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In Conversation

203 EpisodesProduced by Louisville Public MediaWebsite

There’s a lot going on in Louisville, and WFPL's In Conversation with Rick Howlett gives people a platform to talk -- both to each other, and with the larger community -- about the biggest issues facing our city, state and region. Live at 11 a.m. every Friday on 89.3 WFPL. Miss the show? Listen here… read more

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Are we on the other side of COVID-19?

May 12th, 2023


It’s our fourth spring living with COVID-19, and pretty much everywhere you go, it looks like it’s over. Fewer people are masking, and you're less likely to be asked for proof of vaccination. But are we actually past …

Handicapping the 2023 Kentucky Derby (and Oaks)

May 5th, 2023


On this episode, we look at who’s hot and who’s not in this year's Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby. Ed DeRosa, Vice President of Content at Horse Racing Nation, and Kellie Reilly, who writes for Churchill Downs, Inc. …

Foster care in Kentucky

April 28th, 2023


May is National Foster Care Month. So on this week’s “In Conversation” we'll learned about the state of foster care in Kentucky and what children here need. We also talked about the shortage of foster parents in …

Preventing Teen Suicide

April 21st, 2023


In Kentucky, suicide is the second leading cause of death for teenagers and young adults. This week on “In Conversation,” we aimed to understand why, …

Louisville's Old National Bank Shooting and community healing

April 14th, 2023


This week on "In Conversation," we talk through the events surrounding a mass shooting in Louisville on Monday morning. Reporters who have been covering the shooting and its aftermath give us context about gun laws and …

Helping your garden grow

April 7th, 2023


It’s just a few weeks before Derby Day in Louisville, and you know what that means: almost time to start tending to your spring garden.

This week on “In Conversation,” host Rick Howlett talked to gardening experts about …

This week ‘In Conversation’: Unpacking transgender-related laws in Ky. and nationwide

March 31st, 2023


Senate Bill 150, passed this month by Kentucky state legislators, has been dubbed the worst anti-trans bill in the country. Although Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear vetoed the bill, the majority-Republican legislature …

March Madness 2023

March 17th, 2023


If it’s March in these parts, it means you’re going to hear about two things: getting back on your allergy medications and filling out brackets for the NCAA basketball tournaments.

This week on “In Conversation,” we …

Are you getting enough sleep?

March 10th, 2023


Sleep: The final frontier. Or that’s what it feels like when you have trouble drifting off.

And while sleep may do a body good, half of all adults …

How we work in 2023

February 24th, 2023


The Great Resignation. Quiet quitting. Remote vs. in-person. Workplace trends we haven’t even heard of yet.

COVID-19 and its aftermath changed how people view their jobs, and even their careers.

On this week’s “In …

Love songs and breakup songs

February 10th, 2023


Love songs have a way of distilling all the exciting, confusing, thrilling feelings of falling for someone into a perfect three and a half minutes of …

This week ‘In Conversation’: Teaching civics

January 27th, 2023


Reading, writing, and arithmetic are the basics of a good education. So is basic civics, like the three pillars of government: legislative, executive, and judicial.

But are students still taught civics? And how do …

Preparing for emergencies

January 20th, 2023


Between natural disasters, and unexpected emergencies like gas leaks or lengthy blackouts, life can change in an instant.

How do you best prepare for …

Checking in on the Ky. General Assembly

January 13th, 2023


The Kentucky General Assembly is covering a lot this session, including a possible tax rate cut, medical marijuana, and flood recovery funds to Eastern Kentucky.

On this week’s “In Conversation,” we speak to journalists …

Winter chills and winter ills

January 6th, 2023


This is the time of the year when we all worry about catching a cold, as the weather stays colder and the gatherings increase.

But this winter, we’re …

Avoiding Holiday Scams

December 16th, 2022


Emails. Calls. Texts. Social media. All are easy entry points for scammers to try to get your money this time of the year.

Or maybe you’re doing some …

The consequences of hate speech

December 3rd, 2022


Recently in Kentucky, we’ve seen how hate speech can lead to real consequences. In Louisville, some called for a boycott against restaurants co-owned by Fernando Martinez, after he shared homophobic Facebook posts …

Stay out of the red this holiday season

November 11th, 2022


Whether you’re talking turkey or planning for a plant-based feast, putting a holiday meal on the table costs more than it used to.

How do you save …

Election 2022

November 4th, 2022


Between yard signs, television commercials, texts, calls, and emails, y’all know what time it is: election season. 

And with a number of school …

Black farmers in Kentucky

October 28th, 2022


Of the more than 76,000 agricultural operations in Kentucky, fewer than one percent are owned by Black farmers. But it wasn’t always like this. …

Sadiqa Reynolds and her Louisville Urban League legacy

October 21st, 2022


Sadiqa Reynolds. 

You may know her as president of the Urban League’s Louisville chapter for the past seven years. Maybe you heard her calming civic …

The importance of trees

October 7th, 2022


Trees are more than just pretty. They provide a range of environmental, economic, and psychological benefits. They reduce stormwater runoff and …

Home Buying 101

September 30th, 2022


From figuring out your financial readiness and understanding market rates to learning more than you want to know about roofs and property lines, buying and owning a house is an ongoing education.

This week, we discuss …

Home As Identity

September 23rd, 2022


To paraphrase the song, a house can be more than a home. Our homes are our shelter, but they also contribute to our identities. 

This week on “In Conversation,” we discussed home as a part of our personal identity in …

Renting In Louisville

September 9th, 2022


Home is home whether you own your real estate or rent it. But renters do have different considerations.

