The Minimum Wage Meltdown Isn’t Over

Community leaders began searching for information Wednesday night regarding who was responsible in the hit and run death of Deniesha Pugh. [WDRB]

Gov. Steve Beshear on Friday appointed two new members to the University of Louisville Board of Trustees, potentially tipping the balance of a board divided over the actions of the university’s foundation. [C-J/AKN]

Agencies, hospitals and schools across Kentuckiana that serve children with special needs were notified by the WHAS Crusade for Children this week that their grant requests will be funded from the money collected during the 62nd annual WHAS Crusade for Children. [WHAS11]

Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate heard arguments Wednesday in an instant-racing lawsuit on a motion by the Family Foundation to have an in-court demonstration of the electronic games based on past horse races. [H-L]

Bourbon lovers can get their hands on a rare bottle of Pappy Van Winkle without having to wait for hours as Liquor Barn celebrates the grand opening of two new locations. [WLKY]

U.S. employers added a solid 223,000 jobs in June, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent, a seven-year low. The numbers reflect a job market moving close to full health and raise expectations that the Federal Reserve will start raising interest rates as early as September. [HuffPo]

Thousands of workers will receive a 50-cent increase in their hourly pay Wednesday as Louisville’s minimum wage ordinance goes into effect, even as a lawsuit against the city continues. [WAVE3]

Senator Mitch McConnell is standing by his call to remove the statue of Jefferson Davis from the state Capitol Rotunda. [More WDRB]

The first phase of Louisville’s minimum wage increase went into effect Wednesday. [WFPL]

In a victory for opponents of partisan gerrymandering, the Supreme Court on Monday upheld the use of an independent commission to draw Arizona’s congressional districts. Writing for a narrow majority in the 5-4 ruling, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg touted the importance of direct democracy and making sure the power of the people is not hijacked by its elected representatives. [Mother Jones]

Kentucky has signed new contracts with five managed-care organizations to provide health care services to Medicaid eligible Kentuckians. [Business First]

The city’s greenspace maintenance and landscaping division is up and running after nearly a year of talks to fund it. [News & Tribune]

Even Bill Lamb Calls Letter Absurd

Conservative Bill Lamb is causing racist white peoples’ heads to explode. When Bill Lamb is on the same side as Attica Scott when it comes to the FOP’s threatening letter? All hell is gonna break loose. [WDRB]

A joint interim Kentucky legislative committee called Wednesday for updating the rules governing property tax assessments while questioning Jefferson County Property Valuation Administrator Tony Lindauer about whether his office is examining taxable properties in accordance with state law. [C-J/AKN]

efferson County Property Valuation Administrator Tony Lindauer appeared Wednesday morning before a legislative panel at Kentucky’s Capitol to explain and defend his office’s valuation practices. [WHAS11]

Pope Francis’ call for urgent action to combat climate change isn’t having much influence on members of Congress from the coal state of Kentucky, who are working this week to block the centerpiece of the president’s agenda to limit the greenhouse gases that are warming the planet. [H-L]

The Louisville Metro Council’s budget committee voted to add more than $5 million for road repairs. [WLKY]

Those who believe slavery was not a central point of conflict in the Civil War may wish to peruse the South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas declarations of secession. Those documents all explicitly cite threats to slavery as reasons for secession. Mississippi’s declaration goes so far as to say that “a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization.” [HuffPo]

Critics are questioning lawmakers jumping on the anti-confederate bandwagon and the president of the NAACP Kentucky State Conference and Louisville Chapter Raoul Cunningham said he’s just fine with that. [WAVE3]

The old gay Louisville. A writer returns to the city where he was raised—and exiled—to find what was lost when gay life entered the mainstream. [TNR]

The Louisville Metro Tree Commission holds its final meeting this evening and is expected to vote on a draft ordinance that could create a new tree commission and new city policies for tree management. [WFPL]

An overwhelming majority of Americans say they believe protests against unfair government treatment make the United States a better country. Unless, that is, the protesters are black. [WaPo]

For Tim Gramig, a longtime broker Louisville’s commercial real estate market, opportunity has knocked twice this year. [Business First]

Mayor Jeff Gahan failed to sign an ordinance calling for certain financial information be provided to the New Albany City Council at the last meeting of each month. In response, the council voted unanimously Thursday to again approve the measure, and thus overrode the pocket veto of Gahan. A pocket veto occurs when an executive takes no action on a bill as opposed to an outright veto of the measure. [News & Tribune]

Now Wait A Hot Damn Minute

What the hell is wrong with these people?!

