Paper Trail Raises Concern About Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday’s Recent Testimony

Remember when Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday pleaded ignorance of anything going on with fired former Montgomery County Schools superintendent Joshua Powell?

Click here to review the deposition and related shenanigans if your memory is fuzzy.

Well…

Turns out there’s a paper trail that suggests Holliday knew more than he claimed. Check out this email from Holliday’s right-hand to an individual who went to him regarding the Powell mess. His name is Jim Dusso.


THE EMAIL

Text:

From: “Smith, Jody – Office of the Commissioner of Education”
Date: January 23, 2014 4:13:48 PM
To: “jimdusso
Subject: Meeting request

Hi Jim. I talked with Dr. Holliday and due to his schedule and the nature of your call, he would like for you to initially meet/talk with staff attorney Dave Wickersham. Our Associate Commissioner of Legal Services, Kevin Brown, may also be in attendance. You will find Mr. Wickersham to be kind and courteous, and most importantly, very knowledgeable and professional.
Shall I have David contact you? Or you may email him to set up a time to meet. His office is on the 1st floor of the Capital Plaza Tower, 500 Mero Street, Frankfort.

David.wickersham@education.ky.gov
Phone 502-564-4474, ext. 4833

If I can further help facilitate this meeting, let me know.
Thanks.

Jody Smith
Executive Secretary/Scheduler
Office of the Commissioner
Ky. Dept. of Education
502-564-3141 ext. 4806

Remember Dusso?

Dusso requested a meeting to discuss Powell’s directive for him (Dusso) to alter an employee’s evaluation.

Holliday’s secretary discussed it with him. Holliday knew darn well what was going on.

State Media Ignoring Glasgow Messes

A lawsuit filed in federal court in California against Maker’s Mark Distillery was dismissed on Monday. The plaintiffs had alleged that they were mislead by the premium bourbon’s claims on the label to be “handmade” but U.S. District Judge John A. Houston found that the claim “cannot reasonably be interpreted as meaning literally by hand nor that a reasonable consumer would understand the term to mean no equipment or automated process was used to manufacture the whisky.” [H-L]

New research indicates that Washington, D.C., is rapidly sinking into the ocean, news that might not make the rest of the country all that sad. [HuffPo]

Unless you’re traveling through Woodford County because Woodford County is the traffic devil. Kentucky speeders get off easier than drivers in other states, according to a 2015 WalletHub study that ranked the “Strictest and Most Lenient States on Speeding and Reckless Driving.” [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump’s explosive rise in the polls has come at the expense of every other GOP presidential candidate except for Jeb Bush and Scott Walker — who arguably have been helped by the businessman’s rise. [The Hill]

There weren’t many substantive insights drawn from Monday’s debate between Republican Matt Bevin and Democrat Jack Conway before a Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Business Summit crowd. [Ronnie Ellis]

Opponents of President Barack Obama’s soon-to-be-implemented policy to cut carbon emissions from power plants are planning to use an unlikely and potentially potent weapon against him: the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that saved Obamacare. [Reuters]

A hearing has been set for next week regarding whether to take a former police chief’s lawsuit against the City of Glasgow and the current, interim chief outside Barren County. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Despite his plum position, Rogers finds himself at odds with GOP leadership on a path to stave off a government shutdown. [Politico]

The latest column Greg Stumbo’s LRC staffers have written for him is about drug abuse. [Floyd County Times]

The Eagle was built by the Nazis and fought for Hitler in World War Two – so how did a tall ship that once flew the swastika end up as a training vessel for new US Coast Guard cadets? [BBC]

The first extension of Mountain Parkway in a half-century is set to begin next year with the reconstruction of a wider, safer Restaurant Row in Salyersville. While visible road work is underway to the west, teams are busy finalizing construction plans, land acquisitions and utility relocation efforts to prepare for a summer start. [WTVQ]

The United States is emerging as the world’s hog farm—the country where massive foreign meat companies like Brazil’s JBS and China’s WH Group (formerly Shuanghui) alight when they want to take advantage of rising global demand for pork. [Mother Jones]