This week on “In Conversation,” we discussed the good, the bad, and the ugly of renting a house or an apartment in …

Refugees who now call Louisville home

September 2nd, 2022


This week on “In Conversation,” we talked about Louisville’s refugee community, who come from more than 15 countries around the world. 

We talked to Louisville refugees about how they came to call Louisville home, and …

Live at the Kentucky State Fair!

August 26th, 2022


It would probably be an overreach to say that everyone likes the state fair. But not a big one. People like the food, the rides, the exhibitions, and …

Child care and the workforce

August 12th, 2022


If you have a job and also have young children, you know the rock and the hard place of needing good and affordable child care so you can go to work to pay your bills. 

On this week’s “In Conversation” we explored …

Fancy Farm and flooding recovery

August 5th, 2022


It’s that political time of the year in Kentucky – Fancy Farm. Where politicians go to stump and signal their policy positions, and others go to …

Back to school, 2022

July 22nd, 2022


Even a lot of adults get a little giddy at the sight of all the back-to-school supplies hitting the front of stores. New pens and notebooks, lunch …

Healthy pregnancies and births

July 15th, 2022


Reproductive rights have been front and center lately, including rhetoric about the United States' relatively high rate of death during pregnancy and birth. And it's true, the U.S. does have a higher pregnancy-related …

Why are animal shelters full?

July 8th, 2022


Animal shelters in Louisville have been at capacity, prompting some to try to recruit foster more homes, and even waive their adoption fees. What's …

The toll of COVID grief

July 1st, 2022


The world is in year three of a pandemic that has taken over one million lives in this country alone.  Countless families and friends are grieving the loss of loved ones to COVID-19.  

This week on “In Conversation,” we …

An update on Kentucky tornado recovery

June 17th, 2022


It has been about six months since a swath of tornado devastation in western and southern Kentucky killed 81 people.  It also caused hundreds of …

Pride Month and LGBTQ news

June 10th, 2022


It’s Pride Month, a celebration of LGBTQ history and contributions, celebrated in June to honor the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in 1969.

This week on “In Conversation,” we talked to organizers and activists …

Summer reading recommendations

June 3rd, 2022


Warm weather is here, and people are getting out of the house for fun and frolic. And for some of us, the perfect summer day isn’t perfect without a …

Athletes and Activism

May 21st, 2022


Muhammad Ali, Louisville’s favorite son, is remembered for his activism as much as his first-class boxing. But Ali was not alone in using the pulpit …

Unpacking state and local primary elections

May 16th, 2022


Primary Election Day is May 17th, with early in-person voting taking place May 12-14. Louisville decides who its mayoral candidates will be in the fall, and Kentucky has key congressional races up for grabs.  

On “In …

Getting you ready for Derby doings

May 6th, 2022


It’s Derby Week in Louisville, Kentucky, y’all! Is there anything more to say?

Actually, there is, as host Rick Howlett sat down with two handicappers to get the scoop on what bets are good, which horses are long shots, …

Talking With Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer

April 29th, 2022


Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is heading into the final months of his administration. This week on "In Conversation," we checked in with him about …

Young people coping with COVID-19

April 22nd, 2022


This Friday on “In Conversation,” we talked about the pandemic's effect on how kids are learning, developing, and socializing. What does the future …

Aging healthy and happy

April 15th, 2022


Reaching a certain age once meant your best years were behind you. But scientists say advances in medicine now mean people are aging "better" than they used to.

On this Friday’s “In Conversation” host Rick Howlett talked …

Finding love, and keeping it alive

April 8th, 2022


Love has always been in the air, but for the past two years, COVID-19 has impacted all of our air quality.

This week on “In Conversation,” we talk to love and relationship experts on the challenges and rewards of dating …

Answering your most burning spring gardening questions

April 1st, 2022


April showers bring May flowers. And vegetables! But what do experts say about how to get the best from your garden?

“In Conversation” host Rick Howlett talks to gardeners who work with plants, flowers, trees and …

Celebrating 20 years of Waterfront Wednesday

March 25th, 2022


Louisville concert series Waterfront Wednesday turns 20 this year! This week on "In Conversation," we found out how WFPK is planning to celebrate the big anniversary, and share some memorable moments from the …

Taking A Shot At March Madness

March 18th, 2022


It’s March. And for those who love college basketball, that means it’s also the time for a little madness to kick in.  

This Friday on “In …

Sifting through how recycling works and why it matters

March 11th, 2022


Plastic, paper, cans and bottles. It can get confusing figuring out what should stay in your regular trash can and what should go in the recycling …

Exploring how German and American schools teach about the painful parts of history

March 4th, 2022


The German educational system has the daunting task of teaching about the Holocaust and the rise of the Nazi Party. Can their approach inform how …

Exploring money management and personal finance

February 25th, 2022


Your credit score doesn’t determine your worth—but it can greatly affect your access and opportunities. And if money management isn’t something you learned about as a kid, it’s hard to figure out how to catch up.

This …

The state of higher education in the region

February 18th, 2022


Education news tends to focus on high schools and grade schools. But what about higher education — how are COVID-19 and education bills, for example, …

Why it seems harder for us all to get along

February 11th, 2022


Turn on cable news or open any social media app, and you’ll see example after example of awful public behavior. People are throwing hands on …

'A Critical Moment' examines how two countries teach about the painful parts of history

January 31st, 2022


Coming up this Friday, we'll talk about teaching race in schools. Proposed legislation in several states, including Kentucky, could limit how race is …

‘In Conversation’ looks at the surprising benefits of failure

January 28th, 2022


Failure brings to mind all the negative associations of letting yourself or others down. But what are the benefits of missing the mark?

