What’s Going On With The Glasgow PD?

A $62 million construction contract with D.W. Wilburn Inc. for a new Lexington high school has been approved by the Fayette County school board. [H-L]

The U.N.’s Paris climate conference, designed to reach a plan for curbing global warming, may instead become the graveyard for its defining goal: to stop temperatures rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. [HuffPo]

Imagine waking up after a serious accident to discover you’ve become an unwitting subject in a medical study without ever agreeing to participate. [C-J/AKN]

Among African American adults with low education and income levels, the increase in risk of heart disease or stroke associated with living in poverty is largest for women and people under age 50, according to a large new study. [Reuters]

Ashland Alliance President Tim Gibbs told the city commission its town is “just maintaining,” instead of either growing or shrinking economically. Gibbs said his joint-chamber of commerce for Greenup and Boyd counties, however, is trying to grow Ashland again — the most recent step in this direction being to achieve Work Ready certification. [Ashland Independent]

Several U.S. Senators and military lawyers say they are concerned by Col. Norm Allen’s attempts to thwart an investigation into why the U.S. Military built an unneeded luxury headquarters in Afghanistan. [ProPublica]

Glasgow’s city attorney responded Wednesday to a lawsuit filed by former Glasgow police chief Guy Turcotte against the city and interim chief James Duff by saying the lawsuit will provide an opportunity for the public to look closer at Turcotte’s record with the Glasgow Police Department. [Glasgow Daily Times]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… A new species of ancient human has been unearthed in the Afar region of Ethiopia, scientists report. [BBC]

FEMA has released the most recent numbers for persons receiving federal assistance since the severe storms in April. A total of 1,800 persons registered for aid in Kentucky and 116 were Rowan Countians. [The Morehead News]

After seven years on the outs, choice is back. For the first time since 2008, significantly more Americans identify as pro-choice (50 percent) than pro-life (44 percent), according to a Gallup poll released Friday. [Mother Jones]

Join BGT deTours on June 3 at 6:00* pm in Frankfort, KY for tours of the Old Governor’s Mansion and the Old State Capitol. [Click the Clicky]

In a signed letter submitted to the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday, 136 House Democrats called on the Obama administration to end the practice of detaining Central American mothers and children in family detention facilities. [ThinkProgress]

This is what happens when good old boy rednecks ignore court orders, trample on mental health, act above the law. [H-L]

The FBI is operating a small air force with scores of low-flying planes across the U.S. carrying video and, at times, cellphone surveillance technology — all hidden behind fictitious companies that are fronts for the government, The Associated Press has learned. [HuffPo]

Eyebrow-Raising MoCo Title IX Data

Let’s start with common sense: high school football and basketball are big deals in Kentucky. They’re probably the only sports, save a bit of baseball, anyone pays attention to. It probably comes as no surprise to anyone that those two main sports have booster clubs/organizations raising $20,000+ per year in many school districts.

In light of various spending scandals that we’ve uncovered involving Montgomery County Schools — specifically Title IX investigations and discrimination lawsuits — we’ve kept an eye on the flow of cash in the school district.

On May 11, 2015 we uncovered a massive Title IX reporting/spending scandal involving Phil Rison and others within Montgomery County Schools. Rison and his then-boss, fired superintendent Joshua Powell, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on an athletics facility without approval. They also deliberately withheld information from required Title IX reporting and also appear to have misled or intentionally lied to colleagues about spending reporting requirements.

Yesterday, on June 1, 2015, we revealed that Rison and the district still have not properly reported expenditures and activity on Title IX reports with the Kentucky High School Athletics Association.

But that’s not where the fun ends.

Here’s the latest data from the district:


CLICK TO ENLARGE — PDF

Montgomery County’s most recent KHSAA/Title IX reporting for the 2014-2015 school year, documented in the PDF above, include a surprising development. In the previous years during Powell’s tenure, boosters in the county have reportedly never spent more than $1,950 on athletics facilities. During the 2014-2015 year, however, boosters have all the sudden raised and spent more than $300,000 on facilities. The increase is so drastic that both former and current coaches, school board members, teachers and students have expressed concern to us.

