Afghanistan Sure Is A Terrible Mess

Kentucky’s Republican voters narrowly chose Ryan Quarles to represent the GOP in the race for commissioner of agriculture in a down-to-the-wire finish Tuesday night. [H-L]

A faction of Republicans in the House of Representatives wants to stop poor people from buying junk food with food stamps. [HuffPo]

During the recent Kentucky shoot for “Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking,” there was no “Cutthroat Kitchen,” and nobody got “Chopped.” Rather, two local chefs wandered among buffalo grazing in Goshen, grilled bison brisket, bison skirt steak and fresh asparagus under tents at a Finchville farm, and relished the scent of slow-fermenting bourbon at Woodford Reserve distillery in Versailles. [C-J/AKN]

The third of four key U.S. congressional committees on Tuesday approved funding for 12 additional Boeing Co fighter jets in fiscal 2016, increasing the prospects that the company will keep its St. Louis production line running past the end of 2017. [Reuters]

The evening started with a rainbow that arced perfectly behind the commencement stage. And it ended with a fireworks display in the Friday night sky above Richmond. [Richmond Register]

This is a story about how the U.S. military built a lavish headquarters in Afghanistan that wasn’t needed, wasn’t wanted and wasn’t ever used—at a cost to American taxpayers of at least $25 million. [ProPublica]

Fairview school superintendent Bill Musick violated and impeded state education law by allowing non-teachers to teach students, interfering in hiring, withholding staffing allocations, transferring employees without posting vacancies and allowing two administrators to perform duties for which they were not certified, according to a report by the state Office of Education Accountability. [Ashland Independent]

The phrase “Aids epidemic” awakens distant memories in most of Europe, Australia or the Americas, where infection rates have generally been in decline for years. But as former UK Health Secretary Lord Fowler explains, the phrase is not used in Russia either – despite failed policies that have allowed infection rates to soar. [BBC]

Effective Monday, Glasgow Police Sgt. Bradley Lewis was placed on administrative leave with pay, according to a Glasgow Police Department press release. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A new survey of financial professionals tends to confirm the widely held belief that the financial industry has an ethics problem. [NPR]

Negative impacts of development have significantly impaired water quality and stream bank stability in the Triplett Creek watershed. [The Morehead News]

The White House has released its rural child poverty report. [External PDF Link]

Building and maintaining a linear park through downtown Lexington could cost upwards of $75 million, city officials told the Urban County Council on Tuesday. [H-L]

Throngs of students hit the streets of San Juan, Puerto Rico, last week to protest Gov. Alejandro García Padilla’s proposal to cut some $166 million from the budget for the island’s public university system — roughly one-fifth of the system’s total funds. [HuffPo]

Commonwealth’s Nightmare Finally Ends

A fatal accident at a Union County coal mine last December happened because the mine operator did not have effective safeguards to keep workers from being hit by moving equipment, federal regulators have concluded. [H-L]

Lorca Henley of Bowling Green, Ohio, said her family’s dinners on different nights this week included taco salads, tuna casserole with mashed potatoes, spaghetti with meat sauce and hamburgers they fried on the stove because they were out of propane. [HuffPo]

A man says in a lawsuit that Norton Healthcare lost a piece of his brain. [C-J/AKN]

The place where you grow up doesn’t affect only your future income, as we wrote about last week. It also affects your odds of marrying, a large new data set shows. [NY Times]

In the midst of the celebration surrounding Governor Steve Beshear’s visit to Hazard on Tuesday, another, less cheerful, story was bubbling in the downtown community. This time, though, it did not have anything to do with the usual negative news suspects—drugs or poverty—but concerned the well-being and seemingly unnecessary removal of some of the only greenery on Main Street. [Hazard Herald]

The U.N. Human Rights Council adopted a scathing report consisting of 348 recommendations that address myriad human rights violations in the United States. [ACLU]

Remodeling projects for Foley Middle School and Silver Creek Elementary received bids from only one company, at more than $1.5 million higher than estimates for each project. [Richmond Register]

Seymour Hersh found himself in the middle of an F-5 shitstorm this week after breaking his biggest blockbuster story of the Obama Era, debunking the official heroic White House story about how Navy SEALs took out Osama Bin Laden in a daring, secret nighttime raid in the heart of Pakistan. [Click the Clicky]

The man who was with the Duct Tape Bandit when he beat up and robbed an Ashland businessman is no longer facing a robbery charge, according to a court official. [Ashland Independent]

Will this ever happen in Kentucky? Nebraska lawmakers moved legislation to repeal the state’s death penalty one step from final approval on Friday, one day after the governor, a death penalty supporter, said the state was acquiring more drugs to carry out lethal injections. [Reuters]

A number of Morehead citizens showed up at Monday’s City Council meeting to voice concerns about potential plans for about 100 acres of wooded land recently purchased near the end of Knapp Avenue. [The Morehead News]

It turns out that one of the Grand Old Party’s biggest—and least discussed—challenges going into 2016 is lying in plain sight, written right into the party’s own nickname. The Republican Party voter is old—and getting older, and as the adage goes, there are two certainties in life: Death and taxes. Right now, both are enemies of the GOP and they might want to worry more about the former than the latter. [Politico]

A Lawrence County school bus full of students on their way to school started on fire Friday, authorities said. [H-L]

Students in Puerto Rico launched mass protests this week against the governor’s attempt to slash some $166 million from the University of Puerto Rico’s budget. That’s about one-fifth of the funding for the island’s main public university system. [HuffPo]

