Local News
1:40 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Louisville Leaders Outline How Far Anti-Violence Efforts Have Come, Where They're Headed

Participants in Louisville's anti-violence efforts pose for a picture following the one-year progress report.

Louisville officials have outlined progress from its violence prevention work over the past year and have provided a number of long-term goals that include supporting ex-convicts and continuing to build partnerships around the city.

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Politics
11:20 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Mayor Greg Fischer Asks Louisville Water Co. to Reduce Proposed 5 Percent Rate Hike

Louisville Water Tower

Mayor Greg Fischer is calling on the Louisville Water Co. to reconsider a proposed 5 percent rate increase set to take effect Jan. 1.

The water company's board discussed a possible hike last week citing a drop in consumption due to a cooler than expected summer. It would be the fourth consecutive year the company has increased its rates and would raise the average monthly bill by $1.

But Fischer says the utility company can find savings and make cuts to come up the difference rather than pass the cost on to customers.

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Arts and Humanities
7:00 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Do You Hear the People Sing? For a Limited Time Only, 'Les Mis' on Louisville Community Stage

Lexie Stites, playing the role of Young Cosette in CenterStage's production of "Les Miserables."
Credit CenterStage

“Les Miserables” is one of the most popular musicals in the world. It's toured 42 countries in 22 languages. The original Broadway production won eight Tony Awards, and the latest film adaptation won three Oscars. The London show, which opened in 1985, is the longest-running West End musical. 

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Shots - Health News
6:38 am
Fri October 25, 2013

FDA Seeks To Tighten Controls On Hydrocodone Painkillers

Hydrocodone, sold as Vicodin and other brand names, may face tighter restrictions on prescribing and use.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 6:50 pm

The Food and Drug Administration Thursday announced that it wants the federal government to impose tough new restrictions on some of the most widely used prescription painkillers.

The FDA said it planned to recommend that Vicodin and other prescription painkillers containing the powerful opioid hydrocodone be reclassified from a "Schedule III" drug to a "Schedule II" drug, which would impose new restrictions on how they are prescribed and used.

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All Tech Considered
6:33 am
Fri October 25, 2013

A Diagram Of HealthCare.gov, Based On The People Who Built It

An attempt to draw out the various parts of HealthCare.gov's tech system, based on the testimony of its contractors.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 12:52 pm

One of the major issues that's emerged since the failed rollout of HealthCare.gov is that there was no lead contractor on the project. (CGI Federal was the biggest contractor — awarded the most expensive contract — but says it did not have oversight over the other parts of the system.) Instead, the quarterbacking was left to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a subagency of the Department of Health and Human Services.

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Local News
5:30 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Food Stamp Benefits to Decrease for Nearly 870,000 Kentuckians

Credit File photo

Nearly 870,000 Kentuckians will see a decrease in their food stamp benefits as federal recovery dollars dry up.

As of next month, eligible Kentucky households will experience on average a 5.5 percent reduction in food stamps.

The effects on those families ranges from about $20 to $36 per month, depending upon household size, said Mark Cornett, deputy commissioner in the Health and Family Services Cabinet.

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Politics
10:41 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Louisville Metro Council Eliminates 4 a.m. Alcohol Sales

Credit Creative Commons

After a long and emotional debate, the Louisville Metro Council moved to outlaw alcohol purchases at retail package stores after 2 a.m. by a 15-7 vote.

The ordinance effectively eliminates special licenses allowing sales up to 4 a.m. except for bars and restaurants in an effort aimed at curbing crime and attracting economic development.

Council members kicked the measure back to committee last month over objections to an exemption that would have still allowed beer to be sold up to 4 a.m.

During the council meeting Thursday evening, the debate centered on whether to exempt businesses such as Thortons gas stations, which sell alcoholic beverages but make most of their money on other items.

A committee amendment proposed allowing retailers where non-alcoholic beverages make up less than 50 percent of their revenue to avoid the ban. But supporters of the ordinance argued that would ultimately dilute the measure.

Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton, D-5, who sponsored the measure, says the concentration of liquor and convenience stores in her west Louisville district are the source of blight, crime and deter development.

"I have to leave my neighborhood to get the amenities that you enjoy every day," said Hamilton. "We can't get the businesses to locate in our neighborhoods. So we've been trying to clean up our neighborhoods and revitalize our neighborhoods. We've been investing millions of dollars block-by-block, protest letters and I don't know how much else we have to do."

Opponents of the measure included local liquor store owners and convenience chain representatives who said it was unfair to allow bars and restaurants to serve alcohol after 2 a.m. They also say a liquor ban is a scapegoat and won't address the real problems in the West End or other areas.

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Local News
5:01 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Mississippi Man Accused of Trying to Extort University of Louisville Athletics

Credit University of Louisville athletics

A Mississippi man is under a federal indictment on charges that he attempted to extort the University of Louisville athletics.

Thomas E. Ray, 35, of Jackson, Miss., was indicted this month on a single count of extortion, said the U.S. district attorney's office in Louisville. The indictment was unsealed on Thursday following Ray's arrest.

Authorities allege that Ray adopted an alias—Melinda White—and sent emails from Jackson to Kentucky in April attempting to extort $3.5 million by threatening the reputation of the UofL Athletics Association.

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Arts and Humanities
4:36 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Gershwin Expert Kevin Cole Plays with Louisville Orchestra on 'Rhapsody in Blue'

Kevin Cole, pianist, featured soloist with the Louisville Orchestra on George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue."

"Chapter One. He adored New York City. He idolized it all out of proportion. No, make that, he-he romanticized it all out of proportion. Yeah. To him, no matter what the season was, this was still a town that existed in black and white, and pulsated to the great tunes of George Gershwin." – Woody Allen, "Manhattan" (1979)

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Politics
4:33 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Republican State Senator Damon Thayer Hits Breaks on Kentucky Felon Voting Rights

Kentucky Senator Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown,
Credit File photo

A Republican leader in the Kentucky Senate says GOP members are not warming to the restoration of felon voting rights despite U.S. Sen. Rand Paul's support of the issue.

The response comes days after Paul staffers said they had been in contact with state lawmakers about the voting rights of ex-convicts

Democratic Senator Gerald Neal of Louisville told WFPL he was beginning to see opposition to his proposal wane earlier this week.

Neal's bill would automatically restore the civil rights of certain convicted felons unless they committed an intentional killing, treason, bribery or a sex crime.

Paul spokesman Dan Bayens said no specific bill has been discussed. However, GOP state senators appeared to be "more open to the conversation" than in years past he said.

But Senate Republican Floor Leader Damon Thayer of Georgetown made it clear it's too early to make predictions and that other issues remain a priority.

"It’s way too early for pundits to start handicapping the chances of legislation that may or may not pass sometime between January and April when we adjourn the session," he says.

The GOP holds a 23-seat majority in the 38-member state Senate. The one independent caucuses with the Republicans.

If felons' rights are to come up in the 2014 General Assembly it might have to be tied to a more conservative measure such as a possible voter ID bill in order to pass.

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