UK Must Envy All The UofL Drama

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Holy Cross High School’s graduating valedictorian and student council president learned hours before Friday night’s graduation that they would not be allowed to deliver their planned — and, they thought, pre-approved — speeches at the ceremony. [WCPO]

Attempts to fire a tenured University of Kentucky faculty member for the first time in at least five decades began Wednesday, when journalism professor Buck Ryan appeared at a meeting of the Senate Advisory Committee on Privilege and Tenure. [H-L]

U.S. immigration authorities have altered their account of the Border Patrol’s recent fatal shooting of Claudia Patricia Gómez Gonzáles, a 20-year-old woman who had traveled from Guatemala to Texas to help pay for her education. [HuffPo]

Wayne Lewis, like Matt Bevin, is a con artist. A meeting between members of Jefferson County’s legislative delegation and Kentucky’s new interim education commissioner, Wayne D. Lewis Jr., became confrontational this week when Lewis deflected questions about his proposed takeover of Jefferson County Public Schools, according to lawmakers who attended. [C-J/AKN]

The FBI has obtained secret wiretaps collected by Spanish police of conversations involving Alexander Torshin, a deputy governor of Russia’s Central Bank who has forged close ties with U.S. lawmakers and the National Rifle Association, that led to a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. during the gun lobby’s annual convention in Louisville, Ky., in May 2016, a top Spanish prosecutor said Friday. [Yahoo]

Though it has its share of concerts, shows and other ticketed events, Madison County also is chock-full of things to do without having to pay for the experience. [Richmond Register]

Trump’s in-plain-sight embrace of Russia gets obscured by the Trump news avalanche. But long before running for president, Trump relied on Russian money. [CNBC]

The audit of the financial statement of the Boyd County Fiscal Court for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2016 has been released. [Ashland Independent]

Before James Clapper signed on to become President Barack Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, he wrote the president a letter with these famous last words: “I have always sought to be below the radar. I do not like publicity.” [CBS News]

It was a back and forth battle all Tuesday night for the Democratic nominee of the county’s highest elected seat, but former Magistrate Harry Clark was able to fend off political newcomer and current deputy-judge executive Lincoln Caudill for the opportunity to battle in November for Rowan County Judge-Executive. [The Morehead News]

Indiana authorities on Saturday were yet to charge and identify the student who they say was responsible for wounding a teacher and student at a middle school in what media is reporting as the 23rd shooting on a United States campus in 2018. [Reuters]

Barren County Fiscal Court undid Friday two of its Tuesday amendments to the ordinance establishing the 2018-19 fiscal year budget and created a new amendment to more accurately reflect the intent of the other two. [Glasgow Daily Times]

An American government employee posted in southern China has signs of possible brain injury after reporting disturbing sounds and sensations, the State Department said on Wednesday, in events that seemed to draw parallels with mysterious ailments that struck American diplomats in Cuba. [NY Times]

Andy Barr made coal a central part of his campaign when he landed a seat in Congress. Now facing what could be his first truly competitive challenge, the politics of coal are likely to play a significant role in the Republican incumbent’s race to defend his Central Kentucky seat against Democrat Amy McGrath. [H-L]

So dangerously stupid. Donald Trump attacked The New York Times in a tweet Saturday, claiming the paper made up a “senior White House official” for its story about the canceled North Korea summit. The official, a member of Trump’s National Security Council, actually does exist and led a briefing at the White House on Thursday for reporters. [HuffPo]

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Carpetbagger McGrath Is Playing Gray’s Victim To Gain Political Points

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Amy McGrath is upset that she’s being called out for not living in Kentucky. Pointing out – factually – that she hasn’t lived in Kentucky in a loooong time is not an attack on her military service. Jim Gray is a crap candidate and his people are even worse but enough with that “stop attacking my service” nonsense. Being a veteran doesn’t automatically make someone above reproach. It’s not a free pass. If it were, this country wouldn’t allow so many veterans to be homeless and destitute without care. [H-L]

Employers who stiff their workers or discriminate against them just got a big lift from the Supreme Court, which issued a major ruling Monday making it easier for companies to avoid employee lawsuits. [HuffPo]

Attorneys for the University of Louisville Athletic Association called the damage caused by former men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino “catastrophic” in seeking to dismiss the lawsuit against the organizations. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, who made millions over the past 18 months soliciting funds from clients seeking entree and influence at the White House, met with a senior Qatari official in Florida last month, just days before the FBI raided Cohen’s home and office, according to two sources familiar with the matter. [Foreign Policy]