Lexington gets a lot of things right. The University of Kentucky opened a new bike path Wednesday at the Arboretum to connect bicyclists from south Lexington neighborhoods to campus and downtown. [H-L]

It was 50 years ago Thursday that President Lyndon Johnson signed the legislation that created Medicare, dramatically altering life for America’s seniors. But as debate over the program rages on, its conservative critics have learned to be more crafty about what alternatives they propose — and how to justify them. [HuffPo]

McConnell-Cruz Slap Fight Is Terrific

Even after years of talk about a “war on coal,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell startled some of his constituents in March when he urged open rebellion against a White House proposal for cutting pollution from coal-fired power plants. [H-L]

President Barack Obama fired back at former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) on Monday after the 2016 Republican presidential candidate invoked the specter of the Holocaust in comments regarding the Iran nuclear deal. [HuffPo]

Just a reminder that a bunch of butthurt racists cried in Frankfort last week. [C-J/AKN]

In L.A. and cities across the United States, it is effectively illegal to be dirt poor in a country where more than 45 million people live in poverty. [The Intercept]

When thousands of political partisans gather Saturday in the little western Kentucky hamlet with the picturesque name of Fancy Farm, the main attraction will be the governor’s contest between Democrat Jack Conway and Republican Matt Bevin. [Ronnie Ellis]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Granny) and other Republicans on Sunday criticized their colleague Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Cartoon), who on Friday accused McConnell of lying about a deal to revive the Export-Import Bank. [The Hill]

Madison was among the 118 Kentucky counties in which the unemployment rate was lower in June compared to a year earlier. [Richmond Register]

U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Saturday that she did not use a private email account to send or receive classified information while she was secretary of state, in response to a government inspector’s letter this week. [Reuters]

A revised search and seizure policy is in place for Glasgow Independent Schools that includes a section about canine monitoring. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Pentagon has urged US citizens not to carry out armed patrols outside military recruitment centres. [BBC]

The state will pay $400,000 to settle two sexual harassment lawsuits against lawmakers and the state agency that runs administrative operations in the state Capitol. [WFPL]

It’s an extremely safe bet that the Republican nominee will not take more action to confront climate change than President Obama has. The question is more how much of the president’s climate agenda the nominee would reverse, repeal, or ignore. [ThinkProgress]

By hedging on gay marriage, embracing his pro-Second Amendment side and following in the state’s bipartisan political tradition of cozying up to coal, Conway risks losing a base he desperately needs if he hopes to offset a motivated conservative electorate in the rest of the state. But it’s really about racism — how many Kentucky Democrats will once again vote against the name “Obama” on the basis of race? [H-L]

U.S. Republican presidential contender Rand Paul said on Sunday he plans to push Congress to cut federal funding for the non-profit reproductive healthcare organization Planned Parenthood in a debate over its treatment of aborted fetal tissue. [HuffPo]

This All Helps Rand Win Re-Election

It’s a rare Sunday session for senators, and on the agenda are efforts to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law and reviving the federal Export-Import Bank. [H-L]

Someone has taken up Justice Stephen Breyer’s invitation to challenge the constitutionality of the death penalty. [HuffPo]

It wasn’t until after Sarah Norris dropped out of high school that she found an educational program that worked for her. [C-J/AKN]

Has he stalled? It doesn’t matter. This is a push to raise his U.S. Senate profile and it’s worked. A year ago, Rand Paul, the libertarian-minded senator from Kentucky, was among the leading potential candidates in the GOP presidential race, topping at least three national polls in spring and early summer. [The Hill]

Officials from Eastern Kentucky University’s aviation degree program flew into the Ashland Regional Airport Thursday to greet students interested in earning a college degree while spending as much time in an airplane cockpit as in a college classroom. [Ashland Independent]

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz ripped into his party’s establishment on Friday, calling Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell a liar during an unusual public attack on the floor of the Senate. [Reuters]

