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Democratic Harassment Scandal Just Won’t Quit

April 18th, 2014 · 1 Comment

The troubled Fleming County school district likely won’t have money to properly fund its high school because it hasn’t followed Kentucky Department of Education recommendations, Commissioner Terry Holliday said in a sharply worded letter. This is a couple days old but needs to be shared again. [H-L]

As anyone who’s ever paid a health insurance premium or a hospital bill knows, medical care is expensive. What Americans may not know is that residents of other countries don’t pay nearly as much for the same things. [HuffPo]

The University of Louisville’s athletic department announced Thursday a lucrative, five-year extension to its contract with adidas that ranks the Cardinals’ apparel deal in the top five nationally. Companies and coaches get wealthy while the kids doing all the actual work get nothing. [C-J/AKN]

Tuesday wasn’t just the deadline to file your taxes. It was also the deadline for congressional candidates to file their fundraising totals from the first three months of 2014 with the Federal Election Commission. [WaPo]

House Democrats took to the floor Monday to repeatedly express their “outrage” at the Legislative Ethics Commission’s decision not to punish former state Rep. John Arnold on charges of sexual harassment and to praise the “moral courage” of the three women who came forward with the allegations, according to the Associated Press. [Messenger-Inquirer]

Don’t ask Sen. Rand Paul why he’s supporting Mitch McConnell for reelection. He doesn’t want to talk about it. At least publicly. [TPM & Glasgow Daily Times]

Candidate for sheriff finds his stolen political signs in a meth lab. An Elkton man was arrested on multiple charges Wednesday after deputies found a methamphetamine lab in his garage. [Kentucky New Era]

For decades astronomers have been searching for a world like our own outside the solar system that could host alien life. And now astronomers have announced that they have found one – a planet 1.1 times the size of Earth orbiting a star just 490 light years away. [Daily Mail]

The latest appointment to the Kentucky Retirement Systems board of trustees by Steve Beshear is unsettling, to say the least. [Page One]

President Barack Obama delivered a vigorous defense of his signature healthcare law on Thursday, saying private insurance enrollment under it has reached 8 million people and faulting Republicans for failing to agree with him that “this thing is working.” [Reuters]

State Rep. Keith Hall’s girlfriend filed a financial disclosure statement with the Executive Branch Ethics Commission Tuesday, though a key official said she was not required to do so. [State Journal]

With Congressional pressure and media scrutiny intensifying, the defense secretary came out with a bold plan to fix the Pentagon’s struggling mission to recover remains of missing service members: reorganize the effort into a new agency. [ProPublica]

Ten candidates in the May primary for Lexington Urban County Council at-large seats told residents at a candidate forum Wednesday night that more should be done to help the homeless and to ensure that low-wage workers can afford housing in Fayette County. [H-L]

Federal investigators have uncovered evidence that Sallie Mae cheated active-duty soldiers on federal student loans, according to people familiar with the matter. [HuffPo]

→ 1 CommentTags: Barack Obama · College Sports · Corruption · Education · Health Care · KDP · Military · Mitch McConnell · Rand Paul · Senate · UofL · Wasted Money

Last We Checked, KDP Was Silent On Harassment

April 17th, 2014 · No Comments

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he has a history of handling sexual harassment cases the right way, and Frankfort Democrats are “scrambling to try to belatedly get it right.” [Sam Youngman]

In 1942, still reeling from the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government ordered thousands of Japanese Americans to leave their homes behind and take up residence in remote detainment camps. [HuffPo]

A deal to finance the $310 million renovation of Rupp Arena died in part because of a perception among senators that the University of Kentucky was lukewarm toward the project, two senators said. [C-J/AKN]

If you bought health coverage through one of the online insurance marketplaces, you might have a tough time determining whether your plan covers abortion services. [NPR]

A more than $47 million expansion project to the Hazard ARH Hospital will begin opening its doors this week. [Hazard Herald]

Liberals like to imagine a political future in which increasing ethnic diversity will inexorably shift the partisan balance in America from Republicans to Democrats. But demography is not destiny, and the political implications of increasing diversity cannot be inferred simply from projected demographic shifts. [WaPo]

Boyd County Democrats met at the Elks Lodge for a matchup between candidates for two of the hottest primary races in Boyd County: sheriff and judge-executive. [Ashland Independent]

A star player accused and a flawed rape investigation. [NY Times]

