Nonprofit sheds light on financial insecurity with survey – Spectrum News

By |2023-02-20T20:31:28-05:00February 20th, 2023|COVID-19|

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Temporary Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits brought on by the pandemic ended in April 2022 for several states, including Kentucky. The extra SNAP monies end for the remaining 32 states next month.But a new survey shows how serious food insecurity levels are as prices rise and more pandemic related benefits are ending. What You Need To Know ParentsTogether Action is a nonprofit comprising over 3 million parents The nonprofit conducted a 2023 survey on low- and middle-income families in terms of their financial insecurity  It found that 64% of respondents said their family finds it hard to make ends meet right now Paying for essentials like diapers, formula and feminine hygiene products accounted for 60% of respondents’ biggest challenge The survey conducted by the national nonprofit ParentsTogether Action asked over 550 primarily low- and middle-income families about their state of financial insecurity. Taken the first week of February this year, it found that 64% of respondents said their family finds it hard to make ends meet right now—with the biggest challenge being food. Paying for essentials like diapers, formula and feminine hygiene products accounted for 60% of respondents’ biggest challenge. Additionally, 57% of respondents saying their biggest challenge was paying for utilities. Ailen Arreaza serves as the executive director of ParentsTogether Action, says the program works for families who may be struggling.  “This is a program that worked, right? Families were getting extra help, and they were able to afford extra food to feed their families. Why are we getting rid of it?” Arreaza asked. “If we have a solution that works and that families are benefiting from, kids are being able to be fed to thrive, it doesn’t really make sense for us to get rid of something that’s helping families.” Arreaza says the nonprofit currently has a membership of just over 3 million parents. The group says they’ll continue to advocate for families on Capitol Hill, where they fear some politicians will continue to make cuts to federal food assistance as a part of debt ceiling negotiations.  The extra SNAP benefits were a temporary measure authorized by Congress to help people cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, but a 2023 law passed by Congress makes those extra funds expire by March 2023.

Bluegrass State blues: Louisville, UK putting state of Kentucky through rare down season in …

