Monday, March 27, 2006

Shane Ragland -- Pillar of Society

If you visit, you get the impression that Shane Ragland is a golden child who walks little old ladies across the street and never so much as jaywalked. It was only through a mass conspiracy among the Lexington Police, FBI, a jilted girlfriend, and probably the CIA and the Mafia that Shane was convicted.

But, lest we forget, here's some articles from several years ago in the Courier Journal, presented in chronological order. Ask yourself if the child of someone who wasn't a major Frankfort businessman with connections to state government would have gotten off so easy each time. The second article is especially fascinating. I've also included details of Shane Ragland's beating at the hands of a fellow inmate at the bottom.

I have added emphasis where I have found something interesting. I've copied directly from Newsbank:

Ragland case shows
Courier-Journal, The (Louisville, KY)
July 30, 2000
Estimated printed pages: 5

holes in DUI laws

Despite 5 convictions, he has done little time

JOSEPH GERTH, The Courier-Journal


Shane Ragland, charged with the 1994 murder of a University of Kentucky football player, has been convicted repeatedly on drunken-driving charges since 1991.

But because of suspended sentences and poor communication among prosecutors in different counties, he has served little time in jail, according to court records.

Ragland, 27, the son of a prominent Frankfort businessman, has been convicted five times in nine years of drunken driving and twice for the related violation of driving on a license suspended for drunken driving.

He has been sentenced to jail five times for those offenses - for a total of 522 days - but has served only 52 days.

He completed only one sentence. Judges suspended part or all of the others, meaning Ragland didn't have to serve the time unless he committed another offense within a certain period. But when he did so on three occasions, court records show, the judges failed to order more jail time - apparently because the violations occurred in different counties and court officials weren't aware Ragland had suspended sentences pending.

Ragland's case illustrates cracks in the legal system, say those familiar with the law.

``It's a systemic problem,'' said Benham Sims, a former Louisville prosecutor and judge who wrote the state prosecutors' DUI manual. ``I think we need to make sure DUI convictions are registered with an appropriate central registry, and there should be accountability for prosecutors and clerks who fail to file the paperwork in a timely fashion.''

In Bullitt County, where Ragland was convicted in 1998 on his fourth drunken-driving charge, prosecutors are too overwhelmed by a massive caseload to check out details of every defendant, said Bullitt County Attorney Walt Sholar.

``This office handles 10,000 cases a year,'' Sholar said. ``I've got two part-time assistants who make about $20,000 a year and another who makes about $12,000. . . If we had more people, we'd be able to do that kind of thing.''

Ragland was arrested July 14 and charged with the 1994 murder of former UK football player Trent DiGiuro, a shooting police allege stemmed from Ragland's resentment over having been blackballed from a UK fraternity. He has pleaded innocent and remains in jail on a $1 million cash bond.

His lawyer, Bill Johnson, declined to comment.

In Ragland's drunken-driving cases, prosecutors in counties where he was convicted didn't learn of his later offenses in other jurisdictions.

Sims, author of ``But Occifer, I Only Had Two Beers,'' said the system fails in cases such as Ragland's because there is no easily accessible central source of information about drunken-driving arrests and there are no penalties for court officials who don't follow through as they should.

DESPITE HAVING his license suspended after convictions for five drunken-driving arrests, Ragland has continued to drive - sometimes when he had drugs and drug paraphernalia in his car.
Not once was he brought back to a county to answer charges that he violated a judge's order to stay out of trouble or to complete the sentence originally handed down.

``That's outrageous,'' said Rep. Rob Wilkey, D-Franklin, when told what has happened in the Ragland case. ``He's running up and down the highway and we're turning him loose.''

In fact, Wilkey, a lawyer and co-author of the state's new DUI law, said Ragland should have been sentenced to a minimum of three years in prison for DUI by now and should have served most, if not all, of those sentences.

