Do You Want Greg Fischer To Raise Your Taxes?

Plans will move ahead to close the New Albany Pillsbury plant, despite efforts by the mayor and city council to keep the company — and its 400 jobs — from leaving the city, a union representative says. [WDRB]

Carolyn Miller Cooper, executive director of the city’s Human Relations Commission, struggled to sleep Monday night. [C-J/AKN]

On a chilly night in downtown Louisville rainbow colors warmed the night sky as the lights of the Big 4 Bridge officially turned on. [WHAS11]

Requesting help to avoid a “costly and time-consuming legal challenge,” U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is asking members of the Republican Party of Kentucky’s central committee to create a presidential caucus in 2016. [H-L]

A Louisville man is behind bars in connection with a string of home burglaries. [WLKY]

Of course Rand Paul is appearing in a crazy ass anti-gay documentary. The only thing that’s surprising is that it’s not a pro-Jim Crow documentary. [HuffPo]

Police say an inmate escaped from Metro Corrections after taking the place of another inmate at the office for the home incarceration program. [WAVE3]

Louis Brandeis was wrong. The lawyer and Supreme Court justice famously declared that sunlight is the best disinfectant, and we have unquestioningly embraced that advice ever since. [ProPublica]

As an anti-smoking rally descended on the Capitol rotunda on Wednesday, a bill that would ban smoking in public places across Kentucky is still waiting to be heard on the state House floor. [WFPL]

If you missed it yesterday, a Circuit Court judge entered the most remarkable eff you Order of Recusal we’ve ever seen. And it was in the Joshua Powell case in Montgomery County! [Page One]

A new ranking of public universities was a mixed bag for the University of Louisville, which scored high in admissions and has shown growth in diversity, costs and advancement but is still struggling with prestige nationally. [Business First]

Television and radio stations were approved for each of Greater Clark County Schools’ high schools at Tuesday night’s board meeting, with funding to get figured out next month. [News & Tribune]

Do you really want to trust GREG FISCHER to raise your taxes? Of course you don’t. [Ronnie Ellis]

Of Course They’re Going To Dig Up Those Trees

The Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission this week issued the reprimand to Jefferson District Court Judge Sandra McLaughlin for comments that were “unnecessary, undignified and inconsistent with the presumption of innocence,” according to the Dec. 29 order. [WDRB]

A federal judge in Michigan has dismissed a suit filed last summer by Ford Motor Co. hourly employees, several working at the Louisville Assembly Plant, who alleged that the International United Auto Workers had breached a duty of fair representation. [C-J/AKN]

Another day, another fun shooting in Possibility City. Police are investigating in the Parkland Neighborhood after a man’s body was found inside a home Tuesday. [WHAS11]

Time Warner Cable holds the bottom two spots in the latest list of companies on the American Customer Satisfaction Index. [H-L]

The coroner has identified a man killed Tuesday in a shooting in the Parkland neighborhood. [WLKY]

While few people say they’ve completely recovered from the recession, many are beginning to notice a change. [HuffPo]

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials plan to dig up trees they say someone mistakenly planted along Brownsboro Road, ending a controversy that will cost taxpayers thousands of dollars. [WAVE3]

Los Angeles gave America the modern street gang. Groups like the Crips and MS-13 have spread from coast to coast, and even abroad. But on Southern California’s streets they have been vanishing. Has L.A. figured out how to stop the epidemic it set loose on the world? [Pacific Standard]

Even before police practices came under national scrutiny, Louisville Metro Police leaders were exploring a new technology that police critics and advocates alike say would improve relations between officers and the public. Body cameras have been under consideration in LMPD for nearly two years, police officials said. [WFPL]

The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits rose more than expected last week, but the trend remained consistent with sustained strength in the labor market. [Reuters]

In recent years, Louisville Water Co. officials have started thinking regionally as a means to take advantage of the company’s vast Ohio River water supply and make money to offset reductions in everyday water usage. [Business First]

The same commission that New Albany Police Officer Laura Schook petitioned in May for help voted unanimously Monday to fire the 20-year veteran of the department for improper conduct. [News & Tribune]

When Will Hargens & JCPS Do What’s Right?

