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]

Yes, Racism Alive And Well In Possibility City

After Louisville’s media outlets revealed that a suspect had been arrested in the St. Matthews Kroger murder case, something happened that won’t surprise anyone reading this. But that something is what a ton of people don’t want to talk about. Whenever we bring it up, we’re accused of causing drama and promoting unrest.

Here’s the deal: racism continues to be a real problem in Possibility City and it’s not taken seriously by this town we call home.

Here’s the mugshot that was released (we’re only using WDRB as an example):


What happened next involves all local television and print outlets. WDRB, WHAS, WLKY, WAVE, C-J/AKN, et al. It’s disgusting. Not that the comments were allowed to remain but that people harbor such unbelievably awful feelings toward non-whites.

Let’s take a look at a bunch of screenshots from various outlets:

And there was this gem:

What the hell is wrong with people?

Yes, racism is a problem everywhere. It’s not unique to Louisville. But until civic, government, media and educational leaders take this more seriously? Nothing will change in Louisville. Media outlets have a responsibility to better cover this issue – if that’s possible. Elected officials have a responsibility to discuss these issues. Schools have a responsibility. You have a responsibility.

I don’t in any stretch of the imagination believe racism can fully be eradicated but come on. The least this city should do is work hard when it comes to having a conversation about equality and ignorance like this.

It’s 2014 and idiots are making ridiculously racist remarks – publicly – using their names and photographs. Unreal.

Why Louisville Remains In The Dark: Its Media

(And some of its elected officials – but we’re focused on media today.)

The State Auditor of Public Accounts released a report on Kentucky Retirement Systems this week. While lacking and elementary as far as audits go, it was still a decent beginning. A nice start at examining the reason (KRS) the state’s finances are in shambles.

The previous auditor refused to do it and whitewashed most things. The current auditor? He’s trying to muster the courage to do important work. Emphasis on trying.

You can read all about it on Page One by clicking here. 19 serious findings of fiscal mismanagement and general corruption. It’s a report that barely scratches the surface but it’s a report nonetheless. Your local tax dollars keep KRS afloat, so it’s something you should take to heart.

Where’s your local media? Spoiler alert: absent.

  • Nothing from the Courier-Journal
  • Nothing from Business First
  • Nothing from WHAS11
  • Nothing from WLKY
  • Nothing from WDRB
  • Nothing from WAVE3

Why? Why no coverage of one of the most important audits in five or six years? Likely because most in the local media don’t understand it. Instead of attempting to digest everything in the report (mind you, it’s tiny compared to previous airport board audits and the doozy that took down the Kentucky League of Cities) and instead of doing their homework, everyone has chosen to ignore it.

Nothing to see here, move along, puppies and rainbows.

We realize that it’s mostly up to managers and news directors. They prefer to focus on blood and hype. But come on. This is a serious disservice to the entire area. Truly unbelievable.

If WHAS can cover an indictment of a county clerk 200+ miles away in Southeastern Kentucky (how many times did the previous news editor claim West Liberty was barely covered because it wasn’t in the viewing area?), there’s just no excuse.

Watch, though, when the audit of Jefferson County Public Schools is released, it’ll be all you hear about for days and days. The paper will have an early copy with three or four stories pre-prepped, Joe Arnold will be live at the central office enraged with a visible forehead vein, Connie Leonard will be mad but won’t understand why she’s upset, the kids at WLKY will foam at the mouth and will be outraged at the salaries some people receive. The report probably won’t be too deep, likely won’t uncover much that isn’t already known (we have to base this on the way the auditor has handled other school districts) and will still be treated like it’s the beginning of the end by local media.

This is why Louisville can’t have nice things.

Are You Relieved That Bus Service Is Closing?

A Jeffersonville couple catches a pair of thieves in the act, and now they want the entire neighborhood to know about it. Their solution — what’s being called the Tree of Shame. [WDRB]

Embattled school bus contractor Commonwealth Bus Service and Transportation will be closing its doors Nov. 30, company president Mary Dunaway told Jefferson County Public Schools in a hand-signed letter. [C-J/AKN]

Louisville Metro Police are investigating after two separate overnight shootings in Louisville. [WHAS11]

Here’s how Congress is making sure poor Americans are going to stay cold this winter. [HuffPo]

Remember when WDRB did this very story a couple weeks ago about GPS ankle bracelets and the jail? Turns out these folks decided to copy it. Because that’s original and exactly what the public needs. [WLKY]

