Dalton Main, Kentucky Public Radio

KPR Reporter

Plans for a possible rail line connecting Louisville, Lexington and Frankfort are moving forward, but that progress could soon stop. The man behind the concept is leaving his job. Executive director of the Kentucky Capital Development Corporation Ralph Tharp first released his plans for the line earlier this year. But his contract with the corporation will not be renewed. Tharp says he has the support of mayors along the route and he will continue to work on the project until his contract expires in October.

The KFC Yum! Center was recently listed as the 24th best concert arena in the world by Pollstar.com. It was named the 10th best overall venue in the nation.

In its latest list of Fittest and Fattest States, the online medical reference resource WebMD placed Kentucky in the top ten ‘fattest states’. Kentucky’s obesity rate for adults is 31.5%, placing the state at number six on the list.  But the rate of 10-17 year old kids came in at 21%, which is third in that category. The list makes reference to the 2.8 mile stretch of Broadway that’s populated by 24 fast-food restaurants, as well as the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement.

After a southern-Indiana teen died of heat stroke last week, questions arose about the accusation that he was denied treatment at an immediate care center.  According to accounts, the boy’s stepfather took him to the Norton Immediate Care Center in Lyndon before calling EMS at the center’s advisement. A Norton Spokesperson said this week that the boy was not denied care and was not actually brought into the clinic. Rather, his stepfather described his symptoms to the doctors, who referred the man to an emergency room.

Parenting Magazine has listed two Kentucky cities in their top 20 cities for families.  Louisville rounds off the top ten, while Lexington ranks 18th. The magazine looked at factors such as quality of schools, prices of  homes, crime rates, available jobs, and parkland. Here is the list…

An appeal by Louisville Slugger to the Supreme Court of Montana was unanimously rejected Thursday.  The appeal was filed in response to a 2006 judgment. In 2003, 18-year-old pitcher Brandon Patch died after a baseball hit him in the face. The ball was struck by an aluminum bat made by Louisville Slugger.

A bill in reaction to the high-profile Casey Anthony trial in Orlando Florida has surfaced in Kentucky. “Caylee’s Law” was recently pre-filed for the 2012 legislative session. When Anthony was acquitted of murdering her two-year-old daughter Caylee, many observers were outraged that she faced no jail time for failing to report her daughter missing for 31 days.“Caylee’s Law” would charge a parent or guardian with a felony for failing to report a child under 12 missing within 12 hours.

A broken water main at the University of Louisville campus has caused some flooding across part of the campus. The break occurred near Floyd and Warnock Streets, causing that intersection, and much of the campus, to flood. According to MetroSafe Communications, some people are trapped in buildings as portions of the flooding have reached almost five feet deep. According to witnesses, some tennis courts are under water at the Bass-Rudd Tennis center and the Papa John’s across the street is surrounded by water.

The NBA lockout is in its second week, and players are not working. And one Kentucky-based company is looking to hire the Miami Heat’s Dwayne Wade. Amid the lockout, Dwayne Wade tweeted a question.  He asked if anyone was hiring.  It was probably a joke, but as it turns out, there is at least one company who would like to hire the shooting guard.

An unused building on Main Street will soon be converted to a small distillery by a New York-based whiskey brand. Local officials hope it will attract additional tourism to the urban bourbon trail in Louisville. The New York-based Michter’s Distillery has been in existence for nearly three centuries and has decided to produce single barrel and small batch rye and bourbon whiskey in Louisville.

This July Fourth marks the 100th anniversary of a baseball milestone.  In 1911, Cubans Armando Marsans and Rafael Almeida became the first Latino players for the Cincinnati Reds. The two are sometimes called the first Latino players in the major leagues, but that depends on the definition of major league baseball.

A grand jury today indicted four individuals in Louisville and Lexington on charges of lottery fraud.The indictments are part of an undercover investigation by the Kentucky Lottery Corporation. KLC personnel visited various lottery retailers and presented tickets that, when scanned at a lottery terminal, would instruct the store clerk to award a prize.

