4:08 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Indiana Reports Banding Record Number of Peregrine Falcon Chicks

One of the peregrine falcon chicks born in Louisville this spring.
Erica Peterson WFPL News

Indiana state biologists have banded a record number of peregrine falcon chicks so far this year.

The once-endangered species has been making a comeback in the region. Until 1999, peregrine falcons were on the federal endangered species list. Populations were decimated due to the widespread use of pesticides like DDT, which decreased reproduction rates. The birds also lost a lot of their natural habitat…like cliffs and steep slopes.

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3:11 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Governor Steve Beshear Not Pursuing Murray State Presidency

Credit Kentucky Governor's Office

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear’s Communications Director says the Governor won’t pursue the Presidency at Murray State University.

Beshear has been rumored as a potential candidate during the past few months.

MSU is in the process of hiring a search firm to compile and filter candidates for the job. MSU hopes to hire a new president in spring 2014.

Governor Beshear is in his second term which ends in 2015. The job would’ve offered Beshear a chance to boost his state retirement benefits. The presidential job pays nearly double the Governor’s salary.

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3:00 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

National Democrats Dub Mitch McConnell 'Senator Gridlock' Amid Filibuster Fight

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell
Credit File photo

National Democrats are calling Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky "Senator Gridlock" as the Senate considers altering its filibuster rules.

For most of this week, McConnell has been in a sometimes heated exchange with Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada over blocking President Obama's executive nominees.

Democrats are threatening to use so-called 'nuclear option' to break the gridlock, and McConnell has said that will make Reid the worst Senate leader in history if they do so.

"They’re not interested in checks and balances. They’re not interested in advice and consent. They’re not even interested in what this would mean down the road when Republicans are the ones making the nominations," McConnell said earlier this week. "They want the power. They want it now. And they don’t care about the consequences.

Since 2007, Senate statistics show McConnell has used the filibuster 413 times as minority leader. That is almost twice as much as when Democrats held the minority from 1995 to 2001. Update: Since 2007, the Senate has invoked cloture, which requires 60 votes, 413 times. This is not the same as McConnell using the filibuster. 

Democratic Senator Campaign Committee spokesman Justin Barasky says McConnell has led an unprecedented tenure of blocking Senate procedures.

"Mitch McConnell should change his name to Senator Gridlock because he’s the walking, talking embodiment of everything that’s wrong with Washington. And he’s the number one reason for record-breaking levels of obstruction and dysfunction," he says. "Senator McConnell has not only made things worse, but he’s actually embraced his role as the number one problem."

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Arts and Humanities
2:37 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Director Brantley Dunaway Placed on Administrative Leave from Kentucky Shakespeare

Brantley Dunaway
Kentucky Shakespeare

Kentucky Shakespeare board chair Allen Harris has confirmed that producing artistic director and CEO Brantley Dunaway is on leave from the organization. On Thursday, the board voted to place Dunaway, who is Kentucky Shakespeare's top executive, on paid administrative leave through July 22, 2013. 

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Local News
12:45 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Rand Paul Leading Potential Republican Rivals in Iowa and New Hampshire

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is leading the field of prospective 2016 Republican candidates for president in two key primary states, a new poll says.

The latest Public Policy Polling results state that Paul has support from 18 percent of Iowans—four percentage points over New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush came in third with 11 percent and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was fourth with 1o percent.

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The Two-Way
11:21 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano Is Stepping Down

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
Kevin Dietsch UPI/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 1:14 pm

(Click here for latest updates.)

Saying the post has been "the highlight of my professional career," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Friday morning that she is stepping down to become president of the University of California.

Her statement followed a Reuters report that broke the news.

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Local News
11:19 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Byline Today | 'Southern Avenger' Controversy, Kentucky's Dropout Age Increases and More

Topics up for discussion on Byline today: A Louisvillian is nominated to be the U.S. ambassador to Great Britain, a Rand Paul adviser's past as a neo-Confederate advocate comes to light and a controversy at the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival.

Jack Hunter, a staffer for U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, is under scrutiny for having once belonged to a group that wanted Southern secession and worked as a radio shock jock known as the "Southern Avenger." WFPL's Phillip Bailey will discuss the situation.

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Local News
11:02 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Things to Know if You're Going to Forecastle

Credit Forecastle Festival

The Forecastle Festival is expecting a record crowd this weekend.

On the presumption that some of the hoped-for 65,000-plus fest-goers have questions, here are some tips for navigating (sorry) the music, art and activism festival at Waterfront Park.

First off, gates open at Waterfront Park at 3:45 p.m. today, 1:15 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

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It's All Politics
10:00 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Top Democrat Says Documents Show IRS Also Targeted Liberals

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (right) speaks with the committee's ranking Democrat, Elijah Cummings, during a hearing last month.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 12:04 pm

Newly released documents appear to further undermine the idea that Tea Party groups were the only ones given extra scrutiny by the IRS for potential political activity.

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Planet Money
6:20 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Where The Jobs Are (And Where They Aren't), In 1 Graph

Jobs and wages

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 6:21 pm

It's been five and a half years since the recession started, and four years since the recovery began. It's been a brutal time for the U.S. job market (obviously), and the picture is still pretty bleak.

But when you look at individual industries, you see a more nuanced picture. Many industries have lost jobs, but others are employing more people than ever.

To see how the jobs picture has changed since the start of the recession, we created the graph below. Here's how it works:

  • The size of the circle represents the number of jobs in each industry today.
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