Matt. Bevin. Ruins. Literally. Everything.

An improvised explosive device made from a lighter went off and injured three people when a man at an estate sale picked it up, police said Friday. Additional components and explosive substances were found in a search of the house in the 700 block of Nakomi Drive where the estate sale was being held, said Lexington police Lt. Nathaniel Muller. [H-L]

Progressives are gaining influence within the Democratic Party and it’s starting to make some other Democrats anxious. [HuffPo]

For the second time in a week, officials with the administration of Matt Bevin have reversed themselves on a controversial change to the state’s Medicaid program. State Medicaid officials now say they will suspend patient copays of $1 to $50 abruptly enacted July 1. The copays caught health providers by surprise and caused alarm among patients who didn’t know about or understand the changes. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. Democrats’ support for abortion rights grew in the last two years, but for most it will be a low priority in the November mid-term election compared with issues such as healthcare and the economy, a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll shows. [Reuters]

Kentucky’s school system is ranked 20th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in a national report by WalletHub, a credit and personal finance website. [Ronnie Ellis]

A Central Brooklyn hospital featured in ProPublica and NPR’s “Lost Mothers” series for its high hemorrhage rate will serve as a pilot for quality reforms. [ProPublica]

Boyd County Clerk Debbie Jones’ office has received an $18,000 grant from the Kentucky Department of Library and Archives. [Ashland Independent]

Idiot. Idiot. Idiot. Donald Trump has said he has “no problem doing a shutdown” to pry funding from Congress for his planned border wall. [BBC]

Fatal drug overdoses increased by 11.5 percent in 2017, fueled by a continuing rise in fentanyl abuse, according to a report by the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy. [More Ronnie Ellis]

The Trump administration is considering bypassing Congress to grant a $100 billion tax cut mainly to the wealthy, a legally tenuous maneuver that would cut capital gains taxation and fulfill a long-held ambition of many investors and conservatives. [NY Times]

In order to comply with federal regulations, Kentucky will begin issuing a new state credential in the first few months of 2019, said Matt Henderson, commissioner of Kentucky’s Division of Vehicle Regulations, during the Glasgow Rotary Club meeting Thursday at the T.J. Health Pavilion Community Center. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Maria Butina, the Russian who reportedly infiltrated the National Rifle Association and became a popular figure in conservative circles in 2016, certainly earned her keep. The indictment issued last week states she worked closely with a Russian official, widely believed to be Russian Central Bank Deputy Gov. Alexander Torshin, to access and influence conservative organizations and politicians. [WaPo]

What was reported as an ATV crash Thursday in Perry County turned out to be violence, with an arrest made and two victims airlifted to hospitals with gunshot wounds. [H-L]

A former personnel chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency is being investigated for sexual misconduct, including allegations that he hired women he met at bars and on dating websites in the hopes that they would become sexual partners for male employees. [HuffPo]

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Bevin’s Ignorance Harms KY Bourbon

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A day after Gov. Matt Bevin dismissed European tariffs on Kentucky bourbon as harmless, U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, met with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to share distillers’ concerns over exports. Barr said Friday that Bevin is wrong about the lack of impact. [H-L]

Longtime conservative columnist George Will is making a case against voting for Republicans in November’s 2018 midterm elections, arguing that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and other GOP members of Congress “have become the president’s poodles.” [HuffPo]

Kentucky, your governor is compromised. It’s got nothing to do with Russians controlling him from behind the old Iron Curtain. No, the influence is coming from behind the Aluminum Curtain. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump’s controversial child separation policy is being carried out with the help of private businesses who have received millions of dollars in government contracts to help run the shelters where young migrants are being held away from their parents. [Yahoo]

Matt Bevin Thursday once again attacked a Franklin Circuit Judge who the previous day struck down as unconstitutional a pension reform bill passed with little public notice in the 2018 General Assembly. [Ronnie Ellis]

The U.S. Supreme Court, winding down its nine-month term, will issue rulings this week in its few remaining cases including a major one on the legality of Donald Trump’s ban on people from five Muslim-majority nations entering the country. [Reuters]

