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Kentucky’s Gatton Academy Named Nation’s Top Public High School, But Can It Be Replicated?

Newsweek Magazine has again compiled a list of the best high schools in the country, and a Kentucky school is on top.

To call the Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science a high school, you’d have to suspend an element of reality. You’ll find no football games, pep rallies, or dismissal bells on the Kentucky campus. Instead you’d find couches designed for study halls and white boards scribbled with advanced math. Last week, one student even walked around campus in a t-shirt proclaiming, “Extreme science: What a rush.”

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Local News Politics

Primary Election Information

The Tuesday primary won’t be the most watched in Kentucky history. The presidential nominations have been decided and turnout will likely be low (around 12 percent). There are many races for state and federal positions that are expected to end in landslides, or they’re between candidates who aren’t expected to unseat the other party’s nominee.

But there are several races of interest. Notably in the crowded Republican primary for Kentucky’s Fourth Congressional District, where Super PAC involvement and high-profile endorsements have made three candidates clear frontrunners to replace retiring incumbent Geoff Davis.

There aren’t any surprises expected in the commonwealth’s five other congressional districts.

On the state level, the highest profile contests are in the Louisville area and in northern and southern Kentucky.

There’s an unusual matchup in the 42nd Senate District Democrat Primary. That race pits incumbent Reginald Meeks against Tea Party leader Wendy Caswell, a long-time registered Democrat.

There are several interesting contests for Louisville Metro Council. Perhaps the most watched is the First District Democratic Primary, where four candidates are challenging incumbent Attica Woodson Scott.

Scott is hoping to be elected to the seat the council appointed her to after it removed Judy Green for ethics violations. The recent rash of violence in that district may change the dynamic in the final days before the vote.

In the 18th District, Tea Party candidate Marilyn Parker is questioning incumbent Jon Ackerson’s GOP loyalty, and the Second District contest may be influenced by a recent controversy surrounding incumbent Barbara Shanklin’s grandson, who was recently fired as her legislative aid.

These races and several others were all discussed in the most recent Noise & Notes podcast.

Polls open at 6 am and close at 6 pm. WFPL will offer special on-air coverage at the top of the hour and a liveblog as events unfold Tuesday night.

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Local News

Fairness Campaign Director Says Rutgers Student’s Sentence Is Too Light

The head of the Fairness Campaign says the the sentence is too light for a former Rutgers University student convicted of bias intimidation against his gay roommate.

Dharun Ravi used a webcam to spy on Tyler Clementi’s romantic encounter with another man. Clementi committed suicide days later, fueling a national debate over the effects of bullying.

Ravi was facing up to ten years in prison. He will serve 30 days, followed by three years of probation. Fairness groups across the country have weighed in on the sentence, with many saying it wasn’t enough.

“He was going to humiliate Tyler Clementi to such a degree that to pick up the pieces of his life would have been incredibly difficult. And the reality for Tyler Clementi is it was so difficult there was no way out except taking himself out of the world. Thirty days for that is not equal. It’s not justice,” says Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman.

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Local News

Shots Fired Near Shawnee High School, SWAT Called; UPDATE: Standoff Ends

Update, 7:00: Police say a 22-year-old is in custody and the SWAT standoff has ended. 

A Louisville SWAT team is still assessing the situation at the corner of 41st and Herman streets, where a suspect is barricaded in a house.

The standoff began shortly before 1:00 pm, when Louisville Metro police reported that two individuals were shooting at each other near Shawnee High School. Officers pursued suspects on foot. One 15-year-old was brought into custody, though officers aren’t saying whether he faces any charges. Another suspect is believed to be barricaded in a home near 41st and Herman streets.

JCPS officials say Shawnee High School has been on heightened security all day following shootings yesterday. Students were dismissed at 2:20, with the following precautions:

  • Any Shawnee students that would walk into the affected area to get home will be allowed to remain at the school until they can be picked up or an all-clear is given.
  • Because the situation is so close, there are no Shawnee bus riders affected
  • Bus riders from other schools whose stops are in areas blocked off by police will be taken to Western Middle School until parents pick them up or the all-clear is given.
  • Elementary school walkers who cannot be delivered to the affected area will remain at their respective schools until they can be picked up or there is an all-clear.

