In Conversation Local News

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In Conversation has covered a lot of topics since the show launched in January. This week, we looked back on some of our favorite shows of 2019.

They included our talk with officials about marijuana laws in Louisville and the rest of the state, our program with the University of Louisville’s president and her optimism for the school’s future, and our show with advocates who said more funding and support is needed to address homelessness in Louisville.

We talked in-depth with experts and officials about marijuana laws in September, and some believe  that Kentucky will eventually legalize recreational use of the drug. Louisville Metro Councilman Brandon Coan, who announced last month that he will not seek reelection, said there are benefits to legalizing marijuana.

“I think that the economic benefits that could result from legalization, or health benefits or some of those other benefits, are important, and things that we should continue to pursue,” Coan said during the show. “But I would be equally be as happy to see the state pursue the criminal justice kind of purpose that we looked at here in Louisville.”

University of Louisville President Dr. Neeli Bendapudi expressed optimism for the school’s future on In Conversation in August, adding that she plans to invest in security, affordability and faculty concerns at the school. Bendapudi has presided over high-profile changes, removing John Schnatter’s name from the school’s football stadium and business school, and helping to finalize the purchase of KentuckyOne Health Inc. properties. Those properties include the financially-troubled Jewish Hospital.

On our July program about homelessness, advocates said city officials have made strides toward addressing the situation in Louisville. The city has funneled more than $500,000 into low-barrier shelters and commissioned a study to find solutions. But the panel said more funding and support are needed, and Aaron Jones, who is transitioning out of homelessness, said anyone can help by simply asking what a homeless person’s needs are.

“Listen to what the person’s needs are, and then try to assess it from there,” Jones said on July’s show. “If I can help, I can help. If I can’t help, I’ll refer them to someone that has more professional advice than I do.”

There’s a lot going on in Louisville, and WFPL’s “In Conversation” with Rick Howlett gives people a platform to talk — both to each other, and with the larger community — about the biggest issues facing our city, state and region. Live at 11 a.m. every Friday on 89.3 WFPL. Call 502-814-TALK to join the conversation.

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