Bevin Nominates 10 To U of L Board After Latest Overhaul Monday, Jan 16 2017 

Gov. Matt Bevin has selected 10 people to serve on the newly reconstructed University of Louisville Board of Trustees after the legislature abolished the previous board and created a new one earlier this year.

The move comes after the school’s accreditation was put on probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as a result of Bevin’s unilateral overhaul of the board last summer.

Bevin announced by video Friday evening that he had chosen 10 trustees to serve on the new board.

“There is going to be the ability to transition as properly as possible in the days and weeks ahead,” Bevin said.

Bevin said names of the new possible trustees would be announced Tuesday. Trustees would have to be confirmed by the state Senate.

U of L’s accreditation agency took issue with Bevin’s overhaul of the trustee board last summer, deeming it “undue political influence.” They also said the governor’s apparent involvement in negotiating former U of L President James Ramsey’s resignation was a violation of the accrediting agency’s standards.

The legislature stepped in earlier this month, approving a bill that overhauled the board once again in an attempt to resolve the issue.

Faculty and student advocates have argued that the latest reorganization does nothing to resolve the school’s accreditation issues.

The Postsecondary Nominating Committee met Friday to come up with a short list of 30 people for the board. Bevin whittled the list down to finalists later in the day.

“I thank those who have worked so quickly, the nominating committee that worked so diligently to expedite this process,” Bevin said.

AG Beshear: Committee to select names for new UofL board ‘out of statutory compliance’ due to Bevin’s all-white appointees (UPDATE) Friday, Jan 13 2017 

A state board on Friday is expected to select the names of 30 nominees from which Gov. Matt Bevin will choose his appointees to yet another new board of trustees for the University of Louisville, the result of legislation passed Saturday by the Kentucky General Assembly and quickly signed into law by the governor. While Bevin and Republican […]

U of L Probation Due To Bevin’s Actions, Agency Says Wednesday, Jan 11 2017 

The accrediting agency that put the University of Louisville on probation explained its decision in a letter Wednesday, saying actions by Gov. Matt Bevin to dissolve U of L’s previous board of trustees and replace it with new members of his choosing violated its standards of independence.

The letter does not address whether a new law approved by the General Assembly in support of Bevin’s changes would solve the problems.

It also does not suggest that academics played any role whatsoever in the probation.

U of L released the three-page letter from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges late Wednesday. In it, SACS president Belle Wheelan says Bevin’s actions made U of L trustees subject to outside political influence. She also says Bevin violated SACS standards by dismissing the previous board without cause.

And she suggests Bevin’s apparent involvement in negotiating former U of L President James Ramsey’s resignation was a violation of the accrediting agency’s standards.

“The governor’s actions demonstrate the board is functioning with considerable external control and influence and places in jeopardy board capacity to be ultimately responsible for providing a sound education program,” Wheelan wrote in the letter.

Bevin has insisted SACS’ decision to place U of L on probation was not the result of his board overhaul. In an email Wednesday, Bevin spokeswoman Amanda Stamper suggested the letter was unremarkable.

“SACS letter comes as no surprise and offers nothing more than the same old news,” Stamper said. “The General Assembly remedied the situation with the passage of SB12, which Gov. Bevin signed into law. It’s time for the University of Louisville to move forward with a new board of trustees and begin its fresh start.”

On Saturday, state lawmakers approved a bill to abolish the previous board and replace it with a smaller version, just as Bevin did via executive order last summer.

SACS is giving U of L two years to address the problems, after which its accreditation could be revoked if it does not make progress toward correcting the issues.

U of L spokesman John Karman said in an email late Wednesday that university officials were reviewing the letter. He did not comment further.

Here’s the SACS letter detailing the violations:

Lemonade Day is coming to LouisvilleKY Wednesday, Jan 11 2017 

LouVino owners Chad and Lauren Coulter launch local chapter of children’s non-profit entrepreneur program

 
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Jan. 11, 2017) – Lemonade Day is a free, fun, experiential learning program that teaches kids how to start, own and operate their very own business – a lemonade stand. Founded in 2007, Lemonade Day has spread to more than 57 cities in 23 states and three countries. Lauren and Chad Coulter, owners of Louisville’s dining hotspot LouVino, are proud to announce that Louisville kids will get to join in on the fun this spring. Lemonade Day Louisville, presented by River City Bank (member FDIC), will be held Saturday, April 29. With the support of city champion Jan Helson, director of Global Game Changers, Lemonade Day Louisville’s goal is to register 500 youth who in turn will start new businesses all across Louisville – on a single day. A kickoff celebration is planned for Wednesday, March 1—details to come! For more information, visit louisville.lemonadeday.org or watch this quick YouTube video.
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Each child that registers will receive a free backpack with an entrepreneur workbook that teaches them the valuable lessons of Lemonade Day, including how to set a goal, make a plan, work the plan and achieve their dreams. Once a youth pays their investor back, they keep all of the money they earn and are encouraged to spend some, save some, and share some of their profit. Once a child is registered, they will be able to pick up their backpack and materials at a Louisville-area River City Bank. Additionally, River City Bank is offering a $5 incentive to any child who goes through the Lemonade Day Louisville program and opens a savings account at one of their branches.
 