Louisville police are investigating a stabbing. We all can agree that’s better than another shooting. Maybe. [WDRB]

Oh, look, your local newspaper finally realized the Jefferson County Public Schools redactions are kinda corrupt. Despite initially telling those involved at JCPS that there just wasn’t much of a story there, of course. [C-J/AKN]

Rapper and actor Percy “Master P” Miller is offering a reward to help bring a killer to justice. [WHAS11]

A sports thing happened with Lexington and people in Louisville are upset. [H-L]

Need another reason to avoid certain areas of the Metro? One man was injured Saturday afternoon in an accidental shooting outside Bass Pro Shops in Clarksville. [WLKY]

The United States and NATO formally ended their war in Afghanistan on Sunday with a ceremony at their military headquarters in Kabul as the insurgency they fought for 13 years remains as ferocious and deadly as at any time since the 2001 invasion that unseated the Taliban regime following the Sept. 11 attacks. But we all know it’s not really over. [HuffPo]

And just in case you needed yet another reason to avoid malls at all costs. [WAVE3]

The United States Supreme Court decides cases involving the nation’s most pressing legal issues, affecting the daily lives of hundreds of millions of Americans — and yet so much about its functioning is shrouded in mystique and exclusivity. [NY Times]

First-year teachers are employed at high-poverty schools in Jefferson County at double the rate of the rest of Kentucky, according to a new report recently released by the U.S. Department of Education. [WFPL]

Elder care challenges prompt tech executives to create startups and apps. [Reuters]

A pre-filed bill for the upcoming session of the Kentucky General Assembly could give Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government legal cover when it comes to a fight over the city’s recent minimum-wage increase. [Business First]

Woah, what the heck is with 12-year-olds running the courts in Indianner? A new judge will to rule over the Clarksville Town Court. [News & Tribune]

Fischer Administration Excoriated In Council Report

If you missed it last night, the Metro Council released a scathing report about Animal Services and the Fischer Coverup. You’ll want to check it out. Sadiqa Reynolds, Donald Robinson, Margaret Brosko and Fischer himself torn to shreds. And they’re still trying to fight transparency in the matter. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is speaking out once more regarding raising the minimum wage in Louisville. [WDRB]

Several Metro Council members believe a city agency retaliated against an employee earlier this year and hope to vote Thursday to provide more protection for metro government workers. Spoiler alert: Tina is being cagey about this not being a widespread issue. She knows it is. And the paper is continuing to do Chris Poynter favors by attacking a whistleblower. [C-J/AKN]

He’s become the center of a Sheriff’s Office investigation the last seven months, accused of insurance fraud, bribing a witness, official misconduct and abuse of public trust. But Julius Hatfield remains the chief at the Bullitt County Fire Protection District and he’ll continue to get paid when he takes a leave of absence starting Jan. 1, 2015. [WHAS11]

A new study says Kentucky’s public school districts pay workers up to 51 percent more for construction projects because of the state’s prevailing wage law, but a divided panel of lawmakers refused to adopt the report during a contentious meeting Tuesday that could set the tone for the upcoming legislative session. [H-L]

It’s a first-of-its-kind study being launched at the University of Louisville to protect the growing number of kids on behavioral medications. [WLKY]

If there’s one thing from 2014 that will define President Barack Obama’s legacy after he’s left the White House, it’s the number of lifetime judges he put on the federal bench. [HuffPo]

A Louisville Metro Council committee delivered a scathing report of Mayor Greg Fischer on Wednesday, accusing his administration of animal neglect, retaliating against a whistleblower, and a cover up. [WAVE3]

You can add insurance industry subsidies to the list of giveaways being shoved into the massive, last-minute government spending bill Congress is trying to vote on to avert a government shutdown. [Mother Jones]

Declines in state appropriations and negative financial trends have made American universities rely more on alumni and wealthy benefactors for cash donations. So as the University of Louisville tries to rebound from three straight years of financial deficits and slumping net worth, a proposed $6 million infusion from the Charles Koch Foundation and Papa John’s International CEO John Schnatter would appear to be a very welcome gift. [WFPL]

University of Kentucky graduate Mosoka Fallah is among the Ebola fighters in West Africa that has been named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. [UK]

New Albany officials are hoping Toyota will bring a parts distribution center — and more jobs — to the city. [Business First]

The search was on. Then it was off again. Then it was on again. Then it was off. Now it’s on again. The Clarksville Town Council voted 4-3 Monday to hire a town manager by early August 2015, and it was the same four council members who voted to end the search in 2013 that brought the position back. [News & Tribune]

Another Reason People Don’t Trust The Police, Legislators, Judges And The System In General

Cross-posting this from Page One because it is mind-blowing.

