Sunday June 25, 2017

News Topics

The 9th Annual Jane Austen Festival will take place July 14th – 16th this year at Locust Grove (561 Blankenbaker Lane) in Louisville. The festival will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Austen’s death with a featured speaker, Dr. Cheryl Kinney, entitled “The Eulogy Jane Austen Should Have Had”.

The event will feature a fashion show, a duel between gentlemen, a bare knuckle boxing demonstration, tours of a 1790s Georgian home, and much more. There are also a variety of special ticketed events, such as a Grand Ball (period appropriate dress required) and many workshops (i.e. regency hairstyling and make-up and historic handwriting). Many of these “extra” events are very popular and require advanced registration. A full schedule of events can be found here.

The Festival hours and admission are:

  • Friday, July 14 – 6:00 PM until 9:00 PM – $6 per person
  • Saturday, July 15 – 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM – $12 per person
  • Sunday, July 16 – 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM – $12 per person
    • If purchased online, Saturday and Sunday together can be purchased for $20

For more information, visit the Jane Austen Society of North America website or email

Photo: Secretary of State website

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes on Monday joined members of the Tri Ân Foundation to break ground for a new monument honoring Vietnamese and American veterans.

“Tri Ân in Vietnamese translates to ‘deep gratitude’, a feeling we all share when it comes to all people who sacrifice for the betterment and protection of their brothers and sisters,” said Grimes. “Millions of Americans and Vietnamese veterans fought side-by-side to win a heroic battle against communist aggression in Vietnam. We are forever grateful.”

The monument, located at Louisville’s Veterans Memorial Park, is an homage to the display of heroism during the Vietnam War. The design of eight bamboo-formed concrete columns representing the eight anti-communist allies that worked together toward freedom for the Vietnamese people – South Vietnam, the United States, Australia, Thailand, South Korea, New Zealand, Republic of China (Taiwan), and the Philippines. The monument will also have a digital component to connect veterans with fellow comrades and learn the destiny of rescued refugees. Families of the fallen will learn new stories and insights behind their loved one’s sacrifice.

“The Tri Ân Foundation is so appreciative of the generosity of so many who understand how important it is we recognize the gratitude of the Vietnamese people for those who helped secure their freedom,” said Yung Nguyen, founder of the foundation. “This monument will be a testament to their sacrifice and help all gain a deeper insight to an important part of world history.”

Grimes is deeply committed to honoring the service of veterans, and she is passionate about supporting Kentucky’s active-duty military members and their families. As Secretary of State, Grimes has advocated on their behalf in a range of issues from voting to business creation to job opportunities. She also played an integral role in the creation of the Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame.

More information about the Tri Ân Monument and Foundation is available at

Beginning this fall, students enrolled in an automotive or diesel technology program with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) can apply to gain paid, hands-on experience with local Department of Highways maintenance garages through the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s (KYTC) new Transportation Mechanic Apprenticeship Program (TMAP).

As the state’s first automotive technician apprenticeship program registered with the Kentucky Labor Cabinet’s Division of Apprenticeship (and one of only two such programs in the Commonwealth listed with the Labor Cabinet), TMAP presents a unique opportunity for high school graduates entering the workforce and for individuals seeking a new career pathway.

“Partnering with KCTCS to provide an automotive technician apprenticeship program benefits Kentucky’s workforce and assists our KYTC mission,” said Transportation Sec. Greg Thomas. “TMAP apprentices will help maintain and repair the equipment our road crews use to provide a safe and reliable transportation system for all who travel Kentucky’s roadways. TMAP also offers opportunities for Kentuckians to improve their quality of life through practical training as they work toward their associate’s degree.”

Whether apprentices continue their career with KYTC after graduating the program or decide to pursue an automotive position elsewhere, they will have a nationally recognized certification to present to future employers.

The Kentucky Occupational Outlook to 2024 (for years 2014-2024) indicates an 11.5 percent increase in demand for automotive service technicians and mechanics and a 22.5 percent increase for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists. Currently, KYTC has a demand for individuals across Kentucky who possess the skills specific to those trades.

