Frankfort Democrats May Just Be The Worst

By a unanimous vote, Councilman David Tandy (D-4) was elected President of the Louisville Metro Council for the remainder of 2015 during the Council’s regular meeting on Thursday night. Maybe he’ll visit Cordish again and sign a non-disclosure agreement, refusing to reveal what he discovers to the public. Or maybe he’ll use his council staff as a babysitter again. So many opportunities. [Press Release]

Students, staff and alumni at Fern Creek Traditional High School are seeking to rename the school Fern Creek High School. [WDRB]

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway on Tuesday delivered a blow to Metropolitan Sewer District management, providing an opinion that there’s no legal reason why the agency’s board could not agree to a contract provision requested by one of its unions. [C-J/AKN]

The Kentucky Attorney General’s office has joined in the criminal investigation into the troubled Southeast Bullitt Fire Department. [WHAS11]

Food prices across Kentucky continue to rise, increasing 1. 7 percent in the last quarter of 2014. According the Kentucky Farm Bureau Marketbasket Survey, the cost of 40 basic grocery items averaged $129.14 in the last quarter. It’s the seventh consecutive quarter of rising prices and represents an all-time high. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! A doctor who practiced in Louisville and southern Indiana was charged Wednesday by a federal grand jury with prescribing pain medications that resulted in the deaths of five patients, health care fraud and unlawful distribution or dispensing of controlled substances. [WLKY]

A bill that would redefine a full-time work week under the Affordable Care Act as 40 hours instead of 30 actually amounts to a break for corporations, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) argued in a hearing Thursday. [HuffPo]

The era of prohibiting alcohol sales on Sundays in Indiana might be over soon. [WAVE3]

Johnny Bell, D-Glasgow, the new state House majority whip, informed his predecessor’s staff Wednesday that they would be replaced – including Yolanda Costner, one of the women suing the legislature over allegations of sexual harassment by former Rep. John Arnold. [Ronnie Ellis]

A majority of Kentuckians think that the state’s domestic violence laws should include unmarried couples who haven’t live together and those who don’t share a child, according to a poll released Thursday. [WFPL]

Prompted by an investigation by ProPublica and NPR, Sen. Charles Grassley asks a Missouri nonprofit hospital to explain why it seizes the wages of thousands of its patients. [ProPublica]

Mayor Greg Fischer announced Tuesday that Louisville’s Office of Sustainability has launched a “green” infrastructure incentive program for businesses. [Business First]

Mayor Jeff Gahan has requested Time Warner Cable pursue strategies for Gigabit connections on a trial basis for some areas of New Albany. The city has been exploring a permanent Gigabit connection to provide high-speed Internet options for customers in New Albany. In a press release issued Friday, the city announced the trial areas will include downtown, the Purdue Research Park and Indiana University Southeast. [News & Tribune]

Reducing Violence In Possibility City Is Great

Reducing violent deaths in Louisville is the goal of a new campaign, which is focusing on what everyone can do to support the effort. [WDRB]

New Louisville hotels are among the short-term threats to growing Southern Indiana tourism, according to a new marketing report that also lists strengths, weaknesses and possible opportunities in Clark and Floyd Counties. [C-J/AKN]

A Metro Council employee, charged with public intoxication and disorderly conduct will have to wait a few weeks before getting her day in court. [WHAS11]

One of the state’s biggest bigots opposes medical marijuana. Because, like all other things he’s afraid of, he doesn’t understand it. The leader of the state’s largest religious organization voiced opposition Tuesday to a proposal in the state legislature that would make it legal for people to use marijuana in Kentucky for medical purposes. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! The board overseeing Kentucky’s role in the Ohio River Bridges Project met Tuesday. [WLKY]

Whaaaat??? Thought Greg Fischer said Louisville was the best beer city in the world? [HuffPo]

Mayor Greg Fischer said he was evaluating the “steps forward” after his chief financial officer was accused of drunk and intimate behavior with a subordinate’s wife. [WAVE3]

The US solar boom is taking off at breathtaking speed—even though solar is still a tiny slice of the American energy pie, it has by far the fastest growth of any energy source, and it’s adding jobs apace. [Mother Jones]

