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A Look at the Farm to Table Program

Louisville’s farm to table program, which connects local farmers with local consumers, has been nationally recognized by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. It’s a movement that’s steadily building support, but what exactly does it mean? WFPL’s Dalton Main spent a day learning about one particular incarnation of the farm to table idea, following the food’s journey from the farm to the table.

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The farm to table concept has found a unique home in Louisville’s East

Market District. In a place called Harvest Restaurant. Just a week after opening in April, the restaurant received its first four star review and has continued to impress patrons.

“The food is just absolutely wonderful, just wonderful,” says diner Carolyn Claxton. “I had a pork dish that was really special, but right now the bread pudding with the bourbon sauce is by far the best.”

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Louisville/Lexington Rail Link Plans Could Fall Apart

Plans for a possible rail line connecting Louisville, Lexington and Frankfort are moving forward, but that progress could soon stop. The man behind the concept is leaving his job.

Executive director of the Kentucky Capital Development Corporation Ralph Tharp first released his plans for the line earlier this year. But his contract with the corporation will not be renewed. Tharp says he has the support of mayors along the route and he will continue to work on the project until his contract expires in October.

Tharp says the next step for the rail plan is a feasibility study, which would look at routes, stops and capacity. The study would cost around $300,000, and is necessary to seek federal funds for the project.

“We feel very confident that we can money that is put into the highway tax fund,” Tharp says “the federal tax fund that Kentucky creates every year, and we feel there is enough money in that to be used for the rail.”

Louisville and Lexington are working with the Brookings Institution to develop plans for a super region that connects the two cities. Fischer says transportation is a key part of any super region, though he’s not sure if a rail line is the best option.

“The link between Lexington and Louisville is something that I’m spending a lot of time on,” Fischer says “we need to create a regional economy, part of that will be transportation, what type of transportation, when it will be involved, we haven’t focused on that yet, but transportation obviously is a critical link: Lexington, Frankfort, Louisville.”

The question now is what will happen to the plan for a rail line.

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Qannik Released From Quarantine Status

The Louisville Zoo lifted the new polar bear cub’s quarantine status today.  The cub was rescued in Alaska’s North Slope region in April and has been kept isolated to acclimate her to the new surroundings.

Her removal from quarantine today means that she is one step closer to being on display. However, Qannik won’t be on display just yet, the zoo will allow her to make her own decisions about moving into the new areas.

Jane Ann Franklin is the bear’s handler and says she is like Qannik’s surrogate mother.

“She relies on us to give her cues to whether she should be aggressive, whether she should retreat or whether she should stand her ground;” Franklin says “and so we have to be mom for her and make sure that she has some stability in her life and we are the constant in her life.”

Franklin has been teaching Qannik basic skills like swimming as well as developing her instincts.

“The next steps for her will be getting accustomed to the transfer chute that she has to step out into from where she is at now, go down a hallway make a short turn then go up a set of steps, then she’ll be in what is called bear alley,” says Franklin “we’ll let her tell us how fast she wants to do that, we want her to get comfortable, we will encourage her but we will not push her.”

Qannik was extremely underweight at 17 pounds when she was rescued but has successfully reached 93 pounds since coming to the Louisville Zoo.  A full grown female polar bear can weigh around 600 pounds and can live for about 30 years in captivity.

For more photos and a video of Qannik, visit us on Facebook.

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Louisville Sports Venues Earn Accolades

The KFC Yum! Center was recently listed as the 24th best concert arena in the world by Pollstar.com. It was named the 10th best overall venue in the nation.

Louisville and the state of Kentucky have made several lists recently, including ‘fattest states‘ and most family-friendly cities.

It’s easy to discount these lists as arbitrary or frivolous, but there is something to be said for garnering any sort of national attention. Especially when it’s recognition for something like Louisville Slugger Field or could encourage tourism.

GQ/Yahoo Travel published a list of ‘The Coolest Small Cities in America‘ this week, saying:

“Here’s a pocket of our culture where where dirt-cheap field-level tickets are available at the walk-up counter, where kids can run the bases after the game without getting tased. Enjoy the slightly absurd undercurrent. Free gas-card giveaways! Win-or-lose fireworks! Appearances by semifamous local animals! We’re fans of the Louisville Bats, a Triple A club that draws more than 8,000 fans per home game. That’s just enough to summon a genuine crowd roar, but never enough to jam up the line for the bathroom trough.”

It’s an interesting list that praises Louisville for it’s triple-A baseball games, while noting other cities’ food or music.

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WebMD Calls Kentucky Fat, Louisville ‘Man Vs Food’ Episode Airs

In its latest list of Fittest and Fattest States, the online medical reference resource WebMD placed Kentucky in the top ten ‘fattest states’.

