This is a story we can’t talk about enough. A Floyd County man charged with helping operate what authorities called one of the nation’s largest cockfighting pits pleaded guilty Thursday, according to federal court records. Walter Dale Stumbo, 52, pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to sponsor or exhibit an animal in a fighting venture and conduct an illegal gambling business. [H-L]
From the Department of Things Ken Ham Can’t Understand. A newfound alien planet is one for the record books. [HuffPo]
Rand Paul has hired again. This time, the possible Republican presidential candidate has tapped John Yob, a former national political director for Arizona Sen. John McCain’s 2008 White House campaign, as the new chief strategist in Michigan for RANDPAC, Paul’s political action committee. [C-J/AKN]
Same-sex couples in Alaska should be eligible to receive death benefits when a partner dies despite a state ban on gay marriage, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled on Friday in its second decision in four months to favor granting benefits to gay couples. [Reuters]
Brannon Dunn says he’s a product of his environment. He grew up in the east end of Lexington. “I was selling drugs. I was robbing. I was doing all of that,” Dunn explained. [WKYT]
A 1996 law known as HIPAA has been cited to scold a mom taking a picture of her son in a hospital, to keep information away from police investigating a possible rape at a nursing home, and to threaten VA whistleblowers. [ProPublica]
In Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell would likely win today in his race against Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. [CBS/NYT]
A Colorado town’s voter-approved ban on fracking in residential areas was shot down on Thursday, after a judge sided with an industry lawsuit claiming only the state government has that kind of authority over oil and gas operations. [Think Progress]
Why on earth is New York garbage being shipped to a Kentucky landfill? Hello? Legislature? This should be illegal. [CBS]
Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Bank of Nova Scotia have been accused of attempting to rig the price of silver, in a lawsuit filed in the US. [BBC]
Six big takeaways from the latest polling data: McConnell is gaining ground. Grimes doesn’t have the gender gap she needs. Grimes is winning independents — and still losing. McConnell is winning young voters. President Obama is really, really unpopular (black man, Kentucky, you do the math). This is a real race. [National Journal]
In 1970, at the height of his white-hot war on crime, President Richard Nixon demanded that Congress pass the Controlled Substances Act to crack down on drug abuse. [NY Times]
Opponents of a proposed limestone quarry filed suit Monday in Clark Circuit Court to overturn the controversial rezoning of 165 acres of agricultural land for use by heavy industry. [H-L]
Republicans are demanding more lousy loans for black people. [HuffPo]
Tags: Alison Grimes · Corruption · Discrimination · Eastern Kentucky · Economy · Environment · Health Care · Investigation · Kentucky Business · Mitch McConnell · Polling · Poverty · Rand Paul · The Gays
Earlier today we revealed on Twitter that a source told us there were grand jury movements in Franklin County related to State Representative Ben Waide.
Here’s some back story on him:
Just about ten minutes ago, Attorney General Jack Conway announced his indictment:
Attorney General Jack Conway today announced the indictment of Kentucky State Representative Forrest “Ben” Waide, 51, of Madisonville, Ky., for alleged violations of Kentucky campaign finance laws. This morning, a Franklin County grand jury returned a two-count felony indictment charging Waide with knowingly accepting contributions from a corporation, in violation of KRS 121.150(20), and causing funds in his campaign account to be expended for purposes that were not allowable campaign expenditures, in violation of KRS 121.175.
The charges relate to Waide’s 2010 campaign for state representative and are the result of an investigation conducted by Attorney General Conway’s Department of Criminal Investigations. The investigation was conducted in response to a January 2014 complaint filed with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance by shareholders of Liberty Rehabilitation, PSC. Waide is alleged to have illegally accepted approximately $10,000 in campaign contributions from Liberty Rehabilitation, a company in Madisonville where he was a partner. He is also alleged to have submitted approximately $6,000 in receipts to his campaign fund for reimbursement of expenses he did not incur.
Attorney General Conway’s Office of Special Prosecutions is handling the prosecution of this case. Waide is scheduled for arraignment on August 29 at 9 a.m. in Franklin Circuit Court.
