Let’s Put On Our Fake Derby Happy Faces

Surprise! There are still people who ignorantly believe keeping a liquor store out of their neighborhood is going to solve all of their problems. Like her mother, Jessica Green is apparently delusional. Metro Councilwoman Jessica Green is trying to prevent property at 1200 S. 28th Street from becoming a liquor store. But the owner said he refuses to let it sit vacant any longer. [WDRB]

Mayor Greg Fischer wants to expand Louisville’s smoking ban to include electronic cigarettes and hookah, he announced Friday morning. [C-J/AKN]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! This is not compassionate. There’s nothing compassionate about Louisville at the moment. Not when there are countless deaths from guns, drugs and automobiles. Anyone who attempts to claim everything is puppies and rainbows out to be immediately taken to a physician for an evaluation. [WHAS11]

Noah Greenhill, 10, stood attentively Tuesday morning at the side of Gov. Matt Bevin in the state Capitol as he watched the governor ceremonially sign into law a bill that will help reduce his medical expenses. The governor gave the first pen he used to sign the bill to the youngster from Pikeville. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! What the hell is wrong with people!? [WLKY]

Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship was sentenced to just one year for safety violations at a West Virginia mine that led to the deaths of 29 miners in a 2010 explosion. Now, one woman is working to push Blankenship to reflect on his crimes. Ann Bybee-Finley, who grew up in Hurricane, West Virginia, launched a campaign called “Making one year count” on Wednesday, calling on people to send letters to Blankenship every day that he is in prison. [HuffPo]

The way your child is graded in Jefferson County could soon change – again. [WAVE3]

President Obama made headlines recently as the first U.S. leader to visit Cuba since the communist revolution. The two neighboring countries have resumed diplomatic relations and are taking cautious steps toward full normalization, including trade and travel. [Richmond Register]

Yes, a liberal Democrat can win a statewide election in Kentucky but it will not be Sellus Wilder. If you weren’t sure there could be a worse statewide candidate than Jim Gray, here you go. You can thank Christy Brown for hyping up his candidacy. [WFPL]

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of his ambassador to the United States who was behind Francis’ controversial meeting with Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who went to jail rather than comply with a court order to issue same-sex marriage licenses. [TPM]

A project that could cost as much as $87 million to construct along the southeast corner of the 6,000-acre River Ridge Commerce Center in Jeffersonville should enter its next phase this fall. [Business First]

After a several-hour-long executive session in the morning and early afternoon, the River Ridge Development Authority held a public meeting Friday to give site project updates. [News & Tribune]

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The Sadiqa Reinvention Tour Is Underway

Turnaround efforts at Jefferson County’s eight chronically low-performing middle schools have presented ‘unique challenges’ when it comes to improving academic achievement and increasing student growth. [WDRB]

Pbbbbbbt. Louisville Urban League President and CEO Sadiqa Reynolds is pitching Mayor Greg Fischer’s office and Metro Council members on dedicating part of the city’s $10 million surplus to the civil rights group’s housing redevelopment program. [C-J/AKN]

One of Katina Powell’s attorneys, Bart McMahon, confirms she is scheduled to meet with NCAA investigators Monday afternoon, March 7. [WHAS11]

For many years, this editorial board’s position on the death penalty has been keep it but fix it, because some crimes are so heinous that no other punishment will do. We now must concede that the death penalty is not going to be fixed and, in fact, probably cannot be fixed at any defensible cost to taxpayers. [H-L]

Convenience stores and gas stations in Oldham County can now apply for a packaged liquor license after voters expanded alcohol sales in December. [WLKY]

After learning that Donald Trump apparently kept a volume of Adolf Hitler’s speeches at his bedside, Bill Maher made a scary comparison between the GOP front-runner at the German dictator on “Real Time with Bill Maher” on Friday. [HuffPo]

A firefighter’s widow claims Kentucky Retirement Systems is playing hardball with her in her time of need. [WAVE3]

Tim Cook got almost $400 million of restricted stock when he was named Apple chief executive in 2011, succeeding Steve Jobs. Regardless of whether Apple shareholders fared well or badly over the grant’s 10-year term, all Cook needed to do to collect that stock (worth about $700 million at today’s price) was keep his job. It was the kind of deal that pay mavens derisivelycall “pay for pulse.” [ProPublica]

