Issue July 22, 2008

What a Week

By Cassie Book & Jane Mattingly

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If it’s not broke, why fix it? Just ask Jeffersontown Mayor Clay Foreman. Last week, the mayor announced plans for a new software system to track which employees are filling up at the city’s gas pumps. The new system is being installed in the wake of allegations that invalid employee codes were being used to get gas on the city’s dime. Despite the new tracking system, the mayor of J-Town insists that there has been no abuse.

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Apparently being a “research assistant” is more lucrative than it sounds. It appears a chunk of a $694,000 grant obtained and disseminated by former University of Louisville Dean of Education Robert Felner ended up in the account of a now-defunct Illinois nonprofit led by none other than Thomas Schroeder, the man listed in university documents as the dean’s research assistant. The feds are investigating the elusive grant money and exactly how it was spent. 

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These days, turning 55 doesn’t mean converting to a life of bingo and early-bird specials. Although more and more of Kentucky’s baby boomers are reaching retirement age, most are choosing to forego a life of weekday golf and watching the grandkids, instead continuing to work, according to a recent U.S. Census Bureau report. And it turns out these career-driven boomers are helping the state by staying on the job, because there just aren’t enough youngsters to fill their desk-chairs. 

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Suggesting the Environmental Protection Agency had overstepped its enforcement authority, a federal appeals court struck down the Clean Air Interstate Rule last week. The 2005 initiative by the Bush administration was intended to reduce air pollution (that’s right, the Bush administration). The appellate decision was a major blow to clean air efforts under way in dozens of cities, including Louisville. Officials with Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control are waiting to learn what anti-pollution measures can be taken. Until then, try a gas mask.

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