Kentucky House Rep. C. Wesley Morgan, who has represented the 81st district since January 2017, will take on challenger Deanna Frazier of Richmond in Tuesday’s primary. [Richmond Register]

Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Monday was set to hold a series of meetings on how to combat school violence, three days after a 17-year-old killed 10 people in the fourth-deadliest mass shooting at a public school in modern U.S. history. [Reuters]

Keeping children adequately fed in the summer doesn’t have to be a problem, because several area school districts are serving up free lunches every day. [Ashland Independent]

On Mother’s Day, Michael Avenatti, attorney for Stormy Daniels, posted a cryptic tweet with several images of Trump Tower on December 12, 2016. The photos featured Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who Avenatti is suing on Daniels’ behalf, Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser and several men who are more difficult to identify. About six hours later, Avenatti revealed the identity of one of the other men in the picture. According to Avenatti, it’s Ahmed al-Rumaihi, a former Qatari diplomat who now heads up the nation’s massive investment fund. [ThinkProgress]

A motion challenging “the good faith” of current Rowan County Circuit Clerk Kim Barker-Tabor has been dismissed. [The Morehead News]

The event was grotesque. It was a consummation of the cynical alliance between hawkish Jews and Zionist evangelicals who believe that the return of Jews to Israel will usher in the apocalypse and the return of Christ, after which Jews who don’t convert will burn forever. [NY Times]

As of the end of the third quarter of the current fiscal year, the city of Glasgow’s funds had nearly half a million dollars more in revenue than expenses. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A music promoter who promised Donald Trump Jr. over email that a Russian lawyer would provide dirt about Hillary Clinton in June 2016 made the offer because he had been assured the Moscow attorney was “well connected” and had “damaging material,” the promoter testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee. [WaPo & Committee on the Judiciary Material]

How many second chances can a person get in this life? Public corruption fraudster Richie Farmer will avoid jail time after pleading guilty to driving under the influence earlier this year, according to court records and media reports. [H-L]

This 20-year-old CEO has created a website aimed at preventing suicide and self-harm by pairing people online who can support each other. [HuffPo]

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Amy McGrath Is A Terrible Hypocrite

Prosecutors and congressional investigators have obtained text messages and emails showing that Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was working on a deal for a Trump Tower in Moscow far later than Cohen has previously acknowledged. The communications show that, as late as May 2016, around the time Trump was clinching the Republican nomination, Cohen was considering a trip to Russia to meet about the project with high-level government officials, business leaders and bankers. [Ruh Ro]

Amy McGrath is a carpetbagger and a hypocrite. She has the audacity to attack others for Democratic Party ties while being 14 miles up Jonathan Miller’s slimy you-know-what. What a hack. Made worse by her decision to tip-toe around homophobia. It’s a shame she’ll likely win and ultimately lose to Andy Barr. [H-L]

The U.S. delegation in Jerusalem on Monday to celebrate the opening of the new American embassy includes an evangelical Christian pastor who once said Jews “can’t be saved.” [HuffPo]

These jackasses need to be run out of the Commonwealth. The state should take over contract negotiations with the Jefferson County teachers union because previous deals have led to “implicit racial discrimination” in the public school system, a former district official says. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration has rolled back protections for transgender prison inmates introduced under former President Barack Obama after some prisoners challenged the policies in court. [Reuters]

Former Madison County deputy jailer Billy E. Bales (no image available), 32, of Berea, has been arrested and served a warrant for first offense third-degree controlled substance trafficking and first-degree official misconduct. [Richmond Register]

He was a small man, one interrogator recalled, and so thin that he would slip in his restraints when the masked CIA guards tipped the waterboard upward to let him breathe. [ProPublica]

Area food pantries and non-profits say they are noticing a striking increase in demand for food for the poor in the area. [Ashland Independent]

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt gave a speech on Tuesday to a mining industry group whose member companies are regulated by his agency. Pruitt’s appearance at the event was closed to the public and the press. [ThinkProgress]

The economic impact of tourism in Rowan County grew to more than $72 million in 2017. [The Morehead News]

The first stage of a multibillion-dollar military-VA digital health program championed by Jared Kushner has been riddled with problems so severe they could have led to patient deaths. [Politico]

