Council Should Always Ignore Fischer

Indiana’s riverboat casinos will now be allowed to build new facilities on land. [WDRB]

A group that has formed to raise concerns about planned Transit Authority of River City service cuts has scheduled additional public meetings to give citizens a chance to air their views about the cutbacks, primarily on three heavily used routes. [C-J/AKN]

Now Elizabethtown is trying to get in on Louisville’s pedestrian killing game. [WHAS11]

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto will recommend bringing hourly workers to a starting rate of $10 an hour, a move that would affect at least 600 workers, he announced this week. [H-L]

The Louisville Metro Police Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying a man whose body was found Friday afternoon. [WLKY]

Americans generally tell their civil rights history along the following lines: At one time, white southerners were racist, very racist. They created laws to keep blacks in separate and inferior schools, kept them poor by relegating them to the lowest paying jobs, denied them the right to vote, and humiliated them with an array of petty and demeaning social customs. [HuffPo]

Police say a woman is expected to be OK after she was accidentally shot by her 2-year-old son Saturday night. [WAVE3]

Republican financier Matt Bevin can talk without notes for an hour about why he wants to be Kentucky’s next governor, easily tossing out facts to support his case for a smaller state government that does less. Some of Bevin’s facts might come especially easily because they’re not correct. [John Cheves]

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer on Friday said all unintended consequences need to first be examined before Metro Council approves changes to the 2006 MSD Flood Plain Management Plan. Metro Council should never wait on Greg Fischer for anything. [WFPL]

Researchers, grant-makers and policymakers have long relied on enrollment numbers for the federally subsidized Free and Reduced-Price Lunch program. They use those numbers as a handy proxy for measuring how many students are struggling economically. The paperwork that families submit to show their income becomes the basis of billions in federal funds. [NPR]

A regional collaboration in Southern Indiana is still in the running to receive funding through a new statewide program aimed at attracting more workers and businesses to the state. [Business First]

An $80 million plan to renovate and replace schools in Floyd County was defeated by more nearly 1,000 votes Tuesday. [News & Tribune]

Tolls Will Still Hit Poorest Hardest

Scott County, Indiana, wants its needle exchange program to keep running even after the governor’s executive order expires. [WDRB]

Trinity High officials on Wednesday touted their decision to begin random drug- and alcohol-testing of their 1,200-plus students, saying the move will act as a deterrent and could help keep students from becoming addicted later in life. [C-J/AKN]

Police in Lawrence, Ind. have located a Louisville pizza delivery driver’s car that was stolen May 3. [WHAS11]

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has approved a plan by Keeneland to move its simulcasting — betting on live horse races run elsewhere — to The Red Mile in Lexington. [H-L]

Officials approved a plan to minimize the effects of bridge tolls on low-income residents. And it won’t do much of that. [WLKY & Press Releases]

About a half-dozen states are considering cutting income taxes and simultaneously increasing sales or excise taxes — sparking debate on whether wealthier taxpayers will benefit disproportionately at the expense of those living on lower incomes. [HuffPo]

Ignore the bit where Connie Leonard snidely uses “Democrat” as an adjective. A lot of taxpayers are up in arms over recent home assessments in Metro Louisville. That’s because in many cases, assessed values jumped much higher than homeowners expected and certain neighborhoods are in more sticker shock than others. [WAVE3]

A federal appeals court panel ruled on Thursday that the NSA’s bulk collection of metadata of phone calls to and from Americans is not authorized by Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, throwing out the government’s legal justification for the surveillance program exposed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden nearly two years ago. [The Intercept]

Louisville Metro Council members are scrutinizing new property assessments that, in some neighborhoods, have spiked by as much as 40 or even 150 percent. [WFPL]

Three men campaigning to lead the state of Kentucky faced potential voters Wednesday night in Booth Auditorium at the University of Pikeville. [WYMT]

Over the years, Papa John’s International Inc. has added a few non-pizza foods to its menu, including chicken wings, a giant chocolate chip cookie and, most recently, garlic knots. [Business First]

Democratic incumbent Jeff Gahan defeated challenger David White by almost 700 votes, or 60 percent to 39 percent, in the New Albany mayoral primary Tuesday. [News & Tribune]

Why Is Bullitt County Still So Awful?

