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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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Local News
3:48 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Indiana Lawmakers to Hold Hearing on ISTEP Glitches

Indiana Public Media

The president of the company that administers the ISTEP  standardized test to students across Indiana is scheduled to defend her company before a panel of state lawmakers this week.

Nearly 80,000 students were frozen out of the online portion of the test last month because of computer glitches.

CTB/McGraw-Hill  President Ellen Haley is scheduled to testify before the legislative panel Friday.

Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz also announced last week that the state has hired an independent contractor to review the test results.

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Local News
9:28 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Community Groundbreaking for Downtown Bridge to be Held Tuesday

Federal, state and local officials are inviting the public to take part in a groundbreaking this week for a new downtown Louisville bridge.

The downtown crossing is part of the larger Ohio River Bridges Project, which includes the redesign of the Spaghetti Junction interchange and new bridge in eastern Jefferson County.

Spokeswoman Mindy Peterson says if all goes according to schedule, traffic should be moving on a new downtown bridge in less than three years.

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Environment
6:38 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Environmental Justice Rally Scheduled for Thursday

Organizers are hoping a march and rally this Thursday will be one of the biggest environmental justice events ever held in Kentucky.

The event is organized by Kentucky Interfaith Power and Light, in conjunction with the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly, which is also happening in Louisville this week. It’s meant to raise awareness of the environmental effects of burning fossil fuels—like coal—for energy, and the ways it affects nearby residents.

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Environment
6:34 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Tar Sands Mining to Begin This Summer in Logan County, Kentucky

A tar sands operation in Alberta, Canada
Howlcollective Flickr

Later this summer, a company plans to open a surface mine in southern Kentucky. But the operation won’t be mining for coal. Instead, they’re seeking to extract a new natural resource in the commonwealth: tar sands.

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