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]

Some People Shouldn’t Have Children

What the hell is wrong with people? How are they able to walk without falling down? How are they able to tie their shoes while breathing? [WDRB]

Humana’s board of directors began weighing how the company might survive the rapidly changing landscape of the managed care industry and ultimately decided maintaining a stand-alone company wasn’t the best option. [C-J/AKN]

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, amongst others, was on hand to dedicate a new memorial garden to the late Metro Council President. Located near the Sullivan University Bakery on Bardstown Rd., the garden will serve as a memory not just to King as a city leader, but as a family man as well. [WHAS11]

This summer, Zachary Schwarzkopf spent five weeks at Morehead State University in the prestigious Governor’s Scholars Program. In addition to enrichment classes in civics, economics and leadership, the program provides a huge perk: a $40,000 Presidential Scholarship to the University of Kentucky, provided you have a 28 ACT score and a grade-point average of 3.3. [H-L]

The West Louisville FoodPort project will move forward in the Russell neighborhood without plans for a methane plant previously planned for the site. [WLKY]

Less than eight months into 2015, humans have already consumed a year’s worth of the Earth’s resources. [HuffPo]

Metro Council members are frustrated by eight-foot-tall grass growing in the medians of some state roads in Louisville, yet city officials were divided about how to tackle the problem. [WAVE3]

The stupid is still thick with Kim Davis. She employs Nathan Davis just like her mother employed her — nepotism runs in the family. A Kentucky clerk’s office turned away a gay couple seeking a marriage license on Thursday, defying a federal judge’s order that dismissed her argument involving religious freedom. [AP]

The Liberty Tire recycling center in Southwest Jefferson County was the site of a massive tire fire in November that prompted a 36-hour shelter-in-place for those who live within a mile of the building on Bohannon Avenue. Now, the recycling facility in Southwest Louisville is vacant. [WFPL]

Billionaire Donald Trump is firing back against Sen. Rand Paul (R-Hopeless), saying Paul “has no chance” of winning the White House in 2016 in the latest salvo between the GOP presidential candidates. [The Hill]

Hundreds were in attendance for the Leadership Louisville Center’s annual luncheon Tuesday afternoon, where Nashville Mayor Karl Dean was the keynote speaker. We ate our vegetables, but we also had dessert — both literally and figuratively. [Business First]

So far, 31 counties in Indiana have said “yes” to joining a Regional Development Authority. Floyd County is not one of those counties. [News & Tribune]

Just Bulldoze The Hooker Hotel

The longtime president of the Jefferson County Teachers Association was recently re-elected to his post and will serve another three years. [WDRB]

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is expected to make a trip to Louisville next week, a spokeswoman with the Department of Education has confirmed. [C-J/AKN]

The Kentucky Derby Festival presents the Fifth Third Bank Silver Horseshoe Award to an individual or organization for their outstanding service to the community every year and this year’s award will be given to honor the late Jim King. [WHAS11]

As I watched the roll-out of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination last week, I thought I was about to see him announce that he was changing his party affiliation. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! The Coast Guard plans to have two, 25-foot response boats on the water for the event so they will be ready to go in case of an emergency. [WLKY]

Opponents of legalizing marijuana can’t be happy about several new polls released Tuesday. Majority support for making cannabis legal is holding steady, while young adults are legalization’s biggest fans. And that’s true both nationally and in several swing states. [HuffPo]

We can give away tens of millions of dollars to Cordish and can bulldoze entire city blocks but can’t fix this mess? [WAVE3]

A major Appalachian coal mining company is laying off hundreds of workers in West Virginia and blaming the lost jobs on President Obama’s environmental policies. [The Hill]

For nearly a century, what’s now a heap of bricks, twisted metal and glass made up the façades of the Morrissey Parking Garage and the Falls City Theater Company building in downtown Louisville. [WFPL]

