Are Fayette County Schools Just Terrible?

In the 2013-2014 school year, Nicole Jenkins said, her then 8-year-old son witnessed a friend “being called the n-word on the school bus.” “Later that year,” Jenkins said, “he and a Hispanic friend were called the n-word. Finally, … he was called a baboon by a classmate” at Meadowthorpe Elementary School. [H-L]

After the Republican Party took a drubbing at the polls on Election Day 2012, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus ordered an autopsy. The party, the coroner’s report found a few months later, had alienated women and minorities and came off as plutocratic. [HuffPo]

Fire investigators have blamed the total loss of a General Electric warehouse on outdated Appliance Park equipment that failed when fire crews rushed to the scene April 3. [C-J/AKN]

The FBI on Friday announced the arrests in Oakland of two animal rights activists, Joseph Buddenberg and Nicole Kissane, and accused the pair of engaging in “domestic terrorism.” This comes less than a month after the FBI director said he does not consider Charleston Church murderer Dylann Roof a “terrorist.” The activists’ alleged crimes: “They released thousands of minks from farms around the country and vandalized various properties.” That’s it. Now they’re being prosecuted and explicitly vilified as “terrorists,” facing 10-year prison terms. [The Intercept]

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling that states must recognize same-sex marriages is roiling Kentucky and pulling in other parties who probably would rather stay out of the controversy. [Ronnie Ellis]

Consumers of organic foods are getting both more and less than they bargained for. On both counts, it’s not good. When will people quit it with pseudoscience and Ferd Berb wooery? Organic doesn’t equal magic and GMOs are not the devil. [Forbes]

This may be the funniest story of the entire 2015 campaign. [Kentucky New Era]

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter is due to meet with senior military leaders on Thursday to map out his budget priorities for the coming year, the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer said on Tuesday. [Reuters]

Glasgow Mayor Dick Doty announced at Monday night’s city council meeting the three finalists for the position of police chief. [Glasgow Daily Times]

All these articles act as if Rand really thought he had a shot at winning the presidency. And is it really a bad thing that he’s not trying to sell his rear end for campaign cash? Really? This all bodes extremely well for his U.S. Senate campaign. No, this doesn’t mean we’re fans. [Politico]

Seriously? This guy was arrested for shooting down a drone flying over his property? Most of you reading this would do the same damn thing and so would we. [WDRB]

Half of American adults had their personal information exposed to hackers last year alone. In a recent attack at the federal Office of Personnel Management, hackers stole the most sensitive personal data for 21.5 million people. [NY Times]

Lexington leaders from city government, education and business gathered Monday evening to announce their goal of obtaining accreditation from the National Safety Council as a “safe community.” [H-L]

After a group of GOP senators huddled Tuesday afternoon to discuss the recently released undercover “sting” videos of Planned Parenthood, Republicans unveiled legislation to strip the family planning provider of its federal funding. [HuffPo]

Beshear’s Big Budget Announcement

Here’s Papaw Beshear’s big budget announcement from the 21st:



Just remember that when anyone in Frankfort, Beshear included, tells you that there’s a budget surplus:

  • Kentucky’s pension system is the worst in the country. So bad that we’ve essentially stopped bothering to pay attention to it after years and years of being the only outlet to mention it.
  • WIC clinics have been cut by 50% in Louisville over a mere $800,000. Pregnant women, unborn babies and young children are potentially suffering over a tiny amount of government money.
  • Student aid has been cut at every turn, poor students turned away
  • TOLLS TOLLS TOLLS TOLLS TOLLS TOLLS TOLLS TOLLS! Tolls. Any questions about tolls?
  • Some school districts, like Montgomery County, have gone a loooong time without textbooks.
  • The Education Professional Standards Board has not only had to deal with an horrific board situation by most accounts (hey, Cassandra!), it’s also had to get by without a sorely needed influx of cash.
  • Jack Conway’s office has regularly had to make mega financial cuts.
  • Tornado-ravaged areas of rural Eastern Kentucky are still suffering, languishing, wishing they could be rebuilt.

