Governor Snowflake Did Another Thing

Governor Snowflake pardoned 10 Kentuckians Monday, including a Lexington mother who was accused of reckless homicide in the 2011 death of her 5-year-old son after he consumed a large amount of vinegar. [H-L]

Nearly 40 states are refusing to hand over personal voter information to a new White House commission on election fraud, which was formed last month in the wake of President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that millions voted illegally in last year’s presidential election. [HuffPo]

Western Kentucky University has a new president running the show. Dr. Timothy Caboni, who was selected to take over by WKU’s Board of Regents in January, served his first day on the job on Monday. He is the university’s 10th president and took over for Gary A. Ransdell, who served as WKU’s president for 20 years. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration will soon begin a review that will question the veracity of the climate change science used by President Barack Obama’s administration as the basis for environmental regulations. [Reuters]

A sad fate awaits three former railroad bridges just south of Grayson. CR-1111A is the official designation for the county-owned right of way that once hosted the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway through central Carter County. [Ashland Independent]

Dmitri “David” Zaikin made Russian energy deals with powerful officials, advised Eastern European parties drifting toward Russia, brokered condos at Toronto’s Trump Tower, and teamed up with the guy who hired Michael Flynn. [ProPublica]

When Maj. Gen. William “Bull” Nelson took command of Union troops at Richmond in 1862, he had a commission signed by President Abraham Lincoln. That document was recently acquired by the Battle of Richmond Association, which has it on permanent display at the county’s Battle of Richmond Visitors Center. [Richmond Register]

Officials at Auschwitz have criticised a US congressman for making and voicing a video inside a gas chamber at the former Nazi death camp. The memorial and museum tweeted that the gas chamber was “not a stage” but was a place for mournful silence. [BBC]

After three inches of rain fell in less than three hours on Friday, June 23, the Rowan County Road Department found themselves in a tough situation. Road foreman Paul Brown said nearly 30 roads in the county have been impacted by the heavy rain. That’s about 10 percent of the county’s nearly 320 roadways that cover about 750 miles. [The Morehead News]

In normal times, the Fourth of July parade is a fat pitch down the middle for the grinning politician. For instance, here was Senator Joe Manchin III, a Democrat facing re-election next year in a state that President Trump won by 42 points, waving unheckled among the firefighters, beauty queens and county commissioners who streamed up Maple Avenue. [NY Times]

Glasgow’s city clerk retired in mid-December, and Mayor Dick Doty said he’s still trying to find the right match for the new twist he’s seeking for the position. State law requires a city clerk, but it sets no time limit for hiring one or a maximum time the position can be vacant. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Experts assumed Kim Jong Un had the capability to launch nuclear weapons even before last weekend’s test flight of a new missile that, on a normal, flatter trajectory, would have been capable of reaching Guam. But they don’t think he wants to fire them randomly. [WaPo]

The man who called himself “Charles Grass” and was dubbed the “Godfather of Grass” is no angel. John Robert “Johnny” Boone guarded his fields with rottweilers whose vocal chords had been surgically removed, so they could attack silently. To fend off “rippers” who might try to steal his crop, his crew set booby traps, including fishhooks hung at eye level, trip wires tied to dynamite, and live rattlesnakes tied to poles. [H-L]

President Dumpster Fire slammed North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un on Twitter on Monday after the country’s latest missile test. [HuffPo]

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You Can Thank McConnell For Killing Poor Kentuckians In Droves. No, That’s Not An Exaggeration. That’s Health Care Reality.

