Congressmen John Yarmuth and Tim Ryan speak at gun legislation rally Thursday, Aug 8 2019 

Congressmen John Yarmuth and Tim Ryan were on hand as a caravan that finished in Louisville on Thursday urged Mitch McConnell to act on gun control.

       

Louisville man who escaped from Hardin County Jail turns himself in, police say Thursday, Aug 8 2019 

Jordan Geary ran away Thursday as inmates were walking between the jail's dormitory and the classrooms, police said.

Rep. Tim Ryan rallies crowd in Louisville, calling on McConnell to act on ‘scourge’ of gun violence across US Thursday, Aug 8 2019 

Two mass shootings brought the debate over gun rights to Louisville, and a Democratic presidential candidate turned up the heat on Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Amended pedestrian safety ordinance passes Louisville Metro Council, avoiding threat of lawsuit Thursday, Aug 8 2019 

Louisville’s pedestrian safety ordinance passed into law with a 17-7 vote during Thursday’s Metro Council meeting.

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan Visits Louisville To Provoke McConnell On Gun Reform Thursday, Aug 8 2019 

Democratic Presidential hopeful and Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan held a rally in Louisville Thursday evening to demand Mitch McConnell take action on gun reform.

Congressman John Yarmuth, state lawmakers and local advocates spoke to the crowd at an outdoor amphitheater beside the Muhammad Ali Center.

With only 24 hours notice, 300-400 people packed into the rows of the outdoor amphitheater and spilled out onto the concrete to express their advocacy for gun reform legislation.

The crowd was a sea of red, white and blue. Red shirts from Mothers Demand Action For Gun Sense in America, blue banners saying “We’ve had enough” and “March For Our Lives,” and homemade white signs with phrases like “Make America Safe Again.”

Ryan Van Velzer | wfpl.org

Attendees at a rally in downtown Louisville on August 8, 2019, urging Congress to vote on gun reform legislation.

Behind them, the sun cast a glow reflected against the windows of the Muhammad Ali Center where speakers took the stage. The rally wasn’t so much a series of speeches as it was a dialogue, a call and response session. Between each speaker, the crowd chanted “Bring it to the Floor.”

The demand was clear. The crowd wanted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to take up the comprehensive gun reform legislation passed in the House earlier this year.

But Cathy Mekus with Kentucky’s branch of Mothers Demand Action spelled out the specifics. She wants to see expanded background checks and an end to the so-called Charleston loophole that would close a gap in the background check system. Mekus also called for a federal red flag law that would allow family members and officers to get a judicial order to temporarily take away a person’s firearms.

“We are here today to say we want to take action,” Mekus said.

Ryan Van Velzer | wfpl.org

Cheryl Jaggers attends the rally on August 8, 2019, pushing for gun reform legislation.

Kentucky resident Hollan Holm compared McConnell’s response after last weekend’s mass shooting with his reaction in the wake of the 1997 Heath High School shooting in Paducah that left Holm with a bullet in the head.

“And all Mitch McConnell had to offer were his prayers,” he said.

The crowd booed in response.

The call and response act reached a fever pitch as Yarmuth hyped the crowd while Tim Ryan spoke with CNN. Afterward, the presidential hopeful hit the stage.

He talked about the tough week that people have had in Ohio, but said it’s no different than what communities are facing across the county.

“The scourge of gun violence in our country is a black mark on our politics, on our society, on our country, on our leadership,” he said.

In the aftermath, as the crowd dispersed, Jessica Bondia expressed her discomfort with the state of the country.

“I think that when we get to the point where Kevlar is part of back to school shopping that we have a serious problem,” she said. “And I want to do anything I can to try and help with that.”

Ryan Van Velzer | wfpl.org

Gina Williams holds a sign at a rally on August 8, 2019, urging Congress to vote on gun reform legislation.

 

This post has been updated. 

Cardinals face challenging 2019-20 men’s basketball schedule Thursday, Aug 8 2019 

Including an exhibition game, nine of the Cardinals' 12 non-conference games will be played at home in the KFC Yum! Center.

        

Neighbors press for details about Urban Government Center project Thursday, Aug 8 2019 

The Marian Group's plan for the Barret Avenue site no longer includes a Family Scholar House complex, but it's not known what else is envisioned.

Man dies after being shot by police in Breckinridge County Thursday, Aug 8 2019 

Officials say a sheriff's deputy and three KSP troopers responded to a home on Calvert Church Road Thursday evening.

Metro Council Passes Ordinance To Crack Down On Panhandling And Jaywalking Thursday, Aug 8 2019 

The Louisville Metro Council has passed an ordinance that would fine pedestrians — including panhandlers and jaywalkers. It was billed as a public safety measure and was supported by council members who say it is designed to prevent pedestrian fatalities on busy roads.

The new rule passed Thursday night limits the permissible reasons pedestrians may approach vehicles in intersections, defines where it is safe to cross roads on foot, and prohibits individuals from lingering on medians.

Groups including some labor union leaders and the American Civil Liberties Union initially criticized the ordinance for potentially infringing free speech rights. But after the vote on an amended version of the ordinance, the ACLU tweeted that Louisvillians’ First Amendment rights would not be affected while on sidewalks.

Others say it could unduly punish those who travel on foot.

District 9 councilman Bill Hollander, who voted against the measure, said his constituents in neighborhoods like Clifton and Crescent Hill frequently cross roads away from intersections. The ordinance includes jaywalking among infractions that could carry fines of $25 to $250.

 “I know, in my district, that happens every single night, every night, every hour. I’ve had people tell me there is no other place they can safely cross, except not at an intersection. I’ve had people in wheelchairs,” Hollander said.

The ordinance passed easily with a 17 to 7 vote.

Planners seeking public input on ways to improve 4 access roads to Dixie Highway Thursday, Aug 8 2019 

The New Dixie Highway Project will be finished in 2020, but project leaders are now working on how to get people to use it.

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