JCPS & MSD Want More Of Your Money

The Jefferson County Board of Education may need to seek a 4 percent property tax revenue increase later this summer in order to balance its $1.4 billion budget for the 2015-16 year, according to a tentative budget approved by the board on Monday night. [WDRB]

For the second year in a row, the Metropolitan Sewer District board is looking at a 5.5 percent increase in customers’ rates. [C-J/AKN]

The American Red Cross is hoping you have what it takes to be a hero. Unless you’re gay, then you’re dead to them. [WHAS11]

Jefferson County Public Schools has a budget that’s four times that of the Lexington-Fayette County government. [H-L]

Louisville police are working to identify a woman whose body was pulled from the Ohio River on Tuesday. [WLKY]

North American energy ministers said on Monday they had set up a working group on climate change and energy, a partnership designed to help Canada, the United States and Mexico harmonize policies. [HuffPo]

Terror can he heard in the voices of two women who called 911 and told the operator they were being shot at after leaving a gas station. [WAVE3]

The Distillery Innovation and Excise Tax Reform Act unveiled Tuesday would drop the current tax rate for distilled spirits from $13.50 per proof gallon to $2.70 per proof gallon on the first 10,000 gallons of productions for all distillers and then $9 per proof gallon after that. [The Hill]

A new health ranking of senior citizen health in the U.S. puts Kentucky near the bottom of the list. [WFPL]

One of the most basic facts about the Trans-Pacific Partnership is also the most important: It’s huge. [NPR]

Last week, I wrote about a study that indicated that women-owned businesses in Kentucky were growing more slowly than those in other states. [Business First]

The rows and rows of homemade chocolates nestled behind glass cases at Schimpff’s Confectionery soon will double. [News & Tribune]

Morning Bourbon & Needle Fun Stuff

A death investigation began shortly after a body was found in the Ohio River Tuesday morning. [WDRB]

The relocation of hundreds of government employees out of decaying office space is beginning, with the entire move expected to be completed by mid-fall. [C-J/AKN]

Eight authors who have written books about bourbon are scheduled to open a days-long event giving participants a behind-the-scenes look at Kentucky’s bourbon industry. [WHAS11]

Of course Hal Rogers opposes needle exchanges. Until his family members figure out how to profit from them, they won’t get his support. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! The Louisville Waterfront Fourth of July celebration will return this year. [WLKY]

What? Coal kills? Surely not. Surely all that hype wasn’t just the Coal Association using PR hacks to claim otherwise. [HuffPo]

Two local TV station employees suffered minor injuries as a car ran a light and slammed into their live truck, flipping it onto its side. [WAVE3]

Charter Communications announced early Tuesday that it will acquire Time Warner Cable — a little over a month after a proposed deal between Comcast and Time Warner was killed by regulators. [The Hill]

The appeals period for the latest round of Louisville property tax assessments closes at the end of this month. Some appeals will be successful, but others will not. [WFPL]

Senate Republican leaders managed to scrape up enough votes just past midnight Saturday morning to put off decisive action on the NSA’s bulk collection of American phone records until next Sunday, May 31. But the hardliners — and make no mistake, they are taking an even harder and more absurd line than the NSA itself — have no endgame. [The Intercept]

Louisville leaders are encouraging foreign-born residents of Louisville to call their friends and family and tell them how much they enjoy living here. [Business First]

A Southern Indiana county at the epicenter of the worst HIV outbreak in Indiana history is seeking state permission to implement a yearlong needle exchange program. [News & Tribune]

Bob Hill Seems Frustrated These Days

From the end of his driveway, Bob Hill can hear the hum of construction work. He lives close enough to the four-lane highway taking shape that he can see it when a line of trees thins for the winter. [WDRB]

An assault case in Jefferson Circuit Court was dismissed Tuesday by a judge who ruled an assistant commonwealth’s attorney “altered” evidence that was “deliberately not disclosed and concealed” from the defense counsel. [C-J/AKN]

Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner American Pharoah will retire and breed here in Kentucky. [WHAS11]

If Matt Bevin’s ignorance and code words leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth, you’re not alone. [H-L]

In newly released audio statements, an Olmsted Academy North student told police that he was choked so hard by a school resource officer that he could barely breathe and had blurry vision. [WLKY]

It wasn’t that the intelligence community was giving the administration wholesale faulty intelligence. It was that the administration was lying to the American people about what the intelligence actually showed. [HuffPo]

The mayor of Goshen has resigned, a city representative said Wednesday. Earlier in the day, an email apparently from Mayor Bob Thacker was sent to residents saying that members of a neighborhood watch Facebook group – which the email referred to as “The Disease” – had crossed a line, mentioning the mayor’s wife and children in online posts. [WAVE3]

States lack accurate statistics on widespread heroin use. [NPR]

The Louisville Department of Public Health and Wellness is conducting the 2015 Community Health Needs Assessment survey to help the department and local hospitals determine which programs, policies and services will lead to a healthier Louisville. [WFPL & Survey]

