Retailers now have the option to charge a checkout fee when you use your credit card. The new checkout fee would offset the fee retailers pay credit card processors. [WDRB]
A military veteran who was confronted by Louisville police last year at Mid City Mall has filed a lawsuit over the incident claiming he was wrongfully detained and assaulted by officers. [H-L]
The Floyd County Coroner has identified a woman’s body discovered on the Indiana shore of the Ohio River on Friday. [WHAS11]
House Education Committee Chairman Carl Rollins said Friday that arming teachers should be a last resort as Kentucky legislators consider ways to improve school security after last month’s deadly shooting in Newtown, Conn. [C-J/AKN]
Family and friends are still searching for answers after a Louisville man was murdered on Christmas Day. The body of Charles Fambrough, 20, was found on Portland Avenue near North 24th Street in the early hours of Christmas morning. [WAVE3]
Sales of new, single-family houses fell more than 7 percent nationwide in December from a month earlier, according to a news release from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. [Business First]
Local officials said a prime piece of property in west Louisville is ready to attract new jobs. [WLKY]
During the month of January, WFPL aired nine features on the issues posed in regulating toxic air emissions in Rubbertown—and the past, present and potential health concerns of residents. Here’s a collection of those stories. [WFPL]
Despite a request from Gov. Steve Beshear to put off redistricting until later this year, state House Speaker Greg Stumbo is moving forward with getting proposals on the divisive issue. [WTVQ]
Amendments to two bond resolutions were again approved by the Jeffersonville Redevelopment Commission. The bond resolutions were previously approved by the commission in December and updated the bond for the Falls Landing TIF to total $3.5 million, and for the Inner City Roads TIF, the bond amendment totaled $9.5 million. [News & Tribune]
The Americana Community Center showed off its renovations to the former Holy Rosary Academy campus in an open house Thursday morning. [WDRB]
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer touted the city’s strides under his leadership, laid out a series of goals and lobbied for a local-option sales tax during his annual State of the City address Thursday. Will the local option tax be just like the library tax and flow directly into the general fund, never to be used for its intended purpose? [C-J/AKN]
The Zoo is seeking to hire seasonal positions in various departments including Admissions, Education, Gift Shop, Guest Services, Horticulture, Membership, Rides and Attractions and Splash Park. Just don’t drive the train! [WHAS11]
A pension fund for Chicago public employees has voted to divest its holdings in three companies that manufacture assault weapons, an official with the fund confirmed on Thursday. [Reuters]
Businessman Ed Hart and his fellow investors are promising to bring Louisville a first-class and safe amusement park when they reopen the long-shuttered Kentucky Kingdom. [WLKY]
Studying the costs and benefits of school closures and outsourcing various services have been outlined as bullet points by Greater Clark County Schools’ strategic planning committee. [News & Tribune]
The University of Kentucky has rehired Chester Grundy, a long-time civil rights activist whose dismissal from UK last year prompted publicity and protest letters. Interesting how that works. Interesting timing, as well. [H-L]
The Louisville Downtown Development Corp. has hired a team of consultants to develop a 10-year plan for development of downtown Louisville. Just what the city needs, right? More consultants. [Business First]
A warning to parents about their children’s health care. At the beginning of the year, Kentucky increased the options of Medicaid managed care providers and it could mean some of the biggest hospitals in the city are no longer in network. [WAVE3]
Eboni Cochran says there’s a lot to like about her neighborhood in Louisville’s West End. “You make a right and you will hit lots of green space, beautiful parkway with beautiful tall trees, with nice houses,” she says. [WFPL]
Approval of a new lease agreement today by the Kentucky State Fair Board moves the reopening of Kentucky Kingdom to as early as spring 2014. The investors, Kentucky Kingdom LLLP, now must secure the final private loans – worth $25 million – before the park can open.
The investors have agreed to initially invest $45 million in the park, which has been closed since 2009.
“This agreement is great news for the families who will visit Kentucky Kingdom and will certainly be a shot in the arm for local and regional tourism,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “This lease will also mean hundreds of jobs as well as much-needed income for the Fair Board. We are pleased that we were able to reach a mutually agreeable lease so the park can reopen as quickly as possible.”
