Sunday January 19, 2020
News Sections

Mayor Greg Fischer recently announced Amy Hess as Metro Louisville’s new Chief of Public Services, a role where she will oversee such critical departments as Public Works, Emergency Services, Corrections, Fleet and Facilities, and Animal Services.

Hess currently serves as Executive Assistant Director of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch, and is the highest-ranking woman in the FBI.  A native of Jeffersonville, Ind., she previously served as the Special Agent in Charge of the Louisville field office, with responsibility for all FBI personnel and operations throughout the commonwealth of Kentucky. In that role, she led the FBI’s participation in strategies to reduce violent crime and combat the opioid epidemic; and oversaw the pursuit and capture of fugitive Eric Conn. (See her full bio here.)

Louisville’s Business First honored Hess among its Enterprising Women award winners in 2018, naming her “Woman Making a Difference.”

“With her vast management experience, and her deep knowledge and experience with our region and complex systems, Amy is an incredible addition to our team,” Mayor Fischer said.  “I welcome Amy home, and look forward to her helping Louisville continue on its path as a global, breakout city.”

Hess thanked Mayor Fischer for the opportunity to return to the community she has served and loves, adding, “I know from my previous role here that the men and women of Louisville Metro Government are hard-working, talented and committed to public service. I look forward to contributing to this great team.”

Hess will start on February 1, 2020, after transitioning from her current job and moving back to Louisville.

Louisville Metro Animal Services (LMAS) Director Ozzy Gibson, who has been serving as interim Chief of Public Services, will continue as LMAS director, assist with Hess’ transition into her new role, and take an additional role in the Mayor’s Office as Senior Advisor on Special Projects.

“I am deeply grateful to Ozzy for stepping up in this interim period and serving as a strong leader for the Public Services Cabinet,” Mayor Fischer said.  “We will continue to utilize his vast talents, knowledge and love for our city by having him not only continue to serve as Director of Animal Services, but also in this new role as Senior Advisor on Special Projects, or, as I like to call it, Senior Troubleshooter!”

Mayor Greg Fischer today joined representatives from Louisville’s faith, education and business communities to announce the launch of a new 501c3, Compassionate Louisville, an independent organization to oversee and further Louisville’s compassion work. The organization, led by Dr. Muhammad Babar, will build upon the city’s momentum and strengthen its culture of compassion and volunteerism.

“Compassion is one of our core city values and is part of our legacy in Louisville, from the life and work of compassion champions like Justice Louis Brandeis, Thomas Merton, Muhammad Ali, Anne Braden and others,” said the Mayor. “The creation of Compassionate Louisville will champion our cause of compassion, make it sustainable and ensure it lives on beyond any administration.”

The organization will exist as a portal to support and empower existing local organizations that are doing year-round compassion work. By identifying issues that need to be addressed through compassionate action, the board will build awareness and facilitate connections and partnerships to support the needs of the community.

The launch of Compassionate Louisville builds upon compassion initiatives like the Mayor’s Give A Day Week of Service, the city-wide festival of volunteerism, service and compassion. In 2019, the city broke its own world record with more than 235,000 acts of service or compassion.

In November 2011, the Mayor, along with Metro Council members, signed the Charter for Compassion, committing Louisville to a 10-year Compassionate City campaign. This work has helped the city form a strategic partnership with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and earn the distinction of being named an International Model City for Compassion four years in a row.

“Our vision is to create a place where all people in our community have the opportunity, desire, and support to engage in year-round service and compassion,” said Dr. Babar, Chair, Compassionate Louisville. “Our purpose is simple, to empower all people to flourish.”

Compassionate Louisville board members include:

  • Dr. Muhammad Babar, Chair, Muslim Americans for Compassion
  • Janice Cates, Mayor’s Office
  • Matt Goldberg, Jewish Federation of Louisville
  • Jan Helson, Global Game Changers
  • Halaeh Karima, University of Louisville
  • Donald Lassere, Muhammad Ali Center
  • Marta Miranda, Community Foundation of Louisville
  • Tori Murden McClure, Spalding University
  • Ron Oliver, Norton Healthcare
  • Sarah Riggs Reed, Center for Interfaith Relations
  • Kris Sirchio, WE Day Kentucky
  • Tom Williams, Charter for Compassion
  • Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, Greater Louisville Inc.
  • Suzanne Wright, Jefferson County Public Schools

Joined by more than 250 members of the Louisville Metro Snow Team, Mayor Greg Fischer today declared that the city is battle ready for the 2019-20 snow season. After the announcement, the Snow Team worked through a mock snow event that included driving all road treatment routes.