The charges against Waide are class D felonies, and each carries a penalty of one to five years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
A charge is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
So… Todd P’Pool: we told you so.
Tags: Campaign Finance · Corruption · Flashback · RPK
Will Kentucky’s representation in Warshington step up to the plate?
Tags: Takin yer guns!
This morning the White House released a new report from the Council of Economic Advisers that examines economic consequences of stalling on the climate front. The report spells out what people like Steve Beshear, Greg Stumbo and Jim Gooch ignorantly deny: when we don’t take action on climate change, our economy suffers.
Read the report for yourself:
CLICK FOR PDF
It’s worth your time.
Tags: Barack Obama · Economy · Environment
At a recent Montgomery County Board of Education meeting, the board chair, Kenney Gulley, glossed over a summative evaluation of superintendent Joshua Powell. In doing so, he made it seem to the general public and the media that Powell had received an almost glowing annual review.
Watch the footage for yourself:
The trouble with that? Powell’s actual scores were horrible.
Here’s that evaluation:
This serves as the summative evaluation for Dr. Joshua Powell, Superintendent of the Montgomery County Schools for then 2013-14 school year.
Standard 1: Leadership and Culture (average score 1.8 on a 0-4 scale)
The Board of Education recognizes that Dr. Powell has brought about needed change in the district by promoting high achievement and academic rigor and we do want to continue that emphasis. There is a feeling that staff turnover is higher than desired so the board would like to see more emphasis put towards staff development rather than replacement. The district has changed over the past 3 years and a change in the Superintendent’s leadership style will be required to help the district transition from a turnaround district to a sustainable, high performing district.
Standard 2: Policy and Governance (average score 1.8 on a 0-4 scale)
The Board finds the working sessions to be a beneficial means of sharing information and would like to continue utilizing these. The Board feels that the communication between the Board and the Superintendent must improve for the leadership team to be effective for the district. The interpersonal relationships with some Board members are lacking and must be improved. Some Board members feel that too many decisions are made at Central Office and desire that the Board be included in all decisions regarding policy and facility plans.
Standard 3: Communications and Community Relations (average score 1.2 on a 0-4 scale)
The Board recognizes information is consistently provided to the local newspaper and radio station with district employees provided to share information. The Teacher Feature is a nice recognition and similar recognition for classified staff should be considered for implementation. Improved communication between the Board and SBDM Councils is desired and should be implemented to grow the district vision. Overall, the Board feels that communication is insufficient among district stakeholders and district communication should be more proactive utilizing a more thorough media plan.
Standard 4: Organizational Management (average score 2.2 on a 0-4 scale)
The Board appreciates the Superintendent’s ability and desire to maintain a responsible budget for the school district as well as the taxpayers. The Superintendent has implemented new school safety measures. Some suggestions for further improvement would be to improve emergency plans/procedures for weather related problems. The Board would like to see more emphasis on planned facility maintenance. With the recent increases in worker’s compensation claims, the Board thinks it would be prudent to provide emphasis on safety training and possibly adding a district safety coordinator that would be OSHA certified.
Standard 5: Curriculum Planning Development (average score 2.4 on a 0-4 scale)
Dr. Powell has shown that he understands child development and he added technology to district classrooms. Changes in curriculum have been well implemented in the past. Dr. Powell will need to focus on continuity of curriculum leadership to assure successful implementation of other common core standards.
Standard 6: Instructional Leadership (average score of 2.2 on a 0-4 scale)
Student achievement in the district has improved under Dr. Powell’s leadership as measured by ACT, PLAN and EXPLORE scores. More students are graduating high school college and career ready and the district graduation rate is improving. The Board is presented updates at each monthly meeting regarding student achievement. The Superintendent should consider additional resources in curriculum coordination. The Superintendent should regularly make time to be in each school during school hours to monitor instruction and provide support.
Standard 7: Human Resources Management (average score of 1.4 on a 0-4 scale)
The career fair has been a good addition to promote the district to perspective employees. The Board is concerned by the perception of high turnover of staff and administrators. The Board recommends that Dr. Powell work at mentoring and developing employees. The Board is also concerned about the district’s preparedness for PGES (Professional Growth and Effectiveness System) implementation. The district job postings should be kept current.
