Let The Budget Freakout Fun Begin!

Matt Bevin spoke at a Republican presidential forum in New Hampshire Saturday afternoon, less than 24 hours after declaring a state of emergency and activating the Kentucky National Guard to help residents stranded by a massive snowstorm. [H-L]

The people of Michigan hired themselves a GOP businessman to be governor in 2011. And what they got was children poisoned by public water in Flint. That is, what they got was a government run based on GOP business values. [HuffPo]

The man recently appointed as director of resorts for the Kentucky Department of Parks despite a past violation of the state government ethics code has resigned. [C-J/AKN]

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is considering a third-party bid for president, telling allies he could spend at least $1 billion to mount the uphill climb. [The Hill]

Kentucky’s new education commissioner announced plans Thursday to broaden math and English standards and acknowledged that the system of assessing student achievement remains “a work in progress.” [Richmond Register]

Is it true that rare Italian goats were airlifted to Afghanistan? Did Defense Department employees go to carpet tradeshows in Europe? How about on jewelry-related trips to India? [ProPublica]

A local folk artist’s work is featured in the book “Mommy Goose: Rhymes from the Mountains,” published by the University Press of Kentucky and set to be released Feb. 5. Minnie Adkins of Isonville carved more than 100 pieces for the book by Kentucky native Mike Norris. [Ashland Independent]

On September 9, 2002, as the George W. Bush administration was launching its campaign to invade Iraq, a classified report landed on the desk of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It came from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and it carried an ominous note. [Politico]

Barren County Detention Center inmates Damien Hurt, left, and Scott Szabo move a desk into an office at the new location of the Barren County county attorney’s office at 220 W. Main St. on Thursday. The county just recently completed the purchase of the building, which had been the home of Bailey and Grissom, a real estate company, for the offices. The former county attorney building approximately two blocks away had issues with bats, bat droppings and other concerns. [Glasgow Daily Times]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… Archaeologists say they have unearthed the earliest evidence of warfare between hunter-gatherers, at a site in northern Kenya. The 10,000-year-old remains of 27 people found at a remote site west of Lake Turkana show that they met violent deaths. [BBC]

Guess some folks in Morehead finally realized Walter Junior’s just been coasting and out of it. A few Rowan County officials told Judge-Executive Walter Blevins that it’s time for him to assume control of his office during Tuesday’s Fiscal Court meeting. [The Morehead News]

At first blush, the FBI’s national crime numbers for the first half of 2015 seem like bad news: Violent crime is up 1.7 percent over the same period last year. [NPR]

The head of the state Education and Workforce Development Cabinet wants a group of elected officials to rebid an up to $11.4 million workforce training grant awarded to the Bluegrass Area Development District in early January. [H-L]

Flint was a failure of government — but it didn’t have to be so. And government wasn’t the root of the problem. It was about the people, and ideas they advocate, who have taken control of governments across the country. [HuffPo]

Bevin Is Your New Dumb Overlord

Fayette Circuit Judge Kimberly Bunnell has ruled in favor of Lexington 1st District Councilman James Brown in a lawsuit that challenged his candidacy. [H-L]

The fossil fuel industry is at a crossroads. Oil and gas giants such as Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil and BP continue to reap stupendous profits from selling products that contribute to the high levels of carbon emissions causing climate change. Like the tobacco industry before it, these companies have poured money into lobbying and misinformation campaigns to escape restrictive regulations. [HuffPo]

Wondering how to further kill Kentucky’s environment? Matt Bevin announced Monday that he will appoint former coal executive Charles Snavely as secretary of his Energy and Environment Cabinet. [C-J/AKN]

Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. urged more students to carry guns on Friday, arguing that if the victims of Wednesday’s attack in San Bernardino, California were armed, they would have been able to protect themselves from the attackers. “I’ve always thought that if more good people had concealed-carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in and killed them,” he said during the school’s convocation, before teasing the students about his own gun. [ThinkProgress]