The polar bear cub Qannik arrived in a UPS Boeing 747 last night in Kentucky as reported by dueling twitter accounts.  There are two accounts currently claiming to be none other than Qannik herself.  One is @QannikthecubLZ (Official Louisville Zoo account), the other is the rogue @QannikBearaccount.

The first of two public comment hearings on the Ohio River Bridges Project was last night  in Clarksville.

Curtis Morrison with Say No 2 Bridge Tolls was in attendance to criticize the process.

“I have an issues with this being called a public input meeting,” Morrison said “when the governors and mayor got together and come up with a plan and they’re wanting us to give input on their plan, in my perspective that’s a little backwards.”

There will be public comment hearings today and tomorrow for the Ohio River Bridges Project. Earlier this month, opponents of tolls welcomed cost reducing changes to the bridges project that were proposed by the Mayor of Louisville and the governors of Kentucky and Indiana. The changes would make the project slightly smaller and cut its cost by $1.2 billion, bringing the total price tag to about $2.9 billion. Previously, it was suggested that tolls would be used to pay for half of the project, and until a final financing plan is in place, it’s not clear how essential tolls will be for the revised plan.

The National Weather Service storm survey crews have confirmed at least four tornados struck parts of Louisville Wednesday night. The first tornado struck around 8 pm, and Meteorologist Ted Funk says it was the most significant.

“Based on our storm survey,” says Funk “the heaviest damage was near the intersection of Floyd Street and Central Avenue, again there was a large industrial building that had heavy damage and estimates of wind in that area were 120 MPH.”

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman could play the final game in his minor-league stint tonight with the Louisville Bats. Tomorrow, his 30-day rehab clock will expire and the Reds will have to decide whether to put him back on their roster or leave him in the minor league. Chapman is considered one of the top pitching prospects in the nation, and currently holds the record for the fastest pitch ever recorded in the MLB.

Soniya Patel's 3-year-old daughter loves getting a book in the mail each month. It comes from the Dollywood Foundation's Imagination Library, which sends free books each month to hundreds of thousands of children. But Patel is blind, so reading new books to her daughter isn't so simple. Patel has the book read aloud to her, and she transcribes the text on her Braille typewriter — and then she can read the new book to her daughter.

The American Printing House for the Blind in Louisville has partnered with the Dollywood Foundation to print books that will be distributed to children under five across the country. The foundation’s Imagination Library program sends a free book each month to promote reading before entering school.  The program will now be able to offer their books with a Braille overlay for children or parents who are blind.

The Vatican today released a letter presenting some guidelines for dealing with sex abuse in dioceses around the world. The letter didn’t change much on the policy outlined last summer by Pope Benedict XVI…and the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, says the new guidelines don’t go far enough.

It was reported today that Humana intends to stop hiring smokers, where the action is legally permitted. The company wants to encourage healthy behavior among workers and already has a policy of not hiring smokers in southwestern Ohio.

According to the United States Postal Service, 40 letter carriers in Louisville were attacked by dogs in 2010. That makes us 4th on the list of cities with the most attacks. The Postal Service says 5,669 postal workers were attacked nationwide in 2010. The announcement coincides with National Dog Bite Prevention Week (May 15-21).  The annual event seeks to raise awareness for attack prevention and responsible pet ownership. Around 4.7 million Americans are bitten annually, most of them being children.

The University of Louisville Board of Trustees’ finance committee approved a six percent tuition increase Thursday. The measure will go to the full board in June and needs final approval from the State Council on Post-Secondary Education. Because state funding has been cut, Ramsey says U of L has few other options but to raise tuition.

Forecastle Founder JK McKnight has announced the headliners for this summer’s Halfway to Forecastle Festival. The Halfway to Forecastle Festival has been held annually since 2008 and focuses more on electronic music.   However, this year’s event is replacing the actual Forecastle Festival in anticipation of its 10th anniversary celebration in 2012.