Recut Recut is a twice-weekly podcast taking a closer look at one of the stories we're covering, with the reporter who covered it. We pull back the curtain on the news process and break down the story, often sharing sound that didn't make it into the final version. New episodes every Tuesday and Thursday. Contact #Recut at


From 89.3 WFPL News Louisville

Recut is a twice-weekly podcast taking a closer look at one of the stories we're covering, with the reporter who covered it. We pull back the curtain on the news process and break down the story, often sharing sound that didn't make it into the final version. New episodes every Tuesday and Thursday. Contact #Recut at

Most Recent Episodes

Life's Getting Better At Dosker, But Is It Good Enough?

A few months ago, we told you about a bedbug infestation in a public housing complex called Dosker Manor — a 700-unit high rise for older people and people with disabilities. Jake Ryan from the Kentucky Center of Investigative Reporting found city records showing that residents in nearly half of the units at Dosker have complained to the city about bedbugs since 2016. Despite those repeated complaints, the complex remained infested. Since then, the property has had another inspection by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It failed, for the third year in a row. Inspectors found exposed wires, leaky pipes, clogged drains, broken locks, missing sprinklers and more in the city's largest public housing facility. They did score higher this year than last year, though. They've also made some personnel changes in the maintenance department, pledged to spend the money to fix the building, and hired an expert consultant on pest control. Residents say they see crews working more often and things seem to be getting better. But they still have bedbugs. Jake Ryan joins us today with an update.

Recut: Our Neighbors Have Great Stories

One of the things we love most about working in radio is meeting new people and hearing their stories. There aren't too many other jobs where you can meet a stranger in one moment and in the next they're telling you some of the most intimate parts of their life. It's pretty weird when you think about it but the fact that people trust us with things so personal is pretty special. WFPL has partnered with IDEAS xLab to bring you Tough and Universal: Stories of Grit, first-person accounts from people in the community who've overcome significant challenges and thrived despite the odds. WFPL News Director Erica Peterson and Theo Edmonds from IDEAS xLab join us today to talk about the partnership, and we'll hear excerpts from each of the stories.

You're (Probably) Recycling Wrong

A couple years ago, WFPL launched Curious Louisville, a regular series where listeners ask us questions about the city and we investigate to find the answers. And let me tell you, you have not disappointed. We've gotten some really interesting questions, including what happens to zoo animals when they die, why we pronounce Louisville the way we do, whether the high-five was invented here, and many others. But in the past couple years, we've received nearly a dozen questions about one particular topic: Recycling. Y'all are really, really curious about recycling. And, after two years of asking, you're gonna get your answers. WFPL Energy and Environment reporter Ryan Van Velzer joins us today to tell us what you wanted to know and what he found out.

Recut: Is Louisville's Land Bank Working?

Louisville's Land Bank Authority acquires abandoned properties and then sells them to new owners very cheap, sometimes for as little as a dollar. The new owners have six months to rehab the outside of the house, and 18 months to fix the inside. Last December, a record year for landbank sales, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer called the program a "win for neighbors and for public safety." But reporter Jake Ryan with the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting found that of the 316 properties the landbank has sold, almost a third are vacant and in violation of the city's property maintenance codes. The landbank has the authority to take houses back if the buyer doesn't hold up their end of the bargain, but they've only actually done that one time since 2010. Jake joins us today on Recut to tell us what he found out about why those properties remain vacant, and what people living nearby have to say about it.

What If You Had To Leave Home To Get Online?

For many of us, having the internet at home is as important as having electricity, or maybe even water. We use it to watch our favorite TV shows, to do homework, to pay bills. But inside 40 percent of Louisville's poorest households, there is no internet access. Those families don't hop on the computer to help kids with homework, they don't look up tutorials for home repairs, and they don't play games online or look at social media. These are things we — and maybe you, too — take for granted. But for many Louisvillians, having the internet at home is just not an option. Internet access is essential for most people anymore, and the city of Louisville has a digital inclusion plan that aims to help low-income residents get connected at home. City reporter Amina Elahi joins us today to talk about how the plan is working and how it could be improved, and we meet a woman whose life is being changed just by being able to get online at home.

With Castleman Moving, What's Next?

In early August, Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher announced that the John Breckinridge Castleman statue would be removed from Cherokee Triangle. Debate about the Castleman monument and other controversial works of art was sparked last August when the Castleman statue was vandalized with paint. This happened a day after violence erupted at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Following the deadly rally, cities around the country — including Lexington — moved swiftly to relocate their Confederate monuments. Louisville did not act so quickly; we had nearly a year of committee meetings and public comments. Now, the statue will be moved. And the conversation is moving ahead, too, to the next question: What should replace it? We asked WFPL listeners what you thought should go in the statue's place, and we'll hear some of those answers on today's show, with arts reporter Ashlie Stevens. (Oh! And since you asked, yes, this is pledge drive week! Everything we do at WFPL is only possible because of listener support and that includes Recut. Donate at And thanks!)