Morehead’s First Street could be receiving some much needed construction of walkways and lighting to make the road more pedestrian friendly in the upcoming months. [The Morehead News]

Donald J. Trump called on Monday for the United States to bar all Muslims from entering the country. A prohibition of Muslims – an unprecedented proposal by a leading American presidential candidate, and an idea more typically associated with hate groups – reflects a progression of mistrust that is rooted in ideology as much as politics. [NY Times]

“I don’t care.” That was Mr. Trump’s response to the outcry from the mainstream news media, Democrats and Republican presidential candidates over his call to halt the influx of Muslims into the United States. [NY Times]

Kentucky has been awarded a nearly $4.4 million five-year federal grant to train and employ people with disabilities in the Eastern Kentucky and Louisville metropolitan areas in information technology, manufacturing and healthcare fields. Kentucky is one of four states to receive the grant. [Press Release]

In his statement calling for a complete ban on Muslim immigration to the United States, GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump cites as a key part of his argument a discredited opt-in online survey by a far-right anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist. [The Intercept]

The Harlan County Tourism Commission got down to business during the panel’s first meeting, taking action on transient tax collection. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric undermines US national security by boosting the Islamic State (IS) group, the Pentagon has warned. [BBC]

After a lengthy discussion and a few frustrated participants, the Flatwoods City Council approved the purchase of eight new police vehicles. [Ashland Independent]

NPR’s Audie Cornish talks to Rick Wilson, a former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, and Matt Moore, a chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party, about Donald Trump’s controversial proposal. [NPR]

Pregnancy can be one of the most exciting and important times in a woman’s life, filled with anticipation of the arrival of the newest part of the family. [H-L]

Former President George W. Bush was a lot of things, but one thing he wasn’t was soft. He responded to the attack on 9/11 by invading not one but two countries, authorized the use of torture and indefinite detention and launched a mass surveillance program. When the occupation of Iraq turned against the U.S., he surged more troops at it. [HuffPo]

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Bevin To Embarrass KY More Than Usual

A western Kentucky power plant is being honored with working more than 2 million hours without a lost-time accident. [H-L]

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson reiterated his opposition to admitting Syrian refugees to the United States — despite visiting people living in refugee camps in Jordan over the weekend. [HuffPo]

As a driver and cyclist, Sara Ceresa of St. Matthews initially was excited about the prospect of having new traffic circles at two intersections on Nanz Avenue in Louisville and St. Matthews near Seneca Park. [C-J/AKN]

Kentucky Gov.-elect Matt Bevin, who takes office Dec. 8, plans to dismantle the state’s successful health insurance exchange and shift consumers to the federal one. It’s a campaign promise that has sparked controversy in the state. [NPR]

Ongoing efforts by the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP) and its public and private sector partners to build a new technology ecosystem in the region were lauded during the White House’s TechHire Gathering and Community Summit held in Baltimore, Md. [Hazard Herald]

Attempts to keep global warming to 2 degrees will be wildly off course if all planned coal fire plants are built. [BBC]

From 2007 to 2014, investments by the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund (KADF) have had a “significant positive impact” in Kentucky agriculture and agribusiness with projects generating an estimated $2.03 in farm income for every dollar invested. [Richmond Register]

Thirteen years after President George W. Bush and Congress embarked on the country’s biggest-ever education experiment to help the poorest and most vulnerable students — casting the federal government as enforcer — lawmakers are poised to step it back. [Politico]

Republicans across the state are preparing for changes in how the party will cast votes in the 2016 election. [Ashland Independent]

A California city is experiencing a tactic Walmart has become known for: threats over a minimum wage hike. [ThinkProgress]

As they discussed health care and the needs of area residents, it didn’t take Jim Brandenburg and Janet Kegley long to realize that their organizations should be working together. [The Morehead News]

Human Rights Watch called on the Obama administration on Tuesday to investigate 21 former U.S. officials, including former President George W. Bush, for potential criminal misconduct for their roles in the CIA’s torture of terrorism suspects in detention. [Reuters]

