How Is Jim Ramsey Still In A Job?

Your support is crucial if you want to see us continue. While other media outlets ignore scandals like those in Montgomery County, we’re shining the bright lights of transparency on issues that directly impact you across the Commonwealth. Love us or hate us, we’re putting in the time and effort to spend years reporting on issues from the pension crisis to government-sanctioned animal cruelty to educational corruption and we get real results. [Help Us!]

With his first year as U.S. Senate Majority Leader drawing to a close, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that “by any objective standard, we’ve had a year of significant accomplishments.” [H-L]

The Department of Justice helped kill a bill intended to enhance transparency and refuses to release records on its efforts to block the legislation, the Freedom of the Press Foundation claims in court. [HuffPo]

It’s almost like Jim Ramsey is being purposefully more terrible than usual in order to set Jerry Abramson up to take over. Ramsey is making Abramson look less terrible. [C-J/AKN]

Kern County, California, where 95 percent of the state’s fracking takes place, is getting sued over a recent decision that did away with public notice and environmental review for oil and gas permits for the next 20 years. [ThinkProgress]

Undergraduates at Eastern Kentucky University and at colleges and universities throughout the Commonwealth now have another venue to showcase their scholarly and creative work. [Richmond Register]

For years, Jammie Nichols struggled with a drug habit that left the Florida mother reeling from blackouts, seizures, depression and poverty – and a decision to give one of her children up for adoption. [Reuters]

AK Steel Ashland Works will begin a four-phased mass layoff that will affect 633 at one of the region’s largest employers. [Ashland Independent]

The number of executions in the US in 2015 is the lowest in nearly 25 years, new figures reveal. [BBC]

The City of Glasgow’s budget is roughly where it would be expected at this point in the fiscal year, according to general figures provided at a meeting of the city council’s finance committee on Wednesday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

ObamaCare advocates are growing fearful that several key taxes frozen in Wednesday’s budget deal will never go into effect. [The Hill]

The Community Soup Kitchen will feed more than 1,000 persons next week, if enough volunteers show up to help with the Christmas dinner. [The Morehead News]

Academic learning is usually in the spotlight at school, but teaching elementary-age students “soft” skills like self-control and social skills might help in keeping at-risk kids out of criminal trouble in the future, a study finds. [NPR]

Lexington is so terrible that your kids are just straight up gonna be abducted at school. [H-L]

Apparently the deficit hawks flew south for the winter. At least that’s the conclusion that could be drawn from looking at the price tag for the package of bills unveiled early Wednesday morning to keep the government running and extend a bunch of tax breaks, many permanently. [HuffPo]

Need cheap mobile phone service? Maybe even for a backup cell phone? I’m talking $6/mo cheap? Use our Ting referral code and we’ll all get a sweet credit. You get $25 — enough for a couple months of service to determine whether you like it. Both CDMA and GSM options. [Ting]

Coal’s Dead. It’s Not Coming Back.

The seams of coal in some of Eddie Asbury’s mines in McDowell County are so thin workers can barely squeeze down them. They enter on carts nearly flat on their backs, the roof of the mine coursing by just a few inches in front of their faces. They don’t stand up all day. [H-L]

Some of the world’s top entrepreneurs are pooling their billions and their influence to turbo-charge the development of zero-carbon energy technology. [HuffPo]

Gov.-elect Matt Bevin said Tuesday that he is inheriting a “financial crisis” from departing Gov. Steve Beshear. [C-J/AKN]

President Obama heads to Paris Monday seeking to clinch an international climate pact that would help define his legacy. [The Hill]

Carter Fiscal Court heard a presentation from Enterprise Fleet Management aimed at upgrading the county’s aging vehicle fleet earlier this week. [Ashland Independent]

A simulation suit that mimics the effects on wearer’s reactions of taking illegal substances has been developed by scientists to show young drivers the dangers of getting behind the wheel while intoxicated by drugs. [Reuters]

Glasgow Daily Times reporter Melinda J. Overstreet interviewed Glasgow Police Department Chief Guy Howie on Nov. 19. The questions were not provided in advance. Portions have been edited for clarity. The first part of the interview was published in print Friday and the second part was published in print Saturday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Is lethal injection the most humane method of execution? Is there another way? Should we eliminate the death penalty altogether? Here’s some of the best reporting on the practice. [ProPublica]

