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5:37 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Congressman Thomas Massie Proposes Bipartisan Bill to Ease Federal Sentencing Laws

Congressman Thomas Massie
Credit U.S. Congress

Joining a Democratic colleague, Republican Congressman Thomas Massie Kentucky is introducing a bipartisan bill to give federal judges more flexibility when issuing mandatory minimum sentences.

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Arts and Humanities
4:35 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Kentucky Inducts First African American Poet Laureate

Kentucky Poet Laureate Frank X Walker speaks at Kentucky Writers' Day in the Capitol.
Kentucky Arts Council

In the annual Kentucky Writers' Day program at the Capitol, Governor Steve Beshear inducted poet Frank X Walker as the state's new poet laureate. Walker is the first African American to hold the post, and at 53 years old, the University of Kentucky professor is also the youngest. The Kentucky Arts Council announced Walker's appointment in February.

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Local News
4:31 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Rogers Blasts FAA Chief Over Airport Layoffs, Delays

Rep. Hal Rogers

Kentucky Congressman Hal Rogers is criticizing the head of the Federal Aviation Administration for the layoffs of air traffic controllers and flight delays at the nation’s airports.

The Somerset Republican told Michael Huerta at an appropriations subcommittee hearing in Washington today that the furloughs took lawmakers by surprise.

Rogers says Congress never heard anything about the possibility from the FAA.

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Local News
3:18 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

U of L's Russ Smith Coming Back for Senior Season

Rick Howlett

Saying he wants to earn his degree and defend the school’s national championship, University of Louisville basketball player Russ Smith announced today that he’ll be back for his senior season.

Smith led the Cards in scoring this season and in the NCAA Tournament, which U of L won for the first time since 1986.

Smith has been wrestling with a decision on whether to enter the NBA draft.   He says he made up his mind this  morning after talking with coach Rick Pitino about his prospects in the league.

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Politics
3:11 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Kentucky Environmentalist Tom FitzGerald Mulling Bid Against Mitch McConnell

Environmental lawyer Tom FitzGerald
Credit http://valleywatch.net

Environmental activist and Louisville attorney Tom FitzGerald says he is being encouraged to run against Republican Mitch McConnell in the Kentucky 2014 U.S. Senate race.

The 58-year-old Democrat currently serves as executive director of the Kentucky Resources Council, an environmental group that lobbies state lawmakers on conservation issues.

In a telephone interview, FitzGerald told WFPL the decision is still in its early stages and leaving the non-profit world would be a significant change.

"For me to go into electoral politics and partisan politics is a very different way of approaching public service. I have a real fondness and appreciation for the amazing people of this Commonwealth and I've devoted my adult life to try to improve the quality of the community's health," he says.

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Business
2:53 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Lexington Gets Update on Rupp Arena Project

Credit Creative Commons

In about a month, more details are expected on who should design the renovation of Lexington’s Rupp Arena. The overall project to refurbish the sports arena along with the Lexington Convention Center carries an estimated price tag of close to $300 million.

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Politics
1:56 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Gabrielle Giffords's Super PAC Slams Mitch McConnell Over Gun Background Check Vote

Credit Executive Office of the President

A super PAC founded by former Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is calling out Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell for voting against gun control measures in a new radio advertisement.

Americans Responsible for Solutions was formed by Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly, and is launching the spots in the Louisville and Lexington areas. Giffords, who was shot in the head during a 2011 shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., has been an outspoken proponent for gun control measures since retiring from Congress.

The ad implores McConnell to listen to voters, and highlights 82 percent of Kentuckians favor background checks for gun purchases.

"McConnell opposed common sense checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals," the narrator says. "Written by a Republican and a Democrat. Supported by law enforcement officers. It was a common sense plan that protected Second Amendment Rights. But Senator McConnell ignored the will of the people."

Listen:


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Politics
12:39 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

State Rep. Carl Rollins' Resignation Sparks Early Campaign Battle

Carl Rollins
Credit Legislative Research Commission

Kentucky state Rep. Carl Rollins is resigning his House seat effective at the end of today, becoming the state first lawmaker to announce his retirement this cycle.

Rollins is resigning to become the executive director and the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority and the CEO of the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation.

Rollins' represents the 56th Legislative District, which covers part of Fayette and Franklin counties and all of Woodford  County.

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Politics
12:32 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Congressman John Yarmuth's Campaign Downplays Sparse FEC Report

Congressman John Yarmuth

The campaign for Kentucky Third District Congressman John Yarmuth is downplaying low fundraising totals, saying it shouldn’t be viewed as a sign the Democratic representative isn’t running for re-election.

Federal Election Commission records show Yarmuth raised a mere $5,000 in the first three months of 2013, which is far behind his colleagues in the Kentucky congressional delegation.

According to campaign finance records, the second lowest fundraising total among House members was longtime Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, who raised approximately $59,000 in the first quarter.

The other delegates raised somewhere between $90 to $365,000 during the same period.

Democratic sources who work on political financing tell WFPL Yarmuth's bleak numbers are a "signature of retirement" and observers note that is alarming low given how expensive House races can be.

"It is unusual there is no doubt about it," says University of Louisville political science professor Dewey Clayton. "And so to see a candidate who is an incumbent who has all the advantages, which usually means high name recognition that leads to the ability to raise funds."

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Education
11:16 am
Wed April 24, 2013

State Auditor Accepts Request to Review Jefferson County Public Schools

Credit Devin Katayama/WFPL

Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen accepted the Jefferson County Public Schools’ request to audit the school district today Wednesday.

Edelen was joined by JCPS board members, Superintendent Donna Hargens and Mayor Greg Fischer in announcing details of the audit which was approved by the board this week, following a recommendation from the superintendent.

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