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Local News
1:16 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Rep. Massie: Congress Should Share Blame for IRS Scandal

Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie says Capitol Hill lawmakers should take some of the blame for the scandal at the Internal Revenue Service.

The Republican made the charge during a Wednesday hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Massie is a member of the panel looking into the improper IRS scrutiny of conservative organizations seeking tax-exempt status.   He says Congress has created tax laws that are misinterpreted and misapplied.  

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Politics
1:14 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Councilwoman Attica Scott’s 'Bringing Down the House' Push Questioned, Praised

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Scott’s push to demolish the worst vacant and abandoned properties in District 1 has ignited a debate between residents and neighborhood leaders on how to tackle the problem.

The "Bringing Down the House" initiative is part of Metro Government’s overall effort to raze houses officials argued cannot be rehabilitated.

In January, Scott appropriated $25,000 in discretionary funds to pay for just over half a dozen demolitions mostly in the Parkland neighborhood.

Just this week, Scott's office announced one of those targeted properties located a 3020 Hale Avenue was torn down by city crews. It is the second house to be razed on that block in recent months, and another on Virginia Avenue was demolished last year.

In the announcement, Scott said this is an intentional attempt to clean up a scourge of empty structures. But neighborhood activists such as Chickasaw Federation President Donovan Taylor say tearing down those properties is not the answer, adding more should be done to refurbish those homes.

"There's a blight that comes with vacancy in the form of overgrown grass, liter and blight. And demolishing the homes does not eliminate that primary primary. You’re killing the fabric of the neighborhood when you may have a block that once had 20 homes that now only have 10 homes," he says. "We have on house on Cecil and Greenwood that during the summer the grass becomes so high that you can barely see the home because it’s between two vacant lots."

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Education
12:49 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Central High School Revitalizes Closed Pool

Louisville’s Central High School principal Daniel Withers did something Thursday morning that hasn’t been done at the school for over a decade.

He went for a swim.

When the pool closed in 2000 it was serving well over 1,000 people a month, according to Metro Parks, which last managed the pool. The pool is only the second JCPS pool—the other one is located at Shawnee High School—serving the estimated thousands of middle and high school swimmers in the district.

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Commentary
7:15 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Tornado Threats and Warnings, From Louisville in '74 to Oklahoma City in '13

A tornado in Southern Indiana in 2012.
Credit Gary Cooper/National Weather Service

The devastation near Oklahoma City this week is the latest reminder of the tremendous damage tornadoes and other cataclysmic storms can inflict. The reminders are frequent. Last year, in our own region, we had the late-winter tornado in Henryville, which wiped out the town and united the region in relief efforts. Later in the year, Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast. 

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Local News
5:22 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Boil Water Advisory Issued for Southwestern Louisville Neighborhood

Areas under boil water advisory.
Credit Louisville Water Co.

Update 4:55 p.m. Thursday: The boil water advisory has been lifted.

So a Louisville Water Company contractor was working on a water main replacement and the main was cut, causing residents of the Windsor Forest neighborhood to lose water service.

With that, a boil water advisory has been issued Wednesday afternoon for the southwestern Louisville neighborhood "until water quality tests confirm the water is safe to drink." (See map for details on that area.) 

The advisory is expected to be in place "for at least 24 hours," the water company says.

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Local News
5:09 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Louisville Metro Police Officer Accused of Ordering Woman to Expose Herself

Credit Shutterstock.com

A Louisville Metro Police officer is facing misconduct charges after he allegedly asked a woman to expose herself and later touched her improperly.

Officer Joe Burden is accused of asking the women to partially strip her clothes in October, after detaining her during a call to service and falsely telling her she had a warrant—and that other officers wanted her arrested, according to a criminal complaint summons. She complied.

Soon after, the woman filed a complaint with LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit.

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Local News
4:02 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Report: Kentucky Doctor Shortage Likely to Worsen With Health Care Expansion

Wikipedia

A technology firm hired by the state says the planned expansion of Kentucky’s Medicaid program and the push to help the uninsured get health coverage will likely worsen the state’s shortage of physicians.

Gov. Steve Beshear announced earlier this month that he will expand the state’s Medicaid program to cover an additional 300,000 people, most of them working poor who don’t have insurance coverage.   He’s also ordered the creation of the health benefits exchange to help more than 300,000 others get coverage.

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Local News
3:39 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Ford Cuts Maintenance Days To Produce More Vehicles At Louisville Truck Plant

For the second straight year,  Ford Motor Company will reduce the number of days it shuts down its Louisville Truck Plant this summer for maintenance.

Every year Ford and other North American car manufacturing companies shut down for a couple of weeks to repair, maintain or change their factory lines. Officials say increased sales and higher demand are pushing the American car production, which has been strong.

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Environment
3:32 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Kentucky Coal Employment Hits Lowest Level Since 1950

Decumanus Wikimedia Commons

A quarterly report shows that the number of jobs in Kentucky’s coal industry has dropped to the lowest level in at least 63 years.

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Politics
2:27 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Ethics Watchdog Group Requests Councilman Dan Johnson Step Down from Shanklin Removal Trial

Councilman Dan Johnson, D-21

The chairman of an ethics watchdog group is questioning whether Louisville Metro Councilman Dan Johnson, D-21, should serve as a juror on fellow council member Barbara Shanklin’s removal trial.

The 20-member council court convened earlier this week to schedule a hearing after the Ethics Commission ruled Shanklin violated five provisions of the city’s code of ethics.

City lawmakers will sit as a jury to decide whether to oust Shanklin in a trial beginning July 23.

Last September, however, Shanklin’s attorney Aubrey Williams entered an affidavit alleging Johnson told him the commission was prejudiced against his client, and mishandled the proceedings.

"Johnson called ... and informed me that his wife’s sister’s husband was a friend of a certain Commission   member, who had told the friend that the commissioners were out to get Barbara Shanklin," Williams wrote. "That is to say that they had made up their minds to rule against her. He stated that he did not think they were going to be fair to her when the hearing got underway."

Common Cause of Kentucky Chairman Richard Beliles filed the initial ethics complaint against Shanklin. He  says Johnson’s prior interference in the case raises concerns if the south Louisville Democrat can adequately serve on the jury.

"It’s really important that the public has confidence in whatever jury. So from that standpoint, reading about and hearing about the questions about Metro Councilman Dan Johnson, it would seem to me that perhaps he should consider recusing himself from that jury," he says.

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