Mayor Fischer names James L. Blanton as director of Louisville Free Public Library Friday, Jun 26 2015 


Louisville, Ky., – Citing his innovative approach to lifelong learning, including making libraries as centers of knowledge in addition to books, Mayor Greg Fischer today named James L. Blanton as the new director of the Free Public Library.

Blanton is currently director of the Daviess County Public Library in Owensboro, a position he’s held since 2012. He served many roles in his 12 years at the Chesapeake Public Library in Virginia, including senior library manager, overseeing all aspects of operations for the main central library.

‘The Chesapeake library system, with seven branches, serves the city’s 231,000 residents.


“Mr. Blanton takes a broad approach to lifelong learning and his vision for is expansive and focused on innovation,” Fischer said. “He is the right leader to take our library network to a new level.”

In Chesapeake, he co-developed a Job Help/Workforce Development program to offer assistance to jobs seekers and he served on the design committee for a new library branch.  He also created FantaSci, a science-fiction/fantasy festival that featured authors, artists, filmmakers and fan group. It attracted 15,000 people.

And, in Owensboro, Blanton co-created Unscripted, a film series that features monthly screenings of independent films by local and regional artists, and which provides a film school that connects patrons with filmmakers to produce film projects. He also oversaw the creation of a Seed Library in partnership with Western Kentucky Botanical Garden and implemented iPad and computer laptop lending programs.  He also led a design team to develop expansion plans for the library.

Recently, he launched an online program called ePublish or Bust, connecting libraries across the state in an effort to support aspiring and published independent authors.  Mr. Blanton is also the incoming Chair of the Kentucky Public Library Association, and coordinated the planning and implementation of the 2015 KPLA state conference.

Blanton began his career at the Lexington Public Library as a librarian assistant and then moved to the Chesapeake Public Library in Virginia, where he held several roles, including librarian, head of reference services and eventually senior library manager.

He’s earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky in 1995; Master of Library Science in 2000 from UK and a Master of Public Administration from Old Dominion University in 2005.

Under his leadership, Daviess County Public Library received a Military Hero Award by the American Red Cross in 2014 for a World War II program series at the library, and has been featured in American Libraries and Library Journal for other programs developed at the library including Frame Your Imagination, Unscripted Film School, and ePublish or Bust.  Mr. Blanton was named a Mover and Shaker in 2012 by Library Journal for the development of the $ave $teve online financial education game.

“I’m thrilled to come on board as the Director of the Free Public Library,” Blanton said. “It is an honor and a privilege to be a part of an institution with such a tradition of excellence, and a city that enthusiastically embraces education and innovation.  Along with a talented staff, I look forward to charting an exciting path that redefines and surpasses expectations of how a library can serve the community.”


U of L’s Rozier to Celtics; Montrezl is a Rocket Friday, Jun 26 2015 

Louisville's Terry Rozier and Montrezl Harrell are headed to NBA camps

Louisville’s Rozier, Harrell Selected in NBA Draft

Rozier went to the Boston Celtics with the 16th overall selection, Harrell to the Houston Rockets with the 32nd pick

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Two University of men’s basketball players were selected in the 2015 NBA Draft Thursday night.

Guard Terry Rozier was selected in the first round by the Boston Celtics as the 16th overall pick in the draft, while forward Montrezl Harrell was taken in the second round by the Houston Rockets as the 32nd selection.

“We are so excited and so happy for Terry.,” said UofL Coach Rick Pitino.  “He’s one of the hardest workers with the most professional attitude any coach could want.  He is just scratching his potential and will work his tail off for the Celtics.  All of Card Nation is thrilled for him.”

“We’re all surprised that Montrezl slipped out of the first round, but it really doesn’t matter,” said Pitino.  “He’ll get a contract from Houston.  The most important thing is to be drafted by the right team with a chance to play.  He certainly was drafted by the right team with a chance to play.  Some players would have a chip on their shoulder to prove people wrong (about not being selected in the first round).  Montrezl will have a boulder his shoulder, and there’s not a doubt in my mind that he will.

