Greg Fischer: Still Not Remotely Transparent

A religious group is threatening to sue the state of Kentucky over a year-old policy that prohibits anti-gay comments to youths at the state’s juvenile detention centers. [H-L]

Disastrous sea level rise is an issue for today’s public. [HuffPo]

Of course Greg Fischer’s stunt broke state law. Did anyone ever expect this man to truly be transparent? To truly be up-front? Please. Not even the Brown Family is in his corner. First-rate shyster that the Democrats are afraid to oust. The news director of WAVE-3 is accusing Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer of violating Kentucky’s open meetings law after banning photographs and video footage during a press briefing to review new designs for the downtown Omni Hotel project. [C-J/AKN]

The Senate on Sunday rejected a GOP-led amendment to repeal ObamaCare that fell several votes short of a 60-vote threshold to advance. [The Hill]

Pension spikes have become the city’s newest finance problem, and the board of commissioners is wondering how to handle this unbudgeted expense. [Ashland Independent]

The Associated Press is making thousands of hours of archival news footage available on YouTube. [NPR]

One of the defining characteristics of democracy in the 21st century is that nearly every member of the public can watch the government in action. Through live broadcasts and daily TV news reports, citizens can see and hear the deliberations and decisions that affect their daily lives. [WAVE3]

The U.S. government is violating a 1997 settlement by detaining unauthorized immigrant children, and an order may be forthcoming to require the release of the minors and parents detained with them, a judge in California has ruled. [Reuters]

A death investigation is underway in Bell County after a man was bitten by a snake Sunday during a church service. [WKYT]

Studies have shown time and again that humans are pretty effective at driving other animals to extinction — but a new study published in Science this week suggests that when it comes to some species, that blame might have been misplaced. [ThinkProgress]

Climate change will begin to have a demonstrative effect on Kentucky’s economy within five years. [WFPL]

New York state recently announced an increase in the minimum wage for fast food workers, to $15 an hour. It’s the fruit of a three-year labor campaign. But there’s another group of workers out there that hasn’t had a real wage increase in decades. [NPR]

Wealthy libertarians are giving big to Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul. Three super PACs supporting the Kentucky senator say they raised a combined $6 million through June 30. [H-L]

President Barack Obama freed dozen of nonviolent offenders earlier this month to draw attention to the harsh and often unfair sentences given under mandatory minimum sentencing rules for drug offenders. [HuffPo]

Thursday Evening Dept Of Awful

Democrats are pulling out the long knives, questioning Bevin’s commitment to agriculture and pressing the theme that Bevin “can’t be trusted.” During a conference call Wednesday morning organized by the Kentucky Democratic Party, one Kentucky farmer even made note of Bevin’s New Hampshire upbringing. [H-L]

Veterans were exposed to toxic chemicals and they’re accusing the VA of dragging its feet. [HuffPo]

West Virginia coal operator Jim Justice, who invited Gov. Steve Beshear to play a round of golf with the great Tiger Woods at Justice’s Greenbrier resort early this month, was the biggest contributor to the Kentucky Democratic Party last month. [C-J/AKN]

Hillary Clinton trails three top Republican presidential candidates in matchups in three key swing states — Iowa, Colorado and Virginia — a new Quinnipiac poll finds. [The Hill]

Rowan County resident Serena Smith has supported Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis and her decision not to issue marriage licenses since the day protests began in late June. [Ashland Independent]

Michigan’s Wayne County, home to Detroit, is in a financial emergency due to chronic budget deficits and a big unfunded healthcare liability, a state-appointed review team announced on Tuesday. [Reuters]

U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Bowling Green, met Monday with constituents at a Glasgow restaurant. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Missouri cattle farmer Greg Fleshman became so concerned about keeping his local hospital open that in 2011 he joined its governing board. “I mean they’ve saved my dad’s life twice,” Fleshman says. “He had a heart attack and a stroke and they life-flighted him out of here both times.” Keeping the doors open at Putnam County Memorial Hospital in Unionville, Mo., seemed crucial to the community — but maybe an impossible task. [NPR]

Turns out Greg Fischer has another director-level hire with a drinking and driving in their city vehicle problem. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Though most states are slowing their emissions, the report shows eight states moving in the opposite direction, each seeing an increase in its emissions rate between 2008 and 2015. They include Kentucky, Louisiana, Arkansas, Nebraska, Utah, Idaho and Alaska. [Climate Central]