Anyone and everyone can be involved in Lemonade Day Louisville! Young entrepreneurs with lemonade stands need mentors, investors, business partners, great locations, and customers. Sponsors and volunteers are also needed to make Lemonade Day a success.
 
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About Lemonade Day:
Lemonade Day, a program of Prepared4Life (501c3, non-profit), is a fun, experiential program that teaches kids how to start, own and operate their very own business: a lemonade stand. By running their stand, they learn the business and life skills needed to set a goal, make a plan and work the plan to achieve their dreams. Lemonade Day’s program builds self-reliance and financial literacy, and introduces important business and entrepreneurial skills. Since 2007, over 1 million youth have participated in Lemonade Day in over 50 cities across the United States, Canada, and South Africa. Lemonade Day allows youth to experience a new level of confidence and see new possibilities for their future – as the leaders, volunteers, and forward-thinking citizens of tomorrow. For more information, visit lemonadeday.org.

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LouisvilleKY adds new resource with External Agency Fund Tuesday, Jan 10 2017 

Application process for funding is now underway

 

LOUISVILLE, KY (January 10, 2017) – The Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods is aiming to collaborate with nonprofit organizations who have innovative and effective strategies to reduce violence in select neighborhoods.

One Love Louisville is the city’s comprehensive plan to reduce citywide violence around homicide, suicide and drug overdose rates.

To qualify for support through this fund, agencies must demonstrate they use a public health approach to reducing violence, and provide services to young people ages 14-24 and their families in these areas of service:

office safe healthy neighborhoods

  • Decreasing violence in targeted Zones of Hope neighborhoods Russell, Shawnee, Newburg, Parkland, California;
  • Family and community wellness;
  • Community/neighborhood organizing;
  • Career readiness and successful, meaningful employment;
  • Academic readiness and achievement.

Qualified agencies must have or have applied for 501(c)3 status from the Internal Revenue Service, and be in good standing with the Jefferson County Revenue Commission and the Kentucky Secretary of State.

All applications must be completed and returned to the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods by Jan. 20, 2017 at 4 p.m. Panel members from the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods Advisory Council will score the applications and make final recommendations for funding.

Additional information can be found at https://louisvilleky.gov/government/safe-healthy-neighborhoods/external-agency-fund-application-process.

 

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As Uncertainty Looms Over U of L, Lawmakers Exert Their Influence Saturday, Jan 7 2017 

With the University of Louisville’s accreditation in the balance, the state legislature voted on Saturday to abolish the school’s board of trustees and create a new, smaller board, much like Gov. Matt Bevin tried to do last summer.

Some are worried the measure will exacerbate the appearance of political influence over the school’s governance.

A trial court blocked Bevin from overhauling the U of L board last year. And the school’s accreditation was put on probation last month by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, citing undue political influence.

Rep. Jody Richards, a Democrat from Bowling Green, said lawmakers weren’t taking the threat of sanctions seriously enough.

“SACS doesn’t play games — their nonpartisan, they’re tough, and they think that you should abide by the rules that they lay down,” he said.

SACS is scheduled to deliver a letter to U of L officials next week detailing why the university’s accreditation was put on probation and how it could remedy the situation.

Opponents of the bill encouraged lawmakers to wait until they’d heard from the organization before passing it.

But Rep. Jason Nemes, a Republican from Louisville, disagreed.

“I think maybe the best way to get a nod from SACS is to act on Senate Bill 12 and let them respond to what we have done, rather than what the governor has done,” he said.

The bill passed with a vote of 57-35 and will take effect once Gov. Matt Bevin signs it, which he said would be by Monday morning.

Attorney General Andy Beshear, who sued Bevin over his revamp of the board, said he would continue fighting the effort in court.

“If SACS enforces its written rules then the damage is done to the University of Louisville,” he said in a statement, “but the governor’s claim of ‘absolute authority’ to dissolve any university board at any time for any reason still threatens every other public university and all Kentucky students and their families.”

