Louisville’s Murder Rate Is Outta Control

A massive leak of documents has blown open a window on the vast, murky world of shell companies, providing an extraordinary look at how the wealthy and powerful conceal their money. [H-L]

Not quite the same situation in Louisville. New York City saw a significant drop in major crimes in the first quarter of 2016 with the fewest murders and shootings in its recorded history, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced during a Monday press conference. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin’s inaugural committee paid $52,251 in leftover expenses during the first three months of 2016 including a $6,812 payment for bells to a Bevin company, Bevin Bros. Manufacturing, of East Hampton, Conn. [C-J/AKN]

Three people who claim they were assaulted at a Donald Trump rally in Louisville, Kentucky, last month have filed a lawsuit against the Republican presidential candidate, saying he “incited a riot.” [Reuters]

Through cuts in staff, the 27-person crew for water distribution spends every day working on updating and repairing Ashland’s vital water lines. [Ashland Independent]

Some of the farmworkers who make it possible for U.S. consumers to have berries for breakfast are paid about $6 a day. Those farmworkers include children toiling for 12 hours a day at 85 percent the amount of money that adults get paid. Many farmworkers do not get lunch and rest breaks and are subjected to terrible housing conditions. [ThinkProgress]

The recent resignation of Cumberland Mayor Carolyn Elliott took many by surprise. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Democrats are perfectly happy praising Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland and hammering Senate Republicans for their obstruction. But that doesn’t mean they’re all ready to commit to voting for him. [Politico]

Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton’s life has always managed to surprise her. While she never expected to become the first African-American statewide office holder in Kentucky or spend 19 years in the corrugated package industry — there is one part of her life the 48-year-old said she “wouldn’t trade a second for” — the seven years she spent in the military as a computer systems officer in the United States Air Force. [Richmond Register]

Few people are thanking the president for low unemployment. Instead, many discouraged workers are attracted to Donald J. Trump’s economic message. [NY Times]

At a special meeting Monday, Rowan Fiscal Court had first reading to amend an ordinance to issue an additional $5.5 million in general obligation bonds for construction of the new Rowan County Detention Center. [The Morehead News]

Establishment Republicans can barely contain their excitement after the events of the last seven days. [WaPo]

Windstream announced Monday that it is launching one-gigabit Internet service in Lexington, as Windstream and Time Warner continue to battle for area customers. In a news release, Windstream said it was the first provider to bring the service to residential and small business customers in Fayette County. [H-L]

TusaRebecca Schap, a lead nutritionist at the USDA, composed a blog post that’s getting a bit of attention: It reminds us of a very simple metric that grades how healthily America eats. (It’s not much of a spoiler to say the answer is “not very.”) [HuffPo]

Doug Stafford Ruins Everything, Apparently

Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) officially filed for re-election and for president in his home state Monday, a move he insists does not undermine his faltering presidential campaign. [H-L]

World leaders are meeting in Paris this month in what amounts to a last-ditch effort to avert the worst ravages of climate change. Climatologists now say that the best case scenario — assuming immediate and dramatic emissions curbs — is that planetary surface temperatures will increase by at least 2 degrees Celsius in the coming decades. [HuffPo]

PEE ALERT! Louisville has a top-25 basketball team with a high ceiling, but the Cardinals aren’t ranked yet this season because of ongoing investigations into a book making major allegations against the program, coach Rick Pitino said. [C-J/AKN]

Doug Stafford, the chief strategist for Kentucky senator Rand Paul’s presidential campaign and a former senior staffer in his Senate office, was the culprit behind most of the plagiarized writings that went out under the Kentucky senator’s name. [BuzzFeed]

It’s 9 a.m. and Geri Willis is already busy rounding up help for two homeless families. They need food. They need a roof over their head for the night and some assurance they can get longer-term housing, too. [Ashland Independent]

“We’re not gonna take it anymore,” a crowd of thousands sang as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump entered a South Carolina convention center on Tuesday night as a 1980s heavy metal song by the band Twisted Sister blared from speakers. The billionaire real-estate developer’s packed rallies have been among the liveliest events in the long build-up to the November 2016 U.S. presidential election. But they are increasingly becoming known for their undercurrent of aggression, which escalated into a physical altercation over the weekend when white Trump supporters attacked a black protester at his rally, to the candidate’s approval. [Reuters]

Kentucky is home to nearly 30 organic dairies, and that number is expected to double in the next three to five years. Organic dairy producers have voiced frustration at the lack of research-based forage production information available. Recently, however, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment recently began a partnership with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture to conduct research that may fill the gap and help organic dairies strengthen their profitability. [Richmond Register]

