Jerry Abramson Actually Wasted A Year On That

A man described as a person of interest in a burglary investigation has died during a police-involved standoff in Radcliff, Ky. [WDRB]

Greater Louisville Inc., the metro chamber of commerce, will host trips to Turkey and Brazil for both members and nonmembers in 2013. [Business First]

A Louisville woman remains hospitalized after a terrible crash on Brownsboro Road involving a Jefferson County Public Schools bus earlier this month. Now police have released the 911 calls made just moments after the crash. [WHAS11]

Jefferson District Court’s chief judge has declined to say what judges decided to do in response to a letter in which Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell urged them stop what he called “disingenuous maneuvering” by defense lawyers in drunken-driving cases. [C-J/AKN]

A new prosecutor has taken over the case of a Louisville man accused of killing a Sullivan University student. The July trial date can’t come quickly enough. [WLKY]

Senate Republicans said Wednesday that they have enough votes to pass a sweeping overhaul of Kentucky’s pension system for state and local government workers. [Bluegrass Politics]

Calls to have a list of ongoing and potential projects presented to Jeffersonville’s Redevelopment Commission came to fruition Tuesday. [News & Tribune]

Law abiding immigrant workers may have a better chance at becoming U.S. citizens under President Barack Obama’s plan. Every year, hundreds of licensed immigrants work on the backside of Churchill Downs and would benefit from portions of the President’s proposal. [WAVE3]

One year after President Obama launched a new task force to investigate fraud during the subprime mortgage crisis, a co-chair of the group says a desire is now growing among prosecutors for a more aggressive response to the meltdown. Don’t bother asking where Jack Conway has been on this. [PBS]

The head of Kentucky’s Blue Ribbon Tax Commission says he thinks the prospects for tax reform are good — but they’re unlikely to be approved during the current legislative session. Quick, everybody act surprised that Jerry Abramson has pat-a-caking something else! [WFPL]

Take a moment to let it all sink in as you realize no pension legislation like this will ever see the light of day in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. [Page One]

Scott Steps Up: Rest Of The Critters Should, Too

Tomorrow, Councilwoman Attica Scott will assist Meals on Wheels delivering food to families in District 1 from 10:30 to 12:30.

“It is important to get out and stay in touch with those people who are home bound or may not have an easy time getting around on their own,” says Scott. “It is also good to be around volunteers who have a sense of duty to the community and enjoy helping other people.”

She’s setting a good example with nearly everything she touches (save the liquor/convenience store silliness) and every other member of the council should take note.

How Excited Are You For The MSD-Water Merger?

The effort to merge MSD and the Water Company is getting bigger and bigger. It’s only a matter of time until you’re spending even more money on the two services. [WHAS11]

The number of construction jobs in the Louisville metropolitan statistical area declined by 3.5 percent from December 2011 to December 2012, according to a new analysis of U.S. Department of Labor statistics by the construction trade group Associated General Contractors of America. [Business First]

A long-term effort to save energy on the University of Louisville’s campus is surpassing its goals. [WDRB]

A new study says the heat that’s released from buildings and transportation in major urban areas can affect the temperature in cities far away. [WFPL]

A Hardin County father originally charged with manslaughter in the death of his 1-month old son has now been indicted for murder. [WLKY]

The state will dramatically cut child care assistance to low income families and will pay no new subsidies to relatives raising abused or neglected children beginning in April, state officials announced Tuesday. [H-L]

Some gross sex theater in Southern Indiana is in trouble for having glory holes in its walls. And for perverts doing things in a theater or something. [WAVE3]

The three New Albany City Council members that lost their health insurance have filed a lawsuit seeking to have the coverage restored. [News & Tribune]

Things that do not go well with running for the United States Senate: divorcing your husband. Especially when you spend half your life tweeting about how great your marriage is. [WLKY]

The opening of the Big Four Bridge cross-river pathway has been delayed until next week, as workers finish installation of benches and other features. [C-J/AKN]

Six weeks after the massacre of 26 people at a Connecticut school ignited new calls to fight gun-related violence, the issue reaches the U.S. Congress on Wednesday amid questions about whether lawmakers will be able to agree on significant legislation. [Reuters]

Damning New Report Questions Arena’s Future

There’s a new report, produced by Denis Frankenberger, set to hit Louisville in a day or so about the arena debacle. To say it’s damning would be an understatement.

The University of Louisville Athletic Association won’t be happy.

The too long, didn’t read of the report? That the KFC Yum! Center will fail and leave taxpayers on the hook:

  • Over $800 million in Debt
  • Operating Costs Exceeding $92,000 per Day
  • Lease Giving Away Millions to Tenant and Others
  • Losing more than $50,000 per day during 2011, more than $37000 per day during 2012
  • More than $30 million in losses since opening
  • Financial Impossibility to Succeed
  • A Lease that is Choking the Financial Life from the Arena (unless the Lease is renegotiated)

With all of that, there’s little left to wonder about why UofL would fight against bringing an NBA team to town. It’s because UofL would lose its sweetheart deal that’s subsidized by taxpayers under the guise of bettering downtown.

Some highlights/excerpts:

The fact is, after its first two full years of operation the following financial information obtained by the author, including an analysis of the audited financial statements, yields the ugly truth.7 Louisville’s beloved KFC Yum! Center Arena simply cannot survive unless the terms of its lease with it prime tenant the University are renegotiated into a normal lease for a “tenant” as opposed to the existing lease, which resembles an “owner’s lease” – except that the taxpayers pay for the losses instead of the owner. With this knowledge an interesting question arises: How and why was the lease structured in such a manner to begin with?


In fact, the lease between the Arena Authority and the University which extends through September 30, 2044, is so onerous with such enormous disproportionate percentages of revenues going to the University, the Arena Authority with its more than $800 million dollar debt12, laboring under more than twice the Arena’s projected expenses13, has absolutely no chance of financial survival.