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Dewey Gorman, a 59-year-old banker who has struggled with opioid addiction, had just gotten out of the hospital in this tiny central Appalachian city when he heard the word from Washington: His fellow Kentuckian, Sen. Mitch McConnell, had delayed a vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He felt torn about that. [H-L]

Following Orange Excrement Donald Trump’s latest inflammatory tweet that essentially promoted violence against journalists, top GOP lawmakers so far have responded with silence, perpetuating their pattern of doing little as the nation’s chief executive breaks more barriers in his war with the media. [HuffPo]

Can’t wait for the next terrible superintendent to take over Jefferson County Public Schools. On her last day as head of Jefferson County Public Schools, outgoing superintendent Donna Hargens wished the school system team “all the best.” [C-J/AKN]

Moscow believes its leader, ex-spy master Vladimir Putin, can extract major concessions from President Donald Trump when the two men meet for the first time next week. [TDB]

Kathy Bartlett watched helplessly this spring as Kentucky lawmakers cut back on mine safety inspections and replaced them with coaching sessions on miners’ safety habits. She knows more than most what’s at stake. [Richmond Register]

Before the 2016 presidential election, a longtime Republican opposition researcher mounted an independent campaign to obtain emails he believed were stolen from Hillary Clinton’s private server, likely by Russian hackers. In conversations with members of his circle and with others he tried to recruit to help him, the GOP operative, Peter W. Smith, implied he was working with retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, at the time a senior adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump. [WSJ]

Boyd County property owners will be expected this fall to pay an extra fee of $48 per parcel to fund the county’s financially-strapped 911 center, if a new ordinance gains final approval. [Ashland Independent]

A trove of internal documents sheds light on the algorithms that Facebook’s censors use to differentiate between hate speech and legitimate political expression. [ProPublica]

A voting precinct change in western Rowan County has resulted in an official complaint filed against the Rowan County Board of Elections. [The Morehead News]

Michael R. Bloomberg will throw his financial might into helping beleaguered American mayors, creating a $200 million philanthropic program aimed at backing inventive policies at the city level and giving mayors a stronger hand in national politics. [NY Times]

He won’t win because he’s not white and you know that’s the sad reality. Even though he’s probably one of the best people to ever run in that district. Promising to run a “campaign by the people and for the people,” state Sen. Reggie Thomas, a Lexington attorney, Saturday became the first Democrat to officially announce a challenge to Sixth District Republican U.S. Congressman Andy Barr of Lexington. [Ronnie Ellis]

The stupid is getting worse. Donald Trump stepped up his feud with the media on Sunday by tweeting a mock video of himself tackling and repeatedly striking a man with a CNN logo super-imposed in place of his head, followed by a logo saying “Fraud News Network.” [Reuters]

This will likely end up being one of the dumbest Republican moves yet. Party of personal responsibility? Not on your life. [H-L]

A top Justice Department corporate crime expert has quit, saying it’s impossible to hold suspected lawbreakers to standards that Elderly Shart Donald Trump is not meeting himself. [HuffPo]

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Ronnie Ellis Has Some Troubling Stats

Cross over the old Louisville & Nashville Railroad in this town remembered for its Civil War encampment and you’ll see the first signs — there’s fresh anticipation in the rural areas that will be prime viewing locations for the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse to sweep the United States in 99 years. [H-L]

Americans largely do not approve of the GOP Senate health care bill, and many of them are dissatisfied with the way Republicans in Congress are handling the matter, according to a new NPR/“PBS NewsHour”/Marist poll. [HuffPo]

As University of Louisville Hospital prepares to separate from KentuckyOne Health this weekend, leaders are optimistic about the hospital’s future. [C-J/AKN]

Just in case you thought Mitch McConnell wanted to have substantive discussion about health care? You’re dangerously mistaken. [The Hill]

The Russell City Council on Monday gave final passage to the city’s new budget, which will include a 2.1 percent pay raise to all employees and council members. [Ashland Independent]

U.S. Senate Republican leaders postponed a vote on a healthcare overhaul on Tuesday after resistance from members of their own party, and President Donald Trump summoned Republican senators to the White House to urge them to break the impasse. [Reuters]

Deaths from drug overdoses continue to grow in Kentucky and, according to one foot-soldier on the front lines of the drug epidemic, that’s having a perverse and surreal effect. [Ronnie Ellis]

Mitch McConnell is a coward and you’ve known that for years. This is merely a reminder. Activists in wheelchairs protesting the Senate’s newly-released health care bill were arrested and dragged from outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office on Thursday. [ThinkProgress]

