Hide That Medicare Bit Behind Fire Coverage

General Electric Co. will no longer provide supplemental Medicare plans to about 130,000 former hourly workers and their spouses across the country — the latest in a series of moves aimed at cutting the company’s expenses for retiree benefits. [WDRB]

The Metropolitan Sewer District board on Monday made final a rate increase of 5.5 percent, starting Aug. 1, and approved the salary and compensation package for its incoming executive director. [C-J/AKN]

The Downtown Development Review Overlay committee, or DDRO, voted on Wednesday, July 29, to approve the Omni design plan. [WHAS11]

Humana Inc. on Wednesday reported second-quarter earnings of $431 million. [H-L]

Nearly four months after the fire at GE’s Appliance Park, fire officials release the results from the investigation into what went wrong. GE disputes the findings. Maj. Henry Ott said the company is ‘”cherry picking” facts to protect its interests. [WLKY]

After the Republican Party took a drubbing at the polls on Election Day 2012, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus ordered an autopsy. The party, the coroner’s report found a few months later, had alienated women and minorities and came off as plutocratic. [HuffPo]

After several tense exchanges between Kentucky’s candidates for governor, Republican Matt Bevin during a media interview accused a WAVE 3 News reporter of working for his rival. [WAVE3]

The United States is emerging as the world’s hog farm—the country where massive foreign meat companies like Brazil’s JBS and China’s WH Group (formerly Shuanghui) alight when they want to take advantage of rising global demand for pork. [Mother Jones]

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer on Tuesday named Gabriel Fritz to be the new director of the Office of Housing and Community Development, an appointment that comes as the city prioritizes its affordable housing needs. Here’s hoping he isn’t scandal-ridden. [WFPL]

There weren’t many substantive insights drawn from Monday’s debate between Republican Matt Bevin and Democrat Jack Conway before a Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Business Summit crowd. [Ronnie Ellis]

Louisville Metro Council is planning to hold two public hearings on the creation of special taxing districts to give financial help to two projects. [Business First]

The city has the discretion to release the full disciplinary record of fired New Albany Police Officer Laura Schook and is not required to provide the documents by law, Indiana Public Access Counselor Luke Britt stated in an advisory opinion issued Monday at the request of the News and Tribune. [News & Tribune]

The Weekend: Just A Shooting Spree

Louisville Metro Police spokesperson Carey Klain says a total of four people were shot during two separate weekend incidents. Nothing to see here, move along. [WDRB]

Here are some changes in Jefferson County schools that students and parents should know before classes start up again. [C-J/AKN]

Three lucky Louisville birds saw a new beginning Friday, July 24. The Raptor Rehabilitation of Kentucky Inc., or RROKI, released three Peregrine Falcons at Hayes Kennedy Park after months of rehabilitation. [WHAS11]

A bunch of fat, racist, white guys played dress-up on Friday and showed their true colors. Kentucky’s state government should not turn its back on Confederate symbols, including the “stars and bars” battle flag and Jefferson Davis, speakers told more than a hundred people at a “Southern pride” rally outside the Capitol Friday. [John Cheves]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! If you love stories about shootings that your elected leadership is desperate to ignore, here’s another. [WLKY]

Americans’ views of Sen. Bernie Sanders have grown more favorable as they continue to learn more about him, according to a new Gallup poll. [HuffPo]

Where is Blue? Can’t he buy this, tear it down and pave things over for a parking lot? Could operate a shuttle service to the new Costco. [WAVE3]

Despite widespread belief to the contrary, no federal law explicitly protects LGBT people from discrimination. Thursday marks the introduction of The Equality Act, a comprehensive bill that would, if passed, add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the protections that already exist based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. But it also would do more than that. [ThinkProgress]

The idea of converting downtown Louisville’s one-way streets to two-ways has support from business proponents, but motor vehicles aren’t the only way to get around the city. [WFPL]

The H-2 visa program invites foreign workers to do some of the most menial labor in America. Then it leaves them at the mercy of their employers. Thousands of these workers have been abused — deprived of their fair pay, imprisoned, starved, beaten, raped, and threatened with deportation if they dare complain. And the government says it can do little to help. [BuzzFeed]

Louisville-based Almost Family Inc. (NYSE: AFAM) announced plans to purchase Jacksonville, Fla.-based Ingenios Health Co. Ingenios provides in-home clinical assessments for Medicare Advantage, Medicaid and others in seven states and in Washington D.C. [Business First]

One candidate has been tabbed and another will soon be selected to fill vacated positions in upcoming New Albany City Council races. [News & Tribune]

The Weekend: Killing Time In Louisville

Just a reminder that these things continue to happen in Possibility City. [WDRB]

For so long, he searched for the word. To describe what he felt but dare not say aloud. To rationalize the thoughts that consumed his days. To understand why being Jennifer, despite his most fervent attempts, just didn’t feel right. [C-J/AKN]

