Woah, What Happened To Summer Break, Kids?

Already planning a new elementary school in Norton Commons, Jefferson County Public Schools is looking to free-up more space in fast-growing eastern Louisville by converting Kennedy Metro — an alternative middle school near Jeffersontown – into an elementary school. [WDRB]

Hold on to your wigs, ladies, cause Ann Oldfather is about to eat Possibility City alive again! And not just because she’s the bee’s (bees’?) knees. An attorney for retired firefighters argues Louisville owes her clients another million dollars a year and counting as the city continues to appeal the latest ruling in a fight over pension and overtime. [C-J/AKN]

The heat expected to crank up as Wayside Christian Mission kicked off their summer version of their Operation White Flag campaign. [WHAS11]

Keeneland Race Course is delaying plans to begin offering instant racing on its Lexington campus because of the 2015 Breeders’ Cup. On Friday, the city’s Board of Adjustment granted the Lexington racetrack a 60-day postponement for its application for a special permit to build a 61,000-square-foot building to house the instant-racing terminals. [H-L]

With the start of the new school year just around the corner, an event was held Saturday to make sure every student is ready to go. [WLKY]

There may be a philosophical difference between the two candidates on how best to create jobs. But Grimes’ use of a single quote that appeared in a six-paragraph story of a local paper doesn’t fully reflect McConnell’s position on job creation. [HuffPo]

A Louisville hot dog vendor who is free on bond after being charged with murder in a suspected case of road rage was back selling hot dogs at his long-time perch in front of the Hall of Justice. [WAVE3]

A former Ford Motor Co engineer is being investigated by the FBI after listening devices were found in meeting rooms at company offices, the automaker said on Friday. [Reuters]

For the first time, Jefferson County Public Schools will have mental health counselors based in schools. [WFPL]

Want to read the most scandalous Louisville Metro Animal Services story yet? Have at it. The worst in eight years of our LMAS coverage. Everyone from Greg Fischer on down are to blame and should be prosecuted. [The ‘Ville Voice]

The national average mortgage rate for a 30-year fixed loan thus far in 2014 is lower than the total for 2013, according to a Bankrate.com report. [Business First]

Like the dispatchers he oversees often are, Brad Meixell is in a race against time. The county’s 911 executive director with the Clark County Office of Emergency Communications, Meixell is charged with the day-to-day operations of the county’s central 911 call center, or central alarm. [News & Tribune]

Come On, WLKY, Enough With Autoplay Videos!

A well traveled stretch of road near the University of Louisville will soon go from two lanes to one, in both directions. [WDRB]

Maybe they don’t know which outdoor activities are available, or how to access them. Or maybe they don’t think they have the time. [C-J/AKN]

We may be honest, but a new study says Louisville is one of the saddest cities in America. [WHAS11]

I feel sorry for the tens of thousands of unaccompanied children who have crossed our southern border, desperate to escape the widespread violence and poverty in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. But the people I pity are the adults in this country who — wrapped up in selfishness, mean-spirited politics or misguided patriotism — have tried to make the lives of these vulnerable kids more miserable than they already are. [Tom Eblen]

WARNING: autoplay video. This story will make your eyes roll back in your head. [WLKY]

Looky here! LMEMS is trying to hire another doctor because the one they have on staff (Richmond) is never in town. [Possibility City]

Barely three months after General Electric and the University of Louisville announced that a vacant warehouse would house an innovative microfactory for research and development, FirstBuild is open. [WAVE3]

This study found that kids prefer healthier lunches. The school food lobby refuses to believe it, though. [Mother Jones]

A preliminary analysis of the effects of the EPA’s new greenhouse gas rules on regions of the country suggest some states fighting the regulations—like Texas and Oklahoma—may see economic benefits under the rule. [WFPL]

Want to read the most scandalous Louisville Metro Animal Services story yet? Have at it. The worst in eight years of our LMAS coverage. Everyone from Greg Fischer on down are to blame and should be prosecuted. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Entrepreneur Alex Frommeyer is working with University of Louisville engineering students on a new venture called HelioMap. The startup provides a Web-based quoting service for solar panel installations in homes and businesses. [Business First]

Attorneys for same-sex couples challenging Indiana’s gay marriage ban are objecting to the state’s request that all 10 members of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hear the case. The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, Lambda Legal and a private law firm argue in a brief filed Monday that a three-judge panel is enough. [News & Tribune]

A Deeper Look At That Fischer/LMAS Coverup

By now, you probably know all about the latest Louisville Metro Animal Services scandal that Greg Fischer is involved in. You know he, the mayor, is ultimately responsible for this mess. Even though he’ll inevitably have a sacrificial lamb that he’ll use to throw to the media.

