Revisiting Ramsey’s Big Reality Disconnect

You may have to watch your step more closely when crossing at least one downtown street. A pedway allowing easy access to the convention center will be going away. [WDRB]

How many scandalous hires does this make for Greg Fischer? The man has no concept of vetting new hires. Where are the liberal hand-wringers now? Every time a shitty hire is revealed, they freak out and attack. Every. Time. But suddenly they’re quiet. [C-J/AKN]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! School time horror stories. “I had a chair thrown across the room and the kid looked at me–this is second grade–and said “what the f*** did I do b****,” Lucretia Gue, a former first grade teacher at Frayser Elementary School said. [WHAS11]

In 2006, senators of the University of Kentucky’s student government passed a resolution to remove a mural in Memorial Hall that showed scenes of state history, including black workers in a tobacco field, black musicians playing for white dancers, and a Native American with a tomahawk. They told then-President Lee Todd that it was degrading to ethnic and racial groups. [H-L]

Local teevee folks are still freaking out about a white lady married to a preacher. When was the last time they freaked out like this over a person of color? Or over someone not tied to some random church? [WLKY]

Here’s one more indication that American teachers work really, really hard — and don’t make nearly enough. An analysis released Tuesday by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development looks at the state of education around the world, examining everything from intergenerational mobility in education to graduation rates to teacher pay. [HuffPo]

The YMCA of Louisville and the YMCA of Southern Indiana are merging, organization leaders announced during the 25th annual YMCA Mayor’s Thanksgiving Breakfast. [WAVE3]

Rand Paul, R-Cookie Tree, said after a town hall at the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center he is in conversations with the CEO of AK Steel about how to keep hundreds of jobs at Ashland Works afloat. [Ashland Independent]

James Ramsey has been thinking a lot lately about stepping down from his role as president of the University of Louisville. That’s all it took for him to think about resigning? Not the myriad scandals, people going to prison, tens of millions of dollars swindled?! [WFPL]

About half of Americans, 49 percent, say that racism is “a big problem,” according to a new national poll conducted by CNN and the Kaiser Family Foundation. [The Hill]

Electrolux announced plans to buy General Electric Co.’s Louisville-based appliance division for $3.3 billion last year. But the government sued to block the deal in July, citing concerns that it would suppress competition. [Business First]

A bill to include LGBT people in existing anti-discrimination laws is on the slate for the State Senate’s upcoming legislative session. [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) [Ting]

Former JCPS Supe’s Messes Now In MA

Remember former Jefferson County Public Schools superintendent Sheldon Berman?

Hold on to your wigs and check this out — from The Andover Townsman in Andover, MA:

Interim school Superintendent Sheldon Berman issued a letter to the School Committee this week outlining his numerous affiliations with various organizations as a way to head off accusations of conflict of interest.


“I write this letter to formally notify you of my membership on the Board of Directors of the following non-profit, educational organizations,” Berman wrote in the Nov. 5 notice to the School Committee. “I am seeking to comply with the provisions … that my membership on the Board of Directors of these organizations ‘is not so substantial as to be deemed likely to affect the integrity of services’ that the Andover School Committee expects from me.”

The first section of the law Berman refers to says that if a state employee violates the conduct law, he would be punished with a fine, imprisonment or both. The second section Berman quotes, however, states that if the employee submits a letter listing his affiliations and it is approved by the appointing authority, which in this case is the school committee, then any financial gain on his or his affiliates’ part would be allowed.


Berman served on the editorial advisory board of Louisville, Kentucky’s Fox affiliate station, was chair of the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Project Alliance advisory board, was a member of the Louisville Zoo Foundation’s board of directors and served as president of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents.

The letter comes in the midst of ongoing negotiations between Berman and the School Committee over whether to extend Berman from a one-year, interim contract to a multi-year, permanent superintendent’s post.


In his letter to the school committee, Berman said he was elected as Chairman of the Board at the Center for Applied Special Technology Center (CAST) at the end of October. He explained in the letter that “only the board of CAST has financial responsibility for the organization.”


Berman, as chairman of the CAST board, does not get paid, he said in the letter. Even if he doesn’t, however, if Andover were to pay for CAST services, the organization would benefit financially.

Although state law says that because of this relationship, any contract agreement between the district and the organization would be prohibited, Berman’s disclosure of his affiliation would make any such agreements acceptable.