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says it has awarded contracts so that emergency repairs can be done on two central Kentucky bridges. [H-L & Press Release]

After Robert Lewis Dear was arrested for opening fire inside a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic on Friday, he reportedly made a remark about “no more baby parts,” according to a law enforcement official. The revelation prompted a heated debate about what motivated Dear to allegedly target a reproductive health provider that has been under near-constant assault from Republicans in recent months. [HuffPo]

Poor Kentuckians Will Suffer Under Bevin

Fayette County School District officials say they have found the student responsible for a graffiti threat left in a bathroom at Edythe J. Hayes Middle School. [H-L]

One Middle East catastrophe apparently wasn’t enough for some supporters of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. So they’ve continued to try to shape policy relating to the region, offering punditry in the wake of each fresh crisis. [HuffPo]

Traveling around rural Clay County, Jennifer Gates seeks out people in need of health coverage. There are plenty of them. From the homeless veteran under a bridge to the low-paid school cafeteria cook, Gates helps them find health coverage through kynect, Kentucky’s version of the Affordable Care Act. [C-J/AKN]

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Sunday said Donald Trump’s claim that scores of Arab-Americans cheered as the Twin Towers fell on 9/11 is unsubstantiated. [The Hill]

Members of the Housing Authority of Glasgow’s board of directors were scheduled to approve flat rent increases for the 2016 fiscal year, but action on the issue was tabled, once again. [Glasgow Daily Times]

South America’s vast Amazon region harbors one of the world’s most diverse collection of tree species, but more than half may be at risk for extinction due to ongoing deforestation to clear land for farming, ranching and other purposes, scientists say. [Reuters]

For the 16th holiday season, a local musician is helping provide for those less fortunate. Eddie Riffe organized his first food drive in 1999, when he asked those who visited the AMVETS in Ashland to donate nonperishable foods when they came to hear him perform. [Ashland Independent]

Alberta’s carbon footprint, spurred on by the tar sands industry, has been steadily growing in recent years. So when the New Democratic Party took power in a surprise victory earlier this year, environmentalists hoped it signaled a turning point for Canada’s largest oil-producing province. [ThinkProgress]

Just a little over a year ago, it was “space and shelves,” but no food was stored there. Now, the Colonel’s Cupboard helps feed the one in five Eastern Kentucky University college students who admitted to food insecurity in a study conducted just last year. [Richmond Register]

The ex-GOP House Benghazi Committee investigator who accused the panel of conducting a partisan witch hunt against Hillary Clinton filed suit Monday against the committee and Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) for wrongful termination and defamation. [Politico]

Big news in the hometown of small-minded bigot Kim Davis. A tanker carrying powder used to make concrete overturned on I-64 in Rowan County Monday morning. [The Morehead News]

A US air strike aimed at an IS checkpoint is likely to have killed four civilians, possibly including a child, the US military has said. [BBC]

What the hell is in the water in Lexington to make everyone — from the people still bickering about the election to self-hating Jim Gray — so terrible lately? [H-L]

Donald Trump approves of the way his supporters responded to a Black Lives Matter protester, reportedly beating him during a Saturday rally in Birmingham, Alabama. [HuffPo]

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Like It Or Not, Coal Is Quickly Dying

The latest report on coal production and employment in Kentucky reinforces how far and fast the industry has fallen. [H-L]

Former President George H.W. Bush takes some unexpected swipes at Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, key members of his son’s administration, over their reaction to the Sept. 11 attacks, in a new biography of the 41st president. [HuffPo]

The State Capitol saw the first steps Wednesday in a dramatic five-week transition of power that is spreading both hope and concern across the commonwealth. [C-J/AKN]

Matt Bevin may have won his race for Kentucky governor on a vow to dismantle Obamacare, but he’s already backpedaling from his promise to uproot the law that is providing health care to nearly 1 in 10 people in his state. [Politico]

