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]

David Tandy-Dan Johnson Slap Fight!

Police body cameras, smoother roads with more bike lanes and affordable housing. Those are just some of the big ticket items Louisville’s mayor is asking Metro Council to approve. [WDRB]

SLAP FIGHT! Louisville Metro Councilman Dan Johnson claims Council President David Tandy physically threatened him in a private telephone conversation this week and that he may file a criminal complaint. [C-J/AKN]

Boarded up homes and vacant and abandoned properties are problem in many Louisville neighborhoods. [WHAS11]

A Lexington man was shot eight times during an officer-involved shooting in Richmond in September after he pointed a Taser stun gun at police, Kentucky State Police concluded in an investigation. [H-L]

The school year is almost over, but some elementary students are already getting help preparing for next year. What the hell kind of opener is that? [WLKY]

The U.S. Department of Education has formally cleared Navient Corp., the student loan giant formerly part of Sallie Mae, of wrongdoing after an investigation into whether the company cheated troops on their federal student loans. The findings contradict earlier conclusions reached by the Justice Department, which sued the company in May 2014 after determining that Navient systematically overcharged troops and denied them key rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Federal prosecutors said the company’s actions were “intentional, willful, and taken in disregard for the rights of servicemembers.” [HuffPo]

As victims recover from a devastating apartment fire in southern Indiana, there are new problems. Time Warner Cable tried to collect lost equipment fees from at least two of its customers who lost everything when the Bridgepoint Apartments caught fire in April. [WAVE3]

Looks like some folks discovered the UPS hub again. [Gizmodo]

The Obama administration announced new clean water rules today that it says will protect sources of drinking water for 117 million Americans, rules welcomed by environmental groups, but bitterly opposed by congressional Republicans and farm state democrats. [WFPL]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… A human skull from a deep cave in northern Spain shows evidence of a lethal violent attack 430,000 years ago, a study shows. [BBC]

KFC Corp.’s rebranding and revival of Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Col. Harland Sanders has garnered mixed reviews. [Business First]

A former New Albany Police officer was formally terminated Thursday evening by the department’s Merit Commission on four of five charges of improper conduct. Laura Schook — who made claims in 2008 and 2010 to the merit commission of some officers filing inaccurate time sheets, corruption within the department and by not receiving proper backup on calls — was terminated by a 4-1 vote of the commission. [News & Tribune]

The TV Folks Love Scaring Meemaws

Instead of scaring the absolute living shit out of the elderly people watching television, maybe start educating the community about needle exchanges? Maybe do something about educating folks on the proper way to discard used needles? [WDRB]

After working into the early hours of last Wednesday morning, paramedic Jon Tyson wheeled into his garage, plugged a large black power cord into his electric-powered Nissan Leaf and hit the sack. [C-J/AKN]

Maybe if we keep killing people we won’t have to worry about the poor or the sick. [WHAS11]

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul led a successful effort to block renewal of the Patriot Act early Saturday morning, followed by a deeply divided Senate leaving Washington without taking action on the National Security Agency’s soon-to-expire power to collect Americans’ phone records. [H-L]

The Indiana attorney general’s office says the state had to pay more than $1.4 million in fees to plaintiffs’ attorneys in its unsuccessful attempt to maintain its ban on same-sex marriages. [WLKY]

With more and more U.S. states facing public transit funding cuts despite record-breaking commuter demand, many transit systems are being forced to consider service cuts or fare hikes, both of which disproportionally impact low-income riders and neighborhoods. [HuffPo]

A family who lost their son has spent years turning their personal tragedy into a community event to spread positivity. [WAVE3]

The sleepy United States senators thought they were done voting. But then, around 1 a.m. on the Saturday before Memorial Day, Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky and presidential candidate, marched spryly to the Senate floor to let it be known that, no, he would not agree to extend the federal government’s bulk collection of phone records program. Not even for one day. [NY Times]

Louisville residents use public transportation at one of the lowest rates among the nation’s largest cities, according to new research from the University of Michigan. [WFPL]

Genetic information from a 35,000-year-old wolf bone found below a frozen cliff in Siberia is shedding new light on humankind’s long relationship with dogs, showing canine domestication may have occurred earlier than previously thought. [Reuters]

It’s time for a reminder about Adam Edelen and educational audits. An audit is NOT a forensic accounting investigation. It’s typically a random sampling that gets reviewed unless specific concerns are brought to light. Or, in the case of Montgomery County, not. Because specific concerns were deliberately ignored by Edelen’s team. When he says there was no fraud discovered? Remember: not a forensic accounting, not an in-depth investigation of every nook and cranny. [Business First]

Michael Crone asked who in the room knew a bully or a victim or a witness to bullying. Only a few hands raised. Crone knew better. [News & Tribune]

