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INDOT officials say construction on the Indiana side of the Big Four Bridge is complete, meaning the long-awaited opening of the ramp to the popular pedestrian bridge could happen this week. [WDRB]

One of two Walmart stores that opened last year in Washington, D.C., has 83,000 square feet of retail space right on a street corner, topped by four stories of apartments, with parking underground. The other occupies land that was once a car dealership — again, located right at the street, with parking below. [C-J/AKN]

Another day, another frustratingly senseless shooting in Possibility City. [WHAS11]

Are you saving more for retirement? A recent study by Fidelity Investments found that over the past 12 months, 1 in 5 employees upped their 401(k) savings rate — the highest percentage since Fidelity began tracking the number seven years ago. [H-L]

A Louisville defense attorney said new evidence could clear two teens accused of assaulting a woman in her car in the downtown area nearly two months ago. [WLKY]

Eating crow is never fun but that’s what Jake is doing. Help him get things squared away? If you get something out of this content, consider doing so in order to ensure that it continues. [Click Here For Details]

Put on your outrage hats because this animal cruelty lady will set you on fire. [WAVE3]

Although transgender women have never been more visible in the United States—Chelsea Manning, Janet Mock, Carmen Carrera, Fallon Fox, Laverne Cox—some journalists are still not quite sure how to write about them. [WFPL]

J. Chester Porter, founder of Porter Bancorp Inc., the holding company for PBI Bank. Inc., died Sunday. He was 73 years old. [Business First]

You know what’s missing in the housing recovery? New houses. [NPR]

Allowing same-sex couples to marry in Indiana could be a big boost to the state economy, according to a new study from the Williams Institute. [News & Tribune]

Louisville Media Is Sometimes A Giant Cat Fight

The next time there is a power outage, turn to your phone. LG&E and Kentucky Utilities have upgraded their website and app. It’s now more user-friendly and includes the weather radar. [WDRB]

With 30 more apartments under construction at the rapidly developing Masonic Homes of Kentucky, it again is seeking additional access to its campus from St. Matthews. [C-J/AKN]

You know the drill. Another day, another school bus accident. [WHAS11]

Just in case you were wondering? Yes, Kentucky’s economy sucked during the month of April. [Page One]

Sure, she’s an entertainment reporter but shouldn’t Kirby Adams have to disclose the PR work she’s done for bourbon companies in the very recent past? [H-L via AKN]

The Belle of Louisville marks a major milestone this year – 100 years of cruising the Ohio River. To help celebrate, a big birthday bash is planned for October along the waterfront, despite budget cuts. [WLKY]

In his first intervention in the Ukraine crisis, the US ambassador to the Court of St James’s issues an unequivocal warning to bullying Moscow. Standing up to violence does not require that we be violent ourselves – but it does demand that we stand up. This is precisely what America, in close partnership with Britain and our other allies, is doing in response to the mounting crisis in Ukraine. [Daily Mail]

A veterans group, already restoring one centuries-old Louisville cemetery, is making plans to restore another one. [WAVE3]

Congressman John Yarmuth’s office held another art contest this year. Get all the details at his official government website. [Click the Clicky]

Just in case you were wondering how petty and bitter many local media buttcramps are these days. Some will stop at nothing to jealously rip a competitor apart. [WFPL]

How much animosity exists between Kosair Charities Committee Inc. and Norton Healthcare Inc.? [Business First]

Clark County employees have not received a raise in years and have seen the county’s contribution to their retirement funds disappear. The county commissioners declined to add more to their burden. [News & Tribune]

We Can & Must Do More On The Suicide Front

This is personal. If you don’t like it, that’s on you. That’s your bullshit to process. Getting nasty, as some weirdly jealous (?) folks in the Louisville media circle often do, only serves to make things worse. So really — if you don’t like to discuss matters like this in a personal way, it’s time to screw off.

Jefferson County Public Schools can and MUST do more to curb youth suicide. Hiding from reality and denial only exacerbates the problem.

From Toni Konz:

JCPS suspends Twitter, YouTube after suicide

Officials with Jefferson County Public Schools have suspended district network access to Twitter and YouTube after a Louisville Male High School student posted a suicide note on YouTube and then killed herself Monday.

-SNIP-

“Currently, we have taken down access to YouTube and Twitter, as we felt it was best for our students given the situation so the students who are not emotionally attached are not distracted by the video and the students who are grieving can get the help that they need,” Simpson said. “We are trying to support our students in any way that we can.”

-SNIP-

Simpson said the district is also working with law enforcement officials to have the video taken down.

Really — hiding this from students only makes matters worse. Removing it? That’s some serious denial.

As someone who dealt with suicide as a young person and who sees rampant youth suicide in his community, I believe enough is enough.

Instead of blocking discussion on social media, let students focus on this openly.

