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!”

Louisville Metro Government is moving forward with plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for climate change. The city also will provide a progress report on the goals set out in the city’s first sustainability plan, Sustain Louisville, later this month.

On Nov. 1, Mayor Greg Fischer announced the release of a draft of the Emissions Reduction Plan at the annual Louisville Sustainability Summit. The plan, part of a commitment to the Global Covenant of Mayors, serves as a framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Louisville Metro’s Office of Advanced Planning and Sustainability, which helped guide the Emissions Reduction Plan, also is developing a climate adaptation plan, Prepare Louisville, to address existing and anticipated effects of climate change. Input on both will be critical to determining the best approach to tackling climate change now and in the years ahead.

“Despite national action to abandon the Paris climate accord, Louisville is listening to our residents, especially our young people who spoke out during the Climate Strike, and are stepping up to keep fighting climate change,” said the Mayor. “The release of the Emissions Reduction Plan and formulation of a climate adaptation plan takes us to the next stage as a community – to an urgent and critical conversation about how we move forward to achieve the necessary greenhouse gas reductions and how we work together to address the current and future impacts of climate change.”

The strategies included in the Emissions Reduction Plan were derived from best industry practices and reflect our best understanding of where current trends will take us in the years ahead. It is intended to be flexible in nature as new technologies and regulatory changes drive change in our community.

Louisville Metro recognizes that since the plan’s 80% emissions reduction target was set, recent scientific reports have expressed the need for more urgent and accelerated action to avoid irreversible impacts of climate change. In response, the city will continue pursuing actions that will propel Louisville beyond the 80% reduction target laid out in the plan.

Residents can submit their feedback on the Emissions Reduction Plan now through Saturday, Nov. 30 at .

Residents also are asked to help shape Prepare Louisville, the climate adaptation plan, by sharing their experiences, concerns, and ideas via a short online survey at . The deadline to complete the survey has been extended to Wednesday, Nov. 13.

Lastly, the Office of Advanced Planning and Sustainability will be releasing a progress report on Wednesday, Nov. 13, updating the goals and initiatives set forth in Sustain Louisville. The report will describe the strides made and highlight the key successes toward these goals, as well as identifying areas for improvement.

For more information about Sustain Louisville, visit

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

Tickets went on sale today for the must see show of the holiday season. The Winter Woods Spectacular will make its debut the Saturday after Thanksgiving in historic Iroquois Park. The Louisville Parks Foundation and the creators of the wildly successful Jack O’ Lantern Spectacular are partnering again to bring a new event to Louisville which is sure to be a hit with families during the 2019 holiday season.

From November 30 through December 31, a section of Iroquois Park will transform into a winter wonderland where event goers will enjoy a ½ mile drive of lighting and artistry that will explore and celebrate the holidays. The event promises to bring the same magic to the holiday season that Jack O’ Lantern Spectacular does for Halloween.

If you and your family have been delighted by the sights and sounds of the Jack O’ Lantern Spectacular, you’re going to truly love the Winter Woods Spectacular.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Louisville Parks Foundation, which supports Louisville’s public parks and community programs not funded by other local non-profits. The event will be open nightly from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday – Thursday and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday – Saturday. Guests will enter at Southern Parkway and New Cut Road.

To reduce the impact to the neighborhood and park, a limited number of tickets will be sold each night. Guests must purchase their tickets online and in advance at Payment will not be taken at the event. Sold out nights are to be expected.

Tickets (Sunday – Thursday)

  • Car/SUV/Van – $25
  • Passenger Van – $75
  • Tour Bus – $5 (per occupant/20 person minimum)

Tickets (Friday & Saturday)

  • Car/SUV/Van – $35
  • Passenger Van – $85
  • Tour Bus – $5 (per occupant/30 person minimum)

All bus tour operators need to pay in advance by contacting:

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.

Afternoon Lecture Series
Frank Kelderman | Afloat at Locust Grove: Traversing Indian Diplomacy on the Ohio River
Wednesday, November 6, 1:15 pm

In 1842, the Choctaw diplomat Peter Pitchlynn had a chance encounter with the author Charles Dickens on a steamboat on the Ohio River, between Cincinnati and Louisville. Pitchlynn was returning from diplomatic business in Washington; Dickens was traveling the country to write his “American Notes” (1842). In this talk, Frank Kelderman takes Dickens’s account of their meeting as a starting point for exploring the Ohio River as a thoroughfare for Indian diplomacy, connecting the eastern United States to Indian country. Drawing on literature, visual art, and archival materials, this talk will give an account of indigenous presence in a region where that presence has long been unrecognized.

Frank Kelderman is an assistant professor of English at the University of Louisville, where he specializes in 19th-century Native American literature. He is the author of “Authorized Agents: Publication and Diplomacy in the Era of Indian Removal” (SUNY Press, 2019), which examines Native American writing and oratory from the Upper Missouri River to the Great Lakes. His research has also been published in the journals “American Literature,” “American Studies,” “J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists,” and “Great Plains Quarterly.”

This program is part of the city-wide program Afloat: An Ohio River Way of Life.

The Locust Grove Afternoon Lecture Series is held the first Wednesday of each month. Dessert and coffee are served at 1:00 pm with the lecture immediately following at 1:15 pm. Admission is $6, $4 for Friends of Historic Locust Grove. Reservations are not required.

Richard Bell | Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home
Thursday, November 7, 6:30 pm

Richard Bell, associate professor of Early American History at the University of Maryland, returns to Locust Grove with his new book, Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home. Stolen recounts the gripping and true story about five boys who were kidnapped in the North and smuggled into slavery in the Deep South—and their daring attempt to escape and bring their captors to justice, reminiscent of Twelve Years A Slave and Never Caught. Dr. Bell will speak about how their ordeal—an odyssey that takes them from the Philadelphia waterfront to the marshes of Mississippi and then onward still—shines a glaring spotlight on the Reverse Underground Railroad, a black market network of human traffickers and slave traders who stole away thousands of legally free African Americans from their families in order to fuel slavery’s rapid expansion in the decades before the Civil War.

Admission is $15/$12 for members. Reservations required; visit for tickets. Cash bar available; doors open at 6:00 pm.

Emilie Strong Smith Chamber Music Concert Series
Armonia e Passione: “Concerto alla Rustica”
Sunday, November 17, 5:30 pm

Enjoy a feast of Italian music for Baroque string band, with the music of Vivaldi, Marini, Bertali, and more from Armonia e Passione, a 17th-century Italian string band based in St Louis featuring Celina Casado, Stephanie Hunt, and Jeff Noonan, and led by William Bauer.

Locust Grove’s Emilie Strong Smith Chamber Music Series offers concertgoers a unique opportunity. Patrons delight in music that the Clarks and Croghans would have heard in the room where they most likely would have enjoyed it — the second-floor Great Parlor of the historic house.

Refreshments at 5:00 p.m.; concert in Locust Grove’s Great Parlor begins at 5:30 p.m. Individual concerts are $20 each. Pre-paid reservations are required–please call (502) 897-9845.

Season subscriptions may be purchased by calling Locust Grove at (502) 897-9845. Categories are Patron, $200; Supporter, $100; and Subscriber, $70.

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