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Mayor Greg Fischer Newsroom - 2012 Archive

Mayor Releases Mid-Term Report to Citizens
Marking the midpoint of his term, Mayor Greg Fischer today released a report to citizens that highlights achievements of his administration’s first two years in office.

Computer Games, ‘College in the Cloud’ Among Finalists for 55,000 Degrees Innovation Prize
A computer game that combines education and adventure. Phone apps that make college shopping easier. Cloud-based college courses for a world-wide classroom. These are among the eight innovative, technology-based concepts chosen as finalists in the competition for a $20,000 grand prize for increasing the number of college graduates in Louisville.

Finalists Chosen for 55,000 Degrees Innovation Prize
A computer game that combines education and adventure. Phone apps that make college shopping easier. Cloud-based college courses for a world-wide classroom. These are among the eight innovative, technology-based concepts chosen as finalists in the competition for a $20,000 grand prize for increasing the number of college graduates in Louisville.

College Shop Open at Shawnee Library
The Louisville Free Public Library and University of Louisville Office of Community Engagement have joined forces to offer a new College Shop at the Shawnee branch library, located in the Shawnee neighborhood.

Mayor Names O'Dell Henderson Labor Liaison
Mayor Greg Fischer today named veteran city employee O’Dell Henderson as Metro Government’s lead liaison to the city’s labor unions.

Greg Heitzman to Lead MSD
Saying that Greg Heitzman has done an excellent job of operating the Metropolitan Sewer District and regaining the public’s trust during the past year, Mayor Greg Fischer today named him the agency’s permanent executive director.

Mayor Announces Chief of Public Service; Director of Public Works, Director of Emergency Management
Mayor Greg Fischer today announced several new appointments, including Chief of Public Services, Director of Public Works and Assets and Director of Emergency Management Services/MetroSafe.

Louisville Named Top Travel Destination for 2013
Calling the city “a lively, offbeat cultural mecca on the Ohio River,” the world’s leading travel publisher has named Louisville its "Top U.S. Travel Destination for 2013."

Free Music Shows Set for Fourth Street Live
Live music ranging from jazz and hip hop to gospel and Christmas choirs plus music from international cultures will be featured at free community concerts the first three Saturday evenings in December. The shows, featuring local performers, will take place on the main stage at Fourth Street Live on Dec. 1, 6 and 18 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Report Shows More Work Needed to Reach 55,000 College Degrees
Louisville must redouble its efforts to add 55,000 more college graduates by 2020 and get on track to building a more educated workforce, according to the 2012 annual report from the 55,000 Degrees initiative.

Citizen Input Sought on Insight/Time Warner
Four “Town Hall” public meetings have been scheduled to allow citizens to comment on the service provided in Louisville by Insight/Time Warner. The public sessions on Nov. 28 and 29 are part of a comprehensive needs assessment being conducted by Louisville Metro Government which is in the process of developing a new franchise agreement for cable television and related services.

Friday is "College Colors Day" to Encourage Going to College
Thousands of college graduates throughout Louisville will be wearing their alma mater’s colors on Friday to help inspire others to seek their college diplomas – one of several events to mark College Application Month sponsored by 55,000 Degrees. Mayor Greg Fischer today declared Friday, Nov. 16 as College Colors Day to help spread the word about the importance of earning college degrees for citizens and Louisville’s economic prosperity.

Mayor Declares Friday "College Colors Day" to Inspire Going to College
Thousands of college graduates throughout Louisville will be wearing their alma mater’s colors on Friday to help inspire others to seek their college diplomas – one of several events to mark College Application Month sponsored by 55,000 Degrees.

National Safe Place Receives Federal Grant
National Safe Place has received a $10.5 million grant to provide training and technical assistance to more than 400 runaway and homeless youth agencies across the country. The Administration for Children, Youth and Families (ACYF), Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) competitively selected National Safe Place to coordinate the Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center (RHYTTAC) for the next five years.

Louisville Veteran's Day Parade Set for Nov. 11
After an overwhelming response last year, Mayor Greg Fischer today announced that the service and sacrifices of veterans and active duty military will again be honored with a Veteran’s Day parade and other activities in downtown Louisville, Sun., Nov. 11.

Light Up Louisville and 40 Nights of Lights Will Draw Thousands Downtown
In addition to a new location and a nightly light show, this year’s expanded Light Up Louisville event will feature another first: a skating rink, Mayor Greg Fischer announced today. For its 32nd year, the city’s annual celebration launching the holiday season is expanding and moving to 4th Street, creating a four-block festival of lights set to music between the Galt House and Fourth Street Live.

