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Environment
3:52 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Federal, State Regulators Plan Cleanup For Contaminated Homes Near Black Leaf Site

Erica Peterson WFPL

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection plan to remediate all 69 of the contaminated residential sites near the former Black Leaf Chemical Plant.

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Local News
3:29 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

UK, GE to Collaborate on Appliances Research

The University of Kentucky has reached an agreement with GE Appliances to collaborate on research aimed at producing innovations in the appliances business.

UK President Eli Capilouto  joined GE Appliances executives to announce the collaboration today  at the company’s Appliance Park in Louisville.

The agreement also sets terms for the licensing and sharing of jointly developed innovations.

GE Appliances Vice President Kevin Nolan says the partnership will allow the company to tap into the technical expertise of UK scientists and engineers.

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Environment
1:53 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

More on the Emerald Ash Borer, and Personal Responsibility

Jacob Trader of Limbwalker getting ready to treat an ash tree in Cherokee Park.
Erica Peterson WFPL

Last week, I wrote about emerald ash borers in Louisville, and the toll the pest could take on the city’s tree canopy. So, if you have an ash tree in your yard, what can you do?

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Local News
12:14 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Transforming Wendell Berry's Writing into Music

Andrew Maxfield

It didn’t take long for Utah-based composer, Andrew Maxfield, to fall in love with the poetry of Wendell Berry.

However, it did take 6-years to figure out exactly how he could turn those words into a piece of music.

The journey led to him through the roots of Kentucky music and to a collaboration with both Berry and blues musician Eric Bibb.

I recently caught up with Andrew Maxfield, to hear more of the final composition called, “Celebrating Wendell Berry in Music."

You can learn more about the project at wendellberrymusic.com

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Politics
8:55 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Louisville Tea Party Calls Mitch McConnell A Hypocrite for Defending NSA Surveillance

The Louisville Tea Party calls out McConnell
Credit Twitter

The Louisville Tea Party is blasting Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for defending the National Security Agency's surveillance program while decrying a secret recording of his own campaign office.

Earlier this week, McConnell said the NSA obtaining the call logs for millions of Americans is legal, adding it has the proper congressional and judicial oversight.

McConnell acknowledged privacy concerns, but said the national intelligence director declassified enough information to downplay the public's concerns.

In a Twitter message sent out Wednesday afternoon, however, the tea party group representing Kentucky's largest city called McConnell a "hypocrite" for supporting the program.

"Hey @Team_Mitch, why do you get so upset when someone spies on you, but you want to spy on all of us?"

The online message makes reference to McConnell and his re-election staff crying foul over a liberal activist who recorded campaign strategy session.

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Local News
8:09 am
Thu June 13, 2013

The Courier-Journal's Owner is Buying WHAS-11's. What Might That Mean in Louisville?

Credit Joseph Lord/WFPL

The Gannett Co. agreed on Thursday to purchase Belo Corp. for $1.5 billion—which is sure to affect the Louisville media landscape. 

Gannett owns The Courier-Journal. Belo owns WHAS-11.

It's a wild twist, because the Bingham family used to own both news outlets. 

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Politics
7:00 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Poll: Kentuckians Favor Senate Immigration Bill 3-to-1

A new poll shows a solid majority of Kentucky voters support the comprehensive immigration reform bill currently being debated in the U.S. Senate.

The survey conducted by Harper Polling finds 63 percent of Kentuckians favor the so-called 'Gang of 8' legislation, with just 20 percent opposed. It also shows that 73 percent of likely voters support a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country.

Members of Kentucky's federal delegation have been at the center of the immigration debate thus far, with  Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth working on the House version and Republican Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul both saying the Senate bill will need to be changed.

But observers note the high percentage of those in the state who support the principles of the 'Gang of 8' bill illustrates the outcome is brighter than previous attempts to reform the system.

"When you look at a number like that when it's that high it makes you think there's a chance something can actually get passed. And when Kentucky members of Congress and our two senators see this kind of approval back in their home state and back in their home districts it’s going to increase the likelihood of them wanting to vote for it," says former Republican Secretary of State Trey Grayson, who is director of the Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.

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Local News
5:08 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Seven Counties Services Extends Same-Sex Benefits To Employees

Credit Seven Counties Services

Seven Counties Services has announced it will extend health insurance to same-sex domestic partners for its employees.

Seven Counties is the state’s largest non-profit organization offering mental health and developmental services.

Vice president for Human Resources Lisa Leet says the board of directors approved the change after discussing it the past several years.

“We serve individuals who are frequently marginalized so we thought it was appropriate to extend our health insurance and dental insurance to a larger segment of the community," Leet says.

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Local News
4:38 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Indiana Lawmakers Override Gov. Pence's Veto

Indiana state lawmakers have overridden Gov. Mike Pence’s veto of a  tax measure.

The House and Senate both voted  today to override Pence’s veto of the bill that allows officials in Pulaski  and Jackson counties to retroactively implement a local income tax that had expired.      

Even though it was not reauthorized, the counties continued to collect the tax, which is used to fund local jails.

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Education
3:22 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

KDE'sTerry Holliday and JCPS' Donna Hargens Talk Failing Schools

Education Commissioner Terry Holliday and JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens appeared at a community forum earlier this year.
Credit Devin Katayama

Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday says if Jefferson County Public Schools turns around its lowest-achieving schools—called "priority schools"—it would help turn around all statewide education results.

JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens says that doesn’t go far enough, and she maintains committed to results for all students.

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