Really, Really Rough Week For Comer

Alison Lundergan Grimes, Secretary of State and Chief Election Official, is notifying the public that the State Board of Elections has approved and filed an emergency administrative regulation prohibiting electioneering within 100 feet of the entrance to a polling place on Election Day. The emergency administrative regulation, which is effective immediately, does not apply to private property. [Press Release]

Less than a month ago, Kentucky junior U.S. Sen. Rand Paul announced he was running for president as a “different” kind of Republican. Who could’ve guessed that Paul meant he would be a different candidate on any given day? [H-L]

Puerto Rico’s governor on Sunday signed an executive order to authorize the use of medical marijuana in the U.S. territory in an unexpected move following a lengthy public debate. [HuffPo]

James Comer on Tuesday flatly denied abusing a former girlfriend who told The Courier-Journal that he had abused her mentally and physically while they were dating at Western Kentucky University in the 1990s. [C-J/AKN]

There are exactly two weeks until primary day in the Kentucky governor’s race — which makes headlines like this one pretty damning. [WaPo]

Here’s your political duh moment. Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul’s efforts to appeal to minority voters hit a rough patch over the past week. [WFPL]

The Department of Homeland Security is scaling back its plan to hire an outside company to keep track of people’s license plates, now planning to start with only half the country. [The Hill]

Kentucky’s two U.S. senators have introduced legislation they say will level the playing field for American bourbon and whiskey producers. [WKYUFM]

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Monday to review the legality of an Obama administration regulation aimed at encouraging efficiency in the electricity market by having electrical grid operators pay users to reduce consumption at peak times. [Reuters]

Two weeks until the May primaries and the GOP race for governor in Kentucky is getting intense. Candidate James Comer is fighting off allegations of abuse and abortion. [WKYT]

Traditional colleges and universities have become unlikely allies of the beleaguered for-profit industry as each group tries to fend off the government’s push for more accountability. [ProPublica]

A televised debate Monday evening between four Republican candidates for lieutenant governor was overshadowed by a Louisville Courier-Journal story quoting a woman who said GOP gubernatorial candidate James Comer mentally and physically abused her when they dated during college. [Ronnie Ellis]

On April 1, California Governor Jerry Brown stood in a field in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, beige grass stretching out across an area that should have been covered with five feet of snow. The Sierra’s snowpack — the frozen well that feeds California’s reservoirs and supplies a third of its water — was just eight percent of its yearly average. That’s a historic low for a state that has become accustomed to breaking drought records. [ThinkProgress]

A spokesman for an Illinois superintendent search firm issued a brief response Monday to news that the Fayette County school board had terminated its contract. [H-L]

French lawmakers approved a bill on Tuesday to let intelligence services deploy fly-on-the-wall spying devices more easily against suspected terrorists after Islamist militant attacks killed 17 people in January. [HuffPo]

Jamie Comer’s Worst Day Ever?

Winter’s full fury arrived late in much of the country, but once it did it was relentless, forcing state transportation agencies to spend more than $1 billion to keep highways safe and passable, according to a first-of-its-kind survey. [H-L]

Last week, a host of House Republicans voted to block predatory lending protections for American soldiers. This week, the Democratic Party is trying to make them pay a political price. [HuffPo]

Was fascinating watching Jamie Comer run away this morning. [C-J/AKN]

The Justice Department has launched a review of the administration’s use of controversial surveillance techniques that track people through their phones. [The Hill]

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet provided a brief response to Boyd County Attorney Phillip Hedrick’s demand for state personnel to be stationed at Big Run Landfill during operating hours, just one of many requests Hedrick made last month. [Ashland Independent]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday left intact New Jersey’s ban on counseling intended to change the sexual orientation of gay children. [Reuters]

