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Strange Fruit
11:36 am
Sat December 22, 2012

Strange Fruit: Going Home Gay for the Holidays

Transgender model Connie Fleming
Credit Candy Magazine

It's a story we heard several times during WFPL's Defining Fairness series: a young person leaves his or her rural town for college in a bigger city, meets other LGBTQ folks, and comes out! But for some folks, when the holidays roll around and they head home for Christmas... they have to go back into the closet. 

This week we spoke with Dr. Stephanie Budge from UofL, who recently taught a workshop on coping with the holidays as an LGBTQ person. She says while some families do overtly antagonistic things (like using the wrong pronoun for trans folks, or refusing to let their LGBTQ family member bring a partner to holiday functions), what she hears about the most is simply ignoring. A young person might come out as queer to their family only for the response to be silence, and an unwillingness to acknowledge their identity.

Dr. Budge gave us some coping strategies we can all use during moments of holiday stress and family conflict, how to take full advantage of your chosen family's love when your family of origin doesn't support you, and how to tell when things are so bad or unsafe it might be better to skip going home altogether. 

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Local News
5:25 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

KY School Safety; Hello SoFo; Beshear in 2013; Poet Kiki Petrosino: Today on Byline

Here is the rundown for this edition of Byline:

At the top - School safety funding in Kentucky used to hover around $10 million a year through most of the 2000s.  But in 2009 and since, that funding fell by roughly 60%.  Tom Loftus from the Courier-Journal joins us to discuss the reasons and what might change.

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Education
4:08 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Education Commissioner Terry Holliday Disagrees with NRA

Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday says he disagrees with the National Rifle Association’s aggressive response to the Newtown, Connecticut shootings.

NRA officials made their first formal comments Friday following last week’s school shooting that left 26 dead.

During the no-questions press conference, officials listed movies and video games they believe contribute to school violence. Officials called on a task force to create a model program that would include training and arming guards who could protect school children.

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Local News
4:04 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Daniels Authorizes Pay Hikes for Indiana State Workers

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has approved performance-based pay raises for thousands of state workers.

There will be three tiers of raises: Three percent for those whose job performance meets expectations, five percent for those exceeding expectations and eight percent for workers who are evaluated as ‘outstanding.’

Daniels predicts about ten percent of state employees will get no raise for failing to meet expectations or being in need of improvement.

Politics
1:06 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Beshear Still Weighing Medicaid Expansion; Will Make Decision Early Next Year

Steve Beshear
Credit Kentucky Governor's Office

Gov. Steve Beshear says he'll make a decision about Medicaid expansion in Kentucky by early next year.

While many states are still deciding on the early elements of the Affordable Care Act -- also known as Obamacare -- Kentucky has only one decision left: whether to opt in to Medicaid expansion.

Under the health care law, the federal government will pay 100 percent of costs for three years if states expand their Medicaid rolls to 138 percent of the poverty line.

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Local News
11:58 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Maker's Mark Bourbon House Subject of Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

The Maker's Mark Bourbon House and Lounge
Credit Creative Commons

A Louisville man is claiming that the Maker's Mark Bourbon House and Lounge at Fourth Street Live refused to allow him to host a party at the venue because all of the party-goers would be African-American, says a lawsuit filed this week in Jefferson Circuit Court.

Andre Mulligan alleges that the Maker's Mark Lounge "officials" asked him about the "'ratio' of 'black people' to 'white people' at the planned party during a meeting, the lawsuit said.

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Environment
5:23 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Kentucky Accepts Settlement in LG&E Rate Case

The Kentucky Public Service Commission has accepted a settlement agreed to by all the parties in a rate increase case filed by Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities.

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Local News
4:45 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Seven Charged With Child Exploitation in KSP Sweep

In what’s being called the largest investigation ever conducted by the Electronic Crime Branch of the Kentucky State Police, seven suspects are now under arrest on child exploitation charges.

State troopers and detectives from seven posts served search warrants covering central and eastern Kentucky. Seven suspects were arrested and charged with possession and distribution of matter portraying the sexual performance of a minor.

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Local News
4:35 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Yarmuth Named to Education and Workforce Committee and Budget Committee

John Yarmuth
Credit U.S. Congress

Rep. John Yarmuth, a Democrat representing the Third District, will serve on next year’s House Budget Committee and the House Education and Workforce Committee.

In a statement, Yarmuth says the committee assignments will allow him to continue working on middle class issues that reflect fairness and shared responsibility.

The Education and Workforce Committee oversees federal programs at all levels of education and its expected to take up legislation to rewrite the No Child Left Behind law next year.

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Local News
3:19 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Audit: Mental Health Agency Execs Misspent, Mismanaged

A state audit has found spending and management problems at a Lexington nonprofit agency that provides mental health care, including the management of two state-owned facilities.

Auditor Adam Edelen says in the report that executives at Bluegrass Regional Mental Health-Mental Retardation Board awarded themselves benefits worth millions of dollars without scrutiny from the agency's board of directors.

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