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In-Depth News Local News WFPL News Department Podcast

After 30 Years, Miller’s Latest NBA Attempt Could Be His Last

As the NBA lockout nears the two week mark, players, managers and owners are no longer in talks about their franchises. For over thirty years, Louisville attorney J. Bruce Miller has been in talks to bring an NBA franchise to the city. But his latest attempt will most likely be his last.

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Bruce Miller’s law office is a hybrid of two of his fascinations: Greek culture and professional basketball.  Behind his desk sits a model of the Parthenon. Strewn around his office he has basketball jerseys and other basketball paraphernalia.  Miller has white hair and speaks with a slight southern twang. When I spoke to him, he was wearing an NBA lapel pin on his suit.

Bruce Miller’s obsession with professional basketball started when there were two pro basketball leagues—the ABA and the NBA—and Kentucky still had a professional basketball team: the Kentucky Colonels.

A year after the Colonels overcame the Indiana Pacers in the 1975 ABA Championship, the NBA absorbed the league. Miller was in talks to preserve the Colonels with the NBA’s outside counsel, David Stern, who is now NBA commissioner.

At the end of the talks, the NBA took 4 ABA teams. The Colonels were left behind.

Since then, Miller has put an enormous amount of effort and capital into bringing a team back.

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Arts and Humanities Local News Uncategorized

Stolen Altarpiece Handed Over to US Government

After spending 40 years at Louisville’s Speed Art Museum, a stolen 14th century work is going home.

The Speed Art Museum bought the piece from a New York Gallery in 1973 for 38 thousand dollars, not realizing the Italian art was stolen from a home in Italy two years earlier.

The work is a three panel altarpiece.  The center panel depicts the Madonna and Child, with the other panels portraying various saints and the crucifixion.

The United States government will hand it over to the Italian government, which will decide whether or not to return it to the family that was burglarized.

Museum Director Charles Venable said at a handover ceremony that it’s often difficult to verify the authenticity of stolen art.

“How many of you have ever been to an antique’s mall?  You can raise your hand, you’re not going to be arrested,” Venable said to the crowd of about 50 people.  “And if you’ve ever bought something at an antique’s mall, how do you really know where that object came from?  There are a lot of objects in the world, and it’s very hard to know where they are every single day.”

An Italian art researcher discovered the work was stolen using an online database in 2009.

The Speed museum has been reimbursed for the full 38 thousand dollars by the New York gallery.  The piece will remain available for viewing until Sunday afternoon.

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Local News Politics Uncategorized

Pride Festival Celebrates Victories, but Challenges Remain

Chris Hartman is standing on a rainbow float being pulled by a white Chevy Tahoe. Pulling the megaphone up to his mouth, he yells to the thousands gathered for the Kentuckiana Pride Parade.

“Friends, give it up for elected officials who voted for Fairness!” yelled Hartman, standing next to those who voted for anti-discrimination legislation in 1999. “And the Fairness Campaign co-founders! And give it up for yourselves for coming out to celebrate pride!”

The Pride Foundation chose Hartman to be the grand marshall of the parade, which serves as an annual celebration for the LGBT community.

“So many of us have grown up together that this is really like a family reunion. We look forward to this day every year,” said Darren Morgen, who is part of the Pride Foundation. “Chris Hartman, he’s doing a good job representing those people not necessarily receiving equality.”