“Obviously, both players have worked very hard to help make successful.  We hope that had played a big role in making them successful.”

Rozier led the Cardinals and was fourth in the ACC in scoring (17.1 ppg) last season and also led the ACC in steals (2.0 spg).  An All-ACC second team selection, Rozier was twice named ACC Player of the Week, including Dec. 22 after scoring a career-high 32 points at Western Ky.; and on Feb. 2.  He averaged 20.1 points in the Cards’ 17 road or neutral site games, including 20 points in ’s nine conference road games.

A 6-1 guard from Youngstown, Ohio, Rozier and Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant were the only two players to rank among the top 10 in the ACC in scoring, steals and free throw percentage.  He made the second-highest scoring improvement in the ACC since last season, rising from his 7.0 average as a freshman to his final 17.1 average.  Named to the 2015 All-ACC Academic Men’s Basketball team, Rozier was among the top rebounding guards in the ACC, averaging 5.6 boards (23rd in ACC).

Harrell, who was honored with the inaugural Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award, averaged 15.7 points (eighth in the ACC), 9.2 rebounds (second in the ACC, 32nd in the nation) and shot 56.6 percent from the field (third in the ACC, 22nd in the nation). He helped the Cardinals post a 27-9 record and reach their fifth NCAA Elite Eight in the past eight years.

A 6-8 forward from Tarboro, N.C., Harrell was named to the 2015 All-ACC Academic Men’s Basketball team and was the ACC Player of the Week three times. He totaled 1,294 points in his three seasons (tied for 31st all-time at UofL). He finished his career with 777 rebounds, just 36 short of the top 15 in career rebounds at . He is ’s career leader in dunks with 221 and slammed a school-record 97 dunks as a sophomore.

A total of 68 former players have been selected in the NBA Draft, including five in the last three years.  Last year, Russ Smith was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft with the 47th overall pick, and was subsequently traded to the New Orleans Pelicans.  Gorgui Dieng was a first-round selection and the 21st overall pick by the Utah Jazz in 2013, with his rights subsequently traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he has played the last two seasons. Peyton Siva was a second round choice of the Detroit Pistons in 2013 with the 56th pick overall.

U of L has produced 22 first-round NBA Draft choices, including 11 in the top ten and five among the top three picks (Pervis Ellison first in 1989; Wes Unseld second in 1968; Darrell Griffith second in 1980; Charlie Tyra second in 1957; Rodney McCray third in 1983).

And at UK:

Kentucky had six players drafted, including four lottery picks, headed by #1 Karl-Anthony Towns.

State Auditor Launches Investigation Into University of Louisville Foundation Thursday, Jun 25 2015 

UofL Virtual tour


FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) — Auditor Adam Edelen has announced his office will conduct an examination into the governance and oversight of the University of Louisville Foundation, an organization that manages the school’s $1.1 billion endowment.

That’s according to a news release from the Auditor’s office.

Edelen will also examine the existing governance structure of the University of Board of Trustees, and the actions of the Foundation.

“The importance of the University of in regards to education and workforce development cannot be overstated,” Edelen said. “Dr. Ramsey has presided over a period of significant growth and achievement. I have heard from dozens of business and community leaders who believe that a review by my office will be a constructive exercise, resulting in easing tensions and a fact-based path for moving forward.”

adam edelen

The University of Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that holds, invests and allocates donations for the University. It is directed by a 15-member board of directors, the majority of whom are not members of the University’s Board of Trustees.

Under state law, University trustees are required to oversee the compensation of the school’s president, faculty and staff. The Foundation independently awarded compensation packages to the University president and other top officials during the 2012-13 fiscal year. The University itself has begun a Foundation board level review of those deferred compensation awards.

“The Foundation is critically important to the University, but it must be fully transparent,” Edelen said. “In addition, the Board of Trustees must have primacy in its governance and oversight roles in relation to University activities funded by the Foundation.”

