Kentucky Teachers Are Still Fired Up

Can legalizing marijuana fight the problem of opioid addiction and fatal overdoses? Two new studies in the debate suggest it may. [H-L]

Andrew Bailey had toyed with the idea of running for public office in Kentucky for years. A teacher at Fairdale High School in Louisville, Bailey figured he’d start small: maybe a seat on the Board of Education for Jefferson County Public Schools, the state’s largest school district, or perhaps a spot on Louisville’s Metro Council. [HuffPo]

Hold on to your corrupt wigs, Republicans. Guessing there’s a reason Jeff Hoover has been MIA for weeks and weeks. Tuesday was fun and you know there’s more fun to come. Even though the Legislative Ethics Commission is a load of horseshit that’s never held anyone accountable. That’s why Schaaf was installed there – to make sure nothing ever occurs. [C-J/AKN]

Jason Foster, chief investigative counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, fits a classic Washington profile: A powerful, mostly unknown force at the center of some of the most consequential battles on Capitol Hill. [ProPublica]

Just over a month after the Richmond City Commission voted to commit more than $1 million to connect with Kentucky Wired, the state project, that would build more than 3,000 miles of fiber optic cable across the state to provide high-speed Internet service, has hit a major roadblock. [Richmond Register]

In July, David J. Pecker, the chairman of the company that owns The National Enquirer, visited his old friend Donald Trump at the White House. [NY Times]

If Republican lawmakers thought some additional funding for education in the new state budget might soften the anger of teachers over pension changes passed last week, they may be rethinking that idea after Monday. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump is a paranoid racist and has been poisoned by Fox News. But you already knew that and none of this will come as a surprise. [WaPo]

The Morehead Utility Plant Board has begun moving forward on an initiative to help pay employees closer to the market value of their position to help decrease turnover. [The Morehead News]

Top intelligence chiefs issue a dire warning about the Kremlin’s ongoing efforts to influence the US, defend against Trump’s attacks on the FBI, and explain what happened with a shady Russian offering dirt on Trump. [BI]

The Barren County Economic Authority has set up the process for a local industry that is leasing a facility to pay it off and take over ownership if it decides to move forward with that decision. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Ken Ham won’t like this… Researchers have uncovered more than 50 dinosaur tracks along a Scottish beach, some of which have retained their original shape and even the outline of claws. The discovery is shedding light on the kinds of dinosaurs that lived in this region some 170 million years ago. [Gizmodo]

An investment firm pushing Kentucky lawmakers to approve a $60 million tax break aimed at creating jobs in rural parts of the state has a history of persuading lawmakers in other states and then making millions from tax breaks that often don’t create the promised jobs. [H-L]

Fifty years after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, his status as a civil rights icon isn’t really in question. In recent polls, 85 percent of Americans say he made things better for black Americans, and nearly 70 percent say that his legacy remains relevant today. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Republicans Are Kickin That Can, Honey

The controversial pension plan rushed through the Kentucky legislature Thursday night would do at least one thing Republican lawmakers vowed to stop this year: It would kick the can down the road. [John Cheves]

Shanna Diederichs crouches in a shallow, circular depression in the floor of a Puebloan ruin, a clear and all-too-familiar sign that looters were here, scouring for pottery and other valuable Native American artifacts. [HuffPo]

The Kentucky Public Service Commission on Friday announced that it had issued its highest ever penalty in a natural gas safety case – a $395,000 fine of Louisville Gas and Electric for a 2014 pipeline break that injured two contract workers. [C-J/AKN]

The widow of the Pulse nightclub gunman walked free on Friday after a jury cleared her of charges related to the 2016 massacre that killed 49 people in Orlando, Florida. [Reuters]

Republican lawmakers Monday morning unveiled a compromise budget which funds public schools at higher levels and paired the budget with a tax overhaul that will lower income taxes, apply sales taxes to some services and raise $479 million in new tax dollars over two years. [Ronnie Ellis]

Former colleagues say the next national security adviser — whose job is to marshal information and present it to the president fairly — resists input that doesn’t fit his biases and retaliates against people he disagrees with. [ProPublica]

River Cities Harvest’s shelves are now 40,169 pounds heavier with food thanks to the annual Food Feud competition between local hospitals. [Ashland Independent]

America needs teachers committed to working with children who have the fewest advantages in life. So for a decade the federal government has offered grants — worth up to $4,000 a year — to standout college students who agree to teach subjects like math or science at lower-income schools. But a new government study, obtained by NPR and later posted by the Department of Education, suggests that thousands of teachers had their grants taken away and converted to loans, sometimes for minor errors in paperwork. That’s despite the fact they were meeting the program’s teaching requirements. [NPR]

