Friday October 21, 2016

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cornisland-11Storytellers and activities are set for the 2016 Corn Island Storytelling Festival.

The University of Louisville, Blackacre State Nature Preserve & Historic Homestead and the International Order of E.A.R.S. will present the Corn Island Storytelling Festival Oct. 21-22 with events kicking off at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 21.

Named after Louisville’s first settlement, the Corn Island Storytelling Festival was a nationally known autumn fixture that drew thousands of fans for three decades before ending its run in 2007. This will be the fifth year that UofL and the Corn Island organizers have partnered on the event. Blackacre joined the event last year.

Additional sponsors include Louisville Metro Government and Kentucky Homefront.

Storytellers and musicians for the weekend include:

  • The Juggerloos, a local jug band that uses a mix of early jazz and ragtime tunes mixed with a few more modern covers.
  • Leigh Ann Yost, Louisville storyteller and songwriter
  • Graham Shelby, writer and professional storyteller. He’s performed in hundreds of venues including Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Texas Storytelling Festival and the Moth Mainstage in New York City.
  • Roberta Simpson Brown, “The Queen of Cold-Blooded Tales,” a paranormal investigator and author of more than a dozen books and tapes of ghost stories.

Details for each day of the festival are below:

Friday, Oct. 21

Storytelling begins at 7:30 p.m. with a mix of family-friendly stories and spooky tales in the George J. Howe Red Barn, Belknap Campus.  Col. Bob Thompson, storyteller and writer for the Kentucky Homefront radio program, will be the master of ceremonies.

Organizers will also host a series of free storytelling and music workshops during the afternoon on campus. Led by Brown, Yost, the Juggerloos and Louisville musician and storyteller John Gage, the workshops will cover topics including writing and performing.

All Friday events are free but registration is required at

Saturday, Oct. 22

Storytelling will be held at Blackacre State Nature Preserve & Historic Homestead, 3200 Tucker Station Rd.

Kids activities begin at 6 p.m. and storytelling begins at 7 p.m.

Saturday’s events are $7 for adults and $3 for children and tickets may be purchased onsite.

For more information on the festival, contact Bob Thompson, 502-553-2406.

In late August, residents and stakeholders of the neighborhoods surrounding the Urban Government Center attended a series of workshops hosted by Develop Louisville’s Office of Advanced Planning designed to gather community input on the proposed redevelopment of the Urban Government Center. Attendees offered suggestions on possible reuses of the 12-acre campus, which includes several buildings located at and around 810 Barret Avenue and a parking lot at 814 Vine Street.

Louisville Metro Government has been relocating the occupants of the Urban Government Center, and the remaining occupants will vacate the space by the end of the year. The buildings are in need of substantial repair and are larger than required for Louisville Metro Government’s needs. In the coming months, Louisville Metro Government will solicit proposals for the redevelopment of the Urban Government Center campus, which is a prominent part of the Paristown Pointe neighborhood.

Develop Louisville will conduct three follow up meetings to present the information gathered during the August workshops.  Students from the University of Kentucky School of Architecture will present visual representations of community priorities expressed during the workshops, and additional community feedback will be collected to inform the redevelopment process.

Citizens are encouraged to attend one or more of the three upcoming meetings, which will take place on:

  • Tuesday, October 18, 6 pm – 8 pm
  • Saturday, October 22, 10 am – 12 pm
  • Monday, October 24, 6 pm – 8 pm

All meetings will be held at 810 Barret Avenue in the first floor conference room.

For more information, please visit…

This Tuesday, October 18th at 6:30 PM, there will be a town hall forum that will have candidates Harold Bratcher and Michael Payne available to take questions from community members.

Bratcher is running for the US House of Representatives for Kentucky’s 3rd district. The House of Representatives is one of half of the legislative branch at the federal level. Each state has a different number of representatives that correlate to the population of that state. Each term in the House is 2 years. Bratcher is running for Kentucky’s third district, which represents all of Jefferson County. Bratcher is opposing incumbent John Yarmuth, who has held the office since 2007 and is currently seeking re-election for his sixth term. More information about Harold Bratcher can be found on his website.

