James McNair

Investigative Reporter/KyCIR

Credit Louisville Public Media

James McNair is a veteran investigative reporter who specializes in business and finance issues.

McNair has spent nearly 30 years in journalism, having worked as a staff reporter for the Miami Herald and the Cincinnati Enquirer, among other newspapers.

His reporting has unearthed fraudulent schemes and unethical business practices, as well as numerous swindles and scams. He most recently worked as an independent researcher for a hedge fund.

An Army brat, McNair moved frequently, but graduated high school outside Fort Campbell, Ky. He served three years in the Army himself and later earned a B.A. of Journalism from the University of Kentucky.

McNair has also written for CityBeat in Cincinnati, where he chronicled the off-field problems of a major league pitcher and testing discrepancies at a local high school.

He has won numerous state and local journalism awards.


10:54 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Kentucky Community College Top Job Draws 40 Applicants. (Just Don't Ask Who.)

Credit File photo

Sometime after Nov. 1, the Kentucky Community & Technical College System will name a new president to succeed the retiring Michael McCall. But only a group of insiders knows who’s in the running.

The application deadline passed nearly two months ago, on July 25. With the help of an outside search agency, the Association of Community College Trustees, a 16-person search committee expects to narrow the field of applicants to just a few finalists next month. KCTCS Chairman P.G. Peeples, co-chairman of the search committee, said he is pleased with the progress being made.

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Local News
1:31 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Kentucky Retirement Systems to Provide More Detail on 'Alternative' Investments

Tommy Elliot, chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Executive Director Bill Thielen listen to a presentation during the meeting of Kentucky Retirement Systems on May 15, 2014.

Kentucky Retirement Systems, which runs the $16 billion pension and health care funds for state, city and county workers and retirees, will be providing more detail about the fees it pays to the managers of its so-called “alternative” investments.

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7:00 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Sewage, Stench Plague a Louisville Mobile Home Park, Bringing Scrutiny for Well-Connected Owner

A manhole cover leaks untreated sewage onto the ground and into Pond Creek.
Credit Alix Mattingly/Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting

Industrial sprawl gives way to a more bucolic backdrop below the Gene Snyder Freeway west of Interstate 65. Here, Metro Louisville consists of shady lanes and open land, exactly what people want when they move to Ashley Pointe Mobile Home Park on Penile Road.

For $320 a month in lot rent, residents get the bare minimum of amenities. No tennis courts or clubhouse here, no lush landscaping. What makes Ashley Pointe unique hangs in the air, the sometimes lingering odor of untreated human waste.

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Local News
4:45 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Louisville Water Co. Fined $84,000 For 'Willful' Disregard of Safety Laws

Credit Wikipedia Commons

The Kentucky Labor Cabinet has cited Louisville Water Co. for violating trench-safety laws for the third time in four years, this time issuing a $84,000 fine for what the state agency called a “willful” disregard of the law.

The citations stem from a fire hydrant replacement job on Leman Drive on Jan. 16. An inspector for the Labor Cabinet, which enforces Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health laws, noted that workers were in a trench nearly 6½ feet deep with no wall cave-in protection and an insufficient ladder.

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Local News
4:57 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

That Home Rental Posting on Craigslist? It May Not Be Real.

For all the incessant warnings about send-money-now, get-goods-later scams on Craigslist and other websites, online con artists just won’t quit.

So I learned as I shopped Craigslist on June 7 for a place to rent. One listing caught my eye, that of a fully furnished four-bedroom, two-story house in Belknap for $1,500 a month. The interior photos looked great. “WiFi and AT&T cable throughout the house. Sleeps 8-10 people comfortably,” the ad said.

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Local News
8:00 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Food Demo Workers Say They Were Victimized By Louisville Company

Phyllis Cupit at her pickle demonstration on Nov. 24, 2013.
Credit Courtesy of Phyllis Cupit

Almost every day, apron-clad women stand at makeshift tables in supermarkets around the country, handing out free bites of Boar’s Head meats, Kern’s Derby Pie or Pop’s Pickles. They stand for up to six hours straight and earn anywhere from $10 to $16 an hour.

“I loved the work. You get to work with people, and they get to try a lot of new things. It’s a fun job,” said Sharon Pilder of Madison, Tenn.

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Local News
3:30 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

The Major Points in the KFC Yum! Center Economic Impact Study

The KFC Yum! Center
Credit Eleanor Hasken/LPM

Less than four full years into operation, the KFC Yum! Center has accounted for an estimated economic impact of more than half a billion dollars since it opened.

So says an outside consulting firm that added up the dollars from arena ticket, concession and merchandise sales, along with estimated spending on hotel rooms, restaurants, bars, shopping, transportation and other entertainment.

“This is a real economic engine,” said John Kaatz, a principal in the Minneapolis office of CSL International.

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Local News
3:37 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Kentucky At-Risk Youth Agency's President Resigns Following Inquiry

Credit Uspiritus

The president of the state’s largest non-profit agency for at-risk and foster children resigned late last week in the aftermath of an internal investigation of her performance. Neither she nor the organization’s board of directors would say why.

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Local News
12:46 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Kentucky Gets ‘B’ Grade In Government Transparency

Credit U.S. Public Interest Research Group

The national leader just five years ago, Kentucky is starting to fall behind other states in disclosing how state government spends the public’s money.

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12:14 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Churchill Downs Inc. Preps For Big Race, and Executives Win Big With Bonuses

Credit Jackie M. Barr/Creative Commons

The Kentucky Derby is still more than a month away, but Churchill Downs Inc. executives are already celebrating a big payday.

A lot of money passes through CDI. The Louisville-based gaming company owns five horse racetracks, six casinos and the nation’s top online wagering site, TwinSpires.com.

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