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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 Politics

Judge Requests More Information in Croatian Woman’s Extradition Trial

by Brenna Angel, Kentucky Public Radio

A federal judge in Lexington is considering whether a Croatian woman who fought in the Yugoslav Wars should be extradited to Bosnia.

Fifty-two-year-old Azra Basic walked into U.S. District Court Monday in a teal green inmate uniform, more than seven months after she was arrested in connection with war crimes in the former Yugoslavia.  Officials in Bosnia want the woman, who was living in Powell County, returned to Europe to face the charges. But Basic’s attorney Patrick Nash says there are questions about the Bosnian government’s witnesses.

“At least a couple of them were soldiers, not civilians, number one. Number two, a couple of the others really didn’t say that my client did anything to them, certainly not torture or war crimes,” he says.

Nash says there is also the issue of whether a formal warrant was ever issued for Basic. U.S. Magistrate Robert Wier (WEER) has requested more information from attorneys before making a ruling on the extradition.

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Local News Next Louisville Politics

Chief White Leaving for Denver, Fischer to Launch Search

Louisville Police Chief Robert White is leaving the city to be chief of police for Denver, Colorado.

Mayor Greg Fischer announced White’s departure on Twitter, and is speaking about the search for a replacement this hour at Metro Hall.

White was appointed by former Mayor Jerry Abramson and was the first chief of the merged city and county police force. Near the end of Abramson’s last term, White was a finalist for jobs in Chicago, Dallas and Atlanta. He was passed over for each position.

White’s position took center stage briefly during last year’s mayoral race. Republican Hal Heiner declined to say whether he would retain White—or any other Abramson appointees—during the campaign, saying he didn’t want to make personnel decisions without being in office. Fischer promised to keep White if elected.

White replaces Denver Police Chief Gerald Whitman.

In a statement, Fischer says he will soon name an interim chief, but has begun the process of finding a new chief.

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Local News Politics

Arguments Heard in Planned Parenthood of Indiana Funding Appeal

Arguments have been made in the case of an Indiana law that blocked public funding for abortion providers.

Public funds cannot currently pay for abortions, but the law is based on the idea that giving any Medicare or Medicaid dollars to Planned Parenthood for other medical procedures helps to subsidize abortion.

Planned Parenthood and the ACLU challenged the law, saying the state cannot limit patients’ choice, and the courts have thus far sided with them. The state argues that not only is the legislation legal, but that any challenges to it should be secondary to a federal dispute.

The federal government has rejected Indiana’s attempts to bring Medicare and Medicaid regulations in line with the new law. The federal government has also threatened to strip Indiana of all of its Medicaid funding if the law remains in place. An appeal to that matter will be heard in December.

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Local News

Audio: Hospital Merger Partners Speak at Board of Health Forum

Two hours of explanation did not silence the critics and skeptics of a pending hospital merger, though many new issues and complications have been revealed.

The Louisville Metro Board of Health brought representatives from University of Louisville Hospital, Jewish Hospital and Catholic Health Initiatives to a public forum Wednesday evening. The partners took questions from the public and explained how procedures currently banned by the Catholic Church would or would not be performed at a merged University Hospital.

If the merger is approved, University Hospital will not entirely follow Catholic care directives, according to the partners’ attorney Jennifer Elliott. Rather, only certain procedures frowned upon by the Catholic Church will be banned. Namely, tubal ligations will be moved to Baptist Hospital East.

U of L Chair for Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health Sharmila Makhija explained how other reproductive services would be handled:

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Local News

Clark County Council Passes Budget, But Waits For Approval

The Clark County, Indiana council has passed a $14.5 million budget for next year. It includes funds the panel hopes to win in a lawsuit.

The county has struggled since cutting property tax rates around 25 percent in 2007 to relieve burdens on residents. Officials contend the decision to cut taxes was the result of mathematical errors, and they’ve filed suit against the state.

Earlier this year, the county court and sheriff’s office sued the Clark County to keep operations running. Council President Kevin Vissing says that will require a tax increase next year.

Further, the county can’t raise property taxes on anyone to more than one percent of the total value. Clark County auditor Monty Snelling says anyone paying less than the maximum should expect an increase.

“If you’re at the one percent it can’t go any higher so it’s has to go somewhere else. And it’s kinda like blowing a balloon up inside of a bottle. That balloon can’t get outside that bottle because it’s capped, but it can spread out inside that bottle and take up more room inside of it,” says Snelling.

The Indiana Department of Local Government Finance must review and approve the county budget. If the budget is not approved, county departments must make further cuts. A decision about any tax increases will be made after that.

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Local News

Louisville Police Chief’s Son Faces Felony and Misdemeanor Charges

The son of Louisville Police Chief Robert White is facing two felony charges and one misdemeanor charge stemming from an altercation with his wife.

Thirty-year-old Robert C. White was driving with his wife on Monday evening. According to police reports, he struck her in the head and face, then held her against her will. She eventually jumped from the moving vehicle and was taken to Jewish Hospital to receive treatment for what police call significant injuries. White went to another location, where he was arrested. White faces charges of second degree assault, first degree unlawful imprisonment and third degree terroristic threatening.

“[Chief White] does stand behind our officers’ actions and believes appropriate charges were placed due to the circumstances the officers were confronted with at the scene last night,” says Sgt. Robert Biven.

The chief is out of town, and Sgt. Biven says he’s not sure whether he heard about the arrest from his son or from the police.

“Around 6:00, domestic violence detectives were in route to both locations. I’m sure that information evolved very quickly,” he says.

Robert C. White is being held on a $50,000 bond. The prosecutor’s office says it’s still too early to determine any potential conflicts of interest with the case.

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Local News

Police Chief’s Son Arrested

The son of Louisville Metro Police Chief Robert White was arrested yesterday and charged with second-degree assault after an altercation with his wife.

According to a police report, Robert C. White, 30, struck his wife twice on the left temple while in a car and attempted to hold her against her will. His wife then jumped from the moving vehicle and sustained further injuries.

Police will comment on the matter shortly.

 

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Local News

Amish Men Found Guilty of Traffic Violations

Two Amish men must pay fines for refusing to post reflective triangles on their horse-drawn carriages.

Levi Hostetler and Joe Stutzman were found guilty on misdemeanor traffic charges during a Graves County Circuit Court session Monday.

The men say the posting the state-mandated warning emblems violates their religious beliefs. Stutzman was fined $173 and Hostetler was fined a total of $341—both amounts are due January 12th.

Hostetler and Stutzman are among nine men ordered to jail last month for refusing to pay fines associated with the emblems.

Two other Amish men in court Monday had their trials postponed to November.

Additional information from Kentucky Public Radio’s Rose Krzton-Presson and the Associated Press

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Local News Politics

Meth Debate Picks Up as General Assembly Nears

State lawmakers heard a variety of opinions on how to limit methamphetamine production today.

The number of meth labs in Kentucky has been increasing for years. The drug manufacturer group Consumer Healthcare Products told the Joint Committee on the Judiciary the state should create a database of people who have been convicted of meth-related crimes. Those listed would be blocked from purchasing cold medicines that contain pseudoephedrine, which is used to make meth.

Several law enforcement officers, however, say pseudoephedrine should become a scheduled substance, meaning anyone seeking to purchase it would need a prescription.

Oregon and Mississippi have both reported success after making pseudoephedrine prescription-only.