Kentucky Needs A New Ed Commish

Maybe crap like this wouldn’t happen in the commissioner would stop trying to promote himself as some sort of celebrity. And if people like Valarie Honeycutt Spears didn’t intentionally ignore corruption in education. [H-L]

The nutrition children receive during their first 1,000 days ― from conception until their second birthday ― has a profound impact on how they develop. Without the proper nutrition during that window of time, young brains will not grow to their fullest potential, diminishing the kids’ opportunities for the rest of their lives, according to public health and medical organizations. [HuffPo]

A national “consumer” group is working with Frankfort lawmakers, making phone calls to their constituents and urging Kentuckians to support a bill that would roll back incentives for solar power. But who are they? [C-J/AKN]

The U.S. flu outbreak worsened over the past week as more people headed to doctors’ offices and emergency rooms, with hospitalizations at the highest in nearly 10 years, U.S. health officials said on Friday. [Reuters]

The 2018 General Assembly is now one-third of the way toward its constitutionally-limited 60 days to pass legislation — and still there is no pension bill in sight. [Ronnie Ellis]

Since the election, Donald Trump has made 31 specific claims about companies adding or saving American jobs thanks to his intervention. We went back to see what’s become of those announcements. [ProPublica]

The Coalition for the Homeless has received the needed funds to launch a pilot program to house homeless young adults in Louisville, officials said this week. [WFPL]

This mess is part of the reason Modern Republicans are so painfully dumb and dangerous. [ThinkProgress]

For the first time in recent memory, all but one local races for the state legislature and Congress are contested as 31 candidates have signed up to run for seven local seats. The last time those seats were up for election, 15 candidates filed to run. Democrats fielded 16 of the 2018 candidates, with 15 Republicans filing for the seats. [BGDN]

Former FBI Director James Comey lobbed criticism at Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee on Friday, asking his Twitter followers, “That’s it?” after the release of a disputed and much-hyped memo about alleged bias at the FBI and Department of Justice. [Politico]

Basically, Republicans are about to choke the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s economy. [WKYT]

K.T. McFarland, Trump’s onetime deputy national security adviser, has withdrawn from consideration to be the U.S. ambassador to Singapore, the White House confirmed Friday. McFarland has been under scrutiny in the special-counsel probe into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. [WaPo]

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray raised more money than his Democratic opponents in his first month as a candidate in the primary election to challenge Republican Andy Barr for his Central Kentucky congressional seat. [H-L]

Donald Trump on Friday declassified a Republican-authored memo that claims to show the Justice Department and FBI inappropriately conducted surveillance on a member of the Trump presidential campaign. FBI Director Chris Wray isn’t having any of it. [HuffPo]

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A Comer Lackey Has Jumped Ship

Ginger Wills also helped cover up all kinds of Jamie Comer shenanigans. Ginger Wills, the House Republican chief of staff who was accused by a former employee of creating a hostile work environment, resigned Friday. [H-L]

Donald Trump seemed to be in a fog about the facts of climate change during his British TV sit-down with Piers Morgan, which aired Sunday night. Trump said in the ITV interview that the “polar ice caps were supposed to be gone by now,” but instead they’re “breaking records.” [HuffPo]

The low-key settlement talks between the University of Louisville and Tom Jurich may be headed for a more confrontational tone now that a private detective agency has been hired to investigate the former athletic director. [C-J/AKN]

Racist and disgraced former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is now running for the U.S. Senate as a Republican, recently gave an interview to a publication that’s pushed claims that the Holocaust is a “hoax” and 9/11 was a “Jewish” plot. [MMFA]

Four million dollars. That’s the projected cost increase to Madison County Schools if Matt Bevin’s proposed budget — and the cuts included — is passed, according to district Chief Financial Officer Mark Woods. [Richmond Register]

A senior Red Cross official harassed a subordinate and was accused of raping another. The charity’s now-general counsel David Meltzer praised him on his way out for “leadership” and “dedication.” [ProPublica]

Two more Democrats – a local engineer and a former Boyd County judge-executive – have filed to run for the county’s top government job, increasing the primary field to six candidates. [Ashland Independent]