``You're not doing him a favor at this point,'' said Wilkey. ``This is a person who has a serious substance abuse problem. The best thing you can do is put him in prison and make him get treatment. . . . When you slap him on the wrist you're telling him, `it's really OK to do what you did.' ''

Ragland has been charged with crimes and driving offenses 21 times since 1991 - 15 of those cases involved drug or alcohol charges, court records show.

RAGLAND'S drunken-driving record dates back to 1991, when as a student at UK, he was convicted of driving under the influence and paid a fine. Ragland was charged with drunken driving again in September 1996. He was convicted on that charge and served seven days in jail - the minimum for the crime.

Just seven months later, in April 1997, he was caught speeding in Franklin County on a suspended driver's license. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail but the sentence was suspended as long as he didn't have any alcohol-related driving offenses in the next year.

But eight months later, in December 1997, Ragland was again charged with drunken driving, this time in Franklin County. Because it was the second time he was caught driving drunk in a five-year period, he could have faced harsher penalties, but the charge was reduced to a first-offense DUI and Ragland was fined but not sentenced to any jail time. It is unclear why he was not sent to jail. Franklin County Attorney Jim Boyd did not return numerous calls to his office last week.

One year after that incident, a state trooper in Bullitt County charged Ragland with drunken driving after the trooper found Ragland driving in a ditch along Interstate 65 near Shepherdsville. Ragland was found guilty and a Bullitt County judge sentenced him to 30 days in jail but suspended 23 of them - on the condition that Ragland have no more drug or alcohol-related violations for two years.

The following year, in November 1999, Ragland was charged in Shelby County with driving on a suspended license and possession of marijuana. He was found guilty on both counts, fined and sentenced to 12 months in jail - with all but 10 days suspended on the condition he not break the law for two years.

Less than four months after that arrest - and 10 days before he was sentenced - Ragland was again arrested in Franklin County and charged with DUI. Court records allege he led police on a chase through Frankfort before he was arrested - prompting a felony charge that is scheduled to be tried next month.

He was convicted on the other charges stemming from the incident and sentenced to 12 months in jail. He served 28 days, then spent two months in a drug treatment program in Florida. Nine months of his sentence were suspended on the condition that he not have any drug or alcohol-related driving violations for two years.

Sholar, the Bullitt County attorney, said he doesn't believe he ever received notice of Ragland's subsequent arrests in Shelby or Franklin County. That's why, he said, his office didn't bring Ragland back to serve the remaining 23 days on his sentence there.

If Ragland were required to complete the sentences in Bullitt and Shelby counties, he'd be in jail for more than a year.

SHOLAR SAID it's not surprising that county attorneys in Franklin and Shelby counties didn't notify him of the charges - they probably weren't aware of Ragland's suspended sentences, he said. In fact, Sholar said his office doesn't have the resources to fully research the people it prosecutes to determine if they should be sent to other counties to complete sentences.

Shelby County Attorney Charles Hickman did not return numerous calls to his office last week.

Sims said instances such as the Ragland case are probably common and that individual prosecutors are not to blame. Prosecutors are overburdened and don't have time to run as thorough background checks as they should, and the driver-history records they have easiest access to don't tell them vital information, he said.

Basic information about charges and convictions throughout the state is available from the state Administrative Office of the Courts, but prosecutors don't have computer access to the records now, said spokesman Russ Salsman. He said that a computer hookup through the Internet is ``on the horizon'' at some point but that the state is still working through a number of issues, including privacy concerns, before it is available to prosecutors online.

Shane Ragland remains in jail, charged with the murder of Trent DiGiuro.

Edition: MET;METRO
Section: NEWS
Page: 01A

Index Terms: LI; LIST; CRIME; ASSAULT; MURDER; Shane Ragland
Copyright (c) The Courier-Journal. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Gannett Co., Inc. by NewsBank, inc.
Record Number: lou2000073109260331

Ragland violated conditions of bond on murder charge
Courier-Journal, The (Louisville, KY)
August 11, 2001
Estimated printed pages: 8

JOSEPH GERTH, The Courier-Journal


Shane Ragland, accused of killing a University of Kentucky football player in 1994, has violated his bond conditions at least 50 times in the past year with minimal sanctions.