Holy crap! After all the havoc Sadiqa Reynolds wreaked in Metro Government, she’s now trying to spin some tale of hopefulness. And media outlets are taking her seriously. We’ll take that hack seriously the day she takes responsibility for her role in the Metro Animal Services shenanigans. Spoiler alert: Sadiqa will never do that. [WFPL]

Regulations that limit heavy metal pollution from oil- and coal-fired power plants will continue to be enforced by the EPA — at least for now — thanks to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. [ThinkProgress]

The nation’s largest pharmacy retailer is about to open a smaller location in downtown Louisville. [Business First]

Residents in need of a watchful eye now have three designated safe place locations under surveillance at the Clark County Government Center in Jeffersonville. [News & Tribune]

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Hold On To Your Wigs Cause It’s Friday

The Louisville Fire and Rescue Tower 2 and Engine 5 arrived on the scene at Kosair Children’s Hospital. But they weren’t there to fight a fire. Instead, they were eager to visit with children and deliver toys. [WDRB]

Jefferson County Public Schools is eyeing the idea of using some of the money freed up in its latest budget proposal to create a therapeutic elementary school. [C-J/AKN]

It’s unreal that you still can’t buy alcohol on Sunday in Indiana. [WHAS11]

Matt Bevin excluded K-12 schools from funding cuts in an austere state budget proposal that would slash funding to Kentucky’s public universities. [H-L]

The Clarksville Family Aquatic Center will not open this season. [WLKY]

In 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama promised to unite Washington and the nation behind progressive change. Then-Sen. Hillary Clinton mocked him. [HuffPo]

Neighbors in southwest Jefferson County are speaking out about a section of the Louisville Loop that could consequently take from their yards. [WAVE3]

The state’s minimum hourly wage would be raised to $10.10 over the next two and half years under a bill that cleared a House committee today. House Bill 278, sponsored by House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, would increase Kentucky’s current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to $8.20 this August, $9.15 in July 2017 and $10.10 in July 2018. The increase would not apply to businesses that have a recent average annual gross volume of sales of less than $500,000. [Press Release]

An employee at a state juvenile-detention center failed to appropriately monitor a 16-year-old girl who was found dead earlier this month, the state Justice and Public Safety Cabinet said Wednesday. [WFPL]

Reminder: This is one of the guys Bevin trusts to cut 9% from the budget at his discretion. [Page One]

At least six bidders vied for Louisville-based GE Appliances, according to a new report from Reuters. [Business First]

State Sen. Erin Houchin filed as a candidate for United States Representative on the Republican primary ballot in Indiana’s 9th Congressional District. [News & Tribune]

Need cheap mobile phone service? Maybe even for a backup cell phone? I’m talking $6/mo cheap? Use our Ting referral code and we’ll all get a sweet credit. You get $25 — enough for a couple months of service to determine whether you like it. Both CDMA and GSM options. For worriers: no, you don’t get identified to us if you use our link… so please consider letting us know if you do! [Ting]

Local Media Turns Into 1980s D.A.R.E.

We love that the West End is seeing a rebirth of sorts. There’s a new push to boost home sales in Louisville’s poorest neighborhoods. [WDRB]

The dumb is thick in Oldham County. A lawsuit that questions the validity of Oldham County’s recent wet-dry referendum could delay officials’ plans to expand alcohol sales countywide. [C-J/AKN]

The clerk-treasurer of Selllersburg, Indiana has filed a complaint saying she has faced retaliation after raising questions about the town spending. [WHAS11]

Will Jim Gray beat Rand Paul? Probably not with his current team that consists almost entirely of Conway people. Stranger things have happened, though. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! Another day, another shooting in Compassionate City. [WLKY]

Any high school in the U.S. that wants to carry an emergency opioid overdose reversal kit will now be able to get one free of charge, thanks to a new initiative announced Monday by the Clinton Foundation and the drug’s manufacturer. [HuffPo]

Quick, everybody freak out about drugs! A new trend is leading down a dangerous path. People think they are buying prescription pills to get high, but they are given something even more addictive. [WAVE3]