“I’m honored to stand along with our Snow Team to declare Louisville is ready to tackle significant winter weather,” said the Mayor. “This team will jump into action any hour, any day, to make it safe for the rest of us to get where we need to go when it snows.”

Mayor Fischer also named dozens of Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) students as honorary members of the Snow Team.

The students – from Eisenhower, Gutermuth, Jacob, Layne, Sanders and Wilkerson elementary schools – decorated six snowplows to be used in the upcoming winter season. Some of the plows will be part of the Lots of Lights Parade during the Light Up Louisville celebration on Friday, Nov. 29. The plows were displayed during today’s event in the Cardinal Stadium parking lot.

JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio said, “We appreciate the diligence and hard work of the Louisville Metro Snow Team in keeping roads safe and passable every winter. We depend on that commitment to ensure students and employees can get to and from school in inclement weather, limiting the number of days that students are away from the classroom.

“I’m also proud of our students who used their artistic talents to show their appreciation in their own way — Louisville’s streets will be both safer and more beautiful this year when the Snow Team is activated.”

The Snow Team is led by Metro Public Works under the leadership of Director Vanessa Burns and Assistant Director for Roads and Operations, Brian Funk. The Public Works Solid Waste Management Division, Metro Parks, the Department of Codes & Regulations, and the Division of Fleet and Facilities are also part of the team.

The Louisville Fire Department also is preparing to help residents combat winter fires and indoor home safety.

“It’s important for the community to play a key role in keeping their home, families and neighbors safe,” said Major Bobby Cooper, Louisville Fire Department. “Simple safety precautions like maintaining home heating equipment, using space heaters and generators with caution, and replacing batteries in smoke alarms can help ensure a warm and safe winter.”

While the Louisville Metro Snow Team is focused on keeping things moving safely on the ground, Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport has a team that’s focused on making sure people can get in and out of the city through the air.

“The dedicated snow teams for both Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport and Bowman Field are prepared and ready to respond anytime inclement weather is in the area,” said Dan Mann, Executive Director of the Louisville Regional Airport Authority. “As SDF remains strong as the seventh busiest cargo airport in the world with more than 300 daily flights from our cargo partners, plus 80 flights from the passenger airlines, we play an essential role in connecting people and goods around the globe. It’s crucial that our airfield is operational and ready for use 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. Just as Louisville Metro takes great care of the city, we remain focused on ensuring the airport is ready for business at all hours of the day.”

Louisville will begin the snow season this year with 38,500 tons of salt on hand. Most of the salt will be stored underground in Louisville Mega Cavern, 1841 Taylor Ave. About 15,550 tons are distributed to four above ground locations where the salt will be loaded onto spreading vehicles as needed. Total salt used in the 2018-19 snow season was 10,505 tons.

The city will also continue to pretreat roads with brine ahead of snowfalls. Brine is a saltwater solution that reduces the adherence of snow and ice to pavement and reduces slick spots.

The city’s snow removal progress can be followed via an interactive online map. During snow events, a snow map will be posted on the city website,, and the Department of Public Works site at The latest updates will also be posted on Twitter at LouPubWorks.

More than 50 representatives from 13 key community partners this month have begun training in the Trauma Resilient Community (TRC) Model as part of a $5 million, 5-year federal grant to launch an emerging project to promote resilience and equity for Louisville families and young people most affected by trauma, inequity, and violence in west and south Louisville.

The city-wide Trauma Resilient Community Initiative, led by the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods, uses a community-based approach to build a “trauma-informed” system of care and services to children and families exposed to violence. The effort is meant to increase the knowledge and skills of people who respond to, make referrals and provide services to its most vulnerable stakeholders.

“Our city has learned a tremendous amount about trauma, and ways to address trauma over the past several decades. Collectively, we have done good work understanding and responding to the needs of children and families across our city,” said Rashaad Abdur-Rahman, Director of the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods. “This effort allows us to again reimagine a system of care that increases resilience to trauma with the understanding that racial equity and culturally responsive service are central to our work.”

