11:48 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Persistently Low-Achieving Schools Could Become Charters Under Kentucky Senate Bill

Credit File photo

Kentucky persistently low-achieving schools would be able to become charter schools to improve performance and test scores under a bill discussed Tuesday in the state Senate Education Committee.

The charter schools bill adds charters a a fifth option for what the state now calls "priority schools—schools that persistently get low scores.  The current options include re-staffing of teachers, firing the principal, giving the school up to outside management or closing the schools.

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The Two-Way
11:20 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Home Sales, Consumer Confidence And Bernanke All On Positive Side

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 10:27 am

Today's economic indicators all point up:

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Local News
11:13 am
Tue February 26, 2013

British Coming to Teach Bourbon Country About Scotch. (And Britain.)

Downton Abbey
Credit ITV.com

Perhaps wanting to broaden perceptions of Great Britain beyond Downton Abbey, the British Consulate in Chicago is hosting a five-day "pop-up consulate" in Louisville in March.

The pop-up consulate will include a bourbon vs. scotch event and a performance by the Band of the Scots Guard and the Pipes, Drums, Highland Dancers of the Black Watch 3rd Battalion.

Bagpipes, apparently.

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It's All Politics
9:48 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Loaded Words: How Language Shapes The Gun Debate

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 9:44 am

The country has been debating gun regulations for months. Later this week, a Senate committee will start work on various proposals, including a background check on every gun sale and a ban on assault weapons.

But this debate over guns goes beyond disagreements about policy. Advocates on both sides quite literally disagree on the terms of the discussion — as in, the words they use to describe it.

Ask "gun control advocates" to describe what this debate is about, and they'll say "control" really isn't the word they prefer.

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6:52 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Too Soon To Blame Payroll Tax For Stagnant Retail Sales?

Wal-Mart is one of several large retailers that say an increase in the payroll tax may hurt U.S. sales in the months ahead.
Daniel Acker Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 7:23 pm

For Darden Restaurants, the company behind Olive Garden and Red Lobster, its earnings projections out last week were not pretty. Sales will fall, it said, and company CEO Clarence Otis called higher payroll taxes a "headwind."

After a two-year tax break, the payroll tax, which funds Social Security payments, went back up to 6.2 percent on Jan. 1. The 2-percentage-point increase is an extra $80 a month in taxes for someone earning $50,000 a year.

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6:51 am
Tue February 26, 2013

The Hermit Pope Who Set The Precedent For Benedict XVI

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 9:15 pm

Beneath a glass coffin, wearing a pontiff's miter and faded vestments of gold and purple, there lies a tiny man with a wax head.

This represents an Italian priest who, until this month, was the only pope in history to voluntarily resign.

His name is Celestine V.

Celestine became pope at 84, some seven centuries ago, after a long and self-punishing career as a hermit.

Though a celebrated spiritual leader, and founder of a new branch of the Benedictine order, his papacy lasted just over five months. It's widely viewed as an utter disaster.

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6:49 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Supreme Court Considers If Warrantless DNA Swab Violates Constitution

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in a case about the collection of DNA evidence, and whether the Fourth Amendment prohibits police from obtaining DNA samples before conviction without a warrant.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 9:44 am

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on Tuesday in a case that could throw a monkey wrench into the widespread use of DNA testing — a case that pits modern technology against notions of personal privacy.

Twenty-eight states and the federal government have enacted laws that provide for automatic DNA collection from people at the time of their arrest. The question is whether it is unconstitutional to do that without a warrant, for the sole purpose of checking the DNA against a national DNA crime scene database.

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10:54 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Indiana House Approves $30 Billion State Budget

The Indiana House has approved a $30 billion budget that includes an additional $700 million for roads and schools than was originally sought by the governor.

The House voted 67-29 along party lines Monday night for the budget. It now moves to the Senate.

The House budget adds $200 million for education and $500 million for roads to the proposal submitted by Gov. Mike Pence last month.

Pence also wanted a 10 percent cut to the personal income tax, which would have cost $500 million a year. But lawmakers left that out of the House bill.

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Local News
4:55 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Indiana Senate Amends Bill on Abortion-Inducing Drugs

The Indiana Senate has dropped a proposed requirement that doctors must try to perform two ultrasound exams on women who receive drugs to induce abortions.

In a unanimous voice vote Monday, senators changed a bill on abortion pill regulations. It now requires a doctor to conduct appropriate testing during a follow-up appointment about two weeks after prescribing the drugs. The bill still requires doctors to perform an ultrasound exam on the woman before providing the drugs.

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Arts and Humanities
4:29 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Humana Festival of New American Plays Kicks Off

Actors Theatre of Louisville opens its 37th Humana Festival of New American Plays this week. The theater has produced more than 400 world premieres during the annual event since it founded the festival in 1976, and will welcome more than 40,000 patrons to nine new plays by eleven playwrights over the next six weeks.

"I passionately believe that it’s important that artists have champions, and Actors Theatre is honored to be able to provide a creative and supportive space for playwrights to develop their work," said artistic director Les Waters at a press conference today.

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