SCOTUS Says Millions Keep Health Care

Pope Francis’ call for urgent action to combat climate change isn’t having much influence on members of Congress from the coal state of Kentucky, who are working this week to block the centerpiece of the president’s agenda to limit the greenhouse gases that are warming the planet. [H-L]

The latest and possibly the last serious effort to cripple Obamacare through the courts has just failed. On Thursday, for the second time in three years, the Supreme Court rejected a major lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act — thereby preserving the largest expansion in health coverage since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid half a century ago. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin used $800,000 more of his own money to fuel his successful stretch run in the Republican primary for governor. [C-J/AKN]

Britain has carried out drone strikes only in war zones in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The documents raise the possibility that in addition, British intelligence may have helped guide American strikes outside conventional war zones. [NY Times]

Members of the Harlan Independent Board of Education voted to partner with UNITE and AmeriCorps in the creation of a position for what will be equivalent to a “teacher’s aide” at a recent meeting. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

President Obama hosts two active duty trans servicemembers at the White House as pressure grows to let them serve openly. [Politico]

Operating costs of the Madison County Detention Center for the fiscal year ending June 30, exceeded its budget by about $500,000. [Richmond Register]

U.S. President Barack Obama reaffirmed in a phone call with his French counterpart Francois Hollande on Wednesday Washington’s commitment to end spying practices deemed “unacceptable” by its allies. [Reuters]

Carter County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Gera Ferguson, announced that the nomination period for local FSA county committees began on June 15, 2015. [Ashland Independent]

The U.S. military acknowledges the negative health effects of Agent Orange on Vietnam veterans — but what about their children? [ProPublica]

The Industrial Development Economic Authority board approved in a special-called meeting to create a new budget category and more money for park work in the city and the county. Executive Director Dan Iacconi proposed Tuesday to the IDEA board for Glasgow-Barren County to create a category in the operating fund titled drainage and erosion control related to Highland Glen Industrial Park. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Acting on climate change will have major economic, environmental, and health benefits, according to a report released Monday by the Environmental Protection Agency. [ThinkProgress]

Caitlyn Jenner’s presence on the glossy cover of the July issue of Vanity Fair magazine incited a powerful moment of visibility for the transgender community, including the one in Lexington. [H-L]

Medical marijuana has not been proven to work for many illnesses that state laws have approved it for, according to the first comprehensive analysis of research on its potential benefits. [HuffPo]

People Still Support That Racist Flag

“The Confederate Battle Flag means different things to different people, but the fact that it continues to be a painful reminder of racial oppression to many suggests to me at least that it’s time to move beyond it, and that the time for a state to fly it has long since passed. There should be no confusion in anyone’s mind that as a people we’re united in our determination to put that part of our history behind us.” [Mitch McConnell]

The University of Kentucky has twice violated the state’s open-records law since 2014, according to opinions released Monday by the Kentucky attorney general’s office. [H-L]

An Afghan family returning to their home after fleeing a possible military operation struck a roadside bomb Saturday in the country’s south, killing at least 12 of them and wounding eight, authorities said. [HuffPo]

Aetna Inc. has made a takeover bid for Louisville-based health care giant Humana, increasing speculation that one of the city’s biggest employers is about to change hands. [C-J/AKN]

With the U.S. Supreme Court expected to rule by the end of the month on whether same-sex marriage is legal, many Christian evangelicals say they would refuse to obey a decision allowing gay unions. [Reuters]

Under certain scenarios, a large percentage of Americans could subsist on a diet made up of mostly local food, according to a new study. [WFPL]

America earns $3 billion a year charging strapped college parents above-market interest. “It’s like ‘The Sopranos,’ except it’s the government.” [Politico]

The Governor’s Medal of Valor was presented posthumously to Delano G. Powell, a Kentucky State Trooper killed in the line of duty in 1965, at a ceremony held in Lexington Thursday. [Richmond Register]