Michael Payne is running for State Representative, District 28. As seen with Congress at the federal level, each state has their own two-part legislature. District 28 represents a portion of the southwestern portion of the county, from parts of Pleasure Ridge Park south along Dixie Highway to West Point, including Valley Station, Valley Village, and Prairie Village. Each term for the State representatives is 2 years. Payne is opposing incumbent Charles Miller, who has held the office since 1999 and is currently seeking re-election for his tenth term. More information about Michael Payne can be found on his website.

The forum is a town hall style, meaning community members who attend will be able to ask questions directly to the candidates.  The meeting is at La Carretta at 10105 Dixie Highway (due to construction, people traveling south on Dixie Highway will find it easier to access the shopping center parking lot by turning left at Valley Station Road, and turning left into the shopping center). The meeting starts at 6:30 PM.

Attorney General Andy Beshear and House lawmakers today announced plans to strengthen a Kentucky insurance law and better protect Kentucky families across the Commonwealth.

The pre-filed agency-attorney-general1legislation, filed today by sponsors Rep. Chris Harris, of Forrest Hills, and Rep. Darryl Owens, of Louisville, defends the Kentucky Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act by enforcing an effective date and outlining action steps for insurers.

The consumer protection act was signed into law in 2012 intending to protect life insurance beneficiaries. The law requires insurance companies to check public death records for their Kentucky policyholders and make a “good-faith effort” to notify and compensate policy beneficiaries after their family member or loved one passes away.

The pre-filed bill, which will be presented to lawmakers when they convene in January, seeks to strengthen the retroactive application of the current law. It requires the Department of Insurance to set guidelines for insurance companies on what constitutes a “good-faith effort” regarding contacting beneficiaries for life insurance benefits.

“As the state’s chief consumer advocate, it’s my duty to protect Kentucky families,” Beshear said. “This legislation fights for the people. It’s critical that we have strong laws in Kentucky that require insurance companies to work with consumers and pay out policies. My office will continue to work with lawmakers to strengthen our consumer protection laws.”

Beshear joined Reps. Harris and Owens for the announcement of the pre-filed legislation today at Belfry High School. Many local senior citizens attended the event.

“We owe every resident of Kentucky the security to know when they buy an insurance policy that the policy will go where it belongs, to the beneficiaries,” Rep. Harris said. “Not years later, but within a reasonable time following the death of a policyholders. My bill will protect current Kentucky insurance policy holders and beneficiaries from some insurance companies that do what they can to keep from honoring the commitments that were made when the policy was sold.”

“Most of the small policies we are talking about were sold in lower socioeconomic regions of the state,” Rep. Owens said. “Many Eastern Kentuckians and folks living in urban neighborhoods in Lexington and Louisville bought these policies to help their children with burial expenses after they died. Kentuckians deserve strong government regulations and policies to protect them from harmful, unfair practices that pad the profits of big insurance companies at their expense.”

Reps. Harris, Owens and more than 15 House members supported identical legislation, House Bill 408, during the 2016 regular session. The measure passed the House of Representatives 84-0, but received no action in the Senate.

After the act was passed in 2012, it was challenged in court by several insurance companies who argued the law should not apply retroactively. The case was scheduled to be argued before the Supreme Court of Kentucky in February. The Kentucky Department of Insurance was set to argue in support of the law for policyholders; however, the agency dropped the case two days before it was to be argued.

With no one to advocate for the law, Beshear attempted to intervene on behalf of the state and consumers, but the cased had been dismissed.

Sustainability Week at the University of Louisville is Oct. 17-23 to raise awareness for responsible environmental, social and economic stewardship. This year’s focus is social justice.

The week, which coincides with homecoming festivities, begins Oct. 17 with “Weigh the Waste” at The Ville Grill, when plate scraps from a typical lunchtime in UofL’s busiest dining hall will be weighed before going into the compost bin to demonstrate how much food is discarded.

UofLouisville_logoOct. 19, a Campus Sustainability Day Fair featuring booths and information on UofL’s sustainability initiatives will be held in the Humanities Quad on Belknap Campus.

On the evening of Oct. 19, UofL will host the Louisville Sustainability Council’s monthly “Green Drinks” networking event for professionals interested in sustainability. The event will start at 6 p.m. with a campus sustainability tour leaving from in front of the University Club and end at Old Louisville Tavern, 1532 S. 4th St.