By |2023-02-18T21:31:19-05:00February 18th, 2023|COVID-19|

Getty Images / USATSI Kentucky is one of the most-populated states in the country without a team in one of the nation's four major professional sports leagues. But what the Bluegrass State lacks in terms of MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL visibility it makes up for with some of the nation's best college basketball. Well, historically anyway. As Kentucky and Louisville -- winners of 11 combined NCAA Tournaments -- each limp through another substandard season, an unprecedentedly long drought of college basketball success is coming into focus for a basketball-crazed state. Both schools spent time at No. 1 in the 2019-20 season and were destined for favorable NCAA Tournament seedings before the season's cancellation amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, it's been rough for both. Barring a miraculous run through the ACC Tournament, Louisville is destined to miss its third straight NCAA Tournament, and this will mark five straight tournaments in which the Cardinals have not won a game. By the time the 2024 NCAA Tournament rolls around, seven years will have elapsed since Louisville won a game in the Big Dance. Louisville has been among the worst teams in Division I in Kenny Payne's first season. Getty Images Things aren't much better at Kentucky, as the Wildcats claw for a spot in this year's 68-team field. If UK fails to make the tournament or makes it and fails to advance, this will mark three straight NCAA Tournaments without advancement for UK.  Even proud programs like Murray State and Western Kentucky are having only average seasons compared to their historical standards. The Hilltoppers are below .500 in Conference USA play while Murray State is loitering in the middle of the Missouri Valley Conference during its first season in the league. At this rate, someone from the group of Eastern Kentucky (ASUN), Morehead State (Ohio Valley) and Northern Kentucky (Horizon) will be the state of Kentucky's best hope for NCAA Tournament representation if the Wildcats don't finish strong. State of despair How Division I teams in Kentucky have fared this season. TeamOverallConferenceNET rankingsKentucky17-98-5 SEC (T-4th)39Eastern Kentucky18-1011-4 ASUN (3rd)166Western Kentucky14-126-9 C-USA (T7th)173Northern Kentucky16-1111-5 Horizon (T3rd)198Murray State14-13 9-8 MVC (7th)212Morehead State17-1010-4 OVC (1st)234 Bellarmine12-167-8 ASUN (T-7th)261Louisville3-231-14 ACC (15th)324The state's proud basketball scene has been through droughts in the past and has always bounced back.  Here is a ranking of the worst collective seasons of Kentucky basketball history since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. 1. 2020-21: UK's disaster season NCAA Tournament teams: 1 (Morehead State lost in first round) It wasn't quite as bad as what Louisville has gone through this season, but Kentucky's 2020-21 campaign was one of the worst by winning percentage in nearly a century for UK. The Wildcats finished 9-16 after starting at No. 10 in the AP Top 25 as a team full of newcomers struggled to gel coming out of the COIVD-19 pandemic. Kentucky started 1-6 and never recovered. Louisville finished 13-7 but narrowly missed the NCAA Tournament in coach Chris Mack's second season. At one point, Louisville was 9-1 and ranked No. 16 nationally, but the Cardinals wound up as one of the last cuts from the final bracket. Aside from 1991, the 2021 season marks the only year in the modern era of the NCAA Tournament that both Kentucky and Louisville missed the field. The 2021-22 season also marked a rare down year for Murray State as the Racers finished 13-13 following the departure of superstar Ja Morant. WKU, EKU and NKU each finished above .500 but Morehead State was the only team from the state to make the Big Dance as the No. 14 seed Eagles fell in the first round. 2. 