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Arts and Humanities
12:13 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

2012's Most Memorable Arts Events

From scrappy upstarts to established cornerstones of our community, 2012 offered up more intriguing and exciting arts events than one person can even count. Here is my admittedly incomplete, with apologies to what I missed,  in no certain order or rank, list of the year's memorable arts events: 

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Local News
11:55 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Jobless Rates Fall in 99 Kentucky Counties

kylmi.ky.gov/

Kentucky state government officials say jobless rates improved in 99 counties in November but worsened in 20 others.

The Kentucky Office of Employment and Training reports that Woodford County kept its status as the place with the lowest jobless rate in the state at 5.4 percent. Scott County had the second lowest rate at 5.9 percent. And Fayette, Franklin, Oldham and Union counties were at 6 percent.

Magoffin County had the worst unemployment at 15.1 percent. Fulton County was a close second at 15 percent.

Local News
10:23 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Winter Storm Pounding Indiana; Louisville Spared Major Snowfall

Heavy snowfall in Bloomington, Indiana
Chris Rall via Indiana Public Media

The Louisville Metro area remains under a winter weather advisory until 7:00 this evening, with about an inch of snow and sleet accumulation expected.

Louisville sits on the southern edge of a huge winter storm system moving across the upper Midwest.

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Environment
8:30 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Kentucky Representative Plans to Re-Introduce Energy Portfolio Bill

Fernando Tomas Wikimedia Commons

A Louisville lawmaker says she plans to re-introduce a bill during the upcoming legislative session to institute a statewide energy portfolio standard.

This will be the third year Representative Mary Lou Marzian has introduced some version of the Clean Energy Opportunity Act. Last year, the bill would have offered incentives for in-state renewable energy production, and mandated that utilities get at least 12.5 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2023.

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Politics
6:00 am
Wed December 26, 2012

New Ky. Senate Majority Leader: 'I Think We Can Get Things Done'

Damon Thayer
Credit Kentucky Legislative Commission

The new majority floor leader in the Kentucky Senate is optimistic more will be accomplished when the politically divided legislature convenes this winter. Republican Sen. Damon Thayer takes over for Robert Stivers, who will likely be the Senate’s next president.

Thayer said the aim is to work through differing political views.

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Local News
3:19 pm
Tue December 25, 2012

Winter Weather System Bringing Heavy Snow, Travel Delays to Region

Forecasters are keeping a close eye on a storm system moving through the region.  It's expected to bring heavy snow and other winter weather to sections of Kentucky and Indiana.

Blizzard warnings are in effect for parts of western Kentucky and southwestern Indiana, along with the southcentral Indiana counties of Dubois, Orange, Washington, Jefferson and Scott.

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Environment
3:00 pm
Tue December 25, 2012

Give Your Christmas Tree a Second Life as a Fish Habitat

There are lots of ways to dispose of your Christmas tree this year. If you leave it on your curb and live in the Urban Services District, Metro Government will pick it up. If you bring it to one of several different locations, you can watch it be recycled into mulch. Or, you can drive it to one of 20 drop-off locations around the state and donate your tree to be used for a fish habitat.

Yes, a fish habitat.

The Kentucky Division of Fish and Wildlife is collecting the used trees to deposit in lakes. Joseph Zimmerman is an environmental biologist with the division.

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Local News
1:00 pm
Tue December 25, 2012

Louisville's Merton Institute Closing Down

merton.org

A Louisville-based center that offers spiritual guidance based on the teachings of Thomas Merton will dissolve next week.

The Merton Institute for Contemplative Living will close December 31. It was founded 17 years ago, but Executive Director Vanessa Hurst says the institute does not have the financial means to continue.

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Politics
10:00 am
Tue December 25, 2012

New Leadership in Senate Doesn't Equal Easier Road for Dropout Bill

Damon Thayer
Credit Kentucky Legislative Commission

Three of the chief opponents to raising the dropout age in Kentucky will not return to Frankfort next year.

That doesn't mean a dropout bill is likely to pass in the 2013 legislative session.

State law allows 16-year-olds to drop out of school with parental permission. But education advocates want the law changed to eliminate all loopholes and require dropouts to be 18 or older.

With a new education chairman and new leadership in the Senate, those advocates are hopeful this will be their year.

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Politics
7:00 am
Tue December 25, 2012

Kentucky Legislative Leaders: Pensions Will Be Top Issue in 2013

Greg Stumbo and Damon Thayer
Credit Legislative Research Commission

Figuring out how to finance a plan to shore up Kentucky public employees' pensions will be the General Assembly's greatest task in 2013, two legislative leaders said.

A legislative task force has suggested several ways to brace  state employee pensions, but passing legislation and paying for it will be difficult. Lawmakers' proposals include relying on existing economic growth and raising taxes on Kentuckians with higher earnings.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo said he hasn't settled on a solution.

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