Budget surplus. Ha.

A Gun Nut Extremist Fears The Gays

WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE? A dog’s collar and chain leash were found on the passenger side of a vehicle allegedly used to drag a dog to its death, a Lexington police officer testified Tuesday. [H-L]

An evangelical Christian suggested in a video posted to Facebook that Christians should fight against gay rights with firearms. [HuffPo]

State audits of companies that provide Medicaid-funded homes and services for adults with disabilities are sending shock waves through the businesses, which say the state is demanding repayment of millions of dollars for what amounts to minor paperwork errors. [C-J/AKN]

The Des Moines Register editorial board is blasting businessman Donald Trump, saying he should drop out of the 2016 Republican presidential race. [The Hill & DMR]

Hal Rogers, a staunch supporter of Kentucky’s coal industry, said last week that the state must consider other manners of employment for the Appalachian region besides coal. [WFPL]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and liberal stalwart Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) have reached a deal on a six-year highway funding bill. [The Hill]

Steve Beshear is placing $82.5 million of surplus funds into the state’s reserve fund, bringing the “rainy day” fund to $209.4 million, the highest amount in almost a decade. [Business First]

Less than 15 percent of U.S. adults eat enough fruits daily to meet federal recommendations, but the numbers are even worse in some states, dipping as low as 7.5 percent in Tennessee, according to a new study. [Reuters]

The state Energy and Environment Cabinet will take comments about oil and gas development from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday in a “listening session” at the Center for Rural Development in Somerset. [Richmond Register]

Meagan Taylor, a 22-year-old transgender woman of color, has been sitting in an isolated Iowa jail since last Monday simply because she was profiled for her identity. [ThinkProgress]

Truckloads of cleaning supplies, food, water and other provisions are continuing to be distributed to Johnson Countians whose lives were devastated by recent flash flooding and other weather-related problems. [Ashland Independent]

If this isn’t an honest-to-goodness crystal ball, it’s close. Neurobiologist Nina Kraus believes she and her team at Northwestern University have found a way — a half-hour test — to predict kids’ literacy skill long before they’re old enough to begin reading. [NPR]

After much criticism and refusing to utter Bevin’s name, Mitch McConnell is stepping slightly forward. Then he’ll very quickly step back into the shadows, allowing Bevin to dig his own political grave. [H-L]

President Barack Obama on Tuesday listed Americans held in Iraq by name and said the United States will not give up until they are returned. [HuffPo]

On Slashing The State Govt Budget…

Flash back to July 16, 2014.

Steve Beshear cut the following from the budget:

  • $13,200 from the State Budget Director
  • $350,000 from Military Affairs
  • $255,923 from the Department for Local Government slush fund
  • $100,000 from the Secretary of State
  • $200,000 from the Attorney General
  • $200,000 from the Economic Development Cabinet
  • $263,337 from the Department of Education for Learning and Results Services
  • $60,000 from the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet for General Administration and Program Support
  • $297,700 from the Education Professional Standards Board
  • $500,000 from the Public Service Commission
  • $105,000 from the Finance and Administration Cabinet
  • $90,000 from the Labor Cabinet for Workplace Standards
  • $5,030 from the State Group Health Insurance Fund at the Personnel Cabinet
  • $383,632 from the Council on Postsecondary Education
  • $67,500 from the Public Protection Cabinet for Housing, Buildings and Construction
  • $15,000 from the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet
  • $52,400 from the Transportation Cabinet
  • $21,200,270 from the Budget Reserve Trust Fund
  • $3,688,207 from Highways

Who wants to chime in to tell us all that’s gone wrong since then?

