Cardinal Stadium to be renamed to “L&N Federal Credit Union Stadium” Tuesday, Jan 31 2023 

By Tate Luckey

It’s been approximately 5 years since the University parted ways with Cardinal Stadium’s Papa John’s sponsorship, and today its identity can finally begin anew: Cardinal Stadium is now to be known as L&N Federal Credit Union Stadium (or to some, L&N Stadium).

“We are thrilled and honored to have this opportunity to partner with the University of Louisville. We are proud to have the L&N name on the stadium as a visible sign of our commitment to the Louisville community and the University,”L&N CEO and President Chris Brown said.

“L&N has been a long-standing partner with the University and, ironically, the credit union had its start on the same site as the stadium in 1954. This long-term commitment strengthens our relationship into the future. We are aligned with Josh Heird’s vision and it’s our honor to be associated with a great program.”

The 20-year, $41.3 million dollar deal secures rights through 2042. L&N annual payments begin at $1.7 million this year, growing by 2% annually until reaching about $2.5 million in 2042. It’s among the top 3 most valuable college football stadium naming deals.

In 2018, then-president Neeli Bendapudi opted to part ways with Papa John’s founder John Schattner due to his use of a racial slur during a conference call. Last July, athletic director Josh Heird stated that the stadium’s new sponsor has to be “the right fit.”

“We don’t want somebody to just say, ‘Hey, let’s slap our name up on this stadium’. I would tell you that stadium means too much to us to just give it to, you know, whoever might want it. Let’s make sure that we create a comprehensive partnership,” he told WDRB.

The stadium site of the former South Louisville Rail Yard is also the original site of the credit union, founded in 1954 to serve L&N rail workers. The all-to-familiar horn you hear when Louisville scores a touchdown is the same horn used on the original site, too.

Now the real question: What do fans nickname it? The Fed? The L?

Photo Courtesy // Eric Crawford, WDRB //

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50+ FUN Things to do around Louisville for FREE Friday, Jan 27 2023 

Free fun in Louisville is the best kind of fun. It’s hard to compare another city to our wonderful Louisville.    So may options, a lifetime to enjoy them for FREE fun!   Let’s have free fun in Louisville – let’s see what we can find.    Parks Explore Waterfront Park Bike at Thurman Hutchins Park Sprayground at Creekside/Parklands Hike [...]

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Kenny “Pain’s” First Season Thursday, Jan 26 2023 

By Spencer Laws

Any fan who thought this first season under first-year head coach Kenny Payne was going to be seamless was thinking unrealistically.

It seems Louisville Men’s Basketball has been able to run into every possible bump in the road in recent memory. These bumps have seemed to ensue from recent scandals that have set the program back in multiple aspects, including everything from postseason bans, recruiting restrictions, and most significantly, a vacated National Championship.

The fans have unquestionably been dragged through the mud since the first developments came out of the Katina Powell scandal. 

A mission to restore the legacy of a program

This season seemed like the turning of a page, the spring of a new era for Louisville Basketball for the program and the fanbase.

The fans and the city got the consensus favorite to take over the head coaching position. Louisville alumni and national champion, Kenny Payne, would be given the keys to the program. Hopefully, he would eventually restore the legacy. 

The KP hiring, along with the constant IARP ruling being held over the head of the program, has finally been resolved. The retribution the program will have to pay was considered minor in many regards. 

The hope seemed higher than it probably should’ve been. However, can you blame a fanbase that has experienced what it has over the last decade? Different pieces were brought in this off-season as others departed. Former four-star Brandon Huntley-Hatfield was the most notable name to add to the Cardinal roster.

The issues start piling on

There was still one missing piece that KP and staff needed to address, though: a point guard.  It seemed that Payne and his new staff struck out on high-level point guards in the transfer portal. 

This should’ve been the first sign of another long season for Cards fans. 

This issue resulted in Payne having to put senior El Ellis in the point guard position, handing him the responsibilities of facilitating the offense and handling the ball. Last year, we saw Ellis thrive in more of a shooting guard position. He worked off the ball, not having to dictate the Cardinal offense under his own power.

Reality set in from the start. Division II Lenoir-Rhyne came to the Yum and left with a 10-point win in the first scrimmage of the year for the Cards. 

