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KET Covering Ford Memorial Service On Sunday

January 23rd, 2015 · No Comments

This Sunday at 3:00 P.M. Eastern, KET will provide live coverage of Wendell Ford’s memorial service in Frankfort.

Hosted by Renee Shaw and Bill Goodman, Wendell Ford: A Capitol Farewell will also stream live online at KET’s website:


Should be a real political circus so tune in.

→ No CommentsTags: Spotted

Those Ark Park Projections Were Bogus After All

January 23rd, 2015 · No Comments

Brandon Smith got his rear end handed to him by Bob Stivers earlier today. [Click the Clicky]

The Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service is taking nominations for the 2015 Governor’s Service Awards. [H-L]

Here’s a fascinating look at the death penalty. [HuffPo]

The bi-state board overseeing the Ohio River Bridges Project plans to select a preferred toll systems provider in late February after restarting the process three months ago due to a previously undisclosed conflict of interest. [C-J/AKN]

President Obama on Thursday detailed a new $80 billion proposal intended to help more families afford child care as part of a post-State of the Union policy push the White House hopes can win over Republicans and independents. [The Hill]

Ricky Gee, 33, of US 60 East, Morehead, originally pleaded not guilty to animal abuse charges after being accused of leaving animals in conditions that caused injury to one Doberman and death to another. A jury trial was set for Feb. 19 but last week Gee changed his plea to guilty and is now in the Rowan County Detention Center. [The Morehead News]

What Medicare gives with one hand, it’s taking away with another. Most government quality bonuses to hospitals this year are being wiped out by penalties issued for other shortcomings. [NPR]

Alleging the WARN Act was violated, coal miners once employed at Nine Mile Mining Inc., a Jim Justice-owned coal mines located in Wise County, Va., have now been granted a preliminary settlement in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Republican James Comer officially filed paperwork to run for governor on a day when the state’s unemployment rate dipped below 6 percent for the first time since 2008, another in a string of good news announcements for the current Democratic administration. [AP]

Last Thursday marked the start of a new era as the mostly fresh-faced Perry County Fiscal Court was seated. The special called meeting was the first to be guided by County Judge-Executive Scott Alexander. Alexander was joined by new magistrates Keith Miller and Kenny Cole, along with District 2 Magistrate Ronald Combs, who is now entering his second four-year term. [Hazard Herald]

Retired Senator Wendell Ford will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort on Sunday, followed by a funeral service and interment in Owensboro on Tuesday. [Press Release]

The proposed Noah’s Ark theme park in Northern Kentucky would attract up to 640,000 visitors in its best year, according to a consultant who studied the project’s economic impact for the state. That’s far less than the 1.2 million to 2.2 million visitors estimated by the project’s developers. [WHAS11]

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday he hoped the Supreme Court would issue a ruling that would prevent states from banning gay marriage when it rules on the issue later this year. [Reuters]

Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, the wife of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has resigned from the board of Bloomberg Philanthropies after the foundation told her it plans to significantly increase investments in its “Beyond Coal” initiative. [H-L]

A bill that would redefine a full-time work week under the Affordable Care Act as 40 hours instead of 30 actually amounts to a break for corporations, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) argued in a hearing Thursday. [HuffPo]

→ No CommentsTags: Barack Obama · Death Penalty · Discrimination · Eastern Kentucky · Election 2015 · Health Care · Kentucky Tourism · Mitch McConnell · The Gays · Youth

Your Weekly KYTC Funtimes Video Moment

January 23rd, 2015 · 1 Comment

This week the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet folks are highlighting the U.S. 460 project in Pike County:

→ 1 CommentTags: Eastern Kentucky · Spotted

Holliday To Testify Before Congress Next Week

January 23rd, 2015 · 1 Comment

Hold on to your wigs! Terry Holliday is set to testify before the U.S. Congress next week.

On Tuesday at 10:00 A.M., he’ll speak before the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions during the second half of a hearing on No Child Left Behind.