“As part of our work to create a city of compassion, equity and opportunity, we have to address the trauma that affects far too many people in our community,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “I’m proud of the work the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods does to promote healing and resilience.”

Over the course of the next four years, backbone agencies will receive ongoing mentorship and support from the Center for Trauma Resilient Communities to customize an approach for each agency to move from understanding basic trauma theory to becoming an actualized trauma resilient organization.

Backbone agencies are key community partners selected to participate based on their ability to demonstrate commitment, collaboration and partnership in implementing the TRC Model within the community. They include:

  • Americana Community Center
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Center for Women and Families
  • Centerstone
  • Uspiritus
  • Collective Care Center – Spalding University
  • Exploited Children’s Help Organization (ECHO)
  • KentuckyOne Health
  • Maryhurst
  • Skillz 4 Life
  • Louisville Urban League
  • YMCA of Greater Louisville
  • National Safe Place Network

The TRC Model training is one of several evidence-based trainings to be offered to partners who aim to provide trauma treatment to 400 children and their families in west and south Louisville, where data shows that youth and families are disproportionately affected by trauma, violence and systematic inequities. The project also involves training 200 clinicians in trauma interventions, and 200 first responders, volunteers and community service providers in a special first-aid approach to youth mental health.

“This is a creative and innovative way to introduce trauma-informed care to our community. I feel that the backbone agencies are going to be able to have a clear understanding of trauma and create a movement throughout our community in order to create more safety for everyone as a whole. The training is instrumental in identifying, personally and professionally, how trauma impacts an organization, systems and ultimately how it effects the community,” said Sonja Grey, Executive Director, ECHO.

To help increase additional awareness of trauma and its effects, a community advisory board has been created to intentionally engage community leaders, enhance outreach and training, and address the root causes of adverse community experiences. The board is made up of approximately 65 participants who represent multiple sectors of the community (service providers, youth, survivors of trauma) and were selected based on interest and alignment of project goals and demonstrated leadership and engagement in west and south Louisville neighborhoods.

The federal grant, provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), was first announced in 2018 by Mayor Greg Fischer and officials with the University of Louisville and Centerstone Kentucky. The Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods manages the TRC project, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in partnership with UofL’s Kent School of Social Work and Centerstone Kentucky.

For more information, visit

Neighborhood Place partners offer a variety workshops and resources in November to help strengthen households including hiring events from National Processing Center and Sodexo, energy management workshops provided by Project Warm, and a Foster Parent/Adoption Information meeting. To learn more about these offerings and several others please refer to the list below.

Nov. 4, 11, 18 and 25, Kentucky Health Career Center Outreach at two locations Call 502/595-4003 for more information.  A KentuckianaWorks Health Career Center professional will provide valuable information to help increase your occupation potential including training funds for in-demand occupations; resources for individuals seeking advance healthcare careers; resume writing, career assessments; interview planning; computer essentials, work-based learning opportunities and more.

  • Nov. 4 and 25, First Neighborhood Place, 1503 Rangeland Road (T.J. Middle School in the W.D. Bruce Building – door #24), 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Nov. 11 and 18, NorthWest Neighborhood Place, 4018 W. Market St. at the Academy of Shawnee, 9 a.m.- 1 p.m.

Nov. 4, Foster Parent/Adoption Information Meeting at NorthWest Neighborhood Place, 6 – 8 p.m.
Located at 4018 W. Market St. Call 595-5437 (KIDS) for more information.  Detailed information will be provided on the requirements and process of how to become a foster or adoptive parent.  Information such as an explanation of foster care, special needs adoption, and information on foster parent training classes will be provided.  Sponsored by the Kentucky Foster Care and the Special Needs Adoption Program.

Nov. 4, 7, 8, 12, 14, 19 and 26 National Processing Center (NPC) Hiring Events at multiple locations
National Processing Center (NPC) is the U.S. Census Bureau’s primary center for mail processing, survey processing, data capture, imaging/scanning and warehouse operations. A U.S. Census Bureau’s representative will be available to share information about the hundreds of entry-level office and warehouse clerks employment opportunities for the Jeffersonville location. NPC recently increased the starting hourly pay rate for entry level clerks to $14.54 per hour!

