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10:01 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

City Highlights Progress on Demolitions, Foreclosures of Vacant Properties

Joined by Councilwoman Attica Scott, D-1, and other city officials, Mayor Greg Fischer says Louisville Metro Government is increasing its efforts to tackle vacant and abandoned properties.

The demolition of abandoned properties went up by 30 percent in 2012, and city officials are aiming to foreclose on another 100 homes by June 30. According to different housing reports, Louisville has an estimated 7,000 vacant homes and approximately 1,300 of those are abandoned.

Fischer is spending $125,000 in the current city budget to file those foreclosures, and says the goal is to reduce the number of abandoned properties by 40 percent in the next three years and 67 percent over the next five.

"This is one of those projects that is so big it's easy just to throw up your hands and say it's been going on for decades, and we can't do anything about it. Well, I want to say that if you live next to an vacant or abandoned properties and the weeds are six feet tall, I can tell you that it is not an acceptable answer to say there's nothing we can do about this," he says.

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Politics
6:35 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Metro Council President Jim King Announces Committee Leaders for 2013

Louisville Metro Council President Jim King
Credit Louisville Metro Council

Louisville Metro Council President Jim King, D-10, announced Thursday the chairs and vice chairs of the council's committees for 2013.

Along with the standing committees and two ad hoc panels created last year, King says a new Intergovernmental Committee will be formed. 

Councilman David Yates, D-25, suggested the creation of the new panel, which will work to strengthen the council's relationship and ties with state lawmakers in Frankfort and federal leaders Washington D.C.

"This  will work to build a relationship with our Jefferson County legislative delegation and make recommendations for change to our state governance statutes under (state) law that created merged government," King said in a news release. "I anticipate this committee will also work with the mayor’s office to review other statutes that affect Metro Louisville, such as local option taxes and federal issues as well."

The committee leaders are as follows:

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Politics
5:20 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Education Week Ranks Kentucky in its Top 10

Last year, Kentucky was 14th in the nation; In 2010 it was 34th, according to the report.
Courtesy of Education Week

Education Week, a national publication dedicated to education issues, has ranked Kentucky in the top ten on its annual Quality Counts report measuring education policy and achievement indicators.

The improvement in ranking was praised Thursday by Gov. Steve Beshear and Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday who credits the ranking in part to Senate Bill 1 and the state’s new accountability system.

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Politics
4:38 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

WHAS's Mandy Connell on Gun Registration: 'Why Don’t We Make Them Wear Yellow Stars'

WHAS radio host Mandy Connell

In a tense exchange over gun control, WHAS radio host Mandy Connell told Congressman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., some regulations could be the first step in total citizen disarmament.

Yarmuth has co-sponsored a bill that would ban high-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and is a proponent of other regulations in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre.

In an on-air interview with Yarmuth on Thursday, Connell said responsible gun owners should also be concerned about further regulations, and compared attempts to register legal gun owners to the Nazi regime tagging Jewish Germans.

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Local News
4:30 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Kentucky Revenues Up, But Officials Cautious About Future Growth

State officials say Kentucky’s revenue growth through the first six months of the fiscal year has been steady, with receipts climbing almost four percent since the beginning of July.

The official revenue forecast calls for growth of 2.4% over the entire fiscal year, but Greg Harkenrider with the Office of State Budget Director says the state’s sales tax receipts are not growing as hoped

Environment
4:14 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Report Suggests Problems With Placement of Mine Impoundments in WV

The federal Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation has released the results of an analysis of West Virginia coal mine impoundments which could have implications for Kentucky.

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Education
3:32 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Listen | WFPL Discusses Education's Future with Incoming, Outgoing JCPS Board Members

Credit File photo

On Monday, David Jones Jr., Chuck Haddaway and Chris Brady will take the oath to become Jefferson County Board of Education members for the next four years, replacing Steve Imhoff in District 2, Joe Hardesty in District 4 and Larry Hujo in District 7.

The three incoming freshmen joined WFPL Thursday to discuss their training, preparation and thoughts prior to taking their seats.

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Local News
2:53 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

With Landline Phones in Decline, Officials Seek New 9-1-1 Funding Streams

techcrunch.com

As the administrators of local 9-1-1 services hold their annual conference in Frankfort this week, a state lawmaker says they‘re facing a funding crisis.

9-1-1 services in Kentucky are supported mostly through a fee on landline phones, but Sen. Tom Buford says that is no longer a stable source of revenue.

"We are growing in a terrible situation of how to fund these 9-1-1 services, as land-based phones are disappearing," Buford told lawmakers this week.

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Politics
2:14 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Coalition Rallies Against Big Changes to Kentucky Public Pensions

Credit Wikipedia Commons

FRANKFORT — Current Kentucky state employees and retirees packed the Capitol Rotunda to encourage lawmakers to rethink some proposals made by a task force on public pensions last year.

Calling themselves the Kentucky Public Pension Coalition, the group of more than a dozen interested organizations encouraged their members to tell lawmakers not to switch to a hybrid pension plan for new hires and to reinstate cost of living adjustments every year.

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Politics
1:53 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Pence Picks Son of Campaign Chief to Head Commerce Dept.

Indiana Gov.-elect Mike Pence

Indiana Gov.-elect Mike Pence has named the son of his campaign chairman to help lead the state's job-creation efforts.

Pence announced Thursday his pick of Victor Smith to become secretary of the state's Department of Commerce. Pence says Smith's experience as a business executive will help in selling Indiana to both domestic and overseas companies.

Smith is the son of Muncie industrialist Van Smith, who was Pence's campaign chairman and is a member of his transition team.

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