Another Bevin Administration Scandal

Lexington has been chosen as one of 10 places nationwide where federal authorities will take part in a special enforcement program aimed at curbing distribution of synthetic opioids, powerful painkilling drugs that have helped drive up overdose deaths in Kentucky. [H-L]

You don’t have to believe there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to see this clearly: When Vladimir Putin and his top military intelligence officers facilitated the hacking of the computer systems of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, they engaged in an act of war against the United States. [HuffPo]

The state’s former top social services official says a colleague sexually harassed her and she was discriminated against at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, allegations the cabinet says are unsubstantiated. Adria Johnson, who resigned June 4, made the allegations in her resignation letter and a subsequent June 11 letter from her lawyer, Thomas Clay, according to copies of the documents the Courier Journal obtained through an open records request. [C-J/AKN]

Shortly before Donald Trump detonated a NATO summit, shanked the beleaguered British prime minister and prepped for a face-to-face love session with Vladimir Putin, his White House quietly divested itself of a senior official hawkish on Russia and bullish on the transatlantic military alliance. [TDB]

For 10 years, Liberty Place has been a beacon in the night for many women who have faced drug or alcohol addiction. [Richmond Register]

Long-struggling U.S. gambling industries hope to cash in on newly legal sports betting, but the growing wave of electronic and mobile gaming choices is considered more likely to change the face of those businesses rather than revive them. [Reuters]

A proposed doubling of the payroll tax in Raceland has staffers in the Raceland-Worthington School District up in arms, but city officials say there is no other way to get money it needs to pay bills. Teachers, administrators and support workers in the school district dispute the fairness of the tax because many don’t live in the city and they believe Raceland is using them as a cash cow. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump pardoned two Oregon ranchers Tuesday, firing a new salvo in a complicated culture war previously marked by air-mailed sex toys, nuanced disputes over the management of public lands, and a police shootout that killed a would-be leader of a modern crackpot revolution. [ThinkProgress]

Morehead State University President Jay Morgan reported to the institution’s Board of Regents last month that he had to cut nearly $11 million in personnel costs to balance the budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year. [The Morehead News]

When President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia sits down with Donald Trump in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday for a meeting he has long wanted, he will already have accomplished virtually everything he could reasonably hope for. [NY Times]

Jimmy Tosh sells a lot of pigs. He is owner and CEO of Tosh Farms, Tosh Pork, and Bacon By Gosh, in Henry County, Tennessee, and has 84 contracted barns in the region where farmers grow pigs for his products. [WFPL]

Scott Pruitt was known inside the Environmental Protection Agency’s headquarters for sipping $10 organic juice infused with kale, sporting Ferragamo shoes with his Hickey Freeman suits, and making biblical references in texts and conversations with aides. [WaPo]

A judge has barred the removal of signs that KentuckyOne Health paid to have at Rupp Arena as the University of Kentucky’s marketing partner tries to kick the hospital company out. [H-L]

Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin were welcomed to Helsinki, Finland, with a potent message about the importance of press freedom ahead of their bilateral summit. [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]

Surprise! Mitch McConnell Wants To Kill The Mueller Investigation

Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd struck down Kentucky’s controversial new public pension law Wednesday. [H-L]

Julian Carroll is a confirmed monster and the fact that neither the Kentucky Democratic Party nor the Republican Party of Kentucky care to oust him is damning. [More H-L]

Conservative groups that promote themselves as “pro-life” and “pro-family” are quietly supporting the Trump administration policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the border, or refusing to weigh in at all. [HuffPo]

Opposition to Donald Trump’s controversial policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the border crossed partisan lines Tuesday as Sen. Mitch McConnell and U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth said they would support plans to fix the problem. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration has likely lost track of nearly 6,000 unaccompanied migrant children, thousands more than lawmakers were alerted to last month, according to a McClatchy review of federal data. [McClatchy]

As Paul Trickel approached the front entrance of the Kentucky state Capitol Monday, he observed three people enter without incident. [Ronnie Ellis]

Just a reminder that Mitch McConnell is trying to kill the Mueller investigation. [The Hill]

Ashland City Commisioner Matt Perkins believes thousands of dollars the city pays annually to elected leaders for vehicle allowances should be re-allocated to help fund the cost of Boyd County’s new animal shelter. [Ashland Independent]

