Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting

The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting is a new non-profit investigative newsroom from WFPL News and Louisville Public Media. Established in summer 2013, KyCIR's mission is to seek protection for society's most vulnerable citizens, to expose wrongdoing in the public and private sectors, to increase transparency in these areas and hold officials accountable. Visit the KyCIR's website here. 

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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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Local News
3:13 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Gov. Beshear Got Hefty Donations From Power Plant Proponents

Gov. Beshear with state officials and ecoPower executives at bill signing ceremony.
ecoPower press release

Information continues to surface about a proposed biomass-burning, electricity-generating plant in eastern Kentucky, and the company trying to build it.     

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Business
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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Investigations
11:31 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Louisville-Based Kindred Healthcare's Chairman Snares Loaded Retirement Package

Kindred
Credit James McNair/Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting

At Kindred Healthcare Inc., retirement gifts have gone way beyond the farewell cake, the cheap wristwatch and the sendoff reception at the local sports bar.

Last December the Louisville-based hospital and nursing home chain announced that its chairman, Edward Kuntz, would be quitting the board of directors after its annual shareholders meeting in May. Kuntz is 68 and has been chairman since 1999. Until 2004, he was also the company’s chief executive. “

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Politics
6:57 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Louisville Metro Ethics Commission Seeks Guidance on Council Members and Zoning Decisions

Jim King
Credit Louisville Metro Council

The Louisville Metro Ethics Commission punted Thursday on an advisory opinion sought by Council President Jim King regarding whether council members have to determine who has an interest in zoning decisions.

With little discussion, the committee voted to send a letter to King’s attorney, saying the commission would seek the legislative guidance of the metro council’s government accountability and ethics committee.

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Environment
1:01 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Would the Eastern Kentucky Biomass Plant be Good for the Environment?

A concrete slab indicates the site of a projected biomass power plant.
Credit Frankie Steele/Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting

This story is part of a series from the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting and WFPL.  Read the other stories here.  

For decades, Eastern Kentucky has been coal country. Coal provided work for thousands, while severance taxes contributed to county budgets. And while the industry has been in a steep decline over the past few years, coal still powers almost all of the electricity for the region and the state.

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Investigations
1:00 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

How Politics, Misinformation and Money Fueled a Power Plant in Kentucky's Coal Country

View from site of projected ecoPower plant, with evidence of strip mining in the distance.
Credit Frankie Steele/Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting

HAZARD, Ky.—Up a steep dirt road, atop a former strip-mine, sits a concrete slab roughly 30 feet square. It’s the only visible sign that a wood-burning, electricity-generating plant could someday occupy this remote industrial park.

Supporters say the biomass plant, 11 miles northwest of Hazard, would be an economic godsend for Perry County, creating hundreds of jobs and pumping millions of dollars into the heart of poverty-plagued Appalachian Kentucky.

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Local News
3:10 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

James McNair Joins Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting

James McNair
Credit Submitted photo

Veteran finance and business reporter James McNair is the newest addition to the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting. 

McNair's nearly 30 years in journalism includes positions at the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Miami Herald, where he's done work to uncover fraud and unethical business practices.

He's worked since 2007 as an independent researcher for hedge funds, in which "he is responsible for combing through records, digging through corporate filings and assisting the company in analyzing the health of businesses," a news release said.

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Politics
7:49 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Louisville Metro Ethics Commission Dismisses 3 Complaints Against Council President Jim King

Jim King
Credit Louisville Metro Council

The Louisville Metro Ethics Commission on Thursday dismissed three complaints against Council President Jim King, saying two were untimely and the third lacked probable cause.

The commission adjourned abruptly following an hour-long closed executive session after several community members interrupted proceedings, insisting that they be allowed to speak publicly on the matter.  

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Politics
3:19 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Louisville Council President Jim King Refutes Ethics Claim, Suggests Prosecution of Complainant

Jim King
Credit Louisville Metro Council

Louisville Metro Council President Jim King says a series of ethics complaints alleging he personally profited from his public office should be dismissed.

King’s attorney, in a 24-page formal response obtained by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, says the complaints are untimely and without merit.

The attorney, Jon Fleischaker, claims the complaints lodged by political activist Janice Rucker could be considered harassment and that the matter should be referred to the Commonwealth’s Attorney.

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