1986-87: Louisville misses dance, Cats struggleNCAA Tournament teams: 2 (Kentucky lost in first round, Western Kentucky lost in second round) One season after winning the 1986 national title with a team that featured Milt Wagner, who is the grandfather of current five-star Kentucky commitment DJ Wagner, Louisville missed the Big Dance. The Cardinals finished 18-14 in 1987 while Kentucky was bounced in the first round by Ohio State as a No. 8 seed. The Wildcats had finished 32-4 and reached the Elite Eight in 1986 during coach Eddie Sutton's first season but lost stars Winston Bennett and Kenny Walker from that team and struggled to replace their production. Similarly, the Cardinals could not recover from the departures of key players like Wagner, Billy Thompson and Jeff Hall. Current Louisville coach Kenny Payne was a freshman and role player on the 1986 title team and played mostly off the bench for the disappointing 1987 team. Ultimately, he became a starter in his final two seasons and helped lead the Cardinals back to national prominence in 1988 and 1989.  The best team in Kentucky during the 1986-87 season turned out to be Western Kentucky. Though the Hilltoppers lost 60-58 to Louisville during non conference play, they went on to reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a final record of 29-9 under first-year coach Murray Arnold. 3. 2021-22: Murray State sets the paceNCAA Tournament teams: 2 (Kentucky lost in first round, Murray State lost in second round) Louisville fired Chris Mack after following a 6-8 start and messy offseason extortion scandal involving former assistant Dino Gaudio. The Cardinals proceeded to finish 13-19 for the program's worst winning percentage since 1998 — until this season. Kentucky, on the other hand, put the misery of the 2020-21 season behind it as West Virginia transfer Oscar Tshiebwe burst onto the scene alongside star freshman guard TyTY Washington and Georgia transfer Sahvir Wheeler. UK spent the entire season in the top 20 and never lost consecutive games…….until it mattered most.  The Wildcats bowed out of the SEC Tournament with a semifinal loss to Tennessee and then suffered a historic loss to No. 15 seed Saint Peter's in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The stunning ending negated the joy of a great regular season for the Wildcats. Thankfully for the state of Kentucky, Murray State enjoyed a banner year, finishing 31-3 after reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Bellarmine, Morehead State and Northern Kentucky didn't make the tournament but were 20-win teams, and Bellarmine would have made it if not for the NCAA-mandated waiting period for programs transitioning to Division I. 4. 1990-91: Cats on probationNCAA Tournament teams: 1 (Murray State lost in first round) Kentucky finished 22-6 (14-4 SEC) in Rick Pitino's second season as coach but was unable to participate in the NCAA Tournament because of violations committed during Eddie Sutton's coaching tenure. Meanwhile, Louisville struggled to a 14-16 mark in the program's first losing season under legendary coach Denny Crum. Western Kentucky finished just 14-14, leaving Murray State as the only team from the state to reach the NCAA Tournament. The Racers finished 24-9 and earned a No. 13 seed before falling to Alabama in the first round.  Better days returned the following season as the Cardinals made the NCAA Tournament in 1992. Kentucky returned to postseason eligibility with a bang, finishing 29-7 with a 104-103 overtime loss to Duke in the Elite Eight. 5. 2022-23: UL sinks, jury out on UKNCAA Tournament teams: TBD The ship has sailed on Louisville, which fell to 3-23 with a loss to Virginia on Wednesday night. This will be the program's worst season since it combined to go 4-42 from 1939 to 1941. The Cardinals have simply been non-competitive in Kenny Payne's first season as coach, and the struggles are only exacerbated by the program's recent run of misfortune. Louisville fans haven't tasted substantive success in a while, and there has been little indication that patience with a new regime will be rewarded anytime soon. As for Kentucky, the Wildcats have a chance to flip this season's narrative on its head. After a gritty road win at Mississippi State on Wednesday, UK is 18-8 and finally has a second Quad 1 victory. The Wildcats are still a bubble team, but a strong finish and a few NCAA Tournament wins will forgive a multitude of sins. However, if things go the opposite direction, UK will be staring down a daunting reality. Without an NCAA Tournament victory this season, five years will have elapsed between Big Dance wins for the program by the time the event rolls around again in 2024. With a poor finish from Kentucky, this season could go down among the worst in state history. But the ball is in the Wildcats' court as they prepare to host No. 10 Tennessee on Saturday in another huge game.

