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PETA Protests Outside Leather Shop

Three black coffins lined the intersection of Bonnycastle Avenue and Bardstown Road today. It was part of a demonstration by PETA against the use animal products in clothing.

Three of the eight protesters played corpses. They were dressed in black underwear and held signs saying “We wouldn’t be caught dead in animal skins.”

“Well we are here in front of Leatherhead, because obviously they sell leather and other animal skins,” says Lauren Stroyeck, a campaigner for PETA. “The coffins are a sobering way to get people to consider that every time they buy a pair of leather shoes or wear a snakes skin purse, they are wearing bits and pieces of cows and snakes that were killed an mutilated for their skin.”  Stroyeck continued, “There is nothing fashionable about killing animals for vanity.”

Leatherhead closed for the protest and the owners could not be reached for comment.

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Local High School Booster Club Audited

IRS officials are investigating the Fern Creek High School Booster Club.

About $500,000 previously recorded in the club’s books is unaccounted for. It’s unclear whether the missing money was embezzled or if a bookkeeping error is to blame.

Attorney Charles Adkins says it will be difficult to determine where the money could have gone because of the lack of experience and continuity in the organization.

“These problems arise, especially in booster clubs, because they don’t have a continuity of leadership,” he says. “You have a parent who joins a booster club when their child is at a school, and that parent may be elected or asked to serve in a leadership position of the organization and these parents generally are not trained and don’t always have the skills to properly manage or account for all the money a booster club brings in.”

According to Adkins the main sources of revenue for the club were bingo and charitable gaming, which he says can be a “mine field” for a volunteer driven organization. The IRS has not released its final report and has been asked to conduct audits on individual members of the group. The non-profit association faces possible criminal charges and a revocation of their tax-exempt status if the IRS determines that foul play was involved.

JCPS has no ties to the booster club and cannot regulate its actions.

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Local News

Ward-Pugh Buys, Crashes Electric Lawnmower

The Billy Goat Hill Community Garden in the Clifton neighborhood has a new piece of environmentally-friendly equipment.

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh, D-9, presented the non-profit with a battery powered lawn mower, dubbed the “electric goat,” today.

The mower has practical and symbolic value. First, it will help the group maintain its small garden, which mainly grows garden variety vegetables. Second, the councilwoman and Mayor Greg Fischer say they hope the initiative motivates others to start their own gardens and green programs.

Germantown resident Julie Bush says she definitely will.

“It has inspired me to share it with the Germantown-Schnitzelburg community where I am a resident. It is very attainable and it’s something I know that the community would embrace,” she says.

After the unveiling of the mower, Councilwoman Ward-Pugh took the piece of equipment on its maiden voyage.

Fischer waved a checkered flag to signal Ward-Pugh to start the mowing. Unfortunately, the demonstration ended abruptly when the councilwoman crashed into a raised garden bed.

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Nothing was damaged in the accident. Ward-Pugh purchased the mower with approximately $5,000 from her Neighborhood Development Fund.

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Local News

Young Workers Help Maintain Abandoned Properties

Mayor Greg Fischer with young workersA group of young workers met with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer today as they began landscaping an abandoned property on Jefferson Street.

The workers are part of an effort by Metro Government and Kentuckiana Works to supplement the hundreds of youth jobs lost to federal budget cuts this year. The city raised approximately $400,000 and spent an additional $100,000 from the budget to pay the workers.

Metro Public Works used some of that money to hire 51 young people to provide maintenance to vacant and abandoned properties around the city. They work for an hourly wage of $10.88. Jaquail Fowler is one of the workers.

“It’s teaching me how to work hard, I have always been a hard worker and everything and it just really gives me the opportunity to see what hard labor is really about. I’ll be better prepared for it I the future… it’s really helping me out a lot.”

Since the crews began work on June 14th, they have cleared and mowed over 800 vacant properties around the city.

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Temps Not Record-Breaking But Heat Warnings Continue

The National Weather Service is predicting the heat index for Louisville to be mostly in the triple digits for the next week. While we won’t experience record-breaking temperatures, this is expected to be the longest heat wave Louisville has experienced this year.