  • Nov. 4, First Neighborhood Place, 1503 Rangeland Road (T.J. Middle School in the W.D. Bruce Building – door #24), 1 – 3 p.m. Call 313-4700 for more information.
  • Nov. 7, South Jefferson Neighborhood Place – Fairdale, 1000 Neighborhood Place, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Call 363-1483 for more information.
  • Nov. 8, First Neighborhood Place, 1503 Rangeland Road (T.J. Middle School in the W.D. Bruce Building – door #24), 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Call 313-4700 for more information.
  • Nov. 12, South Central Neighborhood Place,4255 Hazelwood Ave., 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Call 363-1483 for more information.
  • Nov. 12, Ujima Neighborhood Place, 3610 Bohne Ave., 1 – 3 p.m. Call 313-4635 for more information.
  • Nov. 14, South Jefferson Neighborhood Place – Valley, 10200 Dixie Hwy., 1– 3 p.m. Call 363-1483 for more information.
  • Nov. 19, South Central Neighborhood Place, 4255 Hazelwood Ave., 1 – 3p.m. Call 363-1483 for more information.
  • Nov. 19, Ujima Neighborhood Place, 3610 Bohne Ave., 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Call 313 – 4635 for more information.
  • Nov. 26, South Jefferson Neighborhood Place – Fairdale, 1000 Neighborhood Place, 1 – 3 p.m. Call 363-1483 for more information.

Nov. 7, Sodexo Hiring Opportunity at First Neighborhood Place, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Located at 1503 Rangeland Road (T.J. Middle School in the W.D. Bruce Building – door #24).  Call 313-4700 for more information.  Sodexo, a food-service agency, will provide on-the-spot interviews for positions with Jewish Hospital, Our Lady of Peace and University of Louisville Hospital. Bring your resume and be prepared for an interview. This is one of Sodexo’s busiest hiring seasons. Stop by if you are looking for employment that can lead to a full-time or part-time position.

Nov. 14, A Healthy Journey for Two Educational Baby Shower at First Neighborhood Place, 1- 3 p.m.
Located at 1503 Rangeland Rd.  This educational baby shower is open to any expectant mothers. The class will include a range of information and resources, as well as free baby items, gift cards, prizes, and snacks. Hosted by Centerstone and KIDSNow. Fathers are welcome but must be registered. For more information, contact Mendy Mason at 502-341-5400.

Nov.  15, Energy Management Workshops at three locations
Call 636-9276 for more information.  Project Warm’s free workshops help families take control of their energy usage and learn “do-it-yourself” energy-saving tips. FREE Supplies will be distributed at the end of the workshop such as roll of clear plastic, tape, caulk/foam to seal gaps and air leaks around windows and doors.

  • Nov. 14, South Jefferson Neighborhood Place – Fairdale, 1000 Neighborhood Place, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Nov 15, First Neighborhood Place, 1503 Rangeland Rd. side of Thomas Jefferson Middle School, door #16, 1 – 2:30 p.m. Call 313-4728 or 313-4700 for registration.
  • Nov. 21, South Central Neighborhood Place, 4255 Hazelwood Ave, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Nov. 20, Car Seat Safety Class at NorthWest Neighborhood Place, 12 – 1 p.m.
Located at 4018 West Market St. at the Academy at Shawnee.  Call 502.574.6661 for more information.  Proper use of car seats helps keep children safe. However, with so many different seats on the market, many parents find this overwhelming. If you are expectant parents or if you have a young child(ren), join this informative class hosted by the Healthy Start program to learn how to properly install a car seat in your car to ensure vehicle safety for your child(ren).

Nov. 21, The Greatest Louisville Smoke Out at Parkhill Community Center, 5 – 7 p.m.
Located at 1703 S. 13th Street.  For more information, call Celine at 502/341-0694 and inquire about possible transportation assistance by November 14.  The event focuses on connecting the community to promote smoking cessation and to answer questions about the quitline, medications and health services, and one-on-one coaching.  Features health screenings, a cooking demonstration, free food, door prizes, photo booth, games, vendors and photo booth.  Transportation assistance may be available  Sponsored in part by the Shawnee Healthcare Center, Bridges of Hope Neighborhood Place and other community partners.

