Devin Katayama

Education/General Assignment Reporter

Devin Katayama is the education reporter for WFPL Louisville Public Media. He earned his M.A. in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago where he won the Studs Terkel Community Media Workshop Scholarship award for his work on street youth in Chicago. 

Devin previously worked with WBEZ Chicago Public Media’s Worldview program and with Northern California KQED’s The California Report. He credits his volunteer work with KBOO community radio in Portland, Ore. and for Vocalo.org for helping him achieve in public radio.

For more of his work, check out audiocollected.org.

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Local News
9:00 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Fair Housing Workshops for LGBT Community

The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights is offering education workshops on fair housing to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals across the commonwealth this week.

The commission is working with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to present the workshops. HUD recently changed its policy, to prevent discrimination against LGBT people.

Kentucky does not have a similar state-wide plan, but three cities—Louisville, Lexington and Covington—have fairness ordinances that protect the LGBT community.

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Local News
2:07 pm
Sat June 16, 2012

Q&A With Bluegrass Boardwalk's Natalie Koch

The Bluegrass Boardwalk Inc. board decided Friday not to reopen the former Kentucky Kingdom park.

Bluegrass Boardwalk Incorporated announced Friday it would not reopen the former Kentucky Kingdom amusement park, which has been closed since 2009.

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Local News
5:15 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Bluegrass Boardwalk Withdraws, Will Not Re-Open Kentucky Kingdom

After nine months of planning, Bluegrass Boardwalk, Inc. has withdrawn its proposal to re-open the Kentucky Kindgom theme park. 

According to a release, Bluegrass Boardwalk owners the Koch family—who also own Holiday World in southern Indiana—say leasing the park from the state would not fit in their business model. Further, CEO Natalie Koch cites "the many layers of governmental regulations and stipulations" as a reason for withdrawing. 

The announcement comes shortly after the company pushed back the planned re-opening to 2014, and days after the state approved up to $3.9 million in tax incentives for the project. The park closed in 2009 when previous owner Six Flags went bankrupt. This is the second failed attempt to re-open the park since. Businessman Ed Hart, who owned Kentucky Kingdom before it was purchased by Six Flags, was in talks with the state shortly after the park closed. 

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Local News
1:18 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

YMCA, Grasshoppers Distribution Discuss Fresh Produce in Portland

Parkway Food Market is one of seven Healthy in a Hurry locations.

YMCA of Greater Louisville is continuing to lead efforts to bring fresh produce to areas of the city that lack food options.

A report released this week by the  Partnership for a Fit Kentucky features 17 projects around the commonwealth that are models for fighting obesity.

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Local News
10:37 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Churchill Downs Changes Qualifications for Kentucky Derby

Churchill Downs Inc is adopting a new system for horses wanted a spot at the Kentucky Derby.
File photo

In an attempt to gain fans, Churchill Downs Incorporated is adopting a new points system for entry into the Kentucky Derby and will cut the number of qualifying stakes races considered for entry from 185 down to 36.

"Our primary driving motive is to create new fans for horse racing," said CDI chair and CEO Bob Evans in a press release.

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Education
5:23 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Studies Favor JCPS Turnaround Model “Project Proficiency”

This graph shows how many "novice" 8th grade students moved to "proficient" in 11th grade.

Part 3 of WFPL’s series this week looking at three collaborative studies on Project Proficiency from JCPS administrators.

For the first time, studies are showing the affects of Jefferson County Public Schools’ "Project Proficiency," the district’s response for turning around student achievement in its persistently low-achieving (PLA) schools, according to the No Child Left Behind Act. 

The effort ensures all students understand the top concepts in math and reading in depth, and it requires teacher collaboration to move the lowest achieving students forward.

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Local News
3:38 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

State Approves Tax Breaks for Bluegrass Boardwalk

The Kentucky Tourism Cabinet has approved tax incentives for the re-opening of the Kentucky Kingdom theme park.

Education
8:52 am
Wed June 13, 2012

Studies Favor JCPS Turnaround Model “Project Proficiency”

The graph shows the progress at-risk students made from 8th grade (x) to 11th (y).

Part 2 of WFPL’s series this week looking at three collaborative studies on Project Proficiency from JCPS administrators.

For the first time, studies are showing the affects of Jefferson County Public Schools’ "Project Proficiency," the district’s response for turning around student achievement in its persistently low-achieving (PLA) schools, according to the No Child Left Behind Act. 

The effort ensures all students understand the top concepts in math and reading in-depth, and it requires teacher collaboration to improve student achievement.

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Business
7:27 am
Wed June 13, 2012

2013 Ford Escape SUV is Ready to Compete

The 2013 Ford Escape will have a base salary of $22,470.

With reporting from the Associated Press.

Ford Motor Company is rolling the new 2013 Escape SUVs off the line and into dealerships this week.

Ford officials joined Mayor Greg Fischer and Gov. Steve Beshear Wednesday morning to announce the much anticipated launch of the new Escape, which was named the best selling SUV in the nation with over 250,000 sales last year. Ford officials say small SUVs like the Escape are the only vehicles that have returned to pre-recession sales levels.

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Local News
3:31 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Committee Postpones Landmarks Ordinance Vote

The Louisville Metro Council Planning and Zoning Committee has postponed a vote on controversial revisions to the city's landmarks ordinance after committee members failed to bring the measure up for discussion.

The changes being considered would give the Metro Council final say over what cites become landmarks. It would also require a majority of the 200 signatures needed to petition a site for landmark hstatusearing to come from residents within a one-mile radius of the proposed landmark.

Those in opposition say the landmarks process has been working for years and the 13-member landmarks commission is more than fair at determining what should be granted landmark status.

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