Louisville metro council member under review for potential violation of ethics code – WLKY

By |2023-02-18T21:31:20-05:00February 18th, 2023|COVID-19|


Louisville Metro Council seeks ethics opinion on Anthony Piagentini – Courier-Journal

By |2023-02-16T20:23:52-05:00February 16th, 2023|COVID-19, Election 2020|

Louisville Metro Council voted Thursday to ask the city's Ethics Commission to examine whether member Anthony Piagentini violated its code by initially sponsoring a measure to allot $40 million in COVID-19 relief funds to a health care coalition and then landing a consulting job with the group behind the project.Piagentini, R-19th District, said he also requested an opinion on his conduct from the commission this week."This resolution was aligned with what I have asked for from the Ethics Commission," he told The Courier Journal. "I am happy to and will comply with the process in every possible way."Thursday's emergency resolution came after the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting published a story Wednesday saying Piagentini started consulting for the Louisville Healthcare CEO Council — which pushed for the health care innovation project — a day after Metro Council approved the $40 million allocation.He noted he had withdrawn his sponsorship and then abstained from the December vote to approve directing $40 million in American Rescue Plan funds to supporting a "Healthcare Workforce Innovation Coalition."The resolution, sponsored by Councilwoman Cindi Fowler, D-14th, and council President Markus Winkler, D-17th, asks the "commission to review this situation as expeditiously as possible."Piagentini, who has worked in health care and real estate, including the last seven years as senior director of provider relations for WellCare of Kentucky, abstained from Thursday's vote.By the numbers:Who are the Kentucky kids in juvenile detention and how did they get there?Tammy York Day, president of the Louisville Healthcare CEO Council, or CEOc, which several health care executives formed in 2017 to lobby for their industry, told the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting she did not view Piagentini having any conflict of interest because he did not consult on the ARP-funded project and his consulting work is focused on state government affairs.Can Metro Council members remove their peers from office?Council rules state members can remove their colleagues from office over "misconduct, incapacity, or willful neglect in the performance of the official duties."At least five Metro Council members must swear under oath a colleague has engaged in that behavior to initiate removal proceedings, and a two-thirds majority of the 26-member council must vote to oust a member.Any members removed from council can appeal the decision in Jefferson Circuit Court.The last time a member was removed was in 2017 when Democrat Dan Johnson was accused of sexual harassment.What is the Louisville Healthcare Workforce Innovation Coalition?Kentucky basketball...and politics:Citing Coach John Calipari, legislator wants to ban lifetime contractsThe three priorities of the Louisville Healthcare Workforce Innovation Coalition are to:Create a strategy that "increases and diversifies the healthcare talent pipeline for jobs at all levels by mitigating barriers to training and employment";Increase "the region's capacity of workforce innovation for a stronger and more equitable health economy"; andSupport the initiative "via the development of a state-of-the art tech and learning center in Russell Station that prioritizes hiring current Russell residents at all levels."Reach Billy Kobin at