“Under the Labor Cabinet’s ‘Kentucky Trained. Kentucky Built.’ initiative, our goal is to increase apprenticeship programs and expand the variety of trades represented to meet workforce goals throughout the state,” said Labor Sec. Derrick Ramsey. “The demand for highly skilled laborers isn’t exclusive to the private sector; public agencies need employees with specialized skill sets as well.”

To be considered for KYTC’s TMAP, an individual must be at least 18 years old, possess a valid driver’s license, have an acceptable criminal record report and be enrolled in an automotive or diesel technology program through KCTCS. Interested TMAP candidates can take advantage of the close proximity of hands-on training and educational opportunities.

“The statewide availability of KYTC’s apprenticeship program locations offers Kentuckians seeking a career the convenience of not having to commute long distances,” said Ramona Brock, KYTC apprenticeship program coordinator. “Transportation maintenance garages are located in all 12 districts, and KCTCS provides an automotive program in every district and a diesel technology program in nine of the 12 districts.”

Apprentices participating in TMAP will gain 2,000 hours of combined coursework and hands-on experience over a period of two years and will be subject to a four-month probationary period. Work ethic and willingness to learn and take direction are necessary for satisfactory completion of the program. TMAP apprentices will receive increasing pay opportunities, starting at $9.50 per hour and potentially advancing to $14.42 upon graduating. After satisfactorily completing TMAP, graduates will receive a nationally recognized credential in addition to their two-year college degree.

KYTC’s Transportation Mechanic Apprenticeship Program meets national standards for registration with the U.S. Department of Labor and the Kentucky Labor Cabinet’s Division of Apprenticeship.

TMAP candidates can access additional information about the program and download an application at or can email The deadline to submit a TMAP application is Sept. 15.

On Saturday, July 1st, Southwest Louisville is once again ready to celebrate the Fourth of July Holiday weekend with fireworks and fun as the 6th Annual Riverview Independence Festival, presented by Brown-Forman, Kosair Charities and Metro PCS, gets underway.

“I invite everyone from across Louisville to come to the Riverview Festival to see the fun and festivities we have to offer,” says Councilman Rick Blackwell, D-12. “I am proud of this event as it continues to grow each year and has become a point of pride for our Southwest community.”

It’s a patriotic celebration of music, entertainment, and family fun at the beautiful Riverview Park along the scenic Ohio River. Then, at night, spectacular lights of fireworks will emanate from a barge on the Ohio River for a stunning display with a picturesque backdrop.

“Brown-Forman is a proud supporter of the Riverview Independence Festival – a treasured Southwest tradition that provides an opportunity for our community to gather together in one of Louisville’s most beautiful settings as we celebrate the birth of our nation,” says Carly Launius, Community Relations Manager for Brown-Forman. “We are so please to be a part of this annual event and look forward to seeing its continued growth and success.”

“The Riverview Independence Festival has become a hallmark event in Southwest Louisville,” says Randy Coe, Kosair Charities Board President. “This family-friendly event provides free activities and entertainment for both kids and parents. We are excited to be a part of the fun and community it helps to build.”

“MetroPCS is proud to be a sponsor for the 4th year in a row.  Each year we look forward to spending time with our neighbors at the festival,” says Leigh Anne Burke-Schaad, Field Marketing Manager for Metro PCS.

The Riverview Independence Festival will begin at 3:00 pm and will cap off with the Fireworks show at 10:00 pm. It is a free event.

Among the highlights of this year’s Festival:

  • Appearances by Abe Lincoln and Col. Sanders from Squallis Puppeteers
  • Mad Science experiments to make your own slime and cotton candy
  • Mingle with Louisville League of Mascots
  • Beat the heat with the Riverview Sprayground
  • Bring your refillable water bottles to fill up with “The Bubbler”
  • Enjoy fair food from Kentuckiana Catering and Hot Diggety Dogs
  • Dawne Gee, Kayla Vanover, Julian Glover from WAVE 3 News will be our emcees for the festival activities
  • Musical performances by The Louisville Crashers and Sobourbon Shooters
  • Fantastic Fireworks show on the River at 10:00 pm!