On this week’s “In Conversation,” host Rick Howlett talked to some of the …

‘In Conversation’ unpacks the issues in this Kentucky legislative session

January 21st, 2022


Many big-ticket items are under consideration during this session of the Kentucky General Assembly: the budget, redistricting, education bills, abortion, laws regarding criminal justice, the legalizing of medical …

Legacy of bell hooks

January 14th, 2022


bell hooks was a widely regarded author, activist, and academic who explored the intersection of sexism and racism in American society. She was also a Kentucky native, with deep roots in the state. hooks died at the age …

‘In Conversation’ explores how the present will fit into the arc of history

January 7th, 2022


With a global pandemic, a tumultuous election season, and widespread racial justice protests, it’s safe to say that the past two years have brought …

The latest on the western Kentucky tornadoes

December 17th, 2021


It's been almost a week since tornadoes hit western part of the commonwealth. The storms killed over 70 Kentuckians and reduced whole communities to …

Exploring the intersection of faith and race on 'In Conversation'

November 19th, 2021


The phrase "thoughts and prayers" has become overused almost to the point of cliché, but using faith and prayer as a tool to get through hardship is …

'In Conversation' talks about veterans' mental health needs and resources

November 12th, 2021


Veterans Day is about honoring our heroes and showing support for our soldiers. There are ceremonies and parades, and special offers for veterans to …

Getting up to speed on the Kentucky auto industry

November 5th, 2021


Watch out, bourbon and horse racing, the auto industry is catching up to be one of the things Kentucky is most known for.

More than 500 automotive-related companies reside in Kentucky. And Gov. Andy Beshear announced …

Exploring solutions to gun violence

October 29th, 2021


When news spread across the city that 16-year-old Tyree Smith was shot and killed in a random shooting while waiting for his school bus, the reality …

'In Conversation' talks policing and police reform

October 22nd, 2021


Policing and police reform have had a particularly bright spotlight on them in recent years, and the Louisville Metro Police Department has gotten …

This week In Conversation: The Supreme Court term

October 15th, 2021


Abortion, guns, and religious liberty. Few issues are more hot button than these. And in its current term, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear cases …

This week In Conversation: Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

October 8th, 2021


More than 6 million Americans over the age of 65 are living with Alzheimer’s Disease, making it the most common form of dementia.

Dementia, in any form, interferes with cognitive function, memory and personality. It can …

This Week In Conversation: Evictions And Utilities

October 4th, 2021


If you're a renter trying to keep a roof over your head or a landlord relying on housing income, these last few months have been particularly …

Where Y'all Really From?

September 24th, 2021


The most recent census numbers show more than seventy-five thousand Asian-American folks live in Kentucky, and a new podcast seeks to share their …

This Week In Conversation: Filmmaker Ken Burns On New Ali Doc

September 17th, 2021


Muhammad Ali, Louisville’s favorite son, left a big footprint on the world.

It’s about to become bigger with the new eight-part documentary produced by filmmaker Ken Burns that premieres this weekend on PBS. Burns brings …

This Week In Conversation: 20 Years After 9/11

September 10th, 2021


Usually, the word anniversary brings to mind celebrations. Commemorating happy occasions. The marking of a precious moment in time.

But remembering 9/11 is different. Yes, it’s the anniversary of the date on a calendar. …

This Week In Conversation: How COVID-19 Changed Work

September 3rd, 2021


If you work for a living, figuring out how to live and work during COVID-19 has been no small job.

Some are still wrestling with working remotely and …

This Week In Conversation: Pens, Lunch Boxes And Masks

August 20th, 2021


It’s been a long time since we’ve had a regular back-to-school season for our children. And unfortunately, this year’s return still has personal …

This Week In Conversation: Your Delta Variant Questions, Answered

August 13th, 2021


For a moment in time, it seemed as if we were getting COVID-19 under control. But then the delta variant moved in with a swiftness, and now many of …

Time To Get Fancy

August 6th, 2021


It’s about to get fancy up in here. Fancy Farm Picnic, that is. 

The Fancy Farm Picnic is considered the Super Bowl of Kentucky politics. Or as former …

Kentucky's Horse Racing Industry

July 30th, 2021


As the Kentucky  horse racing industry gallops toward the future, scandals plague the field, and changes might be just around the next turn.

This week on “In Conversation,” we discussed the state of the thoroughbred …

Summer Repeats

July 23rd, 2021


It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy. At least if you have good books to read, gardening to do, and social media fights to get into.
This week, we listened to a few “In Conversation” discussions from earlier this year. …

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth

July 16th, 2021


This week we talked to Congressman John Yarmuth (D-Louisville) about what is happening in Washington, D.C. as it impacts Kentucky.

Host Rick Howlett discussed various issues with Yarmuth, who represents the state’s 3rd …

Name, Image, Likeness and College Athletes

July 9th, 2021


The most recognizable “face” of a college or university can often be a popular athlete. Yet, until recently, the athletes haven’t been able to earn …

Foodie Friday

July 2nd, 2021


Food, food, food — that’s what Friday’s show was all about. And it’s just in time for a three-day

We started off with grilling tips from local BBQ …

Libraries And SummerWorks

June 25th, 2021


No matter what community you come from — city, suburb, or rural — you probably know where the local library is.

This week on “In Conversation” we talked with Lee Burchfield, director of the Louisville Free Public …

Juneteenth And Pride Month

June 21st, 2021


June is a month of commemoration and celebration.