Report Released On Reducing Violent Crime, Improve Neighborhoods
Reducing violence in Louisville will take a comprehensive and sustained approach that involves all segments of society — city government, police, schools, non-profits, businesses, the court system and houses of worship, according to a report released today by the Violence Prevention Work Group.

Louisville Named a Top City for Retirement
A retirement income of $40,000 a year won’t go very far in Miami, Honolulu or many other large cities --- but it will in Louisville according to a ranking this week by U.S. News & World Report. The publication says Louisville is the 7th best place to retire for under $40,000 a year.

Fischer, Blackwell Announce Registry to Track Vacant Properties
Louisville leaders today announced the creation of a new registry that would require financial institutions to alert Metro Government when they foreclose on a home — and provide the name of a person who will maintain the properties if it becomes vacant.

Mayor Fischer Adds Newsletter to Inform Citizens
As part of his ongoing effort to inform and engage citizens, Mayor Greg Fischer has launched a new weekly update to keep citizens informed of what’s happening in city government. The “Weekly Update” will be sent each Thursday to people who sign up for it as well as all Metro Government employees.

Light Up Louisville Expands, Moves to 4th Street
Light Up Louisville, the city’s beloved annual celebration to kick-off the holiday season, will expand and move to Fourth Street, creating a three-block festival of lights between the Galt House and Fourth Street Live, Mayor Greg Fischer announced today.

Mayor Announces Innovation Competition to Increase College Graduates
One really bright, workable concept for increasing the number of college graduates in Louisville could win you a really big prize – $20,000. Mayor Greg Fischer today announced the 55,000 Degrees Innovation in Education Attainment Competition, a world-wide quest for knowledge-building innovations sponsored by the Gheens Foundation.

Mayor Appoints Emly as Chief Engineer for MSD
As the Metropolitan Sewer District continues to move forward into a phased consolidation with Louisville Water, Mayor Greg Fischer announced today that he had appointed a new chief engineer for MSD and a new secretary/treasurer.

Mayor Launches New Music Series at Metro Hall
A new monthly series showcasing local and regional musicians and artists will be held in the historic setting of Louisville Metro Hall downtown, Mayor Greg Fischer announced today.

City Government Focuses on Innovation at IdeaFestival
Mayor Greg Fischer and his leadership team will relocate their offices to the IdeaFestival next week, a move designed to encourage breakthrough thinking. City government is also launching a series of workshops on the first day of the festival, which are designed to promote innovation in government

Fischer Named to Key National Program
The Urban Land Institute (ULI) Daniel Rose Center for Public Leadership has named Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and three other outstanding local community leaders to serve in fellowships for the Center through 2013.

Ford Makes Donations to Charities in Louisville, Lexington
Ford today announced that the company, its employees and dealers are donating more than $1.2 million to nonprofits in the Louisville and Lexington areas this year.

Mayor's Hike, Bike & Paddle Returns Labor Day
Thousands of people will hit the streets and the Ohio River this Labor Day as cyclists, walkers, canoeists and kayakers turn out for the 16th Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Subway Fresh Fit Hike, Bike &Paddle Sept. 3 at Waterfront Park.

WorldFest Offers Music, Food, Culture Labor Day Weekend
WorldFest, one of the region’s largest international festivals, celebrates its 10th anniversary with three days of expanded world food, music, dance and culture this Labor Day weekend on Louisville’s Belvedere downtown.

Mayor, Attorney General Announce National Mortgage Foreclosure Settlement
Mayor Greg Fischer joined Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway to announce today that more than $3 million of the $19.2 million Kentucky received as part of the National Mortgage Settlement will be used to help rid Louisville of vacant and abandoned properties in targeted neighborhoods.

Louisville Water and MSD to Pursue Consolidation
After reviewing the Public Utilities Task Force report and having gathered input from a wide range of citizens, Mayor Greg Fischer announced today that the city will pursue a phased consolidation of Louisville Water and the Metropolitan Sewer District.

Fischer Named Chair of Economic Committee for Conference of Mayors
Mayor Greg Fischer has been named chairman of the Metro Economies Standing Committee of the United States Conference of Mayors. The committee focuses on economic issues important to cities, including federal policies, taxes and job creation.

Kindergarten Countdown Fair is July 23
Hundreds of 5-year-olds are expected to swarm Slugger Field the night of July 23 for the city’s annual Kindergarten Countdown Fair. The event is designed to help prepare students entering school for the first time.

