The Ramsey-Pitino-UofL Circus Goes On

Stung by losses under the federal health law, major insurers are seeking to sharply limit how policies are sold to individuals in ways that consumer advocates say seem to discriminate against the sickest and could hold down future enrollment. [H-L]

In their first head-to-head debate, Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) made it clear that any lingering pleasantries from a happier time earlier in the campaign are vanishing quickly. [HuffPo]

It’s hilarious that Rick Pitino is defending Jim Ramsey, as if they’re both victims of things they can’t help. Both of these men are the worst of the worst in higher education. Pitino, with sex scandal after sex scandal. Ramsey, with financial corruption mess after financial corruption mess. Both should be relieved of their duties instead of allowing a bunch of kids to take the blame for crap that those two are ultimately supposed to take responsibility. [C-J/AKN]

President Barack Obama is set on Tuesday to unveil his budget proposal for fiscal year 2017, his final year in office. [Reuters]

Lack of communication is what kept many black accomplishments from being known, said educator William Twyman, one of the 14 panelists discussing “Education in the Barren’s Region of Kentucky” Saturday at the South Central Kentucky Cultural Center. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Amid significant reforms, federal officials worry that sexual abuse in juvenile justice system remains prevalent and too often unpunished. [ProPublica]

A personal finance website study has determined Kentucky ranks 9 out of 51 for dependency on the arms and ammunition industry for jobs and political contributions, and indirectly through firearm ownership. [Ashland Independent]

At the end of last year, lawmakers in West Virginia unveiled a bill that would drug test some applicants for the state’s welfare program. Applicants who failed could eventually be barred from receiving benefits, possibly permanently. [ThinkProgress]

A bill that would eliminate the prevailing wage on public school projects on Thursday failed to pass a House committee. [WFPL]

The US economy added 151,000 jobs in January, helping to push the country’s unemployment rate down to 4.9%. [BBC]

Since Jan. 1, five Richmond Police officers have submitted resignations. At the same time, two joined the force for field training, and two others entered the Department of Criminal Justice Training’s academy for 23 weeks. [Richmond Register]

“Squat! Squat! Squat! Higher! Faster!” In the basement of the Duane Physics and Astrophysics building at the University of Colorado Boulder, a science demonstration is going on, but it looks more like a vaudeville act. [NPR]

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto has formed a task force to advise him on what to do about a controversial mural in Memorial Hall. [H-L]

Islamophobia is real. And it’s not going anywhere. After last year’s terror attacks in Paris and mass shooting in San Bernardino, California — and amidst a surge in anti-Muslim rhetoric from U.S. politicians — reports about Muslims in America facing violence, harassment, intimidation and bigotry have become omnipresent. Many Muslims say Islamophobia is worse now than it’s ever been — even worse than it was after 9/11. [HuffPo]

Doug Stafford Ruins Everything, Apparently

Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) officially filed for re-election and for president in his home state Monday, a move he insists does not undermine his faltering presidential campaign. [H-L]

World leaders are meeting in Paris this month in what amounts to a last-ditch effort to avert the worst ravages of climate change. Climatologists now say that the best case scenario — assuming immediate and dramatic emissions curbs — is that planetary surface temperatures will increase by at least 2 degrees Celsius in the coming decades. [HuffPo]

PEE ALERT! Louisville has a top-25 basketball team with a high ceiling, but the Cardinals aren’t ranked yet this season because of ongoing investigations into a book making major allegations against the program, coach Rick Pitino said. [C-J/AKN]

Doug Stafford, the chief strategist for Kentucky senator Rand Paul’s presidential campaign and a former senior staffer in his Senate office, was the culprit behind most of the plagiarized writings that went out under the Kentucky senator’s name. [BuzzFeed]

It’s 9 a.m. and Geri Willis is already busy rounding up help for two homeless families. They need food. They need a roof over their head for the night and some assurance they can get longer-term housing, too. [Ashland Independent]

