Monday October 14, 2019
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Louder Than Life kicked off its three day run yesterday as the final festival in the Danny Wimmer Presents Tri-Festa concert series.  Heavy metal fans were treated to the performances of Motionless in White, A Day To Remember, Phil Anselmo and the Illegals, Gwar, and many more. The night ended with headliner performances given by Staind and Slipknot. Saturday’s event will feature, among many others: Suicidal Tendencies, Stone Temple Pilots, Dropkick Murphys, Ice Cube, Godsmack and the night ends with a Guns N’ Roses performance scheduled for three full hours.

This weekend will also feature local bands with Oldham County’s Knocked Loose at 6:40 today and Louisville’s own White Reaper on the Oak Stage tomorrow at 2:25PM. The final day includes performances by Sum41, Three Days Grace, In This Moment, Breaking Benjamin, Marylin Manson, Rob Zombie and Disturbed.

Weather this weekend is clear but hot. If working your way into the throngs of crowd surfing, mosh-pitting people doesn’t appeal to you, there is plenty of space allocated for blankets and chairs to enjoy some personal space with your music. The festival likewise features the food, bourbon and beer selection seen at the previous Tri-Festa events, Bourbon & Beyond and Hometown Rising, including some band collaborations, such as Blackened, a whisky that was made in collaboration between master distiller Dave Pickerell and Metallica or their Enter Night beer from Stone Brewing. New to Louder Than Life, there is a stand featuring a whiskey by Slipknot – No. 9 Iowa Whiskey. If you walk around with a keen eye, you may even find a hidden speakeasy with an air conditioned area with a drink menu featuring Angel’s Envy.

The event is held at the Highland Festival Grounds, located within the Kentucky Exposition Center.  While parking is $20 per vehicle, which is the same as the parking at the Champions Park, all of the parking is on pavement and the traffic management to exit is much smoother than previous year’s venues. Free shuttles are available which will take attendees from the parking lot to the festival entrance.

Tickets are still available for today and tomorrow, pricing starts at $95. Attendees are encouraged to read what can and cannot be brought into the festival grounds (there are strict rules on bag sizes and types).  Chairs and blankets are permitted, but only in designated areas. Since it is so hot, attendees are encouraged to bring a factory sealed water bottle (less than 20oz) into the festival or an empty reusable water bottle of any size. The Louisville Water Company provides water stations to fill and refill your bottles on site.  Continue reading

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell announced a new policy objective Wednesday to generally not prosecute possession of marijuana (“POM”) cases involving one ounce of marijuana or less when the possession charge is the only charge or the most serious charge against the individual.

“A prosecutor has the responsibility of a minister of justice and not simply that of an advocate,” O’Connell said, quoting the commentary on Rule 3.8 from The American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct and, its counterpart, the Kentucky Bar Association’s Rules of Professional Conduct. “As your County Attorney, I take that admonition seriously and that is why I must now act in regard to possession of marijuana cases.”

O’Connell cited the need for fair and equal enforcement of the laws and finding the best use of his office’s limited resources in exercising his discretion as a prosecutor.

“We will now devote even more time and attention to the serious, and potentially deadly, crimes involving guns, domestic violence and DUI,” O’Connell said.

A 2013 study found that black and white Americans use marijuana at the same rates, but black people are nearly four times more likely to be arrested for POM than whites. Earlier this year, The Courier Journal analyzed Louisville Metro Police Department data from 2010 to 2017 and determined that similar or worse disparities occurred locally when marijuana was the most serious charge cited.

“Its origin is likely not intentional or malicious, but that does not change the end result,” O’Connell said. “For me to truly be a minister of justice, I cannot sit idly by when communities of color are treated differently.”

O’Connell also highlighted KRS 218A.276, a state statute last amended in 2012, that allows an individual to have POM charges completely voided from their record—at potential no cost to the defendant—after 60 days.

“No one should see their future diminished over a charge like this, especially when there are available legal tools to wipe this from a person’s criminal history,” O’Connell said.

O’Connell researched different approaches that communities across the nation have taken with POM cases and developed his plan in recent months. In addition to charges involving possession of marijuana (KRS 218A.1422), the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office will also no longer prosecute illegal possession of drug paraphernalia (KRS 218A.500) in the following limited circumstance: when the item possessed is clearly only used for the inhalation/ingestion of marijuana.

The new objective does not apply to persons under the age of 21, and does not include cases involving any indicators of trafficking in marijuana; cultivating marijuana; driving while under the influence of marijuana; public display, use, or consumption of marijuana; or public intoxication as a result of marijuana.

Joining O’Connell for the announcement were leaders from the Kentucky’s social and racial justice community, including Raoul Cunningham of the NAACP, Sadiqa Reynolds of the Louisville Urban League, Michael Aldridge of the ACLU of Kentucky and Reverend Charles Elliott Jr. of King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church.

“These disparities and effects are not the problem of any one part of government, any one profession or any one people,” O’Connell said. “This is a problem that belongs to us all. In my role as Jefferson County Attorney, I can do more to develop reforms that avoid needlessly bringing people into the justice system. I choose to act.”

Louisville Zoo Keeper Alexis Williamson has been awarded the Lutz Ruhe Professional of the Year Award by the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK).  Williamson, who works in Gorilla Forest, was honored at the association’s national conference on Tuesday, Aug. 20 in Indianapolis.