Way to go, Frankfort, for being even more terrible than anyone thought possible. A central Kentucky high school principal says a new interpretation of a state regulation on school-related trips is partly to blame for the cancellation of a trip to Washington, D.C. [H-L]

The North Oldham Fire Protection District is looking for whoever dredged up an offensive posting on social media. The district has launched an investigation into the online comment that involved one of its assistant fire chiefs. [WAVE3]

Mitch McConnell says that the filibuster change is all about health care. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. It’s all about HIM. [TPM]

The New Albany council opposes Indiana’s gay marriage ban amendment. A resolution was approved 7-1-1 to take a stand on the controversial legislation. [News & Tribune]

Just the news Louisville needs: a story about Greg Fischer’s holiday turkey. [WFPL]

As gamblers enjoy more options, Churchill Downs is feeling the squeeze. It’s canceling two races as growing competition draws away fans. [Business First]

Latest Fun Things We Hear From LMAS

We hear through the grapevine that Sadiqa Reynolds and Margaret Brosko are having fun at Louisville Metro Animal Services these days.

The latest? Ignoring background checks at Animal House for potential adopters as long as someone has the money to pay necessary fees. No vet checks, no landlord checks (unless it’s deemed an aggressive breed), no checks to determine an individual’s status as an animal abuser or dog fighter. The informal policy went into affect on September 26, though Brosko and crew will only confirm it to us off-the-record. They’re afraid of backlash from Reynolds and keep telling us they never receive our open records requests, despite read receipts and USPS confirmations, of course.

We’ve already discovered at least one instance of Animal House employees being forced to adopt out a Pit Bull to a guy who was drunk. None of the adoption coordinators wanted to process things so Margaret Brosko handled it herself. All of the staffers have been threatened and they’re afraid they’ll lose their jobs if they speak up or so much as express concern.

This is just a way to increase adoption rates by lowering the bar. Rather than having to do what they’re actually paid to do. Rather than promoting the facilities your tax dollars fund.

We’ve also received details about shenanigans involving WLKY. A dog hoarder’s group of animals were brought to LMAS facilities and were in need of adoption. Without promoting them, they’re obviously going to be euthanized and burned in the incinerator. But Margaret Brosko refused to allow WLKY’s Lauren Adams access to the facility. Without access, Adams’ boss (Glenn? Really? Get a grip.) refused to run a story. We also hear the story may have been pulled after pressure from Sadiqa Reynolds, which wouldn’t surprise anyone. But no one at WLKY will confirm or deny.

But here’s the real issue: LMAS is a municipal facility and cannot refuse access to taxpayers unless there’s a public health situation or the facilities are closed. And WLKY caved to pressure.

Possibility City!

You’re Excited To Pay All Kinds Of Bridge Tolls

People are concerned about how much it will cost them to cross the river. Transportation Department Officials are asking for input from the public before they implement a toll. [WDRB]

After Mississippi, Kentucky, West Virginia and Alabama had the lowest numbers for both life expectancy and healthy life expectancy. [HuffPo]

It’s been just over two years since a mother of two was killed by a stray bullet near Shawnee Park in West Louisville and no one has ever been arrested for her murder. [WHAS11]

A Louisville Metro Police lieutenant is trying to block the department from firing him, saying he is the victim of retaliation for his involvement in a whistleblower lawsuit. [C-J/AKN]

WLKY announced Friday that John Belski, one of Greater Louisville’s most beloved and trusted meteorologists, is joining the WLKY Weather Team, effective immediately. It won’t make WLKY’s other areas any better, though. [WLKY]

Meet your new cable company, probably worse than your old cable company. [Consumerist]

The Kennedy Bridge is under more construction causing a bigger headache for commuters. At first it was construction on 65 south that had traffic slowed, now it is the northbound lanes of the Kennedy Bridge that has the lane closures. [WAVE3]

A construction-related hole at Spring and Chestnut streets in Jeffersonville’s downtown historic district might remain longer than expected. [News & Tribune]

The University of Louisville says it broke its own fundraising record by receiving $162 million in private donations in the past year. [H-L]

A Louisville family of four needs $61,171 per year just to get by. [WFPL]

By any measure, Irena Sendler was one of the most remarkable and noble figures to have emerged from the horrors of World War II. But, until recently, her extraordinary compassion and heroism went largely unrecorded. [Daily Mail]

Go read this great series about guns and suicide. Really, go read it. [Here, Here & Here]