Berman also listed himself as chairman of the Virtual High School, Inc., board of directors from 2001 to 2004, and a member of the board from 2004 to 2009.

Part of the VHS mission, according to its website, “is to develop and deliver standards-based, student-centered online courses that increase educational opportunities and 21st century skills.”


In 1996, Berman and a colleague secured a five-year federal grant of $7.4 million to fund Virtual High School Collaborative. Berman got the Department of Education grant with help from then-Congressman Martin Meehan, D-Lowell, and U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., according to media accounts published at the time.


Berman served as superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, Kentucky from 2007 to 2011. In 2009, the district signed a contract with VHS to offer online courses at two of its high schools.

In 2011, Berman left Kentucky for Eugene, Ore., where he was head of Eugene Public Schools 4j from 2011 to 2015. In 2012, the Oregon district also signed a contract with VHS and continues to provide online learning courses throughout the district.

Remember VHS? That’s some real we-told-you-so stuff, there.

Everything we uncovered about the former JCPS superintendent has become an issue in every district he’s worked in (and been ousted from) since.

Thank goodness everything is great with the new JCPS supe and the board now. Oh, wait… sorry.

New Albany Schools Have Come A Long Way

The New Albany Floyd County School board has added “sexual orientation” to its non-discrimination policy. [WDRB]

A University of Louisville study of asthma, older adults and indoor air quality is revealing a mix of potentially dangerous chemicals inside participants’ homes. [C-J/AKN]

The footage is hard to watch. “No mother ever wants to see anything like that and my daughter was clearly trying to get away from her and it hurt. It hurt a lot,” parent Valerie Gholston said. [WHAS11]

Top level administrators are being hired at the University of Kentucky at more than twice the rate of full-time faculty, according to UK employee statistics. [H-L]

Just hours after two people are arrested and brought in for questioning about a Tuesday night killing, the victim’s girlfriend hopes justice will be served. [WLKY]

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Tuesday there was “no data” to support the notion that the national debate over the use of force by police has made the country less safe, an idea that has sometimes been referred to as the “Ferguson effect.” [HuffPo]

Oh, right, that’s totally going to solve all of their problems. Just a few weeks after hosting a Halloween Party, a troubled motel on Bardstown Road is inviting the neighborhood over for another holiday event. [WAVE3]

Tell us more, Matt Bevin, about how great refugees have it and about how easy it is for them to find safety. LGBT refugees from across the Middle East flock to Turkey, escaping Islamist militias, sexual assault, and death threats. But what they find there leaves many in despair. [BuzzFeed]

With uncertainty about the future of his signature health initiative, Gov. Steve Beshear is touting the outcomes of Kentucky’s efforts to improve the well-being of residents. [WFPL]

More than half a dozen state governors have come out against President Obama’s plans to relocate several thousand Syrian refugees within the United States. Some have pledged to actively resist settlement of these refugees. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), for example, signed a letter to Obama that begins “as governor of Texas, I write to inform you that the State of Texas will not accept any refugees from Syria in the wake of the deadly terrorist attack in Paris.” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) issued an executive order instructing all “departments, budget units, agencies, offices, entities, and officers of the executive branch of the State of Louisiana” to “utilize all lawful means to prevent the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the State of Louisiana while this Order is in effect.” The problem for Jindal, Abbott and the other governors opposed to admitting refugees, however, is that there is no lawful means that permits a state government to dictate immigration policy to the president in this way. [ThinkProgress]

Surprise! UofL put Deborah Dietzler on leave. [Business First]

Residents within West Clark Community Schools’ boundaries won’t just vote for a president this time next year, but also a referendum project for the district. [News & Tribune]

They Poured Out Perfectly Fine Bourbon!

