Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Yates Praises Funding for Southwest Regional Library

Louisville Metro Councilman David Yates, D-25, is praising Mayor Greg Fischer for making the Southwest Regional Library a top priority in the upcoming 2012-13 fiscal year spending plan.

City funding for the 40,000 square foot project is $9.5 million with another $3.5 million coming from the non-profit Louisville Library Foundation. Fischer is issuing a 20-year bond to pay for the new facility, which will be located in the Valley Station neighborhood.

From Yates’s office:

“This is a great day for the district and everyone in Southwest Jefferson County. We will long remember the day when the new branch opens its doors on Dixie Highway and changes the lives of children and adults in our area. I applaud the Mayor and the Board of the Library Foundation for raising the funds needed. The mayor has been a strong partner in helping get this done.


I know since 2007, the Metro Council has made building new libraries a priority for our entire city. We have seen new branches at Newburg and Fairdale. There is a newly renovated Shawnee Library. As we move forward with the Southwest Regional Branch, I stand committed to ensure future library projects are built. It is an investment we cannot afford to miss out on.”

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Henderson May Not Seek Re-Election

Louisville Metro Councilman Bob Henderson, D-14,  may not run for re-election next year, but the city lawmaker says he won’t make a final decision until a day before the filing deadline.

Speculation about the southwest Louisville councilman’s future has been brewing in City Hall and the community over the past few months with a handful of candidates lining up to either succeed or challenge him in 2012.

Thus far, three residents have filed to fill the District 14 seat. Democrats Earl Yocum, a retired army sergeant and Joel “Mark” Romines, a former truck driver who is currently unemployed, are set to face each other in the May primary. Republican Bob Heuglin, a local realtor, is running unopposed.

Henderson says he won’t make a decision on whether he is seeking re-election until late January in order to evaluable the field of candidates.

“If somebody doesn’t run that has the same desire and vision for southwest Jefferson County, then I’ll run again because I feel like I’ll get elected if I run again. But I feel like it’s time in my life that I’ll make that decision,” he says.


Coal Ash Scares, Sickens Southwest Louisville Neighborhood–Part One

A view of the coal ash landfill, from the top of LG&E's Cane Run Power StationYou can’t see the smokestacks of the Cane Run Power Station from Stephanie Hogan’s home, even though she lives a block away. And while the power plant isn’t visible, it’s still a looming presence in Hogan’s life.

“Oh, he breathes so bad, he sounds like Darth Vader.” Hogan shakes her head, and Cody wheezes. “You ain’t even been running.”

Audio MP3

The family bought their trailer near the Louisville Gas and Electric-operated power plant about 15 months ago, and since then, Cody has developed serious respiratory problems. Eventually, his mom took him to a specialist, who pinpointed the potential cause of Cody’s sickness.

“I think it was the second visit, she asked where we lived,” Hogan said. “And I told her, and she said ‘Oh, you live next to that power plant. You need to move.’”

But Hogan can’t move. She’s trapped by her trailer’s low resale value, as well as her son’s rising medical expenses. Cody has asthma. He’s had tubes installed in his ears twice and three times he’s come down with an unexplained fever. Hogan estimates she spent nearly $4,000 in doctor’s visits and medication last year.

She says the culprit is coal ash: the sometimes-fine, sometimes-chunky material that’s leftover after coal is burned. It coats her porch, and she doesn’t let Cody play outside anymore, no matter how much he begs.

Local News Next Louisville Politics

Council Members, Dream Team to Unveil New “Welcome to Southwest Louisville” Sign

A handful of Louisville Metro Council members will join the Southwest Dream Team and local business owners to unveil a new “Welcome to Southwest Louisville” banner along Dixie Highway.

On Wednesday, council members Rick Blackwell, D-12, Vicki Aubrey Welch, D-13, Bob Henderson, D-14, and David Yates, D-25,  will present the new sign located at the Michel Tire Company, 10601 Dixie Highwya, which is part of a larger effort to revitalize the area and spur development.

“We want everyone to know community pride is growing in Southwest Louisville,” says Blackwell. “This new sign will welcome those from the Gene Snyder and people south and let them know we are growing and have much to offer.”

In 2009, Dream Team representatives placed their first “Welcome to Southwest Louisville” banner on Jim Vincent’s Body Shop. This new sign will highlight additional attractions in south Louisville neighborhoods such as Mike Lining’s Restaurant, the Jefferson Memorial Forest, the Atlas Machine Company at Riverport and the Southwest Festival.

“The Dream Team is moving forward with its efforts to show all of Metro Louisville that this area is just as vibrant and growing as any other,” says Yates. “This new sign, like the one located at Dixie and the Watterson Expressway highlights some great things about the community.”

