Jones Shenanigans Will Plague The School Board

Ruh ro. It’s a rare morning roundup from Jake and not some college kid trying to score some intern credits.

We told you ages ago this was happening! There’s more where this came from, particularly on the communications front. Just watch. A close associate of Jefferson County Board of Education Chairman David Jones Jr. was one of four people who vetted and interviewed candidates for a high-level Jefferson County Public Schools job last year — despite a state law that prohibits school board members from playing any role in the hiring of district personnel. [Toni Konz]

The sides are lining up for what may be the last battle over the design of a planned Wal-Mart superstore at Broadway and Dixie Highway. [C-J/AKN]

LG&E said there was an explosion and fire at the Cane Run sub-station in PRP, just after 1 a.m. on Sunday. [WHAS11]

A quarter of a century ago, “inadequate” was a kind description for many schools in Kentucky. School districts relied heavily on local property taxes for funding, which meant children in poor counties with small property-tax bases sometimes sold candy or magazines to help keep the lights on at school. [H-L]

Guess there are no crazy ass murders to solve or anything. Two women were arrested on prostitution charges following an undercover LMPD operation. [WLKY]

One of the few bipartisan goals that President Barack Obama and Republicans agree on is comprehensive reform of the tax system, but Democrats cried foul Friday as GOP leaders in the House began passing permanent tax cuts that opponents believe would make that reform harder. [HuffPo]

Some of those putting up with the tunnel blasting and traffic stoppages for the construction of the new east end bridge may need to be reminded why the project is going underground before going across the river. [WAVE3]

A married same-sex couple on Friday asked a federal court to force Indiana state and county officials to name both of the women as parents on their newborn son’s birth certificate. [Reuters]

The passing rate for Kentuckians taking the GED has improved since the national high school equivalency exam underwent changes in 2014, according to Kentucky Adult Education officials. [WFPL]

It was a wildly busy week in the Kentucky General Assembly as the Democratic-controlled House sprang into overdrive, passing a bevy of bills after the Senate had done the same in the session’s first week. [Ronnie Ellis]

Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, the nation’s largest independent Coca-Cola bottler, plans to cut the ribbon on a new sales and distribution center in Louisville on Monday. [Business First]

The Floyd County Election Board has been working on improving the voting process since the day after the November election, when some voters stood in line more than two hours to cast a ballot. [News & Tribune]

What On Earth Is Wrong With JCPS These Days?

Everything people want to know about the Ohio River Bridges Project can now be learned in one hour. [WDRB]

An attorney for Louisville Water Co. chief executive Jim Brammell wants a judge to throw out the results from a breathalyzer that was used following his August arrest and determined Brammell’s breath alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit allowed to drive in Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

The bleachers were filled at Stopher Elementary School with Lauren Eason’s students. 130 are in her class this year but almost all will pass through her inventive classroom before they go to middle school. She wants no students left out. [WHAS11]

The bourbon was flowing and, at least in one Washington ballroom, a spirit of bipartisanship broke out Tuesday night, courtesy of Kentucky’s distillers. [H-L]

Jefferson County Public Schools officials are responding to what police say is surveillance video showing a school resource officer twice assaulting students. [WLKY]

President Barack Obama’s budget for fiscal year 2016 includes a major change for legally married same-sex couples, making them eligible to receive Social Security spousal benefits regardless of where they live. Currently, these couples are unable to get such benefits if they live in a state that does not recognize their marriage. [HuffPo]

What the heck is wrong in Clark County? A woman was trusted with the care of hundreds of inmates, until she became one of them. [WAVE3]

A group of Republican and Democratic lawmakers will begin their second attempt on Wednesday to introduce a bill that would reform the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) program in the United States, targeting an end to ethanol fuel-blending mandates. [Reuters]

Rose Mollyhorn, 52, has spent most of her life within a 12-block area of Louisville’s Portland neighborhood, and she’s seen drastic change over those years. [WFPL]

Rand Paul says Common Core contains anti-American history… but it doesn’t have history requirements. [Think Progress]

Some Ford Motor Co. employees in Louisville will be kicked into a higher pay bracket because of the automaker’s plans to hire workers elsewhere in the U.S. The raise will amount to an approximately $9 per hour increase. [Business First]

Clark County Commissioner Rick Stephenson appeared in Jeffersonville City Court on Friday for a hearing following his drunken-driving arrest on Christmas Eve. [News & Tribune]

Frankfort Harassment Scandal Still Front & Center

A mobile application concept developed by a team of eighth graders at Meyzeek Middle School has won the school $20,000, the students brand new tablets and now they’ll work with an expert to make their concept a reality. [WDRB]

At the Metropolitan Sewer District, board members and the executive director routinely use private accounts or personal smartphones to do agency business, sending emails or text messages to each other, the former chairman asserts. This is how Greg Fischer conducts business these days. He’s crapping his pants. [C-J/AKN]

