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CHERRY ON TOP OF THE DAY: W. Keith Hall was convicted of bribing that mine inspector. He’ll be sentenced September 17. Faces a decade in prison. [Damn]

Former state Rep. W. Keith Hall, D-Phelps, took the witness stand Thursday in his bribery trial to acknowledge that he paid tens of thousands of dollars to the state inspector assigned to his Pike County coal mines. [H-L]

Love wins. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Friday that it is legal for all Americans, no matter their gender or sexual orientation, to marry the people they love. [HuffPo]

In a historic ruling reshaping the definition of the American family, the Supreme Court of the United States invalidated bans on same-sex marriage in Kentucky and other states, holding that gays and lesbians have the constitutional right to marry. [C-J/AKN]

When you flip on a light switch, odds are, you’re burning coal. But as the fracking boom continues to unleash huge quantities of natural gas, the nation’s electric grid is changing. [NPR]

The Boyd County Fiscal Court voted last week to file the audit for the previous fiscal year, which suggested problems with the body’s efforts to be transparent and organized. [Ashland Independent]

Republican presidential contenders face a dilemma when talking about racial issues after last week’s racially motivated murders at a South Carolina church, as a new poll shows many Republican primary voters are less likely to see the topic as important. [Reuters]

The Industrial Development Economic Authority board approved in a special-called meeting to create a new budget category and more money for park work in the city and the county. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Racehorses are continuing to get quicker, a study of winning times spanning 165 years of racing indicates. [BBC]

The Morehead-Rowan County Chamber of Commerce recognized Dr. Ewell Scott with this year’s Ora L. Cline Award, its highest honor. [The Morehead News]

The Federal Election Commission should just do its job already. [Mother Jones]

After struggling for years with a billing system that was created in the 1980s, the City of Hazard is finally moving toward a 21st Century way of billing its utility customers. [Hazard Herald]

In the 14 years since Al Qaeda carried out attacks on New York and the Pentagon, extremists have regularly executed smaller lethal assaults in the United States, explaining their motives in online manifestoes or social media rants. But the breakdown of extremist ideologies behind those attacks may come as a surprise. [NY Times]

Federal authorities are investigating controversial Floyd County attorney Eric C. Conn, according to an attorney familiar with the situation. [H-L]

Searches for “gun shop” are usually more popular than “gun control,” according to data Google Trends averaged from the past year. But in the 72 hours following the Charleston shooting, “gun control” was the more popular search term in 45 states. Only South Dakota, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and North Carolina saw more queries for “gun shop.” [HuffPo]

Fun thing: Attorneys can finally focus on making this thing happen again. Give us all your money so I can stop working 18 hours per day sometime in the future. [Just Do It]

SCOTUS Says Millions Keep Health Care

Pope Francis’ call for urgent action to combat climate change isn’t having much influence on members of Congress from the coal state of Kentucky, who are working this week to block the centerpiece of the president’s agenda to limit the greenhouse gases that are warming the planet. [H-L]

The latest and possibly the last serious effort to cripple Obamacare through the courts has just failed. On Thursday, for the second time in three years, the Supreme Court rejected a major lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act — thereby preserving the largest expansion in health coverage since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid half a century ago. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin used $800,000 more of his own money to fuel his successful stretch run in the Republican primary for governor. [C-J/AKN]

Britain has carried out drone strikes only in war zones in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The documents raise the possibility that in addition, British intelligence may have helped guide American strikes outside conventional war zones. [NY Times]

Members of the Harlan Independent Board of Education voted to partner with UNITE and AmeriCorps in the creation of a position for what will be equivalent to a “teacher’s aide” at a recent meeting. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

President Obama hosts two active duty trans servicemembers at the White House as pressure grows to let them serve openly. [Politico]

Operating costs of the Madison County Detention Center for the fiscal year ending June 30, exceeded its budget by about $500,000. [Richmond Register]

U.S. President Barack Obama reaffirmed in a phone call with his French counterpart Francois Hollande on Wednesday Washington’s commitment to end spying practices deemed “unacceptable” by its allies. [Reuters]

Carter County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Gera Ferguson, announced that the nomination period for local FSA county committees began on June 15, 2015. [Ashland Independent]

The U.S. military acknowledges the negative health effects of Agent Orange on Vietnam veterans — but what about their children? [ProPublica]

The Industrial Development Economic Authority board approved in a special-called meeting to create a new budget category and more money for park work in the city and the county. Executive Director Dan Iacconi proposed Tuesday to the IDEA board for Glasgow-Barren County to create a category in the operating fund titled drainage and erosion control related to Highland Glen Industrial Park. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Acting on climate change will have major economic, environmental, and health benefits, according to a report released Monday by the Environmental Protection Agency. [ThinkProgress]

