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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Monday Morning Of Bevin Madness

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Wondering just how ignorant Kentuckians can be when it comes to immigration and politics? Here’s a good look. Hint: it’s racism. [H-L]

The separation of children from parents now taking place at the southern border is not new in American history. [HuffPo]

Smells like retaliation from the Bevin crew but who knows? [C-J/AKN]

Round two of Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s dispute over the tax value of his home in a high-end Louisville suburb went before an appeals board Monday, as an appraiser defended his review of the property against arguments that his work led to an “overinflated” valuation. [AP]

Through the first six months of the year, there have been 23 confirmed drug-related deaths in Madison County. [Richmond Register]

Mr. Mueller wants to question the president about the tweets. His interest in them is the latest addition to a range of presidential actions he is investigating as a possible obstruction case. [WaPo]

Two industry-owned properties in the Boyd County School District were evaluated improperly for tax purpose and the district has to refund hundreds of thousands of dollars to each, according to district finance director Don Fleu. [Ashland Independent]

This is still racism. Donald Trump said on Sunday he would allow the federal government to shut down if Democrats do not fund his border wall and back immigration law changes, betting that maintaining a hard line will work in Republicans’ favor in November congressional elections. [Reuters]

Sanford Holbrook of Mt. Olivet has been appointed to the Morehead State University Board of Regents by Matt Bevin. [The Morehead News]

Settling an investigation by the state of Washington prompted by a ProPublica story, the social networking company said it would no longer allow advertisers to exclude users by any federally protected categories. [ProPublica]

Fancy Farm’s coming up and it will be disgusting and embarrassing for Kentucky, as it has been the past few years. Unless teachers show up in full force and raise absolute hell 24/7. If Scott Jennings can tell racist “jokes” at the picnic? Teachers can be as loud as they want to be. [Ronnie Ellis]

Some of the biggest winners from Donald Trump’s new tax law are corporate executives who have reaped gains as their companies buy back a record amount of stock, a practice that rewards shareholders by boosting the value of existing shares. [Politico]

Amy McGrath stood with a microphone in her hand on a hot July Saturday, making her pitch to a crowd that spilled out of two tailgate tents. [H-L]

Federal air marshals have been secretly tracking dozens of American travelers each day who aren’t listed on government watch lists or suspected of a crime. [HuffPo]

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Bevin: Still An Awful Human Being

Researchers from Duke University and the non-profits SkyTruth and Appalachian Voices released a first-of-its-kind study Wednesday showing the year-by-year impact of surface coal mining in Central Appalachia. [H-L]

Dangerous idiot. [HuffPo]

For the first time in weeks, Matt Bevin on Wednesday availed himself to questions from the capital press corps. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration must face a lawsuit by states and advocacy groups over its plan to ask people who are filling out the 2020 census form whether they are U.S. citizens, a federal judge ruled on Thursday. [Reuters]

Sporting a new beard, Matt Bevin took questions from reporters Wednesday for the first time in a month – but he remained coy about whether he’ll seek re-election next year and he wouldn’t say if he’ll attend this year’s Fancy Farm Picnic and political speaking. [Ronnie Ellis]

A Maryland judge is allowing a class action lawsuit against Jared Kushner’s family real estate company to proceed, in a ruling that denies most of the company’s arguments to dismiss the case over its treatment of tenants at large apartment complexes in the Baltimore area. [ProPublica]

A vote to double the payroll tax in the city of Raceland was postponed Wednesday night because there were not enough City Council members available to attend the meeting. [Ashland Independent]

Impeach the motherfucker already. The Trump administration will no longer publish public summaries of Donald Trump’s phone calls with foreign leaders, US media report. [BBC]

The St. Claire Foundation’s recent 2018 Signature Event raised $23,000 to support St. Claire HealthCare’s efforts to relocate and upgrade our inpatient rehabilitation services with a state-of-the-art therapy gym and functional training space, including a home simulation environment. [The Morehead News]

For years, Trump has used Twitter as his go-to public relations weapon, mounting a barrage of attacks on celebrities and then political rivals even after advisers warned he could be creating legal problems for himself. [NY Times]

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]

In a ruling that some legal scholars say could be an important precedent nationally, a federal judge struck down a Florida law barring early-voting centers on college campuses. [WaPo]

One of the nation’s largest managers of off-campus student housing has discriminated against Kentucky children and families and is violating the federal Fair Housing Act, three fair housing groups allege in a federal lawsuit. [H-L]

A federal judge in New York ruled Thursday that a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s decision to add a question asking about citizenship to the 2020 census could advance, saying the challengers had shown enough evidence that the decision could have been driven by discrimination to move the case forward. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Screwed KY Charities

Every year, the Children’s Charity of the Bluegrass raises about $500,000 from its annual fundraising golf tournament. But under Kentucky’s new tax law, a 6 percent sales tax on numerous services also applies to all tickets sold for fundraisers that charities and churches put on. The organizers will have to decide if they will let participants pay the tax on tickets, or whether they will take the hit. [H-L]

A recording of then-candidate Donald Trump talking about a payment to a woman who claimed they’d had an affair is just one of a dozen audio files released to prosecutors last week, a court filing on Monday revealed. [HuffPo]