“We’re not gonna take it anymore,” a crowd of thousands sang as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump entered a South Carolina convention center on Tuesday night as a 1980s heavy metal song by the band Twisted Sister blared from speakers. The billionaire real-estate developer’s packed rallies have been among the liveliest events in the long build-up to the November 2016 U.S. presidential election. But they are increasingly becoming known for their undercurrent of aggression, which escalated into a physical altercation over the weekend when white Trump supporters attacked a black protester at his rally, to the candidate’s approval. [Reuters]

Kentucky is home to nearly 30 organic dairies, and that number is expected to double in the next three to five years. Organic dairy producers have voiced frustration at the lack of research-based forage production information available. Recently, however, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment recently began a partnership with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture to conduct research that may fill the gap and help organic dairies strengthen their profitability. [Richmond Register]

On a drizzly afternoon in January 2013, almost a month after the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 20 first-graders dead, more than a dozen religious leaders assembled in Washington, D.C. [ProPublica]

Angel Strong is among more than 400,000 Kentuckians who have gained health insurance through the state’s expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. [WFPL]

Don’t look at the photos. At least six Iranian refugees sewed their mouths shut at the Greek-Macedonian border to pressure authorities to let them pass into Macedonia on their way to western Europe. [ThinkProgress]

The search for a Bowling Green man, Randy Rascoe, at Mammoth Cave National Park continued on Friday, with the aid of 12 Civil Air Patrol members, five handlers with the Jefferson County Search Dog Association and four search dogs, and six Mammoth Cave National Park employees contributing to the search, but their efforts turned up nothing, according to Vickie Carson, public information officer for Mammoth Cave National Park. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Flu season is in swing and likely won’t let up until April. It seemed like high time to check in on how Americans feel about flu vaccination, so we asked more than 3,000 adults in the latest NPR-Truven Health Analytics Health Poll, conducted during the first half of October. [NPR]

A man found dead in his home as police investigated remains found in a burnt vehicle was scheduled to testify in an upcoming court-martial at Fort Campbell. [H-L]

British Prime Minister David Cameron pledged over 20 million pounds in international aid on Friday to help small island states deal with the effects of climate change. [HuffPo]

KDP Needs To Clean House In Worst Way

Whatever Republican Matt Bevin has in mind for Kentucky’s health insurance reform efforts after he’s sworn in as governor Dec. 8, there are unlikely to be changes this winter while people enroll for their 2016 coverage. [H-L]

Ben Carson is truly crazier than anyone thought. Way crazier than Donald Trump. [HuffPo]

A daughter of “Breaking Cardinal Rules” author Katina Powell was cited for misdemeanor prostitution stemming from a 2014 incident, online court documents show. [C-J/AKN]

Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) has introduced legislation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act introduced Wednesday by Sanders would end the long-time federal prohibition on marijuana. This is the first Senate bill to propose legalizing recreational pot, according to marijuana advocates. [The Hill]

Kentucky Republicans didn’t settle for Matt Bevin’s win in the governor’s race; the GOP scored a major upset with Mike Harmon defeating Democratic incumbent auditor Adam Edelen. [Ronnie Ellis]

ProPublica and Frontline reopen the investigation into a death squad run by former South Vietnamese military men that killed journalists, torched businesses and intimidated those who challenged its dream of re-starting the Vietnam War — all on American soil. [ProPublica]

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 5:45 p.m. Tuesday that Phillip Jent of Cold Springs Hollow Road off Christy Creek Road had been shot in the chest by his brother, Robert Jent. [The Morehead News]

After years of denying that American troops will deploy to Syria, President Obama has changed course and decided to send troops to help in the fight against ISIS, also known as ISIL or the Islamic State. [ThinkProgress]

