Audit Finds Insufficient Oversight of Indigent Care Fund

An audit of the taxpayer funded trust that helps pay for indigent care at University of Hospital has found that the trust lacks sufficient oversight.

The review of the Quality and Charity Care Trust by State Auditor Adam Edelen released today also found weaknesses in the structure of the QCCT board.

Edelen says the audit found no misuse of funds. The trust receives more than $30 million in state and city money each year for indigent care.

QCCT board chairman Dr. David Dunn (at left in photo with U of L Medical Center President Dr. James Taylor) says the board is pleased with Edelen’s report.

“What we consider to be a very positive series of statements about QCCT. We will be putting additional governance in place per his request in the first seven points,” Dunn said.

The audit also says that better processes are needed to insure that indigent funds are being spent only on those who cannot afford care, but University Medical Center President Dr. James Taylor says record gathering can be difficult in emergency situations.

“We give our best effort but we’re not going to deny people care because they won’t fill out a form and there are some people, who, frankly, we can’t find after they leave. So we will try very hard to get an application but we’re not going to deny care because there is no application,” Taylor said.

The audit was requested by U of L President James Ramsey following reports that the QCCT board was not holding regular meetings as required under its bylaws.

Greenpeace Protests at Yum Brands Headquarters

Activists from Greenpeace unfurled a banner on the Yum Brand headquarters on Gardiner Lane early this morning, in a move they say is meant to protest the company’s paper supplier. The banner has a picture of a Sumatran tiger. It says “KFC, stop trashing my home.”

Louisville Metro Police spokesman Dwight Mitchell says four of the protesters were cited with criminal mischief and trespassing, and the remaining five were cited for trespassing. None were taken into custody.

The move is the latest in a Greenpeace campaign against Asia Pulp & Paper. Greenpeace says KFC is sourcing its paper from the paper giant, which they say has an abysmal environmental record in caring for Asian forests. Continue reading “Greenpeace Protests at Yum Brands Headquarters”

New Rankings Say Louisville’s Parks System Needs Work

Louisville has scored near the bottom on a new ranking of park systems in the nation’s 40 largest cities. The city came in 38th.

The Trust for Public Land scored the park systems on criteria including park size, the city’s investments in the parks and park access, which measures the percentage of residents living with a half-mile of a park. On a scale of zero to five park benches, Louisville received one lonely park bench.

The city did well on measurements of park size, thanks to behemoths like the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Cherokee and Shawnee parks, but the city didn’t do so well on park access. Continue reading “New Rankings Say Louisville’s Parks System Needs Work”

Primary Election Wrap-Up

About 14 percent of registered voters in Kentucky cast ballots Tuesday in primary battles on the federal, state and city levels. Here’s a rundown of the results:

Federal

State

City

More than 40 Percent of Kentucky Democratic Voters Choose “Uncommitted” Over Obama

Despite having no official challenger in Kentucky’s Democratic primary, President Obama won less than 60 percent of the vote. The rest of the votes went to…no one.

With only about a 14 percent turnout statewide, about 42 percent of voters in the Democratic primary voted for “uncommitted” rather than choose President Obama. The president won many of the counties in the central and northern parts of the state, but voters in the far eastern and western regions overwhelming refused to support him.

Earlier this month, Mr. Obama won only 60 percent of the primary in West Virginia, where his opponent was a convicted felon. In Oklahoma, an anti-abortion activist won 20 percent of the vote against the president in that state’s primary.

Wine Wins Commonwealth’s Attorney Race

Former Judge Thomas Wine has won the four-way Democratic primary to be Jefferson County’s newest Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Wine beat out Carol Cobb, Steve Ryan and Tom Van De Rostyne by more than 2,000 votes. Because no Republican is vying for the seat, Wine is expected to be the first new attorney in the top prosecutor’s office in 15 years.

Wine says his experience as a circuit court judge and appeals court judge played a role in his victory. Current Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Stengel is retiring.

Meeks Beats Tea Party Candidate in State House Primary

State Representative Reginald Meeks thumped Tea Party challenger Wendy Caswell in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

Meeks carried 80 percent of the vote in the race for the state House’s 42nd District seat, which covers parts of Old Louisville, downtown and the West End. Caswell is the founder and former president of the Louisville Tea Party, who said she has always been a registered Democrat.

Meeks said Caswell was a fraud and he pressured party leaders to file suit against her candidacy, though they never did.

No Republican is vying for the seat.

Shanklin Overcomes Scandal to Win Primary

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin has won a chance for re-election despite a scandal involving her legislative aide being arrested and jailed dozens of times.

A week before the election it was reported that Shanklin’s grandson, 28-year-old Gary Bohler, remained employed as her assistant despite multiple arrests for drug trafficking, robbery and domestic violence. It was also revealed that Bohler was paid while in jail at one point, and was still being compensated as a fugitive with active warrants.

Shanklin initially suspended Bohler without pay, but later fired her grandson.

In Tuesday’s Democratic primary, challengers Rose Robinson and Yvonne Woods split opposition to Shanklin, who won with only 48 percent of the vote.

No Republican is vying for the seat.

Scott Easily Wins District 1 Primary

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Woodson Scott will likely retain her District 1 seat after winning a five-way Democratic primary battle.

The council appointed Scott to the position last year to replace former Councilwoman Judy Green, who was booted from office for ethics violations. Scott beat out her four challengers with 49 percent of the vote.

Scott says focusing on environmental justice and vacant properties resonated with voters, but that public safety is a key priority in the area. A rash of shootings in west Louisville last week brought new scrutiny to crime issues in the district.

The closest challenger to Scott was former police officer Ray Barker, who garnered 24 percent of the vote and won two precincts. Barker had run for the seat twice before and had also applied for the position in 2006 and 2010. He brought the initial ethics complaint against Green that resulted in her removal.

The election is for the remainder of Green’s term until 2014. No Republican is vying for the seat.

Tea Party Candidate Defeats Incumbent Jon Ackerson In Metro Council Upset

Tea Party challenger Marilyn Parker defeated incumbent Metro Councilman Jon Ackerson in a tight Republican primary in the 18th Council District.

The contest caught observers’ attention after most GOP council members endorsed Parker over Ackerson, claiming the incumbent sided with Democrats in key debates. Ackerson led most of the night Tuesday, but final counts showed Parker beating the incumbent by 37 votes.

Parker will face Democrat Teague Ridge in the fall campaign, but the district is heavily Republican, making Parker the early favorite in the general election.

Parker says she wants to see major cuts to council discretionary spending and tighter ethics rules.

“One of the first things that I would like to address is the slush funds since we have a $20 million budget shortfall right now. I would like to address the slush funds, the discretionary spending that each council member has at their disposal,” she says.

Continue reading “Tea Party Candidate Defeats Incumbent Jon Ackerson In Metro Council Upset”