Get ready for “A wildly good time” at the 2015 Black Bear Festival, which will be held in downtown Cumberland May 8-9. With “authentic music, artistry and so much more,” Cumberland Tourist Commission Director Tracy Bailey said, “you’ll enjoy good music, great food and a fantastic experience.” [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Kevin Moore, the man who filmed police arresting Freddie Gray and dragging him on the ground was arrested on Thursday night, along with two other cop watchers from Ferguson. [ThinkProgress]

Fresh off a record attendance at the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, a new report has found that the state’s tourism industry continues to grow. [Business First]

Have you seen what Illinois is trying to do with historic sites like Lincoln’s tomb? [NPR]

The unemployment rates in all of Kentucky’s 120 counties declined from March 2014 to March 2015, but only a few actually saw an increase in employment over the past few years. [WFPL]

Most people realize that emails and other digital communications they once considered private can now become part of their permanent record. But even as they increasingly use apps that understand what they say, most people don’t realize that the words they speak are not so private anymore, either. Top-secret documents from the archive of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden show the National Security Agency can now automatically recognize the content within phone calls by creating rough transcripts and phonetic representations that can be easily searched and stored. [The Intercept]

Fort Knox will display its ability to operate without external power during a ceremony this week, an achievement expected to save the post $8 million a year and prompted by a crippling ice storm a few years ago. [H-L]

Corinthian Colleges Inc. filed for bankruptcy on Monday, capping a year in which one of the nation’s largest for-profit career school chains slowly collapsed under the watch of the U.S. Department of Education amid allegations that it had systematically deceived students with false graduation and job placement rates. [HuffPo]

Walter Blevins Is Having A Rough Time

Between the big hats, the big bets and the booze, it can be easy to miss the other race happening at the Kentucky Derby. But in the stands — from Millionaire’s Row to the finish line — politicians were either clocking in and looking for hands to shake or clocking out and just enjoying a day at the track. [H-L]

The only spacecraft ever to orbit Mercury ended its four-year tour with a crash landing Thursday. [HuffPo]

Three-quarters of emergency physicians say they’ve seen ER patient volumes surge since Obamacare took effect — just the opposite of what many Americans expected would happen. [C-J/AKN]

Thousands of families whose homes were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy are being ordered to repay some of the compensation they received from the government. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is not only demanding interest on what it says were overpayments, but Washington is ready to call in debt collectors to recoup the cash. [The Telegraph]

Some relief from the winter storms in Boyd County and Lawrence County is on the way. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Friday that aid is being made available to several counties in Kentucky slammed during the period of Feb. 15 to 22. [Ashland Independent]

Always top of the data pile, this week will be no exception for the U.S. jobs report with a first interest rate rise likely this year despite a dramatic slowdown in the first quarter. [Reuters]

Neither Hal Heiner nor James Comer addressed a controversy over the possible cooperation of the husband of Heiner’s running mate with a blogger who has alleged Comer assaulted a woman in college at a GOP gubernatorial debate here Thursday evening. [Ronnie Ellis]

Facing a giant budget deficit, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal plans to borrow $750 million against future income from a landmark legal settlement with cigarette makers. [ProPublica]

The growing pains of Rowan County’s new Fiscal Court were evident Thursday night as the judge-executive and four magistrates failed to have first readings of two key ordinances at a special meeting. With only hours remaining in the statutory May 1 deadline for sending a draft budget to state officials, Judge-Executive Walter Blevins presented the 2015-2016 budget with an overall decrease of about $600,000 from the current year spending levels. [The Morehead News]

Four months into his tenure as majority leader, Mitch McConnell says don’t expect any legacy-making deal with Barack Obama in the final stretch of his presidency. [Politico]

Coal jobs in Kentucky declined sharply in the first quarter of this year, according to the state’s latest quarterly coal report. [WFPL]

There’s a sign on Jonathan Stickland’s desk that reads: “Don’t steal. The government hates competition.” These days Stickland, a Texas state representative, isn’t spending most of his time worrying about the government “stealing” through high taxes or onerous regulation – standard political fare for the kind of conservatives who populate the state capitol in Austin. [BBC]