With the new year comes the continued challenge for area nonprofits to serve as many families and residents in need as possible. To energize those efforts, employees of Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company are lending a hand. Coupled with financial support from the LG&E and KU Foundation, the utilities’ voluntary employee-giving campaign, Power of One, raised more than $1.7 million in contributions. [Richmond Register]

A cedar log carved into a double helix with a chainsaw. A collection of wood veneer scraps twisted and wrapped to look like a tree trunk. A round sculpture built out of woven straw that is implanted with mushroom spores. [WFPL]

Of all things for Adam Edelen to attack, he chose to hit Rand Paul on foreign policy. That may be the only thing most Democrats can stomach from Paul. He’s also wrong about sexual orientation. Anti-gay discrimination is alive and well in Kentucky. Hell, the Kentucky Democratic Party runs so quickly away from the gays that it’s alarming. We can all agree that Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) is a delusional troll. But Adam Edelen needs to check his straight, white, male privilege once in a while before spouting off in another sweaty rant. [Roll Call]

The $5.4 billion price tag for GE Appliances was “a pleasant surprise,” General Electric Co. CEO Jeff Immelt said. [Business First]

For better or worse, an ordinance to require approval from the New Albany City Council for additional appropriations on projects was rejected at Thursday’s meeting. [News & Tribune]

Enjoy The Snowpocalypse While It Lasts

Three people were murdered in Louisville Wednesday night, and homicide detectives are investigating a double shooting that left a woman gravely injured. [WDRB]

In a decision filed Jan. 11, an Administrative Law Judge ruled that the U.S. Department of Agriculture failed to prove that Wildlife in Need director Tim Stark was unfit to hold a federal exhibitor’s license. [C-J/AKN]

Big-box grocery chains and liquor store lobbyists continue to scuffle over the latest attempt to lift Indiana’s longtime ban on Sunday carryout alcohol sales. [WHAS11]

The Republican-controlled state Senate has approved a bill that requires a woman to have a face-to-face meeting with a doctor before having an abortion. [H-L]

An investigation is underway after a man’s body was found in a home Wednesday night. [WLKY]

That awkward moment when your dad thinks your rival will best you in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) must have been pretty bummed when his father, former Congressman Ron Paul, admitted that it’s likely Donald Trump will become the GOP’s candidate for president. [HuffPo]

The first major snowfall of the season serves as a good reminder to always be prepared when you are driving. [WAVE3]

Last year looks like it was an unwelcome watershed for the embattled U.S. coal industry. Power companies in 2015 for the first time may have burned more natural gas than coal to generate electricity, according to analysts who attribute it to the cheapest gas prices in 16 years and a record number of coal-fired plants retired from service because of the high cost of meeting environmental regulations. [Reuters]

A legislative panel has passed a bill that would allow Louisville Metro Police officers to work more than 40 hours a week without being paid overtime. [WFPL]

Kevin Schiller had no idea what hit him. With 21 years on the job, the building engineer for Macy’s department stores had been in and out of every nook and cranny of many of the retail giant’s Texas stores, including the storage room in the Macy’s in Denton, Texas. [NPR]

If you’re a Kroger customer, you soon could be grocery shopping from the comfort of your home. [Business First]

For about $30,000, Performance Services was hired to perform the facilities study for West Clark Community Schools in preparation for their November 2016 referendum. [News & Tribune]

Need cheap mobile phone service? Maybe even for a backup cell phone? I’m talking $6/mo cheap? Use our Ting referral code and we’ll all get a sweet credit. You get $25 — enough for a couple months of service to determine whether you like it. Both CDMA and GSM options. For worriers: no, you don’t get identified to us if you use our link… so please consider letting us know if you do! [Ting]

Awful Jim Ramsey-UofL Soap Opera

All the sudden we’re just supposed to trust that Metro Animal Services is going to solve this dog shooting problem? Just like that? What the heck kind of short memory does this city even have? [WDRB]

Raising the stakes for University of Louisville President James Ramsey, two members of the board of trustees announced Thursday that they no longer support his presidency while the board’s chairman said he favors reducing the president’s powers. Don’t forget that Greenberg has never cared about Ramsey in the past. Not during any number of other scandals. Fascinating to see this turn. [C-J/AKN]