Instead of hiding the video, SHOW IT TO EVERY STUDENT!

Removing it from YouTube?! What?! WHY hide this reality? Why hide this girl’s very real pain? Scrubbing the record of what she went through is as bad as the suicide itself. Rewriting history is, just like suicide, a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

This has to be discussed. It has to be relatable. It has to be honest and transparent.

Beyond JCPS, people like Toni Konz also have a duty to really dig into youth suicide for their readership. Any time youth suicide is mentioned? It should be a no-brainer that helpful resources are included. When people like Konz tweet their stories about youth suicide to their huge youth audience, they should include those same resources. Every time. (No, that’s not an attack. Just an example. Because she’s actually tweeted resources AND updated her story.)

When television stations like WHAS11 put people like Claudia Coffey on-air to hype up a potential suicide attempt as a young man is preparing to jump from a downtown parking garage, it is imperative that they don’t turn it into a disgusting spectacle. (That’s an attack, WHAS11 was reckless) It is just plain common sense that resources, help numbers, charities, organizations, web addresses be shared with viewership.

This is sickening. From trying to hide from what happens to hyping it up as media loves to do.

Do you have kids? Talk to them openly about suicide. Lend an ear. Don’t judge them. Help them.

Are you a teacher? Make sure your students know you can and will help them in any way possible. If you can offer resources in your classroom and don’t already do so? Remedy that this week.

Are you Donna Hargens? Then get your priorities in check. Make this a bigger deal than it’s been with your staff. Don’t you dare try to run from this. It’s not your fault but you damn well better treat it like it is. You have to set the right example and I KNOW you are capable and want to set that example. You have people just 20 feet from your office ready and waiting to help you. So do it. And the next time you have your staff yell at a journalist for trying to do the right thing? Or for running a story? Get ready for the public onslaught.

Are you the girl’s (name removed not by request but out of our own concern) parents? Leave the video on YouTube in order to help other kids. Use it as a tool to speak out. Use her life to help everyone else. There are kids who need her and who need you to introduce her and her plight.

Louisville is better than this.

— DO YOU NEED HELP? —

Contact the Kentucky Suicide Prevention Group (800) 273-TALK (8255)

Seven Counties Services, as the C-J suggests, offers help: (502) 589-4313 or 1-800-221-0446 Deaf and Hard of Hearing Call via KY Relay @ 711

Know a gay kid who is struggling? The Trevor Project is a great resource.

UPDATE: JCPS says it has restored access to Twitter and YouTube. Toni Konz says that’s not the case at all schools.

UPDATE 2: Why on earth would a JCPS official pressure us to remove this story? Do these people have no sense? Unbelievable.

Have Extra Cash? Consider Helping A Family Out

An Eastern Kentucky family is in need. Many of you have deep pockets, so please consider helping them. [Sad Situation]

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s local-option sales tax proposal took legislative form Tuesday, but even the bill’s sponsor doubts its chances in the 2014 session of the General Assembly. [WDRB]

A Kentucky judge on Tuesday ordered Norton Healthcare and the University of Louisville to undergo mediation to resolve their dispute over Kosair Children’s Hospital. [C-J/AKN]

It is a controversial bill and if it becomes a law those that have a concealed carry permit would be allowed to bring their guns into the bar. [WHAS11]

Comcast Corp. has agreed to acquire Time Warner Cable Inc. for about $159 a share in an all-stock deal, combining the largest two U.S. cable companies, according to four people familiar with matter. Bend over, grab your ankles, get ready for data caps, increased prices, even worse customer service. [Bloomberg]

Federal regulators violated the law by not considering potential health dangers from a large surface mine near the Knott-Perry County line, an attorney for two environmental groups argued Tuesday. [H-L]

A witness in a high-profile murder case who is currently behind bars says his life is in danger. [WLKY]

James Miller is giving Bill Lamb’s extremism more attention than it deserves. This is what he does – yell about liberals in the media in order to focus attention on his own bottom line: viewership. It is not surprising and is not worthy of being called anything other than complete B.S. [WFPL]

WAVE has conducted another “investigation” into police officers, apparently. [WAVE3]

The United States plunged 14 places in the annual Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders on Wednesday. The group said it was “one of the most significant declines” in press freedom it had tracked during 2013. [HuffPo]

Last month, the Department of Local Government Finance did something it was not expected to do — certify Floyd County’s 2014 budget. The budget was projected to be $2.9 million short when it was sent to the state late last year. [News & Tribune]

With less than two months to go until Thunder Over Louisville, the Kentucky Derby Festival Inc. announced six financial sponsors for this year’s fireworks event. [Business First]

Watching Matt Bevin attempt to redefine himself this week has been painful. Not because anyone cares about him or because flat-out misleading Kentucky voters is what’s been wrong with the Commonwealth for ages. But because he appears to have publicly admitted to potentially serious financial crimes. [Page One]

A Super-Quick Look At Young Crime Today…

There’s been a lot of chatter among media-types about the PNC Bank robbery in the Highlands last week. Three guys robbed the bank and attempted to escape through Cherokee Triangle and Cherokee Park.