Payne and company were able to “bounce” back and win their next scrimmage against another division II opponent, Chaminade.

Like me, most fans had to look up where these schools were even located and what level of competition they even competed in before the games started.

And yet, they continue

After this, the regular season started and the nightmare began. It started out with laughable results of back-to-back-to-back one point losses. Tag on six more to go with the first three.

The Kenny Payne era was 0-9 starting out. 

This is where I will reference the statement I began this article with — no fan with a realistic mind thought that the Cards were heading to the NCAA tournament much less the NIT this season.  

However, no one saw it taking 10 games for KP to get his first win as head coach. When that first win finally came, it felt good for Card Nation. The squad was able to take down in-state Western Kentucky on December 14. 

The team then doubled its total in the win column, this time overcoming Florida A&M on December 17. You could argue this was the last good thing to come out of the program up to this point in the season. 

A fanbase left with questions

From that point on we have seen time and time again a team that really doesn’t seem like they want to compete. This team portrays little effort and grit in a lot of different circumstances. 

The list of things wrong with this team goes on and on, but at what point does KP start to feel the heat? Does he get a pass this year because it’s his first year and the program was remodeled in the offseason? 

The abysmal 2-17 record is something the Louisville fanbase has never had to experience on the hardwood, or really any Power Five fanbase has had to face. Back in 2002, Ken Pomeroy created a website tracking many different statistical aspects of college basketball. This season we have seen this team fall below any previous Power Five team statistically.

So we address the same question again: when does Kenny Payne start to feel the heat? Is his job safe after this atrocious season ends? 

The notion lately has been that the generation of players and recruits don’t know or respect the legacy that truly is Louisville basketball. Kenny Payne played in the heyday of Louisville basketball; he helped form and create that legacy for those that came after him. So how does that argument hold up having one of our own lead the program?

The next argumentative point fans point out is that this team just doesn’t have enough talent to compete at a high level. 

On paper, by 247Sports, the Cards don’t have a single player ranked above 132 coming out of high school, excluding Hercy Miller (who wasn’t ranked). Along with that statistic, the Cards roster consists of six players ranking outside the top 90 in their respective classes. 

There are a few counters to this point: the current number-one team in the country, Purdue, lines up with an uneven roster in recruiting. While their squad looks unqualified on paper, Purdue has launched itself as a potential number-one seed come March. 

I understand these two programs are in two very different situations. However, this point needs to be brought up and talked about. 

The bottom line

It’s still hard to hear fans defend Payne past the point of, “it’s his first year”.

Fans knew this season wasn’t going to be the brightest in a lot of aspects, but many feel that more bad has been done than good.

Photo Courtesy // Spencer Laws, The Louisville Cardinal //

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Kentucky Bourbon Tours with Kids Friday, Jan 20 2023 

Here are some things to consider about Kentucky Bourbon Tours with Kids Louisville is the Bourbon tourism capital of the world. Bourbon is Kentucky’s native spirit and our bourbon heritage is rich, but is it family-friendly? Can you really take your kids to a distillery?   The answer is absolutely yes, but with a few caveats you need to consider [...]

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Parents’ Night Out Options in Louisville Thursday, Jan 19 2023 

You need a Parent’s Night Out? These places offer options for childcare! Of course you love spending time with your kids, but who doesn’t enjoy a night out without the kids once in a while? Below is a list of places in the Louisville area that offer fun Parents’ Night Out options. Some information can easily be found online, but [...]

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As Louisville Becomes More Diverse, So Do the Scams Monday, Jan 9 2023 

By Khalil AbdullahSponsored Content

A convening in Louisville is part of ongoing efforts by the FTC to track fraud impacting immigrant and minority communities. 

Immigrants and refugees from across Asia, Africa, and Latin America pursuing the American dream in Louisville, Kentucky, are being blindsided by predatory schemes that strip them of financial resources and, often, their dignity.

Kentuckians lost at least $31.5 million to consumer fraud in 2021 based on reports to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)—a fraction of the nearly $6 billion predators scammed from Americans that year.

“Information is the most powerful weapon against scammers,” said Ethnic Media Services (EMS) Executive Director Sandy Close. “We want to break the silence that keeps the worst scams in the dark.”