Thought everything was puppies and rainbows with the new person running Metro Animal Services? So much for hiring an underwear model to run an agency mired in scandal. Now Possibility City sees what happens when Greg Fischer puts these folks in charge. [C-J/AKN]

What, you thought Matt Bevin wasn’t a backward-ass bigot? [WDRB]

If there’s a bike lane, bicyclists better use it, or they may find themselves in jail. That’s the message a Louisville Metro Police officer gave to bicycling advocate and former mayoral candidate Jackie Green on Friday in the form of a double citation for blocking traffic and running a red light. [More C-J/AKN]

The Dare to Care Kids Café has expanded to include a new location. Children 18 and younger can now go to the Shawnee Community Center on South 37th Street for a hot, healthy meal between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The cost is free. [WHAS11]

Louisville Gas and Electric Co. and Kentucky Utilities Co. are asking regulators to allow them to own and operate charging stations for electric vehicles. [H-L]

WARNING! AUTOPLAY VIDEO! As authorities continue to investigate a shooting and carjacking in Old Louisville, many who live and work there say their community is no more dangerous than any other part of the metro. [WLKY]

Apparently, if you are a Democratic presidential candidate, there is no longer such a thing as being too strict about gun safety. All three candidates were locked in a fierce battle to prove their gun control bona fides at the Democratic debate at Drake University in Iowa on Saturday night. [HuffPo]

If you wanna pour out Elijah Craig, just send it here instead. It’s a big stink in the California neighborhood, even after some community leaders struck a deal with Heaven Hill Distillery for a proposed biodigester. [WAVE3]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected an anti-abortion group’s bid to force the federal government to reveal more information about a $1 million grant it made in 2011 to women’s health provider Planned Parenthood in New Hampshire. [Reuters]

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President Dave Adkisson says he’s at odds with Governor-elect Matt Bevin over dismantling Kentucky’s health care exchange. [WFPL]

Carter Caves may be the “best kept secret of the park system,” according to its park manager, but it may also be Carter County’s best-kept secret for how to truly open up recreational tourism in the northeast region of Kentucky. [Ashland Independent]

Gov.-elect Matt Bevin’s pledge to scale back the Medicaid expansion and dismantle Kynect, Kentucky’s award-winning health insurance exchange, has caused concern among health clinics. [Business First]

An advertising campaign to drive students to Clarksville Community Schools cost more than $163,000, but the 83 students it’s credited with bringing in gave the district an extra $548,000 in tuition support from the state for the district. [News & Tribune]

Stumbo Lackey Wants To Be Pretzeldent

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. [Ting]

The Centers for Disease Control is in Scott County, Indiana, testing hundreds of people for HIV. [WDRB]

This should be an awkward Greg Stumbo-style disaster. David Yates is jumping into the race for Metro Council president next year in an effort to unify Louisville Democrats, suggesting incumbent David Tandy is losing support among the splintered majority caucus. [C-J/AKN]

The search is on for a murder suspect police say shot and killed a man near a Valley Station business Tuesday evening. [WHAS11]

Lexington’s police department hopes to have its officers equipped with body cameras by June. [H-L]

A pedestrian was struck and killed by an LMPD wrecker in the 4900 block of Southside Drive. [WLKY]

As friends and family gathered Tuesday at the funeral of Tyshawn Lee — one of the youngest Chicago residents lost to gun violence this year — to mourn and remember the boy, Father Michael Pfleger delivered a fiery eulogy indicting the city over the execution of a 9-year-old child. [HuffPo]

Here comes the positive media spin from Chad Carlton and crew about tolls. And whattya know, they couldn’t even get the facts straight about when the area last saw tolls. [WAVE3]

The last time Kentucky elected a Republican governor he ran into trouble with the Democratic attorney general. [Ronnie Ellis]

A new report says more than one in 10 babies are born premature in Kentucky. The state has a premature birth rate of 10.7 percent, ranking it 38th in the U.S., according to the 2015 Premature Birth Rate Report Card. The report gave Kentucky a “D” grade for its premature birth rate. [WFPL]

In its ongoing Failure Factories series, the Tampa Bay Times is investigating the disastrous effects of the Pinellas County School Board’s 2007 decision to abandon school integration in favor of “neighborhood schools.” Schools in high-poverty black communities were promised additional funding and resources. Then the promises weren’t met, and performance at the schools has plummeted. [ProPublica]

An organization led by Louisville’s high-profile rehabilitation king Gill Holland has recently received $250,000 in private funding. [Business First]

New police body camera video shows a struggle during an arrest in Clarksville for which a local business owner was later found not guilty. [News & Tribune]

No, Voting Machines Are Not To Blame

Can you imagine if there were accountability like this for Jim Ramsey and the University of Louisville? Of course you can’t, don’t even try. [WDRB]

Surely no one is surprised that Greg Fischer and his crew tried to pull the wool over the eyes of everyone in the West End. [C-J/AKN]