The eight members of the Glasgow City Council who were present at Monday’s regular meeting and others in attendance, got to see a glimpse of the next few years at the Glasgow Municipal Airport – if things go according to plan. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Federal investigators are examining financial transactions involving Paul Manafort and his son-in-law, who embarked on a series of real estate deals in recent years fueled by millions of dollars from Mr. Manafort, according to two people familiar with the matter. [NY Times]

At the Gateway Coalition for Workforce Diversity meeting held Friday, Jason Slone spoke about the need for the coalition to work directly with business leaders in the community. [The Morehead News]

Every time President Trump tweets, journalists and Twitter followers attempt to analyze what he means. Intelligence agencies around the world do, too: They’re trying to determine what vulnerabilities the president of the United States may have. And he’s giving them a lot to work with. [WaPo]

A former Pike Deputy Judge-Executive who has been convicted in two previous animal cruelty cases is again facing charges, after Pike County Animal Control officers filed 100 misdemeanor cruelty to animals charges against him related to the finding of numerous animals at his residence, many of which were sick and some of which were dead. [H-L]

When news spread in Wayne County, Georgia, that Republic Services planned to dump toxic coal ash in their landfill, citizens and the local newspaper fought back. [HuffPo]

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Even The Gays Can Be Insufferably Dumb

Jim Gray is still an idiot, apparently. He spent most of his life hating himself and denying his sexual orientation. You’d think that’d be enough to make someone want to do everything they can to improve the lives of everyone, not just a few rich folks in the Golden Triangle. Now he’s trying to behave as if it’s okay to ignore the rest of Kentucky’s 120 counties when it comes to homophobia. Rather than begging for California to allow travel to Louisville and Lexington, maybe this tired old queen (I can say it because I’m as gay and put my money where my mouth is) could put his money where his mouth is for once and fight Matt Bevin and the Republican bigotry that’s taken over Frankfort. He won’t, though, because he’d sell his fellow gays out in a heartbeat if it meant having to deal with the tiniest bit of inconvenience or embarrassment. He’s done it so frequently that his own relatives complain to me about it. Fuck Jim Gray and the rest of these tired old codgers too focused on their own self interest to stand up for the rest of the Commonwealth. They can’t retire and leave public life quickly enough. Signed, a big ole homo who knows Kentuckians are cool with rebellion and would love Jim Gray if he wasn’t a big baby. P.S. It’s okay for you to call his ass out for being dumb. It won’t make you a homophobe unless you’re, you know, already a homophobe. [H-L]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Deserves To Be Thrown Into A Shitty Western Kentucky Nursing Home) on Tuesday delayed a vote on the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act until after the July 4 recess, indicating he lacks support to advance the bill. [HuffPo]

PEE ALERT! Embattled Metro Councilman Dan Johnson wants fellow Democrats to do a crack down on the “continuous leaks” about the sexual harassment claims against him. [C-J/AKN]

Mmm hmm. Ending one the most turbulent tenures of a Washington-based ambassador in recent memory, the Kremlin has decided to recall its ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak, three individuals familiar with the decision tell BuzzFeed News. [BuzzFeed]

Surprise! The Rowan County Board of Education is just as feckless as the Montgomery County Board of Education. Supt. Marvin Moore received an exemplary rating from the Rowan County Board of Education at Tuesday’s meeting. The evaluation is based on a state-mandated Superintendent Leadership Plan. [The Morehead News]

He’s just stupid. Trump in a rally on Wednesday evening said immigrants who enter the United States should not be eligible for welfare benefits for five years, though such a law has already existed for 20 years. [The Hill]

Children of migrant workers coming through eastern Kentucky face language barriers, cultural shifts and a host of adjustments every harvest, and sometimes, every season. While their parents strip tobacco, herd cattle and plant soybeans, their children need an education. [Richmond Register]

In violation of a longstanding legal mandate, scores of federal law enforcement agencies are failing to submit statistics to the FBI’s national hate crimes database, ProPublica has learned. [ProPublica]