Art therapy helping young Louisville hospital patients diagnosed with an eating disorder find …

By |2023-02-16T19:25:35-05:00February 16th, 2023|COVID-19|

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Art and medicine come together in a therapy to help young patients who have been hospitalized after being diagnosed with an eating disorder.Norton Children's Hospital has some of that art on display in a special exhibition called "What's Eating Me?" Art therapy is being used to help young eating disorder patients at Norton Children's Hospital in Louisville, Ky. The art is now part of an exhibition. (WDRB Image) Feb. 16, 2023 Over the past two years, the hospital has treated more patients with eating disorders of all types. In the past six years, the hospital has treated more than 350 patients for anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders.The vast majority of the patients — nearly 84% — are females between the ages of 13 and 17. But at least one doctor said she's treated a patient as young as 8 years old for an eating disorder at Norton Children's Hospital. "You can't blame a child for having this type of illness, and I think that's a very common misconception among the general public, that a child that has an eating disorder is somehow choosing this," said Dr. Andrea Krause with Norton Children's Hospital. "When, really, it's an illness that's affecting them. And really, they suffer from it."Krause serves as the clinical program lead for the eating disorder program."Each child is unique, and it can be a lot to try and identify what might motivate a child here to get better," she said.Through this art exhibit, doctors, patients and the community can better understand how patients view their eating disorder."It lets us know where this person is in relationship with this eating disorder," said Elizabeth Martin, an expressive art therapist who worked with patients on this project. "Do they see it as their best friend that rewards them and benefits them and builds them up? If that's the case, then we need to find something else that rewards them and benefits them and not the eating disorder."Martin said while some of the clay creations look friendly, others do not."If we see it more as a horrific creature, it lets us know they see the seriousness of this and the harm," Martin said. "So it might be actually easier for them to fight in some way, because they do see the harm in it and don't want that. When the eating disorder creature looks like a best friend, that can even be harder sometimes, because they don't want to let it go."According to Norton Children's Hospital, during the COVID-19 pandemic, fear of the virus and the isolation complicated these issues for kids and teens. "The pandemic brought social isolation, and this is definitely an illness that thrives in the setting of isolation," Krause said.Krause said she also believes social media has played a role. "These children were comparing themselves to people that weren't real and that became their reality," Martin said.  Art therapy is being used to help young eating disorder patients at Norton Children's Hospital in Louisville, Ky. The art is now part of an exhibition. (WDRB Image) Feb. 16, 2023 Norton Children's Hospital is utilizing expressive art therapy to reach these patients. By using a variety of art materials, patients explore who they are and express their emotions. "The art gives them a voice," Martin said. "It gives them a way to express themselves and it gives them a way to find themselves by separating."Eating disorders affect at least 9% of people worldwide. They will affect nearly 30 million Americans in their lifetimes and cause about 10,000 U.S. deaths each year, according to data cited by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders.According to Norton Children's Hospital, here is the data on eating disorder cases from the past several years:2017: 39 cases, 33 unique patients2018: 37 cases, 32 unique patients2019: 49 cases, 41 unique patients2020: 75 cases, 60 unique patients2021: 117 cases, 103 unique patients2022: 136 cases, 117 unique patientsTotal: 453 cases, 356 patientsAt this point, data for 2023 is trending in the same upward direction. "I wouldn't be surprised, just with how the numbers have steadily increased each year, if, unfortunately, we hit some higher numbers this year as well, although, I, of course, hope not," said Kayla LaRosa, a pediatric psychologist at Norton Children's.Krause said there is hope for patients to overcome eating disorders, but she's also pushing for more resources to be available in Kentucky. She said patients at Norton Children's come from across the region. "Kentucky is, unfortunately, unique in the sense that we do not have a free-standing residential care program for eating disorders in the entire state," Krause said. "We have some outpatient centers and even a couple of partial hospitalization programs in the city here. But when you're talking about the whole state of Kentucky, there is a huge lack of resources there, especially when you're talking about more rural places in the state." She said early intervention is key. The art exhibit will remain on display inside the Noltemeyer Excellence in Education Center in the lobby of Norton Children's Hospital until late-February. For information on eating disorders from Norton Children's Hospital, click here.Copyright 2023 WDRB Media. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved.

