Local News
7:00 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Military Suicides Have Spiked in Kentucky in Recent Years

Suicides among Kentucky veterans and active military service members have increased the past several years. In many cases, those who have died never sought help through the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

“Most of the people [military service members] that kill themselves we don’t know about,” said Barbara Kaminer, Louisville’s Robley Rex VA suicide prevention coordinator.

The increase in suicides among veterans hand service members has led to legislation aimed at reducing or eliminating suicides of active service members., but the effort face challenges.

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Environment
6:51 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Politico (with WFPL's Erica Peterson) Puts Focus on Louisville and Urban Heat Islands

Credit File photo

Politico on Tuesday took a deep look at urban heat islands, an issue that has gotten increasing focus particularly in Louisville—because studies show that the city's heat struggles are particularly worrisome. Urban heat islands are when city centers get hotter than surrounding areas. Erica Peterson has reported on the urban heat island effect for WFPL, and she is also the author of Politico's story. Erica writes:

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Strange Fruit
8:23 am
Sun December 14, 2014

Strange Fruit: Yasssss! 2014 Words of the Year on Fleek

Credit Kaila Story

The end of 2014 is upon us, and that means every outlet is publishing best-of lists. We weren't too impressed with the Wall Street Journal's Best Pop Culture Moments last week, but one list we can get behind is the American Dialect Society's nominees for 2014 Words of the Year.

  Like most cultural phenomena, lots of language has its roots in subcultures—including some from gay black culture. One of the words on the list is yass, an affirmation audiences have been screaming at house ball contestants for years, that made its way into mainstream usage with a little help from Nicki Minaj.

Social justice movements and hashtags also help coin new words and phrases; this year they gave us Gamergatecolumbusing, and #notallmen (and its response, #yesallwomen).

Grant Barrett is an officer with the American Dialect Society, and compiles their list of linguistic contenders every year. He joins us this week to talk about 2014's nominees and where they came from. He also sheds a little light on the more inexplicable (to us) choices, like "on fleek," an expression that caused Jaison to feel old for the first time in his life.

And we spend our Juicy Fruit segment in the historical Brennan House in downtown Louisville, where we learn about preserving sites with historical significance to the LGBT community. Kentucky recently got a grant to help add LGBT-important sites to the National Register of Historic Places, and Preservation Louisville Director Marianne Zickuhr joins us to talk about the work they will do on the project. Hint: It involves Baby Vicco!

The Two-Way
8:19 am
Sun December 14, 2014

Senate Passes $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz talks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Friday, as the Senate considers a spending bill.
Lauren Victoria Burke AP

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 2:28 pm

Updated at 10:05 p.m. ET

The Senate passed a $1.1 trillion spending package Saturday night on a 56-40 bipartisan vote, after overruling an objection from Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

Earlier Saturday, the Senate had voted on a short-term continuing resolution that extended their deadline to pass the spending bill. But in the evening, Senate leadership came to an agreement and the legislative body voted to move the bill forward sooner than anticipated, ending debate and allowing a vote Saturday night.

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Health
7:00 am
Sun December 14, 2014

Time Is Running Out to Sign Up for Health Insurance for Jan. 1 Through Kynect

Credit Phalinn Ooi/Creative Commons

Monday is the last day Kentuckians can use the healthcare exchange Kynect to get insurance effective by Jan. 1.

Open enrollment began last month. People who don't sign up by Monday will have to wait until February or later for their new coverage to begin.

As of Monday, the agency has received more than 18,000 applications. Of those, 4,200 are new enrollees and 10,000 have been enrolled in Medicaid coverage. More than 70,000 people renewed coverage in November.

The governor's office reports:

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Local News
8:30 am
Sat December 13, 2014

Public Input Period for Louisville's Transportation Initiative Ends on Monday

Credit WFPL File Photo

Monday is the last day for the public to submit ideas and comments on the proposals from Move Louisville, an initiative to increase mobility between downtown and the rest of Jefferson County.

Steve Sizemore, a senior planner for Louisville Metro’s office of advanced planning, said a majority of the input has focused on ways to provide alternative transportation.

The potential projects that are open for comment range widely from bicycle infrastructure to a complete overhaul of Broadway.

A final draft of the project should be ready in just more than a month, he said.

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The Salt
8:26 am
Sat December 13, 2014

Hanukkah History: Those Chocolate Coins Were Once Real Tips

Wrapped in gold and silver foil, chocolate gelt are often handed out as a little treat for children (and adults) during Hanukkah. Turns out, the tradition is rooted in real money.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 2:09 pm

Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, starts on Tuesday night. But the flickering candles won't be the only things shining on the table. Many families celebrate with gelt, chocolate coins covered in gold and silver foil. But while this treat is beloved, it's not all that delicious.

"It snaps. It's not soft and buttery — it's waxy. This is chocolate you have to chew," jokes Ariel Cohn, who runs Tree of Life, a Jewish pre-school in Portland, Ore.

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Environment
2:02 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Strange Weather Could Lead to Unhealthy Air in Louisville This Weekend

Louisville is under an air quality alert for soot this weekend—something that’s unusual for this time of year.

Most of the city’s air quality alerts are during the summertime, and for high levels of ozone. Air quality alerts for particulate matter are rare, but Air Pollution Control District spokesman Tom Nord said weird weather patterns forecast for this weekend are to blame.

“It’s not that we see any unusual amount of PM in the air, it’s more of an interesting weather pattern we’re seeing,” he said.

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Environment
1:11 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

New Bellarmine Grant to Support Women in Science

Credit Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons: University of Pittsburgh at Bradford

Female undergraduates pursing science degrees at Bellarmine University will get additional support under a new grant.

The Clare Booth Luce Program will provide stipends to 10 women who are pursuing undergraduate degrees in biochemistry, chemistry, geology, computer science, physics or environmental science.

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Health
1:00 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Kentucky's Child Medicaid Recipients Prescribed Psychotropic Drugs at Double the National Rate

Credit Melanie Tata/Creative Commons

Kentucky children who receive Medicaid are prescribed medications to treat mental illness and behavioral issues at double the rate of the national average, according to research from the Child and Adolescent Health Research Design and Support Unit at the University of Louisville.

Of the almost 600,000 children receiving Medicaid in Kentucky, 14 percent have been prescribed at least one psychotropic medication, such as Ritalin or Zoloft, the researchers found. Also, 42 percent of the children in Kentucky's foster care system has been prescribed at least one of these drugs.

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