Many have flood stories from the heavy rains that hit the area on Friday. Jeremy Taylor’s involves saving two lives. [Ashland Independent]

Many Americans have become accustomed to Trump’s lies. But as regular as they have become, the country should not allow itself to become numb to them. So we have catalogued nearly every outright lie he has told publicly since taking the oath of office. [NY Times]

How far can your eyes roll back in your head? Republican U.S. Rep. James Comer reignited an old political rivalry this week by publicly releasing his personal income tax returns and questioning why Gov. Matt Bevin has not done the same. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Obama Administration tried to shore up state election infrastructures from Russia. Guess who stood in the way! Republicans. [WaPo]

Low-income families who use food assistance programs got a boost on Tuesday that could put more fresh produce on the table through a combination of $1.4 million in federal, state and private funding. [Janet Patton]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Deserves To Be Thrown Into A Shitty Western Kentucky Nursing Home) told senators on Tuesday that he will delay a vote on the Senate GOP health care bill until after the July Fourth recess. [HuffPo]

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Kentucky To Get More Discriminatory On The 29th

Fugitive lawyer Eric C. Conn fled the country using a fake passport and help from someone overseas who has given him a job to support himself while on the lam, Conn told the Herald-Leader in an email exchange over the weekend. [H-L]

Thousands of federal workers at the Interior Department could soon find themselves out of a job as the Trump administration looks to reorganize the agency and cut its funding by 12 percent. [HuffPo]

Maybe a tiny little man with gay people really close to him in his family ought not complain hypocritically? These New Republican bigots are the reason Kentucky will remain forever in the dark, our economy will never rise with the rest of the nation and our children will never reach their full potential. Though, it’s fascinating that A Kentucky Newspaper is STILL neglecting to mention that Rand Paul opposes the Senate health plan because it doesn’t go far enough in cutting benefits. [C-J/AKN]

Don’t come for Joe Biden unless he sends for you. [NY Magazine]

Laws dealing with Bible literacy in schools, religious freedom, nuclear power, charter schools and making it a hate crime to assault police officers go into effect on June 29 in Kentucky. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Trump administration has taken little meaningful action to prevent Russian hacking, leaking and disruption in the next national election in 2018, despite warnings from intelligence officials that it will happen again, officials and experts told NBC News. [NBC News]

The Ashland Fire Department responded to three overdoses in the city, with all three patients being transported to the hospital, during its most recent reporting period. [Ashland Independent]

Not only did the Obama Administration try to do something about Russia, they pushed for sanctions. It was Republicans like Mitch McConnell who fought the Administration at every turn. Because Russian meddling benefited Republicans. And it’s the Trump Administration that’s pushed to reverse and weaken sanctions. [CBS News]

It’s been 17 years since Josh Gentry sustained a severe brain injury in a crash that nearly cost him his life. Josh was a passenger in the backseat of a pickup that wrecked on Ky. 249 at the Skagg’s Creek Bridge in Barren County. [Richmond Register]

The Trump administration opposes a bid to use unclaimed money from a legal settlement over the government’s infamous Tuskegee syphilis study to fund a museum honoring victims of the research project. [Associated Press]

Barren County Middle School students assisted with a study on Thursday in which Mammoth Cave National Park is participating to help determine mercury levels in lakes, rivers and streams across the country. [Glasgow Daily Times]

“About five or six sentences in, I noticed that all of his sentences had both nouns and verbs in them,” Carol Foyler, another student, said. “I couldn’t believe he was going after Trump like that.” [New Yorker]

The Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission unanimously voted Wednesday to appeal a recent federal court ruling that allows lobbyists to give gifts and campaign donations to state lawmakers. [H-L]

Senior officials across the government became convinced in January that the incoming national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, had become vulnerable to Russian blackmail. [NY Times]

The city of Ferguson, Missouri, has settled a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the parents of Michael Brown, the unarmed black 18-year-old who was fatally shot by former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in 2014. [HuffPo]

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The Herald-Leader Repeatedly Failed Montgomery County For Years And Here’s A Perfect Reminder