Where people in Louisville are looking to buy homes | Around the State – The Messenger

By |2023-02-16T18:25:15-05:00February 16th, 2023|COVID-19|

The Covid-19 pandemic ushered in a period of frantic, domestic migration that saw Americans moving farther away from established urban centers.The number of homes sold every month has slowed as interest rates have risen, cooling some of those pandemic trends. But many Americans are still choosing to move long distances, and the vast majority of U.S. homebuyers—97%—utilize online sites when looking for their next home, according to a 2021 report from the National Association of Realtors.Stacker compiled statistics about where people in Louisville are looking to buy homes using cross-market demand and monthly inventory data from Data is based on micropolitan and metropolitan areas, which include cities as well as surrounding towns and suburbs. Cross-market demand statistics are as of Q4 2022. Monthly inventory data is as of January 2023.Continue reading to see where people in Louisville are shopping for their next house.

Peyton Siva on 2013 Louisville basketball reunion and playing for ‘The Ville’ with ex-Cards

By |2023-02-16T17:27:13-05:00February 16th, 2023|COVID-19|

Like an actor taking the stage for opening night on Broadway, Peyton Siva said a "fourth wall" went up when he stepped onto the court in front of more than 74,000 fans packed inside the Georgia Dome for the2013national championship game."You don't see faces," the former Louisville men's basketball guard told The Courier Journal. "You don't see people. It was all a blur in the background."The disorientation intensified, Siva said, when the confetti started to fall on the Cardinals following their 82-76 victory over Michigan to claim the program's third NCAA title. The locker room celebration, the joyous welcome home, the media appearances and the parade — all of those moments blurred together, too.But, if you were among the thousands who turned out to show your appreciation to Siva and his teammates, know that he still feels the love 10 years later."There's no better fans," said Siva, who recently returned to Louisville after a stint playing professionally in Australia. "They hold a special place in my heart." NCAA be damned:Louisville basketball players will still celebrate the 2013 titleThat sentiment was the driving force in Siva's decision to suit up for "The Ville," a team comprised of former U of L players that will compete against 64 others for $1 million in The Basketball Tournament beginning in July. Thus far, the roster also includes: Dillon Avare, Rakeem Buckles, Steven Enoch and Kyle Kuric. Earlier this month, Freedom Hall was named a TBT regional host site, giving Siva and the ex-Cards a chance to return to their roots by playing in front of the fanbase they hold dearest at a venue that means so much to the program's history. Tickets go on sale April 1. With Louisville sitting at 3-23 (1-14 ACC) in Year 1 of the Kenny Payne era, those clinging to memories like Kuric going nuclear in the Freedom Hall finale back on March 6, 2010, will soon be able to watch them come to life. "Hopefully, we can bring some exciting basketball," Siva said. "Being able to compete and try to win $1 million is awesome, but I think the fact that it's gonna be in Louisville, where a lot of (former players) live, in front of their families and in front of the home fans, I think that was a major key for a lot of guys committing early to play."A 'special night':Ten years later, Kyle Kuric reflects on a game to remember in Freedom Hall finaleThis isn’t U of L's first brush with TBT. In 2020, Ryan McMahon came two victories away from the $1 million prize playing alongside primarily ex-Dayton Flyers under strict COVID-19 precautions in Columbus, Ohio. A year later, former walk-on grad transfer Keith Oddo tried to put together a team called 3-Time Champs with the Most Outstanding Player of the 2013 Final Four, Luke Hancock, as an assistant coach. The roster included the likes of Chane Behanan, Wayne Blackshear, Lamarr "Fresh" Kimble, Preston Knowles and Samardo Samuels, but Oddo said TBT turned them down. "The administrator said that the team was talented enough to make the tournament," Oddo wrote in a tweet at the time, "but they wanted the first Louisville team to have more brand-named Cardinal players."Hancock will assume the role of The Ville's general manager. Siva said he was hoping his former teammate would join him on the court and joked that they'll save his sharpshooting in the event an opponent hits them with a 2-3 zone. Rounding out the staff are Collegiate head coach Mark Lieberman and Lexington Catholic assistant Jordan Sucher, both of whom spent time working under Rick Pitino at Louisville. Their challenge will be cultivating chemistry among players who share the same alma mater but in some cases didn’t run the court together back in the day. Rick Pitino:What ex-Louisville coach said about IARP's ruling, vacated championship and Tom Jurich"It’s gonna be tough," Siva said. "We’ve just got to figure out each other’s games again and go from there."Before he turns his attention toward TBT preparations, Siva will be reminded yet again of the admiration Louisville fans have for the 2013 squad when he and 12 of his former teammates are honored at halftime of Saturday night's game between the Cardinals and Clemson. Those who will be in attendance include: Hancock, Blackshear, Mike Baffour, Logan Baumann, Jordan Bond, Gorgui Dieng, Montrezl Harrell, Tim Henderson, Mike Marra, Zach Price, Stephan Van Treese and Kevin Ware."A lot of us have different lives; we're playing in different countries, so our schedules don't always line up to each others', so it'll be good to see everybody again in one spot — hang out, talk to them," Siva said. "And for me, the big thing is for my teammates to see how much they are loved in the city of Louisville. For the guys who do live in different states and different countries, I think it'll be perfect to see the love the fans are going to shower them with."Ten-year anniversary:Banner honoring 2013 Louisville basketball team will go up. It may not say what you thinkThere will be no mention of the championship the group won after it and 123 wins between 2010-14 were vacated in June 2017 due to a scandal involving payments made to strippers and prostitutes to dance for, and have sex with, former players and recruits. A banner will be raised, however, commemorating U of L finishing No. 1 in the final coaches poll of the season — a gesture signifying progress after the program last fall avoided a postseason ban and other major punishments stemming from another NCAA investigation into alleged violations during the head-coaching tenures of Pitino and Chris Mack."I was just happy for the university and happy for the players and the coaches and fans, most importantly,” Siva said of the ruling. “It was tough living with that cloud over your head, living with the unknown of the future. I was happy for them the most just to move on past it all. It was great to see. Hopefully, the university and the program can just move forward and get back to where it used to be, and I'm looking forward to watching that process." When the party's over Saturday, Siva will get back to work. If he and the members of "The Ville" are able to recapture the magic of what the Cardinals used to be when TBT tips off at Freedom Hall, a championship could be in its future.Reach Louisville men's basketball reporter Brooks Holton at and follow him on Twitter at @brooksHolton.