AT&T has filed a protest against a Kentucky state government project to expand broadband fiber throughout the state. The telecommunications giant claims KentuckyWired has an unfair advantage in the bidding process. In its protest, AT&T states KentuckyWired “almost certainly has confidential, inside information that no other bidder could have.” AT&T said KentuckyWired Executive Director Steve Rucker was deputy secretary of the state’s Finance and Administration Cabinet when the agency started developing its request for proposal. [WFPL]

America is undergoing a religious polarization. With more adults shedding their religious affiliations, as evidenced in the latest from the Pew Research Center, the country is becoming more secular. In the past seven years, using the new Pew data, Americans who identify with a religion declined six points. Overall, belief in God, praying daily and religious service attendance have all dropped since 2007. [WaPo]

Tuesday a picture of Bill Gates and his wife eating in Pikeville shared all over social media left many wondering why one of the richest men alive was in the area.

Accreditation agencies are supposed to make sure that colleges are putting students in a position to succeed. That’s not happening at schools overseen by one accreditor in particular. [ProPublica]

The easy explanation is that Democrat Jack Conway lost Tuesday’s election but Republican Matt Bevin also won it. [Ronnie Ellis]

If Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has his way, undocumented immigrants could be deported for protesting in congressional buildings in Washington, D.C. His office is circulating a bill titled “Ending the Sanctuary Capitol Policy Act of 2015,” which would authorize the Capitol Police to turn over undocumented immigrants protesting or rallying on Capitol Hill grounds for potential deportation proceedings, according to a copy of the bill obtained by ThinkProgress. [ThinkProgress]

Access to affordable health care and finances – with some common ground between parties on fixing retirement funds – were among the top issues on the minds of area residents as they went to the polls to vote in Tuesday’s general election. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Thousands of federal inmates are getting out of prison because of a change in the way the U.S. government sentences drug criminals. It’s part of a broader movement to reconsider tough-on-crime laws that were passed during the War on Drugs. [NPR]

The man accused of shooting Richmond police officer Daniel Ellis Wednesday had absconded parole after serving a prison sentence for manufacturing methamphetamine, records show. [H-L]

The long-awaited text of a landmark U.S.-backed Pacific trade deal was released on Thursday, revealing the details of a pact aimed at freeing up commerce in 40 percent of the world’s economy but criticized for its opacity. [HuffPo]

UofL’s Great For Fraud & Sports Sexytime

ESPN reported Tuesday that five former University of Louisville basketball players and recruits told their “Outside the Lines” reporters that they attended parties at a campus dorm from 2010-14 that included strippers. [H-L]

A key House Democrat suggested Monday that Vice President Joe Biden can’t win the Democratic nomination on his own and should not enter the contest. [HuffPo]

The candidates for Kentucky lieutenant governor drew sharp distinctions between one another on a Kentucky Educational Television debate that was dominated by education issues. [C-J/AKN]

Hillary Clinton asserted at Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential debate that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden “stole very important information that has unfortunately fallen into a lot of the wrong hands.” [The Intercept]

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has granted Kentucky a one-year extension for meeting requirements of the stringent new identification security law known as REAL ID – meaning a Kentucky driver’s license is still sufficient for gaining access to the vast majority of federal installations. [Press Release]

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has his work cut out for him in passing a bill to raise the $18.1 trillion debt ceiling. [The Hill]

The Republican Governors’ Association is returning to the Kentucky airwaves with a $1.6 million ad buy on behalf of Republican gubernatorial nominee Matt Bevin. [Ronnie Ellis]

The CIA has told Congress that the name of an alleged secret agency source, mentioned but then partially redacted by the U.S. State Department from an email received on Hillary Clinton’s private server was not considered by the agency to be secret at all. [Reuters]

The City of Glasgow and the Electric Plant Board’s innovative Infotricity model has garnered statewide recognition. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Inside a sleek Denver condominium, George W. Bush let a hundred donors to his brother’s campaign in on a secret. Of all the rival Republican candidates, there is one who gets under the former president’s skin, whom he views as perhaps Jeb Bush’s most serious rival for the party’s nomination. [Politico]