There's A Thin Line Between Revitalization And Gentrification

We've seen it before: A neighborhood dealing with high poverty and crime, and offering few economic prospects, is given a boost. State and federal investments for new projects are approved. Maybe a new, trendy restaurant or bar or coffee shop comes in — thanks to the low property costs — and soon, other businesses follow. Developers begin to buy homes in the area for cheap and flip them for big profits. Property values and property taxes rise, and before you know it, the neighborhood barely resembles its former self. And the people who've lived there for years, some of them for decades, can no longer afford to live in the place they call home. There's no denying that West Louisville needs a boost. At one time, jobs were plentiful and businesses thrived. The Russell neighborhood was even nicknamed "Louisville's Harlem." But that was a long time ago. Many residents in the west now live in poverty, and rates of crime in the West End are among the highest in the city. But with major investment for new projects ahead — including a new track and field sports complex, a renovated Beecher Terrace, and a neighborhood YMCA — West Louisville is likely headed for big changes. Today on Recut, WFPL's Kyeland Jackson talks about revitalization efforts in the West End, and the line between neighborhood renewal and gentrification.

Reporting On The Opioid Crisis In Small Towns

Sitting in our recording studio, we're within about five miles of 15 different drug addiction recovery facilities. From our station, it's a 17-minute walk to someplace you can get a Hepatitis A vaccine, even if you don't have health insurance. We're in downtown Louisville. But the opioid and Hep A epidemics look very different outside of big cities. In small towns, where everyone knows everyone else, the stigma attached to seeking treatment for substance use disorders can be intense. Plenty of evidence says needle exchange programs help prevent the spread of disease, but they're politically unpopular. Mary Meehan and Aaron Payne cover health issues for the Ohio Valley ReSource. "To talk to people in active addiction is difficult because they don't want to be associated with the opioid epidemic," Aaron said. "Even people in recovery sometimes are hesitant to talk about their experience. They're still afraid of the stigma, so it can be difficult to find people to talk to that have lived through this disease." They join us on today's show to talk about their experiences covering the opioid epidemic and related issues in rural communities.

A Long Time Ago, In A School System Not Far Away...

"We should have a scroll at the top of all JCPS coverage, like what happens at the beginning of "Star Wars" movies." —words of wisdom from producer Laura Ellis. It's not the worst idea. I don't know about you but I find it really hard to keep up — even if you work in a newsroom every day. Let's (try to) break it down: It feels like a "long time ago," but it was actually back in April. Gov. Matt Bevin appointed seven new members to the Kentucky Board of Education, giving his appointees full control. During a meeting the next day, the new board pressured Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt to resign, which he did. The board then named University of Kentucky professor and charter schools proponent Wayne Lewis interim commissioner. Two weeks later, Lewis released a scathing audit of the district and recommended a state takeover. You keeping up? At the end of May, the JCPS board voted to appeal the state takeover. Hearings to settle the matter were scheduled to begin in September. But, in July, Lewis offered the district a settlement instead of going through with the takeover. After many meetings, the JCPS board this week voted to take the deal. We know some terms of the agreement, but the two sides still have to come up with a corrective action plan. If they don't, Lewis gets the final say. WFPL's Roxanne Scott has been spending way too many evenings waiting for them to come out of closed-session meetings. She joins us to share what's in the agreement, and what could happen next.

We Always Hurt The Parks We Love

The Parklands of Floyds Fork is 4,000 acres of undeveloped land in southeast Louisville. It's one of the last undeveloped regions of Louisville, and it's home to mammals, aquatic animals, and plants — some of which aren't found anywhere else in the world. It centers around a 62-mile long waterway called Floyds Fork. A new subdivision is in the works for the area, and conservationists are worried that the additional runoff and wastewater from homes and apartments would cause the collapse of the stream's ecosystem. WFPL's environment reporter Ryan Van Velzer joins us on today's Recut to explain how the development could affect the stream. The developers and the conservationists each have their own positions; Ryan tells us what the data shows. And the whole issue brings up a kind of cognitive dissonance: a place is beautiful, so we love it and want to live there, but in order to live there, we have to take away some of what makes it beautiful (or possibly even destroy it altogether). Near the end of today's show, things get a little far afield (pun intended) as Ryan takes us inside the mind of an environment reporter. "I knew car exhaust was bad for me," he said. "But now I know the mechanism in which it's bad for me." And after today's show, we do, too (thanks a lot, Ryan).

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