Kentucky teachers say they feel betrayed by Republican lawmakers who slipped changes to future pension benefits into an unrelated bill, then hastily passed it in the House and Senate on a party-line vote. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Trump administration is attempting to scale back federal efforts to enforce fair housing laws, freezing enforcement actions against local governments and businesses, including Facebook, while sidelining officials who have aggressively pursued civil rights cases. [NY Times]

Kentucky educators expressed their concern Friday for a bill that passed the Kentucky General Assembly on Thursday. While the 291-page bill originally addressed wastewater services, it now includes pension reform. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A federal judge ruled that the District of Columbia and Maryland may proceed with an unprecedented lawsuit against Donald Trump alleging that Trump’s business dealings have violated the Constitution’s ban on receiving improper “emoluments,” or payments, from individual states and foreign governments. [WaPo]

It was after supper, and Bill Turner was studying for senior finals when his friend Jim Embry ran into the library to tell him the news: “Bill, they killed Dr. King!” [Tom Eblen]

A leading figure in America’s largest Protestant denomination has resigned from his job over a “morally inappropriate relationship in the recent past.” Frank Page, who served as the president and chief executive of the Southern Baptist Convention’s executive committee, announced his retirement on Monday. A day later, he followed up with a statement explaining that he was stepping away from active ministry because of a “personal failing” that has “embarrassed my family, my Lord, myself, and the Kingdom.” [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Will April Be Just As Crazy As March?

The General Assembly introduced a tax bill today that is a shift in taxes away from corporations and high-income people and over to low- and middle-income Kentuckians. Although the official estimate is that it would bring $248 million more in net revenue by the second year, the plan relies heavily on a fading source in a cigarette tax increase and very uncertain new revenues from conformity to the federal tax code. By moving away from more productive income taxes to slower-growing consumption taxes, it will worsen Kentucky’s budget problems in the future. [Republicans Are Screwing You]

It was fitting that Republicans rammed their newest secret pension plan through the General Assembly in a matter of hours Thursday as an amendment to a bill about sewer system regulations. The whole process stank. [Tom Eblen]

Trump touted second chances for former prisoners the day before he blasted California Gov. Jerry Brown for giving ex-convicts a … second chance. [HuffPo]

Teachers from across Kentucky stormed Frankfort on Friday morning, furious over a controversial pension bill that lawmakers passed the night before in a matter of hours. [C-J/AKN]

Thousands of Kentucky teachers descended on Frankfort on Monday morning to rally against a surprise pension reform bill that passed through the legislature late last week. [More C-J/AKN]

Investigators probing whether Donald Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with Russia have been questioning witnesses about events at the 2016 Republican National Convention, according to two sources familiar with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiries. [Reuters]

An action packed Thursday night ended in a passed pension bill, however, for many Kentucky educators the fight, they say, is far from over. [Richmond Register]

Nearly a year after record Midwestern floods killed at least five people and caused $1.7 billion in damage, a secretive lobbying effort funded by Illinois and Missouri drainage districts is underway to roll back flood regulations, documents show. [ProPublica]

Northeastern Kentucky lawmakers discussed their votes Friday on a controversial pension reform bill that surged through the state Legislature. [Ashland Independent]

Get. Off. Facebook. A Facebook executive’s memo that claimed the “ugly truth” was that anything it did to grow was justified has been made public, embarrassing the company. [BBC]

Kentucky educators expressed their concern Friday for a bill that passed the Kentucky General Assembly on Thursday. While the 291-page bill originally addressed wastewater services, it now includes pension reform. [Glasgow Daily Times]

One was Photoshopped tearing up the Constitution — a falsehood — and criticized for wearing a flag that represented her Cuban heritage. A conservative blog said that another wasn’t even at the school during the killings — then had to backtrack on Monday when that also proved false. The attacks on the teenage survivors of the shooting in Parkland, Fla., have been fierce from the beginning, and have only continued since the students helped spearhead hundreds of protests this weekend. [NY Times]

Kentucky’s Democratic attorney general says he’ll go to court to challenge the pension overhaul bill passed by lawmakers in the Republican-controlled General Assembly Thursday night. [WFPL]

The death of an icon in America’s civil rights history is a reminder of how recently school segregation existed in the United States — and how little has changed since that time. [WaPo]