Student Loan Servicing Is A Mess

Here’s another Louisville/Kentucky movie to get excited about. [Variety]



William Hilton Paul, son of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., pleaded guilty Tuesday to driving under the influence in Lexington. [H-L]

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Thursday launched a broad review of the often murky business of student loan servicing, questioning whether the roughly 40 million Americans with student debt are being treated fairly under a patchwork of rules and market forces that could leave them vulnerable to abuse. [HuffPo]

Many small towns in Appalachian Kentucky look a lot like Austin, Ind.; a picture of rural America with its shop-lined Main Street and stubble-filled cornfields — and the unlikely epicenter of the largest HIV outbreak in Indiana’s history. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. retail sales were flat in April as households cut back on purchases of automobiles and other big-ticket items, the latest sign the economy was struggling to rebound strongly after barely growing in the first quarter. [Reuters]

The Kentucky Association of Counties (KACo) is adding cyber liability to its insurance coverage provided to member counties beginning July 1. [Ashland Independent]

What happens when you’ve been kicking the fiscal can down the road for years, but the road suddenly hits a dead end? That’s what Chicago – and the state of Illinois – are about to find out. [ProPublica]

A differing of understandings of which classification the Glasgow Municipal Airport has in regard to the volume and type of its traffic was the focus of a discussion that took at least 90 minutes Monday at a meeting of the airport’s board of directors. [Glasgow Daily Times]

There are 19 Republicans seriously considering launching campaigns for president, and 10 numbers on a phone. That causes a big problem for pollsters using automated polling technology, one of the most common forms of public polling. [Politico]

Louisville Metro Police officers in the Fifth Division will begin wearing body cameras in June. [WFPL]

A former chief justice from Georgia decried capital punishment Tuesday, dubbing it “morally indefensible” and void of business sense. [Think Progress]

Kentucky’s highest court says a fraternity house should be considered a private residence in a search-and-seizure case stemming from a college student’s drug conviction after police found marijuana in his room. [WKYT]

The global pharmaceutical industry is being called on to pay for a $2bn innovation fund to revitalise research into antibiotics. [BBC]

Federal prosecutors are opposing former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship’s request to go home to Las Vegas for Memorial Day. [H-L]

Asking the Department of Defense to consider allowing young undocumented immigrants to enlist proved a bridge too far Thursday in the Republican-led House of Representatives. [HuffPo]

Jamie Comer Still Clinging To Life

The four Republican candidates for governor bad-mouthed one another in the early minutes of Monday night’s debate, then tried to move past the controversy that has enveloped the race for the past two weeks. What planet is Matt Bevin on? The race has been nasty for a year. [H-L]

Doctors performing late-term abortions would be required to take steps to give the fetus the best chance of survival, according to a Republican bill the House plans to debate this week. [HuffPo]

Terry Stephens, the Russell Springs businessman who spent $5 million on an unsuccessful independent campaign to elect Republican David Williams governor in 2011, has contributed another $100,000 to an independent effort to help James Comer win Tuesday’s Republican primary for governor. [C-J/AKN]

Wall Street is worried that Sen. Bernie Sanders’s vigorous calls for banking industry reform will pull Hillary Clinton to the left, as the two presidential candidates battle for the 2016 Democratic nomination. [The Hill]

Bon Secours Kentucky Health System CEO Kevin Halter has been elected and installed as chairman of the Kentucky Hospital Association’s board of Trustees for the association’s 2015-16 year. [Ashland Independent]

The United States has released $35.5 million to help communities hit hard by the decline in coal mining to diversify their economies and retrain displaced miners, U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said on Monday. [Reuters]

After resuming its open meeting on Monday night following a closed session to discuss the future acquisition or sale of real property, Cave City Mayor Dwayne Hatcher asked the city council for permission to proceed with negotiations with “industrial work” up to $40,000. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Researchers in the US have revealed a secret of the success of invasive fire ants – they can excavate any type of soil. Three-dimensional scanning revealed that the insects were able to build their complex nests regardless of the size of grains they needed to move. [BBC]

Community Farm Alliance and the Eastern Kentucky Food Systems Collaborative are accepting submissions for a local food guide to highlight eastern Kentucky restaurants, farmers markets, CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture), and agri-tourism events. Owners and patrons are invited to submit their local food business to the guide via an online survey. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

The House Appropriations Committee found itself at ground zero in the budget wars Wednesday, as Republicans proposed new cuts from legal services for the poor even as outside events forced more second guessing about reductions in transportation and housing programs. [Politico]

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced an award of nearly $7.5 million in National Emergency Grant funds to the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP) to provide training and employment services to help out-of-work Eastern Kentuckians affected by the region’s economic struggles retrain and return to the workforce. [Hazard Herald]

Cesar Vargas has a resume most young Americans would envy. He graduated from a Brooklyn high school that counts Sens. Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders among its alumni. He made honors in both college and law school. But because he was brought to the United States from Mexico illegally when he was 5 years old, he can’t fulfill one of his dreams: joining the armed forces. [NPR]

Jim Ratliff is a glimmer of what could be possible to diversify jobs in Eastern Kentucky, a region hurt by a sharp downturn in the coal industry that long underpinned the economy. [H-L]

The Obama administration on Monday granted conditional approval to Shell to begin exploratory drilling in the Arctic, which the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said would be “subject to rigorous safety standards.” [HuffPo]