This sounds like a supreme waste of taxpayer dollars. Kentucky’s Office of Highway Safety will be the title sponsor for Kentucky Speedway’s June 27 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. [WLKY]

Deportations through U.S. immigration courts have fallen 43 percent in the past five years as the federal government brought fewer cases before those courts, according to Justice Department data. [Reuters]

The General Assembly passed the few remaining mandatory bills left standing before adjourning Tuesday, but inaction on legislation targeting the state’s growing heroin problem may draw lawmakers back to Frankfort. [State Journal]

US banking giants Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have reported contrasting results for the first quarter of the year. [BBC]

Sazerac, which owns Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, the Barton 1792 Distillery in Bardstown and The Glenmore Distillery in Owensboro, announced on Wednesday $71 million in expansions at the three distilleries to meet growing demand for Kentucky bourbon and other spirits. [H-L]

Segregation now. In Tuscaloosa today, nearly one in three black students attends a school that looks as if Brown v. Board of Education never happened. [ProPublica]

→ No CommentsTags: College Sports · Corruption · Discrimination · Eastern Kentucky · Flashback · Health Care · Immigration · Investigation · KDP · Kentucky Business · Mitch McConnell · Wasted Money

Bevin Teabaggers Still Delusional On Cockfighting

April 17th, 2014 · No Comments

Just how delusional are the Matt Bevin teabaggers?

Get a load of this:


CLICK TO ENLARGE

Embry is the guy who signed filing papers for cockfighting defender Craig Davis but was ineligible to do so. And he’s one of Bevin’s biggest supporters.

That’s how Bevin’s campaign is handling the cockfighting mess.

→ No CommentsTags: Embarrassing · Senate · Spotted

Musical Chairs At Kentucky Retirement Systems

April 17th, 2014 · No Comments

The game at KRS continues.

Randy O is out.

Tommy Elliott is once again chair.

Dan Bauer vice-chair.

Elliott was a unanimous vote, Bauer was 6-5 along appointee/elected lines.

The CERS vacancy was filled by William Summers.

→ No CommentsTags: Corruption · Wasted Money

Latest KRS Move By Gov. Beshear Is Unsettling

April 17th, 2014 · No Comments

If you missed it, as most did, Kentucky Retirement Systems added a new board member:

KRS welcomes Randy K. Stevens, who has been appointed by Governor Steve Beshear to serve on the Kentucky Retirement Systems Board of Trustees . He currently works as the District Manager for Trimble Water District #1 located in Bedford, Kentucky. Mr. Stephens was appointed to fill the CERS position recently vacated as a result of Richard Tanner’s resignation. Mr. Stevens will be sworn in at the Board’s April 17 Annual Meeting and will serve the remainder of the unexpired term ending July 1, 2017.

What KRS neglects to mention is that Randy Stevens is currently head of the Area Development Districts/KCADD:


CLICK TO ENLARGE


HIS DAY JOB

Which means he is effectively a lobbyist on the pension front:


CLICK TO ENLARGE

But he’s also a former Judge-Executive. Or he was until he was arrested for endangering countless lives:

Stevens faces drunken driving charges

Randy K. Stevens, the Trimble County, Ky., judge-executive, had a blood alcohol content of .11 percent after being arrested on drunken driving charges Saturday morning, according to a probable cause affidavit.

-SNIP-

According to a probable cause affidavit, Stevens was observed by a Madison police officer driving left of center, performing an unsafe lane movement and accelerating so fast that his vehicle fish-tailed.

Stevens was stopped by police at Vaughn Drive and East Street around 2:45 a.m. Saturday. According to court documents, he failed the one-leg stand and a test that is basically an eye exam that screens for involuntary rapid movement of the eyes when following an object being moved from side to side.

The arresting officer also wrote in the affidavit that he could smell alcohol on Stevens and that Stevens was unsteady on his feet and had bloodshot eyes.

He was forced to resign and Steve Beshear named his replacement:

Gov. Beshear has appointed Jerry L. Powell as Judge-Executive of Trimble County.

Jerry L. Powell, of Bedford, is the Trimble County Clerk. The appointment replaces Randy K. Stevens, who has resigned.

Stevens also defended Bob Arnold of KACo infamy:

Trimble County Judge-Executive Randy K. Stevens said county officials and Kentuckians “owe a debt of gratitude” to Arnold for furthering counties’ legislative agendas during his tenure. “It’s with a degree of reluctance that I think we’ll accept his resignation,” said Stevens, a KACo board member.