Caitlyn Jenner’s presence on the glossy cover of the July issue of Vanity Fair magazine incited a powerful moment of visibility for the transgender community, including the one in Lexington. [H-L]

Medical marijuana has not been proven to work for many illnesses that state laws have approved it for, according to the first comprehensive analysis of research on its potential benefits. [HuffPo]

May Jobless Rate Down In 119 Counties

The Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet this morning announced that jobless rates are down in all but one county in Kentucky. Russell County’s the only one with an increase.

Lowest:

  • Woodford — 3.8%
  • Fayette & Oldham — 4%
  • Owen & Shelby — 4.1%
  • Boone & Scott — 4.2%
  • Anderson, Campbell, Jessamine & Spencer — 4.3%

Highest:

  • Magoffin — 12.7%
  • Harlan — 11.1%
  • Leslie & Letcher — 10.3%
  • Russell — 9.7%
  • Clay — 9.5%
  • Knott — 9.3%
  • Breathitt — 9.2%
  • Elliott & Wolfe — 9.1%

Click here (Warning: PDF Link) to review the labor force estimates for yourself.

Remember, these are estimates and almost always end up changing. People who have stopped looking for work or are no longer on unemployment rolls aren’t really taken into consideration.

Don’t Forget Who Wrote Rand’s Book

Fayette County Public Schools superintendent candidate Emmanuel “Manny” Caulk said he would bring the skill set of a CEO to the district. [H-L]

Millions of people gained health insurance last year as Affordable Care Act benefits took effect, according to the first official accounting by the federal government. [HuffPo]

Rand Paul called for removal of the confederate flag but he still had a racist, confederate flag-wearing wingnut write one of his books. [C-J/AKN]

Ban gifts and pay trustees? From May 3 to May 7 of this year, hundreds of pension trustees from around the nation gathered at the National Conference of Public Employee Retirement Systems’ annual conference in New Orleans. The gathering, billed as educational, also featured representatives of dozens of financial firms eager to expand their business. [International Business Times]

Trial has begun for a former state lawmaker accused of secretly paying tens of thousands of dollars to a mine inspector in 2009 and 2010 “so he could have that inspector in his back pocket if he needed it,” according to a federal prosecutor. [Ashland Independent]

More Americans are renting — and paying more — as homeownership falls. [NY Times]

The Glasgow Police Department was recently awarded a $3,000 matching grant through the Kentucky League of Cities and purchased several pieces of equipment with it. [Glasgow Daily Times]

An overwhelming majority of Americans say they believe protests against unfair government treatment make the United States a better country. Unless, that is, the protesters are black. [WaPo]

Supporters of a new law that will expand the use of ignition interlocks say it will save lives. [WAVE3]

The Ebola epidemic in Guinea that began early last year has set back the country’s fight against malaria, say experts. [BBC]

Kentucky State Police Post 8 Morehead is conducting a felony investigation in the Clearfield area of Rowan County and is requesting the public’s assistance. [The Morehead News]

Global equity markets and the dollar slipped on Wednesday as skittish investors sought the safety of less risky assets as the possibility of a Greek debt default loomed a little bit larger. [Reuters]

The Urban County Council voted unanimously Tuesday to move forward with the purchase of body cameras for Lexington police officers. A final vote on the $600,000 allocation is expect in a couple of weeks. [H-L]

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi waved the white flag on Wednesday, telling her caucus she would support passage of a key measure tethered to President Barack Obama’s broader trade agenda. Her support all but guarantees that the measure will succeed, thereby handing Obama a major victory on trade. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin Sure Is A Big (Sad?) Mess

Kentucky Republican gubernatorial nominee Matt Bevin voted for a presidential candidate in 2004 who defended the Confederate flag, enjoyed the support of a racist group and was later labeled an “active white supremacist.” [H-L]

White Christians in the South didn’t just support slavery — the Southern church was the backbone of the Confederacy and its attempts to keep African Americans in bondage. [HuffPo]

The Courier-Journal is asking Franklin Circuit Court judges to unseal records filed in two cases related to a Central Kentucky bourbon and steroid organized crime ring. [C-J/AKN]

In these final days of the U.S. Supreme Court’s annual session, people can get the justices’ decisions through the court’s website, its paper handouts, or, if in the courtroom itself, with a suspenseful tale. [Reuters]