A former Upper Big Branch mine section boss, a superintendent and a fire boss testified Monday about Massey Energy executives’ unwillingness to provide the amount of manpower or equipment needed to safety produce coal, all the while demanding high production numbers. [Richmond Register]

Ohio has put executions on hold until at least 2017 as the US state struggles to acquire the lethal drugs needed to carry out death sentences. [BBC]

A prominent businessman who is a county magistrate in Harlan County has been charged with two felonies, Kentucky State Police announced Monday. [H-L]

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission notified Planned Parenthood on Monday that it will terminate the reproductive health provider’s Medicaid contract. The move is a response to the sting videos created by an anti-abortion group that showed the organization’s staff members discussing the donation of fetal tissue to medical researchers. [HuffPo]

Sounds Like KSU’s Turning Into A Circus

There’s growing talk among faculty at Kentucky State University to push for a “no confidence” vote regarding President Raymond Burse after they say tensions continue to escalate between the leader and university professors. [H-L]

Braving masked “commandos,” razor-sharp border fences and baton-wielding riot police, hundreds of thousands of refugees are fleeing war and misery by flocking to Western Europe in the largest mass movement of people since World War II. [HuffPo]

The Westboro Baptist Church, a Kansas group known for its caustic anti-gay rhetoric, took aim at Kim Davis on Monday, accusing the county clerk of hypocrisy and adultery. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump is hitting back at Jeb Bush, calling the former Florida governor “pathetic” and doubling down on his pointed comments that 9/11 happened while his brother then-President George W. Bush was in office. [The Hill]

Kentucky, once a near Democratic monopoly, is seeing more voters register Republican and now has a Republican-majority congressional district for the first time since 1999. [Richmond Register]

“The shots knocked me to the ground and felt like a truck hit me,” wrote Chris Mintz in his first public account of being shot five times during the deadly rampage at an Oregon community college while trying to warn fellow students to take cover. [Reuters]

The pieces weren’t literally “falling” into place, but with slow, careful maneuvering of cranes and heavy equipment, they were getting placed in and around the building at the Glasgow Regional Landfill where methane gas is going to be converted into electricity. [Glasgow Daily Times]

One in three children seek outpatient mental health care services from a primary care provider instead of a specialist, a new study shows. The findings highlight the potential for medical professionals to effectively treat mental illness by collaborating with each other — particularly amid psychiatrist shortages that make it hard for some Americans to get an appointment with a mental health provider. [ThinkProgress]

Just before noon on Saturday, Oct. 17, The Bardstown Police Department posted a statement from Police Chief Rick McCubbin on their Facebook page. His statement comes after the firing of Officer Nick Houck. On Friday, Bardstown P.D. confirmed that Houck was fired for interfering with the investigation into the disappearance of Nelson Co. woman Crystal Rogers. The mother of five disappeared in July. According to Nelson County Sheriff Ed Mattingly she is now presumed dead. Her then boyfriend, Brooks Houck — the brother of Nick Houck, is the main suspect. [WHAS11]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… A 125 million-year-old fossil – described by scientists as an exceptionally cute furball – has been unearthed, scientists report. [BBC]

Ashland Economic Development Director Chris Pullem says a rapid response team is already being assembled after AK Steel’s announcement on Friday morning that it is temporarily idling the blast furnace and related steelmaking operations at the Ashland Works in mid-December. [Ashland Independent]

In one of the more dramatic salvos of the first Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday, Martin O’Malley took a swipe at Bernie Sanders, claiming that the Vermont senator “panders to the NRA.” [The Intercept]

In the months leading up to the formal announcement that he was running for president, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul told me a few times that he didn’t think a presidential campaign would be much fun. As of last week, it seems obvious that was one of the few predictions Paul made about running for president that has come true. [H-L]

There’s no stopping the House of Representatives in federal court. A federal judge on Monday declined an Obama administration request to allow it to appeal a controversial September ruling that allowed a House lawsuit over the Affordable Care Act to move forward. [HuffPo]