Close’s remarks came at December 7 FTC community forum at the Muhammad Ali Community Center in Louisville. The two-hour event drew over 50 state, county, and local officials, as well as non-profit organizers, ethnic media representatives, and several Louisville clergy and religious leaders.

The FTC and EMS have cohosted over 35 such convenings across the country about fraud over the last decade.

FTC Associate Director for Marketing Practices Lois Griesman, based in Washington, D.C., observed that consumer fraud’s impact can ripple through a victim’s life in multiple ways. “It’s economic harm; it’s borrowed money at outrageous interest rates. It’s tapping into whatever savings—emergency savings; retirement savings.”

The FTC received “nearly three million reports of fraud” last year, she said.

Ethnic Media Services Executive Director Sandy Close addresses a packed room on Dec. 7 at the Muhammad Ali Community Center in Louisville, Kentucky as part of an ongoing campaign with the FTC to track and report on scams impacting immigrant and minority communities. 

Scams range from the spike in sales of inferior medical products to protect against COVID to more pernicious romance scams, where victims become “money mules”—someone who is asked to send money to a third party via gift cards—making the flow and ultimate destination of funds more difficult to trace and recover.

Greisman cautioned attendees about underestimating the emotional distress that successful scams invariably inject into people’s lives. “Our job is to protect people from scams and fraud…. If at all possible, we try to get money back to consumers who have been harmed.”

Scams vary by community

Claire Stewart is a staff attorney in the FTC’s Midwest Regional Office, which covers 11 states, including Kentucky. She cited one recent FTC success that returned $10 million to consumers who had been caught up in an automobile leasing scam.

She also explained that the type and prevalence of scams vary from one ethnic community to another. Used auto sales, credit bureau, and student debt-relief scams topped the list in Black communities, while business opportunity and job-related scams are more prevalent in Latino communities. Fraudsters targeted members of the Navajo community in the Southwest with social media advertisements in their Native language.

The challenge of making older adults less susceptible to fraud falls to individuals like Corrine Keel, an assistant U.S. Attorney in the federal Attorney General’s Office.

“I prosecute economic crimes,” said Keel, known among her peers as the “Elder Justice Coordinator.” She said one reason the elderly are targeted is that they can be easier to manipulate. They may be hard of hearing, for example, not recognizing that a phone call from a “grandchild” begging for money is an imposter.

How fraudsters ask people to send money should be a warning sign that foul play is afoot, Keel and the other speakers stressed. Federal agencies such as the IRS do not solicit payments by cash, gift cards, or cryptocurrency.

Speakers urged communities to do more to protect personal information. Phone numbers, addresses, names of family members and friends are often too prominent, too accessible, and therefore easily gleaned by scammers.

Fear and shame mean scams go unreported

They also noted that many successful scams often go unreported and that the $31.5 million toll on Kentucky residents is likely an undercount.

“That number is absolutely higher” because so many victims of fraud crimes won’t report them, noted Karina Barillas, director of La Casita Center, Louisville’s largest service organization for Latino residents.

Often scammers will threaten to report victims to ICE unless they comply with demands, which can have a chilling effect on people’s willingness to talk with authorities, regardless of their immigration status, she explained.

Scammers have also threatened to kidnap an immigrant victim’s relative still living in their country of origin, or to “destroy” their residency status or credit ratings. “You can’t get a job, can’t get a house. You’re going to do anything it takes” to comply with the scammer’s demands, said Farhan Abdi, director of Louisville’s Somali Community Center.

Not far away is the Burmese Community Center, where director Eh Nay Thaw says his father routinely sends money “to support the resistance movement” against Myanmar’s military rulers.

While the funds are presumably used to purchase firearms and munitions, the only verification are photographs over the Internet which could be easily faked. Social media influencers, meanwhile, keep the requests current, tapping into the yearning among Burmese immigrants like Thaw’s father for a liberated homeland.

Cases such as these are why the FTC is working to connect with local communities, to track new scams as and when they arise.

“We need to hear from people on the ground,” Stewart said, and get the word out through trusted media and community organizations.