Gay Panicked Republicans Freaking Out

Keep pandering, Addia, keep pandering. A state representative will sponsor legislation aimed at making clear that ministers and others who object to same-sex marriages on religious grounds would not have to perform such services. [H-L]

So let me be clear about a few things: I do not want to order a wedding cake from a bakery owned by a guy who thinks I’m going to hell. I have no desire to purchase bouquets from a florist who pickets Pride parades. I wouldn’t serve pizza at a wedding if the owner paid me and offered to serenade my guests with an a cappella version of “Born This Way.” And finally, the suggestion that I would be insane enough to want to force a homophobic clergyperson to preside over my most sacred day is beyond insulting. [HuffPo]

The Republican Party of Kentucky is putting finishing touches on a proposal that would preserve Rand Paul’s fallback plan to win re-election to the U.S. Senate next year if his campaign for president falters. [C-J/AKN]

Republicans and Democrats are locked in an increasingly bitter debate over government spending, with few legislative weeks remaining to avoid another shutdown this fall. [The Hill]

Kentucky’s voters have seen this script before: insurgent Kentucky Republican takes down established candidates openly or presumably preferred by U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, Kentucky’s ultimate establishment Republican. [Ronnie Ellis]

Sometime in the next few weeks, aides expect President Obama to issue orders freeing dozens of federal prisoners locked up on nonviolent drug offenses. With the stroke of his pen, he will probably commute more sentences at one time than any president has in nearly half a century. [NY Times]

Beginning Monday, the Glasgow Police Department will be changing its policy and charging $5 for all documents relating to fingerprints, accident reports, accident photos, response reports and any other report that the police department releases from their office, according to a press release issued by GPD Public Affairs Officer Julie Anne Williams. [Glasgow Daily Times]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… Woolly mammoths spent their lives enduring extreme Arctic conditions including frigid temperatures, an arid environment and the relentless cycle of dark winters and bright summers. [Reuters]

Something tells us this won’t end well for him. Green County Clerk Billy Joe Lowe said he will resume issuing marriage licenses next week, but only to heterosexual couples. [WFPL]

China – the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases – has announced details of its climate action plan. [BBC]

The Paramount Arts Center announced its lineup of shows for the coming year and it includes a little something for all ages and tastes. [Ashland Independent]

Meanwhile, one of Clinton’s closest rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, has so far ducked serious scrutiny over his own handling, and deleting, of official emails conducted on a private Gmail account. [The Intercept]

It is an iconic moment in U.S. Marine Corps lore, and it’s now memorialized in bronze on the lawn of Morgan County’s Old Courthouse in West Liberty. [H-L]

There was a time when she liked acting in goofy comedy skits at her Detroit church or crawling into bed with her grandmother to watch TV. She loved to sing—her favorite artist was Chris Brown—but she was too shy to perform in front of other people. [HuffPo]

Why Rand Will Never Be President…

Despite criticism from some city commissioners, Frankfort Mayor Bill May intends to pursue an independent investigation into the capital city’s police department in the wake of an ongoing investigation into a bourbon theft/steroid trafficking ring. [H-L]

The stupid is on high with presidential candidates. Mike Huckabee joined the growing pack of 2016 presidential candidates skeptical about climate science on Sunday. [HuffPo]

The Kentucky Democratic Party benefited from a jolt of new out-of-state contributors in May – 14 executives of AT&T who combined gave $12,550 to the party in this crucial gubernatorial election year. [C-J/AKN]

GCHQ’s covert surveillance of two international human rights groups was illegal, the judicial tribunal responsible for handling complaints against the intelligence services has ruled. [The Guardian]

Members of the Richmond City Commission argued about funding for employee benefits and economic development in a Tuesday morning work session. But, they were all smiles in a called session Friday afternoon when the 2015-16 budget was adopted on final reading. [Richmond Register]

Many of the quotes attributed to the Founding Fathers in two of Rand Paul’s books are either fake, misquoted, or taken entirely out of context. [BuzzFeed]

Barren County Fiscal Court unanimously decided in a special-called meeting Friday to go back to the county’s former health insurance agent of record, Pedigo-Lessenberry Insurance Agency. [Glasgow Daily Times]