Bizarrely, after all that, Beshear appointed Stevens to this committee:

Gov. Beshear has appointed Randy K. Stevens to the Local Distribution Fund Oversight Committee to serve for a term expiring Jan. 1, 2015.

Randy K. Stevens, of Bedford, is executive director for the Kentucky Council of Area Development Districts. He represents the interests of special districts other than school districts. The appointment replaces Russ Harper, whose term has expired.

And now he’s a board trustee for the KRS!

You’re wondering why Kentucky Retirement Systems is regarded as one of the worst pension systems on earth?

This is why Kentucky can’t have nice things.

→ No CommentsTags: Uncategorized

Flashback: Strayer University Ignored By Conway

April 17th, 2014 · No Comments

About a year ago we started discussing Strayer University and its position within the for-profit college mess. Not just because Jack Conway has gone out of his way to overlook its myriad disasters. But because of its ties to the Kentucky Retirement Systems.

Here’s some of it:

In 2007, Kentucky Retirement Systems seeded yet another private equity firm.

-SNIP-

KRS placed $50 million with the firm. That was after New Mountain gave placement agent Credit Suisse $169,000 to arrange the deal.

After that, New Mountain used its mountain of retiree cash to fund Strayer University, which opened three campuses in Kentucky: Louisville, Lexington, Florence. The national corporate board of Strayer includes Charlotte Beason, the longtime executive director of the Kentucky Board of Nursing (2005-2012).

While she was a public official in Kentucky, Beason received gifts of Strayer stock worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The 6,426 shares she owns, currently at $46 per share, are valued at a whopping $295,596. It appears that Beason also received director fees totaling $150,000.

While Attorney General Jack Conway has investigated and prosecuted six for-profit schools in Kentucky (most notably Sullivan/Spencerian, strong supporters of his former opponent), Conway’s investigation has conveniently ignored Strayer. Which is interesting because Strayer has been at the heart of the national chatterbox.

Here’s why…

To access the links and such, you’ll have to grab them at the original story.

We followed up a couple weeks later:

While we’re on the subject of Charlotte Beason, Strayer University and Kentucky Retirement Systems? Here’s another tidbit. It appears from her proxy statements that she made at least $715,443. Also looks like she cashed her stock out as soon as she got it:


FROM ORIGINAL STORY

Because the people who pay for politics in Kentucky were involved, nothing ever happened. No one batted an eyelash.

But earlier this week we learned that federal agents may or may not be poking around. With a keen interest in some, ahem, politically motivated moves.

2015 will be exciting.

→ No CommentsTags: Corruption · Education · Flashback · Investigation · Jack Conway · Rumor

Papaw & Jane Took A Bike Ride Caption Contest

April 17th, 2014 · 2 Comments

Remember when Papaw & Jane went on a bike ride for a photo op?


YOUR CAPTION HERE

You know what to do.

Make it funny!

→ 2 CommentsTags: Contest · Flashback · Humor · Steve Beshear

Will Broadband Be A Thing In Rural Kentucky?

April 17th, 2014 · No Comments

We can’t wait until all the Cathy Bailey dirt starts to see the light of day as she tries to run for governator. The least of her worries will be her serious residency issue. [Deep Teabagger Thoughts]

Congressional candidate Elisabeth Jensen ended the first quarter of 2014 in about the same cash position she started after raising and spending more than $100,000 in the first three months of the year. [Sam Youngman]

A pair of senators have introduced legislation that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from using its authority to preemptively block or to revoke permits for mine waste disposal. [HuffPo]

GE will open its first micro-factory, FirstBuild, at the University of Louisville this summer, drawing on the ideas from outside the company that are developed alongside GE designers and engineers. [C-J/AKN]

Most medical devices that have been recently approved for use in pediatrics weren’t actually tested on kids first, according to a new study. Almost all of the devices had only been tested on people age 18 and older, researchers found. [Reuters]

Laurel County is back to winning prizes for being awful. Three are behind bars in Laurel County after drug paraphernalia, uncapped syringes were found laying within arm’s reach of a sleeping 7-year-old. [WKYT]

The European Union’s new Sentinel-1a radar satellite has returned its first images of Earth. Launched on 3 April, the spacecraft is part of a fleet of orbiting sensors that will go up over the next few years to monitor the state of the planet. [BBC]

Residents of communities in Perry County now have a new way to contact local law enforcement if they have any tips about possible criminal activity. [Hazard Herald]