The Casey County Fiscal Court says homophobic County Clerk Casey Davis is wrong. May be behind a paywall but the headline and sub-head will tell you everything you need to know. [Casey County News]

Logically, Iraqi refugees shouldn’t exist, according to Sen. Rand Paul, because the United States already “won” the Iraq War. In an interview with Boston Herald Radio this week, Paul attempted to justify why he wanted to restrict the number of refugees the United States takes in, particularly from certain areas of the world like the Middle East. [ThinkProgress]

The Boyd County Fiscal Court unanimously voted Tuesday to seek closure of Big Run Landfill. [More Ashland Independent]

With a little over one week left before funding for the nation’s transportation infrastructure dries up, the Senate has reached a deal on a multiyear bill, parting ways with the House. However, the bill immediately hit some bumps. [HuffPo]

Please accept my apologies for the caching issue that made the site appear to have stopped publication on July 16. Everything should be getting back to normal. If not, clear your browser’s cache and you should be good to go. [Jake]

Kim Davis Has Another Hearing Today

Pope Francis’ pronouncements about the immorality of social injustice and environmental degradation have rattled economic conservatives worldwide, and nowhere more than in King Coal’s Appalachia. [H-L]

Last year was likely the warmest year since 1880, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed on Thursday in a report written by hundreds of scientists from 58 countries. [HuffPo]

It’s been a pretty good stretch for U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell — in fact maybe his best ever. In January, he took over his dream job after Republicans thrashed Democrats in last year’s mid-term elections. [C-J/AKN]

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled that existing civil rights law bars sexual orientation-based employment discrimination — a groundbreaking decision to advance legal protections for gay, lesbian, and bisexual workers. [BuzzFeed]

Kentucky Republican activists gather next month and they’re likely to give their blessing to a 2016 presidential caucus to benefit favorite son Rand Paul and replace the traditional primary. But they’re also likely to expect the cost to be borne by Paul’s campaign and that might end up being the fly in the ointment. [Ronnie Ellis]

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Thursday she was open to raising a threshold for determining a bank’s systemic importance and indicated that U.S. lenders had made progress in their submissions of so-called living will plans this month. [Reuters]

Look, we love to give Whitney Westerfield a hard time but this just seems silly. The politics of personal destruction are bleeding over from Jack Conway’s people aligned with Mark Riddle and his underlings. An outside group supporting Republican state Sen. Whitney Westerfield has gone on the attack over the lack of prosecutorial experience of Democratic candidate Andy Beshear, among other issues. [CN|Toot]

The Obama administration Saturday called the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) “abhorrent” following its suicide bombing in Iraq’s eastern Diyala province that killed 115 people a day earlier. [The Hill]

Is an “opinion” from the state Revenue Department the same as its “advice?” The Madison County Board of Assessment Appeals grappled with that question Friday afternoon after hearing testimony from attorneys for Eastern Kentucky University and the Madison County school and library boards. [Richmond Register]

Concerns are mounting that huge checks in the GOP primary will hurt the party’s chances of taking the White House. [Politico]

The attorney for a former Glasgow police chief suing the city and current interim chief is seeking to get the court proceedings in the case moved outside the county. Matt Baker, the attorney for Guy J. Turcotte, who is now a lieutenant colonel at the Glasgow Police Department, filed a motion last week in Barren Circuit Court stating his reasons for wanting the change. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Pluto has mountains made of ice that are as high as those in the Rockies, images from the New Horizons probe reveal. [BBC]

Marina operators were pleased about the potential for a new business opportunity when Congress authorized floating cabins last year on lakes in the Cumberland River basin, including Lake Cumberland. Now, however, some operators are objecting to guidelines on the cabins set out by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which administers the lakes. [H-L]

The geographic areas where Lyme disease is a bigger danger have grown dramatically, according to a new government study published Wednesday. [HuffPo]

Landfill Story Finally Gets Good News

Rand Paul was back in outreach mode Monday, joining six black teenagers in Louisville’s West End for a civics lesson. But it is Paul who seems to be getting the lesson these days. [H-L]

More states are considering restoring the right to vote to felons, with supporters saying that once their debt to society is paid they should be allowed to exercise a fundamental right. [HuffPo]

Remains unclear why a respectable news outlet would continue participating in this shit show. Attention-seeking or not, mainstream outlets are relishing in this man’s apparent difficulty. [C-J/AKN]

