Louisville: Murder Murder Murder Murder

When Gloria Maldonado was still at Bryan Station High School, she remembers college reps coming to talk about the University of Kentucky. The first in her family to plan to go to college, “I didn’t even know what an alumni was,” she recalled. [H-L]

The Chinese yuan will join a basket of the world’s leading currencies, the International Monetary Fund announced Monday. [HuffPo]

There have been 76 homicides in Jefferson County in 2015. Five of them occurred within the week of Thanksgiving. [C-J/AKN]

Republican presidential candidate and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore says his opponent Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is “really not a factor.” [BuzzFeed]

World-renowned chemist and professor Daniel Nocera, the Patterson Rookwood Professor of Energy at Harvard University, has won the 2015 Leigh Ann Conn Prize for Renewable Energy from the University of Louisville, which recognizes outstanding renewable energy ideas and achievements with proven global impact. [Hazard Herald]

The presidential campaign is reigniting the battle over importing prescription drugs from Canada, with all of the leading Democratic candidates endorsing the idea. [The Hill]

It’s the time of year we set aside to be thankful, to ponder our blessings and good fortune, the love of family and, for many, their faith. [Ronnie Ellis]

In response to a ProPublica and NPR investigation, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators said it will look into an effort by some of the biggest names in corporate America to opt out of workers’ comp. [ProPublica]

Director of Grow Appalachia David Cook said his organization is trying desperately to work themselves out of their jobs. “It’s funny to say, but it is very true,” Cook chuckled. “We want to try and make it where we aren’t needed anymore.” [Richmond Register]

Climate change is expected to increase the frequency of extreme weather events around the world. One US group has given the 50 states a report card, ranking the risk of potential disasters and long-term dangerous changes. [BBC]

During a meeting of the Fiscal Court on Tuesday, Harlan Count Judge-Executive Dan Mosley informed a group of dissatisfied customers the cable provider Zito Media will no longer be supplying services to Harlan County. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

The number of deportations has fallen nationwide over the past year, following Obama’s announcement of a new immigration enforcement initiative that instructs the Department of Homeland Security to go after “felons, not families.” [ThinkProgress]

Old houses often get remodeled and added onto over the years to meet the needs and reflect the tastes of successive owners. But few have the kind of split personality you find at Burford Hill. [H-L]

Turd Cruz (R-Texas) downplayed the role anti-abortion rhetoric may have played in the fatal shooting of three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado and suggested the suspect was a “transgendered leftist activist” at a campaign stop in Iowa on Sunday. Because of course he did. [HuffPo]

Month Of No Work Begins For Everyone

The Islamic Center of Lexington contacted Lexington police and federal Homeland Security Friday morning after receiving an email threat, its imam Mahmoud Shalash said. [H-L]

A gunman opened fire in a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Friday, the latest in a string of attacks at the health care provider’s clinics this year. [HuffPo]

A lawyer for six women who have sued Katina Powell and her publisher for mentioning or picturing them in her book says none are prostitutes or strippers, although two are identified by their stage names. [C-J/AKN]

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) says he will file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) presidential bid if Cruz wins his party’s nomination. Grayson said Cruz, who was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father, is “unqualified” to be president “because he’s ineligible.” [The Hill]

Kentucky has the third highest rate of female incarceration in the world, imprisoning women nearly twice the rate of Thailand — the highest rated country in the world — and nearly twice the national average, according to a new report released by the non-profit group Prison Policy Initiative. [Richmond Register]

Expressing what has become regularly repeated frustration on the issue, President Barack Obama said on Saturday the United States needs to “do something” to make it harder for criminals to get guns after a shooting in Colorado killed three people and injured nine. [Reuters]

Morehead State University capped off a week of celebrating international scholarship with a performance banquet at the Adron Doran University Center on Thursday. [Ashland Independent]

A group of white supremacists opened fire on an encampment of Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis on Monday night, according to witnesses. Five protesters were shot and sustained injuries. [ThinkProgress]

The next year is going to bring an entirely new rate structure for the Glasgow Electric Plant Board’s electricity customers, and the city-owned utility has put the word out multiple ways to inform people about it. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The fate of much of President Barack Obama’s legacy on immigration could hang on whether the Supreme Court grants a seemingly mundane and routinely granted request for a 30-day extension of a filing deadline. [Politico]

