Another Huge Jail Expansion In Ashland

The Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund has approved a $500,000 combination grant and loan for hemp-processing equipment. [H-L]

The federal government and Gulf Coast states have reached an $18.7 billion settlement agreement with the oil company BP for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. [HuffPo]

What started as a toothache from a lost filling became a raging infection that landed Christopher Smith in the University of Louisville Hospital emergency room, then in intensive care on a ventilator and feeding tube. [C-J/AKN]

The bacterium Yersinia pestis has inflicted almost unimaginable misery upon humankind over the centuries, killing an estimated 200 million or more people and triggering horrific plagues in the 6th and 14th centuries. [Reuters]

All these years later and CentrePointe is still nothing. [WKYT]

Four U.S. Embassies got upgraded screening rooms last year, paid for by the lobbying arm of the big studios. The industry and the government say there were no strings attached. [ProPublica]

Kentucky has signed new contracts with five managed-care organizations to provide health care services to Medicaid eligible Kentuckians. [Business First]

While Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) quickly moved to donate the contributions he received from Earl Holt III to a fund established to help the victims’ families, this stands in stark contrast to his past handling of white separatist donors. [ThinkProgress]

Boyd County’s government is close to fully approving expansion of its current 200-bed jail in order to add 50 more beds that will open more space to accept federal inmates. [Ashland Independent]

The UK must take urgent action to prepare for the impacts of climate change in the UK, according to a report submitted to the government. [BBC]

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, divorced, is still screaming about the gays. [The Morehead News]

In a victory for opponents of partisan gerrymandering, the Supreme Court on Monday upheld the use of an independent commission to draw Arizona’s congressional districts. Writing for a narrow majority in the 5-4 ruling, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg touted the importance of direct democracy and making sure the power of the people is not hijacked by its elected representatives. [Mother Jones]

Last August, Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday issued a challenge to Kentuckians to read the state’s current academic standards in English/language arts and mathematics and suggest changes. [H-L]

Here’s something you probably didn’t know happened in California in the last few years, and maybe it’s something you never imagined could happen: In 2011, two high-ranking state regulators were fired from their posts for pissing off the oil industry. [HuffPo]

Instant Racing Case Just Got More Fun

Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate heard arguments Wednesday in an instant-racing lawsuit on a motion by the Family Foundation to have an in-court demonstration of the electronic games based on past horse races. [H-L]

U.S. employers added a solid 223,000 jobs in June, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent, a seven-year low. The numbers reflect a job market moving close to full health and raise expectations that the Federal Reserve will start raising interest rates as early as September. [HuffPo]

The special rounds of golf were arranged by the tournament host, the billionaire coal operator and Greenbrier resort owner Jim Justice, who has been a huge contributor to Beshear’s political causes. But Beshear’s golf excursion — not publicized by the Governor’s Office — comes as Justice remains under watch of the Kentucky Department of Natural Resources as part of an agreed order reached last August for Justice to resolve a record number of strip-mine reclamation violations. [C-J/AKN]

A federal court said in a Monday order that the National Security Agency can resume the bulk collection of American’s phone records for roughly five months as the program is phased out. [The Hill]

Calling Jack Conway a coward seems like a bit of a stretch. A man afraid to answer questions about his brother’s sheningans and how he was involved? Check. Someone who panders to coal publicly while singing a different tune privately? Absolutely. Someone who stands against homophobia while Bevin pushes anti-gay hatred? Of course. But coward? Uh, not based in reality. [WHAS11]

The White House lifted a 40-year-old ban on taking photos during public tours of the executive mansion on Wednesday, delighting tourists who immediately began posting pictures on social media. [Reuters]

The first phase of Louisville’s minimum wage increase went into effect Wednesday. [WFPL]

Now that Chris Christie is officially running for president, his record as governor of New Jersey will be getting a lot more scrutiny. As we reported with The Washington Post in April, there’s plenty to look at. [ProPublica]

The acting director of the General Assembly’s staffing and management arm won’t seek the permanent job. [Ronnie Ellis]

The good news for most Americans is that incomes have finally started to grow again. But the bad news is that the richest of the rich are still making off with far more gains, according to the latest data analysis by economist Emmanuel Saez. [ThinkProgress]

Senator Mitch McConnell is standing by his call to remove the statue of Jefferson Davis from the state Capitol Rotunda. [WDRB]

The United States and Brazil unveil ambitious energy goals in a sign of growing co-operation after a spying scandal damaged ties two years ago. [BBC]

Kentucky State University has hired former Fayette County Public Schools official Vincent Mattox as the new assistant to the president for academic and school district outreach. [H-L]

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), whose bid for the Democratic nomination for president has drawn the largest crowds on the campaign trail, is raking in major money as well. [HuffPo]

Oh, NOW The EEC Wants To Talk?

