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]

No Such Thing As Fischer Transparency

Roughly 30 members of the local city and government employee union rallied outside JCPS headquarters Monday saying it’s been more than two years since the district talked wages. [WDRB]

Of course Greg Fischer’s stunt broke state law. Did anyone ever expect this man to truly be transparent? To truly be up-front? Please. Not even the Brown Family is in his corner. First-rate shyster that the Democrats are afraid to oust. The news director of WAVE-3 is accusing Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer of violating Kentucky’s open meetings law after banning photographs and video footage during a press briefing to review new designs for the downtown Omni Hotel project. [C-J/AKN]

During the JCPS board meeting July 27 the board voted to hand over control of the Challenger Learning Center to the Kentucky Science Center. [WHAS11]

Would-be independent gubernatorial candidate Drew Curtis is making the trip to Fancy Farm in far Western Kentucky this weekend, and he said he has a speech prepared just in case. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! Officials in Clarksville, Indiana, are seeing results after stepping up security at the local town hall. [WLKY]

Senators overruled heated conservative opposition Monday and added a measure reviving the federal Export-Import Bank to must-pass highway legislation. But House Republicans declared the transportation bill dead on arrival. [HuffPo]

One of the defining characteristics of democracy in the 21st century is that nearly every member of the public can watch the government in action. Through live broadcasts and daily TV news reports, citizens can see and hear the deliberations and decisions that affect their daily lives. [WAVE3]

Wondering how messed up your outgoing Commissioner of Education is in the world of corrupt superintendents? Here’s a fun deposition. [Page One]

An ordinance that affordable housing advocates consider a big step forward in Louisville’s quest to boost living options for low-income residents is being held up in a Metro Council ad hoc committee. [WFPL]

Will the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice give in to a literal hate group? [ThinkProgress]

It seems like just yesterday British distilling giant Diageo PLC broke ground on a $115 million distillery in Shelby County. But it wasn’t yesterday. It was actually last August. And now, less than a year since that groundbreaking, some warehousing operations at the facility already are up and running. [Business First]

Roundabouts. Love them or hate them, they’re the crux of the new Ind. 265/Ind. 62/Port Road interchange that is part of the east-end crossing project. And they’re among the first in Southern Indiana. [News & Tribune]

Compassionate City Went Crazy w/Guns

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini told stock analysts on a conference call Monday that the “very capable” leaders of Humana’s Medicare-driven government business will remain in place following Aetna’s planned $37 billion purchase of Humana. [WDRB]

The Rev. Cynthia Campbell of Louisville’s Highland Presbyterian Church says she looks forward to performing its first same-sex marriage now that Kentucky’s ban on gay marriage has been lifted. [C-J/AKN]

Louisville’s Mayor will be celebrating a big milestone at the LG and E Cane Run plant. The conversion from coal fired to natural gas is complete. [WHAS11]

Don’t underestimate the power of a miniature horse. Though small — about 2½ feet tall — miniature horses demonstrated their strength, athleticism and finesse Friday at the Mid-America Miniature Horse Club Mini Julep Cup by jumping, pulling carriages and posing. [H-L]

Another weekend, another bunch of shootings, you know the drill, Possibility City, Compassionate City, blah blah empty words blah. [WLKY]

Hillary Clinton had an incredible response for a gay child who expressed fears about what his future might hold. [HuffPo]

Seriously, eight people shot and three of them dead in a single weekend. Meanwhile, Greg Fischer plays pat-a-cake with historic preservation, promotes events that only the elite can attend, only addresses something that matters when called out by the media. [WAVE3]

The News-Enterprise has finally stopped discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. [News-Enterprise]

Louisville’s Forecastle Festival energy usage will be offset entirely with green power for the first time this year. [WFPL]

Mitch McConnell didn’t offer a Commerce Lexington lunch crowd many surprises or much real news, but he offered a couple of insights into his own political thinking Thursday. [Ronnie Ellis]

Community Ventures Corp. broke ground last week on its planned business incubator called Chef Space in the Russell neighborhood — but what hasn’t been reported yet is that the incubator is just the start. [Business First]

New Albany City Councilman Dan Coffey believes keeping the city’s police vehicle fleet updated will save taxpayers maintenance expenses required to keep older cruisers in service. [News & Tribune]

Where’s All That Compassion, Louisville?

