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Education
9:00 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Finnish Author Pasi Sahlberg Receives 2013 Grawemeyer in Education

Pasi Sahlberg says Finland's education reforms didn't happen over night.

A Finnish author and education reformer has won the University of Louisville's 2013 Grawemeyer Award for education.

Pasi Sahlberg directs Finland’s Centre for International Mobility and Cooperation and is also author of "Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland?"

The book explains how reforms that began in the 1970s led to the current success the public school system is experiencing. Finland was once poorly ranked educationally and had large inequalities among its students.

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Politics
6:39 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Coats Partners With Young to Help River Ridge Development

Joining Indiana Ninth District Congressman Todd Young, U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, R-In., has introduced a bill to help redevelopment at a former military installation in Jeffersonville.

Under Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) guidelines, the old Indiana Army Ammunition Plant now operates as the River Ridge Commerce Center. According to Coats's office, the southern portion of the plant is reserved for economic development by the state and county, but it is not guaranteed legal protections.

The measure would ensure that all property owners of land formerly used as a military installation at the commerce center are compensated by the defense department.

From Sen. Coats's office:

"River Ridge is a promising economic development opportunity that could help boost the local economy and create jobs in southern Indiana,” said Coats. “This bill will provide potential job creators at locations like River Ridge the same insurance protections granted to developers and businesses on all other closed military installations. I am pleased to join Rep. Young in this effort and will work with my colleagues to get the legislation approved in the Senate.”

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Environment
5:17 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Kentucky Mine Flagged by MSHA, Placed on Special Status

The federal government has given four mines—including one in Kentucky—a warning that if they don’t make strides in health and safety, they could be put on a “pattern of violations” status.

Once a mine is marked as having a pattern of violations, any significant and substantial violations that are found by regulators would require that section of the mine to be temporarily shut down.

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Arts and Humanities
4:37 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Kentucky Opera's Composer Workshop Program Receives NEA Support

The Kentucky Opera is on the list of Kentucky artists and organizations receiving grants from the National Endowment for the Arts for the next fiscal year. The opera will receive $12,500 to help fund the development of a new one-act opera by composer Paul Moravec and librettist Terry Teachout through its innovative composer workshop. 

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Politics
4:03 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Yarmuth Joins Supporters of Legalization of Industrial Hemp

Rep. John Yarmuth and Sen. Rand Paul. Both support the legalization of industrial hemp.
Credit Phillip Bailey / WFPL News

Republican advocates of industrial hemp in Kentucky are getting some across the aisle help.

Rep. John Yarmuth, a Louisville Democrat, supports efforts to legalize the plant in Kentucky, his spokesman said. U.S. Senator Rand Paul and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer are the two leading advocates for the move.

They want legalization to take advantage of the many goods that hemp can produce to create jobs.

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Education
1:28 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Task Force Concludes Work to Improve Middle School Athletics

Credit ihup.edu

The Kentucky Board of Education will soon reconsider its policies governing middle school athletics following final recommendations crafted this week by a legislative task force.

The 17-member team was formed this year to recommend ways KDE can provide better oversight regarding the health and safety of Kentucky’s middle school athletes.

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Arts and Humanities
1:00 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Holiday Special Goes Underwater with Squallis Puppeteers

A puppet star of "Plank's Holiday Special."
Squallis Puppeteers

A sponge, a jellyfish and a crab walk into a Christmas party—stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

If you haven’t, it’s because a Squallis Puppeteers show isn’t your average holiday fare. Created by puppet artist Kathryn Spivey, “Plank’s Holiday Special” is the story of three sea creature friends whose party is threatened by a dangerous, unwelcome guest who turns out to be a harmless brine shrimp—and the life of the party. 

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Politics
12:50 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Kentucky State Police Not OK with Legalized Pot

Credit Wikipedia Commons

This month, voters in Colorado and Washington elected to legalize marijuana in their states. And this week, the superintendent of the Indiana State Police told his state’s lawmakers that he supports legalizing and regulating marijuana.

The traditionally hard-line stance American officials have held against marijuana is relaxing in some places -- but don't expect Kentucky law enforcement to follow along.

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Environment
11:58 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Study: More Than Half of Couches Tested Contain Toxic Chemicals

Ranjith Siji Wikimedia Commons

Anyone who watched television footage of Lexington during last year’s Final Four knows that if you try hard enough, couches can burn. But because of a California state law requiring the inclusion of flame retardants, most are made with some chemicals designed to slow burning down. And a new analysis of couch cushions from around the country shows that several toxic or carcinogenic chemicals are still common ingredients in most couches.

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Politics
11:23 am
Wed November 28, 2012

McConnell Battles Against Filibuster Reform

Credit File photo

For the third straight day Republican Leader Mitch McConnell defended his parties use of the filibuster while criticizing Democrat's push for an overhaul in Senate rules.

The filibuster is held by many as a Senate tradition that allows the minority party to hold up legislation, but Democrats argue that the GOP has abused the tool. The reforms are rather simple, but McConnell and Majority Leader Harry Reid have been jousting over the issue this week while the Democratic caucus is threatening to use the "nuclear option" that would allow a simple 51-vote majority to change the Senate rules.

Speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday, McConnell says he is willing to negotiate rule changes with Reid to reach an agreement. But in an editorial, the GOP leaders ratchets up his criticism that Democrats are threatening a tool that has been a safeguard for the political minority.

From U.S. News & World Report:

The majority leader was once a staunch defender of the Senate's protection of minority rights. Yet now that he finds himself frustrated he's prepared to recklessly throw those rules away and his own solemn pledge to defend them.

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