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Some of Our Biggest and Best Stories of 2014

A painful anniversary in the history of integration in Louisville, the celebration surrounding same-sex marriage in Indiana, the controversy surrounding a wildlife refuge. These are some of the biggest stories WFPL and the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting produced in 2014.

In the next few days, we'll spotlight some of our biggest and best stories during our broadcasts. Here's where you can find the first batch of stories online. We'll share more later in the week.

Same-Sex Couples Get Marriage Licenses in Jeffersonville

Gabe Bullard's piece from June following a federal court's ruling that Indiana must allow and recognize same-sex marriages.

The office had a crowd of couples Thursday morning, but by noon, it slowed down. Ten minutes before the clerk’s office re-opened for lunch, no one waiting was there to get married.

Then Ladonna showed up. She and her partner got married earlier that day, but they were given a marriage license meant for the couple before them—two men. She was there to pick up the right paperwork, giving a bureaucratic edge to a day she wasn’t expecting to come.

Read more.

The Troubling Record of a Southern Indiana Wildlife Refuge

This fall, the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting turned its focus to the Wildlife in Need refuge in Southern Indiana. KyCIR reporter Kristina Goetz and WFPL's Erin Keane reported:

The Tiger Baby Playtime attraction in Charlestown was often a sold-out fundraiser event this summer with patrons paying $25 to play with tiger cubs. For $20 more in cash, they could pose for a photo with one in their arms.

What visitors may not have known was that some grown tigers outside the tent were lounging in cages inspectors have deemed inadequate to prevent escape, that Stark pleaded guilty to selling an endangered animal and that he’s boasted he’ll never shut down—no matter what the law says.

Read more.

What’s Going on With Muhammad Ali’s Boyhood Home in Louisville?

WFPL intern Gail Faustyn explored what was (or wasn't) happening at the boyhood home of one of Louisville's most famous natives.

Two years ago, Las Vegas real estate investor Jared Weiss purchased the boyhood home of Louisville boxing legend Muhammad Ali for $70,000. Weiss, an avid fan of Ali, bought the home with plans to transform it into a museum.

But in the years since, the Parkland house has been beaten and battered. Today, the paint continues to chip away and the roof looks to be caving in. Neighbors are hoping some change will come soon.

Read more.

Remembering the Wades, the Bradens and the Struggle for Racial Integration in Louisville

Earlier this month, WFPL's Rick Howlett explored a pivotal moment in Louisville history.

Today, the neighborhood in Shively seems a most unlikely place for cross-burnings, gunfire and a dynamite attack, but that’s exactly what happened along the street over the course of several weeks in 1954.

The hostility began when an African-American family—Andrew Wade, his pregnant wife, Charlotte and their 2-year-old daughter Rosemary—moved into their new home at 4010 Rone Court.

Read more.

Kentucky’s Laws Against Texting While Driving Prove Difficult to Enforce

WFPL intern Michael Homan looked into texting while driving, an issue of growing concern for law enforcement.

Texting while driving has been banned in Kentucky since 2011, but police officials say officers have difficulty enforcing the law because of how it’s written.

The legislation states that a violation occurs from using an “electronic communication device” while operating a motor vehicle, which technically places using a smartphone as a GPS device or even surfing the web outside the parameters of the law.

Read more.

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