Built on History – Jeffersontown – Towne Post Network

By |2023-02-16T00:32:40-05:00February 15th, 2023|COVID-19|

Post Views: 142 Louisville Tourism Continues to Boom Writer / Julie YatesPhotography Provided Louisville has accomplished an enviable feat; it has become a brand that represents a vibrant and multifaceted city. Its journey to be recognized as more than the site of the Kentucky Derby or the home of the Louisville Slugger Factory is aided by a rich history, unique geographic location and friendly hospitality. In recent years, the city has increasingly become known as a place that offers attractions for multiple types of visitors. As Bourbon City, it appeals to couples and individuals who come for the Urban Bourbon Trail. It also attracts families who visit Museum Row, the Louisville Zoo or Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay. The brand logo is its name and the fleur-de-lis centered in the middle is a nod to King Louis XVI of France, Louisville’s namesake. The city, founded by Revolutionary War hero George Rogers Clark, began in the late 1770s as a settlement on the Ohio River, close to the Falls of the Ohio. Since there were dangerous rapids, it was necessary to unload cargo before boats reached the falls. The result was the development of a major shipping port which continues today. This area was also the meeting place of Clark’s younger brother, William Clark, and Meriwether Lewis. After recruiting local men, they began their famous exploration of the Louisiana Purchase. Later, in 1875, the Kentucky Derby was begun by Lewis Clark, who was George Rogers Clark’s great nephew. The location has the distinction of being within a day’s drive of 60% of the continental United States. Post the Covid-19, Louisville Tourism has reached out to these areas to promote all the city has to offer. Michael Fetter, the organization’s Director of Marketing, has been with the organization for five years. “It’s been a wild ride. We had a record year for tourism in 2019,” Fetter says. “Then the pandemic hit. We had to push on the breaks and really rethink what we were doing. We had been promoting Louisville as a place to fly into to experience Bourbon Country, much like people fly into San Francisco to visit Napa Valley. Instead of targeting places like Los Angeles, we had to recalculate.” “The question was- how can we continue safety while respecting peoples safety,” he says.  “We started up again, then stopped and rethought, then started again. Now the focus is on bringing awareness of Louisville as a travel destination to markets such as Indianapolis and other sites within a four to five or even six-hour drive of us. It is the long weekend.” Louisville’ bourbon connection is undoubtably a huge asset for tourism. Most of the world’s bourbon is produced in Kentucky and the state’s history is woven throughout the industry. Louisville’s Urban Bourbon Trail consists of establishments dedicated to sharing stories and lore while educating participants on the facts behind bourbon production. “Bourbon tourism has been a thing for a while. The Evan Williams Distillery Experience began in 2013 but even before that, in 2006, the brand ‘Come to Kentucky for Bourbon Country’ was launched. Now we promote Louisville as Bourbon City. The Urban Bourbon Trail started with about eight to 10 bars and restaurants that focused on bourbon. Now there are 40 on the trail. Ten distillery experiences have re-opened since COVID-19, and each tour ends with an expansive tasting session. Reservations are needed as the facilities definitely get booked out,” Fetter says. Another facet to Louisville is that it is a great destination for a fun family weekend. Kids don’t realize they are getting a history lesson when they experience cruising down the Ohio River on a steamboat via the Mary M. Miller or Belle of Louisville riverboats. Sports lovers and boxing enthusiasts will enjoy learning about how determination enabled a local legend to triumph at the Muhammad Ali Center. Across from the downtown center is the expansive Waterfront Park where events, concerts and festivals are scheduled throughout the warm weather months. “The biggest surprise people have when they come to Louisville is how much the city has to offer. There are lots of tidbits about the area people don’t know,” Fetter says. “We have a walkable downtown with so many things to do and great parks. Museum Row on Main Street has seven attractions within close proximity to each other. The Old Louisville area has the largest collection of both shotgun houses and restored Victorian homes in the country. We also have the second most cast-iron facades outside of Soho in New York.” Besides Kentucky fried chicken, Louisville is known for unique dishes that a visitors love to sample. The ‘hot brown’ originated at the Brown Hotel and while it might be classified as an open-faced sandwich, it’s a meal. Slices of ham, turkey and bacon atop toast are smothered in gravy and baked, making it a substantial lunch or dinner. Burgoo stew is another tradition, and dates to pre- civil was times. Like the hot brown, it includes several different meats but also vegetables. No one should leave the city without having a slice of rich chocolate derby pie. There are many versions to be had around town, but the original recipe was developed in 1954 by the Kern family for their restaurant, Kern’s Kitchen. The eatery has trademarked the name and the recipe is kept top secret. Fetter shares that 90% to 95% of visitors who participate in surveys say they would come back. Louisville Tourism’s job is to get them to initially come to the city, and he is quick to point out that the organization doesn’t do it alone. The word gets out through connections with both social media digital business and local travel-based entities. Building partnerships with neighborhood associations, restaurants, hotels, venues and attractions is key. Large travel sites such as Expedia, Priceline and Trip Advisor offer information to travelers that can point them in directions that will make the most of their visit. In addition, Louisville Tourism maintains close ties with groups such as Louisville Forward, an economic development organization and Greater Louisville, Inc., GLI, the metro area’s chamber of commerce. The most visited page of Louisville Tourism’s website is the Calendar of Events. Anyone with an upcoming event or activity can submit to it. It is a great resource in communicating happenings around the city especially during the holiday season. “The future is very bright. There are new hotels and restaurants popping up in downtown and neighborhoods such as the east market district of downtown, NuLu (New Louisville), as well as places like St. Matthews,” Fetter says. “Tourism is important to the city for the business it bring and it’s the people of Louisville that sell it. Louisville has its own southern hospitality. It’s not considered to be part of Midwest but not the true deep South either. Louisville is the front porch of the south,” Fetter says. You can visit the Louisville Tourism website at or by calling 1.888.568.4784. Louisville Tourism is on Instagram as @gotolouisville and on Facebook as Louisville Tourism.