Government forces in northern Afghanistan launch a counter-offensive against the Taliban after they took control of a key district. [BBC]

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System and Shaping Our Appalachian Region have a three-year strategic partnership designed to provide eastern Kentucky residents with the educational opportunities that lead to good jobs. [Ashland Independent]

If the court hands a victory to Republicans by ending subsidies for 6.4 million Americans, Republicans in Congress will be left scrambling to come up with a new game plan. Because they still don’t have a game plan. [ThinkProgress]

Bill Redwine, chair of the Rowan County Board of Education, announced at the regular meeting Tuesday that he is resigning effective June 30. [The Morehead News]

Nearly two centuries before Dylann Roof, the state of South Carolina conducted its own massacre of Emanuel AME Church members. Roof, who embraced white supremacy, killed nine church members Wednesday evening. The white supremacist-controlled state of South Carolina killed 35. [The Intercept]

C-SPAN will participate in a press conference on Monday with Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and Time Warner Cable representatives to announce details about its week-long visit to Lexington to report on Lexington’s history and literary life. [H-L]

On the morning of December 14, 2012, as news trickled in painfully slowly about a shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut, aides gathered in the White House to chart out a response. [HuffPo]

Ugh, Kentucky Could Be Hep C Central

In a study last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that hepatitis C cases across four Appalachian states — Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and Virginia — more than tripled between 2006 and 2012. Kentucky leads the nation in the rate of acute hepatitis C, with 4.1 cases for every 100,000 residents, more than six times the national average, according to the CDC. [H-L]

American Pharoah has cemented his misspelled name among horse racing royalty, claiming the Triple Crown with his win at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, a feat not done since 1978. [HuffPo]

American Pharoah blew into racing immortality Saturday, his 51/2-length victory over Frosted in the Belmont Stakes making him racing’s first Triple Crown winner since 1978 and only the 12th ever to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont. [C-J/AKN]

Mitch McConnell is denying there’s a shutdown on President Obama’s federal court nominees —despite comments the Senate majority leader made on Thursday indicating such a freeze. [The Hill]

A government watchdog says Social Security overpaid nearly half the people receiving disability benefits over the past decade. [WKYT]

U.S Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Friday he was working with the White House to prepare a proposal for Congress on closing the Guantanamo prison for terrorism suspects, a long-time goal of President Barack Obama. [Reuters]

The Glasgow City Council on Monday will consider the nearly $18 million spending plan proposed by Mayor Dick Doty for the 2015-16 fiscal year, which begins July 1. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Hawkish Sen. Tom Cotton was confronted by an anti-war activist on Friday, provoking a tense and awkward exchange about the United States’s role overseas. [Politico]

More than 1,400 athletes took part in the Kentucky Special Olympics Summer Games which were held this weekend at Eastern Kentucky University. [Richmond Register]

China is building massive databases of Americans’ personal information by hacking government agencies and U.S. health-care companies, using a high-tech tactic to achieve an age-old goal of espionage: recruiting spies or gaining more information on an adversary, U.S. officials and analysts say. [WaPo]

Trains are still at the heart of problems surrounding Big Run Landfill, according to county residents and officials dealing with issues at the waste facility. [Ashland Independent]

Chinese miners last year dug up 3.87bn tonnes of coal, more than enough to keep all four of the next largest users – the United States, India, the European Union and Russia – supplied for a year. [The Guardian]

The summer of 2017 will be the first time in 38 years a total solar eclipse will be visible from the contiguous United States, and Hopkinsville will be right in the middle of it. [H-L]

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on Thursday called for ending the federal ban on hemp production in recognition of Hemp History Week. [HuffPo]

