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5:00 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Congressman Thomas Massie Advises Tea Party Critics to Lay Off Senator Mitch McConnell

Congressman Thomas Massie
Credit U.S. Congress

Kentucky Republican Congressman Thomas Massie is advising Tea Party activists to think twice before waging a primary challenge to Senator Mitch McConnell next year.

The freshman lawmaker was heavily backed by the Tea Party in his race for the Fourth Congressional District seat last year. 

Massie is often mentioned as a potential 2014 Senate candidate, and has flexed a level of independence from the GOP establishment. He voted against Speaker John Boehner and recently opposed the Ryan budget plan because it wasn't conservative enough.

But Massie has repeatedly turned down offers to run and told reporters on multiple occasions he isn’t interested.

And in an interview with WFPL, he says Tea Party activists in Kentucky who want to continue to have an impact on national politics should reconsider their opposition to McConnell.

"My advice to people who are frustrated with Washington is that there’s probably a better way to spend your time, effort, money, blood, sweat and tears than trying to have Senator McConnell unelected. I think there are a lot better chances and better use of your time in terms of changing Washington, D.C.," he says.

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Education
4:40 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Louisville Student Takes on School-to-Prison Pipeline

Credit fbi.gov

A Louisville student has organized a conference this weekend to discuss the School to Prison Pipeline, a concept that says many public school policies are resulting in a disproportionate number of minority and low-income students entering the justice system.

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony for the first time last year bringing national attention into the chambers of the federal government.

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Politics
4:22 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

'Religious Freedom' Bill Sponsor Urges House Leaders to Override Gubernatorial Veto

State Rep. Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville

Kentucky Rep. Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville, is urging fellow Democrats in the state House to override Governor Steve Beshear's veto of the so-called 'religious freedom' bill.

The governor blocked the legislation Friday after tremendous pressure to reject the measure, which would allow residents to ignore any laws or regulations that violate tenets of their faith.

Opponents included a wide range of social justice groups, state organizations and public officials such as Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, who argued House Bill 279 was too vague and could threaten civil rights protections for racial minorities, women and LGBT residents.

Beshear says religious freedom is a cornerstone of American democracy and important to Kentuckians, but the bill’s vague language would be problematic and expensive.

"I have serious concerns that this bill will cause unintentional consequences that could threaten public safety, health care and individual civil rights. As written, the bill will undoubtedly lead to costly litigation,” he says. "I’ve heard from many organizations and governmental entities that share these same concerns. Therefore, after giving this measure thoughtful analysis and consideration, today I vetoed the bill."

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Local News
4:15 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Byline | NPR's Mike Pesca on March Madness; 'Religious Freedom' Bill; Bourbon and More

Here are the topics covered this hour on Byline (full audio available below):

At the top - The games have begun and March Madness is here. NPR’s Mike Pesca joins us with his analysis of the men’s NCAA basketball tournament.

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Politics
2:31 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Gov. Steve Beshear Vetoes Controversial 'Religious Freedom' Bill

Gov. Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

Update: The "religious freedom" bill's sponsor is urging Democrats in the Kentucky House to override the governor's veto.

Earlier: Gov. Steve Beshear on Friday vetoed the controversial "religious freedom" bill recently approved by the Kentucky General Assembly.

Here's his statement: 

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Environment
1:28 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Energy Efficiency Saves Money, Teaches Lessons at Kentucky School

Richardsville Elementary
Erica Peterson WFPL

Kentucky’s utility rates are among the lowest in the nation. But even so, several public school districts have found that it still pays to build energy efficient schools. One such school in Warren County has taken efficiency even further, and is now generating more energy than the building uses.

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Local News
12:46 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Commission Narrows Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Nominees to Three

Gov. Steve Beshear has 60 days to appoint a new justice for the Kentucky Supreme Court once the state's Judicial Nominating Commission hands over the list that was narrowed down to three names this week.

Justice Wil Schroder retired in January from the 6th Supreme Court District which includes 21 northern Kentucky counties.

The commission--made up of Chief Justice John Minton, members appointed by the state bar association and citizens appointed by the governor--is responsible for requesting and considering nominees presented by the state bar. 

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Local News
11:10 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Byline Today: March Madness, the 'Religious Freedom' Bill and More

March Madness in full swing, what the "religious freedom" bill means legally and bourbon expert Mike Veach talks, well, bourbon today on Byline.

The Louisville Cardinals rolled in their first men's basketball NCAA Tournament game Thursday and the Indiana Hoosiers and Western Kentucky Hilltoppers are scheduled to play. NPR's Mike Pesca will join host Rick Howlett to discuss what's happened and what's to come.

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Local News
7:10 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Media Critic | Pew Study Sheds More Light on Crime-Focused TV News

James Miller
Credit Submitted photo

Just a few weeks after my last column on Louisville television news' focus on crime, the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism published their annual State of the News Media report. The report confirms the assertions in my column: local stations are adding more hours to their news programming even as viewership declines, and crime stories dominate local TV news. The Pew study included weather and sports stories; when my students collected their data, they omitted those two topics if the stories aired during show blocks exclusively reserved for them. Once you remove weather and sports from Pew’s data, crime is the number one topic.

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Local News
9:40 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Louisville Cardinals Roll in NCAA Tournament Opener, 79-48

The Louisville Cardinals have advanced in the men’s NCAA tournament, easily winning their opener 79-48 over North Carolina A&T tonight in Lexington.

Russ Smith led the Cards with 23 points and eight steals.    

U of L, the tournament’s top overall seed, will face Colorado State Saturday in third round tournament action at Rupp Arena.

The 16th-seeded Aggies finished their season with a 20-17 record.      

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