Cover art for podcast In Conversation

In Conversation

64 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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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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