In fact, in a September 10, 2012 Board of Directors meeting Metro Council President and Arena Director Jim King pointed out in a recitation to Mayor Greg Fischer that certain payments to the Arena Authority were needed “to prevent a debt service payment default on the Authority’s outstanding bonds.”14

This plea of course was made AFTER “Arena officials have scraped together cash to deal with previous shortfalls nearly emptying a [$3 million] building renovation fund and notifying Louisville Metro government that more city money may be needed as early as next spring” as reported in a December 23, 2012 Courier Journal front page article.


There have been resignations and many changes of the Arena board members since its inception. Even today there are significant inappropriate close ties between Arena board members and the University. Inexplicably there have been directors serving on both the Arena and the University’s Athletic Association boards.


One VIP Private Suite @ no charge, including the cost of its build-out, has been granted to Humana Corp for 20 years valued @ $1.25 million ostensibly for having sold property to the Arena for $11 million (the then market value) and after the Arena paying an additional $3 million to Humana as compensation for it having to move its employees.

[In response to a request to the Arena for a copy of a verified appraisal of the then market value of the real property associated with the 2007 “Property Sale and Relocation Agreement with Humana, Inc”, the Arena’s accounting firm responded on 1-22-13: “We are attempting to locate the Humana appraisal” however they included a copy of the PVA report indicating a $10,090,000 value.46

More importantly the Arena failed to answer a request for the cost associated with relocating Humana employees after the purchase. This is important because the specific stated basis for Humana’s free Arena Suite is for the Arena’s “reimbursement” for the then (2007) “anticipated” additional employee relocation cost over the $3 million paid by the Arena, which had been estimated at $1.8 million.47

However to date, there has been no reconciliation or data provided by the Arena supporting the Arena’s documented $1.25 million gift to Humana of a built-out Arena Suite for 20 years.]48


Arena pays to University 50% of all revenue received by Arena from the sale of the balance (of 90%) of the Signage inside and outside the Arena excluding the 10% of the Permanent Signage reserved for the University of which University receives 100% of the revenues.


The bottom line is Metro Louisville and State taxpayers are subsidizing the millions of dollars of revenues the University of Louisville Athletic Association is receiving from Arena activities at the financial peril of the Arena, and the billion dollars of financial support provided by the taxpayers and the bondholders, while the Arena is struggling for its financial life.

You may read all about the report at The site isn’t live at the moment but is expected to be quite soon.

In the interim, you may access a copy of the report by clicking here (Warning: PDF Link).

Possibility City?

Papa John’s Sends Checks To Pizza Delivery Guy

Remember Nathan Hinson? He’s the Papa John’s delivery guy who learned the hard way that he had no insurance coverage when delivering pizzas.

Here’s what we said on January 18:

There’s a loophole in insurance coverage in Kentucky that could leave thousands of people unknowingly driving uninsured each day. A Louisville family found out about it the hard way but they’re sharing their story to warn others. Hello, John Schnatter, maybe it’s time for an insurance reality check in Kentucky.

Or click here for the original WAVE3 story.

Hinson ended up getting a couple checks from Papa John’s:

$1,000 is better than nothing but Hinson says he’s still $4,100 short of what he needs to repair his vehicle.

This should serve as a wake-up call to anyone using their vehicle for business purposes.

Should The MSD Head Make $252,000 Per Year?

A group suing over the Ohio River Bridges Project alleges that the government broke federal law when it failed to consider greenhouse gas emissions as part of an environmental report. At this point, CART needs to stop wasting taxpayer dollars because there’s no way the Bridges Debacle is going to be stopped. The bad decisions have already been set in stone. [C-J/AKN]

The Jeffersonville Police Department Drug Investigation Unit and the Clarksville Police Department Narcotics Division have arrested one man after searching a Jeffersonville apartment where there was suspected narcotics trafficking on Friday, according to a news release. [WDRB]

Five homes slated to be torn down to make way for Big Four Station and the Ohio River Bridges Project have found a new life. [News & Tribune]

The first draft of the budget for the 2013-2014 school year includes the projection of a reduced budget deficit to $6 million, but part of the money saved is coming from a change in the job descriptions of resource teachers helping in student instruction, which is being met head on by the Jefferson County Teachers Association. [WHAS11]

An independent panel tasked with reviewing case files of children who have been killed or nearly killed from abuse or neglect agreed Monday that they needed complete case files and that the panel’s meetings should be closed to the public. [Bluegrass Politics]

A Meyzeek Middle School teacher is teaching her students a valuable lesson that goes beyond her normal seventh-grade curriculum. Buffy Sexton is answering the call to be a living organ donor to a man she had never met. [WLKY]

Despite their objections, new GOP lawmakers enrolled in pension plan. Campaigning for the Kentucky House last year, Brian Linder said state lawmakers do not need public pensions. [John Cheves]

A Kentuckiana restaurant has stepped up to help people caught with gift cards to Lynn’s Paradise Café after its sudden closure. [WAVE3]

Louisville Metro Government departments are urging gun owners to use common sense now that firearms are allowed in city-owned buildings. [WFPL]

The Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority on Wednesday will hear a request for preliminary approval from Kentucky Kingdom LLLP for tourism tax credits that will help the group reopen the shuttered amusement park at the Kentucky Exposition Center. [Business First]

The Metropolitan Sewer District board has rewarded its new executive director with a 10 percent raise in base compensation and other benefits, including deferred compensation and potential performance-based bonuses. Greg Heitzman, who has been running the Louisville Water Co. and serving as MSD’s interim director since December 2011, will have a base salary of $252,000 when he takes over at MSD full-time in May. [C-J/AKN]