The fun thing today: Kim Davis, backward ass Rowan County Clerk, was just sued by the ACLU on behalf of four couples she turned away. [Deep Eastern Kentucky Thoughts]

Kentucky leads the nation in participation in federally funded local food projects, with 1,659 projects including high tunnels that extend the growing season, microloans for smaller farmers, and direct funding for food hubs, farmers’ markets and other local food enterprises. [H-L]

A decision this week to cut tuition for Washington state’s public universities by 15 to 20 percent over the next two years is a rare move that national experts believe could influence other states as they come out from under the recession. [HuffPo]

Shortly after he was born, tremors wracked Leopoldo Bautista’s tiny body as he suffered through the pain of drug withdrawal — pain his mother understands. Samantha Adams is being treated with methadone for heroin addiction and passed the methadone into Leopoldo’s system. Sitting vigil with him at Norton Hospital, she teared up about watching the 10-day-old she loves “going through what I’d been through.” [C-J/AKN]

You won’t believe this horrible Fox story about the homeless. Or maybe you will. [MMFA]

When the board of regents hired Michael Benson as Eastern Kentucky University president in August 2013, it announced him as EKU’s “next great visionary leader.” [Richmond Register]

The stupid is thick. GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee predicted that Christians will push back against gay marriage in a similar way to Dr. Martin Luther King’s fight against racial discrimination. [The Hill]

The Boyd County Fiscal Court’s 2013 audit found a weakness about the public bidding process for its home incarceration program. [Ashland Independent]

U.S. private employers hired the most workers in six months in June and factory activity accelerated, providing fresh evidence the economy was gathering solid momentum after contracting at the start of the year. [Reuters]

Barren County Judge-Executive Micheal Hale has been appointed by Gov. Steve Beshear to serve on the newly reconstituted Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board, it was announced in a press release. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Power plants will continue to able to emit unlimited mercury, arsenic, and other pollutants thanks to the Supreme Court, which on Monday invalidated the first-ever U.S. regulations to limit toxic heavy metal pollution from coal and oil-fired plants. [ThinkProgress]

The Daniel Boone National Forest welcomes Jonathan Kazmierski as the new district ranger for the Cumberland Ranger District in Morehead. [The Morehead News]

In a desperate bid to save one of the world’s most endangered animals, conservationists are taking the controversial step of defacing the last survivors. [BBC]

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet said Wednesday that it will meet with the FBI to determine whether a longtime coal mine inspector, Kelly Shortridge, falsified his reports beyond his work on mines that were owned by former state Rep. W. Keith Hall. Spoiler alert: cabinet folks were aware of everything before it came up at trial. They’re only talking because of public embarrassment at this point. [H-L]

Hillary Clinton has a bit of a problem on her hands. When it comes to filling a venue, Sen. Bernie Sanders is not exactly 2016’s underdog. [HuffPo]

Poor, Persecuted Rowan County Clerk

With his campaign deep in debt, Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin is trying to make new friends among Kentucky’s well-heeled donor class. At a private reception in Lexington Monday night, Bevin joined Republican presidential candidate and Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, the Philadelphia 76ers’ Nerlens Noel and some of the state’s top political donors at an event organized by Lexington power couple Kelly Knight and Joe Craft. [H-L]

If you want to silence a black person’s pain, ask for forgiveness. We’re accustomed to our screams being hushed in the wake of tragedy. We’re accustomed to our grief being shoved aside in the rush to find mercy for those who have trespassed against us. [HuffPo]

Some media outlets are feigning surprise that superintendents can be suspended or fired. Almost as if it’s never happened, never resulted in revamping an entire school district, never led to the resignation of a commissioner of education. [C-J/AKN]

A fight over raising taxes has bloomed as the chief obstacle to passing a desperately needed multi-year transportation bill by the end of next month, raising the specter of a possible shutdown of highway programs. [The Hill]

After a series of judicial setbacks, Kentucky’s coal, utility and — for the most part — political interests won a significant environmental battle in the U.S. Supreme Court this week. [Ronnie Ellis]