Governor's Scholars Help Family Receive New Habitat Home
Mayor Greg Fischer joined Habitat for Humanity of Metro Louisville at 2609 West Madison Street in the Russell neighborhood to celebrate construction of the organization’s 377th home in the Louisville area. High school students from the Governor’s Scholars Program constructed the home in four weeks.

New Dates for Citizens to Talk With Mayor Fischer
Two more of Mayor Greg Fischer’s face-to-face meetings with citizens will be held in West Louisville in September and Valley Station in November, Fischer announced today.

Louisville Named All-America City For Efforts to Improve Reading
Louisville was named an All-America City by the National Civic League today based on its ambitious plan to ensure that more children are reading at grade level by the end of third grade.

Waterfront Independence Festival July 3rd and 4th
2012 Fifth Third Bank Waterfront Independence Festival, presented by Fifth Third Bank features two days of FREE music, FREE children’s activities, festival food, FIREWORKS, and fun. The Festival kicks off on Tuesday, July 3rd with WAMZ Country Night, headlined by 2012 CMT award winner Thompson Square, and continues on Monday, July 4th with Reggae legend Jimmy Cliff and an eclectic evening of infectious dance grooves co-sponsored by radio stations Magic 101.3 and WFPK 91.9. A fireworks show over the river will cap off both evenings around 10:00 p.m.

Mayor Signs City Budget Into Law
Calling it a lean spending plan that makes strategic investments in the future and in public safety, Mayor Greg Fischer today signed into law the new budget for Louisville Metro Government. The $513 million general fund budget takes effect July 1.

Mayor Names Wiederwohl Chief of Strategic Initiatives
Mayor Greg Fischer today named Mary Ellen Wiederwohl as Chief of Strategic Initiatives for the city of Louisville. Wiederwohl, who has spent most of her career around state and local government, will focus on integrating policy, federal/state/local government relations and communications into the city’s long-term plan and strategic initiatives. She will also serve as a deputy to Chief of Staff Ellen Hesen.

Parklands Begins Next Phase Including Pope Lick Park
Construction began today on the southern portion of Beckley Creek Park and Pope Lick Park, the next phase of The Parklands of Floyds Fork, the nearly 4,000-acre park system being developed by 21st Century Parks. This phase of The Parklands’ construction will add $15 million in new public park assets to Louisville.

City Resources Available During Heat Wave
With summer temperatures predicted to reach dangerous levels over the next few days, Louisville residents are encouraged to take advantage of city facilities and other resources available to help cope with the heat. Mayor Greg Fischer is also urging people to check in on their neighbors and those at high risk of having heat-related problems including the elderly.

Mayor Announces Return of Dirt Bowl Tournament
The Dirt Bowl, which for nearly four decades helped produce some of the most promising college and professional basketball players in the country, will return to Louisville’s Shawnee Park this summer, Mayor Greg Fischer announced today.

Louisville Earns City Livability Award
Mayor Greg Fischer today accepted an award naming Louisville the nation’s most livable large city. The award, from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, cites the communitywide impact of Louisville’s first Give A Day week of service earlier this year. Louisville won in the large-city category, besting competition including San Diego, Boston, Orlando, Hartford and St Louis.

Paddle for Hunger Event at the Waterfront July 13, 14
Yum! Brands and Mayor Greg Fisher announced today the launch of the 2012 Paddle for Hunger, a weekend of paddleboat racing, recreational floats, and various competitive events to raise funds for Dare to Care Food Bank and The World Food Programme.

Mayor Announces Violence Prevention Work Group
Mayor Greg Fischer today named a 37-member work group to develop a strategy for reducing violence in Western Louisville and harness community resources into one cohesive, comprehensive approach to help revitalize the area.

Mayor's Innovation Delivery Team Focused on Improving City Services
A special team of city employees is hard at work on five projects that combine data and innovative approaches to urban challenges, Mayor Greg Fischer announced today. The projects range from reducing the number of vacant and abandoned properties in Louisville to expanding recycling and keeping waste out of the city landfill.

Mayor Seeks Commitments for College Graduates With "Count Me In!" Campaign
Flanked by members of the Class of 2012, Mayor Greg Fischer today announced an expanded effort to dramatically increase the number of college graduates by 2020.

Mayor, Library, JCPS Launch Kindergarten Countdown 2012
Surrounded by dozens of preschool children, Mayor Greg Fischer, JCPS Superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens, Library Director Craig Buthod and others today announced plans for the city’s annual Kindergarten Countdown to help prepare students entering school for the first time.

Mayor Announces Approach for Strategy to Reduce Violence in West Louisville
Mayor Greg Fischer today announced a process to coalesce the many existing strategies for reducing violence in Western Louisville and rebuilding neglected neighborhoods, and develop them into one cohesive, comprehensive approach.