Standard 8: Values and Ethics of Leadership (average score of 1.4 on a 0-4 scale)
Dr. Powell has shown that he values the education of all children in the district. He does not compromise on dealing with difficult and divisive issues. Some Board members have concerns with the leadership style of the Superintendent and would like to see him develop a stronger team approach rather than individualistic approach.
Standard 9: Student Achievement and Learning (average score of 2.4 on a 0-4 scale)
Test scores have risen under Dr. Powell’s leadership and the Board would like to see that continue. The Board would like to see more consistency in the program offerings and career tracks offered at the high school. Communication about changes in this area should be communicated to the Board and the entire district. The Accelerated School is a nice addition to the educational offerings for our students. We need to be sure this program is structured, staffed and supervised to ensure we are meeting the objectives of the program and the needs of the students and parents.
In summary, this Board had a range of individual scores on each standard which were averaged to provide an assessment on each standard. Dr. Powell’s highest ratings were in the areas of instructional leadership, curriculum planning and student achievement. Being focused in these areas has provided needed improvement to the education of our students. The areas where Dr. Powell rated lowest were communication and community relations, human resources and values and ethics. Feelings of mistrust creep in and damage working relationships when communication is insufficient. Improving communication between the Board and the Superintendent is imperative to developing a healthy leadership team for the district for the upcoming school year.
Yeah, stellar review, that.
Tags: Corruption · Education · Joshua Powell · Spotted
Yesterday, Alison Daddy’s Name Grimes had this to say about the Bluegrass Poll — the poll in which she’s getting beat by Mitch McConnell:
Today’s poll is more evidence that Kentuckians aren’t about to let him buy this election.
They know Alison represents the future of Kentucky. They know she will protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare, advocate for women and their families, and put the Commonwealth back to work.
The only problem with that? She’s never given voters evidence to back it up. She’s never provided straightforward answers about social security, medicare, families, health care, not even jobs. Nothing.
She’s down 11 points with women since February. Only leading McConnell with women by a point. At this rate, she’ll be down five or six more points with women come November.
So… it’s pretty clear that women don’t know she’ll advocate for them. And she’s a woman. A woman running against Mitch McConnell, of all people.
HEAD – DESK.
This campaign has turned into a more schadenfreude-filled disaster than Jack Conway’s 2010 race against Rand Paul.
Tags: Alison Grimes · Mitch McConnell · Polling · Senate
Wanna hear what Miniature Texan Rand Paul had to say at the Urban League?
Keep in mind that only a handful of people showed up:
Only a handful showed up because they know a zebra can’t change its stripes.
Tags: Flashback · Rand Paul · Spotted
Alison Daddy’s Name Grimes only leads women by ONE PERCENT. That’s at least an 11-point drop in six months. What the living hell are Jonathan Hurst and Jerry Lundergan doing over there to lose women so hard?! [WHAS11 More WHAS11]
When people talk about diversifying an Eastern Kentucky economy dominated for a century by coal mining and poverty, they often don’t aim very high: low-wage factories and corporate call centers. But you can see another possibility at Morehead State University’s Space Science Center. [Tom Eblen]
More from the Department of Things Ken Ham Doesn’t Understand. Some 70 million years ago, three tyrannosaurs stalked together across a mud flat in Canada, possibly searching for prey. [HuffPo]
Have you seen the latest publicity stunt from the Fairness Campaing? A total waste of resources and Chris Hartman ought to be ashamed. [C-J/AKN]
With stores near military bases across the country, the retailer USA Discounters offers easy credit to service members. But when those loans go bad, the company uses the local courts near its Virginia headquarters to file suits by the thousands. [ProPublica]
Kentucky is pushing to digitize court records and eventually make them more accessible to the public. [WLEX18]
