Officials Act Quickly After Incident on Campus

University of Louisville officials took decisive action in handling an incident that occurred on campus at about 5 a.m. Friday. It sent a campus-wide letter from James Ramsey and Shirley Willihnghanz reassuring students that their safety is a top priority.

It was the second early-morning hours incident this year. In the other one, in January, the school used its campus-wide text-message system to alert students after it was learned that a shot had been fired.  According to media reports, Friday’s incident resulted in a stabbing after four white men (two were students) got involved in an altercation with an African-American student.

An 18-year-old African-American student, Montequa Jackson, has now been charged with first-degree assault. The Lexington freshman reportedly had been dropped off by a friend, then returned with a pocketknife and stabbed one of the non-students, Sean Osborne.

As a result, activist Christopher 2X organized a Saturday news conference in which Jermaine Stafford, who had been with Jackson, apologized but declined to provide details of the incident. While Jackson was charged with a crime, the school says it is launching its own investigation.

Officials at U of L seem determined to keep the incident quiet and from giving the impression that the campus is anything but safe. Or that there’s a problem with racial tension on campus. However, in the press conference, Stafford admitted that “there were some ugly things said” and that race was a factor in the altercation.

Here’s the text of the letter sent by Ramsey and Willihnghanz, after the jump…

Read moreOfficials Act Quickly After Incident on Campus

Guns and Nuts at Knob Creek

We didn’t cover the Knob Creek Gun Show over the weekend.  Couldn’t have paid us to be there, and not just because we value our hearing. It wouldn’t have been a glamorous assignment for any media member, though let’s give some credit to WHAS-TV’s Melanie Kahn for going to Bullitt County Friday and filing a report.

So we’ll thank the Washington Independent for sending reporter David Wiegel to the shoot, where he joined more than 15,000 gun-toting folks spending a few days shooting, buying and talking about the horrors of the Obama administration. Check out his piece and the accompanying photos, under the headline “Scenes from the Real America.”

Gun show attendees are paranoid. Wiegel discovered a group so fearful that Obama will ban their guns that they’ve fueled a national trend to stockpile ammo.  Guns and ammo are sold here with no concern for paperwork.  You can pick up Nazi merchandise, as well as any sort of gun paraphernalia and a selection of clever, racist t-shirts.

Wiegel interviewed a man, asking about his problems with the President, whose logic was this: “There’s a black man in the White House. What else do you need to know?” The man, knowing Wiegel was a journalist, later tracked him down and destroyed pages in his notebook in fear that he’d put his name in a story. Another man told of stockpiling food in a spare bedroom, just in case. He thinks people are going to start stealing food.

Another group, called “Birthers,” hangs on to the failed campaign strategy that said Obama is not an American citizen. They say there’s an illegal alien in the White House.

Some smart entrepreneurs know how to make a buck off the Obama paranoia, whether they’re convincing citizens to buy arms or ideas. You can buy videos of the whole shooting match, starting at $15.95. Or fire an AK-47 for $125. The most popular t-shirt seems to be one comparing Obama to Hitler.

Sales haven’t been this good since since Bill Clinton, who inspired similar fears without the racism.

Bo and Oh So Much More

Big Deal for Bo: C-J sportswriter Rick Bozich has been selected to the U.S. Basketball Writers Hall of Fame, and will be honored at the Final Four in Detroit. That is, if the paper comes up with the travel budget to send him. [Crawford]

Eight Men On, Including T-Will: Check out the cover of the new Sports Illustrated, featuring eight college basketball stars. That’s our own T-Will on the right. The Cards, with one game to play in the Big East, can clinch a share of the title by beating West Virginia. Meanwhile, boos filled Rupp Arena as the Cats lost to lowly Georgia. [SI]

Bout Time for Berman: JCPS superintendent Sheldon Berman finally did something about the PRP football situation, announcing that Jason Stinson would be replaced as football coach. He said the criminal case would not be resolved before time to start practice for next season. Principal David Johnson will hire his replacement. JCPS says Stinson is still collecting a paycheck doing IT work. Oh, yeah, Berman says the announcement has absolutely nothing to do with this week’s release of evidence in Max Gilpin’s death. Right.  [WAVE]

Party Pooper: You’ll have to pay a buck an egg if you want to enjoy the traditional Capitol breakfast in Frankfort. Gov. Beshear says cutting back on the event will save $200K. No more entertaining of economic development prospects, either. Expect a lot of scrutiny of entertainment budgets for this year’s Derby, especially all those parties held under the guise of economic development  [Herald-Leader]

It’s a “Day of Reckoning” at Planning Commission: It’s time for Michael Gordon, the J-town car dealer, to get his just due in front of the planning commission. Fox41’s Dick Irby didn’t go back and get an interview with Gordon, but he does have an update of the story. Preservationists don’t want Gordon to get a deal to walk away after paying a $25K fine.  Check the link to see Gordon going after Irby and cameraman Dave White again. [Fox41]