At the World Economic Forum, world leaders stressed the need for global cooperation on climate change while the United States remained silent. [ThinkProgress]

A Morehead man accused of racially charged vandalism has been indicted by a Rowan County grand jury. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump ordered the firing last June of Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation, according to four people told of the matter, but ultimately backed down after the White House counsel threatened to resign rather than carry out the directive. [NY Times]

The state of the city and the state of the county were given Friday morning during the Glasgow-Barren County Chamber of Commerce’s first quarterly breakfast of the year. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Three organizations opposing profound changes to Kentucky’s Medicaid program filed a lawsuit Wednesday to block the nation’s first experiment to compel low-income people to work or otherwise engage in their communities to qualify for the safety-net health insurance. [WaPo]

Judge-executive Joseph L. “Jody” Jenkins, 44, was found dead early Sunday morning at his residence. Jenkins has been under investigation for a variety of allegations in recent months. Much of the case centers on accusations of purchasing stolen vehicles and equipment with public money. [H-L]

Brandi Seals, a black transgender woman, was shot to death in Houston on Dec. 13, becoming the country’s 22nd known trans woman of color to be killed in hate violence in 2017. Like many other transgender and gender non-conforming homicide victims, her gender identity and name were not initially acknowledged, even in death. [HuffPo]

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Sure, People Are A Problem. But So Are Unchecked, Unregulated Firearms That Get Into The Hands Of Children.

***Care about the future of Kentucky? Help us cover FOIA and open records request fees relating to Matt Bevin and Jamie Comer.*** [CLICK HERE]

The first warning of trouble many students had during the deadly shooting at a Western Kentucky high school Tuesday was a pop that some mistook for a balloon bursting, but the scene turned to hell in seconds, according to several who were there. [H-L]

A male same-sex couple is suing the U.S. State Department after one of their twins, born in Canada, was denied American citizenship, even though his birth certificate lists one citizen parent. [HuffPo]

It was a normal day. Joseph Morton was in the school library working on a computer. Ariyanne Posey stood in an area called the commons with friends. Keatyn Gamble was about to leave her home, across the street from Marshall County High School. [C-J/AKN]

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has officially gained agency-wide access to a nationwide license plate recognition database, according to a contract finalized earlier this month. The system gives the agency access to billions of license plate records and new powers of real-time location tracking, raising significant concerns from civil libertarians. [The Verge]

It’s not just Republicans with zero desire to do something about the school shooting epidemic that’s been a Kentucky problem for more than 20 years. It’s also Democrats. Both just want to twiddle their thumbs. [WFPL]

A federal judge late on Thursday said President Donald Trump’s administration cannot immediately deport 92 Cambodian citizens from the United States without first allowing them a chance to challenge the action in court. [Reuters]

According to the Kentucky Department of Education, schools in the Bluegrass saw frightening levels of weapons being brought to the schools. [WKYT]

A Trump administration appointee to the National Labor Relations Board benefited the interests and clients of his former law firm when he cast the deciding vote to undo rules protecting workers’ rights in two cases last month. [ProPublica]

The Madison County School Board approved a 2018-19 draft budget at Thursday’s meeting. However, many of the numbers had to be allocated to unknown costs noted in Matt Bevin’s new proposed state budget, which would require the district to contribute hefty amounts to retirements, health insurance, transportation and more. [Richmond Register]

We’re looking at you, Six Flags Over Jesus in Louisville. Several people have died from suicide over the last several years as a result of their conversion therapy program. This person was tortured in gay conversion therapy. It’s still legal in 41 states. [NY Times]

The monthly board of directors meeting for Barren-Metcalfe County Ambulance Service was cut short Wednesday due to the lack of a quorum partway through, but several items of business were conducted in the meantime. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Jeffrey Wertkin had a plot to bring in business and impress his new partners after joining one of Washington’s most influential law firms. As a former high-stakes corporate-fraud prosecutor with the Department of Justice, he had secretly stockpiled sealed lawsuits brought by whistleblowers. Now, he would sell copies of the suits to the very targets of the pending government investigations — and his services to defend them. Wertkin carried out his plan for months, right up until the day an FBI agent arrested him in a California hotel lobby. [WaPo]