Kentucky’s obesity rate for adults is 31.5%, making the state number six on the list.  But the obesity rate for 10-17-year-olds came in at 21%, which is third in that category.

The list makes reference to the 2.8 mile stretch of Broadway in Louisville that’s populated by 24 fast-food restaurants. It also  mentions the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement.

Meanwhile, tonight is the premiere of the Man Vs Food Nation episode that was filmed in Louisville the week after Derby.  In this episode, The show’s host Adam Richman takes on the Comfy Cow Sundae.  The dessert consists of 15 scoops (five and a half pounds) of ice-cream covered in whipped cream, eight to ten maraschino cherries, two types of chopped nuts and four additional toppings or sides.

The show will feature a visit to the Brown Hotel where Richman sampled an official Hot Brown.  In addition to an appearance at Lynn’s Paradise Cafe–a place Richman has liked since he lived in Louisville in 1997 and 1998.  Richman was an apprentice at Actors Theatre Louisville during his time here.

The episode will air tonight at 9 pm on the Travel Channel.

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Heat Stroke Requires Emergency Assistance

After a southern-Indiana teen died of heat stroke last week, questions arose about the accusation that he was denied treatment at an immediate care center.  According to accounts, the boy’s stepfather took him to the Norton Immediate Care Center in Lyndon before calling EMS at the center’s advisement.

A Norton Spokesperson said this week that the boy was not denied care and was not actually brought into the clinic. Rather, his stepfather described his symptoms to the doctors, who referred the man to an emergency room.

State statutes do not require an urgent care center to be equipped to handle ailments like heat stroke, which can be life threatening. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services advises patients with life or limb threatening injuries to seek care at an emergency room or treatment facility.

University of Louisville professor of emergency medicine Timothy Price says patients should think of an urgent care center like a walk-in doctor’s office.

“One of these immediate care center places, you know they don’t have the ability to sort of admit a patient or observe a patient for an extended period of time,” Price says “they’re essentially like a doctor’s office, you wouldn’t expect to to go into your doctor’s and be seen and be able to stay there for four hours while you’re receiving ongoing treatment and then being discharged.”

Price says heat stroke causes disorientation beyond the exhaustion associated with minor heat-related illness, and should always be treated as an emergency.

With the extreme heat this summer, the Cabinet has also issued guidance on avoiding heat-related illness and warns of the dangers associated with them.

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Jill Biden Cancels Trip to Louisville

Scheduling conflicts have forced Jill Biden to cancel her trip to Louisville today.  She was scheduled to make an appearance at the first-ever “USO Home front Concert” tonight at the KFC Yum Center.

The free concert is for military families and the volunteers who support them. It’s a joint effort of the USO and the Kentucky National Guard. The event marks the first USO concert created especially for military families.

The anticipated audience includes 32 million homes in the U.S. and over 378 bases worldwide.

The concert is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

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Louisville Makes Top 10 for Family-Friendly Cities

Parenting Magazine has listed two Kentucky cities in their top 20 cities for families.  Louisville rounds off the top ten, while Lexington ranks 18th.

The magazine looked at factors such as quality of schools, prices of  homes, crime rates, available jobs, and parkland.

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Louisville Slugger Loses Appeal in Montana Case

An appeal by Louisville Slugger to the Supreme Court of Montana was unanimously rejected Thursday.  The appeal was filed in response to a 2006 judgment.

In 2003, 18-year-old pitcher Brandon Patch died after a baseball hit him in the face. The ball was struck by an aluminum bat made by Louisville Slugger.

The boy’s family sued the bat manufacturer, claiming that the company did not adequately warn of the dangers associated with the bat.

In 2006, a Montana jury awarded the boy’s family $850,000.  The company’s appeal asked for a new trial citing improper procedures and maintained among other things that Patch assumed the risk by playing the game.

However, Supreme Court justices in Montana rejected all of the company’s arguments saying it failed to show the boy was aware of the risks.  Officials with Louisville Slugger did not return a request for comment.

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Preservation Group Makes Last Stand at The Old Elmo’s Bar Building

A small group of preservationists made a last stand today outside of the old Elmo’s Bar building on Main Street.  The building is scheduled to be torn down and as WFPL’s Dalton Main reports, owner and developer Todd Blue officially has permission to demolish it as of Thursday.

The 30-day waiting period mandated for the demolition of historical buildings has ended and members of the organization Neighborhood Planning and Preservation, Inc made a last-minute stand.

Four people held brightly colored signs that read “this building matters”.  They joked about chaining themselves to the structure, but seemed resigned to the fact that the demolition is a foregone conclusion.

As Cherise Williams puts it, the group is frustrated with what they called a lack of transparency in the city’s dealings with Blue.