The Franklin County Sheriff is looking for anybody who may have purchased a barrel of high-priced, stolen bourbon. [WLEX18]

Marianne Barnes, who most recently worked as the master taster for Brown-Forman’s Woodford Reserve brand, will soon have a new role. [Business First]

Fear is the enemy in Scott County. Intravenous drug addicts worry about the spread of disease, they fear a positive HIV test and they’re scared of the police. [News & Tribune]

Individual Dry Precincts In A City Like This: Crazy

The Louisville community paid homage to a fallen leader Monday morning: Jim King, former president of Louisville Metro Council. [WDRB]

It’s dumb as hell that there are dry precincts in Louisville. [C-J/AKN]

Of course Kentucky made the list of ten states with the most people on food stamps. [WHAS11]

Charter schools would be an option for parents seeking the best educational fit for their children, most proponents believe. But those who oppose charters believe the schools will suck money from an already financially strapped public school system. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! Monday is the national holiday honoring civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Louisville is focusing on giving back to the community on this 12th annual MLK Day of Service. [WLKY]

The rich keep getting richer, and by next year, just a handful of the upper-class will have accumulated more than half of the world’s wealth. A new report released on Monday by Oxfam warns that this deepening global inequality is unlike anything seen in recent years. [HuffPo]

What? A couple more people got shot in Possibility City? Surely not! [WAVE3]

President Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday at 9 p.m. EST. Although it is bound to contain some surprises, the White House has spent two weeks rolling out many of the themes he plans to highlight. [Reuters]

The purpose of the gathering on Thursday was to present the results of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affair’s environmental assessment for Louisville’s new Robley Rex VA Medical Center. [WFPL]

The trade in bees used for honey or to pollinate crops could have a devastating impact on wild bees and other insects, say scientists. [BBC]

Kentucky awarded nine high-tech companies $2.7 million at the end of last year. The companies, four of which are based in Louisville, were funded through Kentucky’s matching funds programs for small-business innovation research and technology transfer, known as SBIR and STTR. [Business First]

Charlestown native and Army veteran LaDon Thornhill is the first to enter this year’s Charlestown mayoral election. [News & Tribune]

Sad Thoughts On Jim King’s Passing

My heart goes out to Jim King’s family. Especially to his kids, grandkids and wife, Debbie.

Have always been a critic of Jim’s and always will be. But he was the type of person, whether you liked him or not, to take it on the chin. Most of that has to do with Debbie, the real star of the show. We had coffee (“grabbed a Coke”) just a few weeks ago (update: turns out that was in late October… time flies) and the only thing he could talk about was her. That says a lot about him.

He may have been a complete asshole and at times inconsiderate of anyone and anything but control a lot of the time. But you don’t get to keep someone like Debbie around if there’s not something redeeming deep inside. So remember that, critics.

Hopefully the city will take time out of politicking to show that family some love.


Quotes from the entire Metro Council…

“The passing of President King causes a great loss for our city. We will miss him and I am praying for his family.” — David James District 6, Majority Leader

“I always appreciated the fact that regardless of the issue, I knew whenever I approached Jim, we could have an open and honest conversation. I enjoyed working with him and his passion for the City of Louisville was evident to everyone who knew him. We will continue to keep his family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.” — Kevin Kramer, District 11 Chair Minority Caucus

“My thoughts and prayers are with Jim’s family. The community lost a very dedicated public servant who always had the best interest of the citizens at heart. Jim’s knowledge of finance and his budget expertise were invaluable to the city. There was the other side of Jim that most people were never fortunate enough to see. Jim took a personal interest in people and causes he believed in. It was not uncommon for Jim to personally donate or just lend an ear or suggestion to causes and people he valued. While I will miss President King, most of all I will miss “Jim”.” — Madonna Flood, District 24 Vice Chair Majority Caucus

“President King’s institutional knowledge, humor, and the way he handled issues simply cannot be replaced. We are grieving for the loss for his family and our city.” — Marilyn Parker, District 18 Vice Chair Minority Caucus

