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3:04 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Industrial Hemp; Dropping Out of School; Religious Exemptions; Hoops News: Today on Byline

Here is our Byline rundown for 3/8/13 (full audio link below)

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Politics
2:07 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Beshear, Legislative Leaders Meet to Break Impasse on Kentucky Pension Reform

Steve Beshear
Credit Kentucky Governor's Office

FRANKFORT — Gov. Steve Beshear has concluded a meeting with a bipartisan group of legislative leaders without breaking an impasse on pension reform legislation.

The Democratic-controlled House and Republican-led Senate have been at loggerheads on how to shore up the financially troubled pension plans for state and local government retirees.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo called the Friday morning meeting a first step. He's said everyone involved wants to resolve the issue now to avoid the cost of a special legislative session later.

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Politics
11:53 am
Fri March 8, 2013

NRSC Slams Ashley Judd's Residency, Questions Kentucky Roots

Republicans Attack Judd's residency
Credit NRSC

The National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee is mocking actress Ashley Judd's lack of residency in Kentucky as she considers a bid against Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell.

In the faux fundraising e-mail, the NRSC asks potential donors to help Judd find a place to live in the Bluegrass state.

"Ashley Judd needs your help. Despite the fact that she lives in Tennessee, Judd desperately wants to run for Senate in neighboring Kentucky," the e-mail reads. "I know what you're thinking: how can a person who has said 'Tennessee is home,' that San Francisco is 'my American city home' and that she 'winters in Scotland' run for Senate in Kentucky?"

Judd being a Tennessee resident and delegate at the 2012 Democratic National Convention has been a consistent point of attack for Republicans . Last month, Karl Rove's super PAC American Crossroads released an ad that pummeled her with that point, among other things.

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Local News
11:50 am
Fri March 8, 2013

College Students get Lost Hiking in Eastern Kentucky, Found Safe

Credit Creative Commons

WHITESBURG, Ky.  — Officials say 40 Pennsylvania college students on a mission trip to Appalachia had to be rescued from a mountain in Kentucky after they got lost while hiking.

John Caroulis, a spokesman for La Salle University in Philadelphia, says one student remained in the hospital Friday morning as a precaution, but the rest of the group was released. All are expected to return as scheduled Saturday.

Caroulis says the students were spending their spring break in Kentucky with Habitat for Humanity.

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Local News
10:30 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Byline Today: Controversial 'Religious Freedom' Bill, Dropping Out of School and March Madness

The Kentucky state Senate approves a controversial "religious freedom" bill, the push for hemp hits a snag and college basketball is on the cusp of March Madness—these topics and more will be discussed today on Byline.

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Local News
7:00 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Media Critic | Louisville TV News Focuses on Crime Above All

James Miller
Credit Submitted photo

Is Louisville more or less safe than it used to be?

If you watch local television news, you’re more likely to think that Louisville is less safe. This is partially because the local TV outlets—WAVE, WHAS, WLKY, and WDRB—spend an extraordinary amount of time covering crime stories despite the preponderance of other, more newsworthy topics.

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Local News
12:48 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Kentucky 'Religious Freedom' Bill Goes to Beshear, Critics Warn It May Gut Civil Rights Protections

Sen. Neal
Credit Rae Hodge / WFPL News

After a lengthy partisan battle that lasted hours into the night, a bill that would allow Kentuckians to ignore laws that they say violate their religious beliefs cleared the state Senate.

Supporters say the "Religious Freedom Act" sponsored by Rep. Robert Damron, D-Nicholasville, would protect religion from government encroachment. WFPL's Phillip Bailey reported earlier this week:

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Politics
12:21 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Kentucky Lawmakers Change Schedule in Hopes of Avoiding Special Session

Kentucky House and Senate leaders have changed the schedule of this year's legislative session to avoid a special session.

A potential—and costly—special session has loomed over the General Assembly in recent days, as lawmakers continued work on pension reform. Instead of convening Friday, lawmakers will work on Tuesday, with hopes that talks started Thursday night could lead to an agreement on pension reform by then.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo says those talks have included the Governor and Senate leaders. 

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Education
4:55 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Poll: 72 Percent of Likely Kentucky Voters Support Charter Schools Bill

Credit File photo

Seventy-two percent of likely Kentucky voters favor legislation to allow persistently low-performing schools the ability to become charter schools, according to a poll released Thursday by charter advocates.

The survey found that 28 percent of likely Kentucky voters opposed the legislation, a news release said.

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Politics
4:40 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Kentucky College Republicans Defend Harlem Shake Video for Team Mitch

Kentucky Federation of College Republicans

A group of Kentucky college Republicans are calling out a Tea Party leader who criticized their Harlem Shake video for Sen. Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign.

The Kentucky Federation of College Republicans approached Team Mitch with the idea, and recorded their version of the meme outside of Churchill Downs in Louisville.

But United Kentucky Tea Party spokesman John Kemper said Thursday it shows the McConnell campaign is ignoring important issues.

"Mitch wants to look cool, rather than lead, come on Mitch, probably yet another (campaign manager Jesse) Benton idea. These guys are out of touch with Kentuckians," he said via Facebook.

In a statement, college Republican chairman Rhett Ramsey says Kemper is only interested in tearing down McConnell and fellow GOP officeholders, and they will no longer support his "aspirations" in politics.

From KFCR:

Instead of encouraging college students and young voters to promote activism, Mr. Kemper made a swipe at our attempt for fun, civic engagement. It seems like Mr. Kemper is too busy attacking Leader McConnell and fellow republican office holders at every turn, instead of praising youth involvement and acknowledging our efforts in party building.

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