High school students in western Kentucky are trying to come up with a way to promote Kentucky Lake. [H-L]

Eighteen black women who were told decades ago that their babies had died soon after birth at a St. Louis hospital now wonder if the infants were taken away by hospital officials to be raised by other families. [HuffPo]

The Downfall Of Jamie Comer Continues

Jamie Comer is lying again. He absolutely knew the effects of the bill. Quite a few people spelled it out for him. P.S. Yes, Rogers, McConnell & crew are now supporting Heiner. [H-L]

In the years since “Mission Accomplished,” some 149,053 civilians have been killed, compared to about 7,412 prior to the speech, according to the website Iraq Body Count. Since the speech, 4,637 military members in the Iraq War coalition led by the U.S. have lost their lives, versus 172 prior, according to the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count. As of September 2014, total U.S. expenditures on the war in Iraq totaled $815.8 billion, about 93 percent of which was spent after 2003. That cost is more than 16 times the Bush administration’s original projection. [HuffPo]

Truth is generally a casualty in political battles and there’s not an issue that’s suffered more wounds in this year’s Kentucky governor’s race than the Common Core academic standards that Kentucky adopted in 2010. [C-J/AKN]

Will the Supreme Court look behind the curtain of lethal injection? [The Intercept]

Adam Edelen needs to recuse himself immediately. Here’s why: he’s been asked to join the UofL Foundation board and once asked me for my opinion about it. I told him to run quickly away. But that means he’s got a conflict of interest. [WDRB]

When a member of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s security detail left his Glock and magazine stuffed in the toilet seat cover holder of a Capitol Visitor Center bathroom stall, a CVC worker found the gun, according to a source familiar with the Jan. 29 incident and two other disturbing instances when Capitol Police left loaded firearms in problematic places. A 7- or 8-year-old child visiting the Capitol with his parents found the next loaded Glock lost by a dignitary protection officer, according to the source. A member of the security detail for John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, allegedly left the firearm in the bathroom of the Speaker’s Suite on March 24. [Roll Call]

It was a record-breaking 141st running of the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) at Churchill Downs Racetrack which culminated as 123,763 fans, the highest attendance of all time, watched a memorable win by Lovely Maria. The prior attendance record was 116,046, set in 2010, during the 136th running of the Kentucky Oaks. [Press Release]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell faces a tough choice this week on how to move forward with a controversial bill that would allow Congress to review and vote on a nuclear deal with Iran. [The Hill]

Most eyes were fixed on the Kentucky Derby this weekend, but the Republican gubernatorial primary began last week to look as if it might be headed for its own photo finish. [Ronnie Ellis]

Her campaign barely three weeks old, Hillary Clinton already has been attacked by Republicans on everything from donations to her family’s charitable foundation, to her tenure as secretary of state and her ties to Wall Street. But her rivals, and the political action committees that support them, are treading more carefully on one incendiary subject: her age. [Reuters]

While previous media reports led to the return – or at least the documentation – of several military surplus items missing from the Glasgow Police Department, more than 100 such items remain unaccounted for, and fingers seem to be pointing at a former member of the GPD. [Glasgow Daily Times]

What the Kentucky Derby owes to China. If it weren’t for KFC’s giant Asian consumer base, the annual classic would be a much poorer event. [Politico]

The Fayette County Public Schools board voted Sunday to terminate its contract with superintendent search firm PROACT Search Inc. The board went into closed session shortly before 9 a.m. Sunday to discuss possible litigation against the search firm. [H-L]

The Tata group, one of India’s largest conglomerates, promised to be a good neighbor when it took on the job of building the nation’s first “ultra mega” coal-fired power plant. [HuffPo]

Jim Gray Doles Out The Big Bucks

The President today declared a major disaster exists in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and ordered federal aid to supplement commonwealth and local recovery efforts in the area affected by the severe winter storms, snowstorms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides during the period of February 15-22, 2015. [Press Release]

