Local News
3:18 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

U of L's Russ Smith Coming Back for Senior Season

Rick Howlett

Saying he wants to earn his degree and defend the school’s national championship, University of Louisville basketball player Russ Smith announced today that he’ll be back for his senior season.

Smith led the Cards in scoring this season and in the NCAA Tournament, which U of L won for the first time since 1986.

Smith has been wrestling with a decision on whether to enter the NBA draft.   He says he made up his mind this  morning after talking with coach Rick Pitino about his prospects in the league.

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3:11 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Kentucky Environmentalist Tom FitzGerald Mulling Bid Against Mitch McConnell

Environmental lawyer Tom FitzGerald
Credit http://valleywatch.net

Environmental activist and Louisville attorney Tom FitzGerald says he is being encouraged to run against Republican Mitch McConnell in the Kentucky 2014 U.S. Senate race.

The 58-year-old Democrat currently serves as executive director of the Kentucky Resources Council, an environmental group that lobbies state lawmakers on conservation issues.

In a telephone interview, FitzGerald told WFPL the decision is still in its early stages and leaving the non-profit world would be a significant change.

"For me to go into electoral politics and partisan politics is a very different way of approaching public service. I have a real fondness and appreciation for the amazing people of this Commonwealth and I've devoted my adult life to try to improve the quality of the community's health," he says.

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2:53 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Lexington Gets Update on Rupp Arena Project

Credit Creative Commons

In about a month, more details are expected on who should design the renovation of Lexington’s Rupp Arena. The overall project to refurbish the sports arena along with the Lexington Convention Center carries an estimated price tag of close to $300 million.

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1:56 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Gabrielle Giffords's Super PAC Slams Mitch McConnell Over Gun Background Check Vote

Credit Executive Office of the President

A super PAC founded by former Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is calling out Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell for voting against gun control measures in a new radio advertisement.

Americans Responsible for Solutions was formed by Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly, and is launching the spots in the Louisville and Lexington areas. Giffords, who was shot in the head during a 2011 shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., has been an outspoken proponent for gun control measures since retiring from Congress.

The ad implores McConnell to listen to voters, and highlights 82 percent of Kentuckians favor background checks for gun purchases.

"McConnell opposed common sense checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals," the narrator says. "Written by a Republican and a Democrat. Supported by law enforcement officers. It was a common sense plan that protected Second Amendment Rights. But Senator McConnell ignored the will of the people."


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1:41 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

How About You Be The Decider

A portion of an exhibit is shown in the museum area at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas on April 16. The George W. Bush Presidential Center, which includes the library, museum and policy institute, will be dedicated Thursday at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Benny Snyder AP

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 5:37 pm

You think you're so smart. You think it's easy being the president of the United States. OK, pal — here's your chance.

One of the attractions of the new George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas — scheduled to be dedicated on Thursday — is Decision Points Theater, an interactive experience. The venue allows visitors to participate in a simplified simulation of the presidential decision-making process.

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The Two-Way
12:51 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Midwest Rivers Crest As Flooding Turns Deadly

National Weather Service Significant Flood Outlook for the week of April 23 - 28, 2013.
National Weather Service

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 2:02 pm

Flooding continues to plague the upper Midwest, as waters crested at record highs in places and weary river-town residents watched the flood markers for signs of relief.

NPR's David Schaper, reporting from Chicago, tells our Newscast Unit that the Mississippi River continues to rise, overtopping small levees north of St. Louis. But he says some of the bigger problems are in Illinois, near the town of Peoria, where "many roads, homes and businesses are flooded, and dozens of Peoria-area residents have been evacuated."

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12:39 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

State Rep. Carl Rollins' Resignation Sparks Early Campaign Battle

Carl Rollins
Credit Legislative Research Commission

Kentucky state Rep. Carl Rollins is resigning his House seat effective at the end of today, becoming the state first lawmaker to announce his retirement this cycle.

Rollins is resigning to become the executive director and the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority and the CEO of the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation.

Rollins' represents the 56th Legislative District, which covers part of Fayette and Franklin counties and all of Woodford  County.

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12:32 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Congressman John Yarmuth's Campaign Downplays Sparse FEC Report

Congressman John Yarmuth

The campaign for Kentucky Third District Congressman John Yarmuth is downplaying low fundraising totals, saying it shouldn’t be viewed as a sign the Democratic representative isn’t running for re-election.

Federal Election Commission records show Yarmuth raised a mere $5,000 in the first three months of 2013, which is far behind his colleagues in the Kentucky congressional delegation.

According to campaign finance records, the second lowest fundraising total among House members was longtime Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, who raised approximately $59,000 in the first quarter.

The other delegates raised somewhere between $90 to $365,000 during the same period.

Democratic sources who work on political financing tell WFPL Yarmuth's bleak numbers are a "signature of retirement" and observers note that is alarming low given how expensive House races can be.

"It is unusual there is no doubt about it," says University of Louisville political science professor Dewey Clayton. "And so to see a candidate who is an incumbent who has all the advantages, which usually means high name recognition that leads to the ability to raise funds."

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11:16 am
Wed April 24, 2013

State Auditor Accepts Request to Review Jefferson County Public Schools

Credit Devin Katayama/WFPL

Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen accepted the Jefferson County Public Schools’ request to audit the school district today Wednesday.

Edelen was joined by JCPS board members, Superintendent Donna Hargens and Mayor Greg Fischer in announcing details of the audit which was approved by the board this week, following a recommendation from the superintendent.

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The Two-Way
10:43 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Violent Protests In Paris After Same-Sex Marriage Law Passes

Protesters took to the streets of Paris on Tueday after parliament gave its final OK to a law legalizing same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples.
Yoan Valat EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 9:41 am

"Clashes broke out between protesters and riot police near France's lower house of parliament late on Tuesday just hours after the country legalized gay marriage, with opponents of the law hurling projectiles at police, who responded with tear gas," France 24 reports.

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