It’s a fundamental part of representative government: Politicians are elected to advocate for their constituents, and not their own interests. But in many states, laws and ethics rules allow representatives to advance bills that would benefit their own financial interests, as well. [ProPublica]

For decades, Kentucky’s own coal stoked the fires that generated most of its electricity. And while some of those power plants have shut down or switched to natural gas, their legacy remains today in the leftover coal ash that’s stored all over the commonwealth. [WFPL]

Donald Trump on Saturday repeated his false assertion that Democrats were responsible for his administration’s policy of separating migrant families apprehended at the border, sticking to a weekslong refusal to publicly accept responsibility for a widely condemned practice that has become a symbol of his crackdown on illegal immigration. [NY Times]

Barren County Fiscal Court approved the second reading of its budget ordinance Tuesday with only two sources of discussion – a summary by the judge-executive of some of the notable changes and expenses and one commentary during the public hearing portion of the court’s regular meeting. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The economy is not robust or wonderful. The average hourly wage paid to a key group of American workers has fallen from last year when accounting for inflation, as an economy that appears strong by several measures continues to fail to create bigger paychecks, the federal government said Tuesday. [WaPo]

A Pike County man who previously pleaded guilty to shooting his brother last June is back in police custody after, Kentucky State Police say, he shot his brother again Thursday. [H-L]

New Republicanism is a disease. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley will announce on Tuesday that the United States is withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council, a Trump administration source told Reuters. [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’s The Only Incompetent Hack Involved In That Case

Lawyers for Matt Bevin renewed their effort Tuesday to get a judge the governor has called an “incompetent hack” removed from a case challenging Kentucky’s new pension law, potentially delaying oral arguments in the case. [H-L]

What’s the phrase about the first dog to bark??? Jared Kushner’s father, real estate magnate Charles Kushner, slammed federal ethics watchdogs who have been hounding him and his son, calling them “jerks” who can’t get a “real job.” [HuffPo]

If you thought Rick Sanders wasn’t a piece of work? You were mistaken. He’s a far-right hack and has no business overseeing the Kentucky State Police – an agency that really does try to avoid partisanship. The next governor needs to fire him the second they’re sworn in. Two Democrats in the Kentucky House have asked Attorney General Andy Beshear for an opinion on whether the Constitutional rights of anti-poverty activists were violated Monday when they were blocked from entering the Capitol. [C-J/AKN]

Most U.S. states will get only a minor revenue boost from legalized sports betting even under the most optimistic scenarios, Moody’s Investors Service said on Friday. [Reuters]

The City of Berea could be looking at millions of dollars in unexpected electric transmission costs after Kentucky Utilities filed a request to end an agreement in force for two decades between it and several municipalities. [Richmond Register]

A federal suit filed in December claimed older workers missed out on job opportunities because ads on Facebook targeted younger users. Now plaintiffs say Facebook’s tools and algorithm gave employers ways to intensify the effects of such targeting. [ProPublica]

The Pikeville attorney who fled to Honduras to avoid sentencing in a massive Social Security fraud case pleaded guilty to escape and other charges Monday in federal court, according to court records and the U.S. Attorney’s office. [Ashland Independent]

In a series of exclusive interviews, former Fox News Channel chief political correspondent Carl Cameron explained to ThinkProgress how the Russians coordinated their cyber attack on the 2016 election with the Trump campaign. [ThinkProgress]

There’s a long way to go and much could go wrong, but representatives of Kentucky’s public pension systems said Monday things are improving for the troubled systems. [Ronnie Ellis]

At 7:50 on a recent morning, Preston Carraway greeted his third-grade teacher, Keshia Speight, who stood at the classroom door dispensing hugs. Mrs. Speight’s class has a motto, which everyone chants in the morning when she raises her fist: “Be brave! Be smart! Stay humble!” [NY Times]

Student teams from across the coalfields of eastern Kentucky came together at the Knott County Sportsplex, bringing with them drones that they themselves had built. It was time for the climax of this year-long project. [WFPL]