Here are the others who’ll speak with him:

  • Dr. Dan Goldhaber, Director, National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research; Director, Center for Education Data and Research at the University of Washington
  • Mr. Saul Hinojosa, Superintendent of Schools, Somerset Independent School District
  • Ms. Rachelle Moore, 1st Grade Teacher, Madrona K-8 School, Seattle, WA
  • Dr. Christine Handy-Collins, Principal, Gaithersburg High School, Gaithersburg, MD

Maybe someone on the committee will ask Holliday about his myriad disasters ongoing in the Commonwealth. From wreaking havoc in Menifee County to personally condoning and allowing the nightmare in Montgomery County.

→ 1 CommentTags: Education · Spotted

Montgomery Co. Chromebooks Saga Continues

January 23rd, 2015 · 20 Comments

Careful what you wish for, Montgomery County. Particularly when you’re a teacher in the school system and couch your nasty personal attacks in religion.


Because it’ll end up being published, you’ll be revealed again as a meddling hack, an entire school district will devolve into a fit of embarrassment watching you defend corruption that’s been repeatedly proved. And someone will inevitably chime in on your rant to prove you wrong.

Fascinating that Phil Rison is attempting to distance himself from that mess. That’s how screwed up it is. The whole “I don’t believe thangs on that internets” schtick doesn’t cut it anymore because you can’t explain away police reports, government documents, audit reports, condemnation from various government agencies, EPSB hearings and lawsuit after lawsuit.

Attack the messenger all you want but you’re likely to lose your job if you continue to behave like this as a teacher in that district.

But about those Chromebooks. Check these documents out (ignore the highlighting):


Note: teachers are telling students if they don’t take a Chromebook, it’ll be impossible for them to pass their classes due to inability to access homework. That’s just silly.

Isn’t that surprising? Members of the school board still tell us they haven’t seen proof the project was approved by the Kentucky Department of Education. And they most certainly didn’t give the final approval.

This is why Montgomery County Schools can’t have nice things.

→ 20 CommentsTags: Corruption · Education · Investigation · Joshua Powell · Wasted Money

Only Half Of KY Kindergarten Students Are Ready

January 23rd, 2015 · 2 Comments

According to Governor Steve Beshear’s office, only half of incoming kindergarten students in Kentucky are ready for school. That’s just a slight increase over last year but Beshear’s office is still touting this as a major achievement.

50% of kids were ready for school this year. Just 49% were ready last year.

Though, Beshear is right when he says we’re moving in the right direction, it’s going to take a lot of work to get the education train back on its tracks:

“While we are moving in the right direction, this data reinforces the importance of quality early learning opportunities for all children,” Gov. Beshear said. “Our youngest learners start out with a sound foundation on which to build. When they don’t, they often struggle to catch up with their peers only to graduate unprepared for college, career or to be a productive member of society.”

Here are a couple documents provided by Beshear’s office:



Click here to access the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood site.

Make sure you’re as familiar as possible with what’s going on. Because it’ll be necessary to dig in once Terry Holliday “retires” and a new Commissioner of Education rolls into town.

→ 2 CommentsTags: Education · Steve Beshear · Youth

Papaw & Crit On Wendell Ford + KET Documentary

January 23rd, 2015 · No Comments

Governor Steve Beshear and Lieutenant Governor Crit Luallen shared their thoughts on Wendell Ford yesterday:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Bonus: KET put its documentary Wendell Ford: From Yellow Creek to the Potomac online for you to watch. Click this clicky to dig in.