The city of Berea had a very good financial year, according to the results of a recent financial audit. During a council session Tuesday evening, Jerry Hensley and Heather Cochran told officials the city increased its net value during fiscal year 2014-2015 by approximately $5 million. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump has spent much of his presidential campaign bashing his GOP rivals as beholden to major donors, and, in recent weeks, he’s expanded his attacks to include three major donors in particular ― Sheldon Adelson, Paul Singer and the Koch brothers. But POLITICO has learned that Trump or his surrogates have sought to build relationships ― if not support ― from all three, calling into question the billionaire real estate showman’s repeated assertions that, because of his wealth, he has no use for major donors. [Politico]

Democratic leaders met in Frankfort Wednesday morning to talk about how they lost the Governor’s race and three other statewide offices, only winning Attorney General and Secretary of State. [WKYT]

The Rosetta spacecraft discovers molecular oxygen in the cloud of gas surrounding Comet 67P prompting a rethink on the origins of the Solar System. [BBC]

Offering harsh words for fellow Democrats, Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones appeared to be of two minds Wednesday when discussing whether Tuesday’s enormous Republican victories in Kentucky will influence whether he runs for Congress. [H-L]

The U.S. electric sector is expected to hit its lowest carbon emissions since 1995 this year, partly due to the widespread closure of coal-powered power plants over the past five years, a Sierra Club report released Wednesday found. [HuffPo]

Human Trafficking Task Force Writes UofL, Offers Training To Ramsey, Jurich, Pitino

The Nelson County Human Trafficking Task Force just wrote a letter to the University of Louisville offering training.

Rather than bore you to tears with what I think, here it is:


CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE

And a transcript of the letter:

October 23, 2015

Dr. James R. Ramsey

Tom Jurich

Rick Pitino

Dear Dr. Ramsey, Mr. Jurich and Mr. Pitino,

Since 2008, of the 332 victims of human trafficking identified in Kentucky, 197 were children. Human trafficking is forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation through the use of force, fraud or coercion. When a victim is under 18, force, fraud or coercion are not required to be categorized as human trafficking. The most frequently occurring ages of victims in Kentucky are 15 and 17. Human trafficking is a multibillion dollar industry with horrific exploitation and it is no surprise that it is considered to be modern day slavery.

The allegations of University of Louisville Athletics’ players, recruits and staff being involved in potential human trafficking by attending parties with commercial sex are disturbing. Regardless of the veracity, it is integral that University of Louisville Athletics’ programs be educated regarding human trafficking.

U of L Athletics occupies a prestigious and respected role in our community and in national collegiate athletics. Given this role and the status of student athletes, education about human trafficking is an urgent need. Education can help identify victims, can prevent trafficking by decreasing demand and U of L Athletics can be an ambassador and partner in the antislavery movement.

The Nelson County Human Trafficking Task Force is a diverse group of individuals from various professional and personal backgrounds that is dedicated to creating a climate in Nelson County that is opposed to violence with an emphasis on human trafficking. The task force has provided training to over 200 professionals in and around the Nelson County area. We welcome the opportunity to provide human trafficking education to U of L Athletics for free.

We hope that you will accept this offer and join the effort in ending human slavery. Please contact either Soha T. Saiyed or Amy Nace-Degonda to schedule a meeting at the contact information below.

Sincerely,

Soha T. Saiyed
Co-Chair, Nelson County Human Trafficking Task Force University of Louisville Law ‘06

Amy Nace-Degonda
Co-Chair, Nelson County Human Trafficking Task Force University of Louisville ‘02

The task force is made up of representatives from:

  • Catholic Charities
  • Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Legal Aid Society
  • Family Resource Center
  • Bardstown Police Department
  • Visiting Angels
  • KY Higher Education Assistance Authority
  • Sisters of Charity of Nazareth
  • University of Kentucky Targeted Assessment Program
  • US Attorney
  • Nelson County Schools
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • New Life Center
  • Central Kentucky Community Action Council
  • Advocacy and Support Center
  • Bardstown Police Department
  • Vincentian Family
  • Passport
  • Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services
  • Flaget Memorial Hospital

Have reached out to UofL for comment but have received no response.