Four members of Lexington Mayor Jim Gray’s staff have received hefty salary increases during the past year, salary data show. [H-L]

Think about this: more than 4 in 10 people in the United States live in counties that have unhealthy levels of either ozone or particle pollution. [HuffPo]

Here is some reaction from officials and friends on the passing of federal Judge John Heyburn. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, launched a long-shot bid for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday, a move likely to pressure Hillary Clinton from the left on issues from income inequality to corporate governance. [Reuters]

Considering he is a Kentucky icon and Greenup County native, the author of scores of books and subject of many a scholarly article, the late Jesse Stuart is not as well understood as most people might think. [Ashland Independent]

With Baltimore’s troubles as a backdrop, House Republicans are proposing new cuts from urban programs this week even as their budget would add tens of billions of dollars for the Pentagon to get around strict spending caps. [Politico]

This is the big news in Morehead: a funeral home is changing its name. [The Morehead News]

The American Psychological Association secretly collaborated with the administration of President George W. Bush to bolster a legal and ethical justification for the torture of prisoners swept up in the post-Sept. 11 war on terror, according to a new report by a group of dissident health professionals and human rights activists. [NY Times]

The post-position draw happened at Churchill Downs on April 29. The Kentucky Derby will happen on May 2. [WHAS11]

Wall Street closed sharply lower on Thursday as weak results from several companies hit investor sentiment. Wednesday’s disappointing GDP figures also contributed to the sharp falls in the US. [BBC]

During any other week twenty flights would make a busy day for Atlantic Aviation. However, the Thursday through Saturday of Derby week redefines wingtip-to wingtip. [WAVE3]

President Barack Obama’s library will be built in Chicago, NBC News confirmed Thursday. [NBC Chicago]

We can’t stop laughing about this. A DARE officer for the Frankfort Police Department who allegedly was involved in a transaction for anabolic steroids with a central figure in the recent high-profile bourbon thefts has resigned, a department spokesman said Wednesday. [H-L]

The federal money pot that pays for roads, bridges and mass transit expires in one month, and lawmakers are struggling to build support for legislation that would extend it. [HuffPo]

Don’t forget to enter to win a copy of Lawn Darts of Fate! Contest runs through the end of the week. [Page One & The ‘Ville Voice]

Papaw Gets Gobs Of Derby Tickets

The developer of CentrePointe in downtown Lexington fired back at city officials in a 15-page letter Wednesday, saying the city was wrong to demand that the development site be restored because no work had been done there recently. [H-L]

Feds pay for drug fraud: 92 percent of foster care, poor kids prescribed antipsychotics get them for unaccepted uses. [HuffPo]

Demand for seats at the Kentucky Derby always exceeds supply, but the governor of Kentucky needn’t worry. Churchill Downs sets aside 360 tickets to the Derby — and Friday’s Kentucky Oaks — every year for sale to the governor’s entourage. [C-J/AKN]

For a moment last year, it looked as if the Obama administration was moving toward a history-making end to the federal death penalty. [NY Times]

This doesn’t sound shady at all. Financial assistance from the Glasgow-Barren County Tourist and Convention Commission that was intended to help bring country music icon Loretta Lynn to the Plaza Theatre has been rejected by the promoter who requested the money. Sneed had initially requested $12,000 in hopes of using the money to advertise the concert, even though he has not yet discussed the possibility of booking a Lynn concert in Glasgow with the artist’s management. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A bill that would prevent insurance companies from using routine doctor requests to reopen the cases of injured workers and deny previously approved care passed a key California senate committee Wednesday. [ProPublica]

The Tennessee Valley Authority is giving the Glasgow Electric Plant Board $7.43 million as an award in the Smart Energy Technology project. [Glasgow Daily Times]