A former employee of Eric C. Conn pleaded guilty Friday to helping the one-time disability attorney escape the country last year to avoid sentencing in a federal fraud case. Curtis Wyatt, 48, faces up to five years in prison for helping Conn. [H-L]

Far-right white men are dangerous. Jurors in a federal courthouse Thursday were played recording after recording of three militia members spewing genocidal hatred of Muslims. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Shoo, What A Year March Was

***Care about the future of Kentucky? Help us cover FOIA and open records request fees relating to Matt Bevin and Jamie Comer.*** [CLICK HERE]

How many years did I report on this while the mainstream media blew it off? The Kentucky Retirement Systems Board of Trustees is debating whether to join a lawsuit that says the state’s pension agency was cheated on up to $1.5 billion in hedge fund investments by several wealthy corporations, with blame to be shared by some of its own current and former trustees and officials. [John Cheves]

Modern Republicans are so severely gay-panicked they can’t breath. So of course they’re pulling crap like this with trans kids. At least three school districts around the country are continuing to enforce potentially hostile restroom policies for transgender students after the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights refused to investigate student complaints. [HuffPo]

Attorney General Andy Beshear says the surprise new pension bill is illegal, and he will file suit to block its implementation. [C-J/AKN]

Paul Manafort, the former chair of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, had a long professional relationship with a man connected to Russian intelligence. And special counsel Robert Mueller says that man, Konstantin Kilimnik, was still working with Russian intelligence in 2016, when Trump was running for president. [Vox]

Matt Bevin probably had no need Friday to worry about teachers hoarding sick days. Enough called in sick to close more than 20 school districts across the state. [Ronnie Ellis]

For the past 20 years, Hope Workman has hustled up a dirt path on the side of a mountain in Lovely, Kentucky, just to get drinking water. She doesn’t trust what comes out of her tap. [CNN]

Teachers in Northeast Kentucky were furious Friday after the Kentucky General Assembly on Thursday unexpectedly passed pension legislation they say insults them and will cripple the state’s ability to attract new educators. [Ashland Independent]

Cambridge Analytica’s US campaign data, which was harvested from Facebook, is still circulating – despite assurances it has been deleted. [Channel 4]

Their anger is palpable. So is their hurt. Kentucky teachers feel betrayed by a party line vote Thursday night in the Republican controlled General Assembly to make changes in their pension benefits. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump ordered the expulsion of 60 Russian officials on Monday, joining a coordinated campaign by two dozen countries to retaliate for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain in a Cold War-style escalation that again highlighted the disparity between the president’s words and actions. [NY Times]

Teachers from around Kentucky descended on Frankfort Friday morning to protest a surprise pension bill that was rushed through the state legislature the day before. [WFPL]

Six months ago, the conservative radio host and blogger Erick Erickson wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times, inspiringly titled “How to Find Common Ground.” “We owe it to one another to disagree agreeably, without anger or intimidation,” he wrote, noting that social media has put us all in polarized bubbles. [WaPo]

Hundreds of angry teachers gathered in the Capitol Rotunda Friday outside Gov. Matt Bevin’s office to protest a surprise public pension bill that legislators rushed through Thursday. [H-L]

The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday evening sent employees a list of eight approved talking points on climate change from its Office of Public Affairs ― guidelines that promote a message of uncertainty about climate science and gloss over proposed cuts to key adaptation programs. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Matt Bevin Lives In The Damn Gutter

Matt Bevin continues to insult teachers, workers and retirees because he’s a modern Republican. That means he’s a garbage human. He’s not a decent person like Republicans from just a few years ago. He’s just trash. [Tom Eblen]

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, says that social media giant Facebook hasn’t been fully transparent about its previously unreported data leak. [HuffPo]

Maybe don’t joke-threaten to kill a sitting congressperson? A Republican candidate for Kentucky secretary of state tweeted Tuesday that he would like to use Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth as target practice. Carl Nett, a former member of the U.S. Secret Service, who worked under contract with the CIA, was responding to a tweet from Yarmuth who was bragging about his F grade from the National Rifle Association. [C-J/AKN]

Modern Republicans aren’t just garbage – they’re bigots. Donald Trump signed a memorandum on Friday that bans some transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military, but gives the armed forces latitude in implementing policies. [Reuters]

A study released [last] week shows many Appalachian counties — especially those in eastern Kentucky — have drug overdose mortality rates that are substantially higher than the national average. [Richmond Register]

For nearly half a century, IBM came as close as any company to bearing the torch for the American Dream. [ProPublica]