The Fair Board and Kentucky Kingdom investors agreed to a 50-year lease after the state issued a request last year seeking proposals to reopen the park. Kentucky Kingdom LLLP was the only entity to submit a proposal. The lease includes a provision that will allow for the expansion of the water park at Kentucky Kingdom. The state’s Finance and Administration Cabinet negotiated the lease.
“This lease agreement is a fair deal for both our state taxpayers and for the investors seeking to operate the park,” said board chairman Ron Carmicle. “The lease protects taxpayers from shouldering private debt and ensures that the park operators have every opportunity to succeed. As soon as the private financing is finalized, the countdown begins to a reopened and reinvigorated tourist attraction.”
The rental income starts at $475,000 the first year for the Fair Board and will increase by $50,000 a year for the first 15 years of the agreement.
Kentucky Kingdom is required to spend $13 million in 2013 and 2014 to get the park open. It must spend another $7 million on the park through the 2016 season. After 2017, it must spend at least $1 million annually on the park.
Kentucky Kingdom will seek state tourism development incentives through the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority.
The current economy has increased demand for apartment living in the Louisville area. This is benefiting one locally owned company. [WDRB]
State education officials are urging schools to compete for a national award that recognizes outstanding efforts in environmental impact and health. [WLEX18]
You can’t even ride TARC these days without some woman snorting drugs. [WHAS11]
Gov. Steve Beshear endorsed a constitutional amendment Wednesday to allow local option sales taxes, joining the mayors of Kentucky’s biggest cities and Greater Louisville Inc. in backing the concept to create a local funding alternative for local projects. [C-J/AKN]
Kentucky can rightly claim its title as the “horse capital,” at least of the United States, according to results from the 2012 Kentucky Equine Survey. [H-L]
Wednesday morning one talented local elementary student got quite a surprise. Breckenridde(sic)-Franklin fifth-grader Cortez Vinson is the winner of this year’s Kentucky Derby Museum art contest. [WLKY]
Gov. Steve Beshear says he approves of a plan to reopen the Kentucky Kingdom theme park. [WFPL]
Talk surrounding a requested investigation as a result of charges made by Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore on a city credit card are being blown out of proportion, according to several City Council members. [News & Tribune]
This mess about alleged racial discrimination at the University of Kentucky is getting crazier and crazier. [Page One]
Oh, look, the local business media folks have realized that Matthew Barzun may again be a U.S. Ambassador. [Business First]
The search continues for five sisters and another female relative accused of stealing multiple wallets out of hospital nurse’s stations and doctor’s offices. [WAVE3]
You ever read or hear an editor or teevee station manager “editorial” and roll your eyes so hard they hurt?
Here’s another one! It’s from Ken Selvaggi of WAVE3. It’s a love fest of Greg Fischer and things that are horribly exaggerated or don’t matter to locals and people who actually pay attention to what’s happening in the area.
Then there’s this:
Yet all the positives can be negated if Louisville can’t get its pension debt lower. Right now, it ranks among the worst in the nation. The debt may soon cripple the ability of the city to deliver basic services. It consumes 15 percent of the general fund budget now, more than double than it did seven years ago.
Relief can only come from the state as it dictates pension policy. We encourage Kentucky legislators to make pension reform a top agenda item in this legislative session.
And that’s where Selvaggi isn’t just off his rocker but absolutely (ignorantly?) lying to television viewers.
The problem isn’t that pension obligations consume 15% of the budget. Though, part of the issue is that Fischer wastes a large portion of the budget on bloated salaries for people who do nothing. And part of the issue is that millions upon millions of tax dollars are floated out to several non-profit agencies around town that just flush the cash down the drain.
The real problem? That’s something you only comprehend if you don’t have your head in the sand. It’s Frankfort. It’s that CERS is a part of Kentucky Retirement System. It’s that Louisville is responsible for something like 65% of CERS. All while KRS is considered the absolute worst pension system in the entire country and one of the worst on the planet. CERS – meaning Louisville – is forced to carry the weight of KRS and its failures without having an increased voice in pension matters and without any recourse.