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration on Wednesday announced the results of a four-state crackdown aimed at stopping illegal distribution of addictive prescription medicines, such as opioid painkillers, that yielded 280 arrests. [Reuters]

Work on The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass’s expansion is well under way, but just how much will the 53,400-square-foot addition cost? [Business First]

The preliminary $119 million plan to revamp, rebuild and realign several Greater Clark County Schools would result in an additional $13.74 cents per $100 of assessed property valuation for 2016 property taxes, the district superintendent told school board members Tuesday night. [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]

JCPS Can’t Stay Out Of The Dang News

Year-round employees in Jefferson County Public Schools — from central office staff and high school principals to custodians and some secretaries — will be forced to take two unpaid days in the coming school year under a proposal by Superintendent Donna Hargens. [WDRB]

The Louisville Metro Council’s government accountability committee wants answers about rising home assessments in certain neighborhoods. [C-J/AKN]

Louisville Metro Police officers should start wearing their body cameras within the next couple months. [WHAS11]

Winter’s full fury arrived late in much of the country, but once it did it was relentless, forcing state transportation agencies to spend more than $1 billion to keep highways safe and passable, according to a first-of-its-kind survey. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! A man has been indicted in the dragging death of his friend, a crime that has left two families stunned. [WLKY]

This screwed up Louisville story made the national news. [HuffPo]

An August 2, 2016 trial date has been set for a southern Indiana man accused of raping his girlfriend, killing her and then consuming parts of her body. [WAVE3]

Kentucky’s two U.S. senators have introduced legislation they say will level the playing field for American bourbon and whiskey producers. [WKYUFM]

People born poor are more likely to stay that way if they live in Jefferson County than if they live in surrounding Bullitt or Oldham counties, according to a recent Harvard study. [WFPL]

In New York City, supporters of public libraries say that respect for — and repair of — the libraries is long, well, overdue. [NPR]

A federal judge in Florida has dismissed a lawsuit that alleges Maker’s Mark is being misleading by calling its product “handmade.” [Business First]

Floyd County Clerk Christy Eurton huddled her staff before the office opened at 8 a.m. Thursday for an important discussion. It wasn’t a talk about next week’s primary election — a task that requires hours of preparation and dedication to successfully and accurately conduct — but rather Eurton attempted to calm her employees about the budget cuts issued by the Floyd County Council the night before. [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]

Growing Rift Between Fischer & Reality

Par for the course with Greg Fischer: neglect until it’s time to tear them down. Three buildings on the site of an Omni hotel planned in downtown Louisville will be razed after engineers determined they pose “imminent safety concerns,” Louisville Metro government said Thursday. [WDRB]

Six months after retiring as Clark County sheriff and agreeing to plead guilty to two counts of making false statements to FBI, Danny Rodden signed a new plea agreement this week that calls for dropping a charge that he counseled the destruction of evidence to cover up an encounter with a prostitute. [C-J/AKN]

Louisville Metro Police are crediting a man with saving a baby from a potentially dangerous situation over Easter weekend. That baby was found abandoned in the middle of the street in downtown Louisville. [WHAS11]

Venturing into the epicenter of Kentucky’s fight against heroin addiction, national drug czar Michael Botticelli on Thursday touted needle-exchange programs as effective grassroots initiatives to combat the spread of infectious disease and to steer heroin users into treatment. [H-L]

As Louisville’s murder rate continues to climb, local groups continue efforts to stem the violence in the community. [WLKY]

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign will center on boosting economic security for the middle class and expanding opportunities for working families, while casting the former senator and secretary of state as a “tenacious fighter” able to get results, two senior advisers said Saturday. President Barack Obama all but endorsed her, saying “I think she would be an excellent president.” [HuffPo]

Louisville residents who live east of Interstate 65 inside the Watterson Expressway might see a jump in property taxes due to new assessments. One person who won’t is Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, whose home assessment dropped from $1.7 million $1.5 million, about a 12 percent dip. [WAVE3]

General Electric Co will shed most of its finance unit and return as much as $90 billion to shareholders as it becomes a “simpler” industrial business instead of an unwieldy hybrid of banking and manufacturing. [Reuters]

An expansive, multi-modal transportation plan is still in the works for Louisville, despite recent delays. [WFPL]

Seattle restaurant data demolishes wingnut arguments against a $15 minimum wage. [Think Progress]

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has to be piling up the frequent flier miles these days. After an economic development trip to Japan late last year and a trip to Europe in early February, where he courted automakers in Germany and Sweden, Beshear announced Friday that he will return to Asia. [Business First]

New Albany Police Officer Laura Schook’s pay and benefits will remain suspended until her May hearing appealing a decision to fire her from the department. [News & Tribune]

If you missed it last week, the now former embattled Montgomery County Schools superintendent was fired with a list of sixteen pages of charges read against him. [Page One & More Page One]