More than a decade ago, lawmakers in Frankfort passed the same sex marriage ban that was overturned Friday by the Supreme Court. Reaction at the Capitol to the ruling was muted and mixed. [WDRB]

If Louisville health-care giant Humana sells, as expected, analysts and consultants who track the health care industry predict that a takeover would drastically shrink the local workforce. [C-J/AKN]

By a vote of 25 to 1, the Louisville Metro Council on Thursday approved the FY 2016 Capital and Operating Budgets for Metro Louisville. [WHAS11]

Luke Barlow and Jim Meade of Bardstown met 48 years ago and married in 2009 in Iowa. But, as Barlow said 90 minutes after the Supreme Court declared their marriage legal in Kentucky, the two men had never held hands in public here. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! A large LGBT crowd gathered downtown at Jefferson Square to kick-off the celebrations. [WLKY]

Justice Antonin Scalia may have penned the most colorful dissent to Friday’s landmark Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, but his colleague Clarence Thomas wrote the weirdest. [HuffPo]

Seems like maybe the issue here isn’t panhandling? And maybe the city should do a better job of, you know, being compassionate? [WAVE3]

Despite challenging lower court rulings throwing out Kentucky’s ban on same sex marriage, Gov. Steve Beshear moved quickly to comply with Friday’s historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling invalidating such bans in all 50 states. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Louisville Metro Council on Thursday approved a $873 million budget for the upcoming 2016 fiscal year, with a caveat that the total could increase by roughly $5 million for road paving if surplus funds are not available at the end of this fiscal year. [WFPL]

The authors of the 1968 Fair Housing Act wanted to reverse decades of government-fostered segregation. But presidents from both parties declined to enforce a law that stirred vehement opposition. [ProPublica]

You probably know that Louisville-based Humana Inc. is an acquisition target. Late last week, it was reported that Aetna Inc. has made an offer on the company. [Business First]

A Supreme Court decision handed down Friday that allows same-sex couples to legally marry in all 50 states wasn’t the only thing Melissa and Erin Love had to celebrate. The two Jeffersonville women, who share 2 and 6-year-old sons, tied the knot in Clark County exactly one year ago yesterday, making the historic day even more notable. [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]

Fischer: Your White Privilege Is Showing

Officials have released the names of two people who were recently killed in separate incidents. [WDRB]

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell and District Court Judge Stephanie Pearce Burke are again butting heads, this time over Burke’s handling of a case originally set for trial this week. If you haven’t kept up with this, it’s crazy. [C-J/AKN]

Greg Fischer says that if you aren’t doing anything illegal, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Which should ring hollow for just about anybody with the ability to think on their own. Those 150+ shootings are super-compassionate. Nothing to see here, puppies and rainbows. [WHAS11]

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray applauded the work of the Urban County Council in its deliberation of his proposed $323 million budget on Tuesday but declined to say if he would veto any changes council made to the budget. [H-L]

State officials plan to keep an outreach center open for one more year in a southern Indiana county that’s facing the largest HIV outbreak in state history. [WLKY]

Don’t call Chris Christie rich. The Clintons say they still have bills to pay. And Mike Huckabee? Despite his wealth, he was born “blue collar, not blue blood.” [HuffPo]

This white lady assaulted a police officer by allegedly grabbing her throat. She wasn’t arrested or shot. [WAVE3]

Roughly half of deaths from 12 smoking-related cancers may be linked directly to cigarette use, a U.S. study estimates. [Reuters]

Some would-be homebuyers in Louisville are facing tough conditions. New figures from the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors show that the number of homes available for sale is down 17 percent from last year. [WFPL]

Two years ago in the Netherlands, artist Paul de Kort designed an 81-acre park near Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. His assignment? To use nothing but landscaping to dampen the noise of airplanes. Such a project had never been attempted—and the science behind his design was discovered almost by accident. [Gizmodo]

Commercial real estate developer William P. Butler intends to purchase Lexington, Ky.-based American Founders Bank and move its headquarters to Louisville, according to a news release from the bank. [Business First]

Contractual issues between the city and the New Albany police union could be ruled upon soon. [News & Tribune]