Oh, this is crazy.

This means good cops can’t blow the whistle on bad cops because people in state government get their feelings hurt:


CLICK TO ENLARGE — PDF

If you can’t load the PDF at the moment, here’s an excerpt:

Ferriell was employed with the City of Audubon Park Police Department from November 2006 through October 2010. In late July and early August 2010, Ferriell reported a violation of federal law to personnel within the department. Ferriell alleges that as a result of his report, he was subjected to different terms and conditions of his employment, and ultimately terminated on October 6, 2010. Ferriell filed a complaint against the department on January 3, 2011, alleging a violation of Kentucky’s Whistleblower Act, KRS1 61.101 et seq. The City of Audubon Park moved for summary judgment on grounds that the department is not an “employer” within the meaning of KRS 61.102, and the trial court, relying exclusively on Wilson v. City of Cent. City, 372 S.W.3d 863 (Ky. 2012), granted the city’s motion on December 18, 2012. This appeal follows.

On appeal, Ferriell argues that Wilson should not be broadly interpreted so as to exclude all cities from being considered employers under the Whistleblower Act. Next, Ferriell claims that Wilson should only apply to city employees who perform non-essential state functions, and police departments who perform essential functions should be considered employers under the Whistleblower Act. Thirdly, Ferriell claims that police departments are “authorized to act on behalf of the Commonwealth” and therefore are employers under the Act, despite the fact that cities are not political subdivisions of the Commonwealth. Finally, Ferriell maintains that the trial court’s ruling should be reversed because if police officers are unprotected by the Act, they have no recourse for wrongful termination.

-SNIP-

Ferriell first argues the trial court erred by granting summary judgment in favor of Audubon Park because the Wilson opinion does not say no city can ever be an employer for purposes of the Whistleblower Act. However, while Wilson acknowledges that “gray area” entities exist which may or may not be “political subdivisions” of the Commonwealth, the court clearly holds that cities are not political subdivisions. We agree with the trial court that because Audubon Park is indisputably a city, it cannot be considered a “political subdivision” of the Commonwealth, and thus is not an “employer” for purposes of the Whistleblower Act.

-SNIP-

Since the Wilson court clearly held that cities are not political subdivisions of the Commonwealth, after a thorough analysis of the legislative history of the Whistleblower Act and the General Assembly’s intent to exclude cities from such, and made no distinction for departments performing “essential” functions, we decline to make such a distinction.

-SNIP-

If the legislature had intended to name police officers agents of the Commonwealth, it could have enacted a statute doing so, but it has not. Therefore, city police departments remain city employers not covered by the Whistleblower Act.

-SNIP-

Because city police departments, such as Audubon Park’s police department, are still part of their respective cities, they cannot be considered employers as defined in the Whistleblower Act.

-SNIP-

[W]e believe that providing recourse for police officers who claim to have been wrongfully terminated is the province of the legislature, not this court.

Insanity.

This is why Kentucky can’t have nice things.

Compassionate Cities Don’t Constantly Kill Like This, Contrary To The Popular Fischer Hype

Another day, another dumb murder in Possibility City. Investigators with Louisville Metro Police are looking for answers after a man was found dead, according to LMPD Public Information Officer Dwight Mitchell. [WDRB]

Vilified for demanding that judges stop “disingenuous maneuvering” by defense lawyers in drunken-driving cases, Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell said he feels vindicated now that the Kentucky Supreme Court has officially banned the moves he complained about. [C-J/AKN]

With anticipation building in wake of the grand jury’s decision whether to indict Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, a local group is asking for peace no matter what the jury decides. [WHAS11]

Tim Wise makes you wonder if he has black ancestry. Wise, one of the more thought-provoking white anti-racism activists in America, has traveled to 50 states challenging racism and white privilege. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! A man is charged with arson after a fatal house fire in the 1400 block of South Brook Street. [WLKY]

Rand Paul, a possible Republican candidate for president in 2016, is calling for a formal declaration of war against Islamic State militants who control parts of Iraq and Syria, the New York Times reported on Monday. [HuffPo]

Louisville Metro Police are one step closer to a $68,000 audit to determine how many police officers the city needs to hire. Concerns about the number of Metro officers sprang up after the mob violence in March, during which about 200 teenagers terrorized parts of downtown by assaulting people and barging into a convenience store. [WAVE3]

