JCPS Needs About A Billion Dollars

The long-awaited opening of a new elementary school this summer will come at the same time Jefferson County Public Schools is expected to unveil a plan to deal with a growing problem – more than $880 million in facility needs scattered across the district. [WDRB]

Conversations about alleged drug activity on the nextdoor.com social network site for Crescent Hill are increasing, and residents were urged to report such incidents to the police at a recent gathering. [C-J/AKN]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! It will apparently take a second resignation from the UofL Board of Trustees before Governor Matt Bevin can act to replace Paul Diaz. [WHAS11]

More than a dozen states have strengthened laws over the past two years to keep firearms out of the hands of domestic abusers, a rare area of consensus in the nation’s highly polarized debate over guns. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! Another day, another pedestrian accident. [WLKY]

U.S. employment gains slowed more than expected in January as the boost to hiring from unseasonably mild weather faded, but surging wages and an unemployment rate at an eight-year low suggested the labor market recovery remains firm. [HuffPo]

Hundreds turned out to say goodbye to local civil rights pioneer, Benjamin Shobe, Sunday at his visitation. [WAVE3]

Just a reminder if you haven’t yet read this. How do you stop states and cities from forcing more disclosure of so-called dark money in politics? Get the debate to focus on an “average Joe,” not a wealthy person. Find examples of “inconsequential donation amounts.” Point out that naming donors would be a threat to “innocents,” including their children, families and co-workers. And never call it dark money. “Private giving” sounds better. [ProPublica]

On the corner of Breckenridge and Logan streets, at the edge of Smoketown, there’s a giant hole in the ground. It’s an active construction site, with trucks and heavy machinery working behind a barbed-wire fence. [WFPL]

There are some subtle indications Republicans may be rethinking the wisdom of trying to make right-to work-an issue in this year’s legislative elections. [Ronnie Ellis]

The International Boat Builders’ Exhibition & Conference (known as IBEX) is leaving Louisville for Florida. [Business First]

In the May primary election, two familiar faces will vie for a judge’s seat on opposite sides of the aisle. [News & Tribune]

What’s With All The Misbehaving Judges?

A pilot program that will place volunteer monitors on some of Jefferson County Public Schools’ most challenging bus routes is expected to begin later this month. [WDRB]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! A Jefferson District Court judge who jailed a witness without a hearing in a move another judge called “outrageous and disgusting” has been formally charged with violating the Code of Judicial Conduct. [C-J/AKN]

Here’s what your new governor had to say about Planned Parenthood. [WHAS11]

Jordan Smith will serve as grand marshal for the Kentucky Derby Festival’s Pegasus Parade. The 61st annual parade is scheduled to be held on May 5 in Louisville. [H-L]

Maybe some day Louisville will get its act together. Two Louisville teens were arrested, accused of robbing a pizza delivery driver. [WLKY]

A Saudi prince may have just beaten Donald Trump at a game of Twitter trolling. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said on Twitter that he’s bailed the billionaire out twice — and suggested the GOP presidential frontrunner might need his help a third time. [HuffPo]

Elizabethtown community members gathered at the Lincoln Village Juvenile Detention Center to honor the life of 16-year-old Gynnya McMillen and ask for answers about her unresolved cause of death. [WAVE3]

The Kentucky Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing has introduced a new feature on their website that makes it easier for motorists to access their 2015 vehicle property taxes for the upcoming tax season. Now, individuals who normally would contact their county clerks for this information can access it directly online. [Click the Clicky]

In his sixth State of the City address since taking office, Mayor Greg Fischer says he is optimistic about the city’s direction. [WFPL]

Passport Health Plan, Kentucky’s leading provider-sponsored, community-based Medicaid provider, will host a press conference [this] morning at the Muhammad Ali Center to make an important announcement regarding the company’s future and the delivery of Medicaid managed care services. [Press Release]

Lots of states have loosened up their marijuana laws. We can at least talk about it here now, right? [Business First]

Clerk-Treasurer Michelle Miller is suing the Sellersburg Town Council for eliminating a position from her office, claiming the decision was made in political retaliation. [News & Tribune]

Pay Attention To The Homeless Count!

