Rick Howlett

Rick has been a member of the WFPL News team since 2001 and has covered numerous beats and events over the years.   Most recently he’s been tracking the Indiana General Assembly and the region’s passion for sports, especially college basketball.

Rick Howlett

The University of Louisville Board of Trustees has fired athletic director Tom Jurich.

The action Wednesday afternoon came during a special board meeting. The board voted 10-3 in favor of firing Jurich for cause.

Jurich was placed on paid administrative leave last month after the school acknowledged that it was included in an FBI investigation of recruiting practices in men’s college basketball.

J. Tyler Franklin

The University of Louisville has appointed an acting athletic director.

Louisville businessman Vince Tyra, a member of the U of L Foundation board and the son of the late U of L basketball star Charlie Tyra, will take over the duties of Tom Jurich.

Jurich was suspended with pay last week after it was revealed that the U of L men’s basketball program is included in a federal complaint alleging that high school recruits were given bribes to attend schools sponsored by the Adidas apparel company.

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The governing body of University of Louisville athletics has given Interim President Greg Postel the go-ahead to begin termination proceedings against men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino.

The U of L Athletic Association unanimously approved the motion after meeting behind closed doors for about two hours Monday.

Pitino was placed on unpaid leave last week after he was implicated in a federal investigation into the alleged bribery of high school recruits.

J. Tyler Franklin

The University of Louisville Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting on Monday morning. Members are expected to hear about the federal corruption investigation into college basketball recruiting that includes the U of L men’s program.

The university last week acknowledged its involvement in the federal probe, placed men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino on unpaid administrative leave and placed athletic director Tom Jurich on paid administrative leave.

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear is joining dozens of other attorneys general to urge health insurers to review their policies for pain management treatment, in an effort to spark higher use of alternatives to opioid prescriptions.

Beshear and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey Monday announced the bipartisan coalition’s efforts in the ongoing fight to end opioid addiction.

Rick Howlett

About two-dozen demonstrators held signs and delivered speeches Tuesday outside the Louisville office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, demanding that McConnell hold President Donald Trump accountable for comments he made following this month’s deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Louisville protest was organized by Melissa Byrne of the group UltraViolet. According to its Facebook page, the group “works on a range of issues, including health care, economic security, violence, and reproductive rights.”

NPR

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said there is “zero chance” Congress will allow the country to default on its debt by voting to not increase the borrowing limit.

McConnell’s comments came Monday during a joint appearance in Louisville with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Mnuchin said it is his “strong preference” that Congress pass a “clean” increase to the debt limit, meaning the legislation would have no other proposals attached to it that would make it more difficult to pass. He also said simplifying the nation’s tax code is a priority.

J. Tyler Franklin

The University of Louisville has filed its appeal of punishment handed down by the NCAA for violations committed to the men’s basketball program.

The penalties were imposed after an investigation into allegations that former staff member Andre McGee arranged stripper shows and sex parties for Cardinal players and recruits over a nearly four-year period.

Erica Peterson

A Maysville woman who died while trying to save her children from a house fire and a man who rescued a truck driver from a burning vehicle were honored in a ceremony Monday in Frankfort.

Lori Kearney and Lou Scharold were awarded the national Carnegie Hero Medal during the ceremony hosted by Gov. Matt Bevin. The award recognizes people “who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree saving or attempting to save the lives of others.” According to Bevin’s office, more than 150 Kentuckians have earned the honor since it was established by industrialist Andrew Carnegie in 1904.

NPR

With Vice President Mike Pence breaking a 50-50 tie, the U.S. Senate voted by a hair Tuesday to start debating Republican legislation to tear down much of the Affordable Care Act.

The vote gives President Donald Trump and GOP leaders a crucial initial victory but launches a weeklong debate promising an uncertain final outcome.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said after the vote that the Senate will now begin considering amendments from both parties.

Rick Howlett

An anti-abortion group has dropped its challenge of a federal restraining order that keeps it from blocking the entrance to the only clinic still performing abortions in Kentucky.

Last week, a federal judge established a buffer zone to prevent protesters from assembling in front of Louisville’s EMW Women’s Surgical Center.

The group Operation Save America is holding anti-abortion protests at the clinic this week as part of its conference in Louisville.

Operation Save America had argued that the buffer zone was heavy handed and kept protesters from exercising their free-speech rights.

Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

Family, friends and former teammates and colleagues are paying tribute to Jim Bunning. The former U.S. Senator, Congressman and baseball Hall-of-Famer died Friday night. He was 85.

Bunning had suffered a stroke in October at his home in Southgate, Kentucky.

By the time Jim Bunning decided to enter politics, he already had a distinguished baseball career behind him. Bunning pitched for four teams during his 17-year career, mainly for Detroit and Philadelphia.

He’s still the only pitcher to throw no-hitters in both the National and American leagues. The second one, on Father’s Day, 1964, was a perfect game, as Bunning’s Phillies blanked the New York Mets.


J. Tyler Franklin

A Jefferson County grand jury has declined to return an indictment in connection with the sex scandal involving the University of Louisville men’s basketball program.

A criminal investigation was launched following the publication of the book “Breaking Cardinal Rules,” in which author Katina Powell claimed she was paid by former basketball staff member Andre McGee to provide strippers and prostitutes to Cardinal players and recruits.

A statement from Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine says there was insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges against Powell or McGee.

Rogerd/WikimediaCommons

Indiana state lawmakers have returned to their districts after adjourning the 2017 General Assembly early Saturday.

The Republican-led legislature met a goal set by GOP leaders to pass an ambitious plan to improve Indiana’s roads and bridges.

Indiana Public Broadcasting Statehouse reporter Brandon Smith said the plan will eventually raise $1.2 billion annually through an increase in the fuel tax and motor vehicle fees.

Wikimedia Commons

One of the lawyers for the Kentucky doctor dragged from a United Express flight said his client suffered a “significant” concussion and other injuries during the incident.

Attorney Thomas Demetrio at a news conference Thursday said that doctor David Dao has been discharged from a hospital, but the 69-year-old will need more medical attention.

“He had a serious broken nose, injury to the sinuses and he is going to be undergoing shortly, reconstructive surgery in that regard,” said Demetrio. “There’ve been a lot of inquiries about ‘did he really lose any teeth?’ Yeah, he lost two front teeth.”

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