Ragland, 28, failed three breath-alcohol tests and showed up more than an hour late for one test. He also has called in late, or not at all, more than 40 times to a computer that tracks his whereabouts, according to records from the Fayette County Department of Detention.

Although he is supposed to stay at home or at work unless taking part in a court-approved activity, Ragland has reported in from restaurants and a video store in Frankfort, and numerous times from the home of his girlfriend, the daughter of a Franklin Circuit Court judge.

More than a year ago, police charged Ragland with murdering Trent DiGiuro, a UK student who was shot in the head with a highpowered hunting rifle. Authorities have said Ragland believed DiGiuro got him blackballed from a UK fraternity.

Guthrie True, Ragland's attorney, said his client had initial problems adjusting to electronic monitoring and that technical problems with the monitoring system also were to blame. But True said he doesn't think Ragland has violated any call-in requirements since the first few months he was monitored.

Fayette Circuit Judge Thomas Clark, who received the reports on Ragland's violations from corrections officials, said the number of release violations he would allow before revoking bond ``varies from case to case.'' He refused to comment on Ragland's violations.

After Ragland had been on Fayette County's electronic monitoring program about a month, Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Larson asked to tighten the release terms because of repeated violations. Clark lengthened the hours of Ragland's curfew and ordered twice-a-week drug and alcohol testing.

But the violations continued, and the court record of the case does not indicate any further attempts by Larson to more strictly monitor or sanction Ragland. Larson refused to comment.

The electronic monitoring program's guidelines call for corrections officials to ask the judge to revoke participation if the defendant makes three late calls in a 30-day period fails to respond to pages twice in a 30-day period fails to contact the program for 24 hours is charged with new criminal offenses or misses drug or alcohol tests or tests positive. The records show that Ragland violated the late-calls, no-responses and alcohol-test rules, lapses that corrections officials reported to Clark.

Fayette Chief Circuit Judge Mary Noble said judges normally view bond violations, even minor ones, as serious. ``It's been my experience that any violation will get you revoked,'' she said.

But she said it's up to a judge's discretion whether to revoke bond, and she wouldn't want to secondguess one.

IN JEFFERSON County, Chief Circuit Judge Thomas Wine said people are taken into custody automatically if they violate their bond conditions, and a judge later decides whether to renew or revoke the bond. ``Whenever you say to a defendant, `That's a gray area,' they will push it as far as they can,'' he said.

Jo Ann Phillips, executive director of Kentuckians' Voice for Crime Victims, said the number of violations by Ragland tell her he was not a good candidate for bond. ``He should have been hauled back in 49 violations ago,'' she said.

But Phillips said the bond system has traditionally favored the accused. In Ragland's case, she said, it has ``given him wide berth. . . . What this says to him, his friends and people like him is that the system doesn't really punish you.''

Melinda Wheeler, deputy director of the state Administrative Office of the Courts, said the agency does not offer judges guidelines regarding if and when they should revoke bond. Such decisions are made on a caseby-case basis, she said.

Since Aug. 18 last year, Ragland has been out on bail. His father, Jerry Ragland, a Frankfort businessman, put up $1 million in cash to secure his release. Jerry Ragland is among the largest landlords of state government, and the Ragland family has long been well-respected in Frankfort business and political circles.

The trial, scheduled for January, has been postponed several times, most recently so the defense could prepare to refute new prosecution evidence that has not been publicly disclosed.

DiGiuro's mother, Ann, declined to comment, saying she and her husband, Mike, residents of Oldham County, were told by prosecutors they should not discuss anything regarding the case.

Under Fayette County's electronic monitoring program, Ragland is required to call in by telephone several times a day, respond to random pages, abstain from use of alcohol and drugs, and stay at home or at work unless he gets prior approval to go elsewhere.