Jorts, Trans Am Not Spotted At Biden Thing

Alison Lundergan Grimes is back on TV for the first time since her 2014 race against Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell shattered state spending records. [H-L]

Vice President Joe Biden said he will not run for president in 2016. Biden announced his decision in a statement given from the White House on Wednesday. [HuffPo]

A man was fatally shot Tuesday afternoon after police say he pulled out a gun on Jeffersontown officers and they opened fire. [C-J/AKN]

There’s nothing juicy in these Kim Davis emails, so don’t feel compelled to look through them. But it’s fascinating people are still obsessed with her bigoted shenanigans. [Muckrock]

Members of the Glasgow Independent Schools Board of Education spent a large portion of Monday’s meeting contemplating a potential gift that could light up the football field at Glasgow Middle School. [Glasgow Daily Times]

We can’t afford to be cynical about the news that the most lucrative college hoops program in the country uses women as a form of currency. On revelations that the University of Louisville basketball program may have paid a self-described “Louisville Madam” to supply recruits with strippers and sex, the reactions have congregated into two camps: moralizers and cynics. [The Nation]

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and D.O.V.E.S of Gateway has been serving those impacted since 1989. [The Morehead News]

GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump said late Monday that President Obama is working on an executive order to take Americans’ guns away. [The Hill]

Upper management at Massey Energy used fear tactics and intimidation to get miners to produce as much coal as possible despite numerous safety hazards, a former Upper Big Branch miner testified Tuesday. [Richmond Register]

Oklahoma regulators are cracking down harder on saltwater disposal wells near the vitally important Cushing crude storage hub, where a rash of quakes have stoked concerns its tanks and pipelines may not be designed to handle a major seismic event. [Reuters]

President Barack Obama will announce federal, state, local and private sector efforts to combat prescription drug abuse and heroin use today in Charleston. [Ashland Independent]

When energy booms go bust, the public is often left responsible for the cleanup. That’s because while most states and the federal government make companies put up at least some money in advance to pay for any mess they leave behind, it’s often not enough. [NPR]

No, Republicans cannot save Matt Bevin from himself. Not even if he wins on election day. [H-L]

The Democratic National Committee is benefiting from presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s fundraising prowess even before she wraps up the nomination thanks to loosened campaign finance rules. [HuffPo]

UofL’s Great For Fraud & Sports Sexytime

ESPN reported Tuesday that five former University of Louisville basketball players and recruits told their “Outside the Lines” reporters that they attended parties at a campus dorm from 2010-14 that included strippers. [H-L]

A key House Democrat suggested Monday that Vice President Joe Biden can’t win the Democratic nomination on his own and should not enter the contest. [HuffPo]

The candidates for Kentucky lieutenant governor drew sharp distinctions between one another on a Kentucky Educational Television debate that was dominated by education issues. [C-J/AKN]

Hillary Clinton asserted at Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential debate that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden “stole very important information that has unfortunately fallen into a lot of the wrong hands.” [The Intercept]

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has granted Kentucky a one-year extension for meeting requirements of the stringent new identification security law known as REAL ID – meaning a Kentucky driver’s license is still sufficient for gaining access to the vast majority of federal installations. [Press Release]

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has his work cut out for him in passing a bill to raise the $18.1 trillion debt ceiling. [The Hill]

The Republican Governors’ Association is returning to the Kentucky airwaves with a $1.6 million ad buy on behalf of Republican gubernatorial nominee Matt Bevin. [Ronnie Ellis]

The CIA has told Congress that the name of an alleged secret agency source, mentioned but then partially redacted by the U.S. State Department from an email received on Hillary Clinton’s private server was not considered by the agency to be secret at all. [Reuters]