We now know the theme of this year’s Thunder Over Louisville. The big reveal took place Tuesday morning with the help of six sponsors for the big day: A Boom with a View. [WHAS11]

Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate said Monday he will rule this week whether the Legislative Research Commission must turn over all sexual harassment complaints involving lawmakers and staffers. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! Local first responders are facing a major life-and-death situation, and they’re not sure how to stop it from getting worse. [WLKY]

President Barack Obama wants to create a new government agency dedicated to keeping the nation’s food safe. [HuffPo]

A woman being booked into Louisville Metro Corrections was found to be carrying a possible explosive device. [WAVE3]

What can be proven beyond a doubt is that, even if underlying economic trends have increased inequality, Obama’s economic policies have reduced it sharply. [NY Magazine]

The plan to develop a Wal-Mart on Broadway and Dixie Highway is now heading to the Board of Zoning Adjustments—bringing the project just a couple steps away from construction. [WFPL]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is bringing in an all-star team led by Hill-veteran Antonia Ferrier. [Politico]

Following an uptick in office activity in 2014, the industrial vacancy rate in the Louisville area continued to fall in 2014 as absorption soared above 5.6 million square feet of warehouse inventory, according to a report by Louisville commercial real estate firm Commercial Kentucky Inc. [Business First]

The outlook for the May primary, and in some regards, the November general election, became clearer this week as several candidates filed in major New Albany races. [News & Tribune]

Will Walmart Ever Get Built In The West End?

Kentucky farmers have filed more than 20 federal lawsuits alleging a Swiss company distributed genetically-modified corn before gaining approval to sell it to China, harming exports to a leading buyer of U.S. corn. Sen. Paul Hornback, who chairs the state Senate’s agriculture committee, is among those who has sued Syngenta Corp. and its affiliates since Jan. 1 in U.S. District Court in Kentucky. Two lawsuits have been filed in Indiana and at least 300 nationwide against Syngenta already this year. [WDRB]

A Ford Motor Co. executive on Friday carefully skirted high-stakes questions about how the resurging automaker will handle labor contract negotiations this year with its hourly workers. [C-J/AKN]

Dozens gathered for a prayer vigil Wednesday afternoon hoping nothing will stand in the way of a proposed Walmart headed for west Louisville. [WHAS11]

State officials say highway fatalities in Kentucky increased last year after a record low in 2013. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! Another day, another damn murder in Possibility City. [WLKY]

Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch attempted on Wednesday to tread a fine line on immigration, telling senators she believes President Barack Obama acted within his powers on deportation relief, but that she would respect the courts if they find his actions unconstitutional. [HuffPo]

A student from Breckinridge Metropolitan High School was severely injured on Tuesday after she fell out of a moving school bus, according to Ben Jackey, a spokesman for Jefferson County Public Schools. [WAVE3]

An attorney representing Democratic House Whip Johnny Bell of Glasgow says a motion sought in Franklin Circuit Court seeking to include Bell in a sexual harassment suit and accusing him of improperly dismissing a legislative staffer and illegal drug activity has “no basis whatsoever.” [Glasgow Daily Times]

More people than ever will help with an annual count of homeless in Louisville this week. [WFPL]

Matt Bevin, the Republican Louisville investment manager who unsuccessfully challenged U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell in last year’s Republican primary, is making another run at statewide office, this time for governor. [Ronnie Ellis]

GE Appliances CEO Chip Blankenship helped announce the formation of a new work-force development program called KY FAME at an event Wednesday at Jefferson Community and Technical College. [Business First]

The first hearing between the city of Jeffersonville and MAC Construction and Excavating Inc. regarding MAC’s asphalt plant has been pushed back. [News & Tribune]

Woah, Robert Felner’s Lackeys Just Won’t Quit

Extremists in Southern Indiana are losing their marbles over fluoride in the water. [WDRB]

Wal-Mart officials have not yet budged on making further changes in the layout of a West Broadway store long sought by city and Russell neighborhood leaders. And if they don’t redesign it, it would cast uncertainty on the status of the store in which the city has pledged millions of dollars in incentives. [C-J/AKN]

A 22nd birthday is supposed to be fun and laughter: cake, dinner, and dancing with friends. That’s what Caroline Fouts had planned for her special day on December 27th. [WHAS11]

The mail-processing center on Nandino Boulevard in Lexington will begin closing in June, according to a U.S. Postal Service schedule. [H-L]

Here’s a literal pee alert. What you’re drinking could actually be pee. And we’re not talking about Angel’s Envy. [WLKY]

The number of Americans struggling to pay medical bills fell last year for the first time in nearly a decade — the latest sign that Obamacare is making health care more affordable. [HuffPo]

Donna Hargens was pretty pissed that this was such a big deal. [WAVE3]

Here’s another good look at University of Louisville-Robert Felner lackey, John Deasy, getting caught by the U.S. Department of Education in the iPad scandal. Turns out the FBI focused on his relationship with Apple executives. Imagine that. [Click the Clicky]