Mayor Greg Fischer won’t be able to keep his Kentucky Derby guests a secret for much longer if Democratic Metro Councilman Brent Ackerson has his way. [C-J/AKN]

Then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s staff sought to protect him from exposure to toxic formaldehyde from an office desk last year, emails show — just months before his top political aides blocked the release of a report on health dangers from the same chemical. [Politico]

Plans for a healing center and jail expansion have been scrapped less than two weeks after a proposed plan to build and finance each was presented during a special called fiscal court meeting on July 12. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, escalated his dispute with the president on Tuesday by releasing a secret recording of a conversation in which Mr. Trump appears to have knowledge about hush money payments to a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump. [NY Times]

Greenup County leaders got an update on the KentuckyWired project recently with the goal for installation of fiber optic broadband connectivity infrastructure complete in the county by next year. [Ashland Independent]

The missed deadlines puzzled real estate experts, who said that for a long-established property company such as the Trump Organization, paying property taxes should be a routine task. [WaPo]

The Morehead Tourism Commission voted 4-0 Monday afternoon to earmark $25,000 for the Kentucky Folk Art Center for a one-year period. [The Morehead News]

Maria Marroquin Perdomo fretted as she waited with her 11-year-old son, Abisai, in the New Orleans International Airport. A day earlier, the mother and son had been reunited in Texas after being separated by U.S. immigration officials for more than a month, an ordeal that followed a harrowing journey from Honduras. [Reuters]

The company under contract to develop a parks and recreation master plan for Glasgow has drafted a document for the next steps in the process that it has shared with a local steering committee. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Hundreds of migrant parents are no longer in the US, government lawyers said, ahead of a deadline to reunite families. [BBC]

The quiet, observant and community-loving Hazel Arnold left behind an unexpected gift for animal lovers in her native Frankfort. Arnold, who died in January at age 93, left $150,000 to the Franklin County Humane Society. Those who knew Arnold said she had no pets, but her friends did and that’s all that mattered. [H-L]

Former FBI director and longtime Republican James Comey has urged Americans to vote for Democrats in November. [HuffPo]

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KDP Is Also MIA On Mitch McConnell

The Kentucky Democratic Party should have been all over this but couldn’t be bothered. On the day after Donald Trump deepened doubts about this country’s commitment to its European allies and western-style democracy, what did Majority Leader Mitch McConnell do? He stood on the Senate floor to praise a decision that will make it easier for foreign interests to illegally funnel money into U.S. politics and elections. [H-L]

Did she? Hopefully. Did Queen Elizabeth, the 92-year-old monarch of the United Kingdom, throw some subtle shade at Donald Trump during his recent U.K. visit? [HuffPo]

Speaking to college students five years ago in Florida, Louisville pizza magnate John Schnatter bragged he’d scored a nearly perfect 790 on his SAT in math but a dismal 200 on the verbal exam. Though, maybe using racist homophobes in a story to defend Schnatter’s remarks isn’t a great idea. [C-J/AKN]

More than half of Americans disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling relations with Russia, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted after his controversial summit and joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin. [Reuters]

An ordinance that would raise the salary range of city employees by 2 percent had a first reading Tuesday during the Berea City Council. [Richmond Register]

Without any public scrutiny, insurers and data brokers are predicting your health costs based on data about things like race, marital status, how much TV you watch, whether you pay your bills on time or even buy plus-size clothing. [ProPublica]

Greenup County is one step closer to requiring Hepatitis A vaccinations for all food service workers in the county. [Ashland Independent]

Why has the NRA been cozying up to Russia? The Right to Bear Arms in Moscow enjoys a close relationship with America’s leading gun-rights group. [ThinkProgress]

John Maxey led his first Rowan County Board of Education meeting July 17 as new superintendent. On the agenda was an update on Senate Bill 1, approving the dual credit agreement with MCTC and approving the annual financial report. [The Morehead News]

Violence in Central America has brought thousands of L.G.B.T. migrants to the United States border to seek asylum in recent years, hoping to find protection from persecution over their gender identity and sexuality. [NY Times]

Economic fallout from failing pension systems? Surely not. No one could have predicted that. [WFPL]

When the 8-year-old stepped off a plane here earlier this month with freshly cut bangs and a shelter-issued sweatsuit, she was met by crowds and television cameras and finally, in a carpeted airport conference room, by the mother who had been taken from her two months earlier at the border. [WaPo]

A Boyd County Circuit Court judge recommended a grand jury investigation Friday after the Boyd County Detention Center failed to notify local or state law enforcement after mistakenly releasing an inmate last week who displayed “extreme indifference to the value of human life,” according to the inmate’s indictment. [H-L]

Anti-American idiocy is at the highest level in decades. Donald Trump on Tuesday once again threw cold water on NATO, an intergovernmental military alliance between the U.S. and 28 other countries. [HuffPo]

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The KDP Is Ignoring Paul & Massie