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The best part about this story is that Valarie Honeycutt Spears didn’t bother to mention how all of these victims spent years reaching out to her for help. Only to be told that there was no story there, that Jake was mistaken, that there was nothing to see, move along. Welp, how bout them apples? More than four years of investigative journalism produced these results and the Herald-Leader couldn’t be bothered to mention that this isn’t new news. Partially out of bitterness toward someone doing their job for them and calling them lazy for missing the biggest education scandal in our lifetime… and partially out of trying to save face. [H-L]

Mitch McConnell is a lesser person than you thought. Capitol Police forcibly removed protesters gathered outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office on Thursday, with at least one photo showing drops of blood on the hallway floor. [HuffPo]

In recent days, American Airlines has been forced to cancel more than 40 flights in Phoenix. The reason: With daytime highs hovering around 120 degrees, it was simply too hot for some smaller jets to take off. Hotter air is thinner air, which makes it more difficult — and sometimes impossible — for planes to generate enough lift. As the global climate changes, disruptions like these are likely to become more frequent, researchers say, potentially making air travel costlier and less predictable with a greater risk of injury to travelers from increased turbulence. [NY Times]

Leave it to Matt Bevin to have a lesser understanding of the freedom of speech than the Kentucky Democratic Party. The Supreme Court reserves the highest scrutiny for content-based restrictions on speech. Blocking only those Twitter users with whom Bevin disagrees is a content-based restriction on speech. [C-J/AKN]

Taxpayers’ money “will not be used to let people travel to states who chose to discriminate,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra told the Associated Press Thursday upon adding Texas, Alabama, South Dakota, and Kentucky to the list of places where state employee travel is restricted. [The Advocate]

The battle over Indian Head Rock, the eight-ton sandstone bolder that once sat in the Ohio River between Portsmouth and South Shore, is the focus of a new independent film airing on Kentucky Educational Television. “Between the Rock and the Commonwealth,” airing at 9 p.m. July 3 on KET and 8 p.m. July 9 on KET2, details the controversial removal of Indian Head Rock from the river in 2007, and the ensuing legal battle between Ohio and Kentucky about ownership rights. [Ashland Independent]

A Homeland Security (DHS) official told a Senate panel that election systems in 21 states were targeted in Russian cyber attacks in the 2016 presidential election. [CBS News]

Sure is fascinating to see Ann Oldfather defend this criminal junta. It’s like she wants her law firm to lose all credibility. It’s one thing for her to stand up for her well-paying client but a different thing entirely to attack the taxpayers for daring suggest these shysters get their fat asses kicked to the curb for being corrupt as hell. [Business First]

The hacking of state and local election databases in 2016 was more extensive than previously reported, including at least one successful attempt to alter voter information, and the theft of thousands of voter records that contain private information like partial Social Security numbers, current and former officials tell TIME. [TIME]

Journalism isn’t a profession. It’s a calling. And a strange feeling rises in my stomach as I see my retirement approaching on Wednesday. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump doesn’t have recordings of his conversations with then-FBI Director James Comey, according to a person familiar with the matter, capping weeks of speculation about whether such tapes exist. [Bloomberg]

Lawyers for Gov. Matt Bevin filed a motion in Franklin Circuit Court on Friday seeking to dismiss a suit by labor groups challenging the constitutionality of the recently passed Kentucky right-to-work law. [Ronnie Ellis]

Dumb. Donald Trump offered an explanation Wednesday for why he has one of the wealthiest Cabinets in history. “I love all people — rich or poor — but in those particular positions, I just don’t want a poor person,” he said at a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. [CNN]

Matt Bevin and the Republican Party of Kentucky (Hello, you self-hating pieces of shit!) are costing the state millions upon millions of dollars. All because they’re super-homophobic and gay-panicked. And this Woody Maglinger? You know that gurl’s on Grindr more than me. [H-L]

White House huckster Kellyanne Conway on Sunday came right out and said what so many Republicans are probably thinking ― that taking Medicaid away from able-bodied adults is no big deal, because they can go out and find jobs that provide health insurance. [HuffPo]