Rowan Fiscal Court and Morehead State University are almost a quarter million dollars apart on a purchase price for the Rowan County Detention Center. That’s according to two independent appraisals. [The Morehead News]

A Muslim ex-Marine took a bold stance by posting his ID card on Twitter. He tells BBC Trending what happened next. [BBC]

The University of Kentucky has covered up a controversial mural, but officials say that the cover is temporary until a better resolution can be found. [H-L]

Republican presidential hopefuls were noticeably silent about a fatal shooting that took place at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs. [HuffPo]

Beshear Leaves Tainted EPSB Legacy

Remember Laura Lee Schneider of the Education Professional Standards Board?


Read all about her by clicking here.

Steve Beshear, as he leaves office, has reappointed her to serve a term that lasts until September 18, 2019.

So if you ever thought the man cared about educational accountability? Now you know you were sorely mistaken. Because she’s one of the folks who has consistently worked to drag EPSB into the pits of bureaucratic oblivion. As have all members of the EPSB the past few years.

He also appointed three new members of the board. From a release from the governor’s office:

  • Sarah Marie Thompson, of Paducah, representing elementary school teachers. She replaces Brandy L. Beardsley, whose term has expired. Thompson shall serve for a term expiring Sept. 18, 2019.
  • Esther K. Fatsy, of Cincinnati, representing secondary school teachers. She replaces Marie R. McMillen, whose term has expired. Fatsy shall serve for a term expiring Sept. 18, 2019.
  • Ann Marie Morgan, of Owenton, represents elementary school teachers. She replaces Barbara Ann Boyd, who resigned. Morgan shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term ending June 7, 2016.

So that should be fun.

If Matt Bevin is worth the air he breathes, he’ll have his team figure out a way to wipe everyone out and start over.

Of Course Racism Is A Big Problem

In 2006, senators of the University of Kentucky’s student government passed a resolution to remove a mural in Memorial Hall that showed scenes of state history, including black workers in a tobacco field, black musicians playing for white dancers, and a Native American with a tomahawk. They told then-President Lee Todd that it was degrading to ethnic and racial groups. [H-L]

More than half of Americans know someone who has abused prescription painkillers or died from an overdose, or has taken these medications themselves to get high, as the opioid epidemic continues to spread, according to a new poll. [HuffPo]

The chief justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court has delayed until next week his decision on whether to remove Jefferson Circuit Judge Olu Stevens from all criminal cases. [C-J/AKN]

Six decades after the Brown v. Board of Education decision that determined that segregating white and black children is unconstitutional, American schools are drifting back toward racial segregation. [ThinkProgress]

With most of its Phase 1 expansion plans complete, the soon to be renamed Madison Airport board unveiled its Phase 2 plans Monday, including a new terminal building. [Richmond Register]

The state of Arkansas must record the names of both partners in a same-sex marriage on the birth certificates of their children, a judge ruled on Monday. [Reuters]

Drugs and addiction in the workplace are common in this area, Mike Wirzfeld, an occupational-medicine administrator at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital told members of the Rotary Club of Ashland during a meetin Monday. [Ashland Independent]

Veteran European law enforcement officials, one of them Muslim, reflect on the roots of the Paris attacks, the tense aftermath and the debate about the effectiveness of counterterror forces. [ProPublica]

Oh, look, teevee lady has done another “investigation” that’s been done countless times. This time it’s a look at special deputies in Kentucky — something she learned about on Page One, according to her colleagues. Seems there’s a bunch of bad blood among those at WKYT. [WKYT]

About half of Americans, 49 percent, say that racism is “a big problem,” according to a new national poll conducted by CNN and the Kaiser Family Foundation. [The Hill]

The Tri-Cities was awarded the designation of Kentucky Trail Town at a ceremony held at the Betty Howard Memorial Coal Miner’s Theater in Benham on Monday. The designation is the culmination of several years of work on the part of the cities of Benham, Lynch and Cumberland. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

NPR’s Rachel Martin speaks with Anne Richard, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, about the screening process refugees go through before entering the United States. [NPR]

Students and citizens lined Chestnut Street on Monday to affirm their unity in the wake of racial and homophobic slurs and harassment directed toward Berea College students during homecoming weekend this month. [H-L]