Let’s take a look at the numbers as reported:

BOOSTER SPENDING TOTALS BY YEAR

  • 2010-2011 — $49,255
  • 2011-2012 — $93,348
  • 2012-2013 — $103,270
  • 2013-2014 — $84,410
  • 2014-2015 — $342,757

BOOSTER SPENDING BY CATEGORY

EQUIPMENT

  • 2010-2011 — $46,755
  • 2011-2012 — $52,868
  • 2012-2013 — $50,097
  • 2013-2014 — $77,910
  • 2014-2015 — $29,107

TRAVEL

  • 2010-2011 — $0
  • 2011-2012 — $29,882
  • 2012-2013 — $37,281
  • 2013-2014 — $6,500
  • 2014-2015 — $1,600

AWARDS

  • 2010-2011 — $0
  • 2011-2012 — $9,672
  • 2012-2013 — $10,200
  • 2013-2014 — $0
  • 2014-2015 — $0

FACILITIES

  • 2010-2011 — $0
  • 2011-2012 — $1,950
  • 2012-2013 — $0
  • 2013-2014 — $0
  • 2014-2015 — $312,050

PUBLICITY

  • 2010-2011 — $2,500
  • 2011-2012 — $3,976
  • 2012-2013 — $5,692
  • 2013-2014 — $0
  • 2014-2015 — $0

Now let’s examine the latest booster spending on facilities:

2014-2015 FACILITIES — BOOSTER SPENDING BREAKDOWN

  • Archery — $9,036
  • Baseball — $23,841
  • Boys Basketball — $32,280
  • Girls Basketball — $28,540
  • Boys Bowling — $9,892
  • Girls Bowling — $9,892
  • Boys Cross Country —$9,094
  • Girls Cross Country — $9,094
  • Fast Pitch Softball — $24,668
  • Football — $32,706
  • Boys Golf — $9,398
  • Girls Golf — $8,498
  • Boys Soccer — $15,774
  • Girls Soccer — $16,874
  • Boys Swimming — $6,643
  • Girls Swimming — $6,643
  • Boys Tennis — $7,698
  • Girls Tennis — $7,698
  • Boys Track — $11,345
  • Girls Track — $11,345
  • Volleyball — $15,649
  • Wrestling — $14,536

Surprising amounts of cash in any circumstance.

Boosters dropping nearly $20,000 on bowling when students practice and play at the local bowling alley? What on earth?

We’ve attempted to get answers from district officials but everyone from Phil Rison to the high school principal have chosen to avoid providing comment or explanation. Not answering the most basic questions regarding spending raises red flags galore.

Dozens of open records requests have been filed and those are pending.

What’s going on here? Are Rison and the district inflating girls expenditures paid by boosters to make their per-student costs similar to boys? Are they covering up the baseball field renovation by spreading those costs around? Are they making these claims because booster spending is easier to hide and manipulate when only a couple people control all of the cash and all of the reporting?

To go from raising and spending $0 booster dollars on facilities the year prior to $312,050… well…

Something stinks. And that’s why we’re running this story prior to obtaining records. Because someone out there knows something and the usual suspects in Montgomery County are going out of their way to avoid any level of transparency.

If you know something, SPILL IT!

Contact Jake at this address:

We keep sources confidential.

Some Folks Really Mad At Rand Paul

More than a million gallons of raw sewage has been pouring each day into the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River near Pike County for nearly three months. [H-L]

Edgar Nernberg is a creationist. And he won’t let a little thing like discovering a crucial link in the evolutionary chain change his mind. [HuffPo]

After years of planning and several public protests, police body cameras will start recording in Louisville within days. [C-J/AKN]

Here’s an interactive database of all the people killed by police this year. [The Guardian]

The Madison County Schools filled the vacant district positions of director of financial services, director of food services, and district assessment coordinator. [Richmond Register]

Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.) said in an interview broadcast Sunday that a National Security Agency (NSA) program that collects information on Americans’ phone calls is “not a violation of civil liberties.” [The Hill]

City officials in South Shore formally opened a new city building Friday after being without one for the past few years. [Ashland Independent]

