Education
6:48 am
Sun March 24, 2013

The Next Louisville: What is Louisville Doing to Support Public Education?

This week city and education leaders participated in a WFPL hosted forum to discuss what Jefferson County Public Schools system and city are doing to promote student achievement and ways they collaborate and what they need.

We were joined by JCPS District 1 board member Diane Porter, Metro Government policy director Tony Peyton and Dr. Bradley Carpenter with the University of Louisville, who has spent time in low-performing schools and has worked as a principal and teacher among other roles.

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Local News
6:00 am
Sun March 24, 2013

Four People Killed in Louisville So Far in Vehicle vs. Pedestrian Accidents

Credit Shutterstock.com

Traffic accidents involving pedestrians in Jefferson County have increased in recent years, according to statistics kept by Kentucky State Police.

Early Thursday morning, a man died after a sports utility vehicle struck him on Taylorsville Road at Lowe Road near Jeffersontown. Witnesses told Louisville Metro Police that the man was walking against the traffic signal, police said. LMPD's Traffic Unit is investigating.

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Sports
8:06 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

March Madness: Good For Fans, Bad For Business

Pittsburgh fans try to distract Wichita State's Ron Baker as he shoots a free throw during a second-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Salt Lake City on Thursday. The distractions of the tournament are so great that worker productivity suffers.
George Frey AP

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 6:34 pm

March Madness is here. Even President Obama has filled out a NCAA Division I men's college basketball tournament bracket. His pick to win it all was Indiana University.

The bracket frenzy is unbelievable, says Deborah Stroman, who teaches sports administration at the University of North Carolina.

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Local News
8:00 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

Louisville Cardinals Top Colorado State to Advance to Sweet 16

The Louisville Cardinals men's basketball team easily beat the Colorado State Rams on Saturday to advance in the NCAA Tournament.

The top-seeded Cardinals expanded on a 14-point halftime lead to win 82-56 in Lexington's Rupp Arena—which some fans were dubbing "Russ Arena," in acknowledgment of Louisville star guard Russ Smith. Smith led the Cardinals with 27 points.

The Cardinals will next head to Indianapolis to play the winner of Saturday evening's game between St. Louis and Oregon.

Update: UofL will play Oregon on Friday.

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Politics
6:10 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

Water Pipe Burst Floods Mayor Greg Fischer's Office

Credit Wikipedia Commons

The infrastructure woes for downtown Louisville continued Saturday after a major water pipe burst severely flooded Mayor Greg Fischer's office.

Fischer's chief of staff discovered the flooding around 2 p.m and staff rushed to save valuable artwork and historic furniture in Metro Hall.

The pipe burst began on the sixth floor of the building cascading to the fourth and second floors, including Metro TV studios.

According to a mayoral spokesman Chris Poynter, city crews aren’t certain what caused the pipe to burst, but believe it could be connected to the underground electrical explosion that occurred early Saturday morning.

The explosion dislodged manhole covers and shut down a few downtown Louisville blocks. It also caused the evacuation of Metro Police headquarters.

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The Two-Way
1:54 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

FAA Announces Tower Closures Coming In April

The control tower at Troutdale Airport in Troutdale, Ore., one of the towers slated for closure.
Don Ryan AP

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 6:22 pm

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced Friday that it will close 149 air traffic control towers from April 7 due to budget constraints. The number announced is 40 fewer than the FAA originally planned to close. The cuts in service are part of the FAA's response to sequestration, as we reported in a recent story from Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe, Pa.:

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Strange Fruit
10:39 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Strange Fruit: Rob Portman for Marriage Equality; Trevor Hoppe on the Criminalization of HIV

It's been a week full of political news on the LGBTQ front, so we asked WFPL's political editor, Phillip M. Bailey, to join us for our Juicy Fruit segment this week and help us talk through some of the finer points of these issues. Here in Kentucky, we've been watching and waiting to see what Governor Beshear would do with House Bill 279, the so-called 'religious freedom' bill that would let people ignore civil rights laws that go against their religious beliefs. 

On Monday, we learned the city of Covington had joined the chorus of those opposing the bill and urging a veto. Covington Mayor Sherry Carran sent Beshear a letter warning the bill could "do harm and will present a poor image of our state to progressive professionals and companies who understand and appreciate the value of diversity and open-mindedness."

Naturally, opponents of the bill in Louisville then collectively turned their heads and raised an eyebrow at our own Mayor Greg Fischer, and on Tuesday he sent a letter of his own to the capitol, saying the law was unnecessary. "We don’t need this proposed law, full of ambiguity and question, to prove our religious freedom and protect our citizens from some perceived threat. We have plenty of laws and a Constitution adopted by our citizens that provide us ample protections—no matter our faith, our profession, or our other rights and traits as human beings."

Indeed, on Friday, Governor Beshear did veto the bill, and now it comes down to whether the General Assembly will override the gubernatorial veto—which it appears to have enough votes to do.

In national news, Senator Rob Portman became the first GOP senator to publicly support marriage equality for LGBTQ folks. He revealed this week that he changed his mind on the issue because his son is gay. Hillary Clinton also released a video statement this week voicing her unequivocal support of same gender marriage, saying "Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights."

But Phillip, who covers politics full time, didn't have the same warm fuzzy feelings as many did over these announcements. He pointed out that Senator Portman has known his son is gay for two years, and that Clinton is widely rumored to be planning a run for president in 2016. So the cynical observer could see these moves as exactly that: PR maneuvers, carefully timed for maximum political advantage.

Jaison, so often the voice of activism and idealism on our show, preferred the less cynical explanation. "Are there any politicians who do the right thing just for the sake of doing it?" We'll let you listen for the discussion that followed.

Earlier this month we mentioned in a Juicy Fruit segment that people in Michigan were suffering legal consequences for supposedly-confidential HIV tests. To learn more, we called Trevor Hoppe. He's a graduate student at the University of Michigan who's studying sexuality, medicine, and the law. Trevor told us there are indeed cases of no- or very-low-risk behavior on the part of HIV-positive folks being treated like deliberate endangerment in the eyes of the law.

He says the criminalization of these seemingly-innocuous acts is a method of social control that has little to do with actually protecting public health. "I think it's just another way that HIV-positive people face a particular kind of stigma, despite the fact that there's no risk in these cases. It's not about that. It's about punishing HIV-positive people as much as the law can facilitate."

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Local News
9:40 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Underground Transformer Fire Dislodges Manhole Covers, Closes Downtown Louisville Streets

Credit LG&E

A fire in an underground electrical transformer vault early Saturday dislodged manhole covers and shut down downtown Louisville blocks.

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Author Interviews
7:52 am
Sat March 23, 2013

At 80, Philip Roth Reflects On Life, Literature And The Beauty Of Naps

The Library of America recently published the ninth and final volume of a complete collection of Philip Roth's works, and a new documentary on PBS looks back on his prolific career.
Courtesy PBS

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 1:01 pm

Philip Roth turned 80 years old this week, and his hometown of Newark, N.J. — a city he left long ago, but often returns to in his books — honored the man often acclaimed as America's greatest living novelist with a marching band, a birthday cake in the shape of books piled high and lots of symposia.

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The Two-Way
7:52 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Saturday Mail Delivery: Safe For Now?

Veteran USPS letter carrier Michael McDonald gathers mail to load into his truck before making his delivery run in the East Atlanta neighborhood on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in Atlanta.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 6:25 pm

Does the budget bill passed by Congress this week derail the United States Postal Service (USPS) plan to end Saturday delivery of first class mail?

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