For the first time this year, Louisville Metro Government employees had Juneteenth off work, to commemorate enslaved people being freed as part of the Emancipation …

State Of The Arts

June 11th, 2021


Live music. Live theatre. Live events.

Being able to attend shows, performances and other events in person is part of the long-awaited leap from …

More Jobs Than Workers

June 4th, 2021


As you drive through Louisville, you see more people out shopping and dining since before the pandemic hit. But you also see more help wanted signs.

While the economy has been severely impacted by COVID-19 …

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer

May 28th, 2021


In the best of times, it’s not easy being in charge of a city. And it’s fair to say, 2020 and 2021 have not been among the best of times.

Mayor Greg Fischer joined us this Friday on “In Conversation,” to talk about where …

Summertime Travel and Reading

May 21st, 2021


Travel-size bottles of hand sanitizers are going to be packed in a lot of luggage this summer. Because with higher temperatures and lower COVID-19 numbers, many are ready to chance a change of scenery. 

Road trips and …

Incarceration In Kentucky

May 14th, 2021


Whether in local jails or state prisons, at any given time there is a large number of Kentuckians behind bars — almost 30,000 at the end of 2020.

This week on “In Conversation” host Rick Howlett talked about …

Farming In Kentucky

May 7th, 2021


Everyone has to eat.

And whether you’re a veggie lover or meat eater, what you eat almost always starts on someone’s farm.

Kentucky is home to over 75,000 farms. We unpacked whether the Kentucky farming industry is a …

The 2021 Kentucky Derby

April 30th, 2021


Last year’s Kentucky Derby was unprecedented in many ways. Instead of being run the traditional first Saturday in May in front of more than 150-thousand fans, it was held in September with no fans, because of …

Child Abuse In Kentucky And Indiana

April 23rd, 2021


Kentucky continues to lead the nation in the rate of child abuse and neglect, according to the latest available data. The numbers in Indiana are also disturbingly high.

We’re still learning about just how much the …

Your Gardening Questions, Answered

April 16th, 2021


Whether you know your way around the garden or don’t know compost from compote, we’ve had you covered this week.

What is growing in your garden this year? What challenges are sprouting, and what problems need to be …

University of Louisville’s Return To Normal

April 9th, 2021


A month shy of celebrating three years at the helm of the University of Louisville, Neeli Bendapudi has spent more than a third of her time navigating uncharted waters.

On this week’s “In Conversation” we talked with …

Housing and Evictions in 2021

April 2nd, 2021


Home is where the heart is. But if you’re struggling to make ends meet, keeping a roof over your head is probably going to be your biggest worry.

COVID-19 has put a huge dent in the economy, with many renters finding out …

JCPS Returns and March Madness Continues

March 19th, 2021


This week is back-to-school season for the Jefferson County Public Schools. Only not with the typical excitement of getting new school supplies and …

One Year After The Death of Breonna Taylor

March 12th, 2021


A year ago, while the world began focusing on the loss of normalcy from COVID-19, one family was living with an unimaginable loss of its own.

On March …

A Year of COVID-19

March 5th, 2021


This time last year, the coronavirus was already quickly spreading through parts of the world, and it wasn’t long before the first case hit our area. …

Polar Bears and Climate Change

February 27th, 2021


Climate change and conservation and polar bears, oh my!

Cute and cuddly polar bears are more than a trademark animal of a popular soft drink. Some say …

Black History Month 2021

February 22nd, 2021


For many people, February is associated with Black History Month as closely as July is associated with Independence Day. But this year’s Black …

The State of Homelessness in Kentucky and Indiana

February 12th, 2021


There’s never a good time to be without a bed to sleep in and a safe roof over your head.

But with the bitter low temperatures and a highly contagious …

Hunger and Food Insecurity During COVID-19

February 5th, 2021


While some people struggle with putting on pounds during quarantine, from the luxury of deciding what food delivery to pick from, not far away, there are neighbors trying to figure out how they can afford their next …

Highlights from the 2021 Hope Breakfast

January 22nd, 2021


This past Monday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and in Louisville, that means the annual Hope Breakfast. It’s a fundraiser for the Alpha Lambda Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and the Alpha Lambda Education …

How Free Speech and Social Media Intersect

January 15th, 2021


Tweeting a link to the Facebook post about the TikTok video they saw while scrolling through Instagram is how many people get—and share—information …

DC Riots, State and Local Changes

January 8th, 2021


As the old saying goes, this week, we have more news than the law allows — at a local, state, and national level.

On this week’s “In Conversation,” we …

Coronavirus Vaccines 101

December 18th, 2020


Vaccines, vaccines, vaccines!

As COVID-19 vaccines hit Louisville and the rest of the country this week it’s the topic everywhere you turn. The first light at the end of a still long and dark tunnel brings as many …

Should JCPS Change Its Student Assignment Plan?

December 4th, 2020


Racial integration by school assignment has been a large part of the public school system struggle in America since the days of legal segregation.

Staying Home For The Holidays

November 20th, 2020


Coronavirus cases continue to surge around the country and here in the commonwealth, and we're all starting to come to terms with how different our …

Louisville's New Police Contract

November 13th, 2020


Last week, the Louisville Metro Council approved a new police union contract. The vote was divided 16 to 10 and many consider the contract …

Election Week Waiting & Analysis

November 6th, 2020


With COVID-19 as a backdrop, the 2020 general election had Americans voting in record numbers. Because of the pandemic, voters across the country and here in Kentucky and Indiana cast their ballots through early voting, …

Election Speculation, Projections and Education

October 30th, 2020


Thousands of Kentuckians are voting every day, and about three-fourths of absentee ballots in Kentucky have been returned.