Morgan Co-Conley Meltdown Continues

First the Fredericks threatened the Herald-Leader with a lawsuit and then submitted this bizarre letter. What Daniel Frederick fails to do is realize that most assessments (something like 95.17%) by the PVA in Morgan County are spot-on. Specifically, from 2008-2012, all properties sold in Morgan County averaged out to be about 95% of the ultimate sales price. The state requires 90%. That’s pretty darn solid and the opposite of being grossly under-assessed. John Cheves didn’t mislead anyone. Pro-Tip: Daniel is the son of Joleen, former county attorney. And fun rumor: We hear the Fredericks pulled all of their money out of Commercial Bank when Standafer won the banking bid. So that’s fun. [H-L]

Militants attacked a remote guesthouse and killed nine Afghans working for a Czech charity on Tuesday, as a new report by a U.S. university warned that almost 100,000 people have been killed in Afghanistan since the 2001 U.S. invasion. [HuffPo]

University of Louisville trustees will decide Thursday whether parents and students will again have to shoulder a bit more of the school’s ever-inflating costs. [C-J/AKN]

Florida Senator Marco Rubio has one; Texas Senator Ted Cruz has one; even former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, considered a longshot for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, has a billionaire in his corner. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has two. [Reuters]

Attorney Ned Pillersdorf does not mince words about Eric C. Conn. He has called Conn’s actions “scheming,” “conniving,” and more, after hundreds of Eastern Kentuckians are seeing their Social Security benefits suspended due to suspicion of fraud. [Hazard Herald]

Turns out that Martin O’Malley, like every other politician, is a… politician. Politicians love to reinvent themselves. Clinton, Bush, O’Malley, Conway, Beshear, McConnell. They all do it. [Hullabaloo]

Routine business made up a large part of the Harlan City Council’s recent meeting for the month of May. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Rand Paul, the man of the hour when it comes to pushing back against government secrecy, is throwing his weight behind a fresh push to declassify 28 pages from a 2002 Senate inquiry into the causes of 9/11. [TDB]

Meanwhile, both Jamie Comer and Hal Heiner continued to raise campaign funds. [WKMS]

While Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Granny) and allies in his party ostracize the junior Bluegrass State senator, Rand Paul (R-Cookie Maker), for opposing the Patriot Act, the American people lean far more towards Paul’s position than McConnell’s. [Politico]

With just a slight breeze, the smell of bourbon and whiskey wafts into the noses of visitors to the Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience. [Business First]

The Antarctic ozone hole would have been 40% bigger and a hole over the Arctic would have opened up if ozone-depleting chemicals had not been phased out, according to research. [BBC]

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo is calling for a 140-mile extension of the Mountain Parkway from Prestonsburg to Beckley, W.Va., at a cost of $8 billion to $10 billion. [H-L]

College graduates, brace yourselves for some disappointing news. Wages for university grads are 2.5 percent lower than what they were 15 years ago, according to the latest edition of the Economic Policy Institute’s annual report on the labor market prospects of new workers. [HuffPo]

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]

Afghanistan Sure Is A Terrible Mess

Kentucky’s Republican voters narrowly chose Ryan Quarles to represent the GOP in the race for commissioner of agriculture in a down-to-the-wire finish Tuesday night. [H-L]

A faction of Republicans in the House of Representatives wants to stop poor people from buying junk food with food stamps. [HuffPo]

During the recent Kentucky shoot for “Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking,” there was no “Cutthroat Kitchen,” and nobody got “Chopped.” Rather, two local chefs wandered among buffalo grazing in Goshen, grilled bison brisket, bison skirt steak and fresh asparagus under tents at a Finchville farm, and relished the scent of slow-fermenting bourbon at Woodford Reserve distillery in Versailles. [C-J/AKN]

The third of four key U.S. congressional committees on Tuesday approved funding for 12 additional Boeing Co fighter jets in fiscal 2016, increasing the prospects that the company will keep its St. Louis production line running past the end of 2017. [Reuters]

The evening started with a rainbow that arced perfectly behind the commencement stage. And it ended with a fireworks display in the Friday night sky above Richmond. [Richmond Register]