Mayor Proposes Balanced City Budget
Mayor Greg Fischer today proposed a balanced budget for the new fiscal year that does not raise taxes but makes strategic investments in the future, including building the Southwest Regional Library, funding three new police recruit classes and foreclosing on 100 vacant and abandoned properties.

New Union Contracts for EMS, Corrections Help Address City's Structural Deficit
Keeping his commitment to transparency with union contracts, Mayor Greg Fischer’s administration today presented two new collective bargaining agreements that are fair to employees but also begin to help the city address its structural budget deficit.

Public Utility Task Force Releases Recommendations
There are numerous opportunities for Louisville Water Company and the Metropolitan Sewer District to more closely collaborate — and potentially consolidate — that would result in significant savings and improved operations and efficiencies, according to a report delivered today to Mayor Greg Fischer.

Mayor's Hike, Bike & Paddle Returns Memorial Day
Louisville will be alive with activity this Memorial Day as thousands of cyclists, paddlers and walkers gather for the 15th Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Subway Fresh Fit Hike, Bike & Paddle May 28 at Waterfront Park.

Mayor Proposes Ban on Camping in Small Public Green Spaces
Mayor Greg Fischer has proposed an ordinance banning camping in public green spaces under three acres because of the damage it can cause and the limit of access it creates for the public.

First Give A Day Week Huge Success
With people of all ages engaging in volunteer actions ranging from reading to homeless children and writing letters to troops to giving food and shoes – Louisville’s first annual Give A Day week of service scored big with more than 90,000 volunteers and acts of caring.

Mayor Thanks Community for Response to Give A Day week
With more than 90,000 volunteers and acts of compassion, mayor Greg Fischer is thanking the community for it's outpuring of compassion during Louisville's first Give A Day week of service.

Video Volunteers Join Give A Day Week
College and high school students are using the power of the Internet to inspire more people to earn a college degree – a technology-based approach to Give-A-Day and Mayor Greg Fischer’s call to service. The “video volunteers” are part of a project coordinated by 55,000 Degrees, the community’s collaborative movement to add 55,000 more college graduates in Louisville by 2020.

Louisville Poised to Set Record With Give A Day Week
A record number of volunteers will be cleaning up. Students from more than a hundred public, private and Catholic schools will be tackling community projects. There will even be an online competition to raise funds to help persons with autism. Those and hundreds of other projects and initiatives are part of the first annual Give A Day week of community service, April 14-22.

Mayor Honors Outstanding High School Seniors
Public, private and Catholic students who have excelled in and out of the classroom are being honored today by Mayor Greg Fischer as recipients of the annual Mayor’s Outstanding High School Seniors award. Fischer will present the awards to 48 students this evening at 7:45 p.m., following a reception at Louisville Metro Hall.

Mayor Declares World Record for Wearing Red
Calling it yet another example of the community’s “incredible spirit,” Mayor Greg Fischer today declared that University of Louisville Cardinal fans led the city to setting a new world’s record for people wearing red in a single day.

Public Schools Make Major Commitment to Give A Day Week of Service
Students will visit nursing homes, Kosair Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House. Others will write letters to troops overseas, tutor younger students and collect school supplies for victims of the recent tornadoes. It’s all part of a major effort by the Jefferson County Public Schools in support of Mayor Greg Fischer’s Give A Day week of community service, April 14-22.

Moodys Affirms Strong Bond Rating for Louisville Metro
Moody’s rating agency has affirmed the strong bond rating of Aa1 for Louisville Metro Government’s general obligation bonds. The agency said the city’s strengths include a “sizable tax base, regional significant economy and modest debt burden.” The agency also said the city’s tax base is expected to remain stable, citing recent investments by Ford, GE and others to grow jobs.

Mayor Fischer Declares Friday as Cardinal Red Day
Saying he wants the city to set a world’s record for the most people wearing red in one day, Mayor Greg Fischer today declared Friday as Cardinal Red Day in Louisville. He encouraged people to wear red, business to display red in their windows and doors and residents to show red at their homes and in their neighborhoods.

Mayor Joins to Open New Fairdale Library
The doors opened today on the new $2.2 million Fairdale Library located at 10620 West Manslick Road just northeast of the current branch library. The new state-of-the-art facility is Fairdale’s first free-standing library since a branch started there in 1974 and the first new library to open in Louisville since the Newburg Library in mid-2009.