→ No CommentsTags: Crit Luallen · Flashback · Steve Beshear

Tim Conley Rolled Over On Corrupt Democrats

January 23rd, 2015 · No Comments

Turns out Tim Conley rolled over on the two wealthy families in Morgan County and he thinks that’s reason enough for him not to receive a lengthy prison sentence. [H-L]

A bill that would redefine a full-time work week under the Affordable Care Act as 40 hours instead of 30 actually amounts to a break for corporations, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) argued in a hearing Thursday. [HuffPo]

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway on Tuesday delivered a blow to Metropolitan Sewer District management, providing an opinion that there’s no legal reason why the agency’s board could not agree to a contract provision requested by one of its unions. [C-J/AKN]

House Republican leaders say they are committed to bringing back a controversial abortion bill that was abruptly pulled from floor consideration late Wednesday. [The Hill]

Johnny Bell, D-Glasgow, the new state House majority whip, informed his predecessor’s staff Wednesday that they would be replaced – including Yolanda Costner, one of the women suing the legislature over allegations of sexual harassment by former Rep. John Arnold. [Ronnie Ellis]

The U.S. International Trade Commission said on Wednesday imports of solar products from China and Taiwan injure U.S. producers, clearing the final hurdle for import duties and prompting China to express “serious concerns”. [Reuters]

After an ambitious first year of mobilizing support and cataloguing visions for the Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) initiative, Governor Steve Beshear, Congressman Hal Rogers and SOAR executive director Jared Arnett announced the second annual SOAR Summit will accelerate work to implement strategies for growth in eastern Kentucky communities. [WKYT]

Prompted by an investigation by ProPublica and NPR, Sen. Charles Grassley asks a Missouri nonprofit hospital to explain why it seizes the wages of thousands of its patients. [ProPublica]

Appalachian Regional Healthcare is set to outsource some non-medical positions, beginning next month. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Stop reading if you’ve heard this before: House Republicans had to make late-night, last-minute changes to a piece of legislation that they thought would pass easily. [Politico]

The 2015 legislative session of the Kentucky General Assembly began its 30-day session this week where new members were welcomed, leadership races took place, committee assignments and chairmanships were determined and bills were filed that will impact Kentucky well into the future. [Hazard Herald]

A video has been released which shows a black man being shot dead by US police officers as he stepped out of a car with his hands raised. Jerame Reid was a passenger in a car pulled over by police in Bridgeton, New Jersey, for going through a stop sign. [BBC]

Food prices across Kentucky continue to rise, increasing 1. 7 percent in the last quarter of 2014. According the Kentucky Farm Bureau Marketbasket Survey, the cost of 40 basic grocery items averaged $129.14 in the last quarter. It’s the seventh consecutive quarter of rising prices and represents an all-time high. [H-L]

President Barack Obama will not meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he travels to Washington in March, the White House said Thursday, one day after being caught off-guard by Republicans’ invitation for the Israeli leader to address a joint session of Congress. [HuffPo]

→ No CommentsTags: Barack Obama · Congress · Corruption · Discrimination · Eastern Kentucky · Economy · Environment · Hal Rogers · Health Care · Jack Conway · Jobs · KDP · Labor · Law Enforcement · Steve Beshear

Kentucky Power Actually Lost One For Once

January 22nd, 2015 · No Comments

Mayor Jim Gray said Tuesday that he will include money to save the old Fayette County Courthouse on Main Street and for a new urban park in his upcoming budget. [H-L]

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate nearly matched the U.S. rate as it plunged to a preliminary 5.7 percent rate in December 2014 from a revised 6 percent in November 2014, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. This is the lowest rate for the state since February 2008 when it was 5.7 percent. [Press Release]

The cost of having a knee or hip replaced varies wildly across the nation, costing up to four times more in some hospitals than others — even in the same area, a report out Wednesday found. [C-J/AKN]

The highest-level U.S. delegation to Cuba in 35 years begins talks on Wednesday aimed at restoring diplomatic ties and eventually normalizing relations between two adversaries who have been locked in Cold War-era hostilities. [Reuters]

The Boyd County Fiscal Court approved a resolution lending its unanimous support to the Kentucky Association of Counties’ push for a statewide gas tax floor in this year’s legislative session. [Ashland Independent]

US scientists are asking the public to send in soil samples that can be screened for compounds that could be used to make vital new drugs to fight deadly infections and cancer. [BBC]

Several road repairs are on Barren County magistrates’ wish lists for 2015 and they got the opportunity to share those Tuesday at the first regular Barren County Fiscal Court meeting of the year. [Glasgow Daily Times]

