Governing
9:18 am
Thu February 28, 2013

5...4...3...2...1... We Have Sequestration

Some countdowns, like the one for the Space Shuttle Atlantis in 2006, are credible and some are not. But they all contribute to the Countdown Effect.
Pete Cosgrove AP

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 10:57 am

Only a few more hours until the sequestration is scheduled to kick in. You can feel the tension. The anxiety. The pre-panic attack.

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It's All Politics
9:06 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Conservative Group Gets Jump On 'Primarying' Republicans In 2014

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., is among those Republicans the conservative Club for Growth is looking to "primary" in 2014.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 5:06 pm

Live in a solidly Republican congressional district but think your member of Congress isn't conservative enough? Well, the Club for Growth has a new website for you.

PrimaryMyCongressman.com targets "moderate Republicans" who have "joined with Democrats to pass liberal policies that harm economic growth," the group says.

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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Benedict's Time Is Over; He's No Longer The Pope

A final blessing: Pope Benedict XVI as he blessed those gathered outside his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo on Thursday. He's not expected to make any more public appearances.
Tony Gentile Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 2:11 pm

  • Sylvia Poggioli on 'Morning Editon'

(We last updated the top of this post at 2 p.m. ET.)

Precisely on time, under dark skies but with the lights of cameras from news outlets around the world illuminating the scene, Swiss Guards on Thursday closed the doors of the palazzo at Castel Gandolfo south of Rome — marking the official end of Pope Benedict XVI's time as head of the Roman Catholic Church.

For the first time in about 600 years, a pope has voluntarily stepped down. His final moment as leader of the church came at 8 p.m. local time (2 p.m. ET).

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Arts and Humanities
7:00 am
Thu February 28, 2013

The Big Break: Sitting In and Saying Goodbye

On our audio diary series The Big Break, two of our emerging performers take us inside rehearsals for upcoming productions while a third says farewell to Louisville. Over at the Louisville Ballet, trainee Claire Horrocks discusses the gravity of the understudy role in rehearsal, while at Actors Theatre of Louisville, apprentice Samantha Beach sits in on rehearsals for the five productions opening soon in the Humana Festival of New American Plays.

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Education
10:28 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Some Principals of Low-Performing JCPS Schools Can Stay, Kentucky Education Department Says

Credit File photo

Leaderships audits conducted for seven of Jefferson County Public Schools' 18 lowest-performing schools were presented to the district Wednesday and the results show principals in those schools have the capacity to continue leading their turnaround efforts.

The Kentucky Department of Education's leadership audits are performed every two years for the state's 41 "priority" schools, which are schools that have persistently performed at the lowest level statewide.

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Politics
6:39 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Senate Passes Bill To Shut Down Legislative Pension System

Legislative pension reform is moving forward in the Kentucky General Assembly.

The Kentucky state Senate passed Senate Bill 7 today, which would prevent future members of the General Assembly from participating in the Kentucky Employees Retirement System unless they participated in the Kentucky Employees Retirement System as a member of the General Assembly prior to July 1, 2013.

State Senate President Robert Stivers, a Republican from Manchester, says that this is the fourth time since 2005 that the state senate has passed measures on reform.

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Politics
6:16 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

House Passes Two Pension Bills But Controversy Over Vote Looms

Greg Stumbo
Credit Kentucky Legislative Commission

The House has narrowly passed two bills dealing with the state's underfunded pension system, but not without controversy.

The House passed an amended  version of Senate Bill 2, which keeps the pension systems as a defined benefit and creates a new oversight panel for Kentucky's many pension plans. It passed on party lines 55-45, with Democrats favoring.

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Politics
5:59 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Amid Financial Woes, Mayor Greg Fischer Appoints City CFO to Arena Authority Board

Mayor Greg Fischer has appointed the city's chief financial officer to the Louisville Arena Authority Board amid growing concerns about the financial stability of the KFC Yum Center in downtown.

The mayor named Steve Rowland to the board on Wednesday, giving the CFO a voting position. Fischer believes the CFO will help the arena authority have a broader view of city operations and related financial projections.

"There’s no doubt the KFC Yum Center is a shining star and the envy of other cities," Fischer said in a statement. "At the same time, the city’s financial responsibility to the bondholders is a significant expense in the city budget. Additionally, revenues from the tax-increment financing district supporting the arena have not performed to the original projections."

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Politics
5:29 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

House Passes Medicaid Prompt Pay Bill 99-0

 A bill moving Medicaid managed care late payments to the Department of Insurance's review process has overwhelmingly passed the state House.

House Bill 5 passed 99-0 off the floor, after a few technical amendments were added to it.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo is the bill sponsor and says his goal is to make sure health care providers start getting paid by Medicaid managed care organizations, which has been a problem since the MCO system was implemented.

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Local News
5:16 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Election Day Alcohol Sales Bill Close to Final Passage

The legal sale of alcohol on Election Day in Kentucky is a step closer to reality.  Liquor hasn’t been sold legally on Election Day in the commonwealth since the beginning of Prohibition.  Northern Kentucky Senator John Schickel says the measure also would allow local voters to restrict alcohol sales.

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