For more than a decade, elected leaders in Louisville and Southern Indiana have urged Norfolk Southern Corp. to consider opening part of the K&I Bridge over the Ohio River to walkers and cyclists. [WDRB]

Every year, hundreds of volunteers bundle up and head to hotels, emergency shelters, camps and soup kitchens, determined to answer two questions: how many people are homeless in the Louisville area and who are they? [C-J/AKN]

If you didn’t know, your new governor is a hot garbage fire. [WHAS11]

A problem in the solicitation to build a high-speed broadband network across Kentucky has jeopardized funding for the project, a top administration official said Thursday. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! He was a pioneer: A civil rights lawyer who became Jefferson County’s first African-American Circuit Court judge. Benjamin Shobe died Friday at a local hospital. []

Both the Democratic and Republican races are close contests in Iowa, and pollsters say surprises are likely. [HuffPo]

A trial date has been set for a former gun shop owner who is charged with murder after two brothers were shot in a Valley Station parking lot. [WAVE3]

Most of the time when we talk about homelessness, big cities come to mind. But about seven percent of homeless people live in rural areas, where access to help is much harder to come by. [NPR]

Former Kentucky state Sen. Georgia Powers has died. Powers was the first African-American and first woman elected to the Kentucky Senate, where she served for 21 years beginning in 1968. [WFPL]

The United States is still lagging the world in the rollout of broadband. Look at the map and you’ll hate people like Brett Guthrie, Jim Waters and anyone associated with them even more than you already do. You’ll rage against just about any telecom-tied lobbyist you can think of after seeing it. Disgusting. [The Register]

We got to talking about lots of different economic development topics this morning at The Pointe in Butchertown. [Business First]

Attorney Amy Wheatley can’t help but laugh at her newfound reputation as being the first attorney to use the Clark County Clerk’s new e-filing system. As only one of two counties in Indiana to switch to electronic filing, Clark County and Wheatley share a similar claim to fame. [News & Tribune]

Another Week of Messy UofL Scandals

As a cold snap reaches Kentuckiana this weekend one group is doing its best to keep the area’s homeless warm. [WDRB]

It’s almost like Jim Ramsey is being purposefully more terrible than usual in order to set Jerry Abramson up to take over. Ramsey is making Abramson look less terrible. [C-J/AKN]

According to Chief Rick Sanders, police found a 35-year-old man unconscious and unresponsive at the Red Carpet Inn on Hurstbourne Parkway. Jeffersontown officers who had received and been trained on how to use Naloxone were able to inject the man and get him to the hospital, saving his life. [WHAS11]

Kentucky’s chief justice has denied a motion to remove a judge from all criminal cases but referred the case to a state disciplinary commission. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! It has been a year and a half since a mother found her son killed and no one has been held accountable. [WLKY]

While the vast majority of Americans now have access to the Internet and mobile devices, regional and economic disparities persist for wired broadband access in the largest 100 American cities. [HuffPo]

The Center for Women and Families, a local non-profit organization that helps victims of domestic violence and abuse, needs help for the holidays with its Holiday Gift Card Drive. [WAVE3]

ICYMI: Matt Bevin took false equivalency to new levels this weekend when he used the sad situation in Johnson County to try to justify his special brand of Islamophobia. Unity and respect? Not so much. Empty words. [Page One]

The new head of the state’s Energy and Environment Cabinet, Charles Snavely, has been on the job for a little more than a week. It’s also been about that long since he served as an official on the state’s coal association governing board. [WFPL]

New calculations show that our already sizeable water footprint is 18% bigger than we thought. [BBC]

The University of Louisville and Norton Healthcare Inc. have reached a settlement agreement in their dispute surrounding Kosair Children’s Hospital. [Business First]

If the opening of the Big Four Bridge in Jeffersonville proved one thing, it’s that people want to get outdoors and exercise. [News & Tribune]

Your support is crucial if you want to see us continue. While other media outlets ignore scandals like those in Montgomery County, we’re shining the bright lights of transparency on issues that directly impact you across the Commonwealth. Love us or hate us, we’re putting in the time and effort to spend years reporting on issues from the pension crisis to government-sanctioned animal cruelty to educational corruption and we get real results. [Help Us!]

