Noise & Notes

On Noise & Notes, WFPL's Phillip M. Bailey doesn't just discuss the issues, he dissects them. From city government to national politics, Phillip has covered it all. 

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Politics
5:49 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Shanklin Defends Actions, Blames Corrections for Jobs Program Controversy

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, D-2, is responding to a story about a city funded ex-offenders program that served her and the councilwoman's relatives more than former inmates.

The upholstery-training program cost over $30,000, but was put to a stop by Mayor Greg Fischer's administration when questions were raised about the lack of ex-convict referrals. Records show most of the classes were attended by less than a handful of participants but that Shanklin and her son used the program.

In a telephone interview with WFPL, Shanklin said any lack of documentation was the fault of Metro Corrections and a pending internal audit would show no wrongdoing on her part.

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Politics
12:59 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

First Choice Market Opens in Park DuValle Neighborhood

After years of delays, a long-awaited full-service grocery store has opened in the Park DuValle neighborhood in west Louisville.

First Choice Market is a 20,000 square-foot store that will serve an estimated 35,000 residents with a wide-selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, a deli and a bakery. Local grocery operator ValuMarket, which has five other locations in the city, will manage the new store.

Councilwoman Mary Woolridge, D-3, represents the area and says the store opening has been delayed for years, adding more retail development is expected.

"The feedback is very positive and all of us just say we’ve waited a long time and it’s long overdue but we’re just absolutely ecstatic that it’s here now. We are just moving forward and we’re going to have to support that grocery,” she says.

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Politics
2:10 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

Gay Marriage Opponents, Supporters Agree Obama Re-Ignites Debate

Gay rights advocates and opponents will debate same-sex marriage on KET’s Kentucky Tonight program Monday with both sides agreeing President Obama's recent support has triggered a new discussion.

In 2004, three-fourths of voters approved an amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriage. But gay rights activists highlight a recent survey that shows 83 percent of registered voters in Kentucky now support civil protections for LGBT individuals.

Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman is participating in the KET debate. He says things have changed over the past eight years and revisiting the topic is appropriate given Mr. Obama’s remarks.

"I absolutely believe that President Obama’s support of same gender marriage has reignited the debate across the nation and really opened the door for more support than there ever has been before,” he says. "I think Democrats are proceeding more timidly than they need to be. Everyone in America, including conservatives and independents across the border are in support of full LGBT fairness and equality."

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Politics
8:30 am
Mon June 11, 2012

James, Hamilton Launch Anti-Violence Campaign to Reduce Shootings

Louisville Metro Council members Cheri Bryant Hamilton, D-5, and David James, D-6, are partnering with anti-gang advocates in a new anti-violence initiative.

The "No Red Dots" campaign seeks to educate at-risk youth and adults about conflict resolution and train neighborhood leaders in mediation. It is named after the red dots Metro Police used to indicate shootings on crime maps. According to Metro Police statistics there have been  approximately 70 shootings and 20 homicides this year.

James says the high concentration of those crimes were committed in west Louisville and the escalation is alarming, adding there is no panacea to violent crime.

"This is designed so that we don’t have more red dots on our maps that show where people have been shot," James told WFPL. "There is not one single thing that we’re going to do that’s going change the violence levels, it’s going to be a holistic approach that’s going to have to be taken."

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Politics
10:52 am
Sun June 10, 2012

Jobs Program Gives Shanklin More Ethics Troubles, Questions

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, D-2, is embroiled in another controversy that could result in ethics charges.

The Courier-Journal has reported that Shanklin administered a jobs program meant for ex-offenders since 2007, which has apparently only served her and the councilwoman's relatives. The upholstery-training program was funded by the council for nearly $30,000, but was halted by Mayor Greg Fischer's administration after questions were raised about the lack of referrals.

The newspaper learned that few offenders participated, but Shanklin and her family members took advantage of the program's benefits despite the councilwoman's earlier denials.

From the Courier-Journal:

The program was bankrolled from the metro government’s general fund, with money routed through Metro Corrections. It was halted after corrections Director Mark Bolton expressed concern about the program to the city’s chief financial officer, Steve Rowland.

Bolton said in a Courier-Journal interview that his department was never asked to refer ex-offenders to the program, which he described as “goofy” in an email to a corrections staff member just before it was halted.

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Politics
10:14 pm
Sat June 9, 2012

Noise and Notes: WDRB Returns and Council Members Talk City Budget, Wisconsin Recall

There was quite a shake up in Louisville media this past week, with cable subscribers seeing Time Warner Cable remove WDRB from the television lineup.

Before returning to the airwaves, the joust between the local Fox affiliate and cable company was the top story until WDRB announced hiring sports columnists Eric Crawford and Rick Bozich away from the Courier-Journal.

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Politics
6:42 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

McConnell Pounces Obama 'Doing Fine' Gaffe

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., released the following statement tearing into President Obama for claiming that the private sector is "doing fine" during a press conference to address economic concerns.

From McConnell's office:

“Whether the President wants to acknowledge it or not, we are now living in the Obama Economy, and no ‘post-it note’ proposal can reverse the damage done by his policies over the past three and a half years. It’s baffling that in the face of all evidence to the contrary, this President still believes that spending money we don’t have to inflate the government is the answer to America’s economic problems.

The economy would respond much more favorably to providing the tax certainty Americans deserve by extending all the tax rates and assuring employers they do not have to budget for the largest tax increase in American history next year. The Obama Economy is even slower now than when we extended the rates in 2010—raising taxes on job creators in this slow economy is simply not the elixir for his failed policies.”

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Politics
12:15 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Rand Paul Endorses Mitt Romney

U.S. Senate

Appearing on Fox News Channel's "Hannity" Thursday, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., endorsed GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney despite his father Congressman Ron Paul's ongoing White House bid.

Romney has clinched the 1,144 delegates needed for the Republican nomination, and Paul's father has suspended his campaign but is still pursuing delegates through the state process.

"Well, you know, my first choice had always been my father," Paul told conservative commentator Sean Hannity. "He is still my first pick, but now that the nominating process is over, tonight, I am happy to announce I am supporting Governor Romney."

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Politics
5:59 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

Wicker Pounces on Yarmuth Over Medical Device Tax

Republican congressional candidate Brooks Wicker called on Democratic incumbent John Yarmuth to vote against the medical device tax in the president’s healthcare law on Thursday. 

The Affordable Care Act includes a 2.3 percent tax on certain devices to pay for the legislation with an anticipated $29 billion over the next decade. Despite a veto threat from President Obama, the GOP-controlled House passed legislation to repeal the fee by a 241-to-173 vote.

Supporters of the repeal cite a study from the healthcare industry that warns about higher prices and the loss of  manufacturing jobs.

Speaking in front of Humana Inc., Wicker told a handful of supporters the tax makes pacemakers and knee replacements more expensive, and Yarmuth needs to explain his support of President Obama’s law.

"I’m calling on him to explain to the citizens of the Third District why he continues to support legislation– Obamacare—which the overwhelming number of people in this community do not support,” he says.

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Politics
1:25 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Mourdock Web Ad Links Donnelly to Reid, Obama

In an online video for the Indiana Senate race, Republican Richard Mourdock is going after Democrat Joe Donnelly by tying him to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nv., and President Obama.

The 48-second spots goes after the congressman's votes in support of the bailout, stimulus package and Obama's health care overhaul. It marks the first official attack from the Mourdock campaign and demonstrates the president's unpopularity in Indiana this year.

"It's been a disaster," the narrator says. "Now Reid has the liberal ATM machine working overtime for Donnelly. Reid wants another loyal lieutenant to help implement the Obama agenda."

Check it out:

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