On a drizzly afternoon in January 2013, almost a month after the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 20 first-graders dead, more than a dozen religious leaders assembled in Washington, D.C. [ProPublica]

Angel Strong is among more than 400,000 Kentuckians who have gained health insurance through the state’s expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. [WFPL]

Don’t look at the photos. At least six Iranian refugees sewed their mouths shut at the Greek-Macedonian border to pressure authorities to let them pass into Macedonia on their way to western Europe. [ThinkProgress]

The search for a Bowling Green man, Randy Rascoe, at Mammoth Cave National Park continued on Friday, with the aid of 12 Civil Air Patrol members, five handlers with the Jefferson County Search Dog Association and four search dogs, and six Mammoth Cave National Park employees contributing to the search, but their efforts turned up nothing, according to Vickie Carson, public information officer for Mammoth Cave National Park. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Flu season is in swing and likely won’t let up until April. It seemed like high time to check in on how Americans feel about flu vaccination, so we asked more than 3,000 adults in the latest NPR-Truven Health Analytics Health Poll, conducted during the first half of October. [NPR]

A man found dead in his home as police investigated remains found in a burnt vehicle was scheduled to testify in an upcoming court-martial at Fort Campbell. [H-L]

British Prime Minister David Cameron pledged over 20 million pounds in international aid on Friday to help small island states deal with the effects of climate change. [HuffPo]

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]

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Mainstream Racist Freakout Continues

Kentucky legislators, who often call for greater transparency from the struggling state employee pension system, keep their own retirement accounts in a much better-financed system that publicly offers no information about itself. [John Cheves]

Pushing back against efforts to bar Syrian refugees from resettling in the U.S., President Barack Obama vowed Saturday that his country will be a welcoming place for millions fleeing violence around the world “as long as I’m president.” [HuffPo]

This story originally ran in late January. Twenty-one Syrian refugees will arrive in Louisville over the next two weeks, a figure expected to increase in Kentucky and beyond as the U.S. begins to take in an expanded number of refugees fleeing Syria’s bloody civil war. [C-J/AKN]

During the 1930s and early 1940s, the United States resisted accepting large numbers of Jewish refugees escaping the Nazi terror sweeping Europe, in large part because of fearmongering by a small but vocal crowd. They claimed that the refugees were communist or anarchist infiltrators intent on spreading revolution; that refugees were part of a global Jewish-capitalist conspiracy to take control of the United States from the inside; that the refugees were either Nazis in disguise or under the influence of Nazi agents sent to commit acts of sabotage; and that Jewish refugees were out to steal American jobs. Many rejected Jews simply because they weren’t Christian. [The Intercept]

No one thinks Butler’s switch is a surprise — his Democratic colleagues in Jefferson County have long considered him a Republican. State Rep. Denny Butler is the first Democrat to switch parties in the aftermath of Republican Gov.-elect Matt Bevin’s convincing win and in advance of the November 2016 state legislative races which could switch control of the House to Republicans for the first time since 1921. His switch might not be the last, but his decision was a surprise. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump’s rhetoric since the Paris terrorist attacks appears to have helped him with GOP primary voters, according to most polls. But Republican insiders are concerned that his words could come back to haunt the party as it seeks to appeal to a broader audience. [The Hill]

If you’ve followed the Montgomery County saga, you’ll love reading about Jefferson County Public Schools violating open records laws. [The ‘Ville Voice]

As you’re pissing and moaning about veterans during a very real refugee crisis, remember what Republicans in Washington have and haven’t done. U.S. Senate Republicans blocked legislation on Thursday that would have expanded federal healthcare and education programs for veterans, saying the $24 billion bill would bust the budget. [Reuters]

Many have written in to ask for a synopsis of what went down with Jamie Comer during the primary. So here are two stories that will help you understand everything. [May 20, 2015 & October 1, 2015]

Two former advisers to Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) were re-indicted by a federal grand jury in Iowa Friday, just weeks after a criminal trial that produced a muddled result. [Politico]

More than 150 students staged a walkout protest Friday morning at East Carter High School over what they allege was the unfair dismissal of a substitute teacher. [Ashland Independent]

It is one of the central political puzzles of our time: Parts of the country that depend on the safety-net programs supported by Democrats are increasingly voting for Republicans who favor shredding that net. [ProPublica]

Matt Bevin said Friday he hopes to present to state lawmakers in the upcoming legislative session a plan to implement a 401(k)-style retirement plan for new state government employees. [H-L]

Several people attending a rally for Donald Trump in Birmingham, Alabama, physically assaulted an African-American protester on Saturday, witnesses said. [HuffPo]

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On Bevin Killing Health Care For You…

As Democrats wring their hands over Jack Conway’s tremendous political failure, there’s this from the Herald-Leader:

Democrats never campaigned on what was hailed far and wide as Kentucky’s health-care success story. Conway made little effort to educate the public about the heavy costs of Kentucky’s high rates of disease and disability or the brighter future that awaits healthier workers and their state. Did you see a single ad in which Conway stood beside someone like the unemployed mechanic in Pikeville and said I will fight for your right to health care? Neither did we.