If Kentucky’s most important newspaper can get this right, surely the Kentucky Democratic Party can get its ass in gear. Surely. Right? Okay, so let’s not hold our breath. The KDP won’t ever attempt to hold Rand Paul or Thomas Massie accountable. [H-L]

It’s called treason. Not only do congressional Republicans seem unwilling to criticize Donald Trump for sucking up to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, but some said they don’t see any problem at all. [HuffPo]

Andrew Massie doesn’t hate Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The activist-turned-heckler just thinks the Republican leader shouldn’t get one moment’s peace in public. [C-J/AKN]

Nothing about this is normal or okay. Russia announced it was ready to pursue agreements reached by Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump “in the sphere of international security,” though the White House and Pentagon would not confirm any agreements had been made or offer any details. [CNN]

More than 60 percent of American children are enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services data. [Richmond Register]

Who lives in education deserts? More people than you think. Especially in Kentucky. [Chronicle of Higher Education]

The fate of a utility tax for Greenup County schools is in the hands of voters after the district’s board of education approved placing the issue on the November ballot Monday. [Ashland Independent]

The U.S. Justice Department asked a federal court on Wednesday to detain alleged Russian agent Maria Butina pending her trial, saying she poses a serious flight risk and will likely appeal to people in the Russian government to assist her in fleeing. [Reuters]

A three-foot bicycle passing law passed by the 2018 Kentucky Legislature took effect July 14. [The Morehead News]

Military spending is up but aerospace and defense workers are scarce. [NY Times]

Rand Paul is a traitor and the Kentucky Democratic Party is just twiddling its thumbs. [WFPL]

Oralia Mendoza’s fatal mistake, it seems, was sharing her worries via text message. [WaPo]

You know where you’d have learned this information a couple weeks ago? My Twitter feed. [H-L]

Over the course of four days in June, Keylin says, U.S. Border Patrol guards would kick her body to keep her awake throughout the night. The 16-year-old, whose last name was redacted from court documents, told a lawyer that she would lie in fear on the cement floor of the Border Patrol station in Texas, surrounded by chain-link fence. She was separated from her mother, who had been held at gunpoint three times in Honduras, after they crossed the U.S. border. [HuffPo]

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Another Bevin Administration Scandal

Lexington has been chosen as one of 10 places nationwide where federal authorities will take part in a special enforcement program aimed at curbing distribution of synthetic opioids, powerful painkilling drugs that have helped drive up overdose deaths in Kentucky. [H-L]

You don’t have to believe there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to see this clearly: When Vladimir Putin and his top military intelligence officers facilitated the hacking of the computer systems of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, they engaged in an act of war against the United States. [HuffPo]

The state’s former top social services official says a colleague sexually harassed her and she was discriminated against at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, allegations the cabinet says are unsubstantiated. Adria Johnson, who resigned June 4, made the allegations in her resignation letter and a subsequent June 11 letter from her lawyer, Thomas Clay, according to copies of the documents the Courier Journal obtained through an open records request. [C-J/AKN]

Shortly before Donald Trump detonated a NATO summit, shanked the beleaguered British prime minister and prepped for a face-to-face love session with Vladimir Putin, his White House quietly divested itself of a senior official hawkish on Russia and bullish on the transatlantic military alliance. [TDB]

For 10 years, Liberty Place has been a beacon in the night for many women who have faced drug or alcohol addiction. [Richmond Register]

Long-struggling U.S. gambling industries hope to cash in on newly legal sports betting, but the growing wave of electronic and mobile gaming choices is considered more likely to change the face of those businesses rather than revive them. [Reuters]

A proposed doubling of the payroll tax in Raceland has staffers in the Raceland-Worthington School District up in arms, but city officials say there is no other way to get money it needs to pay bills. Teachers, administrators and support workers in the school district dispute the fairness of the tax because many don’t live in the city and they believe Raceland is using them as a cash cow. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump pardoned two Oregon ranchers Tuesday, firing a new salvo in a complicated culture war previously marked by air-mailed sex toys, nuanced disputes over the management of public lands, and a police shootout that killed a would-be leader of a modern crackpot revolution. [ThinkProgress]

Morehead State University President Jay Morgan reported to the institution’s Board of Regents last month that he had to cut nearly $11 million in personnel costs to balance the budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year. [The Morehead News]

When President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia sits down with Donald Trump in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday for a meeting he has long wanted, he will already have accomplished virtually everything he could reasonably hope for. [NY Times]

Jimmy Tosh sells a lot of pigs. He is owner and CEO of Tosh Farms, Tosh Pork, and Bacon By Gosh, in Henry County, Tennessee, and has 84 contracted barns in the region where farmers grow pigs for his products. [WFPL]

Scott Pruitt was known inside the Environmental Protection Agency’s headquarters for sipping $10 organic juice infused with kale, sporting Ferragamo shoes with his Hickey Freeman suits, and making biblical references in texts and conversations with aides. [WaPo]

A judge has barred the removal of signs that KentuckyOne Health paid to have at Rupp Arena as the University of Kentucky’s marketing partner tries to kick the hospital company out. [H-L]

Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin were welcomed to Helsinki, Finland, with a potent message about the importance of press freedom ahead of their bilateral summit. [HuffPo]

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