Local News
12:31 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Daniels Appoints Judge Loretta Rush To High Court

Gov. Mitch Daniels has named a Tippecanoe County judge as the first woman on the Indiana Supreme Court in 13 years.

Daniels announced the appointment of Loretta Rush today.

Rush is the first female justice since Myra Selby stepped down in 1999 after five years on the court.

The 54-year-old Rush, a Pennsylvania native, says she puts an emphasis on the needs of children.

In 1998, she survived an attack by a former juvenile client who invaded her home and tried to kill her husband.

Arts and Humanities
12:20 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Review: 'Wicked' Stars Shine Extra Bright

Jeanna de Waal as Galinda and Christine Dwyer as Elphaba in the touring production of "Wicked."
Joan Marcus Wicked the Musical

The Broadway in Louisville production of the smash hit “Wicked” opened Thursday at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. The Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical depicts the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good, polar opposite witches from the classic tale “The Wizard of Oz,” as schoolgirls struggling with their ambitions, convictions and loyalty in an oppressive political climate.

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Environment
12:07 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Analysis Predicts Decline in Coal Production Could Actually Increase Coal Employment

Harry Schaefer U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

An analysis out from the West Virginia Center and Policy--a nonpartisan think tank in Charleston--predicts that even while coal production in Central Appalachia declines, employment will rise.

This may sound counterintuitive. But the analysis by Sean O'Leary says that could happen, due to falling productivity. In that case, it would take the same number of miners to mine less coal.

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Environment
8:00 am
Fri September 14, 2012

Recent Mine Idling Shows Demand for Metallurgical Coal Faltering, Too

CONSOL Energy has decided to temporarily idle two coal mines, the Buchanan Mine in southwest Virginia and the Amonate Mining Complex in southern West Virginia.

This doesn't stand out as particularly surprising news--after all, demand for coal is dropping, and factors like low natural gas prices, an unseasonably warm winter and upcoming environmental regulations have made it a tough year for the industry.

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Politics
6:41 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Paul Proposes Cutting Foreign Aid to Pakistan, Libya and Egypt

U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has proposed new amendments to strip foreign aid from Pakistan, Egypt and Libya, that would triple funding for a jobs bill for American veterans.

The proposal is in reaction to recent protests and attacks against American consulates and embassies in Libya and Egypt, including the killing of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. It is also aimed at drawing attention t the continued imprisonment of Shakil Afridi, a Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA locate Osama bin Laden.

Total U.S. foreign aid to Pakistan, Libya and Egypt totals approximately $4 billion annually.

Paul's amendment will cut that aid and put an additional $2 billion toward a veterans jobs bill that is moving its way through the Senate. The remaining $2 billion would go to deficit reduction.
 
"I urge (Senate Majority Leader Harry) Reid to do the right thing for taxpayers and veterans: To send a message to countries that our aid can’t be taken for granted, and to stand up for our troops abroad now, and those who have returned home after serving," says Paul. "He can do all of this by allowing a vote on my amendment. My amendment would halt all foreign aid to Pakistan, Egypt, and Libya, and would use those funds to triple the size of the veterans jobs bill. The only thing now standing in the way of this is the Democratic Senate Leadership."

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Local News
4:52 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Suu Kyi To Speak At U of L

Photo from indiavision.com

Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi will speak later this month at the University of Louisville.

The pro-democracy activist spent two decades imprisoned in the Southeast Asian country of Myanmar, also known as Burma. In April, the government recognized her election to the Myanmar parliament and she was only recently allowed to travel outside the country.

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Environment
4:36 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

U of L Conference Outlines Possibilities, Existing Barriers to Green Infrastructure

The rain garden in front of the Metropolitan Sewer District's downtown headquarters is one example of green infrastructure.
Erica Peterson WFPL

There are already a number of green infrastructure projects underway in Louisville—green roofs, rain gardens, pervious parking lots, to name a few. But experts say there’s still a lot of untapped potential. A conference today at the University of Louisville looked at those projects and discussed how to expand the efforts.

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Education
4:16 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

WFPL to Hold JCPS School Board Debates

The ballots for the school board races this fall are set and Jefferson County Public Schools has one of the largest candidate pools in recent history.

A total of 15 candidates are vying for three school board seats (districts 2, 4, and 7) and many say bettering student performance is a top priority, but how that's accomplished can be argued.

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Local News
2:56 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Ex-Grateful Dead Drummer "Baffled" By Kentucky Assault Charge

Photo from mickeyhart.net

Police in Harrodsburg, Kentucky have a warrant for the arrest of former Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart stemming from an alleged assault after a recent show.

Harrodsburg Police Lt. Chad Powell told The Associated Press on Thursday that the warrant stems from an incident Saturday after a performance by the Mickey Hart Band at Terrapin Hill Farm in Harrodsburg.

In an email from his publicist, Hart says he is "totally baffled" by the assault claim and says it is completely false and without any basis.

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Politics
1:50 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Retirement Official Says Pensions Systems Haven't Used Controversial Placement Agents Recently

After being heavily criticized for their use, Kentucky’s major pension program says it hasn't used a placement agent for three years.

Placement agents are investing middle men that direct pension funds to investment opportunities. Kentucky has not had a good track record with placement agents, who have been accused of mismanaging millions for the pension funds according to a 2011 audit.

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