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She’s Tied To Ben Chandler And Jonathan Miller? Welp, That Won’t Last Long

The Kentucky Supreme Court decided Monday to hear Attorney General Andy Beshear’s lawsuit against Gov. Matt Bevin regarding the governor’s authority to reorganize state university boards. [H-L]

Where does a person go when they realize they need to do something immediately to address their substance use problem? In Nashua, New Hampshire, thanks to a program called Safe Stations, the answer now is their local firehouse. [HuffPo]

How can Louisville put an end to food deserts? Start by kicking the shit-for-brains Mary Ellen Wiederwohl and the Metro Animal Services trainwrecks running “Louisville Forward” to the curb. They’re some of the dumbest, most wretched people on the planet. If that sounds really mean to you? You haven’t been paying attention. That’s not merely an opinion – it’s based on a decade of reporting. It’s elitist, out-of-touch assholes like this continually screwing things up in Louisville. MEW thinks she’s going to run for mayor, fyi, but she’s going to get her ass handed to her before she ever has a chance to jump in. [C-J/AKN]

Shortly after Michael Flynn was forced out of the Trump administration, his lawyer pushed out a statement claiming that the ousted national security adviser had “a story to tell.” One top Democratic senator investigating Russia’s election interference thinks he’s already telling it. [TPM]

This may be the weakest, most Captain Obvious Mike Harmon audit yet. Kentucky Auditor Mike Harmon is calling for the University of Louisville’s athletics organization to put more money into the KFC Yum! Center arena, which is still struggling to pay off construction debts despite soaring revenues in the school’s athletic department. [WFPL]

The United States holds North Korea accountable for its treatment of U.S. student Otto Warmbier and wants three other U.S. citizens detained by Pyongyang to be freed as soon as possible, the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday. [Reuters]

This should end just about like you’re all expecting. Amy McGrath, the retired U.S. Marine fighter pilot considering a run for Congress as a Democrat, won’t easily be pigeon-holed by political opponents. That won’t stop them from trying, of course. McGrath, who retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the Marine Corps on June 1, is considering a challenge to Republican U.S. Congressman Andy Barr in Kentucky’s Sixth District. [Ronnie Ellis]

For decades, the Department of Justice has used court-enforced agreements to protect civil rights, successfully desegregating school systems, reforming police departments, ensuring access for the disabled and defending the religious. [ProPublica]

Incoming City Manager Michael Graese is set to dominate the list of highest-paid city employees in the new fiscal year, and the top 15 salaries will cost the city $1.4 million. Graese, who is retiring from the military and plans to start work in Ashland in August, will be paid $130,000 — the second-highest employee salary in the city’s history. Interim City Manager Steve Corbitt’s pay this year is based on a $153,373 salary, the same salary he had before he retired for the first time as city manager in 2013. [Ashland Independent]

Jane and Abe Goren retired here five years ago to escape the higher cost of living they had abided for decades in the suburbs of New York City. They did not anticipate having to write monthly checks for health insurance that would exceed their mortgage and property taxes combined. [NY Times]

Creating a new name and adjusting the composition of the board of directors for the Glasgow-Barren County Industrial Development and Economic Authority to have more elected officials in voting positions were just two of several suggestions from the magistrate who chairs the Barren County Fiscal Court Economic Development Committee. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Environmental Protection Agency has given notice to dozens of scientists that they will not be renewed in their roles in advising the agency, continuing a scientific shake-up that has already triggered resignations and charges from some researchers that the administration is politicizing the agency. [WaPo]

Georgetown College’s year-long probation will continue for another year. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the accrediting agency for the private, liberal arts Scott County college, extended its probation last week, according to documents posted on its website. [H-L]

Way to go, Republican dimwits. Under pressure from Donald Trump, Ford scrapped its plans to build a $1 billion plant in Mexico that would’ve produced its Focus compact car. But in a move that’s likely to vex the president, the automaker has decided to relocate its production to China in 2019. [HuffPo]

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