We’ve Got Some Following Up to Do

It was nice to see Melissa Swan honored at a Maryhurst luncheon event this afternoon at the downtown Marriott. Amazingly, more than 700 people were there. We’re not sure how many were wrangled into it by Madelaine Abramson, but the work being done to help young girls there is really worthwhile. Abramson and Swan are long-time supporters of Maryhurst’s mission.

But there’s all this catching up to do.

Like the inevitable news that Karen Sypher pled not guilty to extortion charges in federal court today. The most interesting aspect of this development was the small group of Sypher supporters gathered outside the courthouse. One had a sign reading “Leave Karen Sypher Alone.”  Check out the photo gallery by the C-J’s Bill Luster, including shots of the skirted Sypher who, still, looks kinda hot.

Also, we’re glad to see our friend and former LEO editor Cary Stemle getting a byline in TIME magazine explaining this mess to the rest of the world.

We also got word from WAVE’s Carrie Weil that we goofed this morning when we wrote that a town councilman in Jeffersonville will be linked to a former Theatair X manager in tonight’s report. It’s actually the police chief who’s got some explaining to do. So we’re going to watch WAVE’s news tonight for all the titillating details.

Yesterday, we told you how the state’s new alcohol tax had backfired in terms of the state’s revenue from alcohol taxes in the first month its been in place. And it’s true, the revenue from April 2008, compared with April 2009, is off by about 60 percent.

But Party Mart owner Jerry Rogers, who owns three stores in Louisville, told us that his business is still doing pretty good. He said that March 31, the day before the tax went into effect, was in fact one of the best sales days in his company’s history, and he was suprised about the numbers from Frankfort. He thinks they’ll even out.

Lastly, we noticed that Stephen Daeschner is the top candidate for the Clark County (Ind.) school superintendant position. Daeschner, who was JCPS’ super for 14 years, left when his contract wasn’t renewed two years ago for a job at a school district in Illinois. His candidacy is being championed by current Clark County School Board VP Robbie Valentine, who ran an after-school camp called Stars Club that was funded by JCPS when Daeschner was in charge of JCPS.

No Shakin’ Going On at IUS Graduation

More than 1,000 students will be walking through the graduation line over at Indiana University Southeast this afternoon, but none of them will be shaking hands with school officials when they receive their diplomas.

That’s because of a directive from Indiana University in Bloomington dictating that because of fear of spreading swine flu, no hand-shaking will be allowed. There’s no word on whether students will be advised to avoid hugs.

No, we’re not kidding.

An IUS official said the directive came down from IU after Indiana’s health commissioner, Dr. Judy Monroe, suggested that handshakes be avoided at commencement ceremonies in Indiana, where 36 cases of the flu have been reported.

There’s more goofy flu prevention actions. At Purdue, officials have opted for a hat tip to grads, while another Indiana institution, St. Joseph’s College, put hand sanitizers on stage to use before students received diplomas.

Friday! Friday! Get Your Friday!

We may be at tonight’s First Friday Trolley Hop, where they’re celebrating a whole bunch of new activity downtown. There’s so much they renamed the business association – East Market District Association: The Heart of Nulu. You should go.

Rounding out an exciting week…

A Magazine for S.I.: The publishers of the Evening News & Tribune across the River are launching a quarterly business magazine.  Two media concepts we’re not getting: Print, and Quarterly. [SI Business Source]

Last Word On J.C. Superstar: Billy Reed says Calipari is the perfect choice for UK’s basketball coach, since they wouldn’t consider Bob Knight. [BillyReedSays]

Where’s Jake?: Follow along with Jake on the road to California. [Page One]

Equality for Guys: Finally, a consignment shop targeting us guys. It’s opening on Frankfort Ave. [Evolve]

Ville’ In Us Threads: Tomorrow is the grand opening of that new orange WHY Louisville store on Bardstown Road, right next to the Doo Wop.  [WHY Louisville]

Commentin: Joe Biesk of the AP, Bill Bryant of WKYT-TV and Jim Warren of the Herald-Leader are on tonight in a Lexington-focused edition of Comment on Kentucky on KET at 8.  How many times will the name Calipari come up?

Get Out of Town: It’s opening day at Keeneland, and they’re running through April 24. [The Track]

Got to wrap things up here, before Luke gets me listening to another episode of SpongeBob. Thanks for helping make it a great week here at The Ville Voice!

Done Deal: New Albany Firm Takes Over WYCS

Mark up another step forward for New Albany Broadcasting Co.  The operator of WNDA, which has facilities in Clarksville and broadcast a daily news program covering southern Indiana, has come to an agreement to operate Louisville’s WYCS-TV.

The company also operates a talk radio station at 1570 AM. That station airs a morning radio show featuring Rocky Knight from 6-9, along with a lineup of syndicated hosts.

WYCS, which had been operating out of the studios at WBKI, the Louisville CW affiliate, can be seen on broadcast channel 24 and at 138 on the Insight system. It airs mostly syndicated and/or paid programming, including the Democracy Now! TV show.