Ugh, Julian Carroll is super-gross – an alleged (he was caught on tape!) sexual predator who needs to go. Kentucky may have not been prepared for the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday that struck down a prohibition on state sports gambling, but it didn’t take long for a couple of legislators to react. [Ronnie Ellis]

One of the largest contributions to Donald Trump’s inaugural committee in 2016 appears to have been orchestrated by a set of powerful conservative legal activists who have since been put in the driver’s seat of the administration’s push to select and nominate federal judges. [McClatchy]

A judge has ruled that the Kentucky House of Representatives violated the state’s Open Meetings Act with a closed-door conference in August where lawmakers from both parties huddled to discuss their plans to deal with the state’s pension crisis. [John Cheves]

Just in case you’re wondering why the far-right end timers are going bananas lately… [HuffPo]

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Who’ll Win? Carpetbagger Or Rich Guy?

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Ugh, Lexington is going to elect a carpetbagger or an out-of-touch rich guy instead of Reggie. [H-L]

Sounds like Kentucky, doesn’t it? Michigan Republicans are pushing a new, Donald Trump-inspired bill that would require Medicaid recipients in the state’s mostly black cities to work to keep their health benefits, but exempt some of the state’s rural white residents from the same requirement. [HuffPo]

Wayne Lewis, like Matt Bevin, is a con artist. The Kentucky Department of Education won’t tell you that the original plan was for the state to offer assistance to Jefferson County Public Schools rather than take it over and strip the elected school board of power. [C-J/AKN]

A robotic geologist armed with a hammer and quake monitor rocketed toward Mars on Saturday, aiming to land on the red planet and explore its mysterious insides. [AP]

Two weeks after Madison County Attorney Jud Patterson announced plans to start a new home incarceration program to help decrease the jail population, the first step in a possible expansion of the habitually overcrowded facility was taken by magistrates. [Richmond Register]

Matt Wender’s vision for Fayette County begins with the New River Gorge. Whitewater rafters, hikers and mountain bikers congregate there every summer. Craft beer and artisan pizza are helping his home emerge as an outdoor tourism hub. [ProPublica]

A Rowan County resident has filed a motion to challenge “the good faith of a candidate” running in the Primary Election on Tuesday, May 22. The “good faith” motion states King challenges Kim Barker-Tabor, current Rowan County Circuit Court Clerk and running for the seat later this month, of her candidacy for election in the primary, more specifically the date of her citizenship and residency in Rowan County. [The Morehead News]

One of the nation’s largest anti-LGBTQ organizations claims that it’s been treated unfairly because of its homophobic, transphobic, and other derogatory positions. [ThinkProgress]

Barren and 38 other Kentucky counties will receive money to be used for economic development because of Kentucky House Bill 114, which Matt Bevin signed into law in April. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The jobless rate looks like old times but the economy doesn’t. The last time the unemployment rate fell below the 4 percent threshold was in 2000, during a period of frenetic activity remembered as the dot-com boom. [NY Times]

The Fairview Board of Education on Friday chose a new superintendent following two marathon days of interviews. [Ashland Independent]

The abrupt ouster and reinstatement of the U.S. House chaplain are exposing tensions among House Republicans about the role of a vocal Jesuit Catholic priest in Congress in the era of Pope Francis. [WaPo]

A woman who said she gave birth in a jail cell without medical attention has filed a federal lawsuit against staffers with the Franklin County Regional Jail. [H-L]

A new “faith-based” adoption law signed by Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin on Friday is raising red flags for LGBTQ groups. [HuffPo]

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Bevin: Too Dumb To Walk & Chew Gum?

The Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents violated the state open meetings act when it met behind behind closed doors for more than five hours, Attorney General Andy Beshear said. [H-L]

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators have questioned a Russian oligarch about hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments his company’s US affiliate made to Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, after the election, according to a source familiar with the matter. [CNN]

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith sharply criticized Donald Trump on Friday for headlining the National Rifle Association convention mere months after he vowed to take action on gun control in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in which 17 people died. [HuffPo]

Jefferson County Public Schools could fight a state takeover in court by arguing that the state board of education cannot issue a fair decision because its new members are biased, a lawyer says. Louisville attorney David Tachau, whose practice includes constitutional litigation, said the circumstances leading up to interim Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis’ recommendation for a takeover seem suspect. [C-J/AKN]