Brown Puts Her Money Where Her Mouth Is And Other Wealthy Scions In The City Should Follow Her Dang Lead

Your support is crucial if you want to see us continue. While other media outlets ignore scandals like those in Montgomery County, we’re shining the bright lights of transparency on issues that directly impact you across the Commonwealth. Love us or hate us, we’re putting in the time and effort to spend years reporting on issues from the pension crisis to government-sanctioned animal cruelty to educational corruption and we get real results. [Help Us!]

The transformation of a former public housing complex in Louisville is almost finished. Construction is continuing at the renovated Sheppard Square in Smoketown. [WDRB]

Jefferson County Board of Education Chairman David Jones Jr. said he wants to hear more information on the idea of bringing in an outside operator to run some of the district’s lowest-performing schools. [C-J/AKN]

The Judge Stevens slap fight is getting out-of-control crazy. [WHAS11]

The University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics will receive a $12 million gift from Papa John’s Pizza founder and CEO John Schnatter and the Charles Koch Foundation, officials announced Tuesday. [H-L]

Seriously, Tom Wine is in teabagger meltdown mode. What on earth? How dare anyone bring up race in Possibility City! A legal battle between a local judge and a top prosecutor is heating up again, and the prosecutor is asking for the judge’s removal. [WLKY]

ICYMI: Bill sits down with former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear to discuss his time in office and his plans for the future. [KET]

The hotel will bring 140 more hotel rooms to Louisville and will be in one of the city’s trendiest neighborhoods. [WAVE3]

The Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission (KSNPC) has presented its Biological Diversity Protection Award to Christy Lee Brown of Louisville. The annual award is given to an individual or organization that has made a significant contribution to the knowledge and protection of Kentucky’s biodiversity. “Brown is truly an international leader promoting a holistic understanding and appreciation of the earth and its environs,” said Don Dott, executive director of the KSNPC. “She leads and inspires others in the fields of sustainable food production, environmental quality and its fundamental role in human health, the interrelatedness of our natural systems, and of biodiversity protection and the conservation of land.” [Press Release]

Horrible walrus Jim Gooch has returned to embarrass the Commonwealth. A bill pre-filed in the General Assembly would declare Kentucky a “sanctuary state” for people and companies who don’t want to follow federal environmental laws that will restrict carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. [WFPL]

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has affirmed its earlier approval of combustion waste landfills at power plants operated by the state’s two largest electric utilities, despite sharp increases in the cost of the facilities. But the PSC, in an order issued today, declined requests by Kentucky Utilities Co. (KU) and Louisville Gas & Electric Co. (LG&E) to extend that approval to future expansions of the landfills. The landfills are at the Trimble County Generating Station and at the Ghent Generating Station in Carroll County. [Press Release]

LG&E and KU Energy LLC wants to get much more involved in the solar energy world. To make this happen, the utility company plans to offer individual, renewable solar-generation facilities to industrial and business customers. [Business First]

The possibility of arming a trained teacher in a school was discussed at West Clark Community Schools board meeting this week. [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. Both CDMA and GSM options. [Ting]

Yay! Some Positive West End News!

