Local News
11:36 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Kentucky State Fair Attendance Increases 2.6 Percent

The 2013 Kentucky State Fair
Credit Joseph Lord/WFPL News

The just-concluded Kentucky State Fair drew 615,648 paid patrons this year—a 2.6-percent increase from 2012.

It's the largest number of attendees since 621,795 turned out in 2009.

“Certainly the weather had a lot to do with it. After all this is not your typical August weather. We had cool mornings, we had very low humidity, very little rain," said Amanda Storment, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky State Fair Board.

Attendance increased on both weekends, fair officials said. 

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Politics
10:00 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Louisville Tea Party President Endorses Matt Bevin Over Mitch McConnell

Matt Bevin
Credit foxnews.com

Saying she is proud to have been attacked by Sen. Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign, Louisville Tea Party President Wendy Caswell is endorsing Republican Matt Bevin in Kentucky's U.S. Senate primary race.

The nod from Caswell is a key pickup for the Bevin campaign that comes weeks after two prominent tea party activists in Louisville backed McConnell in next year's GOP primary.

In a Courier-Journal op-ed, Caswell says McConnell is more concerned with increasing his own political power than conservative principles.

"Sen. Mitch McConnell represents the old guard in Washington D.C. that cares more about holding on to power than defending the principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility and individual freedom. Those are the principles that Matt Bevin believes in. I know he believes in those fundamental conservative ideals because he has embodied them in his life's experiences," she says.

The endorsement from Caswell was likely helped by a web video attacking the activist.

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The Two-Way
9:47 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Largest Strike So Far By Fast-Food Workers Set For Thursday

Outside a Taco Bell restaurant in Warren, Mich., early Thursday, supporters of the push by fast-food workers to raise the minimum wage were marching.
Jessica J. Trevino MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 9:45 am

Organizers say workers at fast-food restaurants in cities across the nation will walk off their jobs Thursday in what's expected to be the largest such strike so far, The Associated Press writes.

As the wire service adds:

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Environment
7:00 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Could Local Food and Urban Agriculture Shrink Food Deserts?

Volunteers at the Fresh Stop in Shawnee
Erica Peterson WFPL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food deserts as places characterized both by a low-income population and a dearth of fresh food within a mile radius. And a large part of the Louisville Metro area falls under that definition: from most of the West End to Shively, Newburg and parts of Southern Indiana.

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The Two-Way
6:14 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Obama: U.S. Has 'Concluded' Assad Used Chemical Weapons In Syria

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 6:33 pm

In an interview with PBS NewsHour on Wednesday, President Obama said the U.S. had "concluded" that the regime of Bashar Assad used chemical weapons during an attack last week near Damascus that reportedly left hundreds dead and potentially thousands more injured.

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Politics
8:33 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Senate President Pushes Kentucky Legislative Leaders to Meet on John Arnold Investigation

Senate President Robert Stivers (l) and House Speaker Greg Stumbo (r)
Credit Legislative Research Commission

Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, says House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonburg, is declining to meet with leaders in the General Assembly to discuss an investigation of sexual harassment claims made against Democratic state Rep. John Arnold by Statehouse staffers.

In two separate complaints, Legislative Research Commission employees Cassaundra Cooper and Yolanda Costner allege Arnold sexually harassed and assaulted them over a period of three years.

A third female staffer, Gloria Morgan, has also come forward claiming Arnold touched her inappropriately in 2009. All three say their supervisors did not do enough to address the complaints. 

Stivers is calling for a closed door session on Sept. 4 with Senate and House leaders to learn more about the status of an investigation into the issue. Because this is a personnel matter, legislative leaders are required to meet in executive session, which requires three of the four highest-ranking lawmakers to be present.

Stivers says since Arnold's accusers have retained legal counsel, it is necessary for lawmakers to know what investigations have been conducted, and what actions may need to be taken.

"I spoke with [Senate Democratic] Leader [R.J.] Palmer and he agreed that we need to call the LRC into executive session on September 4. I have also spoken with [House Republican] Leader [Jeff] Hoover regarding this course of action and he’s in agreement," Stivers said in a statement to WFPL. "The speaker's office has declined to go into session to apprise us of what investigations are going on and who’s conducting them."

The split on the meeting demonstrates a difference in opinion between Stumbo and Stivers in how the complaints should be handled.

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Environment
5:23 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Study Finds 2007 Eastern Kentucky Fish Kill Likely Caused By Natural Gas Fracking Fluid

Blackside dace minnows
U.S. Fish and Wildlife

A joint study by the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is pointing to natural gas fracking as the cause of widespread death of fish in an Eastern Kentucky stream.

The report found that hydraulic fracturing fluids—which are used to help extract the gas from the ground—spilled from a natural gas well site near Acorn Fork in 2007. After that, scientists saw a sharp decline in aquatic life in the stream. One of the species affected—the Blackside dace—is federally threatened.

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Politics
4:56 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

McConnell Campaign to Launch "Women for Team Mitch" This Week

Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Credit Joseph Lord/WFPL News

The campaign to re-elect Republican Senator Mitch McConnell is making its first pitch to women voters in an attempt to close the perceived gender gap.

This Friday the campaign will launch "Women for Team Mitch" where McConnell will be joined by his wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, along with women from across Kentucky.

It is a sign that the GOP leader understands the need to reach out to women, which is a key voting bloc that Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is courting.

National Democrats have pounded McConnell's record on women's issues, which includes voting against the re-authorization the Violence Against Women Act earlier this year.

But aides close to McConnell have said the senator isn't going to ignore the female vote, and is eager to defend his views.

From The New York Times:

Given recent struggles that Republican Senate contenders have had with women’s issues, Mr. McConnell’s advisers say they intend to confront head-on the criticism Democrats have already begun leveling against him on issues they view as particularly important to female voters.

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Arts and Humanities
4:37 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Five Movies to Get You in the Mood for Louisville Zombie Attack

The Louisville Zombie Attack is lurching around the corner. 

Suppose you are interested in dressing up as the undead and walking Thursday night in the Zombie Attack—or you are interested in watching, or you at least enjoy scary movies.

For you, here's a list of five movies to inspire you. The list and comments come from Lyndi Lou, the Louisville tattoo artist and co-founder of the Louisville Zombie Attack.

“Night of the Living Dead”/”Dawn of the Dead”/”Day of the Dead”

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Local News
4:36 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Frankfort Commissioners Again Prepared to Vote on Fairness Proposal

townmapusa.com

The Frankfort Board of Commissioners is scheduled to hold a final vote Thursday morning on a proposed fairness ordinance.

City commissioners were set to vote on the issue Monday night, but delayed taking action after amending the definition of family to include legal guardianship. Since the wording was changed, the panel approved a first reading instead.

The ordinance would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or perceived gender identity.

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