Despite a ban on high-interest car title loans, the nation’s largest title lender has opened 26 Instaloan stores in Florida, offering a refashioned version of the loans that effectively charge the same sky-high rates the law was designed to stop. [ProPublica]
For months, law enforcement in Central Kentucky have explained that much of the drug problem is coming from the north. [WKYT]
Russian authorities are suggested to organizers of an LGBT pride parade in St. Petersburg, Russia that they hold this year’s event in a landfill, representing just the latest in the country’s ongoing effort to humiliate the community. [Think Progress]
We’re just days away from the annual Fancy Farm Picnic and political free-for-all which used to be the “official” beginning of fall campaigns in Kentucky. [Ronnie Ellis]
BuzzFart fired someone for plagiarism but that never happens in Kentucky when folks plagiarize content from this site. [NY Times]
Demand is up, and cattle are selling for record prices. At the same time, corn prices are down and fuel prices have stabilized. [Richmond Register]
After 20 years in their house, Jaime and Juana Coronel lost it to foreclosure when Jaime’s landscaping work dried up in the recession and the couple fell behind on payments. [WaPo]
The group seeking to build a proposed Noah’s Ark theme park in Grant County is once again seeking approval of tax incentives. [H-L]
Check out this Republican who is employing campaign tactics just like Alison Daddy’s Name Grimes. [HuffPo]
Tags: Alison Grimes · Corruption · Discrimination · Eastern Kentucky · Economy · Environment · Kentucky Business · Law Enforcement · Military · Mitch McConnell · Polling · Taxes · The Gays · Wasted Money
Rand Paul isn’t going person to person to try to sell his message of a more inclusive Republican Party to minority groups. But with only about 60 people gathering to hear Paul’s highly anticipated speech to the National Urban League on Friday morning, it sure felt that way. [H-L]
The House of Representatives voted Friday to change a tax credit in a way that would add $115 billion to the deficit and hurt poorer parents while aiding the well-to-do. [HuffPo]
Will Mitch McConnell and Alison Daddy’s Name Grimes ever debate? And if they do, will it be crazy or embarrassing? [C-J/AKN]
Federal law enforcement and intelligence authorities say they are increasingly struggling to conduct court-ordered wiretaps on suspects because of a surge in chat services, instant messaging and other online communications that lack the technical means to be intercepted. [WaPo]
Want to read the most scandalous Louisville Metro Animal Services story yet? Have at it. The worst in eight years of our LMAS coverage. Everyone from Greg Fischer on down are to blame and should be prosecuted. [The 'Ville Voice]
The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana. Kentucky’s economy would explode. [NY Times]
Investigators say they found a 48-year-old veteran dead in his Mercer County home Friday night. [WKYT]
Freed from much federal oversight, used car dealers are taking a spin with the shady practices that helped crash the economy in 2008. Thanks, Republicans! [Mother Jones]
Kentucky has received less than 1 percent of the unaccompanied children crossing into the United States. [WLEX18]
The Environmental Protection Agency isn’t doing enough to prevent methane from escaping from natural gas pipelines, according to a new report from the agency’s internal watchdog. [Think Progress]
What factors contribute to the financial struggles of Kentucky’s families and children? [WFPL]
A federal judge on Saturday overturned Washington D.C.’s ban on carrying handguns outside the home, saying it was unconstitutional. [Reuters]
Keeneland Race Course is delaying plans to begin offering instant racing on its Lexington campus because of the 2015 Breeders’ Cup. On Friday, the city’s Board of Adjustment granted the Lexington racetrack a 60-day postponement for its application for a special permit to build a 61,000-square-foot building to house the instant-racing terminals. [H-L]
The White House, the senator told Larry King, routinely underestimates Republican opposition, often spinning its wheels in a fruitless effort to craft a legislative compromise. [HuffPo]
Tags: Congress · Corruption · Economy · Embarrassing · Environment · Gambling · Health Care · Immigration · Investigation · Kentucky Business · Mitch McConnell · Poverty · Rand Paul · Senate · Takin yer guns! · Veterans · Wiretapping
On Friday, Papaw Bigot hollered about Kentucky receiving a national award for job creation and securing investments:
Sadly, most everyone in Kentucky now knows that Beshear’s hype about job creation is just that.
Tags: Economy · Jobs · Steve Beshear