Check out this bizarre, racist letter penned by River City FOP President Dave Mutchler:

Open Letter from River City FOP Lodge 614

Consider this an open letter to the public we serve, the criminal element in our city, and the self appointed spokespersons who choose to remain blind to reason, who use misinformation and who sensationalize tragedy at every opportunity to forward their political agendas.

Know this: The members of River City FOP Lodge 614, who serve and protect Louisville every day, will no longer stand on the sidelines while anyone continues to assault and demonize us.

To those of you that support us while we serve and protect you — Thank You. Although you are not chosen for media interviews, we know that you understand we are here for you and your families We know that the vast majority of you see that ninety-nine percent of police officers serve with integrity and courage. Although we know in our hearts that you are in the silent majority, sadly, that may not be enough. Soon, we may have to ask for you to rise with us against the small, but very vocal group of people in our city who resist everything we all strive to attain — freedom, safety and the ability to live our lives happily and without fear.

To the criminal element in our community-we do not fear you. We are not your punching bag and we will not simply stand by and accept your verbal or physical assaults. No matter what craziness occurs, we will always protect our citizens and ourselves. No matter how weak our criminal justice system, we will hunt you down again and again until they put you away or you go away. No matter how weak our policies we will find a way to make you understand that Louisville isn’t where you want to live. Most importantly, though, take note of the following: If you actively resist or assault us, we will use every option available to take you into custody. If you use deadly force against us or use or attempt to use a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon against us, we will use deadly force against you and we WILL stop the threat to us, our fellow officers or the citizens we serve.

To the sensationalists, liars and race-baiters — we are done with you. At first it was good enough to just sit back and watch your ridiculous spectacle. No more. Now your rhetoric, lies and hate puts all of us, police officers and citizens alike, in danger. From now on we will call you out each and every time you tell a lie, twist the truth or otherwise engage in vile behavior meant to push your selfish agendas. If your behavior or untruths causes harm to us or the public, we will make every attempt to have you investigated, charged and prosecuted at the local, state or federal level. Your idiocy and lies are what caused the destruction in Ferguson and other cities around our country and we won’t be tolerating that here. We watched in shock most recently as some of you flat out lied to the media after a critical incident here in Louisville. Many in the media are self serving too, and we watched as they stood on the sidelines and fanned the flames for financial gain.

It is obvious to nearly everyone that you are attacking and lashing out at the police instead of attacking the real problem — those who commit crimes in our city and those who enable the criminal element. Are you not paying attention to what is happening around our country? As police are disempowered the predominately (sic) minority areas of cities, including Louisville, are suffering at the hands of killers and violent felons. Yet you continue to attack law enforcement. Your attacks can’t stop the truth from shining through. The truth is that every day there are millions of encounters during which police officers interact peacefully with all kinds of people, even during very difficult circumstances.

Your flawed logic and lack of reason regarding events that occur in our society makes you appear stunningly inept. Let me help you. All citizens of Louisville, regardless of race, creed, color, gender or national origin have the SAME rights and responsibilities. No one gets a separate set of rules. Politicians may fear you and your tactics-we do not. You and those you enable must abide by the law and comply with law enforcement like everyone else. If you refuse to comply or even worse, attack a law enforcement officer, expect to be met with force.

Your ridiculous demands and anti-law enforcement attitude has reached a level that is unacceptable. You want our attention? Well you have it. Consider yourselves on notice. We challenge you to have the same integrity and dedication to serving the community that you say you seek in the police. We already have it. You need to get it.

On behalf of the members of RCFOP Lodge 614,

Dave Mutchler

President
River City Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 614
KY National Trustee

Here’s the guy who wrote the letter:


MUTCHLER

All right for being simple-minded! How dare anyone expect the police to protect them when they’re protesting an action that hurts Metchler’s simple feelings. How dare they.

Threatening protestors? Threatening anyone who questions the police? Threatening media? Threatening elected officials?

WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THIS CITY?

Yes, the language is necessary.

WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?

In what imaginary universe is this letter okay?

There’s no way he is representative of the entire LMPD. None.

Fuck this nonsense.

This is not Louisville. This is is flat-out racist horse shit. And people like Greg Fischer don’t have the guts to stand up and call it what it is.

Unbelievable.

