Politics
6:39 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

City Reaches Contract Deal with Police, Firefighters Union

Louisville Metro Government has reached a five-year deal with the city’s police and fire unions that provides raises while making significant changes to the overtime and health plan systems.

The contracts with the Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Firefighters were recently ratified by their membership, and both contracts will be presented to the Metro Council next week for consideration.

Mayor Greg Fischer says the new labor agreement helps the city align projected revenues with rising costs.

"I applaud both sides for taking a fair and affordable approach to these contracts," he says. "Our employees are among the best in class and we are on a constant journey of improvement. These new contracts take a big step toward matching revenue growth with personnel costs."

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Law
5:15 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Scalia V. Ginsburg: Supreme Court Sparring, Put To Music

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 12:39 pm

On the day after the Supreme Court concluded its epic term in June, two of the supreme judicial antagonists, Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, met over a mutual love: opera.

When it comes to constitutional interpretation, the conservative Scalia and the liberal Ginsburg are leaders of the court's two opposing wings. To make matters yet more interesting, the two have been friends for decades, since long before Scalia was named to the court by President Reagan and Ginsburg by President Clinton.

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Local News
4:47 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Lexington Hires Architect to Renovate Rupp Arena

Credit Creative Commons

Lexington officials now have architectural and construction firms in place for a large-scale renovation of Rupp Arena, the home of the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team.

What’s missing is financing.

Leaders from the city and the Lexington Center Corporation overseeing the project announced Wednesday that the firm NBBJ would design the new building and Hunt Construction would do the construction work.

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Local News
2:47 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

U of L Expands Pediatric Services On Kosair Charities Germantown Campus

Dr. Erica Labar says the new medical facilities on Kosair's campus will serve up to 3,000 children annually.

The University of Louisville’s pediatric services department plans  to increase the number of children  it serves  by opening new medical offices at the Sam Swope Kosair Charities Centre in Germantown. 

Kosair has agreed to support a $1.2 million charitable lease over the next five years with an option to renew the lease for two additional five-year terms.

The lease agreement means new medical and dental offices at Kosair will serve thousands of children each year.

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Local News
2:34 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

14,000 in Louisville Without Power Following Severe Weather

About 14,000 LG&E customers in Jefferson County are without power following a batch of severe storms that passed over the city this afternoon. 

You can track outages on LG&E's outage map.

LG&E officials say they're working to restore power as quickly as possible. 

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Politics
2:30 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Kentucky Democrats Broil Mitch McConnell Over Rand Paul's 'Southern Avenger' Aide

Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul at a Kentucky Tea Party rally
Credit Kenny Colston / Kentucky Public Radio

The chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party is calling on Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to condemn an aide in Senator Rand Paul's office who was once a member a neo-Confederate group.

In a story the Washington Free Beacon reported Paul's social media director Jack Hunter, 39, belonged to a group that advocates southern secession.

It also found that up until Hunter was hired by Paul last year, he worked as a radio shock jock dubbed the "Southern Avenger" who praised Abraham Lincoln's assassination and said a non-white majority in the country would "simply cease to be America."

The aide's comments have put Paul's judgment for hiring him—and his potential 2016 presidential candidacy—under harsh scrutiny form critics. But state Democrats took the story as a chance to take quick swipe at Paul and link McConnell to his junior Kentucky colleague.

"The shameful history of Senator Rand Paul's senior staffer is embarrassing and I call on Senator Paul to condemn him immediately," says KDP Chairman Dan Logsdon. "Unfortunately, we're seeing more and more of this bizarre extremism, not just from Senator Paul, but also from Senator Mitch McConnell, as he caters to the radical fringe of his party."

The McConnell campaign says racism has no place in politics, but stopped short of denouncing Hunter and instead pivoted to criticize Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes.

"If Dan Logsdon would look up from the disaster that is Alison Lundergan Grimes' campaign long enough to notice, he would see that Rand Paul has done more to reach out to African American and Hispanic communities in the past six months than Logsdon has done his entire career," says McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton. "We would hope everyone agrees that racism has no place in politics, which is why it was particularly disappointing that Secretary Grimes failed to condemn a liberal Super PAC’s racist tweets targeting Senator McConnell's wife."

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Education
12:44 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Kentucky Governor, Education Leaders Celebrate New Statewide Dropout Age of 18

Check out which districts make up the 96.

Just two weeks since Kentucky allowed school districts to voluntarily adopt the new compulsory dropout age of 18, enough districts have approved the policy to make it mandatory statewide in four years.

Gov. Steve Beshear and Education Commissioner Terry Holliday announced today that 96 districts—or 55 percent—have adopted the new policy raising the dropout age from 16, which has been in place since 1934, according to state officials.

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Arts and Humanities
12:29 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Kentucky Shakespeare Festival Cancels Remainder of 'Twelfth Night' Run

One of the mantras of the theater business is “the show must go on.” But after abruptly cancelling Tuesday evening’s Shakespeare in the Park performance of “Twelfth Night,” Kentucky Shakespeare announced today that the remainder of the run is off. Producing artistic director Brantley Dunaway also directed the production.

According to a release, an unnamed cast member resigned for personal reasons, and, due to budget restrictions, the production had no understudies to step in:

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Politics
12:14 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Study: Immigration Reform Would Boost Kentucky Revenues By $23 Million

A study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy estimates Kentucky stands to gain $23.2 million in increased revenue should Congress pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

The 50-state analysis assumes that a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country will be included in any legislative package.

That would add around 80,000 new Kentuckians who would fully participate in the state and local tax systems.

According to the study, those immigrants who are living in the U.S. illegally are already paying $10.6 billion a year in state and local taxes nationwide, which is $58.8 million in Kentucky.

Supporters of immigration reform argue the added revenue demonstrates creating legal channels for the undocumented helps immigrant and native households, especially in poorer states.

"Some people would be surprised by how much undocumented immigrants already pay in taxes, including sales, property and income. But immigration reform would increase those contributions especially with income tax by creating a legal path for full compliance," says Anna Baumann, a research associate with the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, a non-partisan group that studies economic issues in the state.

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Education
12:11 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Indiana Works Out New Restraint and Seclusion Guidelines for Schools

Credit Creative Commons

The Indiana commission in charge of creating  a new set of guidelines for restraint and seclusion policies in schools will meet over the next few weeks to complete its  work.

The policies set the rules for how teachers are supposed to act when dealing with students who are misbehaving to the point where they need to use hands-on or seclusion techniques.

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