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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Paul Proposes Cutting Pakistan Aid to Help Release bin Laden Informant

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., plans to introduce legislation to cut all aid to Pakistan until the foreign country releases a physician who assisted the U.S. in killing Osama bin Laden.

According to reports, Dr. Shakil Afridi worked with U.S. intelligence officials to run a number of a fake hepatitis B vaccine programs in order to prove the terrorist leader lived in the Abbottabad compound.

Last week, a Pakistani court sentenced Afridi to 33 years in prison for treason under tribal law.

“Pakistan must understand that they are choosing the wrong side. They accuse Dr. Afridi of working against Pakistan, but he was simply helping the U.S. capture the head of al Qaida. Surely Pakistan is not linking their interests with those of an international terrorist organization,” Paul said in a statement.

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Louisville Innovative Delivery Team to Tackle Urban Problems

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has put together a special team that will take on five urban challenges.

The projects range from to expanding recycling and reducing the number of low-severity 911 calls to implementing a more efficient rezoning process. Fischer announced a six-member “Innovation Delivery Team” will deal with the five goals, which will be funded by a $4.8 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies that the city received last year.

Fischer says the hope is to bring breakthrough ideas to Metro Government, such as new ways to reduce the number of vacant and abandoned properties.

“We’re soon going to take legal action to foreclose on 100 of the most market desirable properties. Once the city acquires these properties, they’re going to be converted to productive use by putting them into the hands of people who will improve and restore them,” he says. “So the goal with this project is to reduce the number of abandoned properties by 40 percent within three years and 67 percent in five years.”

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Yarmuth Hosting Third Annual Workshop for Job-Seekers

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., will host the third annual “Build Your Skills” workshop next month at Jefferson Community and Technical College’s downtown campus.

The event is hosted in conjunction with KentuckianaWorks, the Louisville Urban League and Metropolitan College, and is free and open to residents.

Yarmuth says Louisville residents who are unemployed, underemployed or looking to change their careers are invited to attend, where they can receive professional advice on resume writing, job-hunting, and interviewing.

The workshop is scheduled for June 15 and will be from 9 a.m. to Noon. Check-in for the event begins at 8 a.m., for more information call 502-582-5129.

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Yarmuth’s Mother Rescued From Flood Waters

The mother of U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., was rescued from a vehicle in a rising creek in east Louisville, according to his office.

The National Weather Service had issued a flash flood warning Tuesday morning and several roads in downtown and nearby the University of Louisville were closed. Edna Yarmuth, 85, was found in her car off Brownsboro Road after a three car accident. She was rescued by firefighters who pulled her from the vehicle, which had gone into the creek.

From Yarmuth’s office:

“Our mother is doing fine after today’s accident. Thankfully she was wearing her seat belt and has only minor injuries. She is in good spirits and will be home soon.

We want to thank the Harrods Creek, Worthington, and St. Matthews fire departments, as well as Metro Police and EMS, for their exceptional rescue efforts. We also want to thank all those at University Hospital, who are providing my mother with expert care.”

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Indiana Democrats Launch Attack Highlighting Mourdock’s Website Scrub

Indiana Democrats have launched an online campaign criticizing Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock for scrubbing his campaign website of certain information.

After beating longtime Senator Dick Lugar in the GOP primary, Mourdock began clearing his website of links that showed him opposing the auto bailout and supporting budget cuts that would affect entitlement programs. It also scrubbed the site of any criticisms of Lugar before May 8 and his announcement speech entering the race.

Indiana Democratic Party spokesman Ben Ray says Mourdock is trying to hide his record and his relationship to the Tea Party.

“We’re even talking about endorsements disappearing. Eric Erickson, who is the publisher of RedState.org, his endorsement is gone. Herman Cain’s endorsement is gone. And so really I think what we’re seeing is Richard Mourdock attempting to wholly reinvent himself for the general electorate and we’re not going to let that happen.”