Paying for college presents a tremendous hurdle to many families, from wading through paperwork and navigating financial aid to understanding the long-term implications of college debt. [NPR]

The Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet has released a request for information (RFI) to determine what interest companies, municipal utilities and electric cooperatives have in working with the state on providing middle-mile fiber backbone infrastructure for high-capacity network connectivity – which will allow homes and businesses to access high-speed broadband Internet reliably. [Click the Clicky]

A ProPublica analysis of recently released data shows that dozens of physicians who received payments from Medicare in 2012 had been kicked out of Medicaid, charged with fraud, or settled claims of overbilling Medicare itself. [ProPublica]

Kentucky House and Senate lawmakers agreed Tuesday to a $4.1 billion road-spending plan on the legislature’s final day, avoiding an expensive special session. [Richmond Register]

Inside an otherwise ordinary office building in lower Manhattan, government-funded scientists have begun collecting and connecting together terabytes of patient medical records in what may be one of the most radical projects in health care ever attempted. [WaPo]

For 92 years, Ale-8-One lovers have relied on the consistency of the taste and look of their favorite soft drink. For a limited time, the bottles and cartons will feature a new look with a horse-racing theme. [H-L]

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell nearly 10 percent from 2005 to 2012, more than halfway toward the United States’ 2020 target pledged at United Nations climate talks, according to the latest national emissions inventory. [HuffPo]

→ No CommentsTags: Andy Barr · Campaign Finance · Corruption · Eastern Kentucky · Education · Environment · Health Care · Kentucky Business

Greg Fischer’s Admin Loses Another Lawsuit

April 16th, 2014 · No Comments

Wild Turkey, one of the most down-home of Kentucky bourbons, officially debuted a sophisticated new face Tuesday. [H-L]

It turns out the hole in the now famous ozone layer above the South Pole isn’t the only hole in the atmosphere. Researchers recently discovered, to their considerable surprise, that the atmosphere above part of the western tropical Pacific Ocean is nearly devoid of one of the key chemicals that scrubs pollutants from the air. [HuffPo]

The Louisville Metro Government has agreed to pay $450,000 to a former police detective who says he was demoted to patrol officer on the graveyard shift for trying to help an imprisoned woman prove her innocence on a homicide charge. [C-J/AKN]

Health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act will cost slightly less than previously thought, helping to slow down the forecast growth of U.S. deficits over the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office said on Monday. [Reuters]

Voting for the May 20 primary election began Monday with mail-in and in-house absentee voting, according to an announcement from Madison County Clerk Kenny Barger. [Richmond Register]

After a gas explosion last month in New York leveled two buildings and killed eight people, an old issue received new attention: aging natural gas pipelines that leak. [NPR]

Sen. Johnny Ray Turner told Harlan County Democrats on Friday that he is glad to be representing the county as a result of the recent legislative redistricting. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Campaigners have raised privacy concerns over a facial recognition database being developed by the FBI that could contain 52m images by 2015. [BBC]

Earlier Tuesday night — the 60th and final day of the 2014 session — they passed a flurry of bills. But the last hour of the session was marked by procedural votes, finger-pointing and inaction on several key bills. [Ryan Alessi]

Michael R. Bloomberg, making his first major political investment since leaving office, plans to spend $50 million this year building a nationwide grass-roots network to motivate voters who feel strongly about curbing gun violence, an organization he hopes can eventually outmuscle the National Rifle Association. [NY Times]

TV’s “Science Guy” Bill Nye says he underestimated the impact of a February debate in Kentucky on evolution and creationism that drew a massive online audience. [WKYT]

States that have expanded Medicaid and opened their own exchanges have seen a higher rate of decline in the number of uninsured, compared to other states, a new poll shows. [Politico]

A man who once appeared in a reality TV show about snake handling was among several suspects arrested in a county drug roundup, the Letcher County Sheriff’s Department confirmed Wednesday. [H-L]

Rand Paul’s noninterventionist foreign policy views aren’t currying him any favor with conservative pundits, who have recently attacked the Kentucky senator and possible 2016 presidential candidate as naive and immature. [HuffPo]

→ No CommentsTags: Corruption · Eastern Kentucky · Environment · Health Care · Kentucky Business · Kentucky Tourism · Rand Paul · Takin yer guns!

A Timely Bob Stivers Gavel Caption Contest

April 16th, 2014 · 6 Comments

You know what to do:


YOUR CAPTION HERE

Make it funny!

→ 6 CommentsTags: Contest · Humor