With this Friday’s “In Conversation” we're just four days from Election Day 2020. COVID-19 has …

Bracing For A Fall COVID Surge

October 23rd, 2020


Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced this week that the state had the highest number of new COVID-19 cases on a Monday and Tuesday since the pandemic started. The positivity rate is the highest in two months.

Like …

2020 In Louisville's Black Community

October 16th, 2020


Breonna Taylor’s name has become a national and international battle cry on the issue of police brutality against Black women.

But Taylor isn’t just …

Domestic Violence In Kentucky

October 9th, 2020


Experts say about 40 people a year in Kentucky, mostly women, die as a result of domestic violence. Around one in four of them filed a domestic …

The Breonna Taylor Investigation Is Over. Now What?

October 2nd, 2020


Last week, the city and the world got the long-awaited answer on what specific criminal consequences, if any, would happen to the police involved in …

The Breonna Taylor Decision And Its Aftermath

September 25th, 2020


The eyes of the world have been on Louisville for months, following the death of Breonna Taylor. Would the three officers involved be indicted on …

What Could The Future Hold For Black Louisville?

September 18th, 2020


The Louisville Urban League and more than 50 community organizations have petitioned the city to address issues in the Black community, including a …

What We Know About The Breonna Taylor Case

September 11th, 2020


March 13, 2020.

The date will live in the memory of Breonna Taylor’s family, friends, and community.

Her death, at the hands of the Louisville Metro …

Amid A Pandemic and Protests, The 146th Kentucky Derby

September 4th, 2020


It’s 2020. Which means that everything is weird or different. That includes the Kentucky Derby.

Which is why it’s on the first Saturday in September this year, instead of May.

It also means that there will be more …

Unexpected Consequences of COVID-19

August 28th, 2020


When Charles Dickens wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” he wasn’t talking about the tale of one global pandemic.

The one we’re in now has brought obvious changes — like the impact on …

Women And Voting

August 21st, 2020


Velveeta cheese, the Panama Canal, button-down Polo shirts and the Kentucky Derby are all older than the American woman’s right to vote.

One hundred …

Appalachia As A Bellwether For The Country

August 14th, 2020

The challenges that the Appalachian region faces aren’t just Appalachian problems; they're American problems. Those problems include addiction, poor health outcomes and the need for communities to make a transition from …

What's Next for Downtown Louisville?

August 7th, 2020


If you’ve ever looked at historical photos of downtown Louisville, you might have been struck by how busy and bustling it looked. Loads of people were out and about going to work, wearing fancy outfits to the theater, …

Fancy Farm Without Politicians?

July 31st, 2020


The Fancy Farm Picnic is known through the state as the place where political candidates come to stump, kiss babies and encourage the eating of …

School Reopening Plans In Kentucky

July 24th, 2020


Getting children and teens ready to go back to school takes on a different meaning this year, as COVID-19 infection rates are spiking around the …

Confederate Statues And Other Monuments In Public Spaces

July 17th, 2020

Demonstrators across the country who have been demanding an end to racial injustice and excessive police violence have also been calling for the …

The Rise Of Substance Use During COVID-19

July 10th, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic seems to be changing our relationship with drinking and drugs. Liquor sales are booming. Drinking socially wasn’t an option for a while, so people who never drank alone found themselves mixing …

Looking Ahead To Kentucky's General Election

July 7th, 2020

The stage is set for the November General Election in Kentucky. The state’s primary was delayed until June 23 because of the coronavirus, and it …

Summer Vacations And Pride Month During A Pandemic

June 26th, 2020

Many states that have reopened their economies from coronavirus shutdowns are seeing a dramatic surge in COVID-19 infections. Some have reinstated certain restrictions, and Texas has paused its reopening plan. Gov. …

The Pandemic And Kentucky’s Primary Election

June 19th, 2020


Kentucky’s primary election is Tuesday, June 23rd, and the coronavirus pandemic is changing the way most Kentuckians cast their ballots.

The primary was postponed from May to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and for the …

Police Reform

June 12th, 2020

Camden, New Jersey was once considered one of the most violent cities in the country. Now, it’s a case study in police reform. The city completely …

Will Protests Lead To Change In Louisville?

June 5th, 2020

The fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor by police in Louisville and the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police have sparked protests …

Coronavirus In Kentucky's Long Term Care Facilities

May 29th, 2020

More than half of Kentucky's deaths from coronavirus have been people who lived or worked in long term care facilities. As of this week, 240 residents and two staff members have lost their lives to the virus. This week …

Reopening Kentucky's Restaurants

May 22nd, 2020

Restaurants are reopening this week at 33% capacity — but as a business owner recently wrote to us, “We aren’t getting a 66% discount on our bills.” This week on “In Conversation,” we talk about restaurants reopening …

Coronavirus Day 47: A Snapshot Of Life In Louisville

May 19th, 2020


On Wednesday, April 22nd WFPL's reporters went out into the community to capture a moment in time amid the coronavirus outbreak. They interviewed …

Reopening The Economy In Kentucky & Indiana

May 8th, 2020

Kentucky has begun executing Governor Andy Beshear’s plan for a gradual lifting of coronavirus restrictions. Certain medical practices and procedures were allowed to resume this week, and starting May 11, some business …

At Home With Your Pets During The Pandemic

May 1st, 2020


For many people left largely homebound by the coronavirus, pets have been a source of comfort and companionship. More people are adopting or fostering pets as they shelter at home.