Cambridge Analytica used its own database and voter information collected from Facebook and news publishers in its effort to help elect Donald Trump, despite a claim by a top campaign official who has downplayed the company’s role in the election. [The Guardian]

Presidents facing re-election often employ what’s euphemistically called “the Rose Garden Strategy” — events outside the White House which make them look presidential. Congressmen don’t have that luxury, but Kentucky’s Republican Congressman from the 6th District, Andy Barr, gets pretty close. [Ronnie Ellis]

The lobbyist and his wife who rented a condominium to Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt for $50 a night last summer paid a $2,034 fine on Friday for renting the property without the proper license. [The Hill]

Four Democrats and two Republicans are vying to fill the role of Greenup County Sheriff, an office that has been occupied by Democrat Keith Cooper since 1999. Cooper has opted against running for a sixth term. [Ashland Independent]

The U.S. National Security Agency collected 534 million records of phone calls and text messages of Americans last year, more than triple gathered in 2016, a U.S. intelligence agency report released on Friday said. [Reuters]

Harold “Hal” Rogers, U.S. representative for Kentucky’s 5th congressional district, attended a special meeting of the Gateway Area Development District (ADD) Wednesday to provide an update about ongoing work in Washington, DC and across southern and eastern Kentucky. [The Morehead News]

When the United States sought to punish Russia last month for its election interference and other aggressions, it targeted some of Russia’s wealthiest men, imposing sanctions on those viewed as enriching themselves off President Vladimir V. Putin’s government. Now it turns out that one of the men, Viktor F. Vekselberg, was also singled out in another of the efforts to confront Russia’s election interference: the investigation led by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. Federal agents working with Mr. Mueller stopped Mr. Vekselberg, a billionaire businessman, at a New York-area airport this year and sought to search his electronic devices and question him, according to people familiar with the matter. [NY Times]

While law enforcement agencies and other organizations around the nation may be increasing their gun bring-back programs, so far, that idea is not taking off in the Barren County area. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Beijing’s International Security Defense College, which boasts of becoming “the largest private security training school in China,” sits behind a 45-foot-high exterior wall and a barricade. Inside the compound, trainers with police and military experience teach classes on tackling detainees, handling hostage situations and thwarting terrorist attacks. [WaPo]

Faced with the need to cut nearly $1 million from its budget, Kentucky Educational Television is eliminating its online campus offerings, long known as “distance learning.” [H-L]

A high-ranking political appointee at the Department of the Interior told colleagues their job is ultimately to protect their boss, Secretary Ryan Zinke, internal emails reveal ― in particular from matters that could trigger an ethics probe or negative media attention. [HuffPo]

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Reggie Thomas Is Absolutely Correct

Reggie Thomas is absolutely right. Amy McGrath is a carpetbagger and Jim Gray has been a self-hater for so long that he doesn’t have the guts to do or say anything of substance. Look who they both have hired to run their campaigns. Just the worst of Kentucky politics. [H-L]

Donald Trump’s address to the National Rifle Association convention on Friday drew fierce criticism from a survivor of February’s deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin appears to have sold considerable real estate holdings in 2017, according to the annual personal financial disclosure statement he filed late Monday. [C-J/AKN]

The Justice Department deleted language about press freedom and racial gerrymandering from its internal manual. [BuzzFart]

As the opioid epidemic rages across Appalachia, one grim consequence has played out in Kentucky’s medical examiner’s office: A staggering increase in autopsy requests. [Richmond Register]

The uninsured rate among working-age people — that is, those who are between 19 and 64 — is at 15.5 percent, up from 12.7 percent in 2016, meaning an estimated 4 million people lost coverage. Rates were up significantly compared with 2016 among adults with lower incomes — those living in households earning less than 250 percent of poverty (about $30,000 for an individual. [Commonwealth Fund]

Court proceedings in a case against Boyd Jailer Joe Burchett accusing him of malfeasance continued Friday morning. [Ashland Independent]

On July 15, 2016, General Michael Flynn, Trump’s former National Security Adviser who is now cooperating with Special Counsel Mueller, sent an email predicting “a number of things…will happen…via cyber operations…by both hacktivists [and] nation-states.” A week later, Wikileaks began releasing hacked emails from the DNC. [ThinkProgress]

Three candidates for Rowan County Clerk participated in the Primary Candidate Forum held last Tuesday at the Morehead Conference Center. [The Morehead News]