And then this. A woman was rushed to the hospital after a shooting in the Parkland neighborhood on July 20. [WHAS11]

The power washer was spraying away another year’s worth of grime this week as residents of Fancy Farm prepared for the annual picnic at St. Jerome’s Parish, where Kentucky’s politicos flock on the first Saturday of August each year. [H-L]

But don’t worry! A theme park is adding a new roller coaster. Everything is fine. [WLKY]

The transition to a renewable economy may be a painful one, particularly in this era of aversion to active government. [HuffPo]

The start of a two day celebration for the 25th anniversary of the Signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act kicked off on Sunday in Shawnee Park. [WAVE3]

Just like in Kentucky, where it’s good for the Beshear Family’s wealthy donors and not so great for everyone else. The global economy is improving. Just don’t tell many of the people who live and work in it. [CBS News]

Following last month’s landmark Supreme Court ruling allowing gay marriage in Kentucky, Louisville’s tourism agency has ramped-up its outreach to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. [WFPL]

Japan’s Mitsubishi corporation is making a big apology. It’s not for any recall or defect in its products, which include automobiles, but for its use of American prisoners of war as forced labor during World War II. [NPR]

Dallas-based Omni Hotels & Resorts likely has a few interesting weeks ahead. [Business First]

A community literacy project using retired newspaper racks will kick-off Saturday in New Albany at the annual Monarch Celebration. [News & Tribune]

Cordish Fun Just Keeps Getting Better

JCPS students head back to class in less than a month, and the city of Louisville wants to make sure they’re prepared. [WDRB]

You can thank Jerry Abramson and Jim King (along with a little bit of David Tandy) for allowing Cordish to become a thing in Louisville. Fourth Street Live developer Cordish Co. is accused in a scathing consultants’ report of targeting African Americans to keep them out of the popular downtown entertainment district and another venue it runs in Missouri. [C-J/AKN]

Friday, a settlement from Metro Louisville, a man who was a Lt. Col. in the National Guard, with a traumatic brain injury, says he was treated like a pan-handler by Louisville Metro Police. [WHAS11]

University of Louisville trustees scaled back a merit raise for school President James Ramsey, whose million-dollar-plus compensation has drawn criticism from some trustees and faculty. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! WATCH YOUR DATA CAP! Arson investigators say they have a list of potential suspects in a deadly Old Louisville fire. [WLKY]

Last year was likely the warmest year since 1880, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed on Thursday in a report written by hundreds of scientists from 58 countries. [HuffPo]

Louisville loves killing people and this weekend was no exception. Seven people suffered what appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries in a shooting inside a Louisville nightclub early Sunday morning, Louisville Metro Police Department spokesman Dwight Mitchell said. [WAVE3]

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled that existing civil rights law bars sexual orientation-based employment discrimination — a groundbreaking decision to advance legal protections for gay, lesbian, and bisexual workers. [BuzzFeed]

The University of Louisville Board of Trustees is giving President James Ramsey a hefty 25 percent bonus and 3 percent raise. [WFPL]

Charter Communications is ramping up its Washington lobbying operations as the telecommunications firm makes its case to regulators reviewing its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable. [The Hill]

Greg Fischer made another appeal Friday for citizens or businesses to submit proposals for the potential reuse and relocation of the former Louisville Water Co. building on South Third Street between Muhammad Ali Boulevard and Liberty Street. [Business First]

The Clark County Commissioners scheduled a public hearing on whether to adopt an HIV and hepatitis C epidemic declaration made by the Clark County health officer. [News & Tribune]

Is Fischer’s Omni Train Off The Rails?

If you’re wealthy and aren’t supporting this place, something is wrong with you. It is expected to be a much safer environment for women and children in danger. The Center for Women and Families is in the process of getting an extra layer of protection. [WDRB]

The Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau has set up an advisory council of representatives of some high-profile, out-of-town organizations to suggest what Louisville might do to improve its status as a meeting destination in hope of drawing more lucrative tourism business. [C-J/AKN]

If it’s not a gunshot death or a pedestrian death, it’s possibly a train death. [WHAS11]

The Council on Postsecondary Education is holding a series of public meetings around the state to get input on a new five-year plan to guide Kentucky’s higher education and adult education systems. Don’t worry, this won’t matter. Don’t get too excited about it. [H-L]

A new report shows the number of people who died from drug overdoses in Kentucky jumped 7 percent last year while the number of deaths attributed to heroin stayed about the same. [WLKY]

More states are considering restoring the right to vote to felons, with supporters saying that once their debt to society is paid they should be allowed to exercise a fundamental right. [HuffPo]

The design for the 30 story Omni building planned for downtown Louisville is suddenly uncertain after a regulatory panel delayed its approval for at least two weeks. [WAVE3]