When eventually stopped by police, two of the suspects – an unnamed minor and Brad Scarbrough – got out of their get-away vehicle and surrendered. The other guy, Lucas Ohnimus, tried to escape, couldn’t and then shot himself in the head. He died a bit later that day from his self-inflicted wound.

Note: There’s a lot of speculation that Ohnimus was involved a similar December robbery but nothing conclusive has yet been released by police.

Ohnimus, deceased:


FROM FACEBOOK

He was involved in this:


FROM FACEBOOK

More:




ALL FROM FACEBOOK

Scarbrough:


FROM FACEBOOK

We were able to identify the accused minor, believed to be pictured here a couple years ago with Scarbrough, but won’t be revealing his name until police release that information:


FROM FACEBOOK

After spending several hours digging through their Facebook profiles, communicating with their friends and such, it seems clear that Ohnimus and Scarbrough were both in financially difficult situations and appear to have been under extreme emotional stress.

That doesn’t excuse their actions, no, but it seems like an important part of the story that local media hasn’t picked up on. Or, more likely, has chosen to ignore because it complicates the overall sensational operational strategy of crime, blood and gore selling advertising while driving up panicked viewership.

There’s always a reason for people to take part in criminal acts like this. Here’s hoping Scarbrough and the minor eventually share that story with the public. Seems like there’s a lot this community could and should learn about helping youth/young adults today.

Racism Not Just Alive But Thriving In Louisville

Remember this from a couple weeks ago? It just gets worse and worse.

Someone at WAVE3 suggested to me (Jake) behind the scenes that I’m crazy to think racism is a problem in Louisville.

So it’s time for another random roundup of comments on recent news stories from various stations:














Yeah, nothing to see here. Everything is perfect in Possibility City.

Faces aren’t blurred because it’s important to know this is occurring in 2014. It is important, like it or not, to note that such hate and ignorance exist in our society.

Kudos to local outlets for allowing these comments to remain for all to see. While they have a responsibility to help put an end to this ignorance through public service (public service is why they’re allowed access to public airwaves) and to stop sensationalizing crime? One of the best things they can do is to allow the ignorant to set examples for everyone paying attention – to show society the kind of nastiness that occurs on a daily basis.

Why Louisville Remains In The Dark: Its Media

(And some of its elected officials – but we’re focused on media today.)

The State Auditor of Public Accounts released a report on Kentucky Retirement Systems this week. While lacking and elementary as far as audits go, it was still a decent beginning. A nice start at examining the reason (KRS) the state’s finances are in shambles.

The previous auditor refused to do it and whitewashed most things. The current auditor? He’s trying to muster the courage to do important work. Emphasis on trying.

You can read all about it on Page One by clicking here. 19 serious findings of fiscal mismanagement and general corruption. It’s a report that barely scratches the surface but it’s a report nonetheless. Your local tax dollars keep KRS afloat, so it’s something you should take to heart.

Where’s your local media? Spoiler alert: absent.

  • Nothing from the Courier-Journal
  • Nothing from Business First
  • Nothing from WHAS11
  • Nothing from WLKY
  • Nothing from WDRB
  • Nothing from WAVE3

Why? Why no coverage of one of the most important audits in five or six years? Likely because most in the local media don’t understand it. Instead of attempting to digest everything in the report (mind you, it’s tiny compared to previous airport board audits and the doozy that took down the Kentucky League of Cities) and instead of doing their homework, everyone has chosen to ignore it.

Nothing to see here, move along, puppies and rainbows.

We realize that it’s mostly up to managers and news directors. They prefer to focus on blood and hype. But come on. This is a serious disservice to the entire area. Truly unbelievable.

If WHAS can cover an indictment of a county clerk 200+ miles away in Southeastern Kentucky (how many times did the previous news editor claim West Liberty was barely covered because it wasn’t in the viewing area?), there’s just no excuse.

Watch, though, when the audit of Jefferson County Public Schools is released, it’ll be all you hear about for days and days. The paper will have an early copy with three or four stories pre-prepped, Joe Arnold will be live at the central office enraged with a visible forehead vein, Connie Leonard will be mad but won’t understand why she’s upset, the kids at WLKY will foam at the mouth and will be outraged at the salaries some people receive. The report probably won’t be too deep, likely won’t uncover much that isn’t already known (we have to base this on the way the auditor has handled other school districts) and will still be treated like it’s the beginning of the end by local media.

This is why Louisville can’t have nice things.