National Weather Service meteorologist John Gordon says the combination of high temperatures and a high pressure system means more air quality alerts. He also notes this is the time of year when high school sports teams often start practicing. “I worry about the football players going out, the runners, people working in construction, it’s pretty unpleasant. They cannot drink enough liquid.”

Gordon echoes advises citizens to “wear a lot of sunscreen, drink a lot of liquids, protect the pets and animals, the elderly, and the young.”

The coolest day out of the next ten should be Monday, with a high of 88 degrees.

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Ford Will Hire 1,800 Workers at Louisville Plant

Starting today at 5:oo this afternoon, Ford will begin hiring 1,800 workers for the newly re-tooled Louisville Assembly Plant.

The plant recently underwent a $600 million renovation project to prepare it to build several new types of vehicles, including variations on the popular Escape. Ford says the plant is the most modern and flexible in the company.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer praised the move as an important step in his plans for the city.

“Starting today and continuing for one week Ford is accepting applications for 1,800 new jobs,” he said. “This is the biggest expansion of jobs in Louisville by an individual company in years. It’s a major boost to our economy and more importantly it’s a major boost to the ten of thousands of citizens who are unemployed and looking for work.”

Mayor Greg Fischer touted the plant as a step toward building a business corridor between Louisville and Lexington, which he’s asked the Brookings Institution to study.

“On a broader scale what we’re going to be doing with this Brookings report is the corridor between Lexington and Louisville, arguably we’re one of the manufacturing centers in the United States, if not the world,” he said. ” So we have identified an area broadly labeled ‘advanced manufacturing’ with ‘new automotive’ being the term we are using here, to where we feel like we can be best in country or best in world. ”

The total number of employees at the plant will be 2,900. Of that, nearly 1,000 jobs will go to workers previously laid off from the plant, while about 260 will transfer from the Kentucky Truck Plant and other facilities. The remaining 1,800 jobs will be filled with new applicants.

Applications will be accepted until Thursday, July 14 at the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training at 600 W Cedar in downtown Louisville.

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Local News

Hiring for Fair Board Jobs Begins

The first day of the Kentucky Fair Board’s annual hiring spree drew hundreds of job seekers for the 350 part-time positions available.

The openings are for ushers, ticket takers and other positions at the convention center, Freedom Hall and KFC Yum Center. Ryan Zencka, a freelance event staffer, knows the minimum wage salary is low but he showed up today grateful for an opening in his field.

“I have a lot of interest in event stuff,” he says. “I have done security and I like working with people… I am willing to take… part time or temporary… it seemed like a really good fit.”

Hiring continues tomorrow from 10 am to 7 pm at the Kentucky Convention Center, and Thursday at the Yum Center.

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Local News Politics

Revised Fireworks Ordinance Clears Committee

The Louisville Metro Council committee on public safety held a special meeting Friday that ended with the passage of a revised ordinance that allows the sale and use of fireworks within city limits.

The ordinance was created in response to a move by state lawmakers that made it legal to sell and ignite fireworks anywhere in Kentucky. The initial proposal in the council reinstated the ban, limiting the sale and use to only small grade novelties.

However, amendments added by Councilman James Peden, R-23,  changed the bill to allow the sale of larger fireworks.

The amendment also states that it will now be legal for people to ignite aerial and other high grade devices such as roman candles. The revised ordinance prohibits the use of fireworks near buildings. It also prevents their sale at any business that isn’t a dedicated fireworks stand.

The original ordinance was introduced by Councilwoman Madonna Flood, D-24, with support from several area fire departments. After learning that her original proposal had been “gutted”, Flood withdrew her sponsorship.

“Since the original ordinance was brought to me by the fire department, I had my name on it; I want to make sure that my name is not attached to the amendment by substitution because I do not agree with it,” she told the committee.

Flood told WFPL after the meeting that she decided to withdraw her name because she “doesn’t want any part of an ordinance that puts public safety behind the almighty dollar.” Flood also said she plans to lobby against the ordinance before the full council votes on it.