The U.S. National Security Agency wiretapped the communications of two successive French finance ministers and collected information on French export contracts, trade and budget talks. [Reuters]

About 50 protestors bucked against the decision by the Rowan County clerk to not issue marriage licenses to neither same-sex nor opposite-sex couples during a demonstration on Tuesday. [Ashland Independent]

Justice Alito defends a lethal injection expert who did his research on drugs.com. The expert ended up prompting a back-and-forth between Supreme Court justices, who narrowly upheld use of a lethal injection drug. [Propublica]

Brian Meadows and Eddie Spears have had a very long engagement. Saturday they became the first same-sex couple to be issued a marriage license in Hart County. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Why do people believe myths about the Confederacy? Because our textbooks and monuments are wrong. False history marginalizes African Americans and makes us all dumber. [WaPo]

A steady stream of rainbow flags, signs supporting marriage equality and horn honks filled the Rowan County Courthouse lawn today. [The Morehead News]

The stupid is thick. A new bill introduced in the House of Representatives is pushing for new ways to combat California’s epic drought. But it’s doing so based on the premise that environmental policy — not climate change — is making the drought so bad in the state. [ThinkProgress]

Magoffin County Judge-Executive Charles “Doc” Hardin is seeking reconsideration of a decision that would force him out of office. [H-L]

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign on Wednesday announced a massive fundraising haul in the quarter that ended on June 30, further cementing her status as the clear front-runner in the 2016 race. [HuffPo]

Frankfort Always Passing Pension Buck

Thursday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling upheld the nationwide tax credit subsidies to help people buy health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. [H-L]

A fire broke out at a prominent black church in South Carolina on Tuesday night, the latest in a series of blazes at places of worship in the South serving the African-American community. A federal law enforcement source told the Associated Press that the fire was not the work of an arsonist, and that preliminary investigations show it was not intentionally set. [HuffPo]

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

In what may not be a coincidence, a string of nighttime fires have damaged or destroyed at least six predominately black churches in four southern states in the past week. [SPLC]

Much is put into creating ceramics. A sculpture or ware starts as nothing more than a lump of dirt. Then with care, technique, and creativity, it becomes a work of art. [The Morehead News]

You can prove slavery was bad six ways from Sunday, but people can still choose to believe otherwise if they want. Addressing racism isn’t just about correcting erroneous beliefs — it’s about making people see the humanity in others. [Vox]

Data from Kentucky’s 446 public water systems shows they consistently produce excellent quality water and are nearly always in compliance with the Safe Drinking Water requirements, according to the Kentucky annual Drinking Water Report. The report summarizes the compliance data and status of public water system compliance monitoring results. [Energy & Environment Cabinet]

Congressional Republicans are using the power of the purse to do battle against a series of controversial labor regulations from the Obama administration. [The Hill]

Kentucky’s longest serving U.S. Senator says last year’s lengthy and costly campaign showed him two things about how he says people feel about the country. [WKYT]

Scientists who have devoted years developing medicines to cure disease are now working for tobacco companies to make e-cigarettes. [Reuters]

These are your friends or your family. Please consider helping them step away from their xenophobia. [Page One]

There have only been 9 days this year when the police have not killed somebody. Some news outlets put the number as high as 500 dead in the past six months, according to both The Guardian and Killed by the Police.Net. The Washington Post’s own investigation showed nearly 400 dead as of the end of May. [WaPo]

Kentucky’s retired state workers’ pension fund is a mess. It’s the most underfunded of any in the country, and it’s sinking dangerously close to running out of money. Yet state lawmakers, the men and women responsible for budgeting those pensions, don’t have quite the same worry about their own money. [H-L]

Meanwhile, Kentucky can’t even get medicinal marijuana right. Oregon ended marijuana prohibition at midnight Wednesday, joining Colorado, Washington state, Alaska and the District of Columbia in legalizing recreational use of the drug. [HuffPo]

People Still Losing Their Simple Minds

Redefining marriage for the nation, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Friday that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed one another. The 5-4 decision in Obergefell vs. Hodges reverses a Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that upheld state bans of same-sex marriage in Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan and Tennessee. Lower courts in all four states had struck down the bans as unconstitutional. [H-L]

Paleontologists in South Africa have announced the name for a new dinosaur species, but they didn’t have to do any digging to find the creature’s bones. [HuffPo]

