Politics
8:55 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Senator Rand Paul Defends 'Southern Avenger' Aide

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.
Credit U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is standing by an aide who was criticized for his past affiliation with a neo-Confederate group, saying 39-year-old Jack Hunter is an "incredibly talented" part of his staff.

For most of this week Hunter has been under intense scrutiny for once belong to the League of the South, which advocated for secession.

He also worked as a radio shock jock dubbed the "Southern Avenger," who worse a Confederate flag mask and bemoaned America's growing non-white majority.

Hunter has since said he has renounced most of his views, but several analysts and critics called on Paul to fire the aide in order to maintain credibility as a potential presidential candidate.

In an interview with Huffington Post, however, Paul rejected those suggestions saying he opposed Hunter's past views but that his aide has never treated anyone unfairly.

From The Huffington Post:

"People are calling him a white supremacist," Paul told me in his Senate office. “If I thought he was a white supremacist, he would be fired immediately. If I thought he would treat anybody on the color of their skin different than others, I’d fire him immediately."

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Environment
7:29 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

PSC Considers Proposal to Replace Big Sandy Generation

By Flickr user CM195902: http://bit.ly/KhOtGU

Kentucky’s Public Service Commissioners will begin considering whether Kentucky Power should be allowed to purchase a share in a West Virginia power plant. Two days of public hearings on the matter ended today.

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Arts and Humanities
4:29 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Kentucky Shakespeare Cancellation Followed Actress' Accusations of Domestic Abuse Against Director

Brantley Dunaway
Kentucky Shakespeare

The abrupt cancellation of Kentucky Shakespeare Festival's run of "Twelfth Night" followed the resignation of lead actress Madison Dunaway, who left the production after requesting and receiving an emergency protective order on Monday evening against Kentucky Shakespeare producing artistic director Brantley Dunaway, who directed the production. 

The two have been married for eight years and have two children.

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Politics
3:32 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Fort Knox Cuts Could Factor Into Kentucky Congressional Race

Credit Wikimedia Commons

U.S. defense cuts that will slash about half of Ft. Knox’s combat brigades could be a top issue in Kentucky’s Second Congressional District race.

Last month it was reported the base will lose 3,300 troops in the so-called Duke Brigade over the next six years, which public officials worry could result in the loss of 10,000 jobs in the process.

In reaction to the news, Republican Congressman Brett Guthrie, whose district includes Ft. Knox, blamed President Obama's defense plan for the cuts.

In a June 25 e-mail, however, Army officials said the reduction forces reflects funding cuts based on the Budget Control Act, which Guthrie voted for two years ago.

"Congressman Guthrie did vote for the Budget Control Act because he believes we must get our nation’s spending problem under control," says congressional spokeswoman Jennifer Sherman. "He has also voted several times to offset the military cuts and ensure our nation’s men and women in uniform have the tools they need to protect our country."

At the time, many lawmakers supported the Budget Control Act to get beyond an impasse between Democrats and Republican over the debt ceiling. But after the so-called Super Committee failed many of those cuts are coming to fruition.

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Local News
3:22 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Gov. Pence Touts Indiana Budget Surplus

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence says the state ended its last fiscal cycle with more money than expected.

Pence today praised budget closeout numbers showing the state with $93 million more than projected in an ongoing surplus and $86 million more in cash reserves.

The majority of the new money will be used to pay off bonds for the Miami Correctional Facility in northern Indiana.

Pence says the surplus would be better used to pay down debt left to him when he took office.

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Arts and Humanities
2:45 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Kentucky Shakespeare Board Member on Twelfth Night: "Something We Didn't Feel We Could Overcome"

The abrupt cancellation of the remainder of Kentucky Shakespeare’s production of “Twelfth Night” in Central Park has raised questions about the company’s ability to deal with departing cast members. The company announced yesterday that after an unnamed cast member resigned, the production, directed by producing artistic director Brantley Dunaway, would not move forward.  

Dunaway has not returned requests for an interview.

Board chair Allen Harris says after Tuesday evening’s performance was canceled (“I imagine that was Brantley’s decision”), Dunaway and the board’s executive committee made a joint decision to cancel the remainder of the performances, which they announced yesterday. The show was scheduled to run through Sunday.

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Education
1:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Greater Clark Teachers Concerned About Student Safety With Extended School Day

Credit File photo

The Greater Clark County School Board has voted to extend the school day, but the district must develop a plan to support teachers who will likely be asked to spend more time monitoring the safety of children after school.

Beginning this fall, the bell will ring 10 minutes later in order to add time for a student intervention and enrichment program introduced by Superintendent Andrew Melin last year. This means some teachers will be ending their day—and the number of hours they’re contracted to work—at the same time as students.

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Commentary
1:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Gay Scout Leader Greg Bourke's Experience and the Deciding to Stay an Eagle Scout

Greg Bourke said he was forced out of the Boy Scouts last year because he is gay, and since then he's become a national advocate for the organization to accept openly gay Scouts.

In May, the Scouts agreed to allow openly gay Scouts—but not Scout leaders.

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Local News
12:10 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

From Aspen Ideas Fest: E.J. Dionne

NPR addicts inhale a weekly dose of E.J. Dionne. He appears most Fridays with The New York Times' David Brooks on All Things Considered to discuss the week's news. Policy wonks will know him from his work at the Brookings Institution and plethora of books. News junkies can find his columns in the Washington Post.

So it was an honor to bump in Dionne at the Aspen Ideas Fest in June to discuss everything I could with him — NSA leaks, DOMA, rise/decline of the U.S., and effective government:

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Arts
11:41 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Governor's Awards Recognize Four Louisville Arts Leaders

Studio clay work by Laura Ross
Credit Craft(s) Gallery

  This year's recipients of the Governor's Awards in the Arts include four Louisville individuals or organizations.

The Governor’s Awards are the commonwealth’s highest honor in the arts. The annual awards recognize individuals and businesses who have made a significant impact on the Kentucky arts landscape. Recipients are nominated by the public and awards are given in nine categories. This year, 21C Museum Hotel, Actors Theatre of Louisville, River City Drum Corps founder and director Ed White and potter Laura Ross were all honored.

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