March 26, 2013

In The News: What you missed while you were in class

By Simon Isham and Maggie Cunningham–

Yityish Aynaw is the first black woman to ever hold the honor of Miss Israel.

LMPD Mac 24 program graduates 36 recruits
A diverse group of 36 recruits has graduated the Louisville Metro Police Department’s MAC 24 program.  Among the recruits, 66 percent have graduate or masters degrees in varying subjects from engineering to homeland security and criminal justice. The graduates are also diverse in their backgrounds, coming from different states and countries such as Tennessee and Ghana.  One graduate will now be the fourth generation to serve our community with the LMPD. The diversity in the class represents the city and the LMPD.

Ohio River bridge tolls planned to hit projections
Rates and billing methods have been determined for the future bridge tolls on the Ohio River bridges crossing between Kentucky and Indiana.  An outside consulting firm prepared a traffic and revenue study for the project and has indicated that the base toll rates will likely hit the projections. “Assumed” rates include $1 per crossing for frequent users, $2 per two axle vehicle, $5 per medium truck and $10 for heavy trucks.  There will be no cash payment option or toll booths. Payment methods include a vehicle-mounted electronic transponder that sends a signal to overhead devices and debits the charge to an established fund, or a high-resolution video that captures your license plate and mails the bill.

Earth Hour honored at state capital
On Saturday, March 23, from 8:30-9:30 p.m., all nonessential lights at the state capital building in Frankfort will be shut off for an hour to honor Earth Hour.  This is Kentucky’s 15th consecutive year participating in this global event. Earth Hour is a campaign to reduce the human impact on Earth and Governor Steve Beshear, along with first lady Jane Beshear are happy to be supportive of the environment by participating. A top priority of the Beshear administration has been reducing energy use in government buildings, state facilities and eventually public facilities as well.

Gay Pride house painted across the street from Westboro Baptist Church
Aaron Jackson, the owner of the nonprofit group Planting Peace, found a house for sale across the street from the Westboro Church in Topeka, Kan. via Google Earth.  The Westboro Church is notorious for their anti-homosexuality views and their picketing of military funerals.  Jackson enlisted the help of his mother, who is an artist designed and oversaw the rainbow color scheme of the house’s new exterior.  The original plan for the house was for it become an LGBTQ museum, although zoning laws prohibited it.  The Westboro Church has been welcoming in its own way, but is mostly thankful for the attention that they believe the house will bring the church.

Obama visits Israel, dines with beauty queen
President Barack Obama concluded a visit to the State of Israel this week, where he spoke extensively with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the U.S.’s relations with it and its relations with other countries in the Middle East. Obama also attended a formal dinner with new Miss Israel Yityish Aynaw, the first black woman to ever hold the honor. Aynaw joins the ranks of dozens Ethiopian women making headlines, along with Hagit Yaso, the 2012 winner of Israel’s “American Idol”-style singing competition, and Belaynesh Zevadia, Israel’s first Ethiopian ambassador.

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