In the wake of a massive tire fire in November that burned for a day and left residents in southwestern Louisville under a shelter-in-place, the company responsible is beginning a series of steps to assess the environmental damage. [WFPL]

Plenty of cities tear them down, but Seattle Mayor Ed Murray (D) wants his city to build three new tent encampments for the homeless. [Think Progress]

Mid City Mall will be receiving an updated exterior with new metal awnings, a metal roof and a brick facade. [Business First]

A familiar disagreement between some members of the New Albany City Council and the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County has a new twist. [News & Tribune]

Individual Dry Precincts In A City Like This: Crazy

The Louisville community paid homage to a fallen leader Monday morning: Jim King, former president of Louisville Metro Council. [WDRB]

It’s dumb as hell that there are dry precincts in Louisville. [C-J/AKN]

Of course Kentucky made the list of ten states with the most people on food stamps. [WHAS11]

Charter schools would be an option for parents seeking the best educational fit for their children, most proponents believe. But those who oppose charters believe the schools will suck money from an already financially strapped public school system. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! Monday is the national holiday honoring civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Louisville is focusing on giving back to the community on this 12th annual MLK Day of Service. [WLKY]

The rich keep getting richer, and by next year, just a handful of the upper-class will have accumulated more than half of the world’s wealth. A new report released on Monday by Oxfam warns that this deepening global inequality is unlike anything seen in recent years. [HuffPo]

What? A couple more people got shot in Possibility City? Surely not! [WAVE3]

President Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday at 9 p.m. EST. Although it is bound to contain some surprises, the White House has spent two weeks rolling out many of the themes he plans to highlight. [Reuters]

The purpose of the gathering on Thursday was to present the results of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affair’s environmental assessment for Louisville’s new Robley Rex VA Medical Center. [WFPL]

The trade in bees used for honey or to pollinate crops could have a devastating impact on wild bees and other insects, say scientists. [BBC]

Kentucky awarded nine high-tech companies $2.7 million at the end of last year. The companies, four of which are based in Louisville, were funded through Kentucky’s matching funds programs for small-business innovation research and technology transfer, known as SBIR and STTR. [Business First]

Charlestown native and Army veteran LaDon Thornhill is the first to enter this year’s Charlestown mayoral election. [News & Tribune]

When Will The Adults Be In Charge Of JCPS?

Help Kenn Parks. He deserves it. His son deserves it. [Give Back]

A JCPS official says EMS examined six students at Byck Elementary School on Cedar Street for frostbite after reports that they were suffering from exposure to the cold due to a lengthy wait at a bus stop. [WDRB]

Yep, a Senate foe who opposed expanded alcohol sales was arrested for DUI. [C-J/AKN]

A Louisville man is behind bars Thursday after police said he stole an ambulance and later crashed it in the Germantown-Schnitzelburg area. [WHAS11]

In his first speech on the Senate floor as majority leader, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell expressed optimism for the future of the country and the congress despite a “moment of great anxiety as a nation.” [H-L]

An editor at an Elizabethtown newspaper issued a retraction and apology after he said Hardin County Sheriff John Ward was misquoted in Thursday’s paper. [WLKY]

Once again many in the media have fallen for GOP strategists’ attempts to make a candidate seem moderate — “soften” and “softening” seem to be the words of choice for CNN and others — while he’s not changed his hardcore right-wing position at all. [HuffPo]

Rand Paul pledged his support to new Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s efforts, even as other lawmakers said politicians like Paul could complicate McConnell’s work. [WAVE3]

Micah Clark of the American Family Association explained to The Indianapolis Star that the bill would allow small businesses to refuse services to same-sex couples and also that it would allow adoption agencies to refuse to place children with same-sex couples. [Think Progress]

As the University of Louisville grapples with the terms of a controversial $6 million gift proposal from Papa John’s International CEO John Schnatter and billionaire Charles Koch, university-watchers might want to take a look at what Koch got for his money from his most recent taker, Arizona State University. [WFPL]

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Waze (http://www.waze.com), the real-time, “crowd-sourced” navigation app powered by the world’s largest communities of drivers, have entered into a partnership through the new Waze Connected Citizens program, the company’s largest municipal effort to date. [Press Release]

