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Image 1 of The Courier Journal, April 24, 2012

Part of Porter, Jean

Time: 04-23-2012 22:00 User: cdye PubDate: 04-24-2012 Zone: KY Edition: 1 Page Name: A 1 Color: Black Yellow Magenta Cyan ARKANSAS HIRES EX-U OF L COACH JOHN L. SMITH AS INTERIM PETRINO REPLACEMENT SPORTS | C1 SUMMER’S HOT MOVIES SUPERHEROES LEAD THE PACK FEATURES | D1 METRO EDITION LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY T U E S D AY , A P R I L 2 4 , 2 0 1 2 LOUISVILLE BOOSTS NARCOTICS BUSTS Increase in police unit size and shift in targeting dealers pay off in bigger seizures, more arrests Teri Tharpe, cousin of murder victim Gregory Holt, and activist Christopher 2X talk to the media Monday. MICHAEL CLEVENGER/THE C-J Stengel backs aide in early release FELONY DRUG ARRESTS Mallory won’t have special prosecutor By Stephen Ohlemacher Associated Press WASHINGTON — Social Securityisrushingevenfastertowardinsolvency, driven by retiring baby boomers,aweakeconomyandpoliticians’ reluctance to take painful action to fix the huge retirement and disability program. The trust funds that support SocialSecuritywillrundryin2033 — three years earlier than previously projected — the government said Monday. There was no change in the year Medicare’s hospital insurancefundisprojectedtorunoutof money: 2024. The program’s trustees, however, said the pace of Medicare spending continues to accelerate. Congress last year enacteda2percentcutforMedicare, the main reason the trust fund’s exhaustion date did not advance. The trustees who oversee both programs said high energy prices aresuppressingworkers’wages,a trend they see continuing. They also expect people to work fewer hours than previously projected, even after the economy recovers. Both trends would lead to lower payroll tax receipts, which support both programs. Unless Congress acts — and forcefully — payments to millions By Jason Riley The Courier-Journal Jefferson Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Stengel on Monday defended his office’s role in the early release from prison of a man accused of later murdering a 15-year-old, rejecting calls to fire the prosecutor involved INSIDE or bring in an John Jones, outside agency whom James to handle the Mallory was case. supposed to While it was testify against, an “awful reis convicted of sult” and he lesser charges feels for the in 2010 shootteen’s family, ing. B1 Stengel said he found no wrongdoing after reviewing the circumstances regarding the release of James Mallory, who was given shock probation from a nine-year prison sentence in February at the request of Assis- $383,302 61,700 Jan. 1, 2011 to April 2, 2011 Jan. 1, 2011 to April 2, 2011 387 $1.15 million 88,777 2,957 pounds Jan. 1, 2011 to April 2, 2011 Jan. 1, 2011 to April 2, 2011 Jan. 1, 2012 to March 31, 2012 Jan. 1, 2012 to March 31, 2012 UP UP 6% 299% F or nearly six months, the Louisville narcotics officers built their case, patiently gathering the intelligence that led them on the evening of Feb. 28 to stake out a home on Chenoweth Run Road. As they readied their request for a search warrant, two people bolted from the home and sped off. When the narcotics officers stopped Rayshawn Jackson for speeding, they found $10,000. In the other car, driven by Brent Goodman, there was about 285 pounds of marijuana. By the time the investigation was complete, police had seized 402 pounds of marijuana, about $48,000 cash, 276 bottles of steroids, about 5,000 other pills and two new cars. CHICAGO — What do hospitals charge to remove an appendix? Thestartlingansweristhatitcould be the same as the price of a refrigerator — or a house. It’s a common, straightforward operation, so you might expect charges to be similar no matter where the surgery takes place. Yet a California study found huge disparitiesinpatients’bills—$1,500to $180,000, with an average of $33,000. The researchers and other experts say the results aren’t unique to California and illustrate a broken system. “There’s no method to the madness,” said lead author Dr. Renee Now Jackson and Goodman, along with two other people, face federal drug charges. Maj. Jim Harper, the Narcotics Unit commander, says such drug busts are becoming more frequent because of changes the police department made last year in its strategy and staffing. LMPD added 11 detectives to the narcotics unit, resulting in what may be the unit’s biggest year ever for drug seizures and arrests, police officials say. The unit now has 61 detectives and commanders, the largest it’s been in years. In 2011, the unit made 1,377 felony arrests, up from 944 in 2010. It also seized more than $2 million in drug money, far outpacing the nearly $600,000 seized the previous year. See LMPD, Page A4 WEATHER | B2 Follow Jody Demling at recruiting as he brings you the latest recruiting news and scoops on who’s coming and who’s not. You can still refinance your home at today’s low rates! CJ-0000331394 See FUND, Page A4 Police are seizing more cash, weapons and most drugs since enlarging the Narcotics Unit. TRAFFIC HELP AT HAND KY DLY 9% STEVE REED/THE COURIER-JOURNAL The Courier-Journal Associated Press For home delivery pricing see Page 2. Jan. 1, 2012 to March 31, 2012 DOWN 44% By Jessie Halladay By Lindsay Tanner $1.00 retail UP SOURCE: Louisville Metro Police Department In hospitals, prices lack surgeons’ precision Get the latest traffic info on your smart phone to help with your commute. Scan this code with a QR Code reader or go to Jan. 1, 2012 to March 31, 2012 Photos by com See MALLORY, Page A4 See HOSPITALS, Page A2 3,239 pounds 366 Retiree fund drying up fast U.S.: Social Security insolvency hastens PRESCRIPTION PRESCRIPTION PILLS SEIZED MARIJUANA SEIZED CASH SEIZED USPS 135560 Who gets benefits: More than 56 million retirees, disabled workers, spouses and surviving children of deceased workers. How it’s financed: Employers and employees each pay a 6.2 percent tax on the first $110,000 of wages. Congress temporarily reduced the worker portion of the tax to 4.2 percent for 2011 and 2012. Average monthly benefit: $1,232 for retirees; $1,111 for disabled workers. Benefits are indexed for inflation. MEDICARE Who’s covered: About 50 million beneficiaries, including retirees 65 and older and younger people with permanent disabilities. How it’s financed: Employers and employees each pay a 1.45 percent tax on all wages. Medicare beneficiaries pay monthly premiums for outpatient and prescription coverage. The government’s general fund also covers an increasing share of the cost. Average spending: About $12,500 a year per beneficiary, but Medicare spending is skewed toward the sickest people. INDEX 36-HOUR FORECAST Louisville area: Cloudy today, 30% chance of showers. Partly sunny, warmer tomorrow. SOCIAL SECURITY TODAY 65 49 TOMORROW Business Comics Deaths Editorial Features B4 D4 B6 A6 D1 28 PAGES Lottery A2 Markets B5 Metro B1 Sports C1 TV D5 74 Call us today at 584-3600 or 888-584-3600 *Loan example as of 3/15/2012: $150,000 30-year fixed rate mortgage loan. 4.232% Annual Percentage Rate with 360 payments of $726.97. 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