Multiple business groups have filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers in an attempt to strike down the federal government’s new water protection rule. [ThinkProgress]

Plans are under way to develop a new, state-of-the-art clean energy facility at Big Run Landfill that will convert gas produced at the landfill into renewable natural gas, EnviroSolutions (ESI), owner of Big Run, according to a press release.announced Tuesday. [Ashland Independent]

Former President Bill Clinton on Thursday disavowed a tough crime law that he signed in 1994, saying it made the problem of mass incarceration worse. [The Hill]

Here’s Stan Lee and his buddy, David Meade, working hard to discriminate against the gays. Because that’s the Frankfort way. [WKYT]

People who live in areas near hydraulic fracturing are more likely to be hospitalized for heart conditions, neurological illnesses and cancer, according to researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. [Reuters]

Rand Paul ranked fifth among Republican candidates for president in fundraising efforts with nearly $7 million raised in the most recent reporting period. [BGDN]

The top electricity providers in the country are going renewable much more slowly than smaller companies, according to data reported Tuesday by sustainability group Ceres. [ThinkProgress]

The pool of Republican candidates vying for the White House keeps getting bigger—more than a dozen have announced their candidacies so far. [WFPL]

Confederate battle flags greeted President Barack Obama as he arrived here for an overnight stay on Wednesday. [Politico]

Spoiler alert: Kim Davis didn’t receive her summons because she intentionally avoided service. That’s what self-entitled jackasses like her do in attempt to spin and obfuscate. [H-L]

The first major quarterly presidential campaign fundraising disclosures came on Wednesday, but they showed barely half the money flooding into a race in which the campaigns have been overshadowed by the unlimited money super PACs supporting them. [HuffPo]

Yet Another Awful Gubernatorial Race

In a sparsely populated Appalachian county, the young couple is recounting how they met while a language researcher captures their story with a high-end audio recorder. [H-L]

It was September of their sophomore year at Tufts University in 2012 when John Kelly went to a party and saw someone who had sexually assaulted them only two weeks earlier. [HuffPo]

HOW many times has this welfare drug testing myth been debunked? Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin called for drug testing of those receiving public assistance at a forum Tuesday organized by the Council of Agency Executives. [C-J/AKN]

The acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration says he was shocked by how many people die every day from opiate overdoses. [NPR]

In spite of the continued rainfall, the U.S. Forest Service and partners are making progress in cleanup and repairs after record flood levels at Cave Run Lake. [Ashland Independent]

A Super PAC that supports Republican Chris Christie’s bid for the White House said on Tuesday it had raised $11 million since launching in February. [Reuters]

The Barren County Schools Board of Education approved Thursday the purchase of a property off Broadway Street that Superintendent Bo Matthews said “could solve multiple issues” regarding the district’s increasing population. [Glasgow Daily Times]

After fines totalling many billions of pounds from UK and US regulators, a new threat is about to hit the major banks found guilty of manipulating the foreign exchange market. [BBC]

U.S. Congressman Brett Guthrie’s reelection campaign filed its second quarter report with the Federal Election Commission showing $1.61 million cash-on-hand. [Press Release]

Freshman Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.) says he’s the latest GOP lawmaker to face retaliation for bucking leadership last month and opposing a procedural vote on major trade legislation. [The Hill]

How to suck at everything: scream about the gays and persecution of Christians when caught with your tax pants down. Of course, Jack Conway would do the same thing. Much as he does when you bring up his Roger Clinton brother and his involvement in getting the cops off his back. [WAVE3]

Before this year, natural gas had never accounted for more electricity generation than coal in the U.S. That is no longer the case. [ThinkProgress]

Kentucky will start a statewide campaign July 20 to encourage parents to get their children vaccinated against human papillomavirus, a virus that can cause cervical and oral cancer. [Bluegrass Politics]

The Obama administration is making good on its promise to limit the detention of immigrant families by beginning to release women and children seeking asylum or other relief in the U.S. [HuffPo]

Corrupt Guy Dies, Media Gushes

Lester H. Burns Jr., a one-time candidate for governor and one of Kentucky’s most colorful, best-known defense attorneys before going to federal prison in the 1980s, has died. [H-L]