The charitable fundraising arm of the National Rifle Association — the NRA Foundation — is applying for a special license plate in Kentucky to help collect donations from the state’s myriad gun enthusiasts. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday that for too long Americans have been “blind” to the “unique mayhem” caused by gun violence in this country. [Reuters]

The Supreme Court’s decision that all states must validate marriages between same-sex couples did not surprise Kentucky county clerks. [Ashland Independent]

The authors of the 1968 Fair Housing Act wanted to reverse decades of government-fostered segregation. But presidents from both parties declined to enforce a law that stirred vehement opposition. [ProPublica]

If Kentucky landowners didn’t previously have a legal leg to stand on against energy giant Kinder Morgan’s plan to repurpose Tennessee Gas pipeline, they might have it now. [The Morehead News]

The House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday that would delay and weaken the federal government’s proposed regulations on power plant emissions. [ThinkProgress]

Lt. Max Graves gives a new meaning to the phrase “protecting the children.” While it is ultimately the duty of law enforcement to protect the community, one of his main duties is to ensure the safety of students inside the school. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

The newest gay rights icon wears a drab black robe and got his job from Ronald Reagan. [Politico]

Police say a tiny amount of bath salts…mixed with a form of methamphetamine called “Ice” is enough to send a person into fits of rage and almost instant insanity. [WKYT]

The famous lemurs of Madagascar face such severe threats to their survival that none of them may be left in the wild within 25 years. [BBC]

A room of government retirees grilled Republican gubernatorial nominee Matt Bevin for more than an hour Friday afternoon in Lexington, but many left unconvinced that his “tough love” proposals would fix the state’s cash-strapped pension systems. [H-L]

An ancient reptile that doesn’t have a shell is an important link in the evolutionary history of the turtle, according to new research. [HuffPo]

Northern Kentucky Wingnut Freaks Out

Luke Barlow and Jim Meade of Bardstown met 48 years ago and married in 2009 in Iowa. But, as Barlow said 90 minutes after the Supreme Court declared their marriage legal in Kentucky, the two men had never held hands in public here. [H-L]

When President Barack Obama learned that the Supreme Court had rejected a major lawsuit against his signature health care law, White House photographer Pete Souza was there to capture the moment. [HuffPo]

Gov. Steve Beshear on Friday named Carol Martin “Bill” Gatton as an “honorary member of the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees for so long as he shall live.” [C-J/AKN]

The U.S. Supreme Court’s declaration on Friday of a right to same-sex marriage resolved a momentous question, yet the ruling left many others unanswered and is likely to spark future legal battles over gay rights. [Reuters]

Jail time was averted, at least for now, by an Amish father and son who refuse to pay fines for violating an Auburn city ordinance requiring owners to prevent waste from horses from falling on city streets. [BGDN]

North Carolina and Tennessee are the latest states to side with telecoms, which have long lobbied against allowing cities to become Internet providers. [ProPublica]

A Northern Kentucky clerk said no to all marriage licenses Friday after the U.S. Supreme Court declared that all states are required to marry gay couples and recognize marriages from other states. [Cincinnasti.com]

In Charleston, South Carolina, Civil War history and accounts of plantation life are a huge part of the town, and state, culture. An entire tourism business thrives off of showing visitors parts of this history – reenactments of Civil War battles, tours of mansions once owned by slave-owners, and staged scenes of home life for aristocrats of the period. It would be difficult for a culture that sees the Confederate flag as a symbol of Southern pride instead of slavery, not to manifest itself at school. [ThinkProgress]

In a rolling Kentucky pasture, the first few wooden ribs of a giant Noah’s ark tourist attraction have begun to sprout up. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

NPR’s Audie Cornish and Rachel Martin read the concluding paragraph in Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in Friday’s Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage. [NPR]

Berea Mayor Steve Connelly and a group of local representatives have launched the Berea Age-Friendly Survey 2015 to gather public input on making the city more Age-Friendly. [Richmond Register]

Every single US state fails to comply with global standards for police use of lethal force. [Mother Jones]

Rand Paul is looking for big green from the marijuana industry. Paul, Kentucky’s junior senator and a candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, is scheduled to attend a fundraising reception next week at the National Cannabis Business Summit and Expo in Denver. [H-L]

President Barack Obama is a major fan of Sir David Attenborough, the celebrated British naturalist and TV host who has created and narrated numerous science and nature documentaries for the BBC. [HuffPo]