Imagine if women could murder straight men when they hit on them or flirt and be protected by law. You can kill a gay person in all but two states and claim gay panic and get away with it. This guy did. [WaPo]

More than a dozen candidates showed up for the Barren River Rod & Gun Club’s second forum Thursday, this one highlighting different races than the one last month. [Glasgow Daily Times]

In the United States, Paul J. Manafort is facing prosecution on charges of money laundering and financial fraud stemming from his decade of work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine. But in Ukraine, where officials are wary of offending Donald Trump, not so much. There, four meandering cases that involve Mr. Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, have been effectively frozen by Ukraine’s chief prosecutor. [NY Times]

Republicans in heavily Republican districts don’t decide to drop out of their re-election bid because they think politics are too vicious. Pro-tip: There’s a research book floating around out there. [H-L]

Donald Trump has postponed the imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, the European Union and Mexico until June 1, and has reached agreements for permanent exemptions for Argentina, Australia and Brazil, the White House said on Monday. [HuffPo]

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Another Kentucky Newspaper Is Dying

Lexington deserves what it gets if it elects Teresa Isaac again. What a total buffoon. [H-L]

Albert Kelly, a top aide to Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt in charge of overhauling the organization’s cleanup of America’s most contaminated sites, has resigned. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin’s mansion and the 10 acres it sits on are now valued at $2.9 million under a new round of local property valuation updates — $1.3 million higher than what a company owned by Bevin paid for it slightly more than a year ago. The 81 percent difference follows questions from last year over the home’s true value and whether Bevin got a sweetheart deal when he bought the seven-bedroom, 9,100-square-foot estate from friend and donor Neil Ramsey in March 2017. [C-J/AKN]

Fearing they could lose access to federal student loans and grants, colleges and universities hire consultants to keep student loan defaults in check. But these advisers too often encourage borrowers to temporarily postpone payments, rather than enroll in plans that would manage their debt long-term — a strategy that skews the default data and threatens the financial health of borrowers, according to a study released Thursday by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. [WaPo]

Jim Gray found a modest sized crowd but a warm reception here Monday as he opened a local campaign office, telling about 35 people he’ll “get things done” in Washington if he’s elected U.S. Congressman from Kentucky’s 6th District. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Russian lawyer who met with Trump campaign officials in Trump Tower in June 2016 on the premise that she would deliver damaging information about Hillary Clinton has long insisted she is a private attorney, not a Kremlin operative trying to meddle in the presidential election. But newly released emails show that in at least one instance two years earlier, the lawyer, Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, worked hand in glove with Russia’s chief legal office to thwart a Justice Department civil fraud case against a well-connected Russian firm. Ms. Veselnitskaya also appears to have recanted her earlier denials of Russian government ties. [NY Times]

A hepatitis A outbreak growing in the Louisville area since last summer reached a new peak recently with a travel advisory from Indiana health officials. They told Hoosiers heading to Kentucky to get a hepatitis A vaccine. [WFPL]

The Trump administration is likely to propose freezing fuel economy standards from 2020 through 2026, according to three people briefed on the matter, a move likely to spark a fight with California and other states backing tougher vehicle emissions rules. [Reuters]

A single Boyd Democrat sheriff candidate will be selected this month to face the lone Republican candidate November. [Ashland Independent]

In February 2017, a top White House aide who was Trump’s longtime personal bodyguard, along with the top lawyer at the Trump Organization and a third man, showed up at the office of Trump’s New York doctor without notice and took all the president’s medical records. The incident, which Dr. Harold Bornstein described as a “raid,” took place two days after Bornstein told a newspaper that he had prescribed a hair growth medicine for the president for years. [NBC News]

Newspapers are continuing to die in Kentucky. The Morehead News will change its publication dates from Tuesday and Friday to once a week on Wednesdays, effective June 6, the newspaper has announced. [The Morehead News]

Peabody Energy, America’s biggest coalmining company, has funded at least two dozen groups that cast doubt on manmade climate change and oppose environment regulations, analysis by the Guardian reveals. [The Guardian]

More than 1,000 employees at the University of Kentucky will be able to continue working on degrees they’ve begun at other universities under a new program announced Tuesday. Those employees had been part of a statewide tuition waiver program that allowed them to take classes toward degrees at other public colleges and universities for free. [H-L]

At a roundtable with the nation’s top educators on Monday afternoon, at least one teacher told Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that her favored policies are having a negative effect on public schools, HuffPost has learned. [HuffPo]

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