Indiana’s first statewide program that pays for addiction and mental health treatment for convicted felons sent to community corrections instead of jail or prison is now underway. [WHAS11]

In case you thought the Republican Party of Kentucky was going to actually accomplish something? It no longer has a full-time chairman. A wealthy figurehead does not a functioning party make. Mac Brown is the next chairman of the Republican Party of Kentucky. [H-L]

Louisville Metro Police say a 16-year-old boy stabbed his father in the chest Monday morning at a home on Saint Claire Drive. [WLKY]

When it comes to accreditors, the private organizations paid by colleges to help them maintain access to nearly $150 billion annually in federal student aid, the U.S. Department of Education seems to think sunlight is the best disinfectant. [HuffPo]

Of course John Boel is back to fearmongering. Leave it to him to try to crap all over needle exchanges. [WAVE3]

From last week but more relevant today. Just a reminder – the people screaming about alleged voting machine rigging have no clue what they’re talking about. They’re the folks who get everything they know about politics from MSNBC and have no concept of what goes on in Kentucky. [Page One]

Kentucky’s next state auditor, Danville Republican Rep. Mike Harmon, said he’s not sure if he’ll continue the investigation of the University of Louisville’s Board of Trustees and its relationship with the University of Louisville Foundation, which manages the school’s $1.1 billion endowment. [WFPL]

Three major companies, citing the under-representation of minorities in science and technology fields, are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold affirmative action in university admissions in a closely watched case to be argued next month. [Reuters]

Almost Family Inc. has acquired Home Care by Black Stone, a Kenwood, Ohio-based nursing services provider, for $40 million. [Business First]

Community members are invited to help shape the future of their town by attending the “Envision South Clarksville” workshop for the South Clarksville Redevelopment Plan starting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, at Ohio Falls United Methodist Church, 917 S. Virginia Ave., Clarksville. [News & Tribune]

West End Methane Plant Fun Continues

On Tuesday, voters in Clark County voted in resounding fashion to quash a move to bring in millions of extra tax dollars to improve school buildings. [WDRB]

Nature’s Methane is offering a coalition of western Louisville leaders and organizations around $5 million in gifts and investments as it tries to move forward with its plan to build a controversial methane plant fueled by food waste in the California neighborhood, according to several sources familiar with the negotiations. [C-J/AKN]

Pat Mulvihill has been elected to the job of 10th district councilman. He’s ready to help his constituents, but unlike his predecessor, the embattled Economy Inn won’t be his top priority. [WHAS11]

The latest report on coal production and employment in Kentucky reinforces how far and fast the industry has fallen. [H-L]

The date has been set for the public celebration on the Downtown Bridge. [WLKY]

The long-awaited text of a landmark U.S.-backed Pacific trade deal was released on Thursday, revealing the details of a pact aimed at freeing up commerce in 40 percent of the world’s economy but criticized for its opacity. [HuffPo]

Patrick Mulvihill may be serving the shortest term of any local political elected Tuesday, but he says he plans to make the most of it. [WAVE3]

ProPublica and Frontline reopen the investigation into a death squad run by former South Vietnamese military men that killed journalists, torched businesses and intimidated those who challenged its dream of re-starting the Vietnam War — all on American soil. [ProPublica]

AT&T has filed a protest against a Kentucky state government project to expand broadband fiber throughout the state. The telecommunications giant claims KentuckyWired has an unfair advantage in the bidding process. In its protest, AT&T states KentuckyWired “almost certainly has confidential, inside information that no other bidder could have.” AT&T said KentuckyWired Executive Director Steve Rucker was deputy secretary of the state’s Finance and Administration Cabinet when the agency started developing its request for proposal. [WFPL]

America is undergoing a religious polarization. With more adults shedding their religious affiliations, as evidenced in the latest from the Pew Research Center, the country is becoming more secular. In the past seven years, using the new Pew data, Americans who identify with a religion declined six points. Overall, belief in God, praying daily and religious service attendance have all dropped since 2007. [WaPo]

Shares of Louisville-based Papa John’s International Inc. plunged Wednesday, following the company’s third-quarter earnings report yesterday. By the end of the trading day, shares were down $8.22 per share, or 12.08 percent, to $59.83. [Business First]

Clark County election results were left open-ended into early morning Wednesday as close to 1,000 absentee ballots were in question countywide because a voting machine couldn’t read them. [News & Tribune]