The University Press of Kentucky celebrates is 75th birthday Monday as the primary publisher of books about this state. For the past 49 years, it also has been the main publisher for Kentucky’s public and private universities and historical societies. But if Matt Bevin has his way, this birthday will be its last. [Tome Eblen]

A little over a year ago, American commerce quietly passed a techno-dystopian landmark when IBM ― one of the most prestigious and storied computer companies ― undertook a new project: automating the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington. [HuffPo]

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Don’t Worry, Frankfort Won’t Do Anything

We might as well admit it: too many Americans love their guns more than their children, or at least more than other people’s children. No matter how many kids are murdered and maimed in schools such as Marshall County High, politicians will never have the courage to stand up to the National Rifle Association and enact common-sense gun-control laws. [Tom Eblen]

Donald Trump said he would be willing to speak with special counsel Robert Mueller under oath regarding the ongoing Justice Department investigation into his presidential campaign’s ties with the Russian government. Trump’s White House lawyer, Ty Cobb, told the Times the president’s comments were made off-the-cuff and tried to downplay the gravity of the statements. [HuffPo]

Many retired teachers would pay thousands of dollars per year more for health insurance under Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed 2018-20 state budget, say advocates for retired teachers. [C-J/AKN]

In a class action federal lawsuit filed Wednesday, 15 low-income Kentucky residents enrolled in Medicaid sued the Trump administration for giving the state’s Republican governor a green light to impose work requirements and other eligibility restrictions on the health program. [TPM]

A county prosecutor sought to head off criticism from his traumatized community on Wednesday as he explained why a 15-year-old charged with murder in the shootings of two classmates doesn’t yet face attempted murder charges as well, even though more than a dozen other students have bullet wounds. [Richmond Register]

What was that, again, about Trump doing everything he can for the working man? Oh, right, that’s not remotely based in reality. In the latest sign that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is pulling back from aggressive enforcement, it dropped an investigation triggered by a 2013 ProPublica story about a lender that charges triple-digit interest rates. [ProPublica]

The time-honored tradition of naming state buildings and roads after living politicians in Kentucky would be curtailed under a bill approved by a state Senate committee. [The Morehead News]

Kentucky’s new Medicaid waiver will ask low-income people to jump over hurdles to keep their coverage. Evidence suggests that many will fail. [NY Times]

One of the main topics of discussion for members of the Smiths Grove City Commission Monday night was how the city will be affected by increases to the County Employee Retirement System during the 2018 fiscal year for hazardous duty and non-hazardous duty retirement benefits. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump’s voting commission asked every state and the District for detailed voter registration data, but in Texas’s case it took an additional step: It asked to see Texas records that identify all voters with Hispanic surnames, newly released documents show. [WaPo]

Heather Adams sat in a line of cars along Kentucky Route 95, cars filled with parents who had just received the call no parent wants to get: A shooting at her child’s school, Marshall County High in Benton, Kentucky. Two 15-year-old students were killed and another 18 injured. [WFPL]

Illegal shipments of the powerful and addictive opioid fentanyl are pouring into the United States by mail from China and the U.S. Postal Service must step up the use of high-tech detection methods to fight the problem, according to a congressional report unveiled on Wednesday. [Reuters]

Who knows if state Rep. C. Wesley Morgan’s resolution to expel fellow Republican Jeff Hoover will go anywhere, especially now that Hoover, who admitted to sexting a staffer, has resigned as House Speaker? Expulsions are rare in the Kentucky General Assembly, but early in the Civil War, 10 lawmakers were expelled, not because of a sex-related allegation, but because they were considered traitors. [H-L]

Remember when Mitch McConnell spent months helping install that corrupt leadership? Veteran U.S. diplomat and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson abruptly resigned on Wednesday from an international panel established to advise Myanmar on its explosive Rohingya crisis, decrying the country’s lack of “moral leadership” in a scornful letter. [HuffPo]

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Aaaaand We’ve Already Forgotten What Happened In Benton Because People Only Have A Facebook Attention Span

Kentucky is among 21 states, along with the District of Columbia and several public interest groups that filed the first major lawsuits Tuesday to block the repeal of the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules, marking the start of a high-stakes legal battle over the future of the Internet. [H-L]