After what it calls “a rigorous search process that elicited responses from several national firms,” Eastern Kentucky University has issued a letter of intent to award the development of its new student housing projects between F2 Companies of Columbus, Ohio, and Grand Campus Properties of Richmond. [Richmond Register]

Every year, the flu almost goes extinct in temperate places like the United States. The key word is “almost.” It stays afloat by constantly moving. [NPR]

There is still a lot of coal in the ground in Kentucky, though it’s looking increasingly unlikely that most of it will be mined and burned. [WFPL]

One of the most prominent stains on the reputation of the much-mythologized Reagan administration was its response, or lack of response, to the AIDS crisis as it began to ravage American cities in the early and mid-1980s. President Reagan famously (though, not famously enough) didn’t himself publicly mention AIDS until 1985, when more than 5,000 people, most of them gay men, had already been killed by the disease. Filmmaker Scott Calonico’s new documentary short, When AIDS Was Funny, exclusively debuting on VF.com, shows how the Reagan administration reacted to the mounting problem in chilling fashion. Not even Reagan’s appointed mouthpiece, notorious press secretary Larry Speakes, had much to say about the crisis beyond derisive laughter. [Vanity Fair]

Before Gov. Steve Beshear leaves office and Gov.-elect Matt Bevin can reconstitute the racing commission, the regulatory body will take up some key business on Tuesday: a request for a gambling parlor at Turfway Park in Florence and Keeneland’s plan to open a quarter horse track and gambling parlor in Corbin. [H-L]

President Barack Obama spoke out on Planned Parenthood following what appears to be a politically motivated shooting at one of the health care provider’s clinics in Colorado last week that left three people dead and nine others injured. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin (R-Turd) Now Fears Refugees

YET ANOTHER University of Louisville official is under investigation for allegedly squandering hundreds of thousands of dollars! [The ‘Ville Voice]

Former Morgan County Judge-Executive Tim Conley’s appeal of his guilty plea in a corruption case should be dismissed, a federal prosecutor has argued. Conley waived his right to appeal his plea and conviction as part of the deal, in which the government dismissed some charges, Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles P. Wisdom Jr. said in a motion. [H-L]

Apparently, if you are a Democratic presidential candidate, there is no longer such a thing as being too strict about gun safety. All three candidates were locked in a fierce battle to prove their gun control bona fides at the Democratic debate at Drake University in Iowa on Saturday night. [HuffPo]

Just a few years ago, Louisville’s Family Health Centers were on the brink of closing clinics and laying off staff. More than half the patients at the network of seven community clinics had no health insurance. Operating losses for the clinics, a medical safety net for the poor, had reached $2.5 million. [C-J/AKN]

The Federal Reserve is emerging as one of the most popular punching bags on the GOP campaign trail. [The Hill]

Here comes Backward Bevin! Way to go, Kentucky, you’ve elected an actual dog turd. Echoing the stance of several Republican governors, Matt Bevin on Monday said he opposes the resettling of Syrian refugees in Kentucky. [WFPL]

Capital punishment in the United States has moved into the slow lane, with the number of executions and new death sentences likely to hit lows not seen for more than 20 years. [Reuters]

Mayor Jim Tom Trent on Thursday signed a proclamation declaring November as Adoption Awareness Month in the City of Morehead. [The Morehead News]

Astronomers have identified the most distant object yet in the Solar System. Observations with Japan’s Subaru telescope reveal the likely icy body to be some 15.5 billion km from the Sun – about three times further away than even far-flung Pluto. [BBC]

Tucked away in the back roads of Rowan County lies a piece of Morehead State only a few know exist. Since 1967, the Derrickson Agricultural Complex, also know as the University Farm, has been a part of the Department of Agricultural Sciences. Recently, 24 agriculture students have been given the privilege of living in the newly built Lundergam Hall that rests in the middle of the farm. [Ashland Independent]

Almost 20 percent of the people in low-income communities who die of colon cancer could have been saved with early screening. And those premature deaths take a toll on communities that can least bear it. [NPR]

The Kentucky State Police is urging all motorists to be aware of the increased dangers posed by deer wandering onto roadways during November and December. [Richmond Register & Press Release]

20 percent, or 1 in 5, were reporting patients to credit agencies or placing liens on their properties or garnishing wages, practices that aren’t supposed to happen if hospitals are following the rules. [WaPo]

