Day: July 8, 2016

Gray says he raised nearly $1.1M in second quarter in Senate race against Paul

That boosts Democratic nominee Jim Gray‘s total raised to more than $2.8 million in his campaign against incumbent Republican Rand Paul. The Lexington mayor announced the figures in a press release yesterday; he says he expects to file a formal report with the Federal Election Commission by next Friday’s deadline.

Paul and Gray
Paul and Gray

Paul, completing his first senate term, hasn’t reported his fundraising totals for the quarter. But at the end of April, according to the FEC’s website, he had about $300,000 more on hand than Gray, despite the fact Gray had out-raised him since the beginning of the year, according to The Courier-Journal.

As the Seelbach shutters the Oak Room for remodeling, recalling the louche Rathskeller’s heyday

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Mobster Al Capone reportedly hung out in the Rathskeller.
Members of the American Business Club met in the Seelbach Hotel’s Rathskeller in March 1928, in this photo from the University of Louisville Photographic Archives. Pelican sculptures created by Rookwood Pottery of Cincinnati embellish the columns in what was a booming night club in the 1920s and 1930s.

The Seelbach has just announced the Rathskeller’s sister venue, the Oak Room, is closing for a summer-long renovation, according to The Courier-Journal.

Great GatsbyRathskeller (“council’s cellar” in German) is a name in German-speaking countries for a bar or restaurant in the basement of a city hall. At the Seelbach, the name reflected the background of the hotel’s Bavarian-born founders, brothers Louis and Otto Seelbach. They opened the hotel in 1905 as Louisville’s answer to the old-world grandeur of European hotels in Vienna and Paris.

Louis arrived in 1869 at 17 years old, and his brother followed in 1891, during a wave of German immigration that transformed Louisville’s economy. Already by 1850, Germans accounted for nearly 20% of the city’s 43,000 residents.

The Seelbach also played a cameo role in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” as the setting for Louisville debutante Daisy Fay’s wedding to Tom Buchanan of Chicago.

$8.50 an hour as a Belle of Louisville deckhand to bust up drunken passenger brawls. But who watches for pirates?

time-clockBoulevard reports extensively on executive pay at big local employers. But we also look at what folks make down in the trenches — or on the mighty Ohio River. Here’s an opening from Metro Louisville’s help-wanted listings.

The job: deckhand.

The duties include sweeping, mopping, and waxing the dance floor, then watching dancing passengers for dangerous activity, including fights. On the Texas deck, you’ll also guard against fighting passengers. (Battling passengers seems to be a theme.) And in your most serious job responsibility, you’ll keep an eye on the pilot, and “ensure safe navigation in the event the pilot/captain becomes incapacitated.”

Your employer: The 102-year-old, city-owned Belle of Louisville is America’s last genuine Mississippi river steamboat still in operation, offering sightseeing 2½-hour lunch and 3-hour dinner cruises on the Ohio.

What it pays: $8.50 an hour for what amounts to a seasonal job. Is it just us, or shouldn’t such serious responsibilities — fights! drunk passengers! incapacitated captains! — pay more? Odder still, the only qualifications are that you must be 18; pass pre-employment and post-employment alcohol and drug tests; wear safety equipment, and be available for a varied work schedule.

Related: In pirate talk, “wet your pipe” doesn’t mean what you might think.

Photo, top: Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series. The fifth installment, “Dead Men Tell No Tales” is set for release xt year.

Mysteries of Louisville’s society party scene: Are those giant scissors in your pocket, or are you just happy to see us?

Champagne smallerBig smiles, big personalities and big business networking — yes, it’s everyone’s favorite feature in The Voice-Tribune: party photos! Boulevard picks through the pics, choosing our favorite coverage.

The cosmos presents so many mysteries: How did those Easter Island statues wind up there? What is dark matter? How does the Voice-Tribune choose which parties to cover?

We ask after noticing this week’s 10 parties include The Vein Treatment & Aesthetic Center’s annual summer open house on June 29. “The well-attended event,” we learn, “featured exciting prize drawings as well as discounted pricing on an assorted array of Vein Treatment & Aesthetic Center products. Various reps were also there to answer any questions attendees may have, and all enjoyed plenty of wine and light hors d’oeuvres.”

With all due respect, as people say when they actually mean the opposite, Boulevard wonders whether that event really qualifies as the crème de la crème of Louisville’s social scene. Yet, props to the 16-year-old clinic for silk-purse marketing its vericose and spider vein treatments.