Photo Courtesy // Ethnic Media Services //

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Things Finally Trending Up for Louisville Basketball? Tuesday, Dec 20 2022 

By: Jason Krell

After a historical 0-9 start for the men’s basketball team, many fans began asking themselves, “Is Kenny Payne the right person to lead this team?” It is highly uncommon for a coach to be shown the door following their first year as a head coach and much less in the middle of the season. Following a 27 point loss to the Miami Hurricanes on December 4th, Payne stated, “For me, theres only one way for us to win and thats for us to play with real desperation, real fight, real determination–inch-by-inch, yard-by-yard in every aspect of the game.”

At Long Last

Louisville finally found themselves in the win column following an 11 point victory over in-state foe Western Kentucky. Senior El Ellis led all scorers notching a double double, his first of the season. Freshman Kamari Lands also added 15 off the bench, his highest of the year. The Cards were in complete control of the Hilltoppers as it seemed they had finally turned the corner and gotten things to click on the court.

As confidence soared, so did senior big man Sydney Curry in the following game against Florida A&M. Curry totaled a season high in points and rebounds as Louisville carefully hung on for a six point victory. In a quote following the win, Curry said, “It felt good, coming in with a good mindset to just play hard. When you play hard, everything else takes care of itself. It felt good to come in, win a good game, and get a good win.”

Looking Forward

Louisville plays host to Lipscomb on Tuesday 12/20 with tipoff set for 6pm where they’ll look to gain their third straight before hitting the road to Raleigh, NC to face N.C. State. If the Cards play the way they played against Western Kentucky, this is a very solid team and can even find themselves winning a handful of games in conference play. Kenny Payne may have finally gotten through to his players as it resulted in two straight wins. Only time will tell if that was a fluke or that the Cards are officially back

Photo Courtesy // Karthik Kalvakuri | Louisville Athletics //

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U of L wins 21st annual Gift of Life College Challenge Tuesday, Dec 13 2022 

By Tate Luckey

It was 20 years ago that a University of Kentucky student was donated a liver from a West Virginian, saving her life and inspiring her to start Donate Life KY. The importance of that act to her could not be understated to her.

“A lot of times, people think ‘Oh, this sort of scenario can’t happen to me’ but she’s living proof,” Crysta McGee, Donate Life Ky’s marketing and communications manager said.

This past November marked the 21st year of the Gift of Life College Challenge, a rivalry between the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky to register as many organ donors as they could campus-wide. U of L handily won the competition, registering over 400 individuals compared to UK’s 75-100. A big help came from athletics- men’s basketball coach Kenny Payne tweeted about the drive and that was more than enough of a boost to the cause. U of L Health and events with the NPHC played a big role, too.

“We had the same sorts of meetings, worked with both transplant centers; but U of L took it to athletics, and that was what did it,” McGee said.

A trophy is set to be awarded to the University during the Battle of the Bluegrass men’s basketball game on Dec. 31.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, their primary focus was peer education. It has since shifted to both education and registration.

Of those on the national waitlist, which is currently over 100,000 people, 85% are in need of a kidney. The next most commonly needed organs include the liver and heart.

“There are a lot of misconceptions, too- whether it’s a religious exception or due to the cause of death. We have information [on our site] that clears all of that up,” McGee said.

According to McGee, 40% of donors’ deaths are overdose related, meaning that the heart typically has a few complications for donation. Other organs and tissue are still donatable, however.

“Kids that age get it. They understand that it’s giving back, it’s their last act,” McGee said.

If you’d like to learn more and register, you can go to donatelifeky.org, or visit optn.gov for more stats. 

Photo Courtesy // Donate Life KY //

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Pictures with Santa in Louisville Friday, Dec 9 2022 

Where can you get pictures with Santa in Louisville? It’s a popular question this time of year. There are paid and free options all around the Louisville area to get those smiling (or crying) photos with Santa.  Whether you want a formal picture with Santa in Louisville or something more casual, there are usually many options. On this post, we [...]

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Zoneton Fire Santa Truck Route Thursday, Dec 1 2022 

Zoneton Fire Protection District is bringing Santa to so many neighborhoods around Louisville See their holiday fire truck drive through Louisville streets to spread holiday cheer and big smiles to many many kids and families.  The Zoneton Fire Santa Truck Route is back for 2022. This year, they have a Grinch theme and the truck looks fabulous. Be sure to [...]

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