Given the dramatic growth of the University and enhanced academic reputation in recent years, Edelen said it is important the review be conducted to ensure the Board of Trustees is in a position to meet its statutory and fiduciary obligations as the governing body of the institution.

Edelen said the process represents a significant undertaking by his office, and he expects it will take months to complete.

“We anticipate full cooperation from the boards of the University and its Foundation, as well as the University administration,” Auditor Edelen said. “At the end of the day, the number one priority for both organizations is to do what is best for the University and greater community of . I’m optimistic that a review by my office will provide a constructive, fact-based path for moving forward.”

After Edelen’s announcement, U of L trustee Craig Greenberg issued the following statement:

“I strongly support and respect Auditor Edelen’s decision to review the management processes involving the University and the Foundation. I expect everyone at the University will fully cooperate with his work. I look forward to receiving his findings and recommendations and am hopeful that work will bring the board together to govern more effectively.”

Cards’ New Football Uni’s Unveiled Thursday, Jun 25 2015 

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 12.14.08 PM

The University of Louisville and adidas today unveiled the new Uncaged Cardinal Primeknit strategy football uniform, which will make its on-field debut on Saturday, September 5th vs. Auburn for the season opener.

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 12.14.08 PMDrawing inspiration from the mascot, the new uniform brings the Cardinal to life like never before – from head to toe – with an all-new, photo-real, high-def Uncaged Cardinal. Designed to represent the football team’s style of play, the Uncaged Cardinal is fierce, attacking and always on the offensive.

At the center of the design, the helmet features the new Uncaged Cardinal on one side, while a chrome and red English “L” pays homage to ’s heritage on the other side. Further infusing the new theme, the shoulders of the jersey feature chrome and red wings – symbolizing the Uncaged Cardinal in flight, which accent the chrome lettering and numbering outlined in bold red on the jersey, while the pants showcase a chrome and red English “L” on the left leg to match the helmet.

Made with a cutting-edge, proprietary yarn blend that increases durability and abrasion resistance, Primeknit is the newest generation of the adidas TECHFIT football uniform system. Primeknit keeps players cool and increases range of motion, giving athletes an unrivaled level of comfort and allowing them to perform at their highest levels. The jersey’s redesigned padlock system improves tension over the shoulder pads. The jersey’s redesigned padlock system improves tension over the shoulder pads, while the compression fit adheres to the player, making it difficult for opponents to grab, hold or tackle.

Rounding out the head-to-toe package is the TECHFIT gun show baselayer, featuring an oversized photo-real, high-def Uncaged Cardinal and red English “L” overlay on the chest, the adizero 4.0 Uncaged Cardinal gloves, and the adizero 5-Star 4.0 cleats, emblazoned with the new photo-real, high-def Uncaged Cardinal, wrapped 180 degrees around the upper of the cleat.

The adizero 5-Star 4.0, lighter than any competitor cleat at 8.1 ounces, has a SPRINTSKIN upper with SHOCKWEB reinforcement and a SPRINTFRAME plate that provides maximum acceleration and multi-directional traction.

State auditor launching investigation into U of L Foundation (UPDATED) Thursday, Jun 25 2015 

Oval-Commons-University-of-LouisvilleState Auditor Adam Edelen said on Thursday his office would investigate the University of Louisville Foundation, the separate $1.1 billion nonprofit that partially funds university operations. The Foundation has been under scrutiny after Insider Louisville and other media outlets reported on its multimillion-dollar payments to … Continue reading

My Morning Jacket teams with Pitt Academy for fundraiser Wednesday, Jun 24 2015 

My Morning Jacket partners with the Pitt Academy. | Courtesy of MMJThe Pitt Academy — a private K-12 school for students with intellectual disabilities and special needs located off of Preston Highway — is currently raising funds for a new building. Their $1.2 million Help Us Grow Their Future campaign launched … Continue reading

