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12:35 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Kentucky Death Sentence Case

Sarah Hansen
Credit Evansville Courier&Press

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide the fate of a death row inmate condemned for the kidnapping and killing of a high school honor student in western Kentucky.      

The high court on Thursday granted a Kentucky prosecutor's appeal seeking to reinstate the death sentence of 39-year-old Robert Keith Woodall. A jury sentenced Woodall to die for the 1997 murder of 16-year-old Sarah Hansen.

Hansen vanished on Jan. 25, 1997, after going to a store in Greenville. Her remains were later found in Luzerne Lake.

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Politics
12:25 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Mitch McConnell Says Immigration Reform Fails to Properly Secure U.S. Border

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Credit U.S. Senate

UPDATE: The Senate passed the 'Gang of 8' bill by a 68-32 margin with 14 Republicans joining Democrats to approve the legislation.

Earlier: Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is voting against the comprehensive immigration reform bill due to a lack of border security provisions.

The Senate is expected to vote on the final version of the so-called ‘Gang of 8’ measure on Thursday, and observers predict it will receive bipartisan support.

Earlier this week, lawmakers amended the bill to include a number of security provisions such as doubling the number of federal agents, authorize aerial drones to track illegal crossings and require a 700-mile fence to be constructed along the U.S.-Mexico line.

The changes were co-sponsored by Republican John Hoeven of North Dakota, and received a bipartisan 69-29 vote in the Senate.

But speaking on the Senate floor Thursday morning, McConnell says the legislation still doesn't meet a proper threshold of needed security and that it repeats the problems with previous bills.

"In other words, in the absence of a very firm, results-based border security trigger, there’s just no way I can look at my constituents, look them in the eye and tell them that today’s assurances won’t become tomorrow’s disappointments. And since the bill before us doesn’t include such a trigger, I won’t be able to support it,” he says.

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Arts and Humanities
7:00 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Unbound: Silas House and Manuel Gonzales on 'The War at Home'

On today’s episode, we’re going behind the front lines in the war at home. In our first story, a young boy in Eastern Kentucky writes to his pen pal, an Indian immigrant living in Manhattan, about life in the mountains during the 2008 elections. Silas House reads a chapter from “Same Sun Here.” Then, a man shrinks his wife and gives her a doll house to live in. The wife doesn’t take it lying down. Manuel Gonzales reads “The Miniature Wife.”

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Environment
6:07 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Kentucky Study Finds No Dangerous Levels of Heavy Metals in Public Drinking Water

Gabe Bullard WFPL

A new study by the Kentucky Division of Water finds there isn’t an unhealthy concentration of certain heavy metals in drinking water.

The state’s study is a response to a growing body of work that suggests there is a higher risk of cancer in Appalachian mining communities.

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Environment
4:54 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

White House Releases State-Specific Facts Making Case for Climate Change Action

Axel Kristinsson Wikimedia Commons

The White House has released state-specific facts about climate change, following the release of President Obama’s climate change proposal yesterday.

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Local News
4:38 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Update: Now it's a Flash Flood Warning

Credit National Weather Service

Louisville is under a flash flood warning until 8:30 p.m., the National Weather Service says.

The weather service says it's gotten reports of minor flooding in flood-prone areas. It argues people to not drive on water-covered roads.

Here's what it looked like earlier outside of our office on Fourth Street:

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Local News
4:27 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Indiana to Move Some Mentally Ill Inmates to Treatment Center

Indiana Department of Correction officials say they hope to move all of the prison system's seriously mentally ill inmates to one central location designed for their care by January.

Department officials said at a court hearing Wednesday they intend to move seriously ill inmates to a new treatment center at a prison in Pendleton.

A federal judge ruled in December that by simply locking mentally ill prisoners up in their cells without adequate treatment, the department was violating the inmates' constitutional right against cruel and unusual punishment.

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Local News
3:55 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Rep. Guthrie Hopes Ft. Knox Cuts Can Be Offset

Creative Commons

U.S. Rep. Brett Gurthrie says he's hopeful the military will find a replacement for the infantry brigade that will leave Ft. Knox by 2017.

Guthrie, a Republican whose second district includes the Hardin County region, says he’s been in contact with area leaders since Tuesday's announcement of personnel cuts by the Army.

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Local News
2:36 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Business Group Says It Has Financing to Reopen Kentucky Kingdom

WFPL file photo/Rick Howlett

The Louisville business partners who plan to reopen the Kentucky Kingdom amusement park say they’ve secured the financing needed for the redevelopment.

The group, led by businessman Ed Hart, initially had until late April to have financing in place. They were later given a month-long deadline.

The announcement that Hart's group has financing in place comes days before the deadline.

The lease agreement has already been executed, a fair board spokeswoman tells WFPL.

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Local News
2:23 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Photos: Fairness Campaign Rallies Over DOMA Ruling

Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman leads the rally
Gabe Bullard WFPL News

The Fairness Campaign held a rally downtown Wednesday to celebrate the Supreme Court's ruling declaring the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

Celebrators carried signs and chanted, but there was a reminder of the challenges LGBT Kentuckians still face, and several attendees blasted the Supreme Court for striking a key provision of the Voting Rights Act in a decision released yesterday.

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