Even Bill Lamb Calls Letter Absurd

Conservative Bill Lamb is causing racist white peoples’ heads to explode. When Bill Lamb is on the same side as Attica Scott when it comes to the FOP’s threatening letter? All hell is gonna break loose. [WDRB]

A joint interim Kentucky legislative committee called Wednesday for updating the rules governing property tax assessments while questioning Jefferson County Property Valuation Administrator Tony Lindauer about whether his office is examining taxable properties in accordance with state law. [C-J/AKN]

efferson County Property Valuation Administrator Tony Lindauer appeared Wednesday morning before a legislative panel at Kentucky’s Capitol to explain and defend his office’s valuation practices. [WHAS11]

Pope Francis’ call for urgent action to combat climate change isn’t having much influence on members of Congress from the coal state of Kentucky, who are working this week to block the centerpiece of the president’s agenda to limit the greenhouse gases that are warming the planet. [H-L]

The Louisville Metro Council’s budget committee voted to add more than $5 million for road repairs. [WLKY]

Those who believe slavery was not a central point of conflict in the Civil War may wish to peruse the South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas declarations of secession. Those documents all explicitly cite threats to slavery as reasons for secession. Mississippi’s declaration goes so far as to say that “a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization.” [HuffPo]

Critics are questioning lawmakers jumping on the anti-confederate bandwagon and the president of the NAACP Kentucky State Conference and Louisville Chapter Raoul Cunningham said he’s just fine with that. [WAVE3]

The old gay Louisville. A writer returns to the city where he was raised—and exiled—to find what was lost when gay life entered the mainstream. [TNR]

The Louisville Metro Tree Commission holds its final meeting this evening and is expected to vote on a draft ordinance that could create a new tree commission and new city policies for tree management. [WFPL]

An overwhelming majority of Americans say they believe protests against unfair government treatment make the United States a better country. Unless, that is, the protesters are black. [WaPo]

For Tim Gramig, a longtime broker Louisville’s commercial real estate market, opportunity has knocked twice this year. [Business First]

Mayor Jeff Gahan failed to sign an ordinance calling for certain financial information be provided to the New Albany City Council at the last meeting of each month. In response, the council voted unanimously Thursday to again approve the measure, and thus overrode the pocket veto of Gahan. A pocket veto occurs when an executive takes no action on a bill as opposed to an outright veto of the measure. [News & Tribune]

County Attorney’s Office Sounds Fun

The Jefferson County Attorney’s Office has reprimanded a prosecutor and ordered him to go to sensitivity training for making “insensitive and derogatory” comments about the family that owns Hwang’s Martial Arts Academy. [WDRB]

Property Valuation Administrator Tony Lindauer will be called to testify before a Kentucky legislative committee this month over allegations that his office is not physically examining taxable properties in accordance with state law. [C-J/AKN]

You might have to dig a little deeper to pay for your college degree as the University of Louisville’s Board of Trustees is set to vote on a tuition hike Thursday. [WHAS11]

Ahmed Zayat spends big money buying and betting on horses, and brags about how successful he’s been at everything he’s set out to accomplish. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! Just days into a pilot program for police body cameras, Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad has gone on the record to address concerns from the public. [WLKY]

The leaders of six of Europe’s largest oil producers are calling for a plan to price planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, citing climate change as “a critical challenge for our world.” [HuffPo]

For the third consecutive year Ford Motor Company says it will shorten the annual summer shutdown at some of its plants in order to meet the demand by consumers for vehicles. [WAVE3]

New York City, Baltimore and other major cities have seen a recent rise in gun violence. The uptick has raised the alarm for many police departments that worry the summer months may make the problem worse. [NPR]

Louisville transportation officials are offering bus passes to young people this summer at a discounted rate. [WFPL]

More than 150 people in southeast Indiana have been diagnosed with HIV, the largest outbreak in state history. [ProPublica]

Humana Inc. has completed the sale of its Concentra Inc. subsidiary for $1.06 billion in cash. [Business First]

Section 8 housing voucher system, social security income, food stamps — Kelli Orman wishes she didn’t have to rely on any of these low-income assistance services. [News & Tribune]

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]