- Associated Press - Sunday, May 3, 2015
KENTUCKY DERBY: Things to watch at Churchill Downs

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Bob Baffert jokes that his last Kentucky Derby victory was so long ago, he doesn’t remember.

The Hall of Fame trainer could make some new memories Saturday if either of his top two favorites - American Pharoah or Dortmund - end up wearing the garland of red roses in the winner’s circle.

Baffert is seeking his fourth Derby win and first since 2002. Back then, his youngest son, 10-year-old Bode, wasn’t even born.

“We just have to contain ourselves,” Baffert said. “It’s exciting coming in here with two good horses.”

The 62-year-old trainer has what some believe is the strongest 1-2 punch since trainer Ben Jones won with Citation and finished second with Coaltown in 1948.

“Hope for a dead-heat,” Baffert joked.


Century Aluminum Co. sends lockout notice to union local

HAWESVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The Century Aluminum Co. in Hawesville has given the United Steelworkers local a lockout notice for its 570 members.

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reports (https://bit.ly/1JI43t3) since contract negotiations began in February union members have rejected two proposed contracts.

Members are expected to vote on Monday on a third contract that Century calls its last, best and final offer. The lockout is to effective the following Monday, May 11.

Century spokesman Kenny Barkley said the lockout notice was given because union members are contemplating a possible strike. He said a lockout would allow non-union workers to maintain uninterrupted plant operations.

The union negotiating committee said in a website message that sticking points include time for workers to be at home with their families, insurance rates and the rights of future members.


Louisville homeowners forbidden from repairing flooded homes

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Gerald and Nancy Barton are in a fix. After an April 3 storm flooded their Louisville home, they had to tear out the floorboards and the bottom half of the wallboards. But they can’t get the permits they need to repair the damage.

The Courier-Journal reports (https://cjky.it/1Pbwmi1) that’s because of a Metro ordinance designed to prevent rebuilding in areas that suffer from repeated flooding. It requires people in homes with serious flood damage to raise the lower level of their homes at least a foot above the flood zone in order to rebuild.

“The intent was if people were continually being flooded and they weren’t doing anything to alleviate that as far as moving away or whatever, we just couldn’t go on reimbursing them for flood problems forever,” said Councilman Glen Stuckel, a builder who was on the council when the flooding ordinance passed in 2006.

But the Bartons say they can’t afford to raise their home. They also can’t afford to move and abandon the house they purchased in the 1970s. The county won’t let them repair, and in the home’s current condition they can’t sell.

“We just can’t take it anymore,” Gerald Barton said.

The problem, which officials said could affect hundreds of homeowners, has prompted Mayor Greg Fischer to form a special work group tasked with developing a plan within 30 days.


Mother dog dies in fall from cargo hold of small plane

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A mother dog has died after falling from the cargo hold of a small plane that had just taken off from Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport, but her five puppies are safe.

Pilot Rameio Gonzales was in tears as he told WLEX-TV (https://bit.ly/1c6eWaAhttps://bit.ly/1c6eWaA ) he is a volunteer pilot for a rescue operation called “Pilots for Paws.”

Gonzales said he felt a rush of air just after take-off and realized a cargo door just above and behind the wing must have come open. He landed the plane to find that the five puppies were still safely inside.

He said the mother dog was wearing a bandana that may have gotten caught in the latch.

The puppies were being taken to Canada to be trained as service dogs.

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