Matt Bevin, the Republican nominee for governor, acknowledged Thursday for the first time that switching from Kentucky’s state health exchange to a federal exchange won’t in itself affect the state’s expansion of Medicaid. [Ronnie Ellis]

Twenty-five years ago this weekend, the Americans With Disabilities Act was signed into law, officially outlawing discrimination against disabled people in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and government services. [Mother Jones]

Western Kentucky school boards are the absolute worst. Glasgow Independent Schools plans to appeal an opinion from the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General that said its board of education violated the state’s open meetings law in March. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The H-2 visa program invites foreign workers to do some of the most menial labor in America. Then it leaves them at the mercy of their employers. Thousands of these workers have been abused — deprived of their fair pay, imprisoned, starved, beaten, raped, and threatened with deportation if they dare complain. And the government says it can do little to help. [BuzzFeed]

Citizens and emergency responders were only hours away from what could have been a very serious situation when last week’s storms knocked out power at the radio repeater site on Tower Road off Dry Creek Road. [The Morehead News]

You should check out these photos of Dubya and Unka Dick from September 11, 2011. Seriously, not joking, check them out. [Flickr]

A bunch of fat, racist, white guys played dress-up on Friday and showed their true colors. Kentucky’s state government should not turn its back on Confederate symbols, including the “stars and bars” battle flag and Jefferson Davis, speakers told more than a hundred people at a “Southern pride” rally outside the Capitol Friday. [John Cheves]

Mitch McConnell fast-tracked a bill to defund Planned Parenthood on Friday because of an undercover video of a Planned Parenthood doctor discussing the donation of fetal tissue after abortions. But McConnell was one of many Republicans who voted to lift a ban on fetal tissue donations after abortions in 1993 — the very move that legalized Planned Parenthood’s actions. [HuffPo]

Haven’t Fire Ants Been Here A While?

Kentucky taxpayers should learn by Wednesday what they will pay to settle two lawsuits filed against House Democrats over sexual harassment and hostile-workplace claims. [John Cheves]

The transition to a renewable economy may be a painful one, particularly in this era of aversion to active government. [HuffPo]

Nearly a century after arriving in the United States, fire ants have made it to Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

Though previous research has suggested high blood pressure may be more dangerous for thinner people, a new study finds the cardiovascular disease risks are similar – and high – for the lean, overweight and the obese. [Reuters]

Garrett Fowles, the city of Richmond’s legal counsel for nearly 15 years, was hired on a full-time basis at Tuesday’s city commission meeting. He will earn $80,000 annually and may do private legal work that doesn’t conflict with his city work, according to his contract. Fowles previously worked also as an assistant county attorney. [Richmond Register]

Despite decades of accepted science, California and Arizona are still miscounting their water supplies. [ProPublica]

Governor Steve Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers joined public health and university officials [yesterday] to announce a new dentist recruitment program aimed at promoting sustained oral health and well-being in eastern Kentucky. The new loan forgiveness program is supported by $500,000 in state funds and is available for dental students who practice in the region. The dental schools at the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville will administer the program, providing two to five awardees $100,000 each for a two-year commitment. [Press Release]

The American space agency’s New Horizons probe has returned further images of Pluto that include a view of the dwarf planet’s strange icy plains. [BBC]

You can’t even go to Kroger these days without getting run over and killed in the parking lot. [WKYT]

Japan’s Mitsubishi corporation is making a big apology. It’s not for any recall or defect in its products, which include automobiles, but for its use of American prisoners of war as forced labor during World War II. [NPR]

Mitch McConnell said he’ll attend the Fancy Farm picnic next month to help support a one-time rival. [WFPL]

It’s fitting that a southern white racist advocates hanging. They’re always the first to throw out hanging for punishment. Because that’s what’s always on their mind. See: any comment section on any story in Kentucky featuring an African American. [The Hill]

Kentucky’s new law that raises the school dropout age from 16 to 18 could be in for both a legal challenge and revision from the 2016 General Assembly. [H-L]

As American evangelicals lose traction at home, they are increasingly finding receptive audiences abroad. [HuffPo]

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