He must stay home on weekends, and on weeknights between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. He also is prohibited from leaving Franklin County, where he splits his time living with his mother and father, who are divorced.

But Fayette County corrections officials logged at least 50 violations of the terms of Ragland's release through February. Reports on the violations were sent to Clark and Larson, and Clark was asked 10 times by county detention officials to reconsider Ragland's participation in the program, in accordance with program guidelines.

There is no record of any action being taken as a result of those requests.

RAGLAND'S ATTORNEY said the monitoring system was flawed for the first few months Ragland was on it. ``There were a number of incidences where he didn't get pages,'' True said. ``There were disputed facts on both sides of the case.''

Some violations came early in the morning or late at night, when True said Ragland was sleeping and didn't hear the pager. And True said Ragland is not bound to stay at home or at work except on weekends and during curfew hours. True said he doesn't interpret the monitoring program's terms as barring Ragland from going out to eat or ``visiting anyone's home in Franklin County.''

The contract Ragland signed with the monitoring program says participants must maintain a detailed schedule approved in advance.

``You will be allowed to maintain current employment with appropriate travel time allotted and/or be allowed to remain in your residence instead of being placed in the Detention Center,'' the contract reads. ``You will report directly to your authorized destination,'' it goes on to say.

The home incarceration program started years ago as a way to punish non-violent offenders while not taking up jail space.

The system has expanded to include people who have been convicted and are awaiting sentencing, and for some suspects awaiting trial. As of this week, about 15 people were in the program, including two people convicted and awaiting sentencing. Ragland was the only person in the program awaiting trial.

Tom Bullock, a lawyer for Aimee Lloyd, a former girlfriend of Ragland's who is expected to be the chief prosecution witness at his trial, said allowing Ragland to remain in the monitoring program after so many violations could make him believe he is above the law.

``Not enforcing the terms of his release is the same as not having any conditions at all,'' Bullock said. ``That would be ridiculous. If he is out of jail and he's not monitored, he has the means and ability to do anything he wants.'' Bullock has said that Lloyd is afraid of Ragland, and the attorney is trying to keep her whereabouts a secret.

A key part of Fayette County's home incarceration program requires participants to call in to a Texasbased monitoring company that allows jail officials to track their whereabouts. The company, Voice Track, uses digital technology to confirm that the voice of the person calling is that of the person ordered to take part in the program. The computer at the company also records the telephone number from which the phone call was made.

The data allow Lexington corrections officers to know if Ragland calls from his father's house simply by looking at a computer printout. If he doesn't call on time, officers are notified.

ACCORDING TO the program's rules, those participating must be at home or at work except in certain situations. Unless they live alone, they are not even allowed to go to the grocery store or a coin laundry.

Last October, Ragland sought and received permission to go to the dentist. But Clark denied permission for him to go shopping for clothes. True said the denial was because Ragland wanted to shop outside the county.

Among the documented violations of Ragland's release terms:

On Sept. 27, Ragland didn't respond to several pages. When corrections Lt. Brian Proffitt tried to call him at home, he got an Internet answering service. Proffitt then called the Franklin County sheriff's office to ask that someone go to Ragland's father's home and look for him.

Forty-six minutes after the original page, Ragland called Proffitt and told him he had missed the page because he was in the shower.

When Proffitt told Ragland that a sheriff's deputy was on his way to check on him, according to Proffitt's memo to Clark, ``Mr. Ragland then became very agitated and began asking why I had done that to him. I could hear him moving things, shuffling things and breathing heavier.''

Ragland then called back to ask when the deputy would arrive.

In fact, the deputy never arrived. Instead, the deputy called Proffitt and told him that Franklin County Sheriff Ted Collins said his deputies ``were not authorized to make contact with Mr. Ragland except by order of the commonwealth's attorney or a warrant from the presiding judge.'' State law, however, would require no warrant to knock on the door and ask if Ragland was home.