UPDATE Fischer finally spoke. Here’s part of his reaction:

I appreciate that emotions are high after the tragic events of last week. This letter does not reflect the sentiments of me or the vast majority of Louisville’s citizens, who know that we are all on the same page, working to build safe and strong communities for all of our families. We are in this together — police who put their lives on the line to keep us safe while building strong relationships of trust, and community members, who must be engaged citizens involved in our efforts to create a compassionate, thriving Louisville.

Rather than incite anger and distrust between police and the community, my administration will continue to work to build those critical relationships and the trust they create.

But that FOP letter is about more than the events of the past week. It’s the head of a police union bringing up Ferguson, Baltimore and other major events involving police brutality, perceived racism, institutional white supremacy (fucking deal with it, white people, stop shitting your pants when people bring it up). It’s not police standing up for police. That’s an angry white man incapable of realizing the world isn’t out to get him because people protest or criticize his profession when things go wrong. That’s an angry white man who threatened an entire community, backed up by an organization of other angry white men. You’ll note their organizational leadership consists of exactly zero people of color.

Thin-skinned, disgusting, hateful, cowardly horse shit.

And you wonder why I constantly foam at the mouth about the 9th Street Divide.

Compassionate City Loves Killing People

Two weeks after he took a personal leave of absence, principal at the Academy @ Shawnee Houston Barber has resigned from Jefferson County Public Schools. [WDRB]

Louisville Metro Council members want to reallocate up to $5 million from Mayor Greg Fischer’s budget to supplement the city’s “embarrassing” road maintenance. [C-J/AKN]

Really? Killing the guy because he was swinging a flag pole? Way to go, Louisville, you love killing people. How compassionate. [WHAS11]

Bill Mott has conditioned some of the all-time greats in the sport of Thoroughbred racing. Yet last Sunday, he was just another fan on the Belmont Park backstretch, grinning ear to ear while asking fellow trainer Bob Baffert if he could get close to the gleaming bay colt, American Pharoah. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! The loved ones of a man found dead in a west Louisville alley made an emotional plea Friday that someone come forward with information that might lead police to his killer. [WLKY]

The Iowa Supreme Court has affirmed the right to be drunk on your front porch. [HuffPo]

A local company hired to do cleanup related to the massive fire at GE Appliance Park is suing the conglomerate, claiming GE is refusing to pay its bill. [WAVE3]

When it comes to the National Security Agency’s recently disclosed use of automated speech recognition technology to search, index and transcribe voice communications, people in the United States may well be asking: But are they transcribing my phone calls? The answer is maybe. [The Intercept]

This seems like it’s worth paying attention to again. Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad on Wednesday asked the Metro Council to approve a near $170-million budget that includes funding for body cameras and more officers. [WFPL]

The state veterinarian has banned the sale of birds at flea markets and swap meets to protect Kentucky’s poultry industry amid an avian flu outbreak. [Glasgow Daily Times]

No. There is no such thing as too much bourbon fun. [Business First]

Though the New Albany Police Merit Commission has twice voted to fire former officer Laura Schook, the city administration and police department again declined Friday to release disciplinary-related documents in her personnel file. [News & Tribune]

Give Thanks For The Needle Exchange

Metro Louisville’s needle exchange program designed to combat the heroin crisis kicks off today. [WDRB]

What’s that? One of Greg Fischer’s “innovation” team members was tazed and arrested after allegedly leaving a child in a hot car? And he works for former Metro Animal Services shyster Donald Robinson? Surely not. [C-J/AKN]

What the hell is wrong with people these days?! [WHAS11]

Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday told lawmakers Monday that state officials would work with Fayette County staff to develop a plan aimed at closing the achievement gap. [H-L]

Really, what the hell is wrong with people!? Louisville Metro Police investigators were at Ballard Park again Tuesday morning, collecting evidence after a 9-year-old boy was shot Monday night. [WLKY]

Next season’s flu shot will contain two new flu strains that weren’t present in last season’s shot, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [HuffPo]

These data only include base pay and don’t include monstrous payouts from, say, the UofL Foundation. [WAVE3]

The rate of abortions falls across almost all of the US since 2010, a new survey from the Associated Press suggests. [BBC]

Bluegrass musicians played a Kentucky-flavored tune at the graduation ceremony last week for nine graduates, who received their bachelor of fine arts degree. [WFPL]

After watching the biggest donors increasingly shun the major political parties and send their six-figure checks to super-PACs and other outside spending groups, Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress made a sly bid last December to bring billionaires and millionaires back into the party fold. [Mother Jones]