Kentucky State Police are now investigating the Bullitt County Animal Shelter.Shelter employee Delsie Williams says Kentucky State Police came to her Mt. Washington home on Monday afternoon with a search warrant. She says they took her cell phone, hard drive, laptops, desktop computers and other items. Her attorney tells WDRB he’s still trying to figure out the reason. [WDRB]

The city’s codes and regulations department hit Louisville metro government with a “public nuisance” violation for a piece of property it owns. In a Jan. 23 notice, a city inspector found the historic Colonial Garden sites in south Louisville had “several rotten structural beams” and that “all exterior surfaces need to be put into good repair.” [C-J/AKN]

A fundraiser will take place Wednesday at Spinelli’s Pizzeria in Downtown Louisville for an employee who was stabbed while delivering pizza to Norton Hospital. [WHAS11]

Kentucky has taken steps to prohibit electioneering on public property within 100 feet of polling places for the May 19 primary election. [H-L]

Visitation will be held Thursday for U.S. District Judge John Heyburn. [WLKY]

Food stamp recipients are more likely to be obese than the general population, according to new research from the federal government. [HuffPo]

The childhood home of Muhammad Ali will be restored, it’s new owner promises. George Bochetto, an attorney from Philadelphia, has bought half of the home and now shares ownership with real estate investor, Jared Weiss, of Las Vegas. [WAVE3]

Last year’s bid to undo Obama’s immigration actions deemed a failure, time to move on to other priorities. [Politico]

The Jefferson County Board of Education is seeking residents’ input on the shaping of the district’s five-year strategic plan. [WFPL]

Parents worry about a child getting a concussion in the heat of competition, but they also need to be thinking about what happens during practices, a study finds. High school and college football players are more likely to suffer a concussion during practices than in a game, according a study published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics. [NPR]

Back in September, Sweden-based AB Electrolux announced plans to acquire GE Appliances, a Louisville-based division of General Electric Co., for $3.3 billion. At the time, officials with both companies speculated that the transaction would close in 2015, after making its way through the regulatory process. [Business First]

With eyes on the six months ahead, Mayor Mike Moore and City Councilman Dennis Julius are poised to battle for the mayor’s seat in November. [News & Tribune]

Dan Johnson Got More Egg On His Face

Louisville Metro Council’s public safety committee voted Tuesday to send the implementation of a local needle exchange program to a full council vote. [WDRB]

The Transit Authority of River City plans to cut bus service on several key routes, effective Aug. 16, to save about $1.2 million next fiscal year. [C-J/AKN]

One week before their stories will be shared on the floor of the Supreme Court, half a dozen same-sex couples from Kentucky and their attorneys met to celebrate progress to this point, and what could be a historic decision that changes how marriage is recognized in America. [WHAS11]

Nine people were indicted Tuesday on charges of spiriting away what Kentucky authorities say was more bourbon whiskey than one person could drink in a lifetime. But, uh, we could definitely drink that in a lifetime. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! A former Louisville Metro Police Department school resource officer accused of putting a student in a chokehold until he passed out has been indicted on some charges in the case. [WLKY]

You don’t have to stop recording police when they’re out and about in public. [HuffPo]

A controversial proposal to merge Louisville’s city and suburban fire departments is likely dead after its only sponsor took his name off the legislation. Way to go, Dan Johnston, you’re a shining star of intelligence these days. [WAVE3]

Detroit just had the single largest tax foreclosure in American history. As many as 100,000 of the city’s residents — about a seventh of the total number — are now on track for what many are calling an eviction “conveyer belt.” [Mother Jones]

The local health department in the Southern Indiana community battling an HIV outbreak has handed out thousands of needles to residents since an exchange program went into effect April 4. [WFPL]

You don’t understand the world you live in if you haven’t read Eric Lipton’s three-part series in the New York Times on the staggering “explosion” of relentless, grimy lobbying of state attorneys general. Lipton just won a Pulitzer Prize for his work, and it’s truly deserved: it’s a masterpiece of investigative reporting, built on diligent use of open records laws by Lipton and Times researchers. [The Intercept]