“I am greatly saddened about the loss of President King. Jim was a zealous advocate for all of Jefferson County’s residents. His impact will live on forever. This is a great loss for his district, and for the entire city of Louisville.” — Jessica Green, District 1

“I like many others are saddened by the passing of President King. Over the years, we shared the area of Newburg Road and he and I were able to do many things to improve my district and his. His leadership helped improve the lives of many others in Metro Louisville. My thoughts and prayers are with the King family.” — Barbara Shanklin, District 2

“I was so sorry to hear of President King’s passing because he was a person who made a difference in my life on the Metro Council. He was always there to listen. Whether it was working with a Council member on a committee assignment or helping with a project or issue in my district, he was dedicated to do his best to help others. I considered him a personal friend. This world is a better place because of President Jim King. He will be missed by his colleagues, and all of Metro Louisville. I will continue to keep President Jim King’s family lifted in prayer. They have my heartfelt sympathy. — Mary C. Woolridge, District 3

“We have lost a tremendous civic and business leader in Jim King. Whether it was his work on the Metro Council or in his philanthropic efforts through King Southern Bank, Jim has left his mark on our city and we are better for it. Carolyn and I extend our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to Debbie, Jimmie and Katie and the rest of the King family in their time of bereavement.” — David Tandy, District 4

“Jim loved two things very deeply: his family and his community. We all benefitted from his dedicated leadership on this Council having elected him as president an unprecedented number of times. His professional expertise was a tremendous benefit to this city and the decisions he made for this city will be felt for years to come. He really served in a bi-partisan manner and do what was best for the entire community. He was kind and generous to a fault. I will miss his wit, sense of humor, the twinkle in his eye and his smile. Many agencies in this community certainly benefitted from his thoughtful leadership and financial expertise as we recovered from the recession and made sound decisions for Metro Government and all of Louisville. The Council and this community have experienced a tremendous loss. We have lost a friend, a colleague, a visionary leader and true public servant. My heartfelt thoughts and sympathy are with his family and colleagues at this difficult time.” — Cheri Bryant Hamilton, District 5

“As a someone who has had the opportunity to know many within the King family my thoughts and prayers are with them during what is sure to be a difficult time. I looked forward to working with Jim on the council and hope to continue working in support of many of his goals for the citizens of Louisville. He was an admired leader in this community and will be missed.” — Angela Leet, District 7

“As a Council leader, Jim King was an optimistic “let’s get it done” kind of guy.” — Tom Owen, District 8

“I was saddened to hear of the passing of Council President Jim King. I admired President King’s determination to make the Council an effective, independent legislative body. We can honor his memory by carrying on that work. My thoughts are with his wife, Debbie, his children, grandchildren and his many friends throughout Louisville at this difficult time.” — Bill Hollander, District 9

“Under Jim’s leadership, the Council grew in stature and professionalism. More importantly, Jim truly cared about all parts of our community. Most importantly, he was a good friend and colleague. Metro will miss him, District 10 will miss him and I certainly will miss him.” — Rick Blackwell, District 12

“I am shocked to lose our Council President, friend and colleague today. He was a brilliant man that was well respected in our community. This is a very sad day for our city as well as the King family.” — Vicki Aubrey Welch, District 13

“Jim was a kind and compassionate man who will be sorely missed. He has been the glue that held this Council together for the last four years. His ability to work fairly with members on both sides of the aisle was unmatched and the void created without him is something we can only hope to bridge in the coming days. He was a dear friend and colleague and my heart goes out to his family in this most difficult time.” — Cindi Fowler, District 14

“Jim used his talents and leadership to better Metro Louisville and always had the community in the forefront of his mind. His steady leadership helped the Metro Council grow into a stronger legislative body; but he was much more than Metro Council President. Jim lit up when talking about his family, especially his grandchildren. He never missed their ball games and even coached little league. His presence will truly be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and all of his loved ones.” — Marianne Butler, District 15