American Pharoah wasn’t a shoo-in to win the Triple Crown. But his prospects for victory appeared more likely than other Thoroughbreds that won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in recent years. [Business First]

A tiny park in the middle of downtown Jeffersonville is now easier to enjoy. [News & Tribune]

It’s Positive UofL Spin Time Again

Another day, another horrific death in Possibility City. Don’t worry, everything is fine, we have bike lanes in white neighborhoods. (What? We’re still not supposed to talk about the racial divide in this city?) [WDRB]

American Pharoah blew into racing immortality Saturday, his 51/2-length victory over Frosted in the Belmont Stakes making him racing’s first Triple Crown winner since 1978 and only the 12th ever to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont. [C-J/AKN]

Greg Fischer can give away tens of millions of dollars to Cordish for literally doing nothing. He can cut WIC programs in half, which are pocket change by comparison. But he can still afford to sink $7.4 million into non-essentials — including a $300,000 swimming pool filter. [WHAS11]

Dr. David Jones is still impressed by the sight of it: A smiling fast-food worker taking the time to feed a disabled woman her favorite meal, a steak burrito. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! We sadly hear this isn’t the only Trinity teacher up to no good. The school has allegedly shipped teachers off to other parts of the state when catching them up to no good in the past, as well. [WLKY]

American Pharoah has cemented his misspelled name among horse racing royalty, claiming the Triple Crown with his win at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, a feat not done since 1978. [HuffPo]

A southern Indiana county is facing a sharp increase in hepatitis C cases, but officials say it’s too soon to seek state permission for a needle-exchange program. [WAVE3]

According to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading causes of cancer death are generally the same across the country. [Click the Clicky]

Researchers at Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center have found a new way to treat advanced melanoma using the herpes simplex 1 virus. [WFPL]

Thousands gathered in St. Paul, Minnesota Saturday afternoon to march in protest of the growing network of tar sands pipelines in America, singling out one pipeline — the Alberta Clipper — in particular. [ThinkProgress]

UofL is mired in controversy so it’s time for some PR spin. The University of Louisville has found its leader for the recently announced UL Additive Manufacturing Competency Center, a partnership with UL LLC, a global safety science company. [Business First]

Health officials are still searching for “patient zero” seven months after detecting HIV among drug users in the small, rural town of Austin. [News & Tribune]

Council Holding Fischer Accountable

A bipartisan group of Louisville Metro Council members wants more information about how Mayor Greg Fischer nominates people to scores of city boards and commissions. But not David Yates — he cowardly removed his name as a sponsor. [WDRB]

How do people even have kids knowing this crap can happen? Too terrifying to think about. [C-J/AKN]

For the first time the public is seeing a second incident where a school resource officer appears to punch a middle school student. [WHAS11]

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo is calling for a 140-mile extension of the Mountain Parkway from Prestonsburg to Beckley, W.Va., at a cost of $8 billion to $10 billion. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! Police are investigating a shooting in the Shawnee neighborhood that left one man hospitalized. [WLKY]

College graduates, brace yourselves for some disappointing news. Wages for university grads are 2.5 percent lower than what they were 15 years ago, according to the latest edition of the Economic Policy Institute’s annual report on the labor market prospects of new workers. [HuffPo]

A New Albany councilman referred to a colleague as a “lying piece of (expletive)” during a debate over public prayer on Monday. Councilman Dan Coffey made the comment into an open microphone, yet denied using the curse word during a brief, tense interview after the meeting. [WAVE3]

On Wednesday, when President Barack Obama spoke at the US Coast Guard Academy’s commencement ceremony, he called climate change “an immediate risk to our national security.” In recent months, the Obama administration has repeatedly highlighted the international threats posed by global warming and has emphasized the need for the country’s national security agencies to study and confront the issue. [Mother Jones]

The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced more than $54 million in grant funds to clean up contaminated brownfields sites around the country, and one of the projects getting funding is in Louisville. [WFPL]

The lawyer for the man who alleges that Ahmed Zayat has not paid a $2 million gambling debt filed a $10 million libel suit on Monday against Zayat, the owner of American Pharoah. [NY Times]

Cecilia Henderson, the 71-year-old widow of Angel’s Envy bourbon creator Lincoln Henderson, is suing her son, saying that Wesley Henderson has “effectively stolen” her share of proceeds from a recent sale to Bacardi Ltd. [Business First]

A community that successfully addresses homelessness is a united one, according to Michael Stoops, the director of community organizing at the National Coalition for the Homeless. [News & Tribune]