Louisville Zoo, others taking precautions after tiger in New York contracts COVID-19

By |2023-02-16T04:29:06-05:00February 15th, 2023|COVID-19|

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It’s strangely quiet, but behind the closed gates of the Louisville Zoo, work continues.As the deadly COVID-19 pandemic spreads, zookeepers such as senior staff veterinarian Dr. Zoli Gyimesi have divided into two teams and are subject to daily temperature checks.“We’re taking many common sense precautions here at the zoo," Gyimesi said.But, now they’re taking new precautions after a tiger at the Bronx Zoo, in New York, tested positive for COVID-19 this past weekend.“And that’s the first documented case in the United States where an animal is infected with the novel coronavirus that causes, you know, COVID-19," the veterinarian said. The Louisville Zoo is taking extra precautions to protect its animal collection during the COVID-19 outbreak. (WDRB Photo) Zookeepers were already wearing face masks around gorillas and other animals, but now they’ll do so around the lions, tigers and other zoo cats.“When they have to be within 6 feet of a cat, when they’re training, feeding, shifting a cat, or if they have to enter the cat’s enclosure for cleaning, or if they’re working with the cat’s food or preparing enrichment," Gyimesi said.Ultimately, he said, the precautions are necessary because scientists are still learning about how the virus spreads between humans and animals.“There’s a lot we don’t know," Gyimesi said. A resident chimpanzee at the Primate Rescue Center in Nicholasville, Ky. (Courtesy: Primate Rescue Center) The Primate Rescue Center outside Lexington, which rescues monkeys and apes, is dealing with that same uncertainty with similar precautions.Executive Director Eileen Dunnington said center volunteers are staying home, and just a couple staff members are caring for the rescues. They might be susceptible to COVID-19, she said, because they're genetically similar to humans.“We don’t want to know how this affects chimpanzees and monkeys. We don’t want to find that out," she said.What about domestic pets like dogs and cats?Even though the government has no reports of pets becoming sick with the virus in the U.S., Gyimesi and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with their pets.“You know, not sharing food and letting a pet kiss or lick your face or, you know, that sort of thing," Gyimesi said.The federal government also says there’s no evidence that any animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19 infection to people.Click here for more information from the federal government.Copyright 2020 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.

City leaders discuss latest report showing youth impacted by violence – WAVE 3

By |2023-02-14T22:24:38-05:00February 14th, 2023|COVID-19|

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - City leaders gathered Tuesday to come up with solutions to the city’s violence and discuss data revealed in a new, 2023 report from Greater Louisville Project’s Safer City.Data showed that the city’s youth are disproportionately impacted by the violence and makeup 50% of individuals who commit homicide.Youth homicides rose from 20 in 2018 to 60 in 2021. Of those 60 victims, 48 were young Black men, according to the report.Mayor Craig Greenberg said this is his administration’s top priority.“We need more programming for our kids, so we don’t lose them to a life of crime,” Greenberg said. “Right here in Louisville, last night, a 15-year-old child was shot in the head. I know it’s graphic. But we need to deal with the reality and these real stories.”Louisville ranked 14th among its 16 peer cities with the highest number of youth homicides, making Louisville the second-largest increase in young deaths since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.Data Scientist Harrison Kirby pointed out how policy, family, peers, and schools all play a role in violence.Louisville has the highest rate among its peers of Black residents between ages 15 and 24 who are not employed and not in school, the report said.“We must address a major issue, which is poverty,” JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Polio said. “We must look at poverty as the issue here.”Polio highlighted seven out of 10 students are on free and reduced lunch. Nearly half of the students are chronically absent.According to the report, Louisville has seen a decline in investment in youth-focused departments through the metro government, from a peak of $46 million in 2011 to a low of $22 million in 2021.The question left on the floor was how leaders plan to fund change once federal funding is used up in 2024.“You can’t look at their map and go well that only happens over there,” Deputy Mayor David James said. “So that is not my problem. And so if we don’t believe that it’s our problem as a city, then we don’t have a city.”Greenberg said he plans to roll out detailed steps on how he will invest in youth violence prevention programming and crack down on illegal guns in the coming weeks.To view the full report, click or tap here.Copyright 2023 WAVE. All rights reserved.

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