State law doesn’t say city and county governments cannot set their own minimum wage limits, but it doesn’t say they can, either. [Business First]

The New Albany City Council approved a third consecutive balanced budget in 2014. But several meetings included no voting items or only a nonbinding resolution for consideration, and Councilman John Gonder said he felt like there was more that could have been done by the city’s legislative body last year. [News & Tribune]

Hopefully Not Another Downtown Disappointment

Everyone hopes it comes to fruition but we’re already hearing from doubtful powerbrokers. An Omni hotel set for downtown will climb higher into the city skyline than initially planned, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said Tuesday in outlining terms of a deal finalized last month. [WDRB]

That’s right — Greg Fischer loves keeping the worst of the worst on staff. When asked if Steve Rowland would continue to be a key member of his administration following his Friday arrest, Mayor Greg Fischer said “I certainly hope so.” [C-J/AKN]

One of the Louisville Zoo’s beloved polar bears is celebrating a birthday. [WHAS11]

Muhammad Ali is home after being hospitalized with a severe urinary tract infection. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! The bitter cold has local homeless shelters gearing up for an influx of visitors. Crews are out this week trying to help who they can as even colder weather moves into the area. [WLKY]

Democrats and Social Security advocates are accusing House Republicans of launching a sneak attack on disability insurance on the very first day of the new Congress. [HuffPo]

After a video captured a raid inside of Louisville business the owner met with the Alcohol Beverage Control Board for a hearing about what they claim happened that night. [WAVE3]

Winter is not typically the busy season for Kuttawa (kuh-TAH-wah), a little vacation town on the north bank of Lake Barkley in far western Kentucky. But after the tragic plane crash on January 2 that left four dead and one miraculous survivor, Kuttawa exploded into high season, with as many reporters in town as vacationers renting pontoon boats on Fourth of July weekend. [Jim Higdon/The Daily Beast]

If you notice your memory isn’t what it used to be, you may be one of thousands of Kentuckians in the early stages of cognitive decline that could lead to Alzheimer’s. [WFPL]

Six Americans die from alcohol poisoning daily on average, and mortality rates are highest among middle-aged men, federal health authorities reported on Tuesday. [NY Times]

West Buechel Mayor Rick Richards announced at a special council meeting Tuesday that State Auditor Adam Edelen will examine the city’s books. [Business First]

Floyd County will end 2014 with a balance of $40,000, but it took some financial wheeling and dealing to get all accounts into the black. [News & Tribune]

2 Anti-Transparency Folks Sitting In Jail Tonight

NOTE: If you’re going to swipe our images/documents that we went through the trouble to obtain and pay for, give proper credit.

Some things are too good to set aside until Monday morning.

Like this:

Two high-ranking Louisville Metro Government officials were arrested Friday night.

Elizabeth Hoffman, Majority Caucus Director, and Steve Rowland, Chief Financial Officer, were both arrested for public intoxication and disorderly conduct.

Of course, Fischer offered up the typical excuse he uses when one of his people ends up getting arrested on alcohol-related charges. How many does this make, now?

Rowland has been at the center of keeping information from reaching the public eye. He was the star shit denier during the Metro Council’s lengthy whistleblower investigation.

And Hoffman, at the behest of Jim King, has consistently run interference for Fischer’s myriad nightmares. She spent weeks and weeks threatening and attempting to silence Democratic members of the Ad Hoc committee.

Wondering why things have been so screwed up?

There you go. Fischer’s guy and King’s lady. Both sitting in jail.

UPDATE

There’s more from WAVE:

According to Louisville Metro police, Rowland and Hoffman were approached by management at El Nopal on Zorn Avenue and asked to leave due to heavy intoxication and provocative intimate behavior.

Witnesses then reported seeing the two go inside of a white SUV. Officers approached the vehicle in the parking lot and determined Rowland or Hoffman were both too intoxicated to drive.

How sweet.

Bets on how long it takes Greg Fischer to give Rowland a raise and a commendation upon his return to work?

UPDATE

Metro Council’s Democratic Caucus released the following statement this morning:

“Members of the Democratic Caucus are aware of this situation. The public expects proper conduct at all times from Metro Government employees and what happened is unfortunate. The Caucus will review this situation to determine if any action is necessary according to Caucus Rules.”