Do people for real freak out about something as simple as coyotes? Hearing and seeing coyotes in her neighborhood has one Ashland woman worried, and unhappy with what she sees as insufficient official response to a serious problem. [Ashland Independent]

The political action committee founded by John R. Bolton, Donald Trump’s incoming national security adviser, was one of the earliest customers of Cambridge Analytica, which it hired specifically to develop psychological profiles of voters with data harvested from tens of millions of Facebook profiles, according to former Cambridge employees and company documents. [NY Times]

This is now dead but don’t forget that Damon Thayer was behind it. Damon is a coward with a lot to hid. And if the current Kentucky Democratic Party’s leadership weren’t so inept, you might see me sharing the research book on Damon. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump did not follow specific warnings from his national security advisers when he congratulated Russian President Vladi­mir Putin Tuesday on his reelection, including a section in his briefing materials in all-capital letters stating “DO NOT CONGRATULATE,” according to officials familiar with the call. Trump also chose not to heed talking points from aides instructing him to condemn Putin about the recent poisoning of a former Russian spy in the United Kingdom with a powerful nerve agent, a case that both the British and U.S. governments have blamed on Moscow. [WaPo]

At least four cases in Hart County have been dismissed as an apparent consequence of a federal investigation apparently targeting the Horse Cave police chief and one of his officers, each of whom invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify in court proceedings this week. Further, a letter from the officer’s attorney included in the court files for two of those defendants – Anthony L. Owens and Rickey Bell – states that Owens’ cases are the subject of that federal investigation. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Valentine’s Day started off as a great day for Victoria Gonzalez. “Joaquin and I exchanged gifts in the morning and he walked me to class. I was so happy,” she said. [BBC]

Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson recommended $25 million in budget cuts Thursday that would affect nearly every level of the Richmond-based school. His plan would cut 200 positions, close its Danville campus, eliminate academic programs and slash athletics spending by 20 percent, which might mean shutting down one or two sports teams. [H-L]

Modern Republicans are garbage humans. Former U.S. senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum suggested on Sunday that students concerned about gun violence in their schools should learn how to revive wounded people instead of asking lawmakers “to solve their problems.” [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

HAHA, No, He Can’t Beat McConnell

***Care about the future of Kentucky? Help us cover FOIA and open records request fees relating to Matt Bevin and Jamie Comer.*** [CLICK HERE]

How much more stupid and racist can Matt Bevin get? Don’t answer that question. I know it will get way worse. [H-L]

As hundreds of thousands of protesters prepared to gather in Washington and other cities across the U.S. on Saturday to demand meaningful gun reform, the National Rifle Association took to social media to mock the “March For Our Lives” event and the young gun violence survivors who spearheaded it. [HuffPo]

If you were following me on Twitter, you would have known about this memo when I obtained it and shared it with the public long before A Kentucky Newspaper claimed to have done so. And you’d know about the other Republican Party of Kentucky documents that have been leaked to me – not as a result of hacks but because people inside have had enough. [C-J/AKN]

A former Cambridge Analytica staffer says foreigners were embedded in U.S. campaigns and making decisions, despite a legal memo that advised otherwise. [NBC News]

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. However, soon, community members will see smoke rising from the Berea College forest, but there’s no need for alarm as its likely a prescribed burn, meant to help and not harm, according to Berea College Forester Clint Patterson. [Richmond Register]

Lie-detector tests supported the accounts of Ms. Clifford, her ex-husband Michael Mosny and Mr. Deuschle, according to reports reviewed by the Journal. After the magazine called Mr. Trump’s representatives for comment, Mr. Cohen threatened to sue, say people familiar with the matter. Mr. Cohen, 51, didn’t respond to requests for comment. [WSJ]

Health care premium costs are rising for all Ashland city workers except union fire department employees. [Ashland Independent]

The youth-led U.S. gun control movement that flexed its public muscle with huge weekend rallies has already nudged Congress to enact minor firearms changes, but must remain active if it hopes to win more meaningful regulations, lawmakers said on Sunday. [Reuters]

When Frankfort lawmakers were confident they could pass a major reform of the state’s public pension systems, they decided to help local governments by allowing them to phase in higher pension contributions over a period of years. [Ronnie Ellis]

No, Matt Jones won’t beat Mitch McConnell. He won’t even be able to win a Democratic Primary. If Adam Edelen is leading people to believe that’s possible? He’s lying to you. I know what’s in the Republicans’ research book. And it’ll choke the Democratic Party’s slate. The KDP needs to get over this Jonathan Miller-Adam Edelen wing of bullshit and move on with people who aren’t good old boys. It’s tired and ought to be drowned in a toilet bowl and flushed. [Politico]