Wondering why poor kids are unhealthy? The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday adopted a GOP amendment that would provide schools flexibility in meeting Department of Agriculture (USDA) rules for serving whole-grain products and reducing sodium levels. [The Hill]

Since 2010, vandals have caused more than $400,000 in damages at Louisville parks and community centers, according to data provided by Metro Parks. [WFPL]

The top electricity providers in the country are going renewable much more slowly than smaller companies, according to data reported Tuesday by sustainability group Ceres. [ThinkProgress]

A few weeks ago, we reported that the U.S. Department of Justice had filed a lawsuit that aims to block AB Electrolux’s acquisition of Louisville-based GE Appliances. The government contends that the deal would lead to less competition, higher prices and fewer options for American buyers. Electrolux, for its part, has a plan to convince regulators otherwise. [Business First]

Another candidate has entered the New Albany race for mayor, but this one wants to break through the limitations of the current political system. [News & Tribune]

Compassionate City: MURDER DEATH

A mission of the Hope by Hope organization is to let kids know that somebody loves them. [WDRB]

Metro planners have scheduled same-day, zoning-related public hearings for two major developments, one for Louisville’s second Costco store on Bardstown Road at the former Showcase Cinemas site and the other to allow a makeover of The 800 Apartments just south of downtown. [C-J/AKN]

Restaurant managers near Whiskey Row said having the street shut down all week was tough on business. [WHAS11]

The Davies household is like any other with small children and working parents at 5:30 p.m. — 10-month-old Caroline scoots across the floor; Kate, almost 3, looks frantically for her baby doll while their parents deal with dinner-making, dog-walking and bedtime-starting. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! THEY STILL DON’T REALIZE THEY’RE HOGGING YOUR DATA! It’s estimated that more than 20,000 children in Louisville have a parent in jail. [WLKY]

Police departments across the country that have spent years boasting about plummeting crime numbers are now scrambling to confront something many agencies have not seen in decades: more bloodshed. [HuffPo]

Five homicides in a five-day period earlier this week continues a violent 2015 in Louisville, and the increase in the city’s homicide rate is part of trend in major U.S. cities. [WAVE3]

The civil suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky on behalf of four Rowan County couples, two same-gender couples and two opposite-gender couples, against Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis and the county will be heard for a preliminary injunction hearing on Monday, July 13 at noon in U.S. District Court in Ashland. [The Morehead News]

Kentucky’s electricity generation landscape will look drastically different in the next five years, as coal-fired power plants retire or convert to natural gas. [WFPL]

The result of this is an incessantly repeating argument where a Black person says “Racism still exists. It is real,” and a white person argues “You’re wrong, I’m not racist at all. I don’t even see any racism.” [Click the Clicky]

Hilliard Lyons will provide training to its advisers in a series of six-month training modules taught by faculty of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. [Business First]

The town’s planning and zoning department finally got the go-ahead at Monday’s town council meeting to begin work on the first comprehensive plan update Clarksville has implemented in 23 years. [News & Tribune]

But We Can’t Come Up With WIC Funds

Aetna Inc., the second-largest U.S. health insurer by market value, is closing in on an acquisition of Humana Inc. and could reach a deal as early as this weekend, several people with knowledge of the matter said. [Bloomberg]

A man is found dead in the middle of the street in a quiet Fern Creek neighborhood. [WDRB]

But we can’t afford WIC programs… Louisville waterfront officials have cobbled together just over $500,000 that will go for major enhancements around the Big Four Bridge on the Kentucky shore. [C-J/AKN]

People are freaking out about the sighting of a bear. [WHAS11]

The U.S. Supreme Court could issue a decision on Kentucky’s same-sex marriage ban as soon as Thursday, but Kentucky officials are staying mum on what, if any, preparations they’ve made if the justices vote to allow gay marriage. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! Everybody is freaking out about some clouds. [WLKY]

A former Baltimore police sergeant took to Twitter Wednesday to air a stunning list of acts he said he participated in and witnessed during his 11 years on the city’s force. [HuffPo]

The giant hole in the ground where a couple of old buildings used to stand on Third Street makes it clear: Nothing is getting in the way of the new $300 million Omni Hotel project, not even the historic Louisville Water Company building. [WAVE3]

Racehorses are continuing to get quicker, a study of winning times spanning 165 years of racing indicates. [BBC]

Halfway into its first year, Louisville city officials and residents say a plastic bag ban for yard waste has been met with a surprisingly positive reception. [WFPL]

More Americans are renting — and paying more — as homeownership falls. [NY Times]

Names, birth dates, addresses and Social Security numbers may have been exposed after hackers gained access to classified Clarksville Town Court records Tuesday, a judge says. [Business First]

Less than 48 hours after nine black men and women were murdered inside a house of worship, prayers of encouragement, forgiveness and mercy were offered in the midst of a church that provided slaves safe passage during the Civil War. [News & Tribune]