Bob Hill Seems Frustrated These Days

From the end of his driveway, Bob Hill can hear the hum of construction work. He lives close enough to the four-lane highway taking shape that he can see it when a line of trees thins for the winter. [WDRB]

An assault case in Jefferson Circuit Court was dismissed Tuesday by a judge who ruled an assistant commonwealth’s attorney “altered” evidence that was “deliberately not disclosed and concealed” from the defense counsel. [C-J/AKN]

Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner American Pharoah will retire and breed here in Kentucky. [WHAS11]

If Matt Bevin’s ignorance and code words leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth, you’re not alone. [H-L]

In newly released audio statements, an Olmsted Academy North student told police that he was choked so hard by a school resource officer that he could barely breathe and had blurry vision. [WLKY]

It wasn’t that the intelligence community was giving the administration wholesale faulty intelligence. It was that the administration was lying to the American people about what the intelligence actually showed. [HuffPo]

The mayor of Goshen has resigned, a city representative said Wednesday. Earlier in the day, an email apparently from Mayor Bob Thacker was sent to residents saying that members of a neighborhood watch Facebook group – which the email referred to as “The Disease” – had crossed a line, mentioning the mayor’s wife and children in online posts. [WAVE3]

States lack accurate statistics on widespread heroin use. [NPR]

The Louisville Department of Public Health and Wellness is conducting the 2015 Community Health Needs Assessment survey to help the department and local hospitals determine which programs, policies and services will lead to a healthier Louisville. [WFPL & Survey]

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration on Wednesday announced the results of a four-state crackdown aimed at stopping illegal distribution of addictive prescription medicines, such as opioid painkillers, that yielded 280 arrests. [Reuters]

Work on The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass’s expansion is well under way, but just how much will the 53,400-square-foot addition cost? [Business First]

The preliminary $119 million plan to revamp, rebuild and realign several Greater Clark County Schools would result in an additional $13.74 cents per $100 of assessed property valuation for 2016 property taxes, the district superintendent told school board members Tuesday night. [News & Tribune]

Glad A Local Will Be Your Governator?

Portland neighbors say they’re drowning in water bills that are twice the normal cost. The problems on one block uncovered a bigger issue for Louisville Water Company customers. [WDRB]

Which David Jones crony will get the job this time? Weeks after Superintendent Donna Hargens informed Helene Kramer that her contract was not being renewed, Jefferson County Public Schools has posted the position for its chief communications and community relations officer. [C-J/AKN]

Firefighters, police and Animal Control entered a home in the 2200 block of Beargrass Avenue just off Bardstown Road after hearing from multiple neighbors Tuesday. Neighbors were concerned after finding pet abandonment notices on the door, overgrown weeds in the yard and hearing constant barking inside the home. [WHAS11]

Republicans on Tuesday picked state Senate Judiciary Chairman Whitney Westerfield, 34, as their nominee for Kentucky attorney general. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! Five greater Clark County schools may close as part of a plan the superintendent believes will help the district. [WLKY]

A faction of Republicans in the House of Representatives wants to stop poor people from buying junk food with food stamps. [HuffPo]

Some people are just the absolute worst. [WAVE3]

If you’re wondering what really happened to Jamie Comer in the gubernatorial primary? It’s much more simple than he would have you believe. [Page One]

Once again, Louisville has ranked poorly on the annual ranking of city park systems from a national group. [WFPL]

Suicide rates have fallen among young white children in the U.S. but they’ve gone up among black youngsters, according to a new study of suicides in kids under age 12. [Reuters]

Too many tables and too little kitchen space — that’s been a pain point for Big Four Burgers & Beer in Jeffersonville since it opened in December 2013. [Business First]

Samuel pointed to tattoos on his forearms and chest to count how many times he’s been incarcerated in Clark County jail. [News & Tribune]

Oldham Co. Should Embrace The Booze

There are only a few places in all of Oldham County where people can buy packaged alcohol like wine or a case of beer. But with more petitions going out this week, there’s a possibility that may soon change. [WDRB]

Downtown leaders tried to calm some jittery nerves Friday by predicting their hard work should minimize any loss of business from the impending two-year closure of the Kentucky International Convention Center. [C-J/AKN]

Watching Donna Hargens mangle this bus incident was almost as terrifying as hearing about a child being dragged. [WHAS11]

A Lawrence County school bus full of students on their way to school started on fire Friday, authorities said. [H-L]

Kentucky recently became one of the first states to let pharmacists dispense without prescription a drug that can reverse a heroin overdose. [WLKY]

Lorca Henley of Bowling Green, Ohio, said her family’s dinners on different nights this week included taco salads, tuna casserole with mashed potatoes, spaghetti with meat sauce and hamburgers they fried on the stove because they were out of propane. [HuffPo]

