Shots - Health News
1:47 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

That Employee Who Smokes Costs The Boss $5,800 A Year

A man smokes outside an office building in New York City in April. Smoking breaks cost employers almost $3,000 per year per smoking employees, a study says.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 8:42 am

Smoking is expensive, and not just for the person buying the cigs. Employers are taking hard looks at the cost of employing smokers as they try to cut health insurance costs, with some refusing to hire people who say they smoke.

But figures on the cost of smoking have been rough estimates at best, with a very general estimate of $193 billion a year nationwide.

Researchers now say they're got much tighter focus on the number: $5,800 per smoker per year.

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Local News
1:14 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Report: Ky. African-Americans Six Times Likelier to be Arrested for Marijuana Possession

Credit Shutterstock.com

In a disparity topped by only four other states and the District of Columbia, Kentucky African-Americans are six-times likelier to be arrested for marijuana possession than Caucasians, said a new study from the American Civil Liberties Union.

But African-Americans are only slightly more likely than Caucasians to use marijuana—14 percent to 11.6 percent, the study said.

In Jefferson County, African-Americans were 3.5 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession—close to the national average of 3.7 times more likely.

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The Two-Way
11:03 am
Tue June 4, 2013

AP: Top Obama Officials Use Secret Email Accounts

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius speaks during a news conference at the Department of the Treasury on May 31 in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 12:39 pm

After months of wrangling with government agencies over Freedom of Information Act requests, The Associated Press has an interesting bit of news today: Some of Obama's most important appointees use non-public email addresses to conduct official business.

The AP calls those email addresses "secret," and they are different from the frowned-upon practice of using personal email addresses to conduct business. These email addresses are set up by the government and intended for official use.

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Politics
10:41 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Poll: Mitch McConnell Holds Edge in 2014

Mitch McConnell
Credit U.S. Senate

A new poll of Kentucky voters shows Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell with a slight edge over two potential Democratic challengers in a 2014 match-up.

The Ohio-based firm Wenzel Strategies conducted the survey and released the results on Tuesday. It gives McConnell a 7-point lead over Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who is considered the top contender.

Those are very different results when compared to a Public Policy Polling survey that had McConnell and Grimes tied last week. McConnell's re-election campaign raked the PPP survey for what it called "laughable poll questions," saying it should be dismissed.

In a head-to-head contest with Grimes, Wenzel found McConnell receives 46 percent of the vote compared to 39 percent for the secretary of state, who has still not indicated whether she is running for U.S. Senate in 2014.

The same survey finds McConnell leading former Miss America Heather French Henry by just a 5-point margin, however. In that mock race, Henry, who is also mulling a possible candidacy, fairs slightly better than Grimes at 40 percent of the vote compared to 45 percent for McConnell.

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Education
7:56 am
Tue June 4, 2013

UNIQUE: WFPL Gives a Recorder to a Louisville High School Senior Enrolled in Online Classes

Darianne uses her dining room table as a classroom.

Graduation day is almost here for thousands of area students and we're taking a look at unique ways students are earning their diplomas.

Seventeen-year-old Darianne Hudson withdrew from Louisville’s Ballard High School a year ago and she enrolled in Jefferson County High School’s online program.

WFPL gave Hudson a recorder, which she’s carried around for the past several weeks.

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Local News
6:57 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Kentucky Privacy Advocates Concerned About Supreme Court's DNA Ruling

Credit Creative Commons

The ACLU of Kentucky says the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling allowing for the collection of DNA without a warrant poses privacy concerns.

On Monday, the Court upheld a Maryland law allowing law enforcement to take and keep DNA samples from people who’ve been arrested—with or without a warrant.

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Shots - Health News
6:50 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Obama Administration Seeks To Ease Approvals For Antibiotics

These staph bacteria are resistant to vancomycin, an antibiotic that is one of the last lines of defense.
Janice Haney Carr CDC

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 5:15 pm

Every day in hospitals all over America, thousands of patients die of infections that used to be curable. But the antibiotics used to treat them aren't working anymore.

It's called drug resistance, and it's largely a consequence of antibiotics overuse. The more germs are exposed to antibiotics, the faster they mutate to evade being vanquished.

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Politics
8:21 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Louisville Metro Council Prods Mayor’s Office Over Urban Services

Several Louisville Metro Council members aren't happy with Mayor Greg Fischer for failing to restore previously cut urban services in his new budget proposal.

City chief financial officer Steve Rowland testified at a budget hearing Monday that the city is investing in key areas such as infrastructure and strategic planning.

Fischer had been praised for putting additional funds towards fixing the city's roads, for instance.

But city lawmakers grilled Rowland over why the administration is not using  a projected $3.3 million surplus to bring back two rounds of street cleaning and junk pick-up in the Urban Services District that were cut during the recession.

"It's really hard for me to understand how we continue to implement new programs and spend the taxpayer's dollars when we can't restore services that were in place before merger," says Councilwoman Mary Woolridge, D-3. "It mind boggling to think we can spend $6.4 million to upgrade side walks, roadways and especially bike lanes when we have reduced services in this city. Are we ever going to get money in this budget to restore at least one of these?"

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Education
4:33 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Program Offers Free Stuff to Help Prepare Louisville's Rising Kindergarteners

Click on the image above to expand the Kindergarten Countdown schedule.

Families are being encouraged to take advantage of the Louisville’s 8th annual Kindergarten Countdown program this summer, which will include more ways the region’s youngest incoming students can prepare themselves for school.

Kindergarten Countdown is a way to get parents and students comfortable and thinking about school early. According to screeners, around one-third of Jefferson County Public Schools students are school-ready when they enter kindergarten.

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Arts and Humanities
4:06 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Women's Theatre Company Explores Family Life, Out Loud

Su Crocker and Susan McNeese Lynch in rehearsal for "Motherhood Out Loud."
Eve Theatre Company

Designed to celebrate family while shattering traditional notions of parenthood, “Motherhood Out Loud” is the second production by Eve Theatre Company, a new Louisville stage production company whose mission is to explore the human experience from a female perspective.

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