Collins said he ``vaguely remembers'' the incident. He said his office would not make such a run ``without hearing from the court. That would be my standard operating procedure.''

Collins said the prominence of Ragland's family does not matter.

``I treat everybody the same here,'' he said. ``This is the capital city, and a lot of people here are somebody, and if they aren't somebody they know somebody who is somebody.''

On Nov. 11, Ragland didn't call in at 7 a.m. as scheduled. When Sgt. Marla Woodson called him at home, she woke him and told him to call in.

An hour-and-a-half later, he again failed to make a scheduled call. Again, Woodson had to call and wake him. Twenty minutes later, Ragland called her back and offered, without being asked, to take a drug and alcohol test. Ragland, who has had five drunken-driving convictions, is supposed to abstain from using alcohol. The breath-alcohol test registered 0.065 percent, below the level of 0.08 percent at which a driver is considered drunk but a violation of Ragland's release terms.

On Jan. 16, Ragland again tested positive for alcohol, this time at a level of 0.066 percent. And on Feb. 7, Ragland showed up more than an hour late at the program's downtown Lexington office for drug and alcohol testing, claiming he couldn't find a ride, and recorded a level of 0.041 percent.

According to files from the Fayette County Division of Community Corrections, corrections officials last found Ragland to be in violation on Feb. 12, when he was late in making a scheduled phone call.

Since then, the division has not submitted any new findings of violations to Clark and Larson, partly because Ragland's calling record has improved, and partly because program officials haven't checked where the calls originated.

Drexel Neal, the assistant director of community corrections for the Fayette County Detention Center, said because Ragland works for his father and must travel throughout the county, it's impossible for corrections officials to tell whether Ragland is at work when he is supposed to be there.

Most calls from Ragland, sometimes more than a dozen a day, come from either his father's or mother's home or from the Ragland Co., a property management firm that his father owns.

But Ragland also has made calls from the home of Roger Crittenden, the judge whose daughter he is dating. The calls have increased in recent months - five in the first 16 days of July, three in June, five in May, three in April and four in March.

Only two of the calls were approved - both on Easter, when Ragland received permission to leave home for Easter dinner.

Crittenden said he doesn't believe Ragland's visits to his home violate the release terms. If he put someone on a similar electronic monitoring program and was notified the person was calling from an unapproved location but made his curfew, ``I'd say why are you bothering me,'' Crittenden said.

``I'll tell you what this is - it's the prosecution using the press to guarantee this boy doesn't get a fair trial,'' he said.

Ragland also has made two calls from Casa Fiesta, a Mexican restaurant in Frankfort, one from a Blockbuster Video store, one from Gibby's Deli and one from Fazoli's restaurant.

Shane Ragland

Trent DiGiuro, a University of Kentucky football player, was fatally shot in the head with a hunting rifle in 1994 in Lexington.
Section: NEWS
Page: 01A

Index Terms: MALE; Shane Ragland; Trent DiGiuro
Copyright (c) The Courier-Journal. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Gannett Co., Inc. by NewsBank, inc.
Record Number: lou2001081310181807

Ragland accused of causing injury on boat outing
Courier-Journal, The (Louisville, KY)
August 15, 2002
Estimated printed pages: 3

Incident occurred during house arrest before murder trial


The Courier-Journal


Shane Ragland, convicted in March of the murder of University of Kentucky football player Trent DiGiuro, is accused of hurting a woman in a boating accident last summer while he was supposed to be under house arrest while awaiting trial.

A lawsuit filed in Franklin Circuit Court claims that Ragland and another man, Kenny Lancaster, pushed Emily Moore Houston from a boat during an outing on the Kentucky River in July 2001 and that she was injured by a propeller.

It is one of several cases, civil and criminal, involving Ragland, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the fatal shooting of DiGiuro in 1994.

Ragland's lawyers will be in court tomorrow seeking dismissal of a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by DiGiuro's father.