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was questioned last week by the special counsel’s office investigating potential collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, the U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday. [HuffPo]

$170,000 wasted in Louisville in an attempt to lure an Amazon facility. [C-J/AKN]

Yes, the shutdown could be forgotten in a flash. Because everything is beyond crazy. [NY Times]

Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit by labor groups challenging the constitutionality of Kentucky’s right-to-work law, passed in the opening days of the 2017 General Assembly. [Ronnie Ellis]

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has detained or deported several prominent immigrant activists across the country, prompting accusations from advocates that the Trump administration is improperly targeting political opponents. [WaPo]

The Department for Public Health, within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), now describes influenza activity in Kentucky as an epidemic. [The Morehead News]

Dozens of Puerto Rican families displaced by Hurricane Maria and currently living in Connecticut hotels have been told they will no longer get federal assistance to pay for their lodgings, just days after being promised an extension to their temporary housing assistance. [BuzzFeed]

Western Kentucky University President Timothy C. Caboni discussed Matt Bevin’s recently proposed budget in a letter to WKU faculty and staff that he posted via Twitter on Monday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

At least the Canadian press is paying attention. Donald Trump has allowed Kentucky to become the first state to impose work requirements as a condition of receiving Medicaid. Medicaid recipients are terrified. [Toronto Star]

Matt Bevin’s proposed budget would eliminate state funding for the Kentucky Folk Art Center at Morehead State University. [Ashland Independent]

A 15-year-old girl died at the scene at Marshall County High School in the town of Benton and a 15-year-old boy died in hospital, said Kentucky’s governor. [BBC]

Animals are in overcrowded county shelters that don’t have enough money to operate because the state has failed to enforce a 2004 law, according to a new lawsuit filed against Gov. Matt Bevin and Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles. Aside from Newtz, the plaintiffs who brought the complaint include Angelika Kasey and Christina Tobin of Louisville, and Julia Sharp on behalf of TLC Rescue, a nonprofit corporation that rescues animals in Rowan, Bath, Fleming and Carter counties. [H-L]

CIA Director Mike Pompeo has been interviewed in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Donald Trump’s campaign’s ties to Russia. [HuffPo]

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Wake Up, Republicans (And Kentucky Democrats!), Cause It’s Time To Stop This School Shooting Nonsense

Since 1895, Kentucky has elected its constitutional officers in odd number years. The legislature is hoping voters will change that in 2018. [H-L]

We’re looking at you, backward Frankfort buttcramps. For the first time, a U.S. state has legalized marijuana with the stroke of a pen, not a vote at the ballot box. [HuffPo]

Wolfson gets it. He remembers. Time for the rest of Kentucky media to remember our tragic history. Time to dredge up that terrifying past. We have to do better. [C-J/AKN]

Matt Bevin’s proposed budget would put a strain on resources needed for students – and leave some districts flat broke, education advocates say. [More C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration’s move on Thursday to protect healthcare workers who refuse to perform abortions and other medical procedures on religious or moral grounds is raising fears among some civil rights and medical groups that it will provide legal cover for otherwise unlawful discrimination. [Reuters]

Superintendents are concerned over potential transportation cuts. Pulaski County School Superintendent Steve Butcher faces a simple reality. [Ronnie Ellis]

When former Chicago City Council inspector general Faisal Khan launched his not-for-profit anti-corruption group close to two years ago, he insisted that it was independent and nonpartisan. At the same time, Khan refused to disclose who was funding the organization, which he called Project Six — a reference to the group of civic leaders who led the fight against Al Capone during Prohibition. [ProPublica]

When Carla Breeding thought last summer about retiring as a public school administrator, she considered the financial needs of her two adoptive children, ages 13 and 15. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Maybe Louisville would have made the list if Kentucky weren’t backward and passing anti-LGBT legislation every five seconds. Amazon said on Thursday that it had whittled the list of possible homes for its second headquarters down to 20, including centers of technology like Boston as well as some surprise locations like Columbus, Ohio. [NY Times]