As the U.S. Senate begins debating the Keystone XL pipeline bill, activists across the country are planning protests. [WFPL]

Oh, wait for it, here’s the sweet new gig John Deasy scored. He’s going to be training school superintendents. What a disaster. [LA Times]

New Albany residents and business owners will have three chances to speak their piece about a recently released street study. [Business First]

The four judges that oversee the Clark County Circuit Court named a new chief probation officer. [News & Tribune]

Enjoy The Holiday Break Cause 2015 Will Suck

Spoiler Alert: A gymnasium isn’t going to solve the problem. In the last 10 years, Wayne Blakey Sr. has seen a lot of violence near his home on River Park Drive in West Louisville. [WDRB]

Launched in September in four high-crime areas, Zones of Hope is a city initiative trying to tackle issues of education, unemployment and violence by focusing on young black males. [C-J/AKN]

It was a joyous welcome for Santa and his elves at the Wayside Christian Mission on Christmas Eve. With the help of the Louisville community, Santa brought presents for all the Mission’s residents, spending their holiday at the shelter. [WHAS11]

The University of Louisville has been awarded a $155,000 grant to map disease genes in horses. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! For one family, Christmas Eve isn’t just a holiday, but the anniversary of a devastating loss. [WLKY]

This is not the kind of bourbon that will get you excited. Researchers have identified the cause of a Kansas farmer’s mysterious death this summer as Bourbon virus. [HuffPo]

The rally at Jefferson Square in downtown Louisville was organized by the local group Man Up, and came just hours after another person was shot dead by police near St. Louis. Maybe in the future, they could hold a rally without one of the city’s most notorious bigots screaming into the microphone? [WAVE3]

The 2014 midterm elections saw a wave of Republican candidates elected and re-elected to federal office, many of whom are now rearing to make the environment their first casualty of the 114th Congress. As it turns out, the fossil fuel industry may have had something to do with that. [Think Progress]

Steve Beshear is heading into his final regularly scheduled legislative session next month, but he said he doesn’t believe that will hamper his ability to help get legislation passed in the 2015 General Assembly. [WFPL]

Here’s a fun read about Ambassador Matthew Barzun’s musical tastes. Just read between the lines. [BuzzFeed]

Churchill Downs Racetrack has named its latest track announcer. For some reason, a ton of folks wrote in asking for this link. Here you go. [Business First]

Amid public outcry over a new fee being assessed, the Clark County Commissioners declined to vote on an ordinance that would have facilitated the collection of the fee. [News & Tribune]

Housing Continues To Be An Afterthought Here

In November 2013, Mayor Greg Fischer formally declared Louisville’s interest in getting the same type of blazing-fast Internet connections that Google is bringing to a few select cities. More than a year later, two companies have expressed interest in bringing a fiber “gigabit” network to Louisville, but no work has begun. [WDRB]

Jefferson County has less public housing assistance than a year ago, long waiting lists and public housing remains heavily concentrated in west Louisville, according to the 2014 State of Metropolitan Housing Report released Thursday. [C-J/AKN]

The WHAS Crusade for Children is able to continue its noble mission of raising money for agencies, schools and hospitals to better the lives of special needs children, thanks to generous donations to the Crusade for Children Endowment fund. [WHAS11]

The Kentucky Equine Education Project announced Friday that on Tuesday the board voted unanimously on a resolution stating that for the 2015 session it will not support casino legislation. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! Hundreds gathered at the Highland Baptist Church to remember the dozens killed this year here in Louisville. [WLKY]

An outgoing Senate Democrat wants to take federal money from low-income college students to pay student loan contractors, whose tactics toward borrowers have been criticized by consumer advocates, federal regulators and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. [HuffPo]

One week after a teenage girl was killed in Louisville’s West End, a new group is calling for residents to stop the violence and take back their communities. [WAVE3]

Ferguson, Mo., has captured the nation’s attention for the better part of the past four months. But in just a few short days in the national news, Eric Garner has become the political rallying point that Ferguson never has. A new poll shows considerably more unhappiness with the lack of an indictment in Garner’s case than in the one in Ferguson. And, perhaps most important as far as its impact goes, that unhappiness is significantly less connected to a person’s race. [WaPo]

Did anyone expect something less from one of the highest paid people in education? Please. Save the feigned outrage. As Michael McCall winds down his 16-year career as president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, he will leave behind an operation that ran a budget deficit in his final three years. [WFPL]

Kentuckians have long known that Rand Paul’s outreach in the black community only started because he wants to run for the presidency. [Politico]

More than six months after construction started, Feast BBQ’s second location finally has an opening date. [Business First]

he Clark County Commissioners didn’t take any action on an ordinance that would add a $40 drainage fee to some residents’ property tax bills Thursday, but they heard about how unhappy some residents were about the new fee anyway. [News & Tribune]