But if you don’t, here’s a nice refresher:

  • The LMAS Official-Turned-Fischer-Staffer Scandal Gets Real: Proof Margaret Brosko & Other Metro Officials Are Corrupt & Lack Any Compassion [July 22]
  • Transparency: Fischer Put His Foot In His Mouth [July 23]
  • This Louisville Scandal Impacts The Entire State [July 23]

The TL;DR: a head lady at LMAS was responsible for caring for a dog, she didn’t, she used money earmarked for the dog, lied about it, the dog suffered, was essentially tortured, abused, died, she retaliated against the folks who tried to help it, then she and the Fischer administration covered it up, worked to hide public records, lied about their existence and Fischer promoted the head LMAS lady to work for him in his office. It’s been one giant, horrible whitewash of epic proportions. Trust us — it’s worth reading everything so you can get caught up.

Despite there being clear evidence that everything we published was accurate and honest, the Fischer folks have claimed to other media outlets that we’ve fabricated information and made this story up in an attempt to harm him politically. We’re not sure why they can’t come up with better lies, as no one believes that one, Fischer has no credible political challenger, will never be anything more than mayor.

So we thought it’d be a good idea to drive the point about illegally withholding information from the public a bit further. Not only did Fischer’s folks hide documents and deny their existence, on many documents they illegally — in violation of KRS 61.878 — exercised blanket redaction of names in an attempt to further obscure and obfuscate.

And not for any credible reason. Not for any reason protected by law. In fact, for reasons that defy opinion OAG12-149 from Attorney General Jack Conway and the Kentucky Revised Statutes.

The excuse Metro Government’s Open Records Coordinator, Dee Allen, used? Let’s turn directly to Allen’s response:

However, if your protest centers on our redaction of the Louisville Metro Animal Service personnel names, then you are correct that we are indeed relying on preserving the public’s interest in the application of KRS 61.878(1)(a) by providing protection to the public employees which are believed to be in personal danger of retaliation or other harm if their identities are revealed.

-SNIP-

However, the most compelling reason for our continued protection of the individual names is literally to protect these public employees, who were performing their assigned duties in accordance with their employment, from possible harm.

You catch that? The Fischer Administration (his office reviews all Open Records Requests for Metro Animal Services before they’re sent out, as we’ve reported in the past) used the excuse that they had to redact Metro Government employee names to protect them from retaliation! And because they were in personal danger!

Minds. Blown.

Don’t believe it? See for yourself:


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We redacted names just to be jerks. The individual gave us permission to use her name. But why do that when we can prove a point?

As you can see for yourself, the Attorney General has already made clear that LMAS can only withhold a record if it can establish that the public’s interest in the release of the record is outweighed by an individual’s privacy interest. Jack Conway also makes explicitly clear what can and can not be used for justification. To that point, Conway has said:

[1] “[A] person’s name is personal but it is the least private thing about him . . . . The name of a person should not be deleted from a public record unless there is some special reason provided by statute or court order (i.e., adoption records).” OAG 82-234, at p. 3 (emphasis added); 07-ORD-199. See 98-ORD-123 (upholding the decision to release a witness report, including the name, but with home address and telephone number redacted under KRS 61.878(1)(a)).

No one in their right mind thinks the name of a government employee or veterinarian presents a privacy or safety concern in this case. No one. Not even the people using it as an excuse.

This wasn’t just an overreach of authority by the Fischer folks but a blatant attempt to withhold records from the public while covering up a gigantic scandal.

The point of this all: the Fischer crew can’t run or hide from this. It’s all on him. All on them. And the more his people come for me (Jake) personally and come for my business, impacting my ability to earn a living and eat for daring to report on scandals like this? The more motivated I am to hitch our wagons to him full-time.

If Dee Allen’s name sounds familiar, it is. Because she’s been involved in withholding LMAS information from the public for a number of years. After we raised concerns about a similar scandal at LMAS in late 2011, Allen used her husband to begin the retaliation against me. In July 2012, Allen had another fun redaction/whitewashing incident on her hands involving LMAS. A month later, yet another.