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Schools, Money & Trump Racism Fun

The Fayette County school board voted Monday to hire national auditors to review school district operations at the request of Superintendent Manny Caulk. [H-L]

Here’s one more indication that American teachers work really, really hard — and don’t make nearly enough. An analysis released Tuesday by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development looks at the state of education around the world, examining everything from intergenerational mobility in education to graduation rates to teacher pay. [HuffPo]

While Kentucky’s two U.S. senators are trying to throw a political wrench into a major world summit on climate change, at least several of the state’s residents plan to carry messages of cooperation and environmental protection to the gathering in France. [C-J/AKN]

Allegations are mounting that senior intelligence officials at Central Command not only skewed findings on the ISIS war to please D.C., but tried to hide what they did. [TDB]

The waiting game continues after four full days of deliberation, as jurors have yet to reach a verdict in the criminal trial of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship. [Richmond Register]

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is not backing down from his claim that “thousands of people” in Arab communities in New Jersey were cheering on 9/11. Trump defended himself by telling an NBC News reporter that he has “the world’s greatest memory” and everybody knows that. [The Hill]

Rand Paul, R-Cookie Tree, said after a town hall at the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center he is in conversations with the CEO of AK Steel about how to keep hundreds of jobs at Ashland Works afloat. [Ashland Independent]

PEE ALERT! Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s campaign warned the party on Tuesday about donors pooling funds for attack ads, saying the party must treat him fairly to keep him from launching an independent bid. [Reuters]

Keeping public money in public schools is one of five priorities of Kentucky school district superintendents, according to a report C.D. Morton presented Thursday during a meeting of the Harlan Independent Board of Education. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Current and former government officials have been pointing to the terror attacks in Paris as justification for mass surveillance programs. CIA Director John Brennan accused privacy advocates of “hand-wringing” that has made “our ability collectively internationally to find these terrorists much more challenging.” Former National Security Agency and CIA director Michael Hayden said, “In the wake of Paris, a big stack of metadata doesn’t seem to be the scariest thing in the room.” [ProPublica]

A chair commemorating military service members who have been prisoners of war, missing in action or killed in action was officially dedicated to become part of Glasgow City Council’s chambers in Glasgow City Hall on Monday evening. [Glasgow Daily Times]

America has just lived through another presidential campaign week dominated by Donald Trump’s racist lies. Here’s a partial list of false statements: The United States is about to take in 250,000 Syrian refugees; African-Americans are responsible for most white homicides; and during the 9/11 attacks, “thousands and thousands” of people in an unnamed “Arab” community in New Jersey “were cheering as that building was coming down.” [NY Times]

A federal judge has denied a request to block hearings on whether hundreds of Eastern Kentucky residents will keep federal disability benefits. [H-L]

Triatomine bugs, known more commonly as “kissing bugs,” have been found in North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The bug is native to the southern United States, South America, Central America and Mexico, and can carry a parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi that causes the potentially deadly Chagas disease. [HuffPo]

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Poor Kentuckians Will Suffer Under Bevin

Fayette County School District officials say they have found the student responsible for a graffiti threat left in a bathroom at Edythe J. Hayes Middle School. [H-L]

One Middle East catastrophe apparently wasn’t enough for some supporters of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. So they’ve continued to try to shape policy relating to the region, offering punditry in the wake of each fresh crisis. [HuffPo]

Traveling around rural Clay County, Jennifer Gates seeks out people in need of health coverage. There are plenty of them. From the homeless veteran under a bridge to the low-paid school cafeteria cook, Gates helps them find health coverage through kynect, Kentucky’s version of the Affordable Care Act. [C-J/AKN]

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Sunday said Donald Trump’s claim that scores of Arab-Americans cheered as the Twin Towers fell on 9/11 is unsubstantiated. [The Hill]

Members of the Housing Authority of Glasgow’s board of directors were scheduled to approve flat rent increases for the 2016 fiscal year, but action on the issue was tabled, once again. [Glasgow Daily Times]

South America’s vast Amazon region harbors one of the world’s most diverse collection of tree species, but more than half may be at risk for extinction due to ongoing deforestation to clear land for farming, ranching and other purposes, scientists say. [Reuters]