Last week, Ragland's lawyers subpoenaed an FBI bullet analyst who admitted lying during a pretrial hearing in the murder case. The attorneys, seeking a new trial for Ragland, want the analyst to testify at a hearing next month.

And in another case, Franklin Commonwealth's Attorney Larry Cleveland has asked a judge to set a trial date for a 2000 felony case in which Ragland is accused of fleeing from police while driving drunk, crashing his Mercedes-Benz. A hearing in the matter is scheduled for Aug. 27.

Houston's lawsuit suggests that Ragland violated the conditions of his release before the murder trial.

The Courier-Journal reported last year that Ragland had violated the terms of his release on at least 50 occasions - often responding late to pages, failing three blood-alcohol tests and returning calls from restaurants and even from the home of a judge whose daughter Ragland was dating.

While on home incarceration, Ragland was required to be at home or at work unless he was taking part in court-approved activities such as church or meetings with his lawyer.

``I think his history has been to disobey any kind of rule or law put down before him, so I guess I'm not surprised,'' said Fayette Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Larson. He added that the allegations indicate that Ragland violated the terms of his release.

Guthrie True, one of Ragland's lawyers, said he had no knowledge whether Ragland was on the boat, as Houston's lawsuit claims.

Houston's attorney, Stephen O'Brien, could not be reached yesterday.

According to Houston's lawsuit, Ragland and Lancaster threw her off the back of the boat and she was injured by the propeller. The lawsuit, filed July 3, also names Perry Goins, the boat's owner, and Tim Adcock, who Houston says was at the helm, as defendants.

The lawsuit did not describe Houston's injuries but said she sustained ``permanent injury and permanent impairment of her power to earn money'' and has ``incurred and will incur in the future medical expenses.''

According to a response to the lawsuit filed by Kathy Ragland, Shane Ragland's mother, she witnessed the event. Kathy Ragland claims that Houston jumped into the water on her own and was injured as she tried to climb back on the boat.

Goins and Adcock claim in their responses that Ragland and Lancaster were responsible for any injuries to Houston. Lancaster has not filed a response.

In the murder case, prosecutors and defense lawyers are preparing for a Sept. 5 hearing before Fayette Circuit Judge Thomas Clark on whether to set aside Ragland's conviction and order a new trial.

Defense lawyers asked for a new trial after learning that FBI bullet analyst Kathleen Lundy had given false testimony during a pretrial hearing. The hearing concerned whether to allow evidence that the bullet used to kill DiGiuro may have came from the same batch as bullets found at Ragland's father's home.

Lundy corrected her testimony at the trial. But Ragland's lawyers have argued that Lundy's evidence would not have been allowed at the trial if she had given the correct information at the hearing.

Larson also has subpoenaed Lundy for the Sept. 5 hearing. Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Mike Malone has said he does not know whether she will refuse to testify.

True said he doesn't know if Lundy will testify.

Lundy's lawyer, David O'Brien of Washington, did not return a telephone call yesterday.

Shane Ragland was required to be at home or at work during his house arrest unless he was taking part in court-approved activities such as church or meetings with his lawyer.
Section: NEWS
Page: 01B

Copyright (c) The Courier-Journal. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Gannett Co., Inc. by NewsBank, inc.
Record Number: lou2002081509398008

Griffin was cited for physical action resulting in the serious injury of another inmate, a Category VII, Item 2, violation of Corrections Policy and Procedure (CPP) 15.2.1 Griffin seriously injured inmate Shane Ragland by striking him in the head at least three times with a ten-pound weight plate on June 1, 2003. This attack was the climax of an argument between the two, which started over whose turn it was to use a piece of weightlifting equipment. After Ragland was found injured in the weight pavilion, he received first aid at the prison. He was later transported by stretcher to Baptist Hospital Northeast and then by stat flight to University Hospital in Louisville. His head wound was closed with surgical staples. The disciplinary report was based on the accounts of inmate witnesses Ragland, James Bunch, Steve Halsey, and Roger Whitaker; but it did not identify exactly what each of these witnesses said about the incident.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Shane Ragland -- Go for the death penalty!