The mother of the girl dragged by a Jefferson County Public Schools bus said Sunday night that her daughter had been discharged from Kosair Children’s Hospital. [WAVE3]

This is not bourbon and the story will likely cause you to pop a vein. [NPR]

Apryll Buege spent much of her youth in the foster care system. She said she got in some trouble, made some mistakes, but soon realized she needed to pull her life together. [WFPL]

Duke Energy Corp. pleaded guilty Thursday to criminal pollution charges and agreed to $102 million in federal penalties stemming from a February 2014 spill of coal ash waste. [The Hill]

A record crowd turned out to see American Pharoah capture the second jewel of the Triple Crown at Saturday’s Preakness Stakes. [Business First]

Former Democratic congressman Baron Hill plans to join Indiana’s U.S. Senate race to replace retiring Republican Dan Coats. [News & Tribune]

Former JCPS Superintendent Ousted From Yet Another School District

Remember Sheldon Berman? He’s the former superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools the city sent packing. His time in Louisville was so bad that he barely mentions it:


BERMAN’S CURRENT BIO

He’s also the guy who was closely tied to Robert Felner and was apparently involved in some sort of love triangle with Felner’s underling.

Well…. the Eugene School District in Eugene, Oregon is crazy. They hired him up as if he was magical. And they’ve regretted it ever since, constantly emailing us for help, begging on some occasions, grasping for any way to oust him without taking responsibility for their own decisions.

So get a load of this:

Eugene School Board members allowed Superintendent Sheldon Berman to come up with his own exit plan to avoid the release of a negative performance review, which one board member said could result in his firing, newly obtained records show.

Board members also said in emails last year that if they couldn’t successfully negotiate a departure agreement with Berman, they planned to make his evaluation public and hire an investigator to look into unspecified actions by Berman.

Further, emails between board members show that some members went to great lengths to avoid meeting publicly or even in a closed-door session, in potential violation of state public meetings law. Other emails show that one board member — Beth Gerot — said she would destroy some public records related to Berman’s evaluation. It is a violation of state law for a public official to destroy public records.

-SNIP-

In the course of legal proceedings, the law firm last week sent the newspaper hundreds of unredacted emails regarding Berman’s job performance that The Register-Guard requested last year. The law firm also sent an unredacted copy of Berman’s self-evaluation, in which he gave himself a glowing review.

-SNIP-

Berman announced last June that he was leaving the district after the current school year, citing “family circumstances.” Berman began his job as Eugene superintendent in July 2011.

-SNIP-

The negotiations followed results from an employee survey — conducted by independent consultant Alison Lewis — that found serious concerns with Berman’s job performance. The emails do not shed much light on the nature of those concerns, but do indicate that concerns about Berman led to the resignation of at least two high-level district administrators. The consultant — who interviewed about 20 district employees — found that Berman struggled to manage employees, and some emails suggest employees feared repercussions if they spoke out.

Just like in Louisville! Only this time a school board didn’t have the guts to get rid of him. But the fear of retaliation was definitely there. Same for the Berman efforts to keep his reviews secret.

And this:

Eugene School Board Chairman Jim Torrey said in a statement Wednesday that “now it is time to move forward” and use the revelation of board members’ secret efforts to negotiate an exit plan with Superintendent Sheldon Berman as an “opportunity to reinforce our respect for consistently open and candid board discussions of school district business.”

Torrey’s statement does not specifically defend or repudiate board members’ efforts to shield their concerns about Berman’s job performance, or address newly released emails’ suggestion that some board members may have violated Oregon’s public record and public meetings laws.

The unredacted emails, inadvertently released to The Register-Guard, show that board members negotiated a settlement plan that would allow Berman to avoid a negative job performance review, which one board member said could have led to his firing.

-SNIP-

Berman, meanwhile, said in a statement of his own, also released Wednesday, that he is concerned that the newspaper article may damage the community’s perspective on “the district and the board, as well as me personally.”

“The emails were sent during a time that was particularly challenging for the district, the board and me,” Berman said in his emailed statement. “The year since has been a much more positive and productive time. I think it’s fair to say that the quoted emails and the article don’t begin to describe or reflect the many accomplishments we have achieved.”

Berman added that he has “worked diligently to address concerns raised in my discussions with board members last year.”

“My reasons for leaving Eugene remain largely personal and family ones,” Berman said.

-SNIP-

Eugene Education Association teachers union President Tad Shannon said teachers feel that the board’s responsiveness to teacher concerns has improved in the past year, but teachers did not notice a change in Berman’s performance.

“Shelley (Berman) actually thinks he’s a collaborator and a listener,” Shannon said. “Unfortunately, most staff don’t see it that way.”

JCPS dodged a bullet when we started digging up Shelley’s secret world.

Thank goodness.