For the 16th holiday season, a local musician is helping provide for those less fortunate. Eddie Riffe organized his first food drive in 1999, when he asked those who visited the AMVETS in Ashland to donate nonperishable foods when they came to hear him perform. [Ashland Independent]

Alberta’s carbon footprint, spurred on by the tar sands industry, has been steadily growing in recent years. So when the New Democratic Party took power in a surprise victory earlier this year, environmentalists hoped it signaled a turning point for Canada’s largest oil-producing province. [ThinkProgress]

Just a little over a year ago, it was “space and shelves,” but no food was stored there. Now, the Colonel’s Cupboard helps feed the one in five Eastern Kentucky University college students who admitted to food insecurity in a study conducted just last year. [Richmond Register]

The ex-GOP House Benghazi Committee investigator who accused the panel of conducting a partisan witch hunt against Hillary Clinton filed suit Monday against the committee and Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) for wrongful termination and defamation. [Politico]

Big news in the hometown of small-minded bigot Kim Davis. A tanker carrying powder used to make concrete overturned on I-64 in Rowan County Monday morning. [The Morehead News]

A US air strike aimed at an IS checkpoint is likely to have killed four civilians, possibly including a child, the US military has said. [BBC]

What the hell is in the water in Lexington to make everyone — from the people still bickering about the election to self-hating Jim Gray — so terrible lately? [H-L]

Donald Trump approves of the way his supporters responded to a Black Lives Matter protester, reportedly beating him during a Saturday rally in Birmingham, Alabama. [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) [Ting]

More MoCo/Powell/EPSB Update Stuff

An update on this issue:

The Education Professional Standards Board, which plans to make a decision about whether to take Joshua Powell’s certifications in early February, is fighting its first subpoena in ages (maybe ever). Specifically, the new EPSB leadership is fighting to keep a transcript of Powell’s 22-day hearing secret. Never mind that Joshua Powell has repeatedly said under oath that he made recordings of the proceedings and can’t guarantee that others haven’t heard them. You know he’s shared them with his attorneys. Their contents have already been used in public court filings and hearings involving school board members.

Back story: Michelle Goins-Henry, who testified during the EPSB hearing and who is suing Powell and the Montgomery County Board of Education, obtained a subpoena to receive the transcript. The EPSB’s executive director agreed to comply and went so far as to tell her attorney it was ready to be picked up (I have the emails, so… kinda can’t deny it). Then, bam, they’re fighting in court to keep it secret. Despite promises from Goins-Henry that she’d sign documents agreeing to keep it confidential.

There’s a hearing on the 24th to discuss it.

Spoiler alert for EPSB: that transcript has already been leaked. It was spread around after October 15, the date the finished document allegedly arrived at your office. Your claim that it could cause public uproar, potentially influencing EPSB members is dead in the water. All the claims and evidence raised during the hearing? Already public. Already written about here on Page One. And the hearing would have been open to the public had Powell not asked for it to be closed.

Earlier this morning a judge ruled in EPSB’s favor — the transcript of Joshua Powell’s transcript will not have to be turned over.

He bought into EPSB’s argument that everything gets leaked to the media, with EPSB citing emails that have been turned over. But here’s another spoiler alert: WE COULD OBTAIN THEM VIA OPEN RECORDS REQUEST! Because… wait for it… emails at EPSB are subject to open records laws.

But that’s no big deal. No one should panic.

Here’s why: The judge ordered EPSB to hand over the entire Powell transcript by February 26 and he set a date to make sure it happens.

What that means: EPSB likely plans to hold Powell accountable or it wouldn’t have agreed to hand everything over. That 22-day hearing will not remain secret, as Powell desires. Every last bit of those scandals discussed during the hearing will ultimately be public.

There are all kinds of things about the EPSB case that are interesting. Here’s one: the hearing officer, during testimony, discovered additional alleged law-breaking on Powell’s part and brought it up.

There’s a hearing in Powell’s case against the board scheduled for December 15.

A hearing in Amanda Reffit’s case against Powell and the board on January 22.

Michelle Henry’s case has a status hearing for April 22, pretrial conference on August 26 and jury trial on September 26.

Jennifer Hall’s case has a status hearing scheduled for March 25.

An EPSB staffer just sent us a file that’s several hundred megabytes in size. And nearly a month ago someone gave us two large boxes of paper.

Can you guess what both are?