The City of Glasgow and the Electric Plant Board’s innovative Infotricity model has garnered statewide recognition. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Inside a sleek Denver condominium, George W. Bush let a hundred donors to his brother’s campaign in on a secret. Of all the rival Republican candidates, there is one who gets under the former president’s skin, whom he views as perhaps Jeb Bush’s most serious rival for the party’s nomination. [Politico]

A former Upper Big Branch mine section boss, a superintendent and a fire boss testified Monday about Massey Energy executives’ unwillingness to provide the amount of manpower or equipment needed to safety produce coal, all the while demanding high production numbers. [Richmond Register]

Ohio has put executions on hold until at least 2017 as the US state struggles to acquire the lethal drugs needed to carry out death sentences. [BBC]

A prominent businessman who is a county magistrate in Harlan County has been charged with two felonies, Kentucky State Police announced Monday. [H-L]

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission notified Planned Parenthood on Monday that it will terminate the reproductive health provider’s Medicaid contract. The move is a response to the sting videos created by an anti-abortion group that showed the organization’s staff members discussing the donation of fetal tissue to medical researchers. [HuffPo]

Life Goes On In Morehead, Kentucky

Democrat Andy Beshear and Republican Whitney Westerfield are the men publicly running to be Kentucky’s next attorney general. But behind the scenes, scores of corporations, wealthy businessmen, lawyers, lobbyists and labor unions have given several million dollars to two independent groups loosely affiliated with the Democratic and Republican parties, which are spending that money on a barrage of attack ads meant to influence voters. [John Cheves]

Thousands of migrants seeking to reach Western Europe were stranded in fog and cold weather in Croatia and Serbia on Sunday, a day after Hungary closed its border with Croatia and the flow of people was redirected to a much slower route via Slovenia. [HuffPo]

In her first comments to a reporter since the publication of her book, “Breaking Cardinal Rules,” Katina Powell said in a brief interview Friday that her daughters support the book in which she claims she provided them as escorts for University of Louisville players and recruits. [C-J/AKN]

Huckabee raised just $1.24 million, the lowest of any candidate who has made a top-tier debate this year and half as much as Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, whose poll numbers have dropped over the past few months. [The Hill]

The sign next to the door at the former E.B. Terry gymnasium, where clothes were given away every Monday for several years to those who needed them, advised visitors not to drop off anything. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Injured workers are entitled to compensation for permanent disabilities under state workers’ comp laws. [ProPublica]

The quaint town of Sandy Hook was just one pit stop that Kentucky democratic governor candidate Jack Conway made Friday. [Ashland Independent]

It used to be a given: When your kids reached school age, they’d strap on their backpacks and head for the neighborhood elementary school. Or, you’d pay a hefty tuition to send them to private school. In the last two decades, a third option has emerged. Today, there are more than 6,000 charter schools in the country. And lately, they’ve been the subject of passionate and often acrimonious debate about the right way to fix public education in America. [NPR]

Don Blankenship’s attorneys tried Friday to highlight upper management’s concerns for safety, but prosecutors argued the former Massey Energy CEO’s only concerns were about the cost of the citations they received and the amount of coal they produced. [Richmond Register]

Most elected representatives host town halls in their districts to speak with constituents about solving the nation’s ills — slimming the bloated federal budget, say, or lifting up the poor and the middle class. [Politico]

Morehead City Council met Monday night and adopted tax rates for the upcoming year. [The Morehead News]

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged global leaders on Saturday to agree an “ambitious” deal at a climate conference in Paris in December, saying global warming was the biggest threat to global food security. [Reuters]

Two candidates deeply rooted in Appalachia — one a retired school teacher and state lawmaker, the other a bankruptcy attorney and political newcomer — are competing in the down-ballot campaign to become Kentucky’s next state treasurer. [H-L]

Before he demeaned, guaranteed and taunted his way to the top of the polls — indeed, before the very first “Make America Great” hat even came off of the assembly line — the Republican Party got its first incontrovertible evidence of the extent of its problem with Donald Trump. [HuffPo]