The Kennedy Bridge is shutting down for half a year and everyone is losing their mind. [WHAS11]

Louisville-based Brown-Forman announced on Thursday it is selling the Southern Comfort label, as well as Tuaca liqueur to New Orleans-based Sazerac, owner of Buffalo Trace, for a combined $543.5 million. [H-L]

The men police say brutally beat a woman and then dumped her body in a shallow grave faced a judge Thursday. [WLKY]

A former federal regulator and Elizabeth Warren acolyte who has repeatedly questioned the Obama administration’s treatment of student loan borrowers just took a job with the Department of Education. [HuffPo]

Tyler Russell was pronounced dead at University Hospital after being shot near the intersection of 20th Street and Market Street around 9:40 p.m. Wednesday. [WAVE3]

President Barack Obama has vigorously defended his legacy while striking an optimistic note for America’s future in his final State of the Union address. [BBC]

St. Matthews City Council members are distancing themselves from that city’s police department claim that juvenile crime is spiking in the Louisville suburb. [WFPL]

Mitch McConnell’s life mission is to do anything and everything to be a roadblock for President Barack Obama. Even if that means screwing over his constituents. Because most of them are too disconnected and scared to notice. [Politico]

How much do you know about Kentucky Towers, Barrington Place and Crescent Centre? They think stories like this are worth paying for and they wonder why they’re still dying. [Business First]

City Controller Amy Deering is stepping down from her position with the city of Jeffersonville and taking a job with Louisville Metropolitan Government, said Mayor Mike Moore. [News & Tribune]

Need cheap mobile phone service? Maybe even for a backup cell phone? I’m talking $6/mo cheap? Use our Ting referral code and we’ll all get a sweet credit. You get $25 — enough for a couple months of service to determine whether you like it. Both CDMA and GSM options. [Ting]

Surprise! More Bad UofL & JCPS News

A lawsuit against “Breaking Cardinal Rules” author Katina Powell may never see the light of day. [WDRB]

Greg Fischer made two key additions to his administration Wednesday in areas dealing with Louisville’s public safety and public assistance. The mayor announced Rashaad Abdur-Rahman will be the new director of the Safe & Healthy Neighborhoods office and Eric Friedlander will serve as acting director of the Community Services department. [C-J/AKN]

Data from Jefferson County Public Schools shows that a new grading scale appears to have increased the number of students getting A grades in classes. [WHAS11]

Glad to see there’s nothing important left to worry about. The University of Kentucky has sometimes been criticized for being a campus of independent units, with academic, athletics and health care divisions operating more separately than together. On a symbolic level, UK officials have decided that will no longer be the case. [H-L]

What the hell is this story about the guy killed in the Highlands? What? No, really, what the hell is that story? [WLKY]

The “Seinfeld” writer who coined “Festivus” wants Sen. Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) to stop tweeting about his beloved secular holiday. [HuffPo]

A JCPS bus driver was assaulted and robbed by students. The incident, according to the bus union president, happened on Friday at the Detrick Nichols compound off Taylor Blvd. [WAVE3]

While pretty much every aspect of the global ecosystem has been heating up, freshwater lakes are warming faster than the oceans or the air, according to a new study from NASA and the National Science Foundation. [ThinkProgress]

Kentucky business groups are backing legislation that would expand expungements of some felony convictions. [WFPL]

The recent attacks in Paris and San Bernardino have put pressure on local authorities to show they’re ready for that kind of violence. Some jurisdictions, such as Los Angeles, are stepping up exercises and terrorism simulations. [NPR]

With truckers in high demand, the online marketplace seeks to connect drivers with carriers that need something hauled. [Business First]

Some of Indiana’s grocery stores and liquor stores say a change in state law that allows alcohol sales on Christmas Day for the first time in decades won’t affect them because their stores are closed on that holiday. [News & Tribune]

Your support is crucial if you want to see us continue. While other media outlets ignore scandals like those in Montgomery County, we’re shining the bright lights of transparency on issues that directly impact you across the Commonwealth. Love us or hate us, we’re putting in the time and effort to spend years reporting on issues from the pension crisis to government-sanctioned animal cruelty to educational corruption and we get real results. [Help Us!]