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Lawmakers Differ on Mayor Ignoring Cuts to Council Discretionary Funds

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer will give up his discretionary account to help fill the budget deficit next year, but the Metro Council is split on whether to follow suit.

Each council member is given a total of $205,000 to spend annually, with $75,000 in their Neighborhood Development Fund in addition to a $100,000 Capital Infrastructure Fund and $38,000 in their office accounts.

During last year’s budget address, Fischer warned city lawmakers that they could see their accounts reduced in future budgets to offset growing shortfalls. The mayor’s new spending plan for fiscal year 2012-13, however, makes no reductions to the accounts.

Councilman David Yates, D-25, says residents want to reduce spending, but local representatives should have the ability to appropriate taxpayer money.

“Should all that money be allocated from the mayor’s office or should it be better left, at least some of that money left all the way down to the Metro Council offices where we’re actually out there on the street talking to the neighbors. I think that’s a very good use of that money,” he says.

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Local News Politics

Indiana Begins Gathering Input for Raw Milk Study

Indiana officials begin gathering online input this week for a study on the sale of raw milk. The information will be turned to the 2013 General Assembly.

Current Indiana law prohibits the sale of milk that has not been pasteurized. But its proponents say raw milk from pasture-fed animals contains beneficial nutrients depleted by the process and should be available for sale.

The dairy industry and other opponents contend any raw milk can contain dangerous pathogens such as E.coli or salmonella and should be treated before it’s sold.

The Indiana State Board of Animal Health will host a virtual public hearing for its study starting this Friday. Spokeswomen Denise Derrer says if lawmakers consider lifting the ban, they’ll have a lot of questions to answer.

Will they allow retail sales in grocery stores, or do you have to go directly to a farm, or are herd share agreements going to be approved? What kind of labeling will be required, packaging, distribution? There’s a whole gamut of just associated issues that need to be addressed,” Derrer said.

The sale of raw milk is banned in about two dozen states, including Indiana and Kentucky.

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Lugar Not Campaigning for Mourdock

After a brutal primary contest, U.S. Sen Dick Lugar, R-In., told CBS News he doesn’t plan on helping Republican Richard Mourdock in the general election.

“For the time being, I don’t plan an active campaign,” Lugar said Sunday.

From Face The Nation:

Mourdock faces Democratic Congressman Joe Donnelly in the fall.

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Blackwell Says Southwest Regional Library Bond Makes Sense in Latest Budget

City lawmakers from southwest Louisville are praising Mayor Greg Fischer’s decision to fund construction of the Southwest Regional Library in his latest city budget proposal.

The $9.5 million bond for the library is the largest expenditure in the mayor’s capital budget and the only proposed bond. It follow’s up a $500,000 allocation the mayor made last year to begin the design phase of the long-planned project.

The library foundation will also give the city $3.5 million for the facility.

“Some other mayors that weren’t quite as committed to what’s going on in the Southwest may have made the decision to cut this for this year, push it off to next year, put it off a couple years,” says Councilman Rick Blackwell, D-25, after noting that Fischer has long talked about a need to cut city spending and bring expenditures in line with revenues. “I think it’s a bold move for the mayor and it’s one the residents in Southwest Louisville certainly appreciate.”

The bond will take 20 years to pay off, but with the city currently renting space, Blackwell says it makes sense to bond the project.

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Noise & Notes Podcast: The Killing Fields of Parkland

The brazen shootings in west Louisville’s Parkland neighborhood is still being felt almost two weeks later, with a new task force being formed by the mayor’s office to deal with long-term violence.

Several city leaders and community activists have held press conferences to discuss the matter, but there are still many unanswered questions about the incident itself.

What led to a shooting that left three dead and three injured? What role did gang affiliations or past conflicts play, if any? And how does the city’s public safety policies in Metro Police and the Commonwealth’s Attorney office impact these sorts of events?

For this week’s show, I sat down The Courier-Journal‘s crime reporter Jessie Halladay, LIFE Institute CEO Eddie Woods and defense attorney Brandon Lawrence.

Listen below:

Audio MP3