Mayor Greg Fischer today announced Louisville Metro Government has been awarded $50,000 from the national Historic Preservation Fund to survey and inventory properties in the Chickasaw neighborhood with the goal of listing the neighborhood on the National Register of Historic Places as a Historic District.

The Historic Preservation Fund is administered by the National Park Service as part of its Underrepresented Community Grant Program. Louisville received the highest amount awarded this grant cycle.

“We are grateful to the National Park Service and the Historic Preservation Fund for this award. Placement on the National Register of Historic Places would allow property owners in the Chickasaw neighborhood to improve their properties by taking advantage of federal and state historic tax credits,” said the Mayor.

The historically African American neighborhood is made up of single-family residences with few multi-family and commercial properties, a result of the effects of segregation and historic redlining, which led to economic depression, disinvestment and a lack of development in Chickasaw and other west Louisville neighborhoods.

Listing on the National Register as a historic district is an honorary recognition. Louisville currently has more than 40 neighborhoods listed on the National Register including Russell, Parkland, Smoketown, Cherokee Triangle, Old Louisville, the Highlands and Limerick. Being listed on the National Register of Historic Places does not place any new restriction on properties.

The city will now undertake a survey of the Chickasaw neighborhood and determine the Historic District boundaries. It will take two years to complete the survey work and draft the National Register nomination application.

The city is hosting the first of multiple neighborhood outreach meetings from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16, at the Catholic Enrichment Center, 3146 W. Broadway.

Develop Louisville, the Chickasaw Neighborhood Association, and the Samuel Plato Academy of Historic Preservation Trades are co-sponsoring the event, which will answer questions about the grant, the survey process, and what it means to live in a neighborhood on the National Register. Louisville Metro historic preservation specialists and representatives with the Kentucky Heritage Council will lead the discussion.

“I hope this national distinction and localized opportunity compels a genuine and collaborative effort, promoting wellness of Chickasaw and surrounding historic neighborhoods,” said Ameerah Granger, President of Chickasaw Neighborhood Federation.

Originally built as a community for African American residents, the Chickasaw neighborhood is generally bounded by West Broadway to the north, Louis Coleman Jr. Drive to the east, the Ohio River to the west and Woodland Avenue to the south. The Chickasaw neighborhood was part of John Garr’s 1,500-acre farm in the early nineteenth century. It later housed the first permanent state fair grounds on Cecil and Gibson avenues in 1908 and the short-lived White City Amusement Park from 1907 to 1910, according to The Encyclopedia of Louisville

The neighborhood evolved after the 1922 construction of Chickasaw Park, one of the multitude of parks in Louisville created by the Olmsted firm. The park was designed for the African American residents of west Louisville because most other parks were considered white-only, according to Life Behind a Veil: Blacks in Louisville, Kentucky, 1865-1930 by author George C. Wright.

Photo: Louisville Metro Council

Councilwoman Keisha Dorsey (D-3) will officially welcome participants to this year’s University of Louisville Region X Conference on Saturday, November 2nd.

“Louisville is becoming well known for its growing medical fields in the areas of research and health care,” says the Councilwoman, who chairs the Metro Council’s Health and Education Committee. “I look forward to meeting the participants as the Conference looks to enhance minority participation in all medical fields.”

The Region Medical Education Conference (RMEC) brings together the Region X SNMA community to equip pre-medical and medical students with the skills to become “clinically excellent, culturally competent and socially conscious physicians.”

Hosted by the University of Louisville School of Medicine, this year’s theme is “Pushing Forward, Reaching Back.”

The Student National Medical Association (SNMA) was founded in 1964 and is committed to supporting current and future underrepresented minority medical students, addressing the needs of underserved communities, and increasing those numbers.

The conference will highlight the experience of minorities in medicine, both as professionals and patients. Additionally, this year’s conference will include a dedicated pre-medical symposium with hands-on clinical and admissions workshops, a research symposium, networking opportunities, and much more!

Councilwoman Dorsey will offer welcoming remarks as the Conference gets underway at 8:30am on Saturday at 500 S Preston Street.

“The future holds bright promise in all fields of medicine, and I hope those who attend this conference will find their path in careers that will help their community and those in need,” said Dorsey.

To learn more about the Student National Medical Association (SNMA)