Shankar Vedantam is a science correspondent for NPR. The focus of his reporting is on human behavior and the social sciences, and how research in those fields can get listeners to think about the news in unusual and interesting ways.

Before joining NPR in 2011, Vedantam spent 10 years as a reporter at The Washington Post. From 2007 to 2009, he was also a columnist, and wrote the Department of Human Behavior column for the Post. Vedantam writes an occasional column for Slate called "Hidden Brain."

Politics
6:08 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Beshear Appoints Insurers, Advocates to Health Insurance Exchange Board

Governor Steve Beshear has named the members of the state health insurance exchange board.

The now-19 member board includes top level officials from Kentucky's major insurers, including Anthem, Humana and Bluegrass Family Health.

It also includes represents from the state’s major hospitals, including Central Baptist in Lexington and KentuckyOne Health, which operates statewide.

Patient advocate groups, including Kentucky Voices for Health, AARP and Kentucky Youth Advocates, also have seats on the board.

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Melissa Chipman is a freelance writer and the founder of My Loueyville, a blog about our city. 

Environment
4:14 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

CEO Says Proposed Innovation Center Could Make Louisville International Center of Water Research

One of the models for the Water Innovation Center, designed by architecture students at UK's College of Design.
Louisville Water Company

Louisville Water Company officials say they’d like to build an international water innovation center in Louisville. The idea was presented today as part of a pre-Idea Festival conference focusing on water.

Louisville Water Company CEO Greg Heitzman says the idea makes sense in a place like Louisville.

“Essentially what it will do is bring water to the people,” he said. “So what we’re going to be doing is taking what we do inside of our water company box and opening that up to the public.”

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Environment
4:10 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Water Conference Presenter Advocates for Restoration of Falls of the Ohio

A consultant says Louisville should restore the Falls of the Ohio to its natural state, which would spur tourism. The presentation was part of today’s pre-Idea Festival conference about water.

The Falls of the Ohio are technically still there, but most of the falls have been covered by flooding from the McAlpine dam. Steven Greseth says the dam should be relocated, and the historic falls should be restored.

Greseth says restoring the falls would give Kentucky and Indiana residents a tie to their history to be proud of, and could also boost tourism in the area.

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Arts and Humanities
3:57 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Student Matinees Teach and Thrill

Angeliea Stark as Undead Woman and Randolph Curtis Rand as Dracula.
Actors Theatre of Louisville

Over the last ten years, Actors Theatre of Louisville has made educational outreach an institutional priority. The theater's student matinees are a cornerstone of its education program.  About 15,000 students, teachers and chaperones attend matinees at Actors Theatre every season.

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Politics
3:00 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

National Republican PAC Plans to Get Involved in Kentucky House Races

A Republican group tasked with winning state-level races across the U.S. has its sights set on Kentucky.

The Republican State Leadership Committee is an independent Republican political action committee that has established itself as a major factor in state legislative races.

The group has been involved in Kentucky legislative races off and on for several years. But with House Republicans making a strong push to win Kentucky’s lower chamber, the committee is once again taking a long look at the Commonwealth.

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Local News
2:18 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Coach Joe B. Hall Statue Unveiled in Lexington

A crowd of well-wishers braved the showers under a tent outside the University of Kentucky’s new Wildcat Coal Lodge earlier today to witness the unveiling of a statue of former men’s basketball coach Joe B. Hall.

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Politics
2:15 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

PAC is Formed to Combat Influence of Teachers Unions on School Board Races

A newly-formed political action committee is hoping to influence school board races across the commonwealth, embarking on territory usually dominated by teachers unions.

For decades, education policy and school board races across the commonwealth have been aided solely by teachers unions giving campaign donations through political action committees.

But a new group has just been formed to combat that influence on school board races. The Bluegrass Fund was created last week by Louisville develop David Nicklies, according to statements filed with the IRS.

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Politics
1:47 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Committee to Amend Discretionary Funds Policy

The Louisville Metro Council Accountability and Ethics Committee is voting Tuesday on more changes to the policy that governs the distribution of taxpayer dollars to non-profit groups.

A recent audit found that half of the discretionary grants given out by city lawmakers lacked proper documentation to determine if the funds were being spent properly.

Councilman Jerry Miller, R-19, is chairman of the accountability committee and a co-sponsor of the proposal along with Council President Jim King, D-10. He says the amendments being proposed give non-profit groups clear guidelines and should help restore public trust.

"The resolution that we’re going to hear today will start us on the path of restoring public confidence in this process, regardless of what individual council people—including myself—think of the overall process we have to be able to restore confidence that public funds are being used appropriately," says Miller.

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