First Savings Bank might consolidate some of its operations and move its headquarters from Clarksville to Jeffersonville. [Business First]

To Austin High School Principal Sherman Smith, it’s just bullying on a bigger stage. [News & Tribune]

Willow Grande Just Needs To Quit It

You can thank Greg Fischer for this horrible national press. [Click the Clicky]

Kelly Downard says LG&E is misleading the public. “I’m going to outline a consistent record of misrepresentation of facts by Louisville Gas and Electric,” Downard said. “In some cases, there can be no other interpretation of statements by LG&E than the intention to mislead the public, to mislead you, and the flagrant and intentional violation of laws of the Constitution of the Commonwealth.” [WDRB]

Yet another legal challenge has been filed against the embattled Willow Grande condominium tower, this one seeking to overturn a city planning agency’s recent approval of zoning concessions for the proposed Cherokee Triangle project. [C-J/AKN]

A Jefferson County Public Schools Resource Officer and LMPD officer Jonathan Hardin, 31, was indicted April 21 in a case involving a physical confrontation with a student. [WHAS11]

Kentucky Utilities’ customers will pay more for their monthly electric bill while Louisville Electric & Gas customers will pay more for their gas bills according to a settlement reached Tuesday concerning the companies’ rate requests. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! No arrests have been made a year after the slayings of a Nelson County teacher and her teenage daughter. [WLKY]

Luisa Cintron, 25, is sitting up as straight as she can, perched on the edge of the neatly made bed that doubles as a couch inside her dimly lit apartment. She is wearing a sweater and slacks, talking about the government program that she says changed her life, and trying — without much success — not to get distracted by the 4-year-old talking loudly about Batman in the next room. [HuffPo]

Students began a sit-in Monday afternoon outside the office of University of Louisville President James Ramsey over the school’s contract with a popular apparel manufacturer. [WAVE3]

President Obama’s approval ratings have reached their highest mark in almost two years, according to a new poll from CNN/ORC. [The Hill]

Louisville Metro Council members looking into the controversial handling of an injured dog last year by Metro Animal Services said on Monday that the agency still hasn’t turned over all the requested emails and information. [WFPL]

As Earth Day approaches, a new survey shows overwhelming support from Kentuckians for environmental education, but room for improvement in residents’ environmental literacy. The Survey of Kentuckians’ Environmental Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviors from the Kentucky Environmental Education Council (KECC) reveals that while 96 percent of Kentuckians believed that environmental education should be taught in schools, some basic information, such as the primary source of water pollution in Kentucky, was unknown by the majority of survey respondents, according to KEEC Executive Director Elizabeth Schmitz. [Press Release]

KentuckyOne Health Inc., operator of Jewish Hospital, University of Louisville and other facilities, is dropping its plans for a $55 million inpatient facility in Bullitt County. [Business First]

The field was narrowed down to the best 21 certified and 23 classified employees from Greater Clark County Schools, with one chosen to represent each school and building in the district as a Champion for Children. [News & Tribune]

Brosko & Robinson Finally Showed Up

Wondering what’s wrong with Greg Fischer’s administration?

Sure, I’ll foam at the mouth about Greg Fischer and Metro Animal Services again.

Here’s something we’ve been telling you for a year:

From WAVE3’s Theo Keith:

Two senior Animal Services staffers, Margaret Brosko and Donald Robinson, received new jobs within the administration despite the issues under their watch. Brosko is now a spokeswoman for Fischer, while Robinson is an assistant director at Develop Louisville, the city’s land development arm.

Both admitted to procedural mistakes Monday while denying more troubling allegations.

“To be completely honest, this has been really difficult because there’s not a day that goes (by) when I worked at Metro Animal Services that I didn’t think, ‘What can I do tomorrow to save one more dog,'” Brosko said, becoming emotional in front of the committee.

-SNIP-

Hesen would not definitively say whether Brosko or Robinson had to apply for their new positions within the administration. Both received only minimal pay increases with their new roles, city payroll records indicate.

