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Environment
2:16 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Abramson Awarded Environmental Steward Award

Kentucky Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson was awarded the 2013 Public Leadership in Energy and Environmental Steward Award at an annual meeting of the National Lieutenant Governor’s Association in Washington, D.C.

The award was presented by General Electric, a company with which Abramson worked extensively during his years as Louisville’s mayor. From the press release:

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Politics
1:54 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Tackle With TAC4 Hosting Immigration Forum

A Louisville-based consulting firm is hosting a forum on immigration reform with the hope of finding common ground.

In the past year, TAC 4 Solutions had held several public discussions on tough political issues such as gun control, campaign finance reform and President Obama’s health care law. The group's aim is to hold respectful dialogue and change the tone of political conversation.

There appears to be movement on improving the immigration system after Republicans performed poorly among Hispanics in the fall election.

Recently, Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., delivered a speech on immigration reform that was praised by liberal and Tea Party activists. Paul noted that Republicans have been losing "both the respect and votes" of Hispanics due to the GOP's "harsh rhetoric."

Kate Miller is a program director with the ACLU of Kentucky, and a featured panelist. She says it is encouraging to hear Paul’s remarks because the majority of Americans want to improve the system.

"We haven’t had an opportunity to review all of Senator Paul’s proposal, but I can assure you that we are thrilled that his proposal includes a pathway to citizenship," she says. "And really it’s not surprising that someone with his political background would support a more practical system. As most people know, it’s very expensive to maintain our current immigration system."

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Environment
1:19 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Discarded Electronics Create Environmental Problems Nationwide...Is This the Case in Louisville?

takomabibelot Wikimedia Commons

The New York Times ran a story earlier this week that chronicles the growing problem of electronic waste in America. Even when consumers take their old devices to recycling centers (rather than disposing of them in landfills), often the electronics don’t actually get recycled properly. This made me wonder: is this the case in Louisville?

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Politics
1:14 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Kentucky Hemp Supporters Blast Amendment Calling for Further Study

James Comer
Credit File photo

Kentucky's industrial hemp supporters lashed out Thursday against a last-minute amendment to the hemp bill that's been under consideration this year in the General Assembly.

State Rep. Rocky Adkins, a Sandy Hook Democrat and the majority floor leader, has proposed an amendment turning the Senate-approve hemp bill into a five year study. It also gives the licensing responsibilities to Kentucky State Police, which argues that legalized hemp would harm law enforcement efforts to target hemp's cousin, marijuana.

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Local News
12:59 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

A 16 Seed Upsetting a 1 Seed is Inevitable, Writers Say

Credit Western Kentucky University

Update: Louisville easily defeated North Carolina A&T  but Gonzaga struggled against Southern. Indiana plays James Madison on Friday afternoon and Kansas plays Western Kentucky Friday night.

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Arts and Humanities
7:00 am
Thu March 21, 2013

The Big Break: On Your Toes

This week on The Big Break, the Louisville Ballet rehearses for its upcoming mixed repertory program, Breaking Ground while trainee Claire Horrocks gets called up to the stage for a surprise bonus role. Over at Actors Theatre of Louisville, acting apprentice Samantha Beach finishes up rehearsals for "Sleep Rock Thy Brain," the apprentice anthology play that opens this weekend, and she reflects on the new play rehearsal process. 

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Local News
6:56 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Oldham Is Kentucky's Healthiest County. (Jefferson County Isn't Even Close.)

Credit Shutterstock.com

Oldham is the healthiest county in Kentucky. The least healthy? Floyd County in eastern Kentucky.

The ranking of health outcomes among Kentucky's 120 counties considers tobacco use, diet and exercise, access to healthcare and other factors. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute did the analysis.

Jefferson County ranked 30th. Shelby County ranked third and Bullitt County ranked 25th.

The other least healthy counties just above Floyd are Perry, Breathitt, Wolfe and Lee, the rankings said.

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Environment
6:04 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Kentucky Denies Permit for Coal Ash Landfill At Trimble County Power Plant

LG&E's Trimble County Power Station
Erica Peterson WFPL

The Kentucky Division of Waste Management has denied a pending permit for a coal ash landfill in Trimble County.

The proposed landfill would have been 218 acres, near Louisville Gas and Electric’s Trimble County Power Station. It was meant to store the coal ash produced by the plant, but ever since it was first proposed, the project has encountered numerous problems.

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Local News
4:35 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Senator Rand Paul Joins Democrat to Give Judges More Flexibility in Federal Sentencing

Senator Rand Paul
Credit U.S. Senate

Joining Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., has introduced a bill to allow judges greater flexibility in sentencing federal crimes where a mandatory minimum punishment is considered unnecessary.

The bipartisan Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013 will expand the so-called "safety valve", which allows judges to impose a sentence below the mandatory minimum in qualifying drug cases.   

Leahy and Paul are polar opposites politically, but the two senators agree more latitude is needed to address the country's growing prison population and spiraling costs. 

For many critics, the "tough-on-crime" of the past 30 years have created laws that disproportionately effect minorities and the poor.

Paul emphasizes that the mandatory laws are a part of federal overreach where more judicial discretion is needed.

"Our country’s mandatory minimum laws reflect a Washington-knows-best, one-size-fits-all approach, which undermines the Constitutional Separation of Powers, violates the our bedrock principle that people should be treated as individuals, and costs the taxpayers money without making them any safer," Paul said in a news release. "This bill is necessary to combat the explosion of new federal criminal laws, many of which carry new mandatory minimum penalties."

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Local News
4:23 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Louisville Cards Begin NCAA Title Quest in Lexington

U of L Senior Guard Peyton Siva
Rick Howlett

With the number one overall seed, a Big East Tournament title and a nine-game winning streak on its resume,  the University of Louisville begins play in the men’s NCAA basketball tournament tomorrow  in Lexington.  

The Cards take on North Carolina A&T, which defeated Liberty in Tuesday’s play-in game.  It was the Aggies’ first-ever NCAA tournament victory.

U of L senior guard Peyton Siva says the Cards are clicking—as a team--at the right time.

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