The week’s activities include:

For more information, contact Justin Mog, assistant to the provost for sustainability initiatives, at 502-852-8575.

jcpsJefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) has named Fairdale High School Principal Brad Weston as Assistant Superintendent for Achievement Area 2.

Weston, who has served as principal since 2011, has led Fairdale through a dramatic academic turnaround during his tenure, including improving statewide assessment scores and adopting the Cambridge International Studies program.  A former assistant principal at the high school, he has also worked directly with students as a math teacher and counselor at Fairdale and Doss high schools.

“I’m excited by the opportunity to positively impact several thousand students and several hundred teachers in 28 schools,” Weston said.  He said while he will miss working with the Fairdale staff and students, “I am thrilled that this new opportunity will allow me to continue working for and with Fairdale High School.”

“Brad has a proven track record of improving student achievement, and he spent many years as a teacher in the classroom and as a principal,” said JCPS Superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens.  “His experience will be invaluable as we look to increase student achievement across Area 2.”

Weston will stay on at the school until his replacement is named.

Weston holds a bachelor’s degree in math from the University of Louisville and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in secondary school counseling from Western Kentucky University.  His Rank 1 in administration is also from WKU.

kaclogo1Lexington screenprinting artists Sara and Brian Turner have been creating art together since meeting at the University of Kentucky in 1998. In 2003 they opened Cricket Press, and this year they will be able to add the distinction of the Kentucky Crafted brand to their body of work.

The Turners are among 19 artists who were selected for Kentucky Crafted, the Kentucky Arts Council’s adjudicated arts marketing program. In addition to being able to use the Kentucky Crafted brand to promote their product, the Turners and the 17 other artists added to the roster of more than 335 visual and craft artists in the Kentucky Crafted Program will have access to marketing and promotional opportunities and arts business training.

“A lot of people are aware of us, but they don’t really know what we do,” Brian Turner said. “We thought that applying to the program, in the hopes of getting accepted, would help open us up to a wider audience.”

“We have a lot of peers already in the program,” Sara Turner said. “They had many good things to say about it and consider it a well-respected program.”

Sara Turner said she and Brian have never had a period of time, since starting their business, when they were not producing work. She hopes adding the Kentucky Crafted brand to their credentials will help keep that momentum going.

“I think this will be a good thing for Cricket Press, adding another level of integrity to what we do, who we are and what we can provide people,” she said.

Artists adjudicated into the Kentucky Crafted Program, listed by name, business name, city and artistic discipline include:

  • Chad Balster, Chad Balster Glass, Louisville, glass
  • Robert Clark, Horse & Dragon Studio, Georgetown, painting
  • Jessica Daman, Sugar Mountain Jewelry, Florence, metal
  • Ray Daugherty,, Sadieville, photography
  • Jennifer Dunham, It’s In The Cards, Versailles, graphics
  • Johnny Gordon, Gordon Glass Studio, Louisville, glass
  • Amy Henson, Rock Bottom Soap Co., London, natural/organic
  • Ernest Hunt, Hunt’s Woodcraft, Lawrenceburg, wood
  • Kimberley Mahlbacher, HeirloomCroft Art in Wool, Louisville, fiber
  • Laura Poulette, Meadow House Studio, Berea, mixed media
  • Gerald Price IV, LeGrand Metalsmithing, Berea, metal
  • Al Scovern, West Third Ceramics, Lexington, clay
  • Scott Soeder, Scott Soeder Illustration, Louisville, graphics
  • Shawnna Southerland, Shawnna Carney Southerland, Berea, fiber
  • Jason Sturgill, Xenosketch: the Art of Jason Sturgill, Lexington, mixed media
  • Billy Tackett, Billy Tackett Studios, Florence, painting
  • Sharon Tesser, Sharon Tesser, Louisville, fiber
  • Sara and Brian Turner, Cricket Press, Lexington, printmaking

In addition to marketing assistance, the Kentucky Crafted Program provides business training and exhibit opportunities to participants, such as inclusion in an online directory and exhibiting at the annual Kentucky Crafted: The Market, the arts council’s award-winning fine art and craft showcase.

For more information on the Kentucky Crafted program, contact Dave Blevins, arts council arts marketing director, at or 502-892-3120.

The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, fosters environments for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts. The arts council is celebrating 50 years of service in 2016.