This is a story about how the U.S. military built a lavish headquarters in Afghanistan that wasn’t needed, wasn’t wanted and wasn’t ever used—at a cost to American taxpayers of at least $25 million. [ProPublica]

Fairview school superintendent Bill Musick violated and impeded state education law by allowing non-teachers to teach students, interfering in hiring, withholding staffing allocations, transferring employees without posting vacancies and allowing two administrators to perform duties for which they were not certified, according to a report by the state Office of Education Accountability. [Ashland Independent]

The phrase “Aids epidemic” awakens distant memories in most of Europe, Australia or the Americas, where infection rates have generally been in decline for years. But as former UK Health Secretary Lord Fowler explains, the phrase is not used in Russia either – despite failed policies that have allowed infection rates to soar. [BBC]

Effective Monday, Glasgow Police Sgt. Bradley Lewis was placed on administrative leave with pay, according to a Glasgow Police Department press release. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A new survey of financial professionals tends to confirm the widely held belief that the financial industry has an ethics problem. [NPR]

Negative impacts of development have significantly impaired water quality and stream bank stability in the Triplett Creek watershed. [The Morehead News]

The White House has released its rural child poverty report. [External PDF Link]

Building and maintaining a linear park through downtown Lexington could cost upwards of $75 million, city officials told the Urban County Council on Tuesday. [H-L]

Throngs of students hit the streets of San Juan, Puerto Rico, last week to protest Gov. Alejandro García Padilla’s proposal to cut some $166 million from the budget for the island’s public university system — roughly one-fifth of the system’s total funds. [HuffPo]

Granny Mitch Still Loves Wiretapping

School districts across Kentucky are tracking down 16- and 17-year-old high school dropouts to tell them they are required to return to school this fall if they don’t get a GED by June 30. [H-L]

Nine months after police in riot gear dispelled racially charged protests, President Barack Obama is prohibiting the federal government from providing some military-style equipment to local departments and putting stricter controls on other weapons and gear distributed to law enforcement. [HuffPo]

Here’s who wound up sitting on Millionaires Row at the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks in the 160 seats made available by Churchill Downs to Gov. Steve Beshear and his entourage. [C-J/AKN]

BIG GAY PEE ALERT! U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a longtime Washington insider and critic of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, said he would announce on June 1 whether he will seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. [Reuters]

Barren County Schools retirees were honored Thursday during a regular board of education meeting at Barren County High School’s auditorium. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The military’s mantra for Afghanistan was “winning hearts and minds.” And a key part of that strategy was cold, hard cash. [ProPublica]

Have you seen the tripe the Bowling Green Daily Toilet Paper has been pushing out lately? Kind of like their editors, behind the scenes, worked to trash talk Marilyn Thomas instead of bothering to investigate claims. [BGDTP]

A high level group of scientists is to be recruited to provide independent advice to the European Commission. [BBC]

The partnership between Kentucky Proud business owners and the Kroger Co. has been a success so far, officials say. [Business First]

At schools that offer comprehensive sex education, students tend to get the biology and the basics — they’ll learn about sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, how to put a condom on a banana and the like. But some public health researchers and educators are saying that’s not enough. They’re making the case that sex ed should include discussion about relationships, gender and power dynamics. [NPR]

The Benham City Council heard a proposal from the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority concerning combining the city’s waste water system with Cumberland and Lynch. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

For thousands of years, religious people have gathered together in houses of worship to sing songs, celebrate sacred rituals, and lift up prayers to God(s) on high. And on July 1, a new religious group in Indiana intends to do just that — but with a lot more emphasis on the “high” part. [ThinkProgress]

As his fellow Republican Kentucky senator, Mitch McConnell, pushes this week to reauthorize the Patriot Act, Rand Paul took his presidential campaign to Independence Mall on Monday and said he’d do whatever he could to kill the law and the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records. [H-L]

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Monday he intends this week to “responsibly extend” provisions of the USA Patriot Act due to expire on June 1. [HuffPo]