Papaw Beshear responds to questions of cronyism protecting owners of failing sewage companies. The owner of a failing sewer company who polluted public water and then left the mess is trying to do it again, and now new communities are scrambling for a fix. [WDRB]

AT&T said Monday that it plans to offer ultra-fast gigabit Internet speeds to customers in the Louisville area, perhaps as early as in a year or so. Holding your breath? [C-J/AKN]

On Monday, Dec. 7, Judge Olu Stevens returned to the bench for the first time since Commonwealth Attorney Tom Wine filed a motion to remove Stevens from all criminal cases. [WHAS11]

Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear has appointed his wife to an unpaid position on the Kentucky Horse Park Commission in one of his final acts as governor. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! The balance of power could shift in Jeffersonville after some challenges to this year’s elections results. [WLKY]

The Sierra Club on Wednesday released a report on the final text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, concluding that the landmark trade deal would be a significant setback in efforts to combat climate change and protect the environment. [HuffPo]

The J.B. Speed School of Engineering and the West End School are working together. On Monday, the two announced a special partnership for students and cut the ribbon on a new space called a maker space. [WAVE3]

When Republicans like Andy Barr try to tell you they’re for the people? Remember that they’re full of shit. House Republicans are hoping a back door legislative maneuver will successfully block the Federal Communications Commission from enforcing Net Neutrality and regulating or banning data caps. [Stop the Cap!]

Maurice Mousty doesn’t have to look far to see his neighborhood changing. In the 50 years since he settled in to his modest home on West Maple Street in Jeffersonville, many of the familiar families have moved on. [WFPL]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a challenge by gun rights activists to a Chicago suburb’s ordinance banning assault weapons and large-capacity magazines, handing a victory to gun control advocates amid a fierce debate over the nation’s firearms laws. [Reuters]

Just a few weeks after the River Ridge Development Authority’s board of directors authorized a negotiation that could bring a 1.5 million-square-foot warehouse to Jeffersonville, the board announced Monday it is pursuing another mega deal. [Business First]

The universe got a little bit bigger, not necessarily because of him, but his discoveries helped scientists realize that space is always expanding. At least for a while, he taught at New Albany High School. [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]

Louisville Already Cringing Over Bevin

Louisville Metro Police say they’ve arrested two drug traffickers in southwest Louisville. [WDRB]

A coalition of social justice organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky and the Fairness Campaign, on Tuesday called on the Cordish Cos. to end dress codes at 4th Street Live! and acknowledge past racial profiling there. [C-J/AKN]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! Judge Denise Clayton says there is a better understanding of the racial makeup of Jefferson County jury pools although it’s impossible to know exactly the diversity of jury summons. [WHAS11]

Homeless two-parent families in Fayette County will soon have more housing options thanks to a new program designed to address a gap in Lexington’s homeless shelter system. [H-L]

The largest beer and wine wholesaler in Indiana is asking a state appeals court to find a law unconstitutional that prohibits beer wholesalers from seeking a permit to also distribute liquor. [WLKY]

With all the roadblocks thrown up by the Supreme Court, should school systems still try to pursue diversity? One district in North Carolina said yes and, as a new study shows, reaped solid rewards for the kids. [HuffPo]

When is it okay to go inside a stranger’s house and gawk at their furnishings and decorations? During the Old Louisville Holiday Home Tour, that’s when. [WAVE3]

Republican Gov.-elect Matt Bevin Tuesday named the head of a Louisville accounting firm as his budget director and said John Chilton will have much work to “get Kentucky’s financial crisis resolved.” [Ronnie Ellis]

A decision on whether pork processor JBS Swift can continue to use a Butchertown parking lot for truck staging has been pushed back once again. [WFPL]

As soon as Donald Trump announced that he’d gained the endorsement of 100 black ministers from across the country, there were skeptics. [NPR]

Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford Motor Co. says it will create 2,000 jobs and invest $1.3 billion in its Kentucky Truck Plant on Chamberlain Lane in Louisville. [Business First]

State Rep. Ed Clere, R-New Albany, has been removed as chairman of the Indiana House of Representatives Public Health Committee. [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]