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Environment
5:26 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

New Metro Government Tree App Technically Available, But Not Yet Functional

A new smart phone app currently in development would allow Louisville residents to participate in cataloging the city’s trees—as well as create a wish lists of sorts for more trees in their neighborhoods.

The “Louisville Tree” app will eventually allow users to peruse interactive maps of the city, along with pinpoints marking the locations of different varieties of trees. There’s also a way to report dying or unsafe trees to the city.

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Local News
5:00 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

TARC Gets Federal Grant for New Buses

WFPL File Photo

The Transit Authority of River City has received another federal grant to purchase new buses.

Most of the news about TARC involves cuts, since the authority's funding is tied to the city occupational tax.

But recently, TARC has won grants to replace aging vehicles. The latest award is for $4 million, which is enough to buy a dozen buses that more cleanly burn diesel fuel.

Previously, a grant was used to order 27 new buses, eleven of them hybrids.

In all, there are 210 buses in TARC's fleet. The new vehicles will be on the street next year.

Local News
4:53 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Federal Government Approves Tolls for Bridges Project

Bridges Authority

The federal government has approved the tolling plan for the Ohio River Bridges Project.

This means the project has cleared its final federal hurdle, and tolls may be placed on the new East End Bridge, the new downtown bridge and the existing Interstate 65 span.

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Politics
2:00 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Abysmal Fundraising Continues for Wicker

In Kentucky's Third Congressional District race, Republican challenger Brooks Wicker continues to trail Democratic incumbent John Yarmuth by a huge fundraising margin.

According to federal election financing records Wicker filed another abysmal fundraising total while Yarmuth increased his contributions. The GOP challenger raised a mere $2,600 during the second quarter compared to $184,000 raised by the Yarmuth campaign.

In the first quarter Wicker raised $3,000 while Yarmuth garnered $80,000.

Wicker campaign spokesman Josh Weill says the campaign got a late start, but points to fundraising events with Papa John's founder John Schnatter as a sign that things are starting to turn around.

"We’re never going to out spend John Yarmuth. That’s not going to happen. We don’t need to have more money than he does. We just need to have enough and I feel confident that we will have enough when the time comes,” he says.

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Environment
1:11 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Air Quality Alert Called For Today, Tomorrow

Louisville's Air Pollution Control District says the potential exists for unsafe ozone levels today and tomorrow in the metro area.

The Air Quality Index is forecast to be 109 today, and 129 tomorrow. These levels are unhealthy for sensitive groups, including the elderly, the young and people with heart or lung conditions.

For hourly air quality updates, call 574-3319.

Politics
11:53 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Most Kentucky Democrats Will Not Speak at Fancy Farm

Most of Kentucky's elected Democrats will skip this weekend's annual Fancy Farm picnic.  As of Wednesday, House Speaker Greg Stumbo is the only high profile Democrat scheduled to speak. Stumbo is filling in for the governor, who’s on an economic development trip in Europe. Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson and the four remaining statewide elected Democratic officials are opting not to speak. 

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Environment
9:42 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Chemical Reaction Stabilized at Zeon Plant

UPDATE 3:22 p.m.: Diane Bagby of Emergency Management says Code Red alerts went out twice this morning. But they only went to people living within one mile of the plant who were signed up to receive "general alerts," and not just weather. She says the first alert went out at 8:36 a.m. to 198 people, and the second follow up to 10:59 a.m. to 201 people, and it was just meant to alert people who might be close enough to hear sirens that there was no immediate danger.

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Environment
9:37 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Ozone Levels Were Unexpectedly High Yesterday

There was no air quality alert in effect yesterday, but air quality monitors show that ozone levels were at unhealthy levels in at least two areas.

The Cannons Lane monitor recorded levels at 83 parts per billion, which translates to an Air Quality Index of 119. At Watson Lane Elementary, levels were at 90 parts per billion, which is an AQI of 137. Levels between 101 and 150 are considered unhealthy for sensitive groups.

This was the 17th day with an ozone exceedance so far this year.

Politics
6:43 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Congressman Geoff Davis Resigns

In a surprise statement, Congressman Geoff Davis, R-Ky., resigned Tuesday.

Last December, Davis announced that he would not be seeking re-election for a fifth term in Congress citing a need to spend more time with his family. Today's announcement echoes that sentiment and comes fives months ahead of schedule.

In a statement on his website, Davis says he will step down effective immediately and cites family health concerns.

Recently, a family health issue has developed that will demand significantly more of my time to assist.  As a result, I cannot continue to effectively fulfill my obligations to both my office and my family.  Family must and will come first.

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Politics
5:20 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Beshear Applauds Ruling Against EPA Water Regulation

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is praising a federal judge's ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency infringed on state's rights by setting up water-quality criteria for surface coal mining operations.

The decision is considered a victory for the coal industry, which filed one of the four lawsuits against the EPA regulation along with West Virginia and Kentucky. According to EPA officials, the policy was set up to ensure a better system for surface coal-mining permits under the Clean Water Act.

From Beshear's office:

"Today’s action by the federal court is a victory for coal miners who have seen mines close and their jobs put in jeopardy due, in part, to the actions of the federal EPA.

The ruling in U.S. District Court confirms my administration’s long-held position that the federal EPA overreached its authority and essentially halted three dozen pending coal permits in Kentucky – permits that were met with erratic and unpredictable changes in EPA standards.  

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