White Americans are increasingly critical of the country’s social safety net, a new study suggests, thanks in part to a rising tide of racial resentment. The study, conducted by researchers at two California universities and published Wednesday in the journal Social Forces, finds that opposition to welfare programs has grown among white Americans since 2008, even when controlling for political views and socioeconomic status. White Americans are more likely to favor welfare cuts when they believe that their status is threatened and that minorities are the main beneficiaries of safety net programs, the study says. [WaPo]

Ham sammich. You’ll know what that’s about if you’ve read those transcripts. The ringleader of the “Pappygate” rare bourbon heist was sentenced Friday in Frankfort to 15 years in prison. [H-L]

In Donald Trump’s world populated only with winners and losers, the on-then-off-now-on-again summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has one sure winner already — and, say Korea experts, it’s not 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]

Amy McGrath Is A Terrible Hypocrite

Prosecutors and congressional investigators have obtained text messages and emails showing that Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was working on a deal for a Trump Tower in Moscow far later than Cohen has previously acknowledged. The communications show that, as late as May 2016, around the time Trump was clinching the Republican nomination, Cohen was considering a trip to Russia to meet about the project with high-level government officials, business leaders and bankers. [Ruh Ro]

Amy McGrath is a carpetbagger and a hypocrite. She has the audacity to attack others for Democratic Party ties while being 14 miles up Jonathan Miller’s slimy you-know-what. What a hack. Made worse by her decision to tip-toe around homophobia. It’s a shame she’ll likely win and ultimately lose to Andy Barr. [H-L]

The U.S. delegation in Jerusalem on Monday to celebrate the opening of the new American embassy includes an evangelical Christian pastor who once said Jews “can’t be saved.” [HuffPo]

These jackasses need to be run out of the Commonwealth. The state should take over contract negotiations with the Jefferson County teachers union because previous deals have led to “implicit racial discrimination” in the public school system, a former district official says. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration has rolled back protections for transgender prison inmates introduced under former President Barack Obama after some prisoners challenged the policies in court. [Reuters]

Former Madison County deputy jailer Billy E. Bales (no image available), 32, of Berea, has been arrested and served a warrant for first offense third-degree controlled substance trafficking and first-degree official misconduct. [Richmond Register]

He was a small man, one interrogator recalled, and so thin that he would slip in his restraints when the masked CIA guards tipped the waterboard upward to let him breathe. [ProPublica]

Area food pantries and non-profits say they are noticing a striking increase in demand for food for the poor in the area. [Ashland Independent]

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt gave a speech on Tuesday to a mining industry group whose member companies are regulated by his agency. Pruitt’s appearance at the event was closed to the public and the press. [ThinkProgress]

The economic impact of tourism in Rowan County grew to more than $72 million in 2017. [The Morehead News]

The first stage of a multibillion-dollar military-VA digital health program championed by Jared Kushner has been riddled with problems so severe they could have led to patient deaths. [Politico]

Ugh, Julian Carroll is super-gross – an alleged (he was caught on tape!) sexual predator who needs to go. Kentucky may have not been prepared for the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday that struck down a prohibition on state sports gambling, but it didn’t take long for a couple of legislators to react. [Ronnie Ellis]

One of the largest contributions to Donald Trump’s inaugural committee in 2016 appears to have been orchestrated by a set of powerful conservative legal activists who have since been put in the driver’s seat of the administration’s push to select and nominate federal judges. [McClatchy]

A judge has ruled that the Kentucky House of Representatives violated the state’s Open Meetings Act with a closed-door conference in August where lawmakers from both parties huddled to discuss their plans to deal with the state’s pension crisis. [John Cheves]

Just in case you’re wondering why the far-right end timers are going bananas lately… [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]

Surprise! Trump’s Bad For KY Business

Agence France-Presse reports that Chinese state enterprises will provide $500 million in loans to a development project in Indonesia that will include Trump-branded hotels, residences and golf courses. [QZ]

Eddie Devine voted for Donald Trump because he thought he would be good for American business. Now, he says, the Trump administration’s restrictions on seasonal foreign labor may put him out of business. [Tom Eblen]

Israeli troops shot dead dozens of Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border on Monday as the United States opened its embassy to Israel in Jerusalem, a move that has fueled Palestinian anger and drawn foreign criticism for undermining peace efforts. [HuffPo]

Wondering who the next out-of-stater is to further ruin mainstream media in Kentucky? [C-J/AKN]

