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Environment
5:51 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Mine Safety Commission Rules in Favor of Whistleblower

Mackie Bailey in the P-1 Mine. The roof bolting machine's safety devices are visible in the foreground of the photo; law requires they be held against the roof.
Courtesy of Mackie Bailey

The Kentucky Mine Safety Review Commission has ruled that a coal miner who reported unsafe conditions won’t be punished for breaking the law.

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Local News
5:30 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

News of Rift Among Kentucky's LGBTQ Leaders is News to LGBTQ Leaders

Maurice "Bojangles" Blanchard
Credit File photo

  A Reuters article published this week puts Fairness President Chris Hartman and True Colors Ministry's Maurice "Bojangles" Blanchard "at loggerheads"—but the two men in question disagree.

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Education
5:13 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Kentucky Auditor, Education Commissioner Urge Transparency in Superintendent Contracts

Adam Edelen
Credit File photo

School superintendent contracts, benefit packages and evaluations would be available to the public online under recommendations supported by Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday and state Auditor Adam Edelen.

Edelen’s office has uncovered abuse of power at multiple school districts in recent months.

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Arts and Humanities
4:07 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

What If Abraham Lincoln Was Gay? New Play Explores LGBT Teen Issues

Bixby Elliot

Pandora Productions opens the world premiere of Bixby Elliot's "Abraham Lincoln Was a Faggot" tonight. The production is the winner of Pandora's  New Play Project, in which audience members voted for the new play they'd most like to see produced.

"Abraham Lincoln Was a Faggot" is directed by artistic director Michael Drury and runs in the Henry Clay Theatre (604 S. Third St.) through March 24. The company will host a “Meet the Playwright” opening night reception with  Elliot  immediately following the opening night performance at The FAF Gallery on the first floor of The Henry Clay Building.  

I spoke with Elliot about his serio-comic play, how we perceive our political icons, and the new play process.

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Politics
4:04 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Lexington Reporter Pulled from Democratic Club Meeting After Call from Mitch McConnell's Office

Democratic sources are alleging Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s office pressured the Lexington Herald-Leader to stop a reporter from addressing a political club, but the newspaper's editor denies any such demands were made.

Journalist John Cheves was invited to speak before the Louisville Metropolitan Democratic Club this week to talk about an investigative series he wrote on Kentucky's senior Senator in 2006.

The event caught the attention of McConnell’s office after being promoted by Progress Kentucky, a liberal super PAC that was denounced by Democrats and Republicans over racially insensitive Tweets about the senator's wife.

A source tells WFPL McConnell’s office questioned the newspaper's "journalistic integrity" and requested Cheves not appear.

Herald-Leader editor Peter Baniak says a McConnell spokesman did ask about the event, but no political pressure was applied.

"I gather they had seen something on social media mentioning the meeting and they just asked the simple question of whether it was accurate that John was the speaker. They didn’t make any demands of any kind," he says. "It was from that point the editors at the Herald-Leader did not know this meeting had been scheduled."

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Local News
3:47 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Louisville Cardinals Begin Last Big East Tournament As We Know It

The Louisville Cardinals men's basketball team begin play tonight in what will be the last Big East Conference Tournament as we know it.

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Local News
1:55 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Louisville Ethics Commission Recommends Barbara Shanklin's Removal from Metro Council

Barbara Shanklin
Credit Louisville Metro Council

The Louisville Metro Ethics Commission recommended on Thursday that Metro Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin be removed from the Metro Council for alleged ethics violations.

Shanklin, a Democrat from District 2, faced violating five provisions of the city's ethics code, including allegations that she misused taxpayer money in relation to an upholstery training program her office supported.

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Politics
12:55 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

As Session Nears Close, Kentucky Legislators Grapple with Smelter Issue

The smokestack of an aluminum smelting plant, 1973.
Credit Doug Wilson / Environmental Protection Agency

With only two days left in this year's Kentucky General Assembly session, time is running out for supporters of legislation meant to keep two western Kentucky aluminum smelters—which employ about 3,000 people—from closing.

Under state law, the smelters are required to purchase electricity from the nearest company—Big Rivers Electric, in this case.  The smelters say lower aluminum prices have them struggling to pay the bills; they're asking for more options for where they get electricity.

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Politics
9:55 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Congressman John Yarmuth: Ryan Budget Plan is the Enemy of Growth

Speaking at the House Budget Committee this week, Kentucky Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth said government should be a partner with business and the Republican-crafted 2014 budget will hurt economic growth.

Among the highlights GOP lawmakers have touted are $6.4 trillion in deficit cuts and reducing the corporate tax by 10 percent.

But Yarmuth told his congressional colleagues on Wednesday the GOP proposal is an "enemy" to growth, adding cuts to education, infrastructure and child-care programs are not what business leaders in Louisville are asking for.

"They want Washington's help, not its avoidance," he says. "I think the Ryan-Republican budget is a dismal failure. All of the things that are businesses are crying out for the Ryan budget would emphasize or in fact dramatically reduce."

Watch:

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Arts and Humanities
7:00 am
Thu March 14, 2013

The Big Break: Reaching and Teaching

This week on The Big Break, our audio diarists talk about being on both sides of the showcase process. Actors Theatre of Louisville apprentice Samantha Beach is rehearsing for her short scene showcase, which will be seen by casting directors and other influential industry members during Humana Festival. That's one way the apprentice program helps young actors like Samantha set up their post-Actors career. Over at the Louisville Ballet School, where ballet trainee Claire Horrocks teaches, her young students are preparing for their annual recital.

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