Mayor Challenges Community “Give A Day” April 15-22
Punctuated by the “call to the post” from Churchill Downs bugler Steve Buttleman, Mayor Greg Fischer today challenged the community to “get in the race” and help Louisville set a world’s record for public service during the Give A Day volunteer week April 15-22. The week of service helps launch this year’s Kentucky Derby Festival and coincides with National Volunteer Week. Surrounded by volunteers from organizations and companies ranging from Jefferson County Public Schools to the YMCA and UPS, Fischer said there will be something for everyone to do during the annual Give A Day week.

Louisville Earns National Healthier City Award
Joined by youth from west Louisville neighborhoods, Mayor Greg Fischer celebrated Louisville efforts to create healthier neighborhoods -- which has led Louisville to earning the first annual Childhood Obesity Prevention award at from the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Mayor Urges Compassion for Tornado Victims
Citing the “truly unbelievable” level of destruction and loss from Friday’s multiple tornadoes, Mayor Greg Fischer said Louisville has a chance again to demonstrate how compassionate the community is by donating to help storm victims.

City to Host Pecha Kucha -- Night of Ideas
Ideas about the city’s culture, growth and history will be celebrated and discussed next week at Louisville Metro Hall – and the public is invited to attend the free event. Mayor Greg Fischer is hosting Pecha Kucha, an evening in which presenters get 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide to pitch their ideas.

City Reaches Settlement Agreement With Insight Communications
After a year of focused negotiations, Louisville Metro Government and Insight Communications have reached a settlement agreement. It includes a one-time distribution of $3.5 million and preserves existing services and benefits to cable customers and the community – which was Mayor Greg Fischer’s primary goal.

Insight Settlement, Department Reductions Help Balance City Budget
A $3.5 million settlement from Insight Communications regarding its franchise with Louisville Metro Government — along with nearly $6.8 million in cuts across city departments and related agencies — will balance the current fiscal year budget, Mayor Greg Fischer announced today.

Bill Summers Retiring; Public Reception Set for Feb. 28, 5 p.m.
William Summers IV, who has served top leadership roles in Louisville city government over four decades and is currently Chief Administrative Officer overseeing all aspects of public safety, announced today that he will retire, effective March 1.

Louisville Earns Grant to Fuel After-School Programs for Kids
Louisville will use new grant funding announced today to strengthen its efforts to provide quality after-school programs and resources to at-risk children and teens, Mayor Greg Fischer said.

Four Union Contracts Presented to Metro Council
Four new union contracts which cover about 100 carpenters, fire majors, electricians and other city employees will be presented to the Louisville Metro Council today. As part of the presentation, Chief Financial Officer Steve Rowland will provide a financial analysis so council members and the public will know the additional costs to taxpayers of the new contracts.

Report Shows Too Much Unplanned City Overtime, Recommends Changes
Louisville taxpayers spend nearly $14 million a year on unplanned overtime pay for city workers, some of which can be reduced with better management and long-term changes to union contracts, according to a report released today by Mayor Greg Fischer.

Forecastle Festival and My Morning Jacket Team for 10th Anniversary
The Forecastle Festival - Louisville's nautically-themed summertime celebration of music, art, and environmental activism - has announced that My Morning Jacket will headline and assist in curating the festival’s tenth anniversary. The 3-day event will take place July 13 – 15, 2012, at Louisville’s scenic, award-winning Waterfront Park.

Fischer names Utility and Public Works Task Force
Mayor Greg Fischer today named a seven-member task force to examine the future of the Metropolitan Sewer District and determine ways it can co-operate with Louisville Water Company and the city’s Public Works Department.

State of the City: Mayor Warns of Looming Budget Cuts
In his second State of the City address, Mayor Greg Fischer today said the city had taken bold steps, proving itself a community that dared to be great. But at the same time, he warned that looming fiscal problems – decades in the making – threatened to hamper Louisville’s future if not addressed now.

Louisville Ford Investment Earns National Economic Development Honors
The Commonwealth of Kentucky and Ford Motor Co. -- and the continued investment and creation of new jobs at the Louisville's two Ford Plants --have been named 2011 Economic Development Deal of the Year by national magazine Business Facilities. The project, which was selected by a judging panel of industry experts, emerged as the winner in a competitive field of 23 other big-ticket projects from across the U.S.

Mayor to Present Freedom Award to Rep. Darryl Owens
Mayor Greg Fischer today announced that State Rep. Darryl T. Owens is the 2012 recipient of Louisville Metro’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Award. Owens is a longtime public servant, as a former Jefferson County Commissioner and now in his fourth term as state representative for the 43rd district in Louisville.