Candidate Conway releases jobs plan with only a whiff of details Tuesday, Jun 23 2015 

conwayAt an event in Louisville Tuesday morning, the gubernatorial campaign of Democrats Jack Conway and Sannie Overly released its jobs plan, which mostly calls for continuing or expanding existing programs to help attract businesses and train workers, while not raising taxes. Though … Continue reading

A look at President Obama’s ‘My Brother’s Keeper Challenge’ in Louisville Tuesday, Jun 23 2015 

Photo courtesy of Beech TechnologiesIn 2014, President Barack Obama launched the “My Brother’s Keeper Challenge,” a call for cities and organizations to help young men and boys of color stay engaged with their education and broader communities. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer was one of the … Continue reading

SkillsUSA bringing 6,000 teens to compete in workforce skills national championships Monday, Jun 22 2015 

SkillsUSASkillsUSA will bring 6,000 competitors from around the country to Louisville this week to compete in its championships as part of the 51st annual National Leadership Skills and Conference. The competition is for public high school and college/secondary students enrolled … Continue reading

Louisville Uncovered presents: The Heigold House, mystery behind the facade on River Road Sunday, Jun 21 2015 

Heigold House

The Heigold House was built by immigrant stonemason Christopher Heigold, and stands at the intersection of River Road and Frankfort Avenue, watch the history around it on Louisville Uncovered ! 



Photo courtesy broken


The Heigold House

The Heigold House

“The Point” was a thriving 19th century neighborhood east of Downtown and opposite Towhead Island along the Ohio River. It was located north of the present day Butchertown area.

Starting in the 1840s it was home to many upper income residents who had moved from New Orleans, giving the area the nickname “the Frenchmen’s Row”.

They built many mansion houses in the area, the best known of which was the Heigold House (completed in 1853).

It was built by German immigrant and stonemason, Christian Heigold. And he used many American icons to decorate the facade, honoring the US for the opportunity given to immigrants like himself.

15th President of the US, James Buchanan

15th President of the US, James Buchanan

“Hail to Buchanan, now and forever”
The Heigold facade has the only known standing monuments to the

15th President of the United States, James Buchanan.  Buchanan, the 15th (1857-1861), served immediately prior to the American Civil War. He remains the only President to be elected from Pennsylvania, he is described as;

“Tall, stately, stiffly formal”,  in the high stock he wore around his jowls, James Buchanan was the only President who never married.

Bust of 15th POTUS James Buchanan

Bust of 15th POTUS James Buchanan

In 1854 many houses were demolished when Beargrass Creek was rerouted from its original outflow near 4th St. in downtown to its current location through the area. Many more houses were torn down after the great Ohio River flood of 1937.

It was once the site of The Municipal Yacht Basin (later Municipal Boat Harbor) built in 1936.

Today,  the only remaining structures are the decorated front facade of the Heigold House and Padgett House, both listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The city bought the house in 1953 to expand a dump. Mayor Charles Farnsley ensured that the facade was saved and in 1955 had it moved to its current location at what was then Thruston Park, across from Towhead Island.

The facade of the Heigold House was moved from its Fulton Street location to make room for the massive River Park Place condominium project


Moving the 70,000 pound Heigold Facade

Moving the 70,000 pound Heigold Facade

   How do you move a facade?
Edwards Moving & Rigging of Simpsonville were hired to move the 70,000-pound structure that is 26 feet high and 35 feet wide.  The facade’s foundation has been dug out and the structure braced.

A hydraulic jack raised the facade five feet so large beams could be slipped through its lower foundation and four self-propelled dollies put under it.

“It’s like putting four little remote-control cars under each corner” of the structure, Edwards said.

The dollies then slowly moved the structure several hundred yards to a nearby Waterfront Park parking lot to await transfer to Frankfort Avenue.

The Heigold facade was finally moved to a roundabout on Frankfort Avenue near River Road, while the fate of the historic Padgett House remains uncertain.

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