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    Can I Bum a Smoke?

    I could sure use one after reading this analysis of the tax bill that sped through the General Assembly Monday. The study by the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy in cooperation with Washington's Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy indicates that the new bill, which hikes taxes on cigarettes 50 cents a pack, amounts to a tax break for millionaires and a tax increase for 95 percent of Kentuckians. Ninety-five percent! Any rich folks out there want to buy me a carton? Really, it's the least you could do.

     

    Nothing to Sing About

    The Kentucky Opera's general director Ian Derrer is packing up and heading to the Dallas Opera after only a year and seven months in Louisville. The organization says it plans on naming a replacement before his departure. 

     

    Except Maybe UofL

    The university has hired its first woman president. Neeli Bendapudi, formerly the provost at the University of Kansas, signed a five-year contract that nixes the wiggle room James Ramsey used to milk the UofL Foundation. (Some years he made over $1 million in total compensation.) Shortly after news broke that the state budget might make it easy for institutions to fire tenured professors, Bendapudi told the Courier-Journal firing such faculty members would be the "very last resort." The faculty senate is currently discussing guidelines about the closure of academic programs, hoping Governor Bevin might veto the language regarding tenure in the proposed state budget. Judging by his hatred of French literature, I wouldn't count on it.

     

    And the Orchestra

    Your Louisville Orchestra, as conductor Teddy Abrams likes to call it, is closing out the third annual Festival of American Music this weekend with works by Julia Wolfe, Michael Gordon and Jim James. Click here for the lowdown.

     

    You Didn't Really Think You'd Get to the End Without Trump, Did You?

    The president's escalating trade war with China could end up costing Kentucky's agriculture industry. America's top economic competitor threatened to slap 25 percent tariffs on soy exports. Trump's tough talk on NAFTA could also spell trouble for Ohio River Valley farmers. Only time (or tweets?) will tell. Again, I ask: Who's got a cigarette?

     

    Cover photo: University of Louisville // Facebook

    Dylon Jones's picture

    About Dylon Jones

    Dylon Jones is a poet, essayist and journalist based in Louisville, Kentucky, where he serves as web editor of Louisville Magazine. His narrative journalism has earned him first-place awards in feature writing and profile reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2015, Sarabande Books awarded him the Flo Gault Poetry Prize. His poems will appear in Tinderbox Poetry Journal and The Collagist this summer.

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