Dozens of people streamed in and out of the Steelworkers Hall on a cool April night in Ashland, Kentucky in the hills of Appalachia, where working class roots run as deep as the threads of coal that have supported the region for generations. [Ashland Independent]

Betsy DeVos has scuttled more than 1,200 civil rights probes inherited from the Obama Administration. These people are monsters. [ProPublica]

Charlotte Beals, chairperson of the Barren County School Board, announced Thursday evening after adjourning the board’s monthly meeting that she was relinquishing her position on the school board because her daughter, Catherine Beals, is being hired by the district. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The House of Representatives narrowly passed the farm bill Thursday afternoon 213-211, with 20 Republicans joining all Democrats in voting no. The House version of the farm bill dramatically cuts funding for food stamps, officially known as Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). [ThinkProgress]

No, it’s not effective. At some point in their careers, most Kentucky state government employees are required to take “anti-harassment training.” [WFPL]

Special counsel Robert Mueller is asking that George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, be sentenced in September on the false-statement felony charge he pleaded guilty to last fall. [Politico]

One of the nation’s largest hedge funds is cutting ties with Kentucky Retirement Systems, telling the state pension agency to withdraw its $68.7 million investment because it does not care for the scrutiny hedge funds are getting in Kentucky. [H-L]

Oh, look, Donald Trump duped some brown people so he’s totally not racist. That’s how the Trump base (translate: racists) feel. [HuffPo]

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Gentrification Is Bad For All Kentuckians

What can Lexington do about gentrification? Literally the opposite of everything Louisville is doing. Don’t let AirB&B take over. Don’t let wealthy people buy up neighborhoods like Portland and Butchertown. Just don’t. Yes, I’m talking about my own friends. Don’t do it. It’s not necessary. [H-L]

Amanda Painter sat at the kitchen table in an unfamiliar apartment with an absurd dilemma: She had nothing to wear to a vigil for her three dead children. Her clothes were at home, but her home was now a crime scene. [HuffPo]

Metro Council Democrats elbowed through a measure on Thursday that supporters says will help lower Louisville’s obesity rate by giving youngest restaurant patrons healthier options. [C-J/AKN]

A former Marine says he alerted the Corps to a white supremacist in its ranks last October. Six months later, he wonders how seriously the Corps is investigating. [ProPublica]

Many pension funds for public workers already owe far more in retirement benefits than they have in the bank, and the problem will only grow worse if the economy slows down, according to a report released Thursday. [Richmond Register]

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) took to the Sunday morning shows to push back on the Trump administration’s narrative that the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign was a political witch hunt. To the contrary, Rubio said, it was a totally appropriate investigation into suspicious individuals involved in the campaign. [ThinkProgress]

Becky Miller has officially filed a complaint against Ashland City Commissioner Marty Gute surrounding her recent claims that Gute no longer resides in the city. [Ashland Independent]

When Congress decided not to take significant action after a spate of mass shootings this year and last, some big banks opted to take matters into their own hands by restricting financing for gun sellers. Now, Republican lawmakers are pressing regulators to stop banks from doing so, over concerns they are veering too far into social activism. [NY Times]

Teachers flexed their political muscle Tuesday night, especially in Rockcastle County, spurring a surprise upset win by Travis Brenda over fellow Republican and incumbent state House Majority Leader Jonathan Shell. [Ronnie Ellis]

Ralph Stepney’s home on a quiet street in north Baltimore has a welcoming front porch and large rooms, with plenty of space for his comfortable recliner and vast collection of action movies. The house is owned by Joann West, a licensed caregiver who shares it with Stepney and his fellow Vietnam War veteran Frank Hundt. [WaPo]

The seemingly long-awaited analysis on surveys and other community input for a master plan for Glasgow Parks and Recreation was presented to the master plan steering committee this week. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, spent roughly $3.5 million in taxpayer funds on his personal security detail during his first year in office, 1.7 times what his predecessors spent each year on average, according to records made public Friday by the agency. Those figures included $2.7 million on salaries and overtime for security staff and more than $760,000 on travel for security agents. [More NY Times]

Al Dilley of Glasgow owns Goat Browsers, an “environmentally friendly land enhancement service.” Dilly and his 17 goats are under contract with the city to goatscape (clean up) an overgrown, two-acre area of the park. [H-L]

Katia Hills, a healthy 27-year-old married woman, said she was afraid to have another child after what happened the last time. [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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WTF Is Going On At WKU, Folks?