Limited parking is available at the event site. Additional parking will be available at LG&E, located at 7301 Distribution Drive. A shuttle service from the school to the park will be provided by TARC for attendees from 4:00 to 10:45 pm.

“Come join us for some patriotic fun at a festival that has quickly become a great tradition and is a great way to celebrate the holiday while enjoying one of the best parks in Southwest Louisville,” said Councilwoman Cindi Fowler (D-14).

“Another fabulous free event for families to enjoy our beautiful riverfront along with music, booths, and food options! Bring a chair or blanket and have fun!” said Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch (D-13).

“This Festival is a great way to just kick back with family and friends and enjoy the 4th of July weekend,” says President David Yates (D-25). Community spirit is built when both public and private sectors come together to give the community a free event to celebrate our country’s rich heritage.”

In addition to this year’s Presenting Sponsors, the Riverview Festival is supported by many local businesses whose commitment to our community is essential to the success of the Festival. Lead Sponsors this year include WAVE3 News, LG&E, Atlas Machine & Supply, Café Press and Signarama Dixie. Algood Food Company and Owen Funeral Home have signed on as Proud Patrons.

Joining Blackwell, Fowler, Welch, and Yates as sponsors are Council members Marianne Butler (D-15), Madonna Flood (D-24), Mary C. Woolridge (D-3), Dan Johnson (D-21), Jessica Green (D-1), David James (D-6), Angela Leet (R-7), and Barbara Sexton Smith (D-4).

Chairs, blankets, and coolers are allowed. No pets, outside alcohol, tents in the event area, drones or flying objects or glass containers are permitted.

To see a listing of all the activities at the 6th Annual Riverview Independence Festival presented by Brown-Forman and Kosair Charities, and Metro PCS go to: or Facebook:

Attorney General Andy Beshear and Woodford County Sheriff Wayne “Tiny” Wright said a group of door-to-door blacktop contractors are targeting elderly residents in Woodford County, and possibly families in the Central Kentucky region.

Beshear said Sheriff Wright contacted his office after a Woodford County resident was pressured into overpaying contractors to seal her driveway. Sheriff Wright said the woman initially received a low quote of $1,400 to complete the work and after complete, she was told she owed $25,000. Ultimately, the woman paid $14,000 for a project that should have cost around $4,000.

“Thanks to the quick work of Sheriff Wright’s office payment was stopped on the check and the citizen avoided losing her money,” said Beshear. “We appreciate the Woodford County Sheriff’s Office for reporting this scam and we want to make sure more Kentuckians know the signs to watch out for when it comes to avoiding door-to-door scammers.”

“Community awareness is key to stopping these predatory scammers,” said Sheriff Wright. “Whether they offer to seal your driveway, paint your fence or any other odd job, contact your local sheriff’s office immediately if you suspect suspicious activity.”

Beshear said not all door-to-door salespersons are scammers and many are honest trying to make a living. Nevertheless, before you commit to a door-to-door sales pitch take time to follow these tips:

  • Be wary of a low price quote 
    If you receive an unusually low price quote be suspicious. Before you complete any large home improvement project, consider getting multiple quotes from different contractors.
  • Verify and check online reviews 
    Verify that the contractor or business is registered to do business in Kentucky on the Secretary of State’s website, also check business licensing requirements with your city or county government. Verify online reviews through the Better Business Bureau, and ask for ID and contact previous customer references.
  • Avoid upfront payment 
    If a contractor asks for upfront payment for a small home improvement job this should trigger a red flag. Often times, very large projects require some type of upfront payment, but only after the contractor is properly screened and a guarantee contract is signed.
  • Do not fall for high-pressure tactics 
    Do not rush into making a decision. Tell the salesperson you need to discuss with your family, or you are not interested. Ensure any agreement is in writing and tell the salesperson you will review the agreement and get back in contact with them.