The Kentucky House of Representatives Thursday gave final passage to a bill that will create two new Family Court judges in circuits serving Pulaski, Lincoln and Rockcastle counties and Kenton and Boone counties. [Ronnie Ellis]

A cooperating witness in the special counsel investigation worked for more than a year to turn a top Trump fund-raiser into an instrument of influence at the White House for the rulers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, according to interviews and previously undisclosed documents. Hundreds of pages of correspondence between the two men reveal an active effort to cultivate Donald Trump on behalf of the two oil-rich Arab monarchies, both close American allies. [NY Times]

Republicans have complete control of negotiations to finalize Kentucky’s next two-year state budget for the first time in modern history, but that doesn’t necessarily mean smooth sailing for the budget talks that started Friday morning. [H-L]

Puke alert. Karen McDougal, the former Playboy model who says she had an affair with Donald Trump in 2006, described an extremely awkward compliment she received from the future president. Trump compared her to one of his daughters, Ivanka Trump. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

RPK Thinks It Can Wash Its Hands Of Johnson But That’s Not Going To Happen

RPK talked her into going away because all hell was about to break loose. The wife of a former Kentucky lawmaker who killed himself after facing sexual assault allegations has withdrawn from the GOP primary. Maybe her racist, child sex abuse-enabling, homophobic, literal Moonie ass will finally fade into obscurity. [H-L]

Cambridge Analytica, a British consulting firm that was hired for Trump’s 2016 election campaign, made headlines over the weekend for using data acquired from 50 million Facebook users to build “psychographic profiles” about voters without their knowledge. Undercover footage — shot between November 2017 and January 2018 — released by Britain’s Channel 4 News on Tuesday shows Mark Turnbull, managing director of Cambridge Analytica’s political division, bragging about how the company came up with the “Defeat Crooked Hillary” campaign and promoted it on social media. [HuffPo]

The city of Louisville has agreed to pay Kerry Porter $7.5 million for the 11 years he spent behind bars for a murder he did not commit — the latest in a string of huge settlements for wrongful arrest and incarceration. [C-J/AKN]

A science advocacy group urged the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Friday to reject a longstanding industry request to limit cyber attack protections at nuclear plants, a day after the Trump administration publicly blamed Moscow for hacking into nuclear power and other energy infrastructure. [Reuters]

Unless they alter their calendar, Kentucky state lawmakers are scheduled to take off Friday and Monday, then meet for two days to consider bills passed or amended by the opposite chamber. [Ronnie Ellis]

Retired U.S. Army general Barry McCaffrey says he can’t remain quiet any longer. Late Friday, the respected four-star general sounded an alarm about uncomfortably close relations between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, warning in a tweet that the U.S. president appears to be “for some unknown reason under the sway of Mr. Putin.” [ThinkProgress]

Catlettsburg Councilman Richard “Andy” Brown officially resigned Tuesday – 11 days after he pleaded guilty to drug charges and was subsequently arrested for allegedly violating his probation. [Ashland Independent]

That data firm tied to the Trump Campaign? It talked business with Russians. When the Russia question came up during a hearing at the British Parliament last month, Alexander Nix did not hesitate. But Mr. Nix’s business did have some dealings with Russian interests, according to company documents and interviews. [NY Times]

The search for a new provost at Morehead State University has been put on hold. President Jay Morgan and the search committee unanimously decided to suspend the search and re-advertise the position in September. [The Morehead News]

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ testimony that he opposed a proposal for Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign team to meet with Russians has been contradicted by three people who told Reuters they have spoken about the matter to investigators with Special Counsel Robert Mueller or congressional committees. [More Reuters]

Barren County is projected to be allotted nearly $1.6 million from the state’s Rural Secondary Road Program fund for the 2018-19 fiscal year that begins July 1. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Now a clue has emerged as to how Donald Trump’s son-in-law’s firm was able to move so fast: The Kushner Cos. routinely filed false paperwork with the city declaring it had zero rent-regulated tenants in dozens of buildings it owned across the city when, in fact, it had hundreds. [AP]

Billy Joe Miles, the Owensboro businessman and former University of Kentucky Board of Trustees chairman who turned his family’s seed company into one of Western Kentucky’s largest enterprises, has died. He was 78. [Linda Blackford]

Donald Trump on Wednesday tweeted a bizarre and ominous defense of his widely criticized decision to congratulate Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who was re-elected(sic) on Sunday. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]