David Smith, the owner/operator of the media company, said today that the station will air temporary programming for a few weeks and then introduce a new program lineup, which will include some, but not all, of the current programming.

WBKI took over operation of the station in 2007 with the intention of moving the station to a community broadcasting model. It had been an African-American oriented channel. WBKI announced this week that it is putting itself up for auction.

It offered groups a half-hour of airtime for as little as $25.

Watching Your Local Politician Edition

We’ve got a big day on tap today, so this may have to last you awhile.

Cracks in Main Street
: Our hearts go out to Patti Clare and Alan DeLisle of the Downtown Development Corp,, who were injured when a stairway collapsed beneath them in the Fort Nelson building on Main Street. Ed Springston is wondering whether the Main Street shakes caused by the prep work on Museum Plaza last spring might have loosened some foundations. Expect some new inspections. [Ed Springston]

IPL Paranoia: While we’re perusing Ed’s site, he’s got quite a story up about what happened when IPL inspector Michael Baugh showed up on his property. Ed had a car in his yard, which is an IPL no-no, so he got a citation. But yeah, he’s probably being targeted. [Ed again]

WYCS Changing Hands: Unless you’re a big Democracy Now! fan, you probably don’t watch WYCS much. It’s a local station broadcast on channel 24, or Insight 138. David Smith, owner of Indiana’s local channel 9, is acquiring the station, which has been housed in the WBKI offices in the East End. We’ll have more on the transaction soon.

Yes, Spring’s Coming: Gov. Steve Beshear is holding a press conference in Frankfort today to talk about Derby events.

No Touch Law in N.A.: Another annual rite of spring – politicians passing laws against strip clubs. These ordinances almost always get thrown out. New Albany’s, which prohibits touching and requires a 5-foot buffer between dancer and customer, is being challenged in U.S. District Court. [C-J]

Politics as Usual: In Frankfort, in the midst of a serious budget crisis, our representatives still find time to pursue restrictions on topics like abortion and strip clubs. The state Senate passed bills Monday requiring women seeking abortions to see an ultrasound. And Louisville’s Julie Denton, for the third year in a row, pushed a bill banning all-nude dancing. [H-L]

Staying in School: The stats on the number of dropouts in Kentucky is staggering. They’re trying to pass a bill in Frankfort to require that kids stay in school until they’re 18. [WHAS]

And does this make it OK?
: In his statement to police, PRP coach Jason Stinson admits that he denied water to four players, but says Max Gilpin wasn’t one of them. Read the C-J’s piece. [C-J]

Sure, It’s Not Partisan: The Jefferson County Republican Party is amped up for today’s committee meeting in Frankfort dealing with Dan Seum’s transparency bill, e-mailing its membership to make calls to legislators and planning a big presence today.  Let’s see how many Democrats fall in line with this one. I just wonder why they’ve still got all those Anne Northup campaign pics on their website. [JC GOP]

We Need More Scandals Edition

Still Pissed: Fox41’s Bill Lamb is still pissed at the federal government about having to keep his analog signal on through June. But Bill, you could have shown some guts and gone forward without the other stations. [Fox41]

Look, More People to Blame: Are you starting to get the feeling that the courts are going to eventually make Max Gilpin’s parents rich? After reviewing more evidence, they’re adding the principal, athletic director and an assistant coach at PRP to their civil lawsuit. And Sheldon Berman is standing by principal David Johnson and criticizing the newspaper. [C-J]

Give Me a Home: The homeless problem is getting worse, and a lot of people are moving in with relatives. And it doesn’t help that the Metro government can’t administer federal grants. [C-J]

Speaking of Homeless, Jerry Takes a Meeting: After representative of several homeless groups held a press conference yesterday saying, no, they weren’t surprised at all the mismanagement allegations in the state auditor’s report, Jerry Abramson set up a meeting with them for next week. The groups indicated that they’ve been silent about the problems for years out of fear that speaking out would endanger their grant money. [WAVE]

Casinos Still in Power in Indiana: Give them credit for trying, but Indiana lawmakers lacked the courage to pass a strong statewide smoking ban, instead providing an exemption for casinos and bars.  The bill that passed the Hoosier House requires places like Horseshoe to make 20 percent of its space non-smoking.  That place, by the way, really stinks. Smokers can have it. Now the bill’s up to the Senate. [IndyStar]

Let the Spending Begin: But none of that stimulus money will go toward building bridges. $52 million is going to Jefferson County Public Schools, and Sheldon Berman says that means he won’t have to layoff so many workers. [WHAS, C-J]

Return to Appalachia: That Diane Sawyer special on eastern Kentucky pulled some huge ratings, and the producers are back in the hills to produce a follow-up that will air Friday night at 10. It got the biggest audience for a 20/20 episode since 2004. [Herald-Leader]

Ashley on Tape: Watch Ashley Judd’s speech in Frankfort yesterday, thanks to the H-L, and read Billy Reed’s love letter to her. [Herald-Leader, BillyReedSays]

Heard on the Homo Mafia Gayvine: There’s some hanky panky going on at the Kentucky Equality Federation, and Jack Conway’s crew has sniffed it out. [Page One]