In Conversation 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 as a weekly podcast.
In Conversation

In Conversation

From 89.3 WFPL News Louisville

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 as a weekly podcast.

Most Recent Episodes

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth

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 Congressional District in the House of Representatives and who serves as the chair of the House Budget Committee. Issues unpacked included working with the Biden administration, the infrastructure plan, the budget process, state election laws and legislation, redistricting in Kentucky, ending the Afghanistan war, and getting things done in Congress amid current political divisions.

Name, Image, Likeness and College Athletes

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 money from being unofficial ambassadors. But college athletes now get to profit from endorsements, sponsorships, appearances, marketing opportunities or just being able to tutor for extra cash. Last month, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the National Collegiate Athletic Association ("NCAA") violated antitrust laws by not allowing student-athletes to leverage their ability to get paid. The NCAA has since changed its bylaws to allow them to be compensated for use of their name, image and likeness. We talked to experts who will explain what this decision means, the practical implications of the change and what other ways this is a game changer.

Foodie Friday

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 master Chan Nelson who followed his dream of turning his food truck into a restaurant. Host Rick Howlett got some tips on how to make your own pork, beef and chicken stack up at weekend barbecues. Then we talked to local food writers Robin Garr, Lindsay McClave, and Susan Riegler about places in Louisville to go to get your grub on, even if the grub is fine dining. We also dished about how the local restaurant scene is changing, and how people are cooking up their own food cravings when they don't go out to eat.

Libraries And SummerWorks

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 Library. We discussed the state of the library system — such as finances and government allocations, ongoing negotiations with the library employees, and what new norms are in place for checking out books, using computers and being a community resource now that COVID-19 rates have declined. We also discussed SummerWorks with its director Chris Locke. SummerWorks connects local youths with employers and jobs. We learned about the program, and how this year's job market is affecting it.

Juneteenth And Pride Month

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 Proclamation. Juneteenth originated in Texas, and has increased in popularity throughout the country. Several citywide events were planned last week in celebration, and we learned more about them on "In Conversation." We also celebrate Pride Month, an amplification of LGBTQ communities. We talked with leaders of established and new organizations that put the focus on empowerment and visibility.

State Of The Arts

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 pandemic life to a summer that resembles the old normal. On this week's show we talked to community arts leaders about what's new, what's coming back and what the trends are nationally and locally for reopening the arts. Our guests included Andre Kimo Stone Guess, the new President and CEO of Louisville's Fund for the Arts. We also discussed two big issues in the Louisville arts community - leadership turnover at several organizations and how to address and create more equity in the arts.

More Jobs Than Workers

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 restrictions, employers are practically begging people to apply for jobs. On this week's "In Conversation" we explored with our guests what that's about. Is extra unemployment pay really causing people to not want to work, or did extra unemployment pay just highlight that some employees had not been making a living wage to begin with?

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer

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 we've been, where we are, where we're going as a city. We discussed his proposed budget for the next fiscal year, and the priorities the budget reflects. And it was one year ago this week that protests started in Minneapolis against the police killing of George Floyd, and here in Louisville, over the killing of Breonna Taylor. We talked about the investigations into Taylor's death, and lessons learned about local policing.

Summertime Travel and Reading

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 flights are making a big comeback and we talked to travel agents on "In Conversation" to talk about where people are going and how they plan to get there — and stay safe. And whether you're taking a good book to the beach or a state park, or cozying up in your favorite reading spot at home, we've got you covered on book recommendations, too. Here are some of the books recommended by our guests, librarians Jenny Lewis and Yalonda JD Green: Children's books "Outside, Inside" by LeUyen Pham "When the World Turned Upside Down" by K. Ibura "The Bad Guy" series by Aaron Blabey Adult books "The Premonition: A Pandemic Story" by Michael Lewis "The Other Black Girl" by Zakiya Dalila Harris "The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba" by Chanel Cleeton "Sex and Vanity" by Kevin Kwan

Incarceration In Kentucky

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 incarceration with experts in the criminal justice field. We talked about policies that impact the people serving time, and what can happen when businesses give a second chance to Kentuckians after they have served their sentences. May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, so we also took some time to reflect on the contributions and history of the AAPI community, and why acknowledging this month is particularly important in 2021.