Funding for the banner was provided by Blackwell, Welch and Henderson, along with council members Judy Green, D-1, and Mary Woolridge, D-3, whose district represent parts of southwest Louisville.

The new sign will be officially unveiled at noon Wednesday.

Local News Next Louisville Noise & Notes

Council Members Open Office in Southwest Louisville

Fulfilling a campaign promise to bring Metro Government closer to residents, freshman Councilman David Yates, D-25, has spearheaded the opening of a new Southwest Regional Metro Council office.

The office will open Tuesday in an effort to better serve citizens and to connect them directly with their city representative, particularly for those unable to make it downtown to City Hall.

The branch will be at the Southwest Government Center at 7219 Dixie Highway, which has been adapted to provide a place for residents to meet with council members and their staff.

“One of our goals and ours jobs is to make Metro Government more accessible to southwest Louisville,” says Yates. “The office in of itself and the reason behind it is just making it easier for constituents to meet with us and to set up and get their ideas.”

Local News

New Houses Coming To Southwest Louisville

by Sheila Ash

Demolition is underway on several abandoned apartment buildings to make room for new houses in southwest Louisville.

Construction is set to begin early next year on 38 new single-family homes in the Ridgemont Neighborhood just off Cane Run Road. The houses will replace several abandoned apartment buildings that have been plagued with crime and violence.

The Housing Partnership Inc. will oversee the construction. President Mike Hynes says the project is designed to increase home ownership in Louisville.

“We’ll have down payment assistance available, we want to make it attractive for people to buy in, first time home buyers,” he says. “The Housing Partnership has a home ownership counseling division and so our goal is ultimately to create sustainable home owners and affordable housing opportunities for them.”

The two and three bedroom homes will range in price from 115 to 150 thousand dollars. The 11.5 million dollar project is being funded with federal Neighborhood Stabilization Grant Funds.

Local News Next Louisville Politics

Mayoral Candidates Debate In SW Louisville

Mayoral candidates Hal Heiner, Greg Fischer and Jackie Green discussed issues related to Southwest Louisville during a Wednesday night forum on the Jefferson Community and Technical College campus in Valley Station.

The event was organized by the Southwest Dream Team.

Click the player below to hear the debate.

Audio MP3

Local News Next Louisville

Hawkins Faces Challengers From Both Parties For Council Seat

Of the ten contested primaries for seats in Louisville’s Metro Council, one of the most watched races in the 25th District.

Republican Doug Hawkins has represented the southwestern district for two terms. His challenger, Dr. Robert Thrasher, says Hawkins is too prone to political posturing and has not spent his tenure serving constituents.

“I think Mr. Hawkins has outlived his welcome,” he says. “I think it’s time for a change. I think his whole reasons for being on the council have not been helpful to the southwest part of the county.”

Hawkins says constituents appreciate his work and opposition to the mayor, and he thinks he’ll benefit in the primary from Republican Chris Thieneman’s mayoral bid. Thieneman is also outspoken in opposition to the mayor.

“I think a lot of people out here in the south end have a lot of respect for Chris, or are certainly very supportive of him,” says Hawkins. “I don’t know if that necessarily equates to them voting for me, but I would think a lot of those people would vote along those same lines.”

Hawkins says a number of Republican mayoral candidate Hal Heiner’s supporters likely support him as well. Thrasher says if he loses to Hawkins in Tuesday’s primary, he’ll support Democratic candidate David Yates.

Next Louisville State of Affairs

Next Louisville: South/Southwest Louisville

Thursday, April 22, 2010
Next Louisville: South/Southwest Louisville
Over the years South/Southwest Louisville has had farms, a mall (Westland anyone?), major department stores, and even a zoo! Nowadays the neighborhoods keep growing, but new retail development is hard to find. Residents are proud of their area and many who move away return, so why is it so hard to attract businesses? How can South/Southwest Louisville become a bigger player in the Metro?

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Local News

Group Offers Alternative To 'Open Carry' Church Celebration

A gun-themed celebration at the New Bethel Church in Louisville has prompted a peace-themed celebration by Interfaith Paths to Peace.

New Bethel Church is asking parishioners to bring unloaded guns to a church social on Saturday evening. Rather than protest the service, Interfaith Paths to Peace is sponsoring an alternative event in eastern Jefferson County.

IPP director Terry Taylor says the New Bethel event could send some people the wrong message.

“With what we’ve been hearing in the news lately about troubles and shootings in churches and other places, the idea of bringing even unloaded guns into a public space seems to me to be kind of problematic,” says Taylor.

But New Bethel Pastor Ken Pagano says his “Open Carry Celebration” is not a worship service and will preach responsible gun ownership.

“I have more to fear from the person driving down the highway from a person with a cell phone texting or twittering than I do from a responsible firearms owner,” says Pagano.

Pagano and Taylor plan to meet after the two events.