Wed December 14, 2011
The Two-Way

Jiminy Cricket! Just What We Need: A Cockroach That Jumps

We should have jumped on this story earlier, but it's too creepy not to mention:

Scientists have discovered a cockroach in South Africa that leaps to get around, according to Biology Letters.

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Wed December 14, 2011
State Capitol

Proposed Bill Seeks to Abolish Constables

A proposed bill that would abolish the elected office of constable awaits lawmakers when they return to Frankfort next month. Sen. Julie Denton, R-Jefferson County, pre-filed BR 449, which, if passed, would ask voters to amend Kentucky’s constitution and do away with constables. Constables are county peace officers who are elected every four years the same as other county officials such as judge/executive, clerk, county attorney, sheriff, jailer, coroner, and surveyor. Meanwhile, the Kentucky Association of Counties supports legislation that might remove constables' duties and arrest powers


Wed December 14, 2011
The Salt

Norway Braces For A Christmas Without Butter

Because of a butter shortage, there will be fewer krumkake cookies eaten in Norway this Christmas.

Christmas without cookies sounds like something the Grinch would dream up. But that may be the sad fate of many Norwegians, with a national butter shortage less than two weeks before the holiday. No krumkaker. No Berlinerkranser. No sandbakkel. In short, no delicious, butter-infused treats.

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Wed December 14, 2011
The Commonwealth

Drugs, Alcohol Fuels Child Abuse in KY

When a little boy reportedly fell off the deck of a house in Lincoln County in July 2009 and hit his head, his mother and her boyfriend were drunk, according to a report by a state child-protection worker. There was no food in the filthy house, but there were pill bottles, beer cans and needles lying around, and blood on the child's bed. The case points to a troubling reality: When children are abused or neglected in Kentucky, substance abuse often plays a role. A Lexington Herald-Leader review of files released this week on children killed or nearly killed because of abuse or neglect over a two-year period found that more than half mentioned suspected or confirmed substance abuse by parents or caregivers.


Wed December 14, 2011

Real Estate Company to Rebuild UK Housing

Students, friends, UK staff, and relatives of students waited in line in front of Blanding Tower on Friday, Aug. 19, 2011, during student move-in at the Blanding-Kirwan dorm complex at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.
David Perry Lexington Herald-Leader

The University of Kentucky is negotiating with a Memphis-based real estate company to take over its student housing by slowly rebuilding, then managing, all of UK's dorms. Education Realty Trust could spend as much as $500 million during the next several years to tear down and rebuild most of UK's existing housing, with 6,000 beds, and build facilities with an additional 3,000 beds. The private company then would control and manage all residential areas of campus.


Wed December 14, 2011

As U.S. Departs, Iraq Faces An Uncertain Future

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 9:35 am

U.S. Army Lt. Adam Wilson from Ontario, Calif., shakes hands with Sheik Mahmood Al-Ghizzi, possibly for the last time, on Dec. 5 in Nasiriyah, Iraq. The two men met for a final lunch as the U.S. military prepares to leave Iraq after a nearly nine-year presence.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

As the last U.S. troops prepare to leave Iraq this month, what kind of country are they leaving behind?

Iraq's economy, the security system and the political structure are all functioning to varying degrees, yet all appear fragile.

No one expects Iraq to serve as a beacon of Jeffersonian democracy to the region or the world. The more relevant question at this point is how well it will function as a democracy, period.

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Wed December 14, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Official State Christmas Ornament Created

Campbellsville-based K&M Crafts of Kentucky was selected to produce this year's limited edition official state Christmas ornament.
Central Kentucky News Journal

Ever dreamed of owning the governor's mansion? Thanks to a Campbellsville company, that's now possible, albeit in the form of a five-inch wood-carved ornament. Campbellsville-based K&M Crafts of Kentucky was selected to produce this year's limited edition official state Christmas ornament.


Wed December 14, 2011
Music Reviews

'Three Views' Of Trumpeter Dave Douglas

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 2:18 pm

Dave Douglas' Three Views box set collects three very different quintet albums, featuring So Percussion, his Brass Esctasy band and a group featuring Ravi Coltrane and Vijay Iyer.
Zoran Orlic

There's a nice contrast among the three quintets heard on Dave Douglas' Three Views, sketching out some of his interests. There's no overlapping repertoire or personnel. The Orange Afternoons session features the elastic rhythm trio of pianist Vijay Iyer, Linda Oh on bass and drummer Marcus Gilmore.

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Wed December 14, 2011
The Two-Way

Hezbollah's Alleged Ties To South American Cocaine Trade Detailed

Originally published on Wed December 14, 2011 9:55 am

Hezbollah members listen to a speech by the group's leader, Ă‚ Hassan Nasrallah, via video-link in the southern suburbs of Beirut on Nov. 11, 2011.
Anwar Amro AFP/Getty Images

There are "new insights into the murky sources of Hezbollah's money," The New York Times reports this morning, that point to "the direct involvement of high-level Hezbollah officials in the South American cocaine trade."

Here's the story's money quote:

"One agent involved in the investigation compared Hezbollah to the Mafia, saying, 'They operate like the Gambinos on steroids.' "

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Wed December 14, 2011