They got their promotions as a way to get them out of Animal Services, a way to make them more high-profile, a way to keep them quiet. That’s how the Greg Fischer world works and the city is beginning to wake up to that reality.

But if you watched yesterday’s Animal Services ad hoc meeting at Metro Council, you were probably more than awake. You were most likely outraged.

Watching Margaret Brosko repeatedly refuse to directly answer questions while claiming she did everything possible to provide care for Sadie was rage-inducing. Even when she was called on the carpet by every council member present.

When Donald Robinson was called out for lying about when authorization for care was provided, he passed the buck and blamed the victim, Heather Adkins. Then he started blaming someone new — Amanda Crook, one of the most beloved employees of Metro Animal Services and the current employee of the month.

What took the cake was Ellen Hesen throwing out the agency’s fabricated live release rate — which still can’t be verified (because it’s made up). She continued to claim this was all just “semantics”, as Greg Fischer used in the now-infamous press release and Kelly Downard ripped her a new one. Downard told her Council wouldn’t stop investigating just because she told them to and reminded her of every hypocrisy he could muster in the moment.

Hesen’s testimony was so absurd that Kevin Kramer’s blood pressure was likely at a dangerous level. Kramer took the opportunity to remind Hesen that the mayor hasn’t issued a public apology to Heather Adkins, which he was supposed to acknowledge when also apologizing for the use of the term “semantics.” He gave Hesen the opportunity to apologize yesterday but she continued to pass the buck, blaming the people who tried to hold Margaret Brosko and Donald Robinson accountable. It’s as if Hesen knows it’s okay to spew nonsense because she’s close to locking in her retirement. Integrity be damned.

Kellie Watson, the mayor’s embarrassingly bad attorney, claimed that the Council had received all emails that were outstanding. What she once claimed couldn’t be released because the documents were part of the Public Integrity Unit’s faux investigation? She now says don’t exist. Though, Councilman Kramer pointed out that they have evidence those emails do actually exist.

It was a real shit show. Fischer’s people finally showed up but didn’t answer questions.

Here’s what you really want to see — the video:


MARGARET BROSKO — CLICK TO ACCESS VIDEO

Watch all 1hr 44min of it. It’s worth it. Particularly if you want a glimpse of a train wreck.

More thoughts about Brosko and Robinson…

Something tells us they didn’t apply for their jobs, otherwise Brosko wouldn’t have had to ask Kellie Watson how to answer the question — she’d remember applying.

Amanda Crook’s mother is going to eat these people alive as a result of Robinson’s claims. Amanda is afraid to say anything because she fears losing her job and losing access to help animals in need. And you know Sadiqa Reynolds will shut her out in a heartbeat because she’s done it over and over.

Brosko claims she constantly worries about the animals and tries to do everything she can to save them. Which must be why she adopted a Pit to impress her former girlfriend, only to return it to LMAS a few short weeks later. Yep, there’s documentation to back this up:


CLICK TO ENLARGE


CLICK TO ENLARGE


CLICK TO ENLARGE

Margaret “fostered” the dog on December 11, 2013, despite it never leaving Manslick. On December 14, 2013, her girlfriend, Tiffany, adopted the dog. She returned it the very next day.

And what about the dog Angie Fenton (she gave me permission last year to use her name but I’ve chosen not to until now) tried like crazy to adopt? Only to be blown off by Margaret? Remember Hadley? The one that just disappeared? The one Margaret claims was sent to Ohio? The dog LMAS sources tell us was euthanized and incinerated.

Yeah.

So let’s quit it with this story of caring about animals. It’s just not based in reality.

Note: Theo Keith is the only mainstreamer who has had the guts to question the Fischer Administration throughout this mess. He ought to be commended.

Update: Spare me the bitching & moaning, Fischer folks. This is clearly a personal rant.

ANOTHER UPDATE: For anyone interested, you may contact me to get a copy of the Public Integrity Unit file that was just made available or try accessing the records here.

FINAL UPDATE: Yes, we’ll do a highlight video clip of the hearing and try to run it this week. Once the rage subsides.