With the release of his encyclical “Laudato Si” on Thursday, Pope Francis made headlines for recognizing the threat of human-caused climate change. But the encyclical also called attention to the world’s oceans, affirming just how vital they are to “our common home.” [ThinkProgress]

Kentucky gubernatorial candidates Matt Bevin and Jack Conway lobbed barbs in their first joint public appearance on Friday. [WFPL]

The US State Department says the number of terror attacks around the world rose by a third in 2014 compared with the previous year. [BBC]

The Lexington Humane Society is asking for the public’s help in replacing their air conditioning unit. [WAVE3]

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said Monday that the Confederate flag near the state Capitol should be moved, reversing an earlier position she had held and adding a powerful voice to the growing chorus of calls for the flag’s removal. [WaPo]

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said Monday that police are working hard to determine what was behind multiple shootings Sunday night during a basketball tournament at Douglass Park. [H-L]

We’re looking at you, Rand Paul, because you’ve known about this guy for ages. The leader of a white supremacist group cited by Charleston church murder suspect Dylann Roof made $65,000 in donations to Republicans, including several to Republican presidential candidates, The Guardian newspaper reported Sunday night.[HuffPo & TPM]

Worst Gubernatorial Campaign Ever?

In their first public, joint appearance as candidates for governor, Democrat Jack Conway and Republican Matt Bevin traded only soft verbal blows, setting the scene for some potentially nasty campaign fights down the road. [H-L]

A website surfaced on Saturday containing a possible trove of photos of Dylann Roof and a racist manifesto explaining why he allegedly targeted Charleston, South Carolina, in a shooting this week that killed nine African-Americans. [HuffPo]

Louisville Metro Police officers and area youths held a frank conversation following a recent police shooting at a forum in the California Community Center on Thursday. [C-J/AKN]

The Confederate flag was adopted to represent a short-lived rebellion to extend and protect white supremacy and black slavery. [Vox]

Campbell District Court Judge Gregory T. Popovich is facing 15 days of suspension from the bench for misconduct. The Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission issued its findings Thursday evening, saying Popovich violated five canons of the state Code of Judicial Conduct. [Cincinnasti.com]

South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn (D) said on Sunday that he believes the Confederate flag stirs up memories of insurrection against the U.S. [The Hill]

Oh, god, the humor. House Speaker Greg Stumbo, (D-Prestonsburg), has announced the formation of the House Special Committee on Advanced Communications and Information Technology. Rep. Martha Jane King (D-Lewisburg) has been appointed to chair the committee, which will meet during the interim months of the General Assembly. [Berea Online]

Tensions are building inside and outside the white marble facade of the U.S. Supreme Court building as the nine justices prepare to issue major rulings on gay marriage and President Barack Obama’s healthcare law by the end of the month. [Reuters]

Matt Bevin told county officials from across the state gathered here for a conference there are “very distinct differences” between him and his Democratic opponent for governor, Jack Conway. [Ronnie Ellis]

With tears welling in her eyes, Hillary Clinton on Saturday delivered an emotional call to action after the Charleston church shooting, first vowing to fight for “common sense” gun reforms, then shifting to an assessment of racism in America. [Politico]

Moments before Rowan Fiscal Court adopted its operating budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year, Judge-Executive Walter Blevins suggested the county add a half percent occupational tax increase for one year. [The Morehead News]

The People v. the Coal Baron. Don Blankenship always knew exactly what he wanted during the years he ran Massey Energy, once the sixth-largest coal company in the United States. He had specific and emphatic ideas about how to operate mines, how to treat employees and how to deal with regulators. When he issued instructions, he wanted them followed to the letter, and this wasn’t just true about his business. [NY Times]

Educators from Maine and Virginia are among the finalists for Fayette County Public Schools superintendent. [H-L]

Russell Moore still thinks the religious right will win the battle against same-sex marriage. Oh, not at the Supreme Court later this month — like nearly everyone else, Moore is almost positive the right will lose there. But the long game… that, he says, could be a different story. [HuffPo]