LMPD officials are not saying whether they believe the incident is related to two shootings yesterday.

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Shanklin Fires Grandson

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin has fired her grandson, who was working as a legislative aide in her office. Her grandson, Gary Bohler, was arrested on Derby day for domestic violence and was declared a fugitive after missing his court date. Bohler has a lengthy criminal record that includes robbery, drug possession and drug trafficking arrests.

Shanklin has released the following statement:

This would not be a conversation if there had not been a relationship. It is with great honor and respect that I have served this community. Unfortunately through bad decisions (poor choices) of my own admission I am faced with my biggest challenge to date. Sometimes when we see the potential in someone, we want to help them become better people and our desires to help override the reality that we cannot.

I have been in the dark on a lot of the things that have come to light, but I want you to know that I have raised all of my children to be accountable, and sometimes family can disappoint us more than the outside world. Sometimes people let you down. I want to acknowledge and apologize for any perceived lack of candor, or insight for missing the mark on keeping your best interests as a public trust. I believe that when you take a chance and you strive to improve your performance and learn from the decision.

I have worked hard to serve my constituents and this community and will continue to do so.

 

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Local News

TARC Schedules Public Meetings on Route Changes, Fare Increase

The Transit Authority of River City will hold a series of public meetings this week on proposed route changes and fare increases.

TARC’s revenue relies on the city occupational tax. As that’s declined, fuel, healthcare and pension costs have gone up, leaving TARC with a $4.6 million shortfall. To close the gap, the authority has proposed a 25-cent fare increase, the elimination of nine express bus routes and changes to several other routes.

TARC will hold six meetings, beginning Tuesday to gather public input on the proposed cuts. The authority is also taking comments that are e-mailed, called or reported in person until the close of business on Friday. 

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Local News

I-71 Will Be Closed in Louisville for the Weekend

The portion of Interstate 71 that leads into downtown Louisville will be closed this weekend.

Road crews are repaving the highway, and all lanes in both directions will be closed between I-64 downtown and the Watterson Expressway. The road will close at 8 pm Friday and re-open at 6 am Monday.

Various lane and ramp closures will continue throughout the month as crews repair road surfaces and bridges.

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Noise & Notes

Noise & Notes Podcast: Going Back to Indiana

On this edition of the Noise & Notes podcast, WFPL’s political editor Phillip M. Bailey  talks about Indiana and it’s senator, Dick Lugar, who just lost nomination to a seventh term to Tea Party favorite and State Treasurer Richard Mourdock.

Joining Phillip are Time contributor Cary Stemle and WHAS-11 political editor Joe Arnold.

Enjoy.

Audio MP3
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Local News News About WFPL

WFPL to Host Metro Council Debate

WFPL is hosting a debate featuring the candidates for the Louisville Metro Council’s District 1 seat.

The debate will be in the Louisville Public Media performance studio on May 15th at 6pm. It will be hosted by WFPL’s Political Editor Phillip M. Bailey and LEO Weekly’s Anne Marshall.

Candidates who will attend include:

  • Incumbent Attica Woodson Scott
  • Rosa Macklin
  • James Ponder
  • Steven Colston

The other two candidates have been invited and we are awaiting their response. All of the candidates are in Democratic primary, which is May 22nd. No Republican is vying for the seat.

The event is open to the public and to the press.

Our address is 619 S. 4th St. Louisville, KY 40202

UPDATE: James Ponder announced Friday he has dropped out of the District 1 race.

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Local News

Courier-Journal Announces Paid Web Subscription Plan

The Courier-Journal will soon require readers to pay to read a certain number of articles every month.

Many Gannett-owned newspapers are implementing similar steps as a means of generating revenue. In a post on the website, publisher Wesley Jackson explains the paywall model, which will go into effect in June.

Non-subscribers will have access to a limited number of free articles on courier-journal.com each month before they are required to subscribe, although some key landing pages such as the home page, section fronts, obituaries, Cars.com and Careerbuilder.com, among others, will remain accessible to non-subscribers.