How are pets adapting to having more …

Mayor Greg Fischer Talks COVID-19 Response And Recovery

April 28th, 2020


Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has unveiled a three-phase recovery plan for the city as the COVID-19 outbreak begins to show early signs of subsiding.

The plan is called “Build Back Better, Together.” Fischer says …

This Week In Conversation: Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman Talks COVID-19 Response

April 24th, 2020


Governor Andy Beshear has announced that there will be no in-person classes in Kentucky schools for the rest of the academic year because of the …

This Week In Conversation: Voting In The Time Of Coronavirus

April 17th, 2020

There’s no playbook for how to conduct elections during a global pandemic. A few weeks ago, Wisconsin held their primary like normal. In Kentucky, we’ve already delayed ours until June, and we’re still trying to figure …

How Has The Coronavirus Outbreak Changed Your Life?

April 10th, 2020


For most, if not all of us, life has been completely upended lately. Some of us are stuck in the house with our whole families — maybe for the first …

How COVID-19 Could Affect Kentucky's Government, Services

April 8th, 2020

More and more Kentuckians are losing their jobs and have less money to spend every day during the coronavirus pandemic. That means there will eventually be a drop in income and sales tax revenue for the state, though …

As Pandemic Continues, Schools, Courts And Other Systems Adjust

April 3rd, 2020

The spread of the coronavirus has brought many businesses to a standstill, and forced others to change how they work. Jefferson County Public Schools …

Kentucky Braces For Coronavirus Surge; Economic Relief Coming

April 1st, 2020

Kentucky expects to receive $1.7 billion in aid from the federal CARES Act that was signed into law last week. The money will be used to, among other things, provide unemployement benefits, support for businesses, and …

Panel Discusses COVID-19 Financial Relief, Coping Strategies

March 27th, 2020

"As a $2.2 trillion economic rescue package emerges from Washington, people across Kentucky and the rest of the country are trying to adjust to life …

Panelists Discuss How Coronavirus Affects Youth, Schooling

March 25th, 2020

The coronavirus and closures ordered in response to it are presenting new challenges for Kentucky youth. Childcare services across the commonwealth …

What We Know So Far About COVID-19 in Kentucky

March 20th, 2020

The coronavirus has spread quickly since the first case in Kentucky was confirmed March 6, with a sharp rise in positive cases expected as more people are tested. State and local officials have dispelled some rumors …

How the Coronavirus Is Impacting the Louisville-Area Economy

March 18th, 2020

Efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus are taking a toll on Louisville's economy. The Kentucky Derby, with it's $400 million local economic …

Experts Answer Questions, Concerns about Cornavirus

March 13th, 2020

The spreading coronavirus has been labeled a pandemic by the World Health Organization and caused massive disruptions in Kentucky. Governor Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency after a case of COVID-19 was …

Panelists Discuss Present, Future Of Real Estate

March 6th, 2020

Home sales remain strong in the Louisville area and across Kentucky, according to Realtors' groups. In Jefferson County, the Property Valuation Administrator's office has begun its 2020 reassessment of tens of thousands …

Panelists Discuss Internet Connectivity Efforts In Kentucky

February 28th, 2020

Access to high speed internet, which can bring opportunities for economic and educational growth, is lacking in some Kentucky communities and efforts to remedy that have faced challenges. The KentuckyWired project is …

Assessing School Safety Efforts in Kentucky and Indiana

February 21st, 2020

Recent proposals to arm school security officers in Kentucky have divided constituents. Propoents say that arming school security will keep students …

Ahead of the 2020 State of Black Louisville Report, Panelists Discuss Issues Affecting African-Americans

February 14th, 2020


The Louisville Urban League will publish its new State of Black Louisville report in the coming weeks, documenting issues that affect African-American residents and their livelihoods. The report is expected to address …

Leaders Discuss Changes In Louisville Arts Scene

February 7th, 2020


Recent changes in Louisville's arts scene have drawn attention to the industry. StageOne Family Theatre's artistic director left his job after two years with the company, and nine Actors Theatre employees were laid off …

Panelists Discuss Budget, Other Issues in 2020 General Assembly

January 31st, 2020


Kentucky's 2020 legislative session has thus far included bills on school safety, immigration, abortion and more. With Democratic Governor Andy …

Experts Propose Support, Awareness To Address Human Trafficking

January 17th, 2020


Each year before the Kentucky Derby, state and local advocates raise awareness about potential "spikes" in human trafficking. Governor Andy Beshear highlighted the topic last week when he declared January as "Human …

Advocates Say Expanding and Easing the Expungement Process Can Benefit Kentuckians

January 10th, 2020


Thousands of Kentuckians have expunged their records since a 2016 law made some low-level offenses eligible to be cleared. Greater Louisville Inc. has endorsed expungement as a way to boost Kentucky's workforce …

Will Expanded Gaming Gain Traction In Kentucky?