Lobbyists who joined the Trump administration and now want to return to their old trade have a problem: Donald Trump said they can’t. But never doubt the ingenuity of the Washington swamp class. At least eight former Trump officials have found ways around the so-called ethics pledge. [ProPublica]

Three-term Kentucky Rep. Jonathan Shell, R-Lancaster, who serves as House Majority Leader, is facing off against Republican candidate and long-time teacher R. Travis Brenda in the May primary for his seat in House district 71. [Richmond Register]

This software millionaire is building the low-tech college of his dreams… in Kentucky. [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Three candidates for Rowan County Judge-Executive participated in the Primary Candidate Forum held last month at the Morehead Conference Center. [The Morehead News]

Robert Mueller is looking into the curious case of Donald Trump’s record inaugural fundraising. [ThinkProgress]

With a vote of 5-2, the board of directors for Barren-Metcalfe counties’ ambulance service agreed Wednesday to go ahead and hire Taylor, Polson and Company, a certified auditing firm, to conduct a special audit of the ambulance service’s financial records over a nine-month period. [Glasgow Daily Times]

FBI agents working for special counsel Robert Mueller allegedly detained a lawyer with ties to Russia who is closely associated with Joseph Mifsud, the shadowy professor who claimed during the election that Russia had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. [The Atlantic]

The Boyd County Board of Education named Bill Boblett the district’s new superintendent Thursday. [Ashland Independent]

Kentuckians should probably keep an eye on efforts like this as charters become a thing. Wealthy Americans have been funding U.S. charter schools for years now through their hedge funds, private foundations or personal fortunes, but it turns out that super-rich foreigners are forking over big money to American charters too. Do you think it’s for the kids? Guess again. [WaPo]

No, gambling on ball games won’t help Kentucky’s pension crises. And Julian Carroll’s legislation didn’t go anywhere because he’s an alleged (caught on tape, even!) sexual predator. What a stain on Kentucky. [H-L]

The leaders of a South African group that has referred to apartheid as a “so-called” historical injustice recently toured Washington and met with top members of the U.S. government, including officials at the U.S. Agency for International Development and staffers for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Turd Burglar). They even bumped into national security adviser John Bolton. [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]

Democrats Are Once Again Gearing Up To Probably Lose To Andy Barr

It’s a journalism cliche to say political candidates “traded barbs” during a debate. On Monday, the candidates running to represent Central Kentucky’s Sixth Congressional District traded unsharpened pencils. [H-L]

Black students and students with disabilities routinely receive harsher punishments at school than their peers. But the Education Department is considering eliminating civil rights guidance designed to stymie these disparities ― even as data released Tuesday illustrates the scope of the problem. [HuffPo]

Kentucky State Police said it plans to appeal a recent attorney general’s decision that stated the agency violated open records law when it denied Courier Journal requests for a database of arrest and traffic citations. [C-J/AKN]

Trump administration officials rejected recommendations from federal experts on Indian gaming policy when they blocked two American Indian tribes from opening a casino in Connecticut last year. [Politico]

After the Board of Regents denied allegations of violating the Kentucky Open Meetings Act during its closed session on March 19, The Eastern Progress submitted an appeal to the Kentucky Attorney General’s office on April 17. [Richmond Register]

Wells Fargo has been fined a record $1bn by two US regulators to resolve investigations into car insurance and mortgage lending breaches. [BBC]

A cut in state funding, a downward enrollment trend and requirements that pin some of the state money to performance benchmarks have left Ashland Community and Technical College with one of the thinnest budgets yet. [Ashland Independent]

The European Union and Mexico on Saturday announced a major update to their existing free trade pact signed nearly two decades ago, a development that will allow almost all goods, including agricultural products, to move between Europe and Mexico duty-free. The deal, which has yet to be formally signed, is expected to increase trade in dairy, pork, services, digital goods and medicines between the economies. It will also give Mexico greater access to an advanced consumer market, as negotiations with the Trump administration over the modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement still appear to be on uncertain ground. [NY Times]

A Louisville-based company that plans to add a new location in Glasgow for its operations has already been approved for state financial incentives and has cleared the first few hurdles for local enticements. Alliant Technologies is a “full-service controls company that designs, manufactures and commissions automation systems for the freight and parcel, airport baggage handling, and warehouse distribution markets,” according to its website. It also has locations in Dallas and Ontario, Canada. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Ohio, a state where 4,329 people died of drug overdoses in 2016, a death rate second only to neighboring West Virginia, is taking the fight against the opioid epidemic into the classroom with a new style of drug-abuse-prevention education. [WaPo]

