A quick rundown of what people are talking about today…

Parker Beam remembrances are pouring in

The master distiller emeritus of Heaven Hill, Parker Beam, died on Jan. 8 at the age of 75, after a long battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS. Industry insiders and bourbon lovers responded to the news with an outpouring of kind words on social media:

Heaven Hill released this statement: “Starting in 1960 when he joined his father Earl here, and continuing through his appointment as Master Distiller in 1975, succeeding his father, Parker’s leadership established the foundation for our company and our Bourbon heritage. It was Parker who saw us through Bourbon’s first golden age in the 1960s, its subsequent decline in the 1970s and who led us to today’s new Golden Age, helping pioneer our first premium small batch and single barrel Bourbons, and paving the way for Heaven Hill to be the category leader we are today. There are no awards Parker has not won — charter member of the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame, Whiskey Advocate Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame, they go on and on — but what we will remember most about Parker was the leadership, the can-do attitude, and the kind and selfless mentoring he did to his son Craig and a whole new generation of Bourbon distillers.”

McConnell: ‘Obamacare repeal is good for Kentucky’

In an Op-Ed that appeared in a few media outlets Tuesday, Mitch McConnell, U.S. Senate majority leader, promised to make good on a promise to “to repeal Obamacare and replace it with health care that people can actually use.”

He wrote in part: “Every year since this law’s passage, a growing number of people in Kentucky and throughout the nation have called for Obamacare’s repeal. A recent poll showed that 8 out of 10 Americans want Obamacare to be significantly changed or replaced.”

Adding: “President Obama used to hold Kentucky’s Obamacare exchange up as some kind of success story. But Kentuckians knew better, and we don’t hear him saying that anymore. Obamacare has become a mess in Kentucky, just like it has across the nation. In our state, premiums are rising by as much as 47 percent this year alone. The damage of this disastrous law injected instability into the insurance market, and now families across the state are stuck paying the price. It’s now clear that the so-called Affordable Care Act is anything but affordable.”

Churchill Downs makes ‘significant gift’ to Fund for the Arts campaign

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer thanked Churchill Downs for supporting Cultural Pass for Children, which provides children free access to arts and culture experiences over the summer.

Insider Louisville was at the announcement and will have an update later today.

WLKY: Fire officials monitor brush fire in northeast Jefferson Co.

Fire officials were notified of smoke in the area of Old Henry Road near the Gene Snyder Freeway just before 7 a.m. Tuesday. The fire is still burning, but does not pose a threat to residents or businesses in the area, officials said. However, the fire could burn for several days.


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