The only solution to that is for CERS to leave KRS and serve as its own pension system. Free of placement agents. Free of Fischer and Beshear-tied individuals who have no pension and investment expertise.
If you want more information about what’s going on at KRS? Just search through Page One. We write about it every day. The problems Louisville faces with CERS and KRS are not far or few and the least of the pension worries are how much of the general fund it consumes.
Kentucky Kingdom could reopen within a year or two, according to the head of the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau, James Wood. It’s a signal that Ed Hart’s group and the state are near an agreement. [WDRB]
Are we still pretending there’s not a real life racial divide in Louisville? Louisville’s largest law firms have dramatically increased their ranks of women attorneys and partners over the past three decades — but they still employ few black or other minority attorneys. [C-J/AKN]
Again, this is the kind of crap that happens when teevee media overhype an issue. Police have arrested a woman for false reporting in an incident involving a white van in the parking lot of a Bardstown restaurant. [WHAS11]
Indiana legislators have introduced bills to help the state’s riverboat casinos hold onto business in the face of growing competition from casinos in neighboring states. [News & Tribune]
Like we told you yesterday, this is one of the dumbest things we’ve seen in a hot minute. A gay minister and his partner were arrested following a peaceful protest inside the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office.[WLKY]
For nearly a century, Kosair Charities has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to care for Kentucky children with diseases and disabilities. Now the Louisville-based non-profit group is combating another childhood scourge – abuse and neglect. [H-L]
Guess which cable company this is about. Much of the coverage surrounding the phenomenon of cord-cutting has focused on the cost savings of ditching cable. [Consumerist]
The City of Jeffersonville is trying to combat the rising problem of homelessness in the area. Tuesday morning, a public forum was held to come up with ideas and solutions on what to do about the increasing problem. [WAVE3]
Traditional heath insurers Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield and Humana Inc. have new competition for customers as a result of a new health insurance plan introduced in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. [Business First]
The closing of Lynn’s Paradise Cafe has provided one benefit to neighboring businesses on Barret Avenue: additional parking. “But that’s it,” said Rick Prario, a clerk at the nearby Speier Ace Hardware. [C-J/AKN]
Crews have begun clearing the way for a new Ohio River bridge that’s part of Indiana and Kentucky’s $2.6 billion project to build or upgrade a trio of bridges. Workers demolished a house Monday on the river’s Kentucky side as site-clearing began for the new bridge that will link Utica, Ind., and Prospect, Ky. [H-L]
A morning surprise greeted Jason Pierce, though not one he was thrilled to find. Pierce had just finished working third shift and stepped outside his home to smoke a cigarette when he noticed a bullet hole in the front passenger door of his minivan. [WDRB]
Restaurants like Lynn’s Paradise Cafe that require servers to use their own cash to share tips with other employees risk violating Kentucky labor law, according to local labor lawyers. [C-J/AKN]
This is what happens when local teevee people are irresponsible and hype up stupid stories like the Chester Chester Child Molester van issue. [WHAS11]
For 35 years, the Lees Lane Landfill in Southwest Louisville took in everything the city wanted to throw out, from household trash to toxic chemicals. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates more than two million cubic yards of waste went into the landfill. And though it’s been closed and remediated, there are still unanswered questions about contamination at the site. [WFPL]
Hillview City Council members have unanimously approved a new curfew for children under 18 years old. It’s a measure police said will help cut a recent increase in crime across the community. [WLKY]
Oh, look, the people in Lexington have noticed that Cordish (in Louisville) selectively uses its dress code to get away with racial profiling. [WKYT]
It’s cute how everyone in the mainstream is noticing this is an issue literally years later. Activists gathered at Fourth Street Live Monday, complaining that its operator, Baltimore-based Cordish Cos., has not made changes to a controversial dress code. [Business First]
We told you there was more drama to come from the corrupt Jeffersonville Mayor’s office and this is only the beginning. The Mayor of Jeffersonville is under investigation by the city council over allegations he misused his city credit card. Now, council members are getting the state involved in the investigation. [WAVE3]
East End bridge plans change, move forward. There’s a new design and potential delays. [News & Tribune]