War-time suicide attempts in the Army are most common in newer enlisted soldiers who have not been deployed, while officers are less likely to try to end their lives. At both levels, attempts are more common among women and those without a high school diploma, according to a study billed as the most comprehensive analysis of a problem that has plagued the U.S. military in recent years. [HuffPo]

Lawyers for the Sierra Club and LG&E on Thursday argued for two hours over the meaning the word “occasional” in a federal court hearing stemming from a pollution lawsuit filed last year involving the Mill Creek power plant. [C-J/AKN]

Sen. Charles Grassley is demanding the American Red Cross explain how it spent nearly half a billion dollars raised after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. [ProPublica]

Fourteen schools will now offer free breakfast and lunch to the entire student population during the upcoming school year. The total includes all but four schools (Madison Central and Madison Southern high schools, B. Michael Caudill Middle and White Hall Elementary), which is a broad difference from last year. Only five schools previously offered the free lunch plan. [Richmond Register]

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will meet privately this month with leaders of the nation’s largest labor federation as she seeks to prevent a revolt by union members infuriated by her cautious stance on a looming trade deal, labor sources told Reuters. [Reuters]

Health officials, confronted with a shocking increase in heroin abuse, are developing a clearer picture of who is becoming addicted to this drug and why. The results may surprise you. [WFPL]

As the world enters into a sixth great extinction, scientists are racing against the clock to save genetic evidence from plants around the world. [BBC]

Kentucky has added two towns in the southern part of the state to those designated as “Trail Towns.” [WKYT & Press Releases]

The Obama administration faces an uphill battle when it seeks to convince a panel of federal judges to let the president’s executive actions on immigration take effect. [The Hill]

Um… Officials say a West Virginia man had been keeping two deer in captivity at his home for at least a year. [Ashland Independent]

Jeb Bush’s unprecedented $114 million haul makes it official: Big money rules American presidential politics. [Politico]

Has Lexington turned into the new Louisville with all the robberies and shootings? [H-L]

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management said on Thursday that hackers had stolen sensitive information – including Social Security numbers – of about 21.5 million people who have undergone background checks for security clearances since 2000. [HuffPo]

Gay Panic Reaches Great New Height

Watching these gay-panicked folks scramble to come up with ways to discriminate is tons of fun. [H-L]

Washington state raked in more than $70 million in taxes during its first year of legal and regulated marijuana sales. [HuffPo]

Despite hugely important state legislative elections in his home state, Rand Paul’s political action committee made more donations of more money in New Hampshire in 2014 than in Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

Universal child care is becoming a central pillar of the liberal agenda — one that, if it is ever realized, could take its place alongside some of the great progressive reforms of the 20th Century, and possibly the Affordable Care Act, as a defining achievement of the Democratic Party. [WaPo]

Members of the Ashland Rotary Club gave a warm welcome to the new CAReS director Monday as she gave an update on the organization and future events. [Ashland Independent]

More than 150,000 U.S. families are homeless each year. The number has been going down, in part because of a program known as rapid rehousing, which quickly moves families out of shelters and into homes. [NPR]

It seems that all eyes have been on Rowan County in the past week as County Clerk, Kim Davis defied the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. [The Morehead News]

In the great trade debate last month, the air was filled with promises to help American workers keep pace with a changing world. Days after, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved new Republican cuts from funding for adult education and worker training — programs the GOP had embraced just a year ago. [Politico]

This Fall, 69 Lexington homeowners will see an increase in their property tax. The properties were on the final list generated by the vacant property review commission to help rid the city of eyesores. [WKYT]

With coal trains chugging past in the distance, Jack Perry watches as his wife, Margie, plants row upon row of Hungarian pepper seedlings in the community garden that residents of this West Virginia coal town call the “Garden of Eatin’.” [Reuters]

Three Louisville lawmakers wrote a letter to Jefferson County Public Schools superintendent Donna Hargens on Monday raising “grave concerns” over the hiring of the district’s former lawyer as a teacher at Central High School. [WDRB]

Donald Trump doubled down on his controversial comments about illegal immigration from Mexico on Monday, saying that “infectious disease is pouring across the border.” [The Hill]

Prediction: this won’t end well. The Kentucky Board of Education hopes to have by early August a short list of eight to 10 candidates for Kentucky’s next education commissioner, board chairman Roger Marcum said Monday. [H-L]

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that Puerto Rico’s public entities should be able to use U.S. bankruptcy laws to restructure some $72 billion in debt. [HuffPo]