World stock markets and the dollar remained in sharp sell-off mode on Thursday, having been jolted sharply lower by weak U.S. growth data and cautious comments from the Federal Reserve. [Reuters]

If you live in eastern Kentucky, chances are you are more likely to get lung cancer. That is why doctors want to figure out how to stop the disease in its tracks. [WKYT]

Looks like Jerry Abramson’s been meddling in Vermont and it didn’t go so swell. [Rutland Herald & VPR]

The Carter County Emergency Medical Services, EMS Director Jerry Horn, Dr. Carolyn A. Moore, and former EMS paramedic Amanda Sturgill-Jones have been named in a civil lawsuit in Carter Circuit Court. Horn, Moore, and Jones are named as individuals and in their official capacities in the complaint. [Ashland Independent]

Dozens of horses have tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs – including speed – at the racecourse which will host the Kentucky Derby this weekend. [Daily Mail]

Two trustees at the University of Louisville are calling for change at an independent foundation that manages the school’s $1.1 billion endowment. [H-L]

The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid plummeted to the lowest level in 15 years last week, evidence that employers are laying off few workers despite a sharp slowdown in economic growth. [HuffPo]

Don’t forget to enter to win a copy of Lawn Darts of Fate! Contest runs through the end of the week. [Page One & The ‘Ville Voice]

Jack Went To Western Kentucky

A Kentucky Court of Appeals panel heard arguments Tuesday on whether a circuit court judge was correct when he ruled last year that Bluegrass Pipeline cannot use eminent domain to take private property for construction of a natural gas liquids pipeline. [H-L]

“Why does it take a catastrophe like this in order for America to hear our cry?” she continued. “I mean, enough is enough. We’ve had too many lives lost at the hands of police officers. Enough is enough.” [HuffPo]

If you haven’t been following the Cordish-4th Street nightmare in Louisville, you’re really missing out. This is easily the millionth racial discrimination suit against the joint. Greg Fischer just keeps throwing millions and millions at the developer for nothing. Gets worse by the minute. [C-J/AKN]

Leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have reached a deal on a long-awaited draft of legislation to speed up the approval of new drugs and treatments. [The Hill]

The Grayson city council called a special meeting Tuesday to finalize its contribution to a $75,000 matching grant to benefit its future downtown park. [Ashland Independent]

A divided Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that states can limit judicial candidates’ ability to personally appeal for donations, a rare victory for supporters of campaign finance limits. [Politico]

The Barren County Schools Local Planning Committee heard from district department directors Monday at Red Cross Elementary School. [Glasgow Daily Times]

During Tuesday’s marriage equality arguments in the Supreme Court, several of the Court’s conservative members suggested that same-sex couples should not be given equal marriage rights because these couples have not enjoyed those rights for most of the past. [ThinkProgress]

Looks like Walter Blevins is off to a horrible start in Rowan County. [The Morehead News]

Administration officials—often unnamed—frequently seem to celebrate drone strikes that kill suspected militants. But the administration has also worked against disclosures of less positive aspects of the CIA’s program, including how many civilians have been killed. [ProPublica]

With less than three weeks to Kentucky’s primary election, democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway is talking about several issues. [WPSD]

The US economy “all but stagnated” in the first three months of the year, growing at an annual rate of just 0.2%, official figures show. [BBC]

Minority employees are being retaliated against and threatened with the loss of their jobs because of the pending Human Rights Commission complaint against Fayette County Public Schools, William Saunders, president of the Lexington chapter of the NAACP, told the school board at a Monday meeting. [H-L]

If the Supreme Court rules in favor of marriage equality in June, many advocates believe it will be in large part because the court of public opinion has already decided that it’s time. Support for same-sex marriage is at a record high and continues to grow as social conservatives fight to push back the tide. [HuffPo]

Don’t forget to enter to win a copy of Lawn Darts of Fate! Contest runs through the end of the week. [Page One & The ‘Ville Voice]