4:32 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

The Next Louisville: Educators, JCPS Board Chair Discuss Urban Education

What do zoning laws, progressive teachers unions and community organizing all have in common? They were all part of the conversation today during a WFPL education news special.

Many urban school districts with large student populations perform lower than their peers. Graduation rates and state test scores are dismal in areas like Chicago and Detroit where around 90 percent of students are low-income.

In Jefferson County Public Schools test scores and graduation rates are regularly below the state average.

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4:22 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Councilwoman Marilyn Parker Declines Government Pension Benefits

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Marilyn Parker
Credit Parker campaign

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Marilyn Parker, R-18, is forgoing her government pension benefits, citing the lack of real reforms in the 2013 General Assembly.

By declining the benefits Parker is saving the city an estimated $8,500 annually and Metro Government will not have to contribute to the state pension system on her behalf.

Parker says the decisions is meant to send a message to state lawmakers, and alert taxpayers on how serious the pension problem is for Kentucky.

"It is an issue that deeply concerns me for our state and city budgets. I'm concerned that we're not seeing a fix coming out of Frankfort," she says. "And as time goes on it is going our state and local budgets at risk and government at risk."

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4:13 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Hundreds Rally in Frankfort for Disability Services

Hundreds of activists gathered today at the Kentucky State Capitol to rally and lobby lawmakers on behalf of the state’s disabled citizens.

One of them was Louisville resident Cherish Wolfe, who receives help at the the Bridgehaven Adult Day Treatment Center.    She’s urging more state support for services such as those Bridgehaven provides.

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4:03 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

JCPS ACT Results Rank in Middle of Large Urban Peers

Credit Casey Serin/Creative Commons

While Jefferson County Public Schools’ ACT test scores have traditionally been lower than state and national averages, it ranks among the middle of its metropolitan peers.

Comparing local schools to schools across the nation can be difficult. Not all states use the same tests or metrics and even graduation rates could be calculated differently, although the U.S. Department of Education is changing that practice so all states follow each student until he or she graduates.

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Monkey See
4:03 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Are Romantic Comedies Dead?

Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant in Bringing Up Baby.

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 8:45 am

The March issue of The Atlantic features an essay from Christopher Orr called "Why Are Romantic Comedies So Bad?"* In it, Orr asserts that romantic comedies have been "lackluster for decades." Decades.

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3:40 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Bill Addressing Cargo Theft Dies in Kentucky Senate Committee

Legislation intended to crack down on cargo theft in Kentucky has died in the state Senate Judiciary Committee.

The measure did not receive a second when a vote was called today (Tues)

Sponsored by state representative Denver Butler of Louisville, the bill would have increased penalties for thefts of property worth more than 500-dollars.

The director of security at UPS in Louisville testified for the bill.

Steve Hamm says organized crime is targeting truckloads of valuable pharmaceuticals as they move across the country.

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Shots - Health News
3:02 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Infections With 'Nightmare Bacteria' Are On The Rise In U.S. Hospitals

Klebsiella pneumoniae, seen here with an electron microscope, are the most common superbugs causing highly drug-resistant infections in hospitals.
Kwangshin Kim Science Source

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:34 pm

Federal officials warned Tuesday that an especially dangerous group of superbugs has become a significant health problem in hospitals throughout the United States.

These germs, known as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, have become much more common in the last decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the risk they pose to health is becoming evident.

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2:19 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Will Kentucky 'Religious Freedom' Bill Gut Protections for Women, Minorities and Gay Residents?

Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Executive Director John J. Johnson
Credit Kentucky Commission on Human Rights

Joining other civil rights group, the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights is urging Governor Steve Beshear to block a bill that would allow people to ignore laws and regulations violating their religious beliefs.

Last week, the Democratic-controlled House overwhelmingly approved HB 279 by an 82-7 vote. It has now moved on the state Senate, where observers predict it is likely to pass in the GOP-controlled chamber.

Supporters say the bill strengthens the rights for people of faith and clarifies religious freedom in state law. But civil rights groups such as the ACLU of Kentucky and Louisville Fairness Campaign argue it will gut protections for women, racial minorities and gay residents.

John Johnson, executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, tells WFPL the commission agrees "wholeheartedly" with civil rights proponents, adding there is a potential risk for people to use their faith to discriminate.

"If this bill is adopted people can hide behind religious freedoms and discriminate in anyway they feel. They could say based on my religion I don’t think I should serve people based on interracial marriage. I don’t believe I should serve people because they are of a different religion," he says. "People can hide behind it in anyway, and it just makes it more difficult for the human rights agencies to pursue equality in our state."

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2:01 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Old Triumph Over Young In Federal Spending, And Sequester Makes It Worse

Federal spending on seniors already far outpaces that devoted to children. Last year, overall spending on children dropped for the first time in 30 years. The sequester, which expressly protects programs for the elderly, will exacerbate that difference.
Anne de Haas

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 5:23 pm

For years, federal programs for seniors and those that help kids have been on a collision course.

Now, given the automatic spending cuts taking place under sequestration, the moment for real competition may have arrived.

While Medicare and Social Security will come through the sequester mostly unscathed, a broad swath of programs targeted toward children — Head Start, education, nutrition assistance, child welfare — stand to lose hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars.

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The Two-Way
12:56 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Interactive: Compare Your Commute To The Nation's Longest

The average travel time to work in the United States tops 25 minutes, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Move around the map or enter your town or zip code to find commute times for your area.

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 1:36 pm

Are you a "mega-commuter"?

That's a term used by the U.S. Census Bureau to describe people who commute at least 90 minutes and 50 miles to work. Nearly 600,000 Americans spend that much time in vehicles, carpool lanes, and trains and buses each day, according to the bureau.

This interactive map, created by WNYC, shows commute times, by ZIP code, across the country. Zoom into your area to see how your commute compares:

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