Authorities reportedly planned to remove dogs Tuesday from a controversial shelter in Elliott County that the owner describes as a sanctuary for discarded animals but critics deride as an overcrowded mess where dogs don’t receive adequate care. [H-L]

Hondurans, Guatemalans and Salvadorans who drew the wrath of Donald Trump in a month-long caravan to the U.S. border will make hard decisions on Sunday whether to risk being deported all the way home by trying to cross, or to build a life in Mexico. [Reuters]

It’s always been about politics. Taking over JCPS was about politics a legislative session or two ago when Republicans last tried to screw with the school district. [C-J/AKN]

The long-suffering population of the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk has been the flashpoint of the government’s fight with the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS) in recent days, with catastrophic consequences for defenseless residents. [ThinkProgress]

Candidates running for County Attorney and County PVA, to be narrowed during May’s primary, spoke directly to voters Monday during Richmond Chamber of Commerce’s Meet the Candidates Community Forum at hosted at Eastern Kentucky University. [Richmond Register]

With less than 200 days until the midterm elections, Democrats are generally thought to have a slight advantage in the fight for control of the House. That doesn’t mean they are going to prevail. [NY Times]

Matt Bevin’s office formally announced that Louisville-based Alliant Technologies plans to invest nearly $1.19 million in Glasgow to establish a 30-job electrical panel fabrication facility. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Jessica Morales gets to Prairie Queen Elementary before the bell rings. In class, she is a lifeline for recent immigrant students, translating lessons they cannot understand. Last year, when a teacher had to leave school unexpectedly, Morales filled in, decorating the classroom, teaching the class, holding parent-teacher conferences. [WaPo]

The Rowan County Board of Education voted unanimously to name John Maxey as the district’s next superintendent. [The Morehead News]

How Russian Facebook ads divided and targeted US voters before the 2016 election. [Wired]

Western Kentucky University’s student body president-elect and executive vice president say they want to curb a “toxic environment” within the Student Government Association that made current SGA President Andi Dahmer fear for her safety. [BGDN]

A Russian mixed martial arts fighter who has connections with Donald Trump, the president’s personal attorney Michael Cohen and Russian President Vladimir Putin was questioned this week by the FBI, his manager confirmed Saturday. [TPM]

This should fail spectacularly. An MTV reality show set in Eastern Kentucky is set to debut this summer, and the mayor of the rural town does not want his town shown in a bad light. [H-L]

Jill Stein ended months of silence and speculation about her role in the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, announcing this week that she would not be complying with a documents request put forth by the Senate intelligence committee. [ThinkProgress]

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Kentucky Republicans: Still Killing Ethics

The general counsel for the Kentucky House Republican Caucus, who allegedly sat in the room as former House Speaker Jeff Hoover and three other Republican lawmakers secretly settled a sexual harassment complaint, will soon serve as the attorney for the Legislative Ethics Commission. [H-L]

The Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general has opened “new reviews” into Administrator Scott Pruitt’s alleged ethical lapses, including his $50 per night condo rental, according to letters sent Friday to two top Democrats. [HuffPo]

Greg Fischer unveiled a spending plan for the city Thursday that he said builds on Louisville’s momentum in the face of a $9.4 million bump in retirement costs. [C-J/AKN]

Follow the path of immigrants fleeing violence or persecution, and get a glimpse into the complicated, evolving system designed to grant them refuge in the United States. [ProPublica]

Candidates running for state representative and sheriff laid out their plans and why they should be elected, during a recent Richmond Chamber of Commerce Meet the Candidates Community Forum hosted at Eastern Kentucky University. [Richmond Register]

Within establishment political and media circles, the mythology surrounding the motives of white working-class voters has been the most popular and enduring explanation for why Donald Trump is in the White House. Trump voters are much less worried about their financial well-being than they are about losing their dominant status as white people within a demographically diverse and ever-changing nation. [ThinkProgress]

Louisville Metro Police have now had more shootings involving officers this year than all of last year, following a fatal shooting Wednesday night in Shawnee. [WFPL]