Once again, Shane Ragland gets a break he doesn't deserve. This humongous scum bag gets a new trial because of bullet testing. I have nothing against someone seeking a fair hearing, but here's hoping he is convicted again and spends the rest of his days rotting in prison where his daddy can't bail him out yet again.

Mike, Ann, and Thad, my deepest sympathies are with you as you have to relive this nightmare yet again. Maybe someday you'll finally get the justice you deserve.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Louisville Arena -- Which Monopoly Space Will They Pick?

Water Company vs. Electric Company. The entire arena debate has been framed without any real depth of explanation. Ever since I've lived in Kentucky, I've heard what a vital asset the Ohio River is. This polluted, swiftly moving, easily flooded river that cuts us from Indiana is somehow the economic driver that will make us a "World Class City." So Jim Host, Tom Jurich, James Ramsey, Mayor for Life, Ernie Fletcher, and probably Jesus himself all stood up today in Frankfort to talk about how we had to have an arena on the waterfront or else.

WHY??????? That's the $114 million dollar question that nobody can answer. The site itself is a dog, a guaranteed traffic nightmare, immediately off of two major feeds into the city with the Third Street ramp and Second Street bridge. It requires the destruction of a relatively new office building and dismantling of major electrical systems. It's dangerously close to areas that are flood prone. And its location (like that of most buildings on Main Street), guarantees that the only people who will really get a good look at it will be on the opposite side of the river. And it is near absolutely NOTHING that would provide pre or post event entertainment (such as the thriving 4th Street Live.)

I think we're proving how absolutely hick this town is with this entire debate. Rather than admit to ourselves that this arena will be limited in the amount of business and tourism it attracts, we have this Field of Dreams belief that if we build it everything will come. Here are the problems with that thinking:

1) The main tenant of the Arena, the University of Louisville, has limited appeal beyond this region. As hard as it may be for people who live in this state to believe, the majority of people in this country are not following U of L & UK religiously. The few thousand additional seats the arena will provide will surely sell out, but it's not clear that this justifies the cost of the arena.

2) This arena is not a guarantee of any event coming here. The major event concerts that most of us would love to see here will need to have an incentive beyond a big arena to come here. Indianapolis, Cincinatti, Cleveland, Chicago, and Nashville are just as likely or more likely to attract the big concerts (U2, Rolling Stones, etc.) and these acts have learned their lesson to space out their concerts. Let's not forget the Rolling Stones concert that played here during the Steel Wheels tour that played to a half empty house. A final four or regional tournament is certainly a boon, but isn't going to happen every year.

3) Nobody outside of the city will care about the Riverfront site. People in town for events want things to do. 2nd and Main is NOT event central. If tourists want to see the museums or other attractions on main (which are a good distance away from the LG&E site), they can drive, walk or get a cab from the Water Company site. ESPN, ABC, CBS and other networks don't care if the arena is on the waterfront or in the middle of the city. They're still going to do the establishing shot of the skyline AND show the arena.

4) An arena is a building with seats, no matter how nice it looks on the outside. Without an event, nobody is going there. Unlike the new Museum Plaza, I have serious doubts that anyone is going to go to the Louisville Arena on an off night just to see where the Cards play. If you're going to put something on the riverfront, why not make the building something people will want to visit year round?

It's frustrating to watch David Jones and Papa John's names run through the mud and their motives questioned for having a study commissioned. Who is questioning the motives of this committee? Does anyone REALLY think PJ is worried about Yum getting naming rights or the visibility a riverfront location would supposedly provide? He could buy every billboard in the city for Papa John's for cheaper than the naming rights and have higher visibility than an arena sandwiched between a bridge and the fast moving traffic on 64.

Build the arena. Build it on the water company site.