For a little while there, it looked like West Virginia was getting ready to teach its students to doubt the overwhelming majority of scientists who say climate change is a real thing. Now, maybe not. [Mother Jones]

Last July 8, Morehead police found Gary Stephen Rice, 68, unconscious in his truck at 915 North Tolliver Road in Morehead. Rice was taken to St. Claire Regional Medical Center and then airlifted to the UK Medical Center. At the time, investigators were suspicious of his injuries. [The Morehead News]

President Obama made no mention Tuesday night of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s recent ascension to majority leader, even though he will likely play a major role in congressional negotiations this year. [The Hill]

When Hollywood actor Muse Watson and Madison Circuit Clerk Darlene Snyder paired to inspire others to become organ donors, they didn’t expect to make an impact within minutes of the 2015 Trust for Life organ donor awareness campaign kickoff. [Richmond Register]

The US will not bring civil rights charges against a white Missouri officer who killed an unarmed black teenager. [BBC]

High levels of out-of-school suspensions can hamper learning among all of a school’s students. That was the finding of University of Kentucky associate professor Edward Morris and Indiana University associate professor Brea Perry in a recently published study. [H-L]

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has prohibited Kentucky Power Co. from charging its customers about $54 million in fuel costs deemed to be unreasonable by the PSC. In an order issued today, the PSC directed Kentucky Power to refund, through a credit on future bills, $13 million in fuel costs that it collected during the first four months of last year. Kentucky Power also must either refund or forego collection of an estimated $41 million in additional fuel costs that was to be collected through the end of May 2015. [Press Release]

→ No CommentsTags: Barack Obama · Budget · Discrimination · Eastern Kentucky · Economy · Environment · Flashback · Giving Back · Health Care · Jobs · Law Enforcement · Mitch McConnell · Taxes

What Your Electeds Had To Say About Sen. Ford

January 22nd, 2015 · No Comments

Since former U.S. Senator Wendell Ford died today, thought it’d be a good idea to share a few quotes from various people:

Alison Grimes:

Senator Wendell Ford was not only a close friend, but a mentor to me. He was one of the best Kentuckians I’ve ever known, and he deeply loved our Commonwealth and all of its people.

Sen. Ford was a true statesman. On every stage, he represented Kentucky with dignity and honor, embracing compromise to achieve results that benefitted the Commonwealth. His service has provided an extraordinary example for others who wish to serve Kentucky, and especially for me.

I will miss Sen. Ford’s friendship and, most of all, his incredible support and counsel. Andrew and I send our warmest thoughts and prayers to his wife Jean and their family.

Jack Conway:

This is a sad day for all of Kentucky. Wendell Ford was a lion of a public servant for Kentucky and the nation, but he had the heart and kindness of a lamb. He was my dear friend, and one of the largest influences on my professional life. I am so saddened to learn of his passing, yet I know I am blessed to have known him and learned from him. Since I was 18 years old, I have kept a picture of the two of us, signed by him, from the day we first met in his office in Washington, D.C. I keep it because I recall how extraordinarily kind and attentive he was to a high school kid, and it serves as a reminder to me of how people should be treated.

Wendell Ford fought for Kentucky – its schools, its towns, its farmers, and its airports. But most of all, he fought for the people of the Commonwealth he loved so dearly. What a public servant. What a man. What a life. Rest in peace, my dear friend.

Elizabeth and I, and our family, send our condolences to his wife Jean (who even the Senator called ‘Mrs. Ford’), to his children Steve and Shirley, to his grandchildren, and to the entire Ford family. They will be in our prayers.

Steve Beshear:

Kentucky has lost one of its great statesmen, and we all have lost a friend. Jane and I join with all of Kentucky to mourn the loss of Senator Wendell Ford. As I began my career in public service, I watched and learned from Senator Ford, who was the epitome of principled leadership. In every office in which he served, his methods were simple: Wendell Ford listened, he cared, and he got the job done. Our state and our nation are better places for his decades of thoughtful, cooperative work to help people. We are grateful for his legacy of service, and our prayers are with his wife, Jean, their children, Steve and Shirley, and their families.