One of Beshear’s top priorities is to protect Kentuckians, especially senior citizens from scams, abuse and exploitation. Beshear said the best way to stay ahead of con artists is to be aware of new and trending scams by signing up to receive Scam Alerts from the Office of the Attorney General.

Scam Alerts provide Kentuckians a direct alert, including tips on how to avoid scams reported in Kentucky. To enroll, text the words KYOAG Scam to GOV311 (468311), or enroll online at and select text message or email alert.

To report a scam contact the Attorney General’s Office at 888-432-9257 and file a complaint online.

Photo: Kentucky Derby Museum

The Kentucky Derby Museum is now offering Race Day Golf Cart and Walking Tours to compliment the list of growing tour options for guests! Hop aboard the Museum’s deluxe 6-person golf cart and experience a whole new way to enjoy live races from various viewing points around Churchill Downs Racetrack.

This exclusive tour takes you through the history, pageantry and legacy of Churchill Downs Racetrack and the Kentucky Derby. Guests will have a unique experience at the home of the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports,” from the grandstand to the backside and everywhere in between. Led by a knowledgeable Museum guide, the tour provides an unparalleled view of the track and famed Twin Spires.

Suggested itinerary:
11:00 a.m. – Check-in to the Museum
11:10 a.m. – Viewing of “The Greatest Race”
11:30 a.m. – Self-guided exploration through two floors of exhibits
12:30 p.m. – Proceed to box seats
12:45 p.m. – Enjoy first race from box seats
1:00 – 4:30 p.m. – A Museum Tour Guide will pick guests up from assigned box seats and begin the tour from the outside grounds, travel to the Paddock, through the famous infield tunnels to the backside to enjoy an up close and personal view of the horses, jockeys and trainers and see the barns that once were home to Thoroughbred legends like Secretariat, and American Pharoah.

“Watching a race from the backside and exploring the historic grounds through this new tour is a one-of-kind experience, with access to areas many visitors never get to see. We are excited to offer this exclusive tour in partnership with Churchill Downs Racetrack to enjoy the home of the Kentucky Derby in a new light,” Kentucky Derby Museum President Patrick Armstrong said.

The three and a half hour tour, including a box seat to Churchill Downs, runs from 1:00 – 4:30 p.m. and is available on select days during the living racing meets through the end of the fall 2017 meet. The cost of the tour is $99 per person. The Race Day Golf Cart and Walking Tour is limited to six guests each day, is available rain or shine, and participating guests must be at least 10 years old.

The Kentucky Derby Museum is open Monday – Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Councilwoman Madonna Flood (D-24) announced she has decided to forgo the “Doing Our Part from the Heart” campaign until February of 2018 due to unforeseen family medical problems.

“As everyone knows taking care of our servicemen and women in remote areas of the world has been at the center of every Doing Our Part from the Heart campaign,” says Flood. “When February 2017 came around, some of my family and I were dealing with health issues that we had to address. I could not devote my full attention to collecting those items that we send to our military.”

Flood says as a result, she believed it would be best to take a break from the campaign for just one year and then come back in full force to collect the items that traditionally have been sent to far away locations with the help of the community.

“In the ten years that we have been involved, I cannot thank the community enough for their support.  From candy to razor blades, our items have touched the lives of service men and women to remind them that we all appreciate them and they are not forgotten,” says Flood. “You have my thanks and my deep appreciation for your caring spirit.”

However, Flood says there is still plenty of opportunity for the community to keep service men and women in mind as they do their duty.

“I would encourage everyone to get in touch with people who have family members who are serving,” says Flood. “Make them a part of your family.  We are also always accepting monetary donations at any Republic Bank.  This money is used to mail the packages we pack.”

It was in 2006 when the Councilwoman first called upon the community to help in this endeavor. She had received a simple letter from her son while he served in Iraq. For Christmas that year, he asked for basic personal items like deodorant, sunscreen and razors. He also asked if it was possible to send enough of those items for the other members of his unit.