Last year, Howard “Buck” McKeon, a former Republican congressman who chaired the House Armed Services Committee, was hired to lobby for an Albanian political party seeking access to the Trump administration and congressional Republicans. But most of his firm’s work was bankrolled by a Cypriot shell company called Dorelita Limited. [Mother Jones]

More than 3,500 Hepatitis A vaccinations have been given to area residents following an outbreak of the disease. [Ashland Independent]

A top official with the Department of Health and Human Services is expected to tell members of Congress on Thursday that the agency lost track of nearly 1,500 migrant children the agency placed with sponsors in the United States, according to prepared testimony obtained by The New York Times. [NY Times]

Matt Bevin Thursday vetoed five bills and part of a sixth but allowed a tax cleanup bill which corrected mistakes in a revenue bill he opposed to become law without his signature and didn’t veto last-minute “fixes” to the budget bill. [Ronnie Ellis]

After Donald Trump vowed last year to release all the long-secret files related to the JFK assassination, the administration announced Thursday that some documents will remain redacted until October 2021 for national security reasons. [WaPo]

The open race for Lexington’s top job has attracted one of the largest fields of candidates in recent history. And the number of candidates will likely make for a messy primary season. [H-L]

A top Democratic congressman on Friday unsuccessfully tried to create a special committee to investigate why House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Shitbag) abruptly fired the House chaplain last week. [HuffPo]

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McConnell Loves Racist Homophobes

A former Georgetown doctor was sentenced Wednesday to five years in federal prison after he was convicted in October of illegally distributing oxycodone. [H-L]

When Tim Purdon became U.S. attorney for North Dakota in 2010, he had a priority: improving public safety on the state’s four Indian reservations. Prosecuting violent crimes on Indian reservations falls to the Justice Department, and Purdon himself had worked similar cases as a public defender before taking on the U.S. attorney job. [HuffPo]

Ford Motor Co.’s announcement this week that it will shift away from passenger cars in favor of more profitable trucks and SUVs raised questions right off about whether the automaker’s two Louisville assembly plants are in for even more investment and jobs. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt told lawmakers during a heated congressional hearing on Thursday that allegations of ethical missteps plaguing his tenure are untrue and are intended to derail Donald Trump’s agenda. [Reuters]

The day after Berean Joan Moore’s job ended, she received a providential phone call from a friend. Unaware of her employment situation, the friend asked if she would be interested in going to Najaf, Iraq, to teach English for a month. [Richmond Register]

Of course Mitch McConnell pushed through a racist homophobe. The US Senate has confirmed former CIA director Mike Pompeo as secretary of state, ending a tough confirmation battle. [BBC]

In January, a former law enforcement officer was arrested on public intoxication and lodged in the Boyd County Detention Center with no mugshot accompanying his booking information. [Ashland Independent]

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to approve a bipartisan bill to protect special counsel Robert Mueller from being fired, despite warnings from Senate leaders that the bill is unlikely to receive a vote in the full Senate. [NPR]

The race for the Democratic nomination for Congress in Kentucky’s 6th District is showing signs of tightening. [Ronnie Ellis]

Early in Scott Pruitt’s political career, as a state senator from Tulsa, he attended a gathering at the Oklahoma City home of an influential telecommunications lobbyist who was nearing retirement and about to move away. [NY Times]

Because the end of the fiscal year – when it would obtain an audit anyway – is drawing near on June 30, the board of directors for Barren and Metcalfe counties’ ambulance service decided to postpone having a special one done now. [Glasgow Daily Times]

When Donald Trump won the presidency, his longtime attorney Michael Cohen seemed in position for a coveted spot in the senior ranks of the White House. At one point, Cohen topped a list of five candidates for White House counsel, according to documents reviewed by The Washington Post. He suggested to some Trump allies that he might make a good chief of staff. [WaPo]

The saga of composer Stephen Foster, creator of Kentucky’s state song, “My Old Kentucky Home,” added another chapter Thursday related to America’s slave era. [H-L]

The most conservative Republicans in the House of Representatives initially thought the newest farm bill would kick too few people off of food stamps, but now they’re warming up to the legislation. [HuffPo]

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