Crisis In Southern Indiana Highlights Importance Of Needle Exchanges

Officials are now calling the HIV outbreak in southern Indiana an epidemic. [WDRB]

Are you excited for the beginning of the Kentucky Derby Festival? Get ready. It’s almost here. [C-J/AKN]

The area’s first organized walk to end discrimination and bullying took place Wednesday evening at Louisville’s Big Four Bridge. [WHAS11]

Members of the NAACP in Lexington are raising questions about how Fayette County Public Schools distributes money to individual schools and about the district’s minority hiring rates. [H-L]

Sounds like these kids need to be in charge of UofL’s actual finances. Maybe they could stop the unbelievable swindling of tens of millions of dollars right under Jim Ramsey’s knowing nose. Some business students from the University of Louisville are participating next month in the national level of a global financial analysis competition. [WLKY]

Gary Fury was working at a Simonton Windows factory in West Virginia in July 2012 when a large two-window unit slipped to the floor. [ProPublica]

It’s not the picture of Louisville many people want to see – garbage and litter lining the interstates and expressways into town. [WAVE3]

Kentucky is apparently the 8th-worst state for retirement. Which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. [Bankrate]

Louisville’s Metropolitan Sewer District Board has voted to change the way the agency disposes of surplus property. The board voted unanimously to adopt the modifications to MSD’s policies on Monday. [WFPL]

The Early Childhood Profiles, produced by the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS), are compiled to help community leaders, Community Early Childhood Councils and school districts with data to assist in developing local strategies for helping every child in their community arrive at kindergarten ready to do kindergarten work. [Click the Clicky]

A $30 million upscale student housing complex is slated to open by fall 2016 at the northwest corner of South Floyd Street and East Brandeis Avenue near the University of Louisville. [Business First]

Donors are still being sought, but statewide, community foundations have reached the halfway point in a funding drive to match a Lilly Endowment Inc. grant worth up to $66 million. [News & Tribune]

Ford Motor Co said on Wednesday it is recalling more than 220,000 vehicles in North America for potential issues with door handles, vacuum pump relays and sensors. [Reuters]

It’s Groundhog Day With Fischer & Trees

Some pretty horrific news rolled out this week about Louisville losing eleven billion trees a day.

That’s despite all the hype Greg Fischer has attempted to generate the past couple years over trees. Attempted and failed because… trees. Only a handful of us get excited about trees.

So what’s he do when there’s negative news?

Rushes out and tries to hype all the puppies and rainbows up to confuse the public. Complete with headlines like:

  • New nonprofit sees major tree planting push [C-J/AKN]
  • Mayor outlines strategy for more trees [WAVE3]

Heaven forbid there be something Fischer and his team of communications hacks (Really? He’s still using Margaret Brosko on his comms team!) not use your tax dollars to spin into oblivion.

Maybe this time all the trees won’t die? Unlike the last time Fischer planted a bunch.

And remember this headline from not too long ago?

Leaders of Louisville’s fledgling tree commission are accusing Mayor Greg Fischer of cutting them off at the roots — saying the mayor has ignored their advice in his grand plan to restore the city’s shrinking tree canopy. [C-J/AKN]

Apparently not much has changed.

Note to those who aren’t paying attention: Fischer usually holds tree pressers to distract from scandals or bad press. Sometimes to combat bad press about trees, which seems to happen frequently.

It’s real life Groundhog Day with this. Good grief.

Gen Con Should Just Move To Louisville

It’s just another day for UPS driver Mark Casey. He has 60 miles to drive, and 125 deliveries to make. [WDRB]

One deal to restore Muhammad Ali’s boyhood home appears dead, but a Philadelphia attorney says he wants to buy the site and convert it to a museum honoring the three-time Louisville heavyweight boxing champion and humanitarian. [C-J/AKN]

Way to go, JCPS, you’ve done it again. There is new information about the 5-year-old girl left alone on a JCPS school bus for hours on March 11. [WHAS11]

Told ya Jamie Comer is in one of the biggest CYA moves in the history of gubernatorial primary politics in Kentucky. HUGE MEGA PEE ALERT! Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer’s claim that Kentucky had lost 50,000 jobs had disappeared from his campaign website. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! Three weeks after he was shot in a West Louisville neighborhood, 13-year-old Tay Reed returned to school. [WLKY]

The number of uninsured U.S. residents fell by more than 11 million since President Barack Obama signed the health care overhaul five years ago, according to a pair of reports Tuesday from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [HuffPo]

A(sic) inmate who had been placed into the Home Incarceration Program is charged with escape after he walked out of the Hall of Justice and tried to leave. [WAVE3]