Way to go, Bullitt County, for being bigoted redneck central. You’ve made the national news again for something horrific. A Kentucky fire chief is being criticized for racist comments after he refused to help a family of stranded motorists because they were black, and then suggested that an Asian-American television reporter did not understand English. In a Bullitt County Sheriff’s deputy’s body camera recording obtained by WDRB, Southeast Bullitt County Fire Chief Julius Hatfield can be heard discussing a car accident on I-65 in September. [Raw Story]

Kentucky is among the worst states in the U.S. at providing vulnerable populations with accessibility to critical elements of the justice system, according to the Justice Index study released this month by the National Center for Access to Justice. [WFPL]

When San Antonio mayor Julian Castro became the youngest ever Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) this year, he took the helm of an agency struggling to address a growing homelessness crisis, a crumbling stock of public housing and year after year of budget cuts that threaten its flagship programs. [Think Progress]

Kentucky’s month-to-month unemployment rate decline in October led the nation. [Business First]

Clark County Clerk Barbara Bratcher Haas thought Circuit Court No. 1 Judge Dan Moore was going to give her a piece of his mind when he summoned her to his courtroom Friday. Instead, he gave her her own day. [News & Tribune]

Will You Miss Mayor Jerry While He’s Gone?

This made Steve Beshear really happy. The same-sex marriage movement lost its first major case in a federal appeals court Thursday after a lengthy string of victories, creating a split among the nation’s circuit courts that virtually guarantees Supreme Court review. [USA Today]

He’ll be the fourth man in charge of Clark County deputies in less than six months. On Wednesday, Sheriff-elect Jamey Noel talked about his goals and how he hopes to put aside past scandals. [WDRB]

Hate to see a terrific local business close up shop. Political note: this is where Jack Conway kicked off a huge portion of his U.S. Senate campaign. Phyllis Fitzgerald was doing her best to keep Horton’s Hardware store in the Highlands in business this week, buying two plastic jugs of all-natural cleaner at the Douglass Loop site, where she’s been shopping for decades. [C-J/AKN]

Proposals to raise the state’s minimum wage and give voters the option of imposing a sales tax on themselves to pay for projects will be back next year, Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo said Wednesday. [WHAS11]

President Barack Obama is appointing Kentucky Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson as his liaison to state and local governments. [H-L]

Read all about the Mayor McCheese appointment here. Press release, resignation letter and such. [Page One]

Another day, another school bus accident in the metro area. [WLKY]

This is the kind of candidate we should have run for Mayor of Louisville. Einstein the dog joined the Oakland, California, mayoral race, promising to provide a voice — if a bit of a growly one — to the city’s most overlooked residents. [HuffPo]

Three days after a massive fire broke out in Valley Station at a tire recycling facility, WAVE 3 News is finally hearing from the company. [WAVE3]

Here’s what John Yarmuth had to say about Mayor McCheese: “Jerry Abramson and Crit Luallen are dedicated public servants who have moved our Commonwealth forward, and I am thrilled for both of them today. Jerry’s leadership as Mayor and Lieutenant Governor has prepared him to be a strong advocate for local government at the federal level, and I look forward to having another Kentucky Democrat with me in Washington.” [Press Release]

Soon, five of the seven Jefferson County Board of Education members will have served no more than two years. [WFPL]

And here’s what Jack Conway had to say: “This is a great day for Kentucky. After this week’s elections, it is clear the President must focus on building relationships and reaching out to people across this country and there is no better person to help him build his domestic agenda than Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson. Jerry is a friend who has served as Mayor of my hometown for more than two decades. His experience and passion for public service will be an asset to the White House and a benefit to all Kentuckians. I am incredibly proud of my good friend, Crit Luallen. Gov. Beshear made a wise choice is selecting her as the next Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Crit is the gold standard of public service. She has served as Kentucky’s Auditor and in the administrations of six prior Kentucky governors. Crit instantly brings a wealth of policy experience and gravitas that will help Gov. Beshear cement his legacy of fiscal responsibility and a healthier Kentucky.” [Press Release]

A parochial school in Kentucky has apologized to a teacher who resigned due to an Ebola scare after she traveled to an area of Africa unaffected by the virus, according to a letter to parents made public on Wednesday. [Reuters]

Louisville-based home health nursing and personal care company Almost Family Inc. posted higher earnings this morning. [Business First]

Jeffersonville attorney Brad Jacobs was elected to Clark County Circuit Court No. 2 Judge in a resounding win over Democrat opponent Laura Harbison. [News & Tribune]