January 3rd, 2020


Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says expanded gaming could become a new revenue source which could help fund the state's struggling pension systems. Some …

A Year In Conversation: A Few Of Our Favorite Shows From 2019

December 27th, 2019


In Conversation covered a lot in 2019. From homelessness and vaccinations to bourbon and marijuana, more than a hundred guests joined the program this year to talk about dozens of topics. This week, WFPL's In …

Panelists Say Some School Dress Codes Target Girls, Impeding Their Learning

December 20th, 2019


Eastern High School's principal apologized and the school has changed its policies after girls were turned away from their homecoming dance for …

Reporting Highlights Room For Improvement In Kentucky's Sexual Assault Response

December 13th, 2019


Kentucky has instituted major reforms to its systems that handle sexual assault cases. Those reforms include requirements for providing, testing and …

Advocates: Kentucky's Child Welfare System Needs Support, Legislative Change

December 6th, 2019


The rate of foster youth entering Kentucky's foster care system has grown since 2011, and a decreasing percentage of those youth are being reunified with their parents or guardians. That data was outlined in a report …

Louisville Story Program Book Participants Recall Life In The Shadow Of Churchill Downs

November 29th, 2019


The Louisville Story Program's new project, "Better Lucky Than Good," is an oral history of Churchill Downs backside workers and people who lived near the track. WFPL's In Conversation talked with subjects from the book …

Louisville Philanthropy Leaders See Opportunity In Changing Industry

November 22nd, 2019


Philanthropy in Louisville is changing. Cuts to the city's budget slashed nonprofits' funds as officials look to philanthropic organizations for help. But the most recent data from the Kentucky Nonprofit Network shows …

Panel Expects Partisanship, Policy Changes Following Election

November 8th, 2019


Kentucky's Republican party won big in the 2019 election, securing all but the governor's seat. With Democrat Andy Beshear preparing to follow …

Animal Service Officials Raise Awareness Amid Expansion

November 1st, 2019


Louisville officials opened an $11.6 million animal shelter last week, expanding animal services for strays animals and pet owners. Also last week, a local animal abuse registry went live--it requires anyone convicted …

Beshear Promises Change If Elected Governor

October 25th, 2019


Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear is in a tight race for governor against Republican incumbent Matt Bevin, according to a recent Mason-Dixon …

Mayor Fischer Talks Challenges, Development Plan For Next Three Years

October 18th, 2019


It has been a memorable year for Louisville and Mayor Greg Fischer. Last November, Fischer was elected to his third and final term in office and major projects, like a track and field complex and a new YMCA, are finally …

Panel: Conversation Is Crucial To Defining What 'American' Means

October 11th, 2019


Louisville is hosting the inaugural Define American Summit this weekend, welcoming hundreds of visitors to comedy shows, work shops and discussions …

Gun Violence Panel Deadlocked on Solutions To Mass Shootings

October 4th, 2019


Debate around gun access and gun violence has spilled into Kentucky and the rest of the nation amid high-profile mass shootings. Some states, like …

Panel: More Federal, State Action Needed To Address Climate Change

September 27th, 2019


Climate change has increased Kentucky's average temperature, contributed to heavier rainfall and is associated with other weather-related changes in the state. Activists like Greta Thunberg have brought more attention …

Advocates: Awareness, Support Crucial To Addressing Veteran Suicide

September 20th, 2019


Suicide among veterans is still a big problem across the nation, but Kentucky outpaces the nation with a reported 36 veteran suicides per 100,000 people in 2016. Advocates talked about what's being done to address …

Here Today, Here Tomorrow? Tracking West Louisville Changes With WFPL's New Podcast

September 13th, 2019


Louisville's western neighborhoods are about to witness unprecedented investment, with nearly $1 billion flowing into projects in and around the …

Looking to Other States, Officials Expect Marijuana Will Be Legalized In Kentucky

September 6th, 2019

Marijuana is still illegal in Kentucky but advocates and officials are shifting their attitudes towards the drug. The Jefferson County Attorney's …

Kentucky Officials Ask Community To Help Address Soaring Child Abuse Rate

August 30th, 2019


Kentucky now has the highest rate of child abuse and neglect in the country, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Children's Bureau. Panelists talked about what has driven Kentucky's child …

Experts Say Concerns Ahead for Jewish Hospital Purchase

August 23rd, 2019


This week In Conversation, we talk about the University of Louisville's plans to buy Jewish Hospital and other properties and how those plans could …

What's The Outlook For Labor In Kentucky?

August 16th, 2019


This Week In Conversation, we talk labor. From recent right-to-work legislation in Kentucky to groundbreaking reporting on failures in the way the state investigates on-the-job deaths to Harlan County miners protesting …

U of L President Optimistic For Schools Future

August 9th, 2019


This Week In Conversation, we talk with University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi. A lot has happened at the university over the past few …

Officials: Sherman Minton Bridge Construction Is Disruptive But Necessary

August 2nd, 2019


The more than $90 million Sherman Minton renewal project would add up to 30 years of life to the aging bridge. But construction could have a huge …

Advocates Say More Funding, Support Needed To Address Homelessness In Louisville

July 26th, 2019


Louisville officials closed another homeless camp last week, continuing a string of camp shutdowns as the city struggles to find solutions …

Advocates: Immigrant Community Fearful But Resilient Amid Deportation Policies

July 19th, 2019


Though substantial evidence of nation-wide raids by Immigration and Customs enforcement (ICE) last weekend failed to materialize, the threat …

Louisville's Library System Copes With Cutbacks

July 12th, 2019


The Louisville Free Public Library nearly lost two branch locations and $2.26 million from its overall library funding under Mayor Greg …

Recap: In Conversation Listens Back to Talks on Vaping, Parks and Vaccinations

July 5th, 2019


We look back on previous episodes of In Conversation. These include discussions about the increasing number of youth in Kentucky using electronic cigarettes, the obstacles and successes of Louisville's park …