One Black Senator: Gerald Neal is the only African-American in the Kentucky Senate, a situation not likely to change in the near future. LEO’s Phillip Bailey spent some time with him in Frankfort. [LEO]

Irony, Oh Irony: Steve Nunn, son of a Kentucky governor whose job was to oversee the state’s domestic violence programs, resigned yesterday in the wake of criminal mischief and assault charges.  The H-L has a juicy blow-by-blow of his altercation with a former fiancee. [H-L]

Making Himself at Home: In the goofy crime of the day, WLKY’s Mike Petchenik reports that a man broke into a St. Matthews home and ordered porn on pay-per-view.  The couple living there slept through it. No word on whether the homeowners will have to pay for the porn.  [WLKY]

Roaring In On Economics, Politics and Hate

The economic woes of the world aren’t for everybody, when a local hospital organization antes up big-time for a sports arena. Here’s what’s going on as we move, finally, into March.

Norton Hearts Arena: The first of the downtown arena’s sponsors is Norton Healthcare, which gets to open an Immediate Care Center in the building and put up all kinds of signage for $1 million per year. They’re in for 10 years.  Could this be payback for Norton stealing all those brain surgeons? More on that later. [C-J]

Harvey’s Good Night: If you’ve been alive in the last 50 years, you know Paul Harvey, who died Saturday. He was 90. WHAS was one of many radio stations that had recently dropped Harvey’s daily commentaries, citing the icon’s infrequent appearances on his own show.  Check the link here for some tributes. [V.V., Harvey site]

Political Divorce: The little spat between Kentucky’s Republican Senators has become what Pat Crowley calls a “Kentucky-style divorce.”  Jim Bunning and Mitch McConnell have irreconcilable differences about the 2010 race for Bunning’s seat, and Bunning threatened to retire and let Gov. Beshear appoint his successor last week. [Enquirer]

On the Funny Farm: Mitch McConnell making jokes for conservatives at the CPAC event, where he says conservatives are more fun than liberals. Yea, that’s funny, Mitch. [FatLip]

Kaelin’s Coming Back? The famed birthplace of the cheeseburger closed Saturday night. A thread on the Louisville HotBytes Forum speculates that it’s for good, but signs on the door indicate owners plan to re-open after a remodel. Still, that can’t be good. [Consuming Louisville]

Party Over at KDP: You can read Jennifer Moore’s farewell address to the Kentucky Democratic Party, in which she takes credit for a bunch of accomplishments that I’m confident Jake will soon dispute. And Page One proclaims, “An era of bullshit, hatred, wasted money and all-around laziness is OVER!” [WHAS, Page One]

Rumor Mill Spins at 32: We’re getting rumors that WLKY’s newly hired traffic reporter, Alexandra Koetter, is leaving the station. Meanwhile, we were impressed with the weekend debut of part-time meteorologist Lauren Jones. And we were wrong about one thing. New reporter Erin Haynes is a part-time, not full-time, hire.

Sweeping News: Did anyone miss the fact that there weren’t any big sweeps stories on local news in February? It was part of an industry-wide decision to postpone the ratings measurements for a month due to the digital TV transition. So get ready for local newscasts to work a little harder for a few weeks, starting today.

Monday’s Dept. of Hating: The Family Foundation’s David Edmunds makes another illogical anti-gay argument that only homes headed by married couples should be allowed to care for childen.  [C-J OpEd]

And A Little Racism: And the C-J editors allow a racist comment about Obama written by one of their own bloggers to go unchallenged. From Point Taken blogger Terry Sullivan: The captain has his head so far up his ass he can taste Afro Sheen. That’s no anonymous blogger, C-J, it’s one of your own. [C-J]

It’s News Because It’s Weird Edition

A Trinity Mystery: Anybody want to take a shot at guessing what the big security issue is at Trinity? The high school is closed, and officials say they’ll have news for the public on this “obscure threat” by 4 p.m.  I’m betting that whatever it is won’t stay secret that long. [C-J]

Billy’s Slide: Maybe Billy Clyde Gillispie is just another one of those coaches who doesn’t handle losing well. When he was rude to ESPN’s Jeanine Edwards in a sideline interview (twice), we thought it might have been a sexist thing, and it was pretty embarrassing. Now he’s giving grief to play-by-play man Tom Leach for having the nerve to question the way he benched his best player. [Eric Crawford]

Now This Will Help Tourism: The state House has approved a measure to allow alcohol sales in state parks, opening up a whole new revenue stream and making the parks more attractive to all sorts of groups. For the parks in dry counties, it will require a local option election. Can you imagine a dry county where the only place to get alcohol is the state park? [WFPL]

That’s A Reach: That was Fox 41’s Bill Lamb’s reaction to a demand by local NAACP officials that he take a stand against a New York Post cartoon that’s being called racist.  Here’s the NAACP logic – Lamb is a Fox affiliate, and Fox is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., which also own the NY Post. Lamb, who was out of town, said, “This has nothing to do with me or the station.  I don’t feel an automatic obligation to get involved in somebody else’s battle.” But he said he would consider the request.

