Environment
2:38 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Louisville Metro Announces $27 Million Deal for Energy Efficient Upgrades

A new public-private partnership will provide energy efficient upgrades to government buildings across Louisville—at no upfront cost to Louisville Metro Government.

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Education
2:04 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Jefferson County Sheriff, Jail Chief Push for Early Childhood Education

Credit Shutterstock.com

The campaign for a nationwide expansion of early childhood education programs got local support Tuesday from a pair of unlikely Jefferson County officials—the sheriff and the jail director.

There's a connection. 

Citing the study below, they're arguing that the Obama Administration-backed plan could each year decrease Kentucky's prisoners by 1,200 and save $48 million. The argument goes: Early childhood education helps children perform better in school, increasing their odds of graduating high school and reducing their odds of getting into trouble.

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Politics
2:03 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Ex-Kentucky Legislative Research Commission Director Says He Shredded Documents

Robert Sherman
Credit Legislative Research Commission

FRANKFORT — The former director of the state Legislative Research Commission says he returned to his office over the weekend and shredded paperwork.

Robert Sherman told The Courier-Journal that the documents included "personalized stuff" such as old salary comparisons. He said none of the paperwork involved anything to do with the sexual harassment allegations involving a former lawmaker or any investigations the agency is involved in.

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Politics
2:00 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Kentucky Lawmakers to Discuss Local Option Sales Tax

Credit File photo

A committee in the Kentucky General Assembly will discuss the idea of giving local voters an option to raise their sales tax to fund special projects.

State lawmakers tell WFPL they are keeping an open mind, but some cite a recent study showing Louisville is already a heavily tax-burdened city.

For the past year, Mayor Greg Fischer has been lobbying the General Assembly and others to support the idea.

The specifics haven't been unveiled, but in general a local option would allow voters to approve a temporary 1-percent tax increase that would go towards specific efforts such as new infrastructure.

A report conducted by the University of Louisville found such as tool could generate up to $138 million in revenue for the city.

Democratic state Rep. Steve Riggs of Louisville is co-chair of the Interim Committee on Local Government, which is holding a hearing to discuss the proposal on Wednesday.

He says a temporary tax is an intriguing idea, but it is important legislators learn more about the proposal.

"I'm leaning for it because I see so many other communities around the nation that do it and I love letting the citizen decide and giving the citizen the liberty to determine where there money goes without sending it to Frankfort first and then it goes somewhere else. I love that part of it,” he says.

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Local News
12:44 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Up Front TV: Affirmative Action with Randall Kennedy

Welcome to Week 3 of our video series, also airing on KET.

Affirmative Action remains one of the most divisive issues in American society. Jonathan discusses the issue with Randall Kennedy, law professor at Harvard University, who spoke recently at the Louisville Free Public Library.

Politics
12:34 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Urging Senate Democrats to Join Defund Obamacare Fight, McConnell Rejects Cruz's Plan

Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.,
Credit File photo

Speaking on the Senate floor, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell cut ties with Sen. Ted Cruz's threat to use a filibuster against a bill with language defunding the president's health care law.

Facing increasing criticism from conservative groups and a primary opponent, McConnell argued Senate Democrats need to join the effort in order to take out funding for Obamacare while avoiding a government shutdown.

"I just don’t happen to think filibustering a bill that defunds Obamacare is the best route to defunding Obamacare," McConnell said. "All it does is shut down the government and keep Obamacare funded. And none of us want that."

The House passed a spending measure to fund the federal government past Oct. 1, but it does not pay for the Affordable Care Act.

Cruz is urging the GOP caucus to vote against that legislation because Democrats have indicated they will amend it to restore the health care law's funding. He argues any vote to bring the bill to the Senate floor is in effective supporting Obamacare as a whole.

Rather than focus on GOP infighting, McConnell proposed Democrats ought to join the effort to defund the law by having a simple majority vote on the House bill.

"Democrats have been hearing the same complaints about Obamacare the rest of us have. The spotlight should really be on them. This is a rare opportunity to defund the law with a simple majority. We should have that vote," he said.

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Education
12:31 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

JCPS Considers Reimagination of Several Schools With Innovation in Mind

JCPS officials have proposed changes to The Academy at Shawnee, which is a low performing school.

Officials with the Louisville school district are proposing major changes to a few of its lower performing schools that would extend the school day, shift students around and create new positions.

The JCPS school board met this week to hear proposals that would affect several schools, but are focused on Frost Middle School, Myers Middle School and The Academy at Shawnee (formerly Shawnee High), all of which are deemed priority schools (aka persistently low-achieving schools).

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Arts and Humanities
11:23 am
Tue September 24, 2013

First Annual Louisville Music Awards ... Awarded

IdeaFestival's music arm, IF Music, kicked off yesterday with a series of industry panel discussions and wrapped with the first annual Louisville Music Awards ceremony at Headliner's Music Hall. 

Wax Fang took home top honors for song of the year with "The Blonde Leading the Blonde." Cheyenne Mize beat out a male-dominated field for singer/songwriter of the year, while Old Baby prevailed for rockers of the year. "Cover band of the year" might sound like the consolation prize to end all consolation prizes, but bourbon-inflected antique jazz ensemble Billy Goat Strut Revue (featuring WFPL's own Laura Ellis on vocals) set a pretty high standard with their first trophy. 

The winning acts were selected by an industry panel of 30 judges from more than 1,400 nominees submitted by the public. 

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Arts and Humanities
10:46 am
Tue September 24, 2013

HBO Movie on Muhammad Ali's Supreme Court Fight to Have U.S. Premiere in Louisville

Credit HBO

Muhammad Ali and his wife, Lonnie, are expected in Louisville next month to attend the U.S. premiere of the HBO film Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight.

The showing will be invitation only on Oct. 2 at the Muhammad Ali Center in downtown Louisville. Ali's daughter Laila and HBO Films President Len Amato are also scheduled to attend.

Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight explores the Supreme Court case the champion heavyweight/native Louisville found himself in over the draft for the Vietnam War. 

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Code Switch
9:29 am
Tue September 24, 2013

After Drop, Number Of Immigrants Illegally In U.S. Levels Off

Young people stand in line in Los Angeles to apply for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows qualified immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally as children to study or work openly.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 7:01 pm

The latest estimate by the Pew Research Center puts the number of immigrants living illegally in the U.S. at 11.7 million.

This new number, based on U.S. government data, can be found in a report released Monday titled "Population Decline of Unauthorized Immigrants Stalls, May Have Reversed." The key word in that headline is "may." As the authors write in the report:

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