Would have been helping promote this but the communications tools at the Kentucky State Police are following a directive from giant manbaby, Matt Bevin, to block me on Twitter. They’ve politicized the KSP and are behaving like bitter children because they can’t handle honest, legitimate criticism (rare). So we’re shaming them here and mentioning the effort. The Kentucky State Police issued a press release Monday seeking the public’s help in locating a man missing from Carter County since 2014. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump was attending a celebrity golf tournament at a Lake Tahoe resort in July 2006 when he met the adult-film star Stormy Daniels, she later said. Daniels said she took the future president up on his offer to ride around the lakefront course in his golf cart. [WaPo]

During Morehead City Council member Mike Kash’s first government meeting in January 2017, he proposed and was granted a 25 cent per hour raise for city employees. [The Morehead News]

The special counsel’s investigation of the White House has come more sharply into focus. Robert Mueller is examining whether Donald Trump obstructed justice when he fired James Comey as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Washington Post recently reported. As we’ve heard for months now, there is also a probe of possible collusion between Trump’s campaign team and the Kremlin to tilt the 2016 election in the president’s favor. [Bloomberg]

Murders are at a record high but Mayor Jim Gray says Lexington is one of the safest cities. [H-L]

The New York City Anti-Violence Project’s annual Crisis of Hate report shows a remarkable upsurge of hate-based killings of LGBTQ people. [HuffPo]

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I’ve Been Covering The UofL Nightmare For A Decade. Will It Ever End? It Has To End Sometime… Right?

People are acting surprised that Matt Bevin is pulling a wingnut stunt and harming the lives of everyday Kentuckians. Get outta here with that feigned ignorance. You fake “Christians” knew exactly what you were getting when you elected (almost typed “arrested” – whoops) that garbage human being. [H-L]

One year ago, Donald Trump stood at the U.S. Capitol and took his place as the nation’s 45th president. He promised to be a man of action, taking charge of a government for the people and away from the establishment. [HuffPo]

Detailing an alleged “conspiracy to defraud” the University of Louisville, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York pushed back Friday against a motion to dismiss charges against three men accused of attempting to funnel money to the families of college basketball recruits. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner reportedly held a number of meetings with China’s ambassador without experts on China in the room, unnerving some current and former U.S. officials. [The Hill]

The plan was for the Kentucky General Assembly to have pension reform passed and out of the way long before now. [More Ronnie Ellis]

It’s all about racism with New Republicans. The U.S. Justice Department asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to quickly overturn a lower court ruling that blocked Donald Trump’s move to end a program that protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children. [Reuters]

The plan was for the Kentucky General Assembly to have pension reform passed and out of the way long before now. [More Ronnie Ellis]

As the Spanish police investigated the presence of a notorious Russian organized crime group on the resort island of Mallorca in 2012, they realized that a key figure described by some of the suspects as their “godfather” was a powerful Moscow politician: Alexander Torshin. [ProPublica]

Maybe Rowan County will get it right with their next superintendent? Rowan County Supt. Marvin Moore announced his retirement during Thursday’s special called Board of Education meeting. [The Morehead News]

House Republicans and right-wing media outlets are up in arms about a classified memo purportedly detailing misconduct related to the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign for possible collusion with Russia. [ThinkProgress]

In a press release sent to the Glasgow Daily Times on Thursday evening, Caverna Independent Schools Superintendent Cornelius Faulkner outlined how Gov. Matt Bevin’s recently proposed budget would affect the Caverna school system. [Glasgow Daily Times]

2017 was among the hottest years ever recorded, government scientists reported Thursday. The renewed evidence of climate change, driven by human emissions of greenhouse gases, comes as the Trump administration moves to open new areas for oil drilling and rolls back regulations that sought to reduce global warming, most prominently by moving to repeal the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. [WaPo]

Bevin wants the General Assembly to cut $198 million from K-12 education, mostly by shifting more transportation and insurance costs to local school districts, as if they can afford it. He wants to cut another $72 million from higher education. And he wants to eliminate state funding for 70 programs, at least 44 of which support education. [Tom Eblen]

A neighbor who was arrested in November after an attack on Republican Sen. Rand Paul outside his Kentucky home plans to pleads guilty to a felony charge of assaulting a member of Congress, his lawyer said Friday. [HuffPo]

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