Marriage licenses altered by Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis this summer don’t meet the state’s legal requirements, but they still should be considered valid, lawyers for Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear told a federal judge Friday. [H-L]

Federal and state prosecutors are poised to announce a settlement with Education Management Corporation, one of the nation’s largest for-profit college chains, that would resolve allegations it defrauded taxpayers out of $11 billion, according to people familiar with the case. [HuffPo]

Let’s Hope Hampton Tones Down Extremism

Republican state Rep. Mike Harmon defeated state Auditor Adam Edelen, denying a second term to a politician many have seen as a rising star among Kentucky Democrats. [H-L]

Years before the high-profile deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Freddie Gray, more than half of African-American millennials indicated they, or someone they knew, had been victimized by violence or harassment from law enforcement, a new report says. [HuffPo]

Coal no longer burns at the LG&E Cane Run power plant, ending decades of production of waste products such as ash and sludge that brought blowing ash and foul odors. [C-J/AKN]

Kentucky’s newest lieutenant governor-elect is unique in many ways. She and her running mate, Gov.-elect Matt Bevin, are some of this election cycle’s first victorious political outsiders. (Bevin had been likened to Donald Trump). Jenean Hampton is also the first African American to be elected to statewide office in Kentucky. And she’s just one of a handful of black women on the national level to identify with the tea party movement. [WaPo]

The Harlan Fiscal Court met in a special called session on Friday to discuss a few topics including an agreement with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet concerning $275,000 in discretionary funds for Harlan County roads from the Governor’s Office. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

In the long legal struggle against the death penalty, the future has in some ways never looked brighter. [NY Times]

An investigation is underway after a deadly shooting in Rowan County. [WKYT]

A new design for lithium-air batteries overcomes several hurdles that have stood in the way of this “next-generation” concept. [BBC]

The only local race in Pulaski County’s general election has ended with former Ferguson Councilor Linda Hughes once again filling a seat on that city’s governing body. [Commonwealth Journal]

California jails could soon stop locking up tens of thousands of people who haven’t even appeared before a judge yet simply because they’re too poor to post bail, if a class-action lawsuit filed Wednesday succeeds. [ThinkProgress]

In a close decision, Henderson County residents approved the nickel tax in Tuesday’s election. [Henderson Gleaner]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… The well-preserved partial skull and skeleton of a gibbon-like creature that lived 11.6 million years ago in Spain is shedding new light on the evolutionary history of modern apes. [Reuters]

Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes narrowly won a second term Tuesday, blocking a challenge by Republican Steve Knipper, a former Erlanger city councilman. [H-L]

If you don’t think teachers are important and deserve mega raises, you ought to think again. [HuffPo]

Hold On To Your Wigs, It Ends Tomorrow!

For about the last two years, Matt Bevin, the Republican candidate for governor, has angrily lashed out at anyone who questioned whether he has had tax problems in the past. When voters have asked him about it, Bevin has called the claims bogus and bunk. And if you own a television, you’ve probably seen the clip of him saying “I have no tax delinquency problem, nor have I ever.” So it was pretty remarkable earlier this week when Bevin admitted to the Associated Press in an interview that he had in fact been late in paying his taxes at least 30 times. [H-L]

Newly elected Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has pledged that his tenure will feature a different tone and approach than how the House has operated in the past few years. But on measures of policy, the issues that he seems poised to tackle look very much the same. [HuffPo]

The problems here are Teresa James and her regional DCBS head. James turns a blind eye to their foibles and plays pat-a-cake with some of the most unbelievably unconnected people in state government. Most social workers in the area (and in surrounding counties) breathe fire when you bring them up. [C-J/AKN]

By the time George W Bush left the White House, perceptions of the United States in the wider world were overwhelmingly negative. As the Obama presidency enters its final phase, how have attitudes shifted? (This is about Matthew Barzun) [BBC]

A fugitive accused of shooting a Tennessee police officer and firing at a Kentucky trooper was killed in a shootout with authorities early Friday, ending a nearly weeklong manhunt. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Every year American taxpayers spend more than $100 million to produce original, top-notch policy research for federal lawmakers. The reports issued by the Congressional Research Service are unclassified and nonpartisan—a remarkably useful set of factual distillations of everything from the Pentagon’s budget to an election in Haiti. And the public doesn’t have direct access to them. [Politico]