That’s fun.

UPDATE

What most media outlets aren’t reporting is… well, everything in Steve Rowland’s citation.

Take a look:


CLICK TO ENLARGE

Here’s the best part:

Charge 1: ALCOHOL INTOX IN A PUBLIC PLACE (1ST AND 2ND OFFENSE)
Charge 2: DISORDERLY CONDUCT, 2ND DEGREE

Officers were dispatched to listed location on two subjects who were asked to leave location due to heavy intoxication and provocative intimate behavior. Caller stated they saw subjects get into a white SUV and believed they were having sexual relations. Officers made contact with listed subjects. Above subject was in vehicle in a state of disrobe in public view. Above subject smelled strongly of Alcoholic beverage, glassy eyes, and unsteady. Subject and friend were manifestly under the influence and no condition to drive and no where to go to ensure their safety. Subjects were already told to leave the premise by management of the El Nopal. Subject was a danger to himself, and caused public alarm. Co-Defendant: Elizabeth Hoffman.

You can probably figure out what that means on your own.

And the “white SUV”? Could that be a government-owned vehicle?

Possibility City is manifestly under the influence of a hot mess and dearth of leadership.

UPDATE

Yep, it was a city vehicle.

Turns out it was a patron who called the cops – not the restaurant. Fascinating.

Here’s A Good Morning You-Know-What Sandwich

An LG&E natural gas pipeline that ruptured in Oldham County in September caused $1.3 million in property damage and other costs, according to the utility’s report to federal safety regulators. [WDRB]

Attorney General Jack Conway appointed another special prosecutor to handle the ongoing dispute over whether Louisville Metro Councilman David James is serving in two incompatible public positions. [C-J/AKN]

Another day, another fun shooting in Possibility City. Louisville Metro Police are working a fatal shooting on 2100 block of Ratcliffe Avenue just west Dixie Highway. [WHAS11]

Sales of spirits are accelerating into the festive season, according to Brown-Forman. The Louisville-based parent of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and Woodford Reserve reported that sales for the second quarter were up 5 percent to nearly $1.14 billion. For the first half of the financial year net sales are up 4 percent, the company said. [H-L]

We’re blown away that wingnuts aren’t screaming satanism or whatever. Good Morning Dragons is a yoga program at South Oldham Middle School that has kids bending and twisting into yoga poses before the first bell. [WLKY]

Muhammad Ali on Saturday posted a selfie on his Instagram to cheer on Louisville against Kentucky in college football. “#Louisville Game Day! Go Cards!” the caption read. [HuffPo]

This is why Clark County can’t have nice things. She makes decisions that affect thousands of students, but several months ago she made a decision that landed her in jail. Despite admitting to felony theft, Teresa Perkins took her seat on the Greater Clark County School Board Tuesday night and she says she’s not resigning. [WAVE3]

Did UPS discriminate against a pregnant worker by letting her go? Women’s reproductive rights are once again before the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday. Only this time, pregnancy discrimination is the issue and pro-life and pro-choice groups are on the same side, opposed by business groups. [NPR]

James McGaugh is the recipient of the Grawemeyer Award for psychology, the University of Louisville announced Tuesday evening. [WFPL]

A growing number of cable companies are implementing data caps (sorry — “data thresholds”), which put limits on how much data a subscriber could use before facing penalties ranging from warning messages to throttled speeds to overage fees. A new report from the federal Government Accountability Office says that lack of competition in the broadband market could result in these caps being implemented with no one benefiting other than cable companies’ bottom lines. [Consumerist]

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) recently began cranking out its new aluminum body F-150 trucks. Since then, there’s been plenty of speculation about whether the new body would be carried over to other vehicles, including the F-Series Super Duty Trucks made in Louisville. [Business First]

Another fun scandal is brewing at the University of Louisville. The VP of Human Resources was canned and escorted away by cops. [The ‘Ville Voice]

The legal bills of a Jeffersonville resident who sued MAC Construction and Excavating Inc. and the city of Jeffersonville over a neighboring asphalt plant have been paid by a laborers’ union. [News & Tribune]