If anything, Conway and his fellow Democrats ran from their health-care successes because of the association with Obama.

-SNIP-

Democrats can’t expect voters to pay attention to the issues when their own candidates shy away from showcasing the most crucial difference in an election.

It’s been the same thing for more than a decade. Always Republican-lite, never Democratic-center.

And when it came to anything related to President Barack Obama? OH GOD! SCARY BLACK MAN! RENOUNCE HIM!

Like the editorial suggests, people didn’t necessarily knowingly vote against their own interests. They voted on fear.

Just as Matt Bevin can’t comprehend that gay people aren’t trying to kidnap him and redecorate his house, there are still people who can’t comprehend that Obamacare and kynect are one and the same.

Fear works. Appealing to rural Kentucky’s xenophobia always works when there’s no one to wake folks up to reality.

If anyone doubts it, check any comment section anywhere the past week.

Harmon Likely To Buckle Under The Pressure?

The 66 percent of Owsley County that gets health coverage through Medicaid now must reconcile itself with the 70 percent that voted for Republican Governor-elect Matt Bevin, who pledged to cut the state’s Medicaid program and close the state-run Kynect health insurance exchange. The community’s largest-circulation newspaper, the Three Forks Tradition in Beattyville, did not say much about Kynect ahead of the election. Instead, its editorials roasted Obama and Hillary Clinton, gay marriage, Islam, “liberal race peddlers,” “liberal media,” black criminals and “the radical Black Lives Matter movement.” [John Cheves]

Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) has consistently voiced his disapproval of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy decisions, but on Thursday his criticism went a step further, implying the president is an “idiot” for how he’s handled U.S. involvement in the Syrian conflict during an Iowa campaign stop. [HuffPo]

Auditor-elect Mike Harmon said he will continue to push on the issue of untested rape kits, adopting a priority of outgoing state Auditor Adam Edelen, when he is sworn in in January. [C-J/AKN]

Global stocks are set for a short-term sell-off on Monday after Islamist militants launched coordinated attacks across Paris that killed 129 people, but few strategists expect a prolonged economic impact or change in prevailing market directions. [Reuters]

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President Dave Adkisson says he’s at odds with Governor-elect Matt Bevin over dismantling Kentucky’s health care exchange. [WFPL]

Maybe Democrats avoiding saying “Islam” because they’re not backward-ass bigots? [Politico]

It may have come a little late, but outgoing Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear on Friday made a passionate defense of his decision to expand Medicaid and offer a state-run health exchange, programs Republican Gov.-elect Matt Bevin promised on the campaign trail to dismantle. [Ronnie Ellis]

For the first time, doctors have breached the human brain’s protective layer to deliver cancer-fighting drugs. [BBC]

The process of getting an interim judge appointed to fill the seat of District Judge John T. Alexander, who is moving to circuit court effective Dec. 2, is on hold until a member of the nominating commission can be replaced. The delay is due to the discovery that one of the nominating commission members is ineligible to serve. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The U.S. Supreme Court is once again entering the debate over abortion. The court said Friday that it will hear arguments later this term testing the constitutionality of a sweeping Texas abortion law that, if upheld, would allow the kind of major abortion restrictions not permitted in more than 40 years. [NPR]

During a Madison County School Board of Education meeting Thursday evening, Chair John Lackey announced that he would like to see the district “phase out” middle school contact sports. [Richmond Register]

Maybe Republican Matt Bevin isn’t going to burn down Frankfort after all. Nah, he’ll be just another Republican cut from the cloth of Ernie Fletcher. Rather, cut from the cloth of the Ernie Fletcher staffers who ended up getting half of Fletcher’s administration INDICTED! [Roll Call]

Nope, Matt Bevin isn’t going to care about conservation any time soon. You can put lipstick on a pig bug it’s still a pig. [H-L]

About three-quarters of the Earth’s surface is covered with water. But how did it get there? While some scientists believe water was delivered by icy space rocks smashing into the planet after it was formed, others have argued that water has been on Earth since its formation — and new research indicates they might be right. [HuffPo]

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