Freelancers Sherry Deatrick of Louisville Eccentric Observer and Jennifer Smith of Isthmus, and Byron Woods, theater and dance critic for the Independent Weekly (Durham, N.C.), have each received fellowships to attend the third National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Journalism Institute in Theater and Musical Theater at the USC Annenberg School for Communication in Los Angeles. "All the American arts depend on media coverage and intelligent criticism," says NEA chairman Dana Gioia. "The NEA Arts Journalism Institutes provide professional development to improve both the quantity and quality of this country's arts journalism." The Institute, a $1 million NEA initiative, will be conducted next year from Jan. 30 - Feb. 9.

Continue ReadingThree Alt-Weekly Arts Writers Selected for NEA Fellowship

Democratic challenger John Yarmuth edged out 10-year incumbent Rep. Ann Northup to win Kentucky's Third Congressional District. In a taut race, Northup assailed Yarmuth for opinions expressed in columns written for the Louisville Eccentric Observer, an AAN member newspaper he founded; Yarmuth's campaign depicted Northup marching in lockstep with President Bush on Iraq, health care, education and the economy.

Continue ReadingLEO’s Yarmuth Elected to Congress

Democratic congressional candidate and LEO publisher John Yarmuth seems to have gained some ground in his challenge to five-term Republican Rep. Anne M. Northup. A New York Times article indicates that the GOP stronghold of Kentucky's third Congressional District may now be less so. The Times observes that has downgraded the race from "Republican Favored" to "Leans Republican," while another poll gives Yarmuth a 48-47 point advantage over Northup. Northup's zealous support of the war in Iraq and the congressional-page scandal appears to have eroded Northup's voter base, the Times suggests.

Continue ReadingNYT Says Yarmuth Is Closing on GOP Incumbent

In a press conference Friday, U.S. Rep. Anne Northup criticized her opponent John Yarmuth, founder of the Louisville Eccentric Observer, for the "goofy" ideas in his columns, The Courier-Journal reports. Northup pointed to specific issues, such as legalizing marijuana and eliminating Social Security, but she also cited a 2004 column in which Yarmuth laid out a "damage control playbook for embarrassing statements." Northup suggested he would follow his own advice and either ignore the claims or say they were taken out of context. Her campaign has created a Web site,, specifically to post the most controversial statements from Yarmuth's columns and speeches.

Continue ReadingLEO Founder’s Opponent Uses Columns Against Him

John Yarmuth, founder of the Louisville Eccentric Observer and Democratic candidate for the 3rd District seat in the House of Representatives, has accused his opponent of "mudslinging," The Courier-Journal reports. Ads for Republican incumbent Anne Northup compare statements Yarmuth has made on the campaign trail to those he made in his LEO column, which ran until Yarmuth declared his candidacy in January. Yarmuth says the quotes were taken from old columns, and circumstances have changed since their publication. Northup "talk[s] about something her opponent may have done 15 years ago" instead of discussing her own record, Yarmuth says.

Continue ReadingLEO Founder Accused of Contradicting His Columns