The center, according to its website, “coddles patients with a smorgasbord of cosmetic services in a cozy skin-clarifying facility. During your microdermabrasion, a skin savant will gently sweep perished skin cells under the closest rug, then set an antioxidant-rich ultrasonic infusion to the task of moisturizing arid flesh and rejuvenating the body’s roughened husk.”

To be sure, we’re a wee taken aback by the juxtaposition of “smorgasbord,” “perished skin cells,” and the “light hors d’oeuvres” served at the clinic’s open house. But that’s why we’re not in public relations.

Now, to our party pics pick!

Hands down, it was the June 30 celebration at home furnishings store Dwellings for its new location at 139 Breckenridge Lane. Of Tim Valentino‘s 32 pics, guests Palmer Cole and Tyler Freeman in photo No. 19 were the week’s best.

No grand opening would be complete without a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and Dwellings and the St. Mathews Chamber of Commerce didn’t disappoint — leading to our last mystery of the cosmos:

Big scissorsWhere do all the chambers get those giant ceremonial scissors to cut ribbons? Turns out, there’s an actual company, Golden Openings of Urbandale, Iowa, that sells them — along with golden shovels for groundbreakings, plus all the other accoutrements of commercial ceremonies. Their biggest working scissors are 40 inches long and sell for $199.

Golden Openings even sells a 17-page book for $19 that “guides you through the ribbon cutting from start to finish. This book provides a detailed description of the items you’ll need to consider to have a first class ribbon cutting!”

Illinois man gets 12 years after gunpoint robbery of two Papa John’s; Memphis cops on leave after Pizza Hut shooting; and alleged cat killer accused of robbing Taco Bell in Bismarck

The latest crime news across the world of 48,000 restaurants.*

Crime scene tapeIn Illinois, a 27-year-old Aurora man was sentenced yesterday in DuPage County Circuit Court to 12 years in state prison for robbing six fast-food restaurants at gun point, including two Papa John’s.

Cord Greenwall pleaded guilty to a single count of armed robbery without a firearm, according to the Chicago Tribune. Seven other counts of armed robbery, aggravated robbery and robbery were dismissed in exchange for the plea.

The first four robberies — at two Papa John’s; a Subway, and a Dunkin’ Donuts — happened over five days ending Feb. 20. Nine days later, Greenwall hit another Subway plus a Burger King.

No injuries were reported in any of the robberies. In each instance, Greenwall entered the restaurant, demanded an employee give him money from a cash register, took the money and left, according to the Tribune, which cited the state’s attorney’s office.

Aurora robber
Greenwall

In the first Papa John’s robbery, a surveillance photo showed Greenwall wearing a black hoodie with the hood up over a black stocking mask, black gloves, dark pants, and black sandals over white socks.

According to the newspaper, Greenwall has an extensive criminal history in DuPage and Kane counties dating to the year he turned 16.

Pizza Hut

In Memphis, two police officers have been relieved of duty pending the outcome of an investigation into their shooting two suspects during an attempted armed robbery at a Pizza Hut on June 25.

The suspects — Martez Brisco, 25, and Robert Miller, 21 — have been charged with Criminal Attempt Felony in the alleged attempted holdup of the restaurant in the 5300 block of Knight Arnold, according to WHBQ.

Officers responded to a robbery call at the restaurant a little after 11 p.m., and found two masked men with guns. When the officers made contact with the suspects, shots were fired, said WHBQ.

The officers hit both suspects, with one of the suspects staying on the scene and being transported to the hospital in critical condition. The other suspect fled but later showed up at a hospital in critical condition.

Taco Bell

In Bismarck, N.D., a 36-year-old Taco Bell employee has been accused of stealing close to $1,300 from a restaurant where he worked on the city’s north side. Kristofer Gilliam was in charge of sales during the four days the money was taken, the restaurant’s manager told police; Gilliam had a personal PIN number used to open the restaurant’s safe, according to KX News.

Bismarck alleged robber
Gilliam

None of the news reports say when the incident occurred.

In a separate case, Gilliam has been charged with shooting two cats with a bow and arrow. He’s scheduled to stand trial for animal cruelty late next month.

* Yum has 43,000 KFCs, Pizza Huts and Taco Bells in nearly 140 countries; Papa John’s has 4,900 in 37 countries, and Texas Roadhouse has 485 restaurants in five countries. With that many locations, crimes inevitably will occur — with potentially serious legal consequences for the companies.