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Environment
6:30 am
Fri January 25, 2013

No End in Sight for Clash Between Residents, Rubbertown Industry

Rail cars filled with the toxic chemical butadiene cross the road near Rubbertown.
Erica Peterson WFPL

Eboni Cochran says there’s a lot to like about her neighborhood in Louisville’s West End.

“You make a right and you will hit lots of green space, beautiful parkway with beautiful tall trees, with nice houses,” she says.

Cochran is a leader with a volunteer group called REACT: Rubbertown Emergency ACTion.

"But then to the left, you are going to run into lots of railroad tracks, you’re going to see railcars that are parked behind trees throughout your little route. And on the right you’re going to start seeing the beginnings of Rubbertown, chemical plants.”

And there’s the ‘but.’ Pretty much everyone I spoke with for this series—from Park DuValle to Riverside Gardens—said they like living where they live. But the health and safety problems—past, present and potential—seriously affect their quality of life.

So, what’s the answer? Do you kick out the industry? Move the people? Or find some middle ground where everyone can coexist? And for people who have spent their lives worried about toxic emissions from Rubbertown, is it even possible to coexist?

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Local News
7:00 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Fischer Backs President Obama's Gun Control Measures, but State Law Hampers City Efforts

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer
Credit Gabe Bullard/WFPL

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says President Obama's proposal for gun control laws are rational and that he'd like to see new legislation passed.

But those comments are in stark contrast to a state law that is forcing changes to the city's definition of deadly weapons and now allow firearms to be carried in city-owned buildings.

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Politics
6:05 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Fischer Lobbies for Local Option Sales Tax, Pension Reform in State of City Address

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer
Credit File photo

Mayor Greg Fischer says Louisville’s economy is rebounding from the national recession, but the city still faces a large budget shortfall due to rising pension costs.

Fischer made the comments at his annual State of the City address before the Rotary Club at the Kentucky Center for African-American Heritage. This year's speech was slightly more upbeat than previous ones, with the mayor arguing that Louisville is becoming more entrepreneurial.

The Metro area has added 22,000 jobs and unemployment has dropped by almost four percent in the last two years. But challenges remain, namely Metro Government's hefty budget deficits.

"Last year’s $25 million gap is now down to about $13-14 million out of a $500 million general fund. That’s still a lot of money. But we didn’t get into this problem in two years and we can’t solve it in two years," says Fischer.

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Environment
4:54 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Researcher Says Carbon Dioxide Could Stop Spread of Asian Carp

Tdk Wikimedia Commons

A researcher at the University of Illinois has found a new way to possibly stop the spread of Asian carp throughout the country's waterways: carbon dioxide.

Here's the story from the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences:

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Education
4:42 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Former Sen. Lugar Joins IU Faculty

Former Sen. Richard Lugar will join former Congressman Lee Hamilton as a professor in Indiana University's new School of Global and International Studies.

The pairing announced Thursday in Bloomington gives the school two of the foremost U.S. authorities on foreign relations.

The Herald-Times reports Lugar also will donate his Senate papers to the Herman B Wells Library on the Bloomington campus.

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Arts and Humanities
4:07 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

LVAA Opens New Gallery on Whiskey Row

The Louisville Visual Art Association’s new downtown gallery is open.  As part of its downtown relocation, LVAA has opened a gallery called Public in Whiskey Row Lofts (131 W. Main St.). The first invitational exhibit, "Public @ Public," features fifteen local artists who created new work illuminated by lightboxes exploring the public theme.

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Politics
3:35 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

GOP Legislative Leaders: Gay Marriage Amendment Not a Priority Now

The top two lawmakers in the Republican-led Indiana General Assembly say a push to write the state’s ban on gay marriage into the state Constitution isn’t a priority for them right now.

House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro Tem David Long say they’re more focused now on measures to improve job training and boost spending on schools.

Two Republican House lawmakers have introduced resolutions that would send the gay marriage issue to voters in 2014 if  approved by the General Assembly.

Local News
12:56 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Reports: Catholic Health Initiatives Claims Fetuses Not 'Persons' in Wrongful Death Suit

In November, state officials announced a partnership between the Catholic Health Initiatives-controlled KentuckyOne Health and University of Louisville Hospital.
Credit Devin Katayama/WFPL

A Colorado family is asking that state's Supreme Court to consider whether twin fetus who were lost when a pregnant woman died can be part of a wrongful death lawsuit against Catholic Health Initiatives — which has thus far successfully argued that the fetuses were not "persons," The Colorado Independent reports. 

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Local News
12:46 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Update: Indiana First Lady Undergoing Emergency Surgery

3:02pm update from the governor's office:

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Local News
12:37 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Fort Campbell's Women Troops Discuss Changes to Combat Roles

Lt. Col. Juanita Change
Credit Blake Farmer/WPLN

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — The Pentagon announcement on Wednesday lifting a blanket ban on women in combat roles will mean changes for Fort Campbell.

Female soldiers with the 101st Airborne have served closer and closer to the frontlines in recent years. Just yesterday the division honored a woman killed in Afghanistan with a memorial service.

Lt. Col. Juanita Chang is one of the highest-ranking females on post. She’s been a military police woman, chemical weapons specialist and a public affairs officer.

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