The Lutz Ruhe Professional of the Year award recognizes outstanding commitment to professionalism. Williamson’s conservation efforts were specifically noted which include contributions to Plinko for a Porpoise and the Zoo’s flagship Black-Footed Ferret Conservation Center as well as generational record contributions for the gorillas housed at the Louisville Zoo. In addition, she has been a vital part of the formation of the Animal Enrichment Tree Program at the Zoo while serving on the enrichment committee. Williamson has been president of the AAZK chapter at the Zoo for 14 years.

 

Gov. Matt Bevin today recognized the sacrifice of a Kentucky sailor who died in World War II, but whose remains have just been positively identified.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) has announced that Navy Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Ulis C. Steely, 25, of Corbin, Kentucky, was officially accounted for on Oct. 15, 2018.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Steely was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Steely.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Steely.

Between June and November 2015, DPAA personnel exhumed the USS Oklahoma Unknowns from the Punchbowl for analysis.

To identify Steely’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA,) analysis.

DPAA is grateful to the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of the Navy for their partnership in this mission.

Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war. Currently there are 72,674 still unaccounted for from World War II, of which approximately 30,000 are assessed as possibly-recoverable. Steely’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with the others who are missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

For family information, contact the Navy Service Casualty office at 800-443-9298.

Steely will be buried Oct. 5, 2019, in his hometown of Corbin, and Gov. Bevin will order flags lowered to half-staff in his honor on that date.

Metro Council Members Kevin Kramer (District 11), Anthony Piagentini (District 19),  Stuart Benson (District 20), and Robin Engel (District 22) are sponsoring a Breast Cancer & Sun Damage Screening on Monday, September 9, 2019 at the Glenridge Health Campus (6415 Calm River Way) from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

All screenings require an appointment, and there are some openings still remaining. Breast Cancer Screening is for women 40 years and over. There is no cost to program eligible women. Mammograms and facial sun damage screenings will be provided by UofL Hospital, the James Graham Brown Cancer Center.

Call Angela Webster at 574-3465 to schedule an appointment.

Photo: Louisville Metro Council

As August comes to a close, an Old Louisville tradition is once again ready to help ease out the summer with some great music in a very nice setting.  President David James (D-6) is once again presenting “Jazz in Central Park” on Sunday, August 25th.

“I feel many people look forward to this perfect way to enjoy a Sunday afternoon. There is a wide variety of artists who specialize in jazz and entertainment, and best of all its free and open to any and every one,” says James. “Bring some friends or the family to Central Park and sit back and listen to some of the best artists in jazz the area has to offer.”

“Jazz in Central Park” will be held from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. This year’s event is hosted by Dawne Gee of WAVE TV and comedian Jason English.

The following artists will be featured this year:

  • Kim Scott & TRI+ADD
  • Maestro J
  • ZLynn
  • Nexlevel
  • Annalie Durbin Project

Local Food Vendors will also be on hand for the evening.

“Please come join us and take advantage of a nice way to end a summer weekend in Old Louisville’s Central Park,” says James. “It will be a great night to kick back and enjoy your surroundings.”

Joining President James as sponsors of this year’s event are Brown-Forman, Clariant, Walmart, Genscape, Rumpke and Kosair Charities.

Central Park is located at1340 South 4th Street in Old Louisville.

For more information about “Jazz in Central Park”, contact Councilman James’ office at 574-1106.

Meeting planners looking to ‘connect’ with peers and suppliers will be assembling in Louisville August 26-28 for Connect Marketplace, a leading tradeshow in the meetings, events, travel and tourism industry. Approximately 4,000 meeting professionals will be attending Connect Marketplace around the one-year anniversary of the renovated and re-opened Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC).

The opening address will be given by retired American competitive swimmer Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian in history with 28 medals. To conclude the conference, the closing keynote will be delivered by Academy Award-winning actress Nicole Kidman, a Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women, focusing on raising awareness of ending violence against women and girls.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to once again showcase the city of Louisville to such an important audience,” said Karen Williams, President and CEO of Louisville Tourism. “Hosting Connect Marketplace 2019 will support our mission to continue attracting world-class industry tradeshows in Louisville. This will be the second time Connect Marketplace has been to Louisville, and we plan to take every opportunity to show the best our city has to offer, including the explosion of tourism infrastructure over the last decade.”

Connect Marketplace organizers committed to hosting this show in Louisville in the fall of 2017 after confirming it would be ready before 2019. They last met in Louisville in 2010. The estimated economic impact to Louisville from the three-day conference is $4.4 million, however the city stands to benefit additionally from the prospective future convention bookings that occur as a result of showcasing Louisville’s convention package to these key site selection decision makers.

“We are so pleased to be the host city for the 2019 Connect Marketplace,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “This is a time of great transformation for our city, and we’re proud to host the meeting industry’s top event professionals and give these decision-makers a front-row seat to the nearly $1 billion in tourism-based infrastructure improvements underway here.”

Louisville Tourism planned several initiatives to help the city stand out. Some of the key elements of the welcome program include sponsoring a pink-out opening party at Churchill Downs for breast cancer awareness, chalk art downtown and arranging free artist entertainment outside the convention center in the form of buskers. The buskers are part of the Art in Lou pilot program in partnership with the Fund for the Arts to provide artists with paid opportunities to perform for the community in public spaces, providing a welcoming, lively atmosphere for visitors and residents.

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