Rand Paul may have taken his stand against government surveillance a little too far in his presidential campaign. In a campaign video released on Friday that includes explicit links to a campaign donation page, Paul (R-Ky.) extensively uses footage from his lengthy speech on the Senate floor on May 20 against bulk data collection and surveillance in the PATRIOT Act. The Senate “strictly” prohibits any use of its proceedings for campaign activities. [Politico]

Glasgow High School seniors earned more than $3.4 million in scholarships this year and were celebrated Wednesday in the school’s auditorium. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Gruesome photographs on cigarette packages may deliver more effective anti-smoking messages than words, a new analysis finds. [Reuters]

Professional storytellers coming together to share personal stories, ghost stories, and tall tales; sprinkled with just the right amount of music, all heard in a beautiful natural setting— THAT is the Cave Run Storytelling Festival. [The Morehead News]

It’s an argument we hear frequently from gun rights activists and conservative lawmakers: Mass shooters select places to attack where citizens are banned from carrying firearms—so-called “gun-free zones.” All the available data shows that this claim is just plain wrong. [Mother Jones]

I (Jake) grew up reading Merlene Davis and can’t imagine the Herald-Leader without her. For a different kid hidden deep on rural Appalachia, Merlene’s tenacity was everything. [Paul Prather]

U.S. police have shot and killed 385 people during the first five months of this year, a rate of more than two a day, the Washington Post reported on Saturday. [HuffPo]

How Will Martin O’Malley Do In KY?

Rand Paul stood before nearly 200 fans Saturday afternoon and made clear his intentions to force the expiration of the Patriot Act when the U.S. Senate meets for a rare session Sunday. [H-L]

Proponents of campaign finance reform are asking the Department of Justice to appoint an independent special prosecutor to investigate possible violations of campaign finance law by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush as he seeks the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. [HuffPo]

A backup power generator at a pumping station could have prevented April’s massive flooding and a big sewage spill at Louisville’s Morris Forman Water Quality Treatment Center, state officials have concluded. [C-J/AKN]

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) is scheduled to announce on Saturday at an event in Baltimore, the city he led as mayor for six years, that he is running for the Democratic nomination for president. [ThinkProgress]

Richmond’s 2015-16 city budget is far from finished, but according to an early draft reviewed by city commissioners this past week, it expects to continue trimming expenses, even as revenue grows slightly. [Richmond Register]

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley announced [Saturday] that he will seek the Democratic nomination for president, joining front-runner Hillary Clinton and dark horse candidate Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primary race. [NPR]

Under nearly ideal conditions, roughly two dozen hikers met and walked the W Hollow stomping grounds of author Jesse Stuart early Saturday morning for the first Health Hike hosted by the Greenup County Health Department. [Ashland Independent]

The wait is over. Martin O’Malley is running for president. The former Maryland governor formally kicked off his quest for the Democratic presidential nomination on Saturday in Baltimore, the city he served as mayor for six years. [Mother Jones]

Now we know the contest for governor is between Democrat Jack Conway and Republican Matt Bevin after James Comer conceded to Bevin on Friday. If Bevin has a credibility problem, Conway has a sincerity and image problem. [Ronnie Ellis]

“These shootings are grossly under­reported,” said Jim Bueermann, a former police chief and president of the Washington-based Police Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving law enforcement. “We are never going to reduce the number of police shootings if we don’t begin to accurately track this information.” [WaPo]

The Kentucky Department of Corrections is hoping to combat a high number of staff vacancies and turnover rates in state prisons by increasing compensation for correctional officers and other hazardous duty staff, according to a government release. [The Morehead News]

A 13-year tally of deaths and poisonings from ephedra show a spectacular decline after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned the sale of weight loss products containing the herb in 2004. [Reuters]

The reality is that Americans who need government aid, like Americans living below the poverty line, represent a shifting population. A parent who loses his job — and the health care that came with it — may need to rely on Medicaid temporarily. [H-L]

Are you ready to throw up in your mouth a little bit? Rand Paul (R-Eggplant Emoji) used some verbal aikido on Jon Stewart during Tuesday night’s “Daily Show,” deflecting questions about marriage equality, and even making an apparent joke about his penis. [HuffPo]