Legislators Talk Past, Future of Kentucky's Pension Crunch

June 28th, 2019


Kentucky's public pension system is putting a crunch on the budgets of regional universities and "quasi" state agencies. Those entities will be required to have a massive increase in their pension costs …

Experts Say Opportunities Lie Ahead for Hemp In Kentucky

June 21st, 2019


Kentucky's hemp industry is booming, reporting a $41 million growth in sales last year when compared to 2017. The passage of the federal 2018 Farm Bill effectively legalized the crop and opened it for research …

This Week in Louisville, Experts Talk City Planning and Urban Design

June 14th, 2019


The Congress for New Urbanism's 27th Annual Convention landed in Louisville this week, and more than a thousand designers, planners and architects showed up to learn about the present and future of urbanism. …

As Jail Overcrowding Persists, Experts Call For More Reforms

June 7th, 2019


Kentucky was one of a few states where the jail population increased last year, and officials have taken notice. The nonprofit Kentucky …

Despite Budget Cuts, Park Officials Expect Progress

May 31st, 2019


The Louisville Metro Council announced it would close public pools and cut the city budget to address an impending budget shortfall. Those …

Experts Have a Warning For Kentucky's Youth About Vaping Dangers

May 24th, 2019


Kentucky and the rest of the nation are wrestling with the huge popularity of electronic cigarettes among youth. A survey by the Foundation …

What's The Role Of The Community In Combating Louisville's Toxic Air Pollution?

May 17th, 2019


In April, WFPL published a five-part series about toxic air pollution in Louisville. Energy and Environment Reporter Ryan Van Velzer …

As Disease Outbreaks Increase, Kentucky Grapples With Vaccine Awareness

May 10th, 2019


In an update two weeks ago, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the recent measles outbreak has led to the most cases of the disease since 2000. Before 1963, in the decade before the measles …

Looking Back On Decades Of Kentucky Derby Memories

May 3rd, 2019


The Kentucky Derby tradition has grown and changed over the past 145 years in Louisville, creating epic moments and memorable scenes for people. We hear from Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, the Kentucky Derby …

Panel: Police Aren't Racist, But Traffic Policies Must Change

April 26th, 2019


Earlier this month, a Courier Journal story about a traffic stop involving Tae-Ahn Lea sparked public outrage. Lea, a black teenager, was …

Crumbling Sewers, Flooding And Other Louisville Infrastructure Woes

April 19th, 2019


Much of Louisville’s infrastructure needs repairs, but the city has a long way to go before it can upgrade its aging systems. Meanwhile, residents in some Louisville neighborhoods are experiencing frequent …

Here's How Louisville Arts Leaders Plan To Diversify Their Industry

April 12th, 2019


As Louisville's art scene grows, so too has diversity and representation in the industry. One sign of that is new Actors Theatre of Louisville Artistic Director Robert Barry Fleming, the first non-white …

The 2019 Kentucky Legislative Session Is Over -- What Happened?

April 5th, 2019


Legislators passed several bills during this year's legislative session affecting the state pension system, abortion, felony expungement, …

JCPS Superintendent Sees Obstacles, Opportunities Ahead for Education

March 29th, 2019


Debate on whether the state should manage the school system is ongoing, and JCPS teachers organized several "sickouts" to protest …

Derby Festival President Recounts Decades of Service, Talks Future of The Festival

March 22nd, 2019


The 2019 Kentucky Derby Festival expects to attract hundreds of thousands of people to the Louisville area for events like the Thunder Over Louisville fireworks display and the Pegasus Parade. This year's …

Congressman John Yarmuth Talks Politics, Green New Deal

March 15th, 2019


Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth is in a powerful position in his new role as chair of the House Budget Committee where he's now …

How Will Changes In West Louisville Affect Residents?

March 8th, 2019


The neighborhoods of Louisville's west end are undergoing a flurry of investment and development, and it could mean big changes for the …

Is Mayor Fischer's Proposed Tax Increase The Answer To Louisville's Budget Woes?

March 1st, 2019


Citing soaring state pension obligations over the next four years, budget restrictions and few choices, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says Metro government faces a serious fiscal shortfall and services and city …

Is This The Year Kentucky Will Legalize Medical Marijuana?

February 22nd, 2019


Kentucky lawmakers have discussed medical marijuana bills in recent years, but measures have never gained enough momentum to pass the early stages of the state legislature. But two bills introduced this …

Transportation Has Changed; Louisville Plans to Change With It

February 15th, 2019


Whether it’s the new toll bridges, potholes and construction along Dixie Highway or new electronic fare cards at TARC, transportation — or …

Twenty Years After Fairness Ordinance, LGBTQ Leaders Say There's Still Work To Do

February 8th, 2019


It’s been 20 years since Louisville became the first Kentucky city to pass an ordinance making it illegal to discriminate in housing, employment and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender …

Will Louisville Get An NBA Team? Should We Want One?

February 1st, 2019


Soccer is big in Louisville. College basketball is huge. So why don't we have a major league team here? That's what we talked about this …

Wayne Lewis Charts JCPS Plan, Defends Charter Schools on 'In Conversation'

January 25th, 2019


A state corrective action plan with Jefferson County Public Schools has gone into effect. The plan follows a scathing audit of JCPS — …

What’s Ahead For Kentucky Bourbon?

January 18th, 2019


Kentucky’s bourbon boom is showing no sign of fading, with both new and longtime distillers investing hundreds of millions of dollars in …

Announcing WFPL’s New Weekly Talk Show: In Conversation

January 8th, 2019


We’ll take calls from listeners and comments from social media, giving the community a platform to have their questions answered and hold …

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