“Today I’ve lost a dear friend. The Metro Council has lost a great leader, and Metro Louisville has lost part of the mortar that holds our city together.” — Kelly Downard, District 16

“I came to know Jim as a good friend over the last several years and was always impressed with his commitment to this Council and his passion toward moving the entire city forward. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with his family as they grieve for their loved one.” — Glen Stuckel, District 17

“I have known Jim for a couple of years. He will be greatly missed and I regret that I didn’t have an opportunity to work with him at Metro Council. My sympathy goes to Debbie and the rest of his family.” — Julie Denton, District 19

“He was my best friend and I will miss him.” — Dan Johnson, District 21

My heartfelt sadness goes out to the entire King family, my wife and I have witnessed Jim’s love and passion for his grandchildren as we often talked at their basketball games over the years. The Metro Council and the taxpayers of our great city can be thankful to Jim for his tenacity toward working for solutions to challenges within the city budget, the downtown arena and so many other projects. He was a friend and colleague that will be sorely missed. May God Bless him and his family in this time of grief. — Robin Engel, District 22

“Today, we recognize the loss of an exemplary community leader and a respected colleague. President Jim King was my friend. He will be sorely missed; his legacy will echo through the countless people and projects in Louisville Metro that have been affected by his leadership. My prayers are with his family as they grieve alongside our city.” — David Yates, District 25

“Jim was a great man in more ways than one can list. With his passing, this world, and our city in particular, is a little less interesting.” — Brent Ackerson, District 26

4th St. Opens Up, Tries To Swallow Everyone

People who live near Liberty Tire Recycling are firing back after massive flames broke out at the facility earlier this week. The lawsuit claims Liberty Tire was negligent and should compensate those affected by the fire. [WDRB]

After Metro Council President Jim King asked for assistance in clarifying to what extent a council member must go to determine possible conflicts of interest, the council voted on Thursday to update the ethics ordinance. [C-J/AKN]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! It’s not every day we are taking $7 million in aid and support to schools, but this is the chance of a lifetime for students and teachers looking to soar. [WHAS11]

Cello, a female German Shepherd, is in a Louisville veterinary hospital, fighting to recover from a gunshot wound to her head and other serious injuries while authorities in Eastern Kentucky search for the person who attacked her. [H-L]

LMPD hosted a community event to educate the public on being proactive in the face of rising crime. [WLKY]

There was no sign of brown liquor President Barack Obama’s Friday lunch meeting with bipartisan political leaders, but the bourbon industry is using renewed attention to press its own lobbying interests. At the top of that list is the issue of the tax treatment of the whiskey that’s aging in barrels in warehouses. [Roll Call]

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Sewer District says they have no record of the abandoned 90-inch pipe that collapsed Friday, opening a hole that swallowed one of the rear tires of a trolley. [WAVE3]

“I would enjoy having some Kentucky bourbon,” President Obama said on Wednesday. [TDB]

The Kentucky couples challenging the state’s same-sex marriage ban will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to consider their case, an attorney for the plaintiffs said on Friday. [WFPL]

A teacher at St. Margaret Mary Catholic School in Louisville, Kentucky, who recently returned from a medical mission trip to Africa has resigned rather than submitting to a paid 21-day leave and producing a doctor’s note that says she is in good health. The school’s request was a reaction to “strong parent concerns” about Susan Sherman exposing students to Ebola — though she was in Kenya, which is separated from the Ebola outbreak by at least five countries. [NY Mag]

It was a grim picture painted by Bellarmine University economics and finance professors at a discussion they hosted last night about the state and future of the national economy. [Business First]

Now is the time to have community conversations about addressing homelessness in Southern Indiana, says Melissa Fry, director of the Applied Research and Education Center at Indiana University Southeast. [News & Tribune]