Think Positively! Thunder & Derby Are Upon Us

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has addressed a letter to citizens in an effort to ease recent apprehensions over violence downtown. [WDRB]

An abrupt slashing of state funding for Louisville’s waterfront agency will almost certainly lead to elimination of the city’s traditional Fourth of July celebration and a drastic reduction in the planned six-day gala to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Belle of Louisville. [C-J/AKN]

Waterfront Park is treading water this week after Kentucky lawmakers decided to slash its funding completely. The cuts mean a loss of 18 percent of the park’s annual budget. [WHAS11]

A PBS documentary scheduled for broadcast in late April dissects the pattern of incarceration in America by turning the lens on prison culture in Kentucky. Produced by “Frontline,” the documentary features several members of the Louisville community, including Jayjuan Taylor, the 14-year-old that has been a voice in the recent concerns of teenage violence. [WFPL]

Officials in a financially-strapped southern Indiana county are weighing whether to sell off some county-owned properties and boost local income taxes to deal with a deepening budget crisis. [WLKY]

Josh Nadzam grew up as the only child of a single mother in a small Pennsylvania town. He hoped to escape poverty, if only he could run fast enough. [Tom Eblen]

It’s here again! Thunder Over Louisville is one week away and the city is busy getting ready for the official kick-off of the 2014 Kentucky Derby Festival. [WAVE3]

Three misprinted or misplaced signs around the city have caused some Jeffersonville residents to do double-takes while on the street or sidewalk. [News & Tribune]

Maybe there’s a bit of a problem with some downtown Louisville employees? Particularly when it comes to assault folks on camera. [The ‘Ville Voice]

A group of preservationists and homeowners in the Tucker Station neighborhood of East Louisville, represented by real estate attorney Stephen T. Porter, are fighting the planned development of two warehouse and distribution facilities in the Blankenbaker Station Business Park. [Business First]

Hot Mess With Deranged Downtown Ambassador

Maybe there’s a bit of a problem with some downtown employees? Check out what Charles Johnson, a sandwich shop employee, went through when some nutty downtown “ambassador” assaulted him:

On April 3.2014 I was at work at Jimmy Johns at 4th and Broadway. I had just returned to the store from making a delivery on foot to Brown Brothers Cadillac. When I got back in the store I was told by another employee that someone up front wanted to talk to me. It was one of our Louisville Downtown Ambassadors in their distinctive blue jackets with yellow print. He told me that I almost hit him with my car in the alley behind the Heyburn building.

I repeatedly told him he was wrong and that I hadn’t even been in my vehicle. He yelled and cussed at me and flailed his arms aggressively. I already had my next delivery in my hand so we stepped outside as I continued to try to explain to him that it couldn’t possibly have been me and suggested he go ask the store owner and manager if he would not believe me. He continued to yell and I finally asked him for his name. He repeatedly refused to give it so I took out my phone and tried to take his picture and told him I was going to be speaking with his supervisor. At that point he knocked my phone into my face and I tried to push him away. He then took his umbrella and beat me in the face and head seven times. He had to be pulled off of me by a group of coworkers or he would have continued his attack.

I was left with cuts and bruises on my face and required fourteen stitches. When the LMPD finally arrived they refused to arrest him and claimed that it was only a misdemeanor assault and they could not arrest him. The entire attack and even the vehicle that he claimed almost hit him were all capture on camera. My employer was told by a supervisor for the Louisville Downtown Management District that my attacker has been removed from their schedule for the week pending an investigation.

The video:

Some of the photos the guy posted on Facebook:



Okay, so it’s a stretch to claim he was brutally beaten. Definitely assaulted/beaten up, though. And Johnson likely overreacted while yelling about getting an attorney and suing (on Facebook here). Instead of pressing charges, he screamed to WAVE3 and WDRB for attention.

But this ambassador lunatic needs to be fired and charged with assault and whatever else he’s one.

Note: No, we’re not suggesting he should have remained quiet. But there’s always time for yelling publicly after pressing charges to get the nut off the street and off the taxpayer’s dime.

Ken Herndon ought to be working double time to make sure Johnson is compensated. After the terrible guy is fired, though.

Update: Johnson has since pressed charges.

UofL: Officially The Land Of Unchecked Corruption

The bright colors signature to the Kentucky Derby are a stark contrast to what organizations fighting human trafficking say the annual event can bring. [WDRB]

Jeffersonville’s ramp to the Big Four Bridge will open with a ribbon cutting ceremony at noon April 30, the day of the Kentucky Derby Festival’s Great Steamboat Race. [C-J/AKN]

The former executive director of University of Louisville’s Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine was indicted Wednesday by a federal Grand Jury. [WHAS11]

African-Americans and Latinos are losing economic ground when compared with whites in the areas of employment and income as the United States pulls itself out of the Great Recession, the latest State of Black America report from the National Urban League says. [HuffPo]

On April 3, 1974, what is now the Louisville metro area experienced part of the worst tornado outbreak in United States history. [WLKY]

State lawmakers approved a passel of tax breaks for businesses earlier this week with little public discussion, providing potentially lucrative benefits for a proposed 21c Museum Hotel in Lexington, the state’s bourbon and beer industries, start-up companies and more. [H-L]

We can’t decide if this is a huge waste of time and money. Despite a brutal winter, construction on the Downtown Crossing of the Ohio River Bridges Project has stayed on track. [WAVE3]

Go watch this episode of Kentucky Tonight that focuses on the death penalty. [KET]

The city’s response to violent outbreaks in the downtown Louisville area is drawing criticism from some in the teenage community. [WFPL]

The University of Louisville is nearing its goal of raising $1 billion for the university, and an announcement is planned for later this month to celebrate the achievement. [Business First]

Designs for what will someday be one of the first sights for many travelers into Jeffersonville were finalized Tuesday. [News & Tribune]

Here’s a quick flashback of Mitch McConnell receiving the keys to his first office as Jefferson County Judge-Executive in 1978. [Page One]