Crit Luallen:

I’m deeply saddened by the loss of Sen. Wendell Ford, who was one of Kentucky’s great leaders. He was a true voice for the people of Kentucky throughout his remarkable career in public service, and so many Kentuckians are better off today because of his leadership and willingness to always put Kentucky first. I got my first job in politics in the mailroom of his Senate campaign, and he continued to mentor and guide me throughout my career, just as he did so many other Kentucky leaders. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Jean, and his entire family during this time of mourning and remembrance of this iconic Kentucky statesman.

Todd Hollenbach:

Kentucky has lost a great elder statesman in Wendell Ford. He was a friend, a mentor and an inspiration. I will miss his good counsel and his fellowship. He leaves behind a legacy of progressive leadership and public service that all Kentuckians can be proud of. Our prayers go out to his family.

Mitch McConnell:


President Barack Obama:

Michelle and I were saddened to learn of the passing of former Senator Wendell Ford. A veteran, businessman, Governor and four-term Senator, Wendell dedicated his life to the people of Kentucky. He believed deeply in fairness – everyone doing their part, everyone getting a fair shot. A formidable political strategist, he fought to make sure all Americans had equal access to the polls, championed paying workers a decent wage and extending a helping hand to those looking for work, and mentored scores of young people who entered public service with Wendell’s advice and support. Few in politics were as admired as he, and few have had as great an impact on his beloved Kentucky. Wendell leaves behind an extraordinary legacy of service, and a Commonwealth and country that are stronger and fairer thanks to him. Michelle and I send our condolences to his wife Jean and all the members of the Ford family.

Vice President Joe Biden:

Jill and I were very sorry to hear of the passing of Senator Wendell Ford.

He was one of the most effective legislative leaders I’ve ever worked with throughout my entire career. His philosophy was summed up when he said, “why make a speech when you can sit down with your colleagues and work something out?”

He always took care of Kentucky, but never lost sight of the fact that he represented all of America.

During Wendell’s time in the Senate, he helped bring greater transparency to government, greater safety to the airlines, and greater access to the polls.

It was thanks to his leadership as Whip that the Violence Against Women Act passed in 1994 as part of the Biden Crime Bill, changing the lives of so many women and men in this country and around the world.

On a personal note, Senator Ford has been an important part of our family for a long time. He gave Sara Jones Biden, from Owensboro, Kentucky, her first job on the Hill when she graduated from Duke Law School, and that’s how she met my brother Jimmy.

Last May, Jill had the honor of speaking at Owensboro Community College in Wendell’s hometown, and it was clear that his legacy will long outlive him in Owensboro, in Kentucky, and across the United States.

Wendell was an extremely effective senator and a great personal friend whose advice I sought long after he had left the Senate. I will miss him.

Our thoughts are with Jean, Steve, and Shirley during this difficult time. He was a good man.

Hal Rogers:

Kentucky has lost one of its greatest defenders, the honorable Wendell Ford. The people of the Commonwealth chose to have Ford in the foxhole with them time and again, electing him to consecutive terms as lieutenant governor, governor and senator.

Although he was a staunch Democrat, Senator Ford never hesitated to reach across the aisle for issues that benefited Kentucky the most, from promoting the development of coal-based synthetic fuels to protecting tobacco farmers.

He shed a new light on Kentucky country boys in Frankfort and Washington, proving that we always keep our word, we never back down from a challenge, and showing a little kindness goes a long way.

He was a true statesman for Kentucky who not only impacted change for today, but for tomorrow and generations to follow. My wife Cynthia and I offer our deepest condolences to his wife, Jean and the host of family and friends who stood steady by his side through the years.

→ No CommentsTags: Alison Grimes · Crit Luallen · Jack Conway · Mitch McConnell · Steve Beshear · Todd Hollenbach