Nunn’s Defense: A 29-year-old woman claims that Steve Nunn, an official in the state’s Health and Family Services division, verbally and physically abused her. So the state put him on leave without pay until the case is resolved.  Nunn says he’s innocent, and so does his ex-wife. He’s worked on domestic violence protection issues in the past.  The woman claims Nunn hit her in the face at her home. [WHAS-TV]

Bad News for Bikers: If you’re on a bike and somebody hits you with their car, and a police officer doesn’t see it, you’re still screwed. Police won’t be arresting the driver. That’s because HB 88 died in Frankfort yesterday  [Barry’s Bike Blog]

Get ‘Em All in One Place: There’s a new anti-Jerry Abramson group on Facebook, organized by frequent V.V. commenter Steve Magruder. Now Jerry can keep track of his enemies, of which nearly 400 have already signed up. [Facebook]

Talking Ethics and Other Late Breaking News

Ethically-challenged: If you’re wondering what your favorite Metro Council member has been up to, it’s likely to be ethics-related. At tonight’s Metro Council meeting, the long-awaited Ethics ordinance could be passed, Or maybe not. Chances are they won’t agree. We’ll have something on it soon.

Today’s Bad Gannett News: One day after Gannett slashed its shareholder dividend by 90 percent, Moody’s downgraded its credit rating. The official term for Gannett stock: Junk. [Wash. Biz Journal]

Miss the Job Jam: Francene’s big shindig at Bellarmine Saturday was a big hit, with more than 400 people showing up to learn the basics of the job-search process. Now you can watch it on KET’s website. [KET]

Speaking of Her: Francene is among those who don’t think it would be so bad if kids have to go to school in June to make up for missed days from the ice storm. I don’t know if she or Jake make the more compelling argument against waiving the days, as the legislature voted to do. [LEO, Page One]

Learn Some History: There’s a great profile of the late civil rights organizer Anne Braden of Louisville on the Concrete Loop, an annoying website. But the story’s worth reading. [Concrete Loop]

Political Rumoring: Oh,boy that Jake is turning up some great political rumors — including the possibility that both Dan Seum and Doug Hawkins are going to be getting serious opposition when they run for re-election in 2010. We love this stuff. [Page One]

Crossing the Line:  I used to work at a private business that was constantly pushing religion on employees. Nothing wrong with that. But we draw the line when city employees use official e-mail accounts to drum up interest in religion. Hal Heiner assistant Stephen Ott doesn’t have a problem with promoting an Easter discussion group at City Hall. [Page One]

Paul Bather Remembered

I remember Paul Bather as a rather controversial local politician who was a leader on African American issues. But I don’t remember him very well. He passed away in Houston after a bout with pancreatic cancer. He retired rather than run for re-election to the State House in 2004. Here’s some remembrances from the Metro Council members:

“He was a long serving public official who cared about his constituents in the 12th Ward and loved and respected them. He was an innovative thinker and doer and always thinking about how to make his community better.  He was a mentor and a friend and when I followed him in office he did not leave me hanging out there. He showed me how to be good elected official, how to work in the community and serve the people. I will always be grateful. He had a ready smile and an open hand for anyone who needed assistance. His heart was always in the right place.”

Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton, District 5

“Paul Bather taught me that you didn’t need to be in legislative leadership to be an effective advocate for causes that you believe in.”

Councilman Tom Owen, District 8

“Paul Bather was a dear friend. He would stand up for you when nobody else would. He served thinking of people only…”

Councilman Dan Johnson, District 21

Read More Bather Tributes After the Jump…

Read morePaul Bather Remembered

Page One & The ‘Ville Voice on TeeVee!

Oh noes! They let us on the tubes again and this week we had a lot to say.

From Big Oil hypocrisy and press-tackling cops at the NRA convention to the mainstream media picking up stories without giving credit where credit is due and the 21% of Kentucky Democrats who voted on the basis of race… Rick discussed it all.

[flv:/video/cwmay23.flv 320 240]

Doug Hawkins: Still Afraid of Mexicans

And this time the LEO is all up on the moonbat Metro Councilcritter.

Doug Hawkins’ (R-Protector of Our White Women) fear of those south of the border has grown exponentially over the years into a massive, public show he puts on anytime anyone will listen to him.

The most recent show involves gum balls, Newt Gingrich and “me no speak-ah de English” jokes.

Note to LEO: We love the headline.

From LEO’s Stephen George:

Is Doug Hawkins afraid of Mexicans? The councilman’s crusade against illegal immigration quietly continues

By Stephen George

I could sense it coming the way a dog understands doom slightly sooner than its owner.

We’d just finished an 11-minute video called “Immigration by the Numbers,” a pedantic piece by a man named Roy Beck, who uses gumballs to represent population projections from the U.S. Census Bureau. It’s his way of illustrating the overwhelming wrongness of the idea that America can help the Third World by welcoming its citizens into this country to seek economic prosperity — for those who remember what that’s like.

Click here for the rest…