a.m. Anymore at the Courthouse

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A staffing change and a tight budget have led the Jefferson Circuit Clerk’s office to stop taking payments for fines 24/7.

For years, clerks were available at all hours at the Hall of Justice in downtown Louisville to accept fine payments and other administrative matters. But a recent change to spread district court dockets throughout the day meant that more staff were needed on the court’s dayside.

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Local News
5:16 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Kentucky Introduces Winery App and 1st Annual Statewide Competition

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Louisville is hosting the state’s first annual commercial wine competition this month to rate and celebrate wineries around the state.

“We’ve gotten to a point in the industry where I think it’s really important to bring people in that aren’t all necessarily from Kentucky to really assess Kentucky wines and let us know about the quality,” says Tyler Madison, director of the grape and wine marketing program for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

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Politics
3:10 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Alison Lundergan Grimes Launches U.S. Senate Campaign Website

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes's campaign website

Five days after an unusual rollout, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes has launched an official campaign website to solicit donations for the U.S. Senate race in Kentucky.

On Monday, Grimes said she intended to seek the party's nomination to take on Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell.

But observers were uncertain why the first-term secretary of state did not take advantage of the much anticipated decision by launching a campaign that could take contributions.

After the July 1 announcement, Grimes lacked much of a social media presence and hadn't done any media appearances. Meanwhile, the McConnell campaign, which has raised nearly $13 million for his re-election bid thus far, launched two online videos this week mocking Grimes's rollout.

In a telephone interview, spokesman Jonathan Hurst told WFPL Grimes hadn't launched a site because she officially filed with Senate clerk, but that a full campaign would not be active until the end of the month.

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Politics
12:34 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Senate Candidates Decry Kentucky Democratic Party E-mail Promoting Alison Lundergan Grimes

The three other Democrats running for Kentucky’s U.S. Senate seat are criticizing their party for promoting Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes in a message to supporters.

When Grimes announced earlier this week she intends to seek the Democratic nomination to run against Republican Mitch McConnell next year the state party quickly sought donations.

The Grimes campaign has yet to set up a fundraising operation, but the party can receive political contributions towards the 2014 campaign.

In a July 1 e-mail sent out by KDP finance director Jared Smith, the party says defeating McConnell "won't be easy" and asks state Democrats to help them building a grassroots effort to "make sure Alison wins."

But Owensboro contractor Ed Marksberry, Louisville music promoter Bennie J. Smith and U of L professor Greg Leitchy argue the message violates Democratic Party by-laws to stay out of primary elections, adding the party has effectively endorsed Grimes over them.

"To be honest with you it’s just a very amateurish, sophomoric move on their part. And they need to be called out for it," says Marksberry, who has officially filed to run for Senate. "And we need to move forward and get past this, and figure out what we’re going to do to give everybody else equal access, equal time and equal resources like they’ve done for Mrs. Alison Lundergan Grimes."

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