A union in disarray

The president of the Louisville chapter of the nation’s largest public service union is under investigation for possible forgery, embezzlement and theft. Documents recently shared with LEO by a union official offer a veritable map of missing money, forged checks, unexplained expenditures on the union dime and shoddy bookkeeping that all lead back to Sheila Wade, a Metro employee and president of the Local 2629 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Forecast: smoky: As the citywide smoking ban looms, bar owners get ready for … whatever

BY MEGHAN WIGGS, RYAN REAL & ERIN CLEPHASIt is almost the 11th hour. A judge is expected to rule soon on whether Louisville Metro government can implement the citywide smoking ban (sans the single, contested exception of Churchill Downs) that is scheduled to take effect on July 1.

Rumor & Innuendo

Piling on.UK AD Mitch Barnhart has received unrelenting and unmitigated grief for moving the Wildcats’ pigskin tussle with U of L away from the season’s opening weekend. Of course, media and fans — red and blue alike — have been accused of overkill in their criticism. Obviously, the move affected Big Sports Television’s interest in the game, the broadcast of which now seems seriously in doubt. So, enough is enough, it’s a done deal, let it be. Right? Wrong! The move was so petulant, so boneheaded, so ill-advised, so stupid, so devoid of any rationale whatsoever, that Barnhart, and Coach Rich Brooks (allegedly the mastermind behind the schedule switch), deserve all the grief football fans in the commonwealth can muster. So, I’ll add my voice. Mitch, Rich, what you all did was stupid, really, really stupid.

City Strobe

Temperance on MarketWith everybody else complaining about too much dry, Metro Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton is worried about too much wet. Specifically, she’s concerned about the recent proliferation of liquor stores in her precincts in Shawnee and Portland. Citing a link between hooch and crime, a group headed by the councilwoman lined up the necessary 25 percent of residents and petitioned the Jefferson County Clerk to allow the neighborhoods to vote to make it illegal to sell booze there. The plan calls for a Sept. 11 wet/dry vote.

Rumor & Innuendo

That darned Cardinal Nine.Once in Little League my team was tied when a game was suspended due to darkness. When it came time to complete it, I was to be the first hitter. For two weeks, I fantasized hitting a game-winning homer, sure it would happen. When the time came, I struck out on three pitches. Call it whatever, I was too nervous, too anxious and wasn’t up to the task. So, too, were the upstart U of L Cards in their CWS opener. They blew 5-0 and 10-4 leads, losing to Rice. It happens. But, facing elimination, they slugged Mississippi State early, often and held on comfortably. Whether they’re dead or alive when you read this — deadline came before Tuesday’s elimination game — Louisville’s baseball squad is a local success story of the highest order. Three weeks ago even the most inveterate River City baseball fans couldn’t name a member of the team. Now their batting order can be repeated by rote. As the song goes, this could be the start of something big. Louisville, a baseball school … now that’s un-buh-leev-uh-bull!!!Stay calm, Card hoops fans. Top shelf recruit Samardo Samuels has, out of the Carolina blue, committed … verbally. (You think the excitement of the Super Regional at Patterson Field influenced his decision? I sure do.) We trust he’ll keep his word. And The Rick is talking excitedly about big things to come recruiting-wise. The red & black faithful are beside themselves. However, I’m advised that Samuels’ buddy, the highly touted Tyreke Evans, who has indicated U of L’s a strong possibility, is far from a sure thing. Don’t be surprised if he looks elsewhere in the end. I’ve been skeptical of such buddy pairings since U of L was a lock for Sidney Green and Tony “Red” Bruin, who were coming here together. Green went to Vegas. Bruin to ’Cuse.Best ever? In moments of abject delusion but with all sincerity, my pal David opines too often that Tiger Woods is the greatest athlete ever in any sport. So, Dave, riddle me this: How come the guy never comes from behind on Sunday?

City Strobe

Advocates say new royalty fees will kill Web radioThe Library of Congress’ Copyright Royalty Board is set to increase rates for Webcasters, including Internet radio stations and Webcasts from conventional radio stations. The move may bankrupt most small and mid-sized Webcasters, according to the SaveNetRadio Coalition, a group of artists, listeners, Webcasters and labels that organized a Day of Silence yesterday, with most Web radio broadcasts off the air.

Women walking the line: A new study shows radical split in the city for single mothers who need a place to live

The line on the map goes north and south, almost right through the middle of the city. In the west half live most of the single mothers in Louisville — the map is dark with high concentrations. The east is lightly shaded, airy, a place where life seems to be a little bit easier. We know this intuitively, although laying it out this way is something to behold.

Name that arena

There are incestuous connections and a weird history between the Arena Authority and its newly-minted naming-rights partner, Team ServicesIf you were already of the belief that our elected officials haven’t leveled with us about the real costs of the coming Louisville Arena and whether it will really pay for itself over the long haul, well, this isn’t going to make you feel any better.

REPRESENTIN’ : A COLUMN ABOUT THE METRO COUNCIL

Politics fit for an ashtrayMonday is a big day for smokers in Louisville. It is an even bigger day for bar and restaurant owners. Monday is not, however, the day the much praised, maligned and ambivalently accepted smoking ban goes into effect — that is next Sunday, July 1. Rather, Monday is the day Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Denise Clayton will decide whether the nearly citywide ban will happen.

Activism school: The Kentucky Alliance puts a different spin on summer camp

Just two days before legendary Louisville civil rights activist Anne Braden died in 2005, she was — with the help of Shameka Parrish and Bani Hines-Hudson — finishing a grant proposal to the Kentucky Foundation for Women. It was the first step in creating the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression’s Arts and Activism Summer Youth Camp, now in its third year.