A new analysis from a national nonprofit research organization finds Louisville has gained some ground over the past three decades when it comes to shrinking inequality between the richest and poorest city residents. But sizable gaps still remain between white residents and those of color. [WFPL]

Donald Trump is increasingly relying on his personal cell phone to contact outside advisers, multiple sources inside and outside the White House told CNN, as Trump returns to the free-wheeling mode of operation that characterized the earliest days of his administration. [CNN]

Officials at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky plan to dedicate a trail that has been made more accessible for people with disabilities.

When Lorena Sanabria, who survived a shooting that left 17 people dead at her Florida high school, awoke on her 17th birthday this month, the first thing that crossed her mind was: “I’m one year closer to being able to vote.” [More WaPo]

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]

Public Education Barely Exists In Kentucky & Democrats Are Twiddling Their Thumbs

People who suffer from pain as a result of the shingles will have access to less expensive generic drugs under an agreement reached with a pharmaceutical company. Kentucky is one of 22 states that have reached an agreement with pharmaceutical companies Teikoku Seiyaku and Teikoku Pharma USA because of anti-competitive tactics, Attorney General Andy Beshear announced Thursday. [H-L]

Andrew Wheeler, Donald Trump’s nominee to be Environmental Protection Agency deputy administrator, appeared poised and polished at his Senate confirmation hearing in November. He couched his objections to widely accepted climate science in ambiguous legalese, and kept his cool when, at the same hearing, Kathleen Hartnett-White, the president’s pick for the Council on Environmental Quality, flamed out, stammering over questions of basic science. [HuffPo]

Dr. Bill Fannin found his son unconscious in his bedroom. Medical training and a father’s love told him what to do. Give him breath. Start his heart. [C-J/AKN]

The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its steepest decline since June 2016 on Friday, amid wider losses in US markets. [BBC]

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has proposed allowing casinos to open in Kentucky so the state can glean gambling tax revenue for its ailing pension systems. [WFPL]

Melania Trump could have been deported and banned from the US if Donald Trump had been president when she was working as a model in the 1990s, immigration attorneys have said. [Independent]

Make no mistake, the behind-the-scenes maneuvering of the Steering Committee for Action on Louisville’s Agenda, or SCALA, has been going on for about a year. Longer than, most notably, David Jones Jr. and Sr., have been publicly acknowledging. The group’s attempt to usurp control of Jefferson County Public Schools has been building for longer than that. It must be roundly rejected. [Aaron Yarmuth]

It’s last call for public comment on a Trump administration proposal that would give bar and restaurant owners more control over workers’ tips. The Labor Department has been asking for feedback, and already hundreds of thousands of people have weighed in. Many say they say they’re opposed to a rule that would allow restaurant owners to pocket tips for themselves. [NPR]

While public education advocates worry the next state budget will squeeze public school budgets, some districts already face the possibility they might not be able to pay all of their bills before the current school year ends. [Ronnie Ellis]

Strange how Jim Gray didn’t have the courage or conviction to publicly support medical marijuana until he realized everyone else was doing it. The only person in that race to show real leadership was Reggie Thomas. Read the latest from Jim Higdon. [Politico]

The Kentucky Medical Association President believes local medical providers would have to do some “scrambling” if the Medicaid expansion is revoked, as Matt Bevin has threatened. [Ashland Independent]

Tiny Weenus Trump’s vision of soldiers marching and tanks rolling down the boulevards of Washington is moving closer to reality in the Pentagon and White House, where officials say they have begun to plan a grand military parade later this year showcasing the might of America’s armed forces. [WaPo]

Raising the cancer stick tax could save lives and grow revenue. It probably won’t pass because Frankfort is awful. [H-L]

The Trump Misadministration wants to give states the authority to determine if plans have enough doctors. In Washington state, a woman in Spokane named Cynthia Harvey bought health insurance from Coordinated Care, in part because the brochure promised a robust roster of physicians and coverage for an array of services, including, if needed, emergency room services. [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]