Transparency is not a thing with Greg Fischer. It’s just a fluffy buzzword he throws around. Same with compassion.

This is ridiculous.

UPDATE TIME!

For those of you wondering why Jack Conway didn’t resolve this? He threw things back to the County Attorney, who wrote:

LMAS Further continues to express its concerns over the release of the names of its employees as such release may cause possible retaliatory actions by Ms. REDACTED. Although the LMAS understands that the names of its public employees do not enjoy protection from public scrutiny, concerns have been raised as to possible risks of retaliation against LMAS and its employees by Ms. REDACTED upon the release of information identifying the public employees that cared for the dog in question

By retaliatory actions, they must have meant “possibility of blowing the top off this scandal” as we have just done.

Hate Mountaintop Removal? Watch This Video

If you hate Mountaintop Removal, watch this hearing with John Yarmuth:




Displaying a bottle of contaminated water from the well of the Urias family in Eastern Kentucky, Yarmuth questioned Dr. Matthew Wasson, director of programs for Appalachian Voices, about the need for such a study. The hearing took place in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy.

“They don’t need a website in their community to know there’s a health problem associated with that water,” Yarmuth said of those who live near mountaintop removal mining sites. “If that were the drinking water here in Congress, we not only wouldn’t drink it – we would not stand for it.”

LG&E Gets Fined Every Waking Minute, Probably

Another day, another bus accident, nothing to see here, move along. [WDRB]

Tax-increment financing districts and property tax caps continued to have a negative effect on Greater Clark County Schools last year, as assessed property values dropped about $50 million to $2.3 billion, according to the district’s chief financial officer, citing its latest annual report released this week. [C-J/AKN]

Kentucky bourbon makers are churning out larger volumes of whiskey being stored for aging. The Kentucky Distillers’ Association said Tuesday the state’s bourbon inventory has topped 5 million barrels for the first time since 1977. [WHAS11]

A pilot project to capture carbon dioxide from emissions at a coal-fired power plant in Mercer County could play a role in the future of coal, not just in Kentucky but elsewhere, officials said Monday. [H-L]

Possibility City is turning into fire city and it is terrifying. [WLKY]

Homeless man who sold sketches of his dog now has his own art show and credits his ‘guardian angel’ pup. [HuffPo]

We told you about this high-speed internet thing at Metro Council on the twitter the other day. Sadly, we’re not holding our breath just yet. [WAVE3]

Obamacare in Kentucky: The luxury of seeing a doctor. This should be required reading. [BBC]

Louisville Gas and Electric has been fined again for issues at the company’s Cane Run Power Station. [WFPL]

Want to read the most scandalous Louisville Metro Animal Services story yet? Have at it. The worst in eight years of our LMAS coverage. Everyone from Greg Fischer on down are to blame and should be prosecuted. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Gannett Co. Inc. has reported an increase in its TV and digital revenues, while print revenues continue to slump. [Business First]

Changes have been made to the Clark County Drug Treatment Court participant handbook that will allow those in the alternative-to-prison initiative to more easily succeed in the program, officials say. [News & Tribune]

Transparency: Fischer Put His Foot In His Mouth

Here’s what Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer had to say recently:

“And it might sound trite, but the government is the people and it is the citizens, so there are no secrets.” – Mayor Greg Fischer July 14, 2014.

Just a week later, we broke this scandal that flies in the face of everything Greg Fischer has ever said or done.

Oh, anyone expecting a feel-good response from Greg Fischer: just give up now. He’s had his chance(s) to clean things up and has done nothing but further the waste, fraud, abuse of public trust, corruption and abuse of animals that absolutely could have and should have been stopped. If you expect him to say or do anything that could make you feel better? That’s like expecting an abuser to change and stop beating you. It’s a similar mentality.

Quit it with the hope and change and compassion bullshit and hold the man and his people accountable.

Rather than do anything, Fischer’s folks have taken to calling our advertisers this morning in an attempt to malign characters and harm our business. Rather than take positive action, that’s what they do. Just like the Democrats in 2011, they’d rather go after the messenger who uncovers the scandal instead of doing their jobs. That’s their true character.

It’s a sad week in Possibility City.

UPDATE: Want a nice roundup of some of our significant LMAS stories? You’ll find a decent list of them by clicking here.