Judge-Executive Walter Blevins last Wednesday gave NewCity Morehead members an update on the progress of the new Rowan County Detention Center. [The Morehead News]

Ben Carson is seeking to rally Republican candidates to end most actual debating at future Republican debates. Instead, candidates would spend most of their time taking turns delivering speeches. [ThinkProgress]

The race to succeed Democrat Jack Conway as Kentucky Attorney General features two young, ambitious attorneys but the similarities pretty end there. [Ronnie Ellis]

We’ve heard a lot about the negative effects of climate change in the arctic and subarctic. But some Alaskans, like farmer Tim Meyers, are seeing warming temperatures as an opportunity. [NPR]

Flakka may be part of a new wave of drugs inundating communities along the northeastern Kentucky and southeastern Ohio border, but Kentucky lawmakers have been preparing legislation to combat synthetic drugs for years. [Ashland Independent]

When big data uses bad data, discrimination can result. Federal Trade Commission chairwoman Edith Ramirez recently called for “algorithmic transparency,” since algorithms can contain “embedded assumptions that lead to adverse impacts that reinforce inequality.” [ProPublica]

A county clerk from Kentucky jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and secretly recorded videos that reignited the debate over abortion dominated national politics this summer. But in Kentucky, home to Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis and the most competitive governor’s race in the country, Republican Matt Bevin and Democrat Jack Conway have scarcely mentioned those issues in TV ads and debates in the final weeks of the campaign. Instead, the focus has stayed on issues of everyday concern to voters, such as health care and education. [H-L]

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said he is conflicted about the death penalty and wants to see reforms in how it is implemented. [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]

Al Mohler Is Gay Attention-Starved Again

A little fish called the Kentucky arrow darter — up for listing under the Endangered Species Act — isn’t likely to create as much of an uproar as its famous Tennessee relative, the snail darter. [H-L]

Three former CIA detainees are suing over being tortured at the agency’s infamous “black sites,” the first suit to seek accountability in a U.S. court for the CIA’s tactics since the Senate Intelligence Committee released the executive summary of its groundbreaking torture report. But the ex-detainees aren’t suing the CIA. [HuffPo]

Al Mohler, who fleeces people like woah (check out his mansion and fancy clothing), says “Christians” should boycott gay weddings. We think “Christians” should boycott these alleged leaders who get rich on the backs of poor people buying into their religious business. [C-J/AKN]

A reassessment of ancient rocks has led scientists to estimate that Earth’s inner core started to form earlier than was previously thought, around 1.3 billion years ago. As it started to freeze, the core began generating a bigger magnetic field, which continues to today. [BBC]

Lexington-based Columbia Gas of Kentucky is in the early stages of gathering environmental information for a possible natural gas infrastructure improvement project in Rowan County. [The Morehead News]

The political network led by billionaires David and Charles Koch is building what’s meant to be a seamless system of grassroots groups, designed to advance the network’s conservative and libertarian goals year in and year out, while also helping like-minded politicians. [NPR]

Cheerleading, once a grounded activity with cheers and dancing, has grown into a high-risk sport involving flips, tumbling and the throwing and catching of bodies. [Ashland Independent]

Presidential candidate and television star Donald Trump is scheduled to host “Saturday Night Live” on Nov. 7, NBC announced in a release Tuesday. [Politico]

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway says he would support legislation to expand casino gambling in Kentucky to bring in more money for the cash-strapped state budget. [WFPL]

The Taliban announced Tuesday they have withdrawn from Kunduz, the northern Afghan city that briefly fell under insurgent control last month. [NPR]

The two candidates for attorney general went after each other Monday night in a spirited debate on Kentucky Education Television. [Ronnie Ellis]

U.S. Supreme Court justices expressed concern on Tuesday that Florida gives judges undue sway in determining death sentences at the expense of juries as the court weighed the appeal of a man convicted of murdering a fried-chicken restaurant manager. [Reuters]

Lexington officials will wait to see what changes the federal and state government may make to regulations on the use of drones before they pursue any local ordinances. [H-L]

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said on Tuesday he had no doubt Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine by Russian special forces because “drunken separatists” could not have operated the missile. Yatseniuk made his charge shortly before publication of the Dutch Safety Board’s final report on its investigation into the causes of the downing of MH17 over territory held by pro-Russia rebels on July 17, 2014. [HuffPo]