Local News
4:35 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Senator Rand Paul Joins Democrat to Give Judges More Flexibility in Federal Sentencing

Senator Rand Paul
Credit U.S. Senate

Joining Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., has introduced a bill to allow judges greater flexibility in sentencing federal crimes where a mandatory minimum punishment is considered unnecessary.

The bipartisan Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013 will expand the so-called "safety valve", which allows judges to impose a sentence below the mandatory minimum in qualifying drug cases.   

Leahy and Paul are polar opposites politically, but the two senators agree more latitude is needed to address the country's growing prison population and spiraling costs. 

For many critics, the "tough-on-crime" of the past 30 years have created laws that disproportionately effect minorities and the poor.

Paul emphasizes that the mandatory laws are a part of federal overreach where more judicial discretion is needed.

"Our country’s mandatory minimum laws reflect a Washington-knows-best, one-size-fits-all approach, which undermines the Constitutional Separation of Powers, violates the our bedrock principle that people should be treated as individuals, and costs the taxpayers money without making them any safer," Paul said in a news release. "This bill is necessary to combat the explosion of new federal criminal laws, many of which carry new mandatory minimum penalties."

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Local News
4:23 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Louisville Cards Begin NCAA Title Quest in Lexington

U of L Senior Guard Peyton Siva
Rick Howlett

With the number one overall seed, a Big East Tournament title and a nine-game winning streak on its resume,  the University of Louisville begins play in the men’s NCAA basketball tournament tomorrow  in Lexington.  

The Cards take on North Carolina A&T, which defeated Liberty in Tuesday’s play-in game.  It was the Aggies’ first-ever NCAA tournament victory.

U of L senior guard Peyton Siva says the Cards are clicking—as a team--at the right time.

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It's All Politics
4:03 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Pew Poll: For Many Who've Changed Same-Sex Marriage Views, It's Personal

Frank Capley (left) and Joe Alfano protest the San Francisco county clerk's denial of marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Feb. 14.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 4:09 pm

Sen. Rob Portman, an Ohio conservative Republican who recently said he now supports same-sex marriage because he has a gay son, evidently has plenty of company.

A new poll from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press suggests that many Americans have changed their minds — going from opposing to supporting same-sex marriage — because they personally know someone who is gay.

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Education
3:54 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Jefferson County Public Schools' Graduation Rates Improve; Officials Credit Initiatives

Click on the picture to see more graduation rate information broken down by categories.

Jefferson County Public Schools' 2012 graduation rates have improved slightly over last year.

Officials are celebrating some key indicators: The most recent 2011-2012 data says 69.4 percent of JCPS students graduated last year. Data for the 2010-2011 school year shows the rate was 67.8--a decrease from the previous year.

In the 2011-2012 school year, the state's graduation rates was 77.8 percent.  The 2010-2011 year it was 78.8, which was an improvement over the previous year.

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Local News
2:48 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Indiana Gambling Bill Gets House Makeover

Wikipedia

An Indiana House committee has made some major changes to a Senate-approved gambling bill.

In a close vote, lawmakers on the House Public Policy Committee today removed a provision that would allow live table games at two racetracks that already have slot machines.  

The tracks’ owner says the games could create more than 600 new jobs, but the panel chairman contends it would amount to an expansion of gambling and create competition for Indiana’s casinos.

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Shots - Health News
2:15 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

As Health Law Turns Three, Public Is As Confused As Ever

Couldn't hurt to make a wish for good health!
Ruth Black iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 8:07 am

As the Affordable Care Act nears its third birthday this Saturday, a poll finds the public actually knows less about the law now than when it passed in 2010. Oh, and a lot of what people think they know just isn't so.

Those are the central findings of this month's tracking poll just released by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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Local News
1:32 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

WFPL Wants (Needs?) Local Music for Station Breaks

Even Devin Katayama is writing music for WFPL.

Hey, Louisville. WFPL loves local music, and we want to feature more of it on air. No, we're not taking on our beloved sister station, WFPK. We're looking for fresh songs to play in between news segments and shows throughout the day.

You know the music we use. You've been hearing it for years. It's the acoustic guitar riff that plays right after Ira Glass signs off, or that synth-and-drums number you hear underneath the credits on Sunday afternoons.

 

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Politics
1:26 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Pros and Cons for Potential 2014 Mitch McConnell Challengers Judd, Grimes and Bevin

Ashley Judd
Credit Creative Commons

Kentuckians have 590 days-plus before the 2014 general election, but already the political chatter is centered on potential challengers to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell—chiefly actress Ashley Judd and her potential candidacy's supposed strengths and weaknesses.

But Judd isn't the only possible candidate.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Arriving In Israel, Obama Reaffirms An 'Unbreakable Bond'

President Barack Obama is greeted by Israeli President Shimon Peres, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu upon his arrival ceremony at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Wednesday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 9:20 am

President Obama landed in Israel this morning, marking the first time he visits the country as president.

"I see this visit as an opportunity to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between our nations, to restate America's unwavering commitment to Israel's security and to speak directly to the people of Israel and to your neighbors," Obama said during a welcoming ceremony at the Tel Aviv airport.

NPR's Larry Abramson, who's at the airport, just spoke to our Newscast unit. He said Obama was welcomed by Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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Local News
12:04 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Two Full-Time Minimum Wage Jobs Needed to Pay for a 2-Bedroom Apartment in Louisville

Credit Shutterstock.com

Louisvillians must earn $14.07 per hour at a full-time job to afford the $731 cost for a two-bedroom apartment in the metro area, said a recent study from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Louisville minimum-wage earners need nearly two full-time jobs to cover those rent costs—a difficult proposition for single parents.

The analysis considers fair market rent for a "decent" apartment, which calculating that renters would spend no more than 30 percent of their earnings on housing.

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