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Politics
3:00 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Republican State Senators Name New Committee Chairs

The Republican state Senate has completed it's shake-up, after announcing new committee chairs today. 

With multiple chairmen retiring and others promoted into leadership, the caucus had many roles to fill, including that of chairmen for Education, Judiciary, Agriculture and Natural Resources. 

And in another move, the caucus named State Senator David Givens as c0-chair to the budget committee, with Senator Bob Leeper.

Incoming freshman Senator Whitney Westerfield is the new judiciary chairman. The full list of Republican chairs are below, with * by new chairs.

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Politics
2:17 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

On Expanded Gambling, Beshear Open to Cleaner Amendment

Gov. Steve Beshear
Credit Kentucky Governor's Office

Gov. Steve Beshear is considering multiple options in the efforts to get the General Assembly to support expanded gambling legislation.

A constitutional amendment failed earlier this year in the state Senate -- and a major complaint from critics was that the amendment did too much to protect thoroughbred racing tracks over other businesses. The bill banned casinos from being within 60 miles of a race track, unless the casino was at the track.

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Politics
1:30 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Fischer, Tandy Lip-Sync in Trolley Hop Promo

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer doesn't mind making silly online videos to promote local initiatives, as my colleague Erica Peterson highlighted earlier.

The folks at First Friday Trolley Hop got the mayor to make a cameo in their ad too, which also features Councilman David Tandy, D-4, and other notables lip syncing Tim McMorris's "Beautiful Day."

Watch:

Environment
1:00 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Ex-Massey CEO Blankenship Gives to Kentucky Democratic Party

Brianhayden1980 Wikimedia Commons

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship made news just last week when he told the Wall Street Journal that he doesn't plan to return to mining, and also doesn't have political aspirations. But as Tom Loftus of the Courier-Journal reports, Blankenship also just contributed $10,000 to the Kentucky Democratic Party.

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Local News
12:59 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Officially Awards Bridge Jobs to Walsh Construction

Chicago-based Walsh Construction has been granted approval to contract with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to build its portion of the Ohio River Bridges Project.

Walsh Construction’s $860 million proposal to design and build a new I-65 bridge and rework Spaghetti Junction was named the best of three bids last month.

A panel of transportation cabinet engineers reviewed the bid this week and gave it the okay.

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Arts and Humanities
12:08 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

REVIEW | 'A Christmas Carol' Offers Consistent Message With Humor and Heart

Geoff Rice as Bob Cratchit and Brad DeLaney as Tiny Tim.
Alan Simons Actors Theatre of Louisville

Actors Theatre of Louisville opened its 37th production of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" last night. Actors Theatre's show is the second longest-running production in the country (the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis has them beat by a year), and while small changes happen from year to year, Actors doesn't mess with what works—solid acting paired with lovely music, a liberal dose of humor and the cozy familiarity of a timeless redemption story well-told. 

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Politics
12:03 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

New Louisville Public Works Director Emphasizes Employee Morale

Vanessa Burns, the newly appointed director of Louisville Metro Public Works & Assets
Credit Louisville Metro Government

Newly appointed Louisville Public Works Director Vanessa Burns says improving employee morale will be an important first step in the department, and that being an outsider will give her a better opportunity to implement changes.

In August former Public Works Director Ted Pullen resigned while facing a sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit. Burns is coming to Louisville from Connecticut, and has served at public works departments in Washington, D.C. and Evanston, Illinois.

She says making the department more efficient is a top priority, but that relations between employees and managers is just as vital.

"We all have got to work on tweaking and trying to improve what we do and how we do it," Burns said. "And I think one of the good things about not being here is I can look at it with open eyes."

An audit conducted last summer found there was mistrust between public works employees and management. It emphasized that the city should begin shuffling managers to help improve efficiency and city services.

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Environment
11:11 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Mayor Greg Fischer Gives Wife Recycling Bin

Calling it "the gift that keeps on giving," Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has given his wife Alexandra Gerassimides a new municipal wheeled recycling bin for Christmas.

In a video released by the Mayor's office, Fischer presents the gift to his wife an unorthodox three weeks before the Christmas holiday. The video shows the gift was a surprise, though Fischer dropped hints in the hours leading up to the gift's presentation.

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Education
7:00 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Camp to Teach High School Kids How to Turn Ideas Into Businesses

A new state program will advise young entrepreneurs on how they can turn a bright idea into a business plan. In June, 50 high school students will learn more about innovation and creative thinking at Georgetown College.

Liz Knapp, of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation, said she believes some of the ideas will later morph into profit-making products.

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Local News
6:00 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Conway OK with Possible Changes to Pill Mill Legislation

Attorney General Jack Conway
Credit Kentucky Attorney General's Office

Though he pushed for its approval, Kentucky’s attorney general doesn't oppose changes to a law the General Assembly passed last year to curb prescription drug abuse and place restrictions on pain clinics.

Jack Conway said some of the complaints physicians have made about the bill have merit.

Conway said nobody wants to prevent Kentuckians who have legitimate needs for pain medications from obtaining prescriptions.

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