- Associated Press - Saturday, April 12, 2014
Churchill Downs to keep more from each bet

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Churchill Downs plans to start taking a bigger cut from bets wagered on its races, which means gamblers cashing winning tickets will collect less money.

The track will apply the new so-called takeout rate when its spring meet starts on April 26 - a move that could add $8 million to Churchill’s revenues and increase purses by a similar amount, according to The Courier-Journal (https://cjky.it/1kBdpM1https://cjky.it/1kBdpM1 ).

The increase will apply to the Kentucky Derby.

Churchill’s takeout will be the maximum allowed under state law - between 17.5 percent and 22 percent, depending on the type of wager. That’s up from the 16 percent to 19 percent Churchill had been taking from the betting pool.

The Louisville track is contractually required to direct roughly half the takeout to purses after taxes.

Churchill Downs spokesman John Asher said without the change, spring purses would have been cut, including the likely cancellation of some stakes races.


Boyhood home of Brandeis to be auctioned off

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A piece of downtown property linked to one of Louisville‘s most famous natives will be up for grabs when the boyhood home of the late Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis is auctioned off later this month.

The original home was built in 1864 and Brandeis lived there from the age of 8 or 9 until he left Louisville as a teenager.

The structure underwent significant additions through the years and is currently used as medical offices and a lab.

Bill Menish, managing director of the local office handling the auction, said Friday that it has an appraised value of $3.15 million. The property has been on the market for a few months, with a listing price of $2.8 million, he said.

The building’s limestone front and interior staircase date back to the time when Brandeis grew up there, he said.

“It is as it was when that property was built for the Brandeis family home,” he said.


Indiana officials can’t ban guns from boat race

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) - An Indiana city won’t be able to ban firearms from an annual high-speed boat race on the Ohio River that draws tens of thousands of spectators.

Jeffersonville City Attorney Les Merkley told city officials that they can’t enforce a plan to ban guns at Saturday’s Thunder Over Louisville due to a 2011 Indiana law that bars local governments from regulating where people with permits to carry guns can take their firearms.

Merkley told the City Council on Thursday that local governments lack authority to enact any regulation concerning firearms, The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky., and the News and Tribune of Jeffersonville reported. Local governments can ban guns only from buildings that house courtrooms.

Like many Indiana cities, Jeffersonville in 2011 repealed any city regulations banning firearms, ammunition and firearm accessories. But somehow guns wound up on a list of items prohibited from Saturday’s event.

Kentucky officials will coordinate security efforts with more than 120 troopers from Indiana State Police and officers from Clarksville, New Albany and Jeffersonville, across the river from Louisville, Ky.

Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad still urged people not to bring firearms to the annual race. “Just because you have a right to do it in a large crowd situation doesn’t make it the right thing to do,” he said.


Pitino, ex-teammate sought mercy for Farmer

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino asked a federal judge to show mercy when sentencing ex-Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer and allow him to “become a productive citizen again” after the basketball star’s fall from grace.

Pitino’s letter is among 29 dispatches sent to U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove before Farmer’s sentencing in January for abusing public office. Farmer is serving a 27 month sentence.

Van Tatenhove unsealed the letters Thursday evening.

Among the family and friends writing letters was former Kentucky basketball star and current University of Florida assistant coach John Pelphrey. Pitino coached both men at Kentucky from 1989 through 1992.

Farmer and Pelphrey were part of a Wildcats team that earned the school its first postseason trip after a two-year ban for NCAA infractions.

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