Facing an exodus of engineers to private firms, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is giving some employees a pay raise in hopes of keeping them in state government. [WDRB]

Medicare has increased oversight of its prescription drug program but many holes remain, allowing fraud and abuse to proliferate. Questionable practices were found at 1,400 pharmacies, which collectively billed Medicare $2.3 billion in 2014. [ProPublica]

Sheriff’s deputies in Breathitt county say they’ve heard of several people going to the hospital after using meth that had been cooked with bath salts. [WKYT]

A federal judge ruled that an unemployed woman whose income is only about $10,000 a year doesn’t qualify for cancellation of $37,000 in student loan debt because she doesn’t meet the test of “undue hardship” and didn’t make a “good faith attempt” to repay her loans. [ThinkProgress]

They won’t spill the beans, so it’s gotta be a huge wad of cash. A settlement has been reached in the sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuits filed by Statehouse staffers against the Legislative Research Commission and current and former lawmakers. [WFPL]

Critics of the Environmental Protection Agency’s climate change agenda should brace themselves — the Obama administration isn’t letting up. [Politico]

You probably know that Louisville-based Humana Inc. is an acquisition target. Late last week, it was reported that Aetna Inc. has made an offer on the company. [Business First]

Kyle Rogers has worked for years to broadcast a disturbing message about race relations. He may have had a reader, Dylann Roof, who took his lessons to a grim conclusion. [BBC]

Maybe law enforcement in Jessamine County would be able to prevent things like this if it weren’t so focused on being awful? [H-L]

The White House took a major step forward on Monday to support research into the medical properties of marijuana, lifting a much-maligned bureaucratic requirement that had long stifled scientific research. [HuffPo]

Trickle-Down Economics. Who Knew???

Kentucky GOP gubernatorial hopeful Matt Bevin wants his state to remove a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis from its statehouse. [The Hill]

More than 90 cases involving possible child abuse or neglect in Northern Kentucky have been lost, with some languishing for months before being recently discovered, state social service officials said. [H-L]

Really, the stupid is thing with these presidential candidates. Huckabee refused to take a real position on the confederate flag. Probably because he has quite a history of palling around with racist organizations. [HuffPo & TDB]

How much should you worry when your young athlete gets headaches? Dr. Tad Seifert, a neurologist for Norton Healthcare, hoped to help answer that question through a recent study. [C-J/AKN]

The International Monetary Fund says trickle-down economics don’t work. The lending group usually known for its pro-market stance is realizing that growing income inequality can actually undermine an economy. [Fast Company]

Matt Bevin, the upset winner of the Republican gubernatorial primary, said at the statewide Lincoln Day Dinner on May 30 that he had reached out to Republican state lawmakers in an effort to get the party solidly behind his fall campaign against Democrat Jack Conway. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Earth has entered a “new period of extinction”, a study by three US universities concludes, and humans could be among the first casualties. [BBC]

Before stopping at 761.12 feet above sea level, Cave Run Lake took in a record amount of runoff water this spring. By the first week of June, however, the lake reached its ideal summer pool level, thanks to the efforts of Anthony Orr, natural resources project manager for the Army Corps of Engineers. [The Morehead News]

During the school year, over 21 million children receive free and reduced-price breakfast and lunch each day through the USDA’s National School Lunch Program. But, when school is out, many children who rely on these meals go hungry. The challenge is particularly great in rural areas and Indian Country, where 15 percent of households are food insecure. In these areas, children and teens often live long distances from designated summer meal sites and lack access to public transportation. [White House]

A new lawsuit filed in Floyd Circuit Court this week has shed more light on the tragic events surrounding a former Eric C. Conn client who committed suicide in depression over losing his Social Security disability benefits. [Hazard Herald]

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday in favor of husband-and-wife farmers in California who had been left with nothing but sour grapes by a Depression-era federal program requiring raisin producers to put aside some of their crop without guaranteed compensation. [Reuters]

An issue of who is responsible for collecting restaurant taxes due the city came up in a recent meeting of the Cumberland Tourist Commission meeting. Chair Cleon Cornett said he feels it is “the city’s sole responsibility to initiate efforts to collect restaurant tax.” [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

The Council of Conservative Citizens, an organization with white supremacist leanings, has issued a statement defending the “legitimate grievances” expressed by Charleston shooting suspect Dylann Roof. [Mother Jones]

Health officials in Louisville say 57 intravenous drug users visited the city’s needle exchange program during its first week of operation. [H-L]

A substantial share of America’s youth remains economically disconnected, even as the economy continues to recover. [HuffPo]