Thirty-one stats(sic) have water supplies dipping below normal. Droughts have formally been declared in 22 of them. How we use water has never been more important, especially in the American Southwest, where drought conditions are the most severe in a generation — and could last another 1,000 years. [ProPublica]

Louisville’s shrinking tree canopy has finally been quantified. Jefferson County is losing trees at a rate of about 54,000 a year, according to a comprehensive assessment of the county’s trees scheduled to be released later this morning. [WFPL]

A major gaming convention, Gen Con, threatened on Tuesday to move its annual event out of Indiana if Gov. Mike Pence signs into law a controversial bill that would allow private businesses to deny service to homosexuals on religious grounds. [Reuters]

The First Link Supermarket at 431 E. Liberty St. in downtown Louisville has been for sale for awhile now, but the agent representing the store’s owner said he would prefer to lease the space after the death of his father and business partner last month. [Business First]

Another step in approving the new radio and television stations at Greater Clark County Schools’ high schools was approved at this week’s board meeting. [News & Tribune]

Don’t Worry, Everything Is Puppies & Rainbows!

Just in case you were wondering why Greg Fischer doesn’t have time to actually do the job he’s paid to do? Here you go. Here’s the latest publicity stunt. [WDRB]

By all accounts eighth-grader Stephen Patton was cheerful and well-liked by most of his classmates at Floyd County’s Allen Central Middle School. But a few of them, his family says they discovered, repeatedly abused, taunted and bullied the 13-year-old gentle giant, who stood 6 foot 3, weighed 196 pounds and had a stutter. [C-J/AKN]

The Centers for Disease Control is setting up shop in Southern Indiana to help manage the growing outbreak of positive HIV cases. The Scott County Health Department reports 55 confirmed cases of the virus with 12 more preliminary positives. However heath workers believe this is just the tip if the iceberg. [WHAS11]

The friendly rivalry for the hearts and throats of bourbon lovers is about to get more interesting, particularly in Louisville where major distilleries are focusing their tourism efforts. [Janet Patton]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! Police say their latest murder arrest, in a case that was growing cold, is thanks to part to tips from the public. [WLKY]

California Gov. Jerry Brown said Sunday that it is a “disgrace” that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to thwart the Obama administration’s plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. [HuffPo]

This is just the kind of the puppies and rainbows thing that exacerbates Louisville’s problems. Sure, feel happy about it because it’s pretty and fun to watch on the teevee. But get over it quickly. [WAVE3]

Soon after the U.S. and other major powers entered negotiations last year to curtail Iran’s nuclear program, senior White House officials learned Israel was spying on the closed-door talks. The spying operation was part of a broader campaign by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to penetrate the negotiations and then help build a case against the emerging terms of the deal, current and former U.S. officials said. [WSJ]

Most Kentucky parents believe their child receives a nutritious lunch at school, according to a Kentucky Health Issues Poll released Thursday. [WFPL]

The tech startup bubble has America’s retirement funds — like Kentucky Retirement Systems — chasing unicorns. [Zero Hedge]

The new addition at the north end of Fourth Street Live is bright orange, made of steel and has a giant iPhone-like touch screen. It’s called AirBare, and it’s an interactive kiosk at the corner of Fourth and Liberty streets that displays the local air quality. [Business First]

March 30 will be a public arts blowout for Jeffersonville. The events begin with the dedication of the “Jeff” sculpture created by R. Michael Wimmer on the berm, at Mechanic and 10th streets, at 4:30 p.m. Immediately following the dedication is a public art masterplan kick-off at Jeffersonville City Hall, 500 Quartermaster Court, from 5 to 7 p.m., according to a news release. [News & Tribune]

LMAS & Fischer Crew Still Push Secrecy

A heads-up to Sadiqa Reynolds and Metro Animal Services is in order.

Read this from Nathan Winograd:


READ IT, SADIQA

And then read the story he referenced. Here’s an excerpt:

Animal facilities cannot silence volunteers, judge rules

A judge’s ruling in Maryland may make some animal control facilities and shelters think twice about a seldom-discussed policy — forcing volunteers and would-be rescuers to remain silent about any problems they witness.

-SNIP-

Maryland U.S. District Judge James Bredar agreed. Last week he ruled that the “opportunity to serve as a volunteer or partner with a government organization” as a rescuer is a constitutionally protected benefit and that volunteers and rescuers have “the right to exercise constitutionally protected free speech, free of a state actor’s retaliatory adverse act.”

Bredar’s decision could have implications around the country. Public animal control facilities often make volunteer candidates sign nondisclosure agreements.

LMAS folks are currently trying to make volunteers sign away their rights just for volunteering. And Sadiqa is backing them up on it because it was her idea.

D-i-s-a-s-t-e-r.