U of L Board ‘Fix’ Headed For Passage On Saturday Friday, Jan 6 2017 

A bill that would overhaul the University of Louisville’s Board of Trustees — just as Gov. Matt Bevin did last summer — is nearing final passage through the General Assembly.

The measure passed out of a House committee 13-5 on Friday.

The bill mimics Bevin’s overhaul of the U of L board, abolishing the panel and then creating a new smaller one that the governor would fill with new appointees.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools put U of L’s accreditation on probation last month. U of L student and faculty representatives said they were worried that the bill would continue the school’s accreditation issues because trustees would still be removed without cause.

Senate President Robert Stivers, a Republican from Manchester, downplayed worries, saying that the school’s accreditation is not at risk.

“It’s a probation but it would be much, much, more before it ever rose to the level of a core problem,” he said.

Stivers said SACS officials have told him the legislature has broad authority to reorganize state university boards.

“They have been very direct saying that we have the authority for all universities to define them,” he said. “And it is the voice of the General Assembly that will set those parameters.”

In an interview on Friday, SACS executive director Belle Wheelan said she doesn’t know yet how the legislature could affect the school’s accreditation. Wheelan said she believes the legislature’s actions to reorganize the U of L board of trustees come from good intentions. But she doesn’t know yet how the accrediting agency’s board will view it.

When told that legislators said accreditation isn’t close to being lost, Wheelan said that probation is a very serious sanction.

“The next step is a loss of membership,” she said. “I’m not sure if I were the president that I would say that. I think that the university is working as feverishly as it can to ensure they don‘t lose their accreditation, but I’m not sure I’d be so bold as to say it wasn’t in jeopardy.”

Wheelan said she’s given guidance to several lawmakers in recent weeks. She said U of L will get a formal letter about its probation next week, and that any complaints about “vague” communication from her agency is because the legislature is acting before the letter is out.

The House bill is slated for final passage on Saturday.

JCPS, Other Schools Closed For Weather On Thursday Thursday, Jan 5 2017 

This story has been updated. 

Jefferson County Public Schools and a number of other districts in the area are closed on Thursday for expected snowy weather. No decision has been made about whether JCPS will be open Friday.

University of Louisville will close at noon today. Indiana University Southeast will close at 1:30 p.m.

Some forecasts are predicting up to 4 inches of snow throughout the day, with snowfall getting heavier in the afternoon.

Here is the current list of closures:

  • Jefferson County Public Schools
  • Jefferson County Catholic Schools
  • Bullitt County Public Schools
  • Oldham County Schools
  • Clarksville Community Schools
  • Greater Clark County Schools
  • Hardin County Schools
  • New Albany-Floyd County Schools

There’s a new cat in LouisvilleKY, literally Wednesday, Jan 4 2017 

Louisville, KY., – There’s a new cat in town for the new year! “Becca,” a two-year-old female puma, comes to the Louisville Zoo from the Central Florida Zoo.  Becca was rescued at three months old by the Washington State Wildlife Commission after being separated from her mother. She was found significantly underweight along with her sibling who, unfortunately, did not survive.

 

Pumas are solitary cats and have the largest range of any terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere outside of human beings. They range from northern British Columbia to Argentina. Pumas are also known as cougars, panthers and mountain lions due to different regional names for the cat. In Kentucky, we often refer to them as mountain lions. The scientific name is puma concolor.

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The largest of the small cat species, this adaptable cat lives in a variety of habitats in forests, prairies, deserts and swamps. Pumas have large hind legs giving them the ability to jump high. They can jump from the ground into trees and have been known to leap 20 feet up or down a hillside. They can also run fast. Like a cheetah, pumas have a flexible spine which allows them to maneuver around obstacles and change direction quickly. Their prey depends on location but can include capybaras, raccoons, deer, squirrels and armadillos.

 

Visitors can see “Becca” in the Cats of the Americas exhibit near the MetaZoo, next to the Canada lynx and across from the bald eagles. She will be on exhibit daily unless otherwise noted at the exhibit.

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The Louisville Zoo, a non-profit organization and state zoo of Kentucky, is dedicated to bettering the bond between people and our planet by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in scientific research and conservation education. The Zoo is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

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JCPS, transportation cabinet prepare for the first snow of 2017 Wednesday, Jan 4 2017 

The first accumulating snow of the season is expected to fall in the Louisville region on Thursday, with local meteorologists predicting anywhere from 1-4 inches. Because snow showers may not commence till midmorning, Jefferson County Public Schools likely will have to make the call on whether to cancel school before the first flakes fall. “If the decision […]

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