Republicans Screwed KY Charities

Every year, the Children’s Charity of the Bluegrass raises about $500,000 from its annual fundraising golf tournament. But under Kentucky’s new tax law, a 6 percent sales tax on numerous services also applies to all tickets sold for fundraisers that charities and churches put on. The organizers will have to decide if they will let participants pay the tax on tickets, or whether they will take the hit. [H-L]

A recording of then-candidate Donald Trump talking about a payment to a woman who claimed they’d had an affair is just one of a dozen audio files released to prosecutors last week, a court filing on Monday revealed. [HuffPo]

Mayor Greg Fischer won’t be able to keep his Kentucky Derby guests a secret for much longer if Democratic Metro Councilman Brent Ackerson has his way. [C-J/AKN]

Then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s staff sought to protect him from exposure to toxic formaldehyde from an office desk last year, emails show — just months before his top political aides blocked the release of a report on health dangers from the same chemical. [Politico]

Plans for a healing center and jail expansion have been scrapped less than two weeks after a proposed plan to build and finance each was presented during a special called fiscal court meeting on July 12. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, escalated his dispute with the president on Tuesday by releasing a secret recording of a conversation in which Mr. Trump appears to have knowledge about hush money payments to a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump. [NY Times]

Greenup County leaders got an update on the KentuckyWired project recently with the goal for installation of fiber optic broadband connectivity infrastructure complete in the county by next year. [Ashland Independent]

The missed deadlines puzzled real estate experts, who said that for a long-established property company such as the Trump Organization, paying property taxes should be a routine task. [WaPo]

The Morehead Tourism Commission voted 4-0 Monday afternoon to earmark $25,000 for the Kentucky Folk Art Center for a one-year period. [The Morehead News]

Maria Marroquin Perdomo fretted as she waited with her 11-year-old son, Abisai, in the New Orleans International Airport. A day earlier, the mother and son had been reunited in Texas after being separated by U.S. immigration officials for more than a month, an ordeal that followed a harrowing journey from Honduras. [Reuters]

The company under contract to develop a parks and recreation master plan for Glasgow has drafted a document for the next steps in the process that it has shared with a local steering committee. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Hundreds of migrant parents are no longer in the US, government lawyers said, ahead of a deadline to reunite families. [BBC]

The quiet, observant and community-loving Hazel Arnold left behind an unexpected gift for animal lovers in her native Frankfort. Arnold, who died in January at age 93, left $150,000 to the Franklin County Humane Society. Those who knew Arnold said she had no pets, but her friends did and that’s all that mattered. [H-L]

Former FBI director and longtime Republican James Comey has urged Americans to vote for Democrats in November. [HuffPo]

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What Does Russia Have On Rand Paul?

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Matt Bevin’s administration reinstated vision and dental coverage, as well as non-emergency transportation services, Thursday to nearly 400,000 Medicaid recipients. [H-L]

Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump discussed a possible referendum in separatist-leaning eastern Ukraine during their Helsinki summit earlier this week, Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. said Friday. The move may be seen as an effort to sidestep European peace efforts for Ukraine and increase pressure on the Ukrainian government in its protracted conflict with pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass region. [HuffPo]

Not surprising that an avowed right-wing kid from outta town would ignore the decades of scandal surrounding JBS Swift when reporting a story like this. [C-J/AKN]

Rand Paul twice retweeted an Islamophobic conspiracy theorist who has propagated conspiracy theories like Pizzagate. [Roll Call]

Every year, the Richmond Teen Center holds a Back to School Bash for the residents of Madison County, not only to celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year, but also to donate school supplies to those in the community who need it. [Richmond Register]

In a stunning move, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has withdrawn one of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees just minutes before he was set for a confirmation vote. [TPM]

Three highly-placed community college officials, including one with ties to Ashland Community and Technical College, are on the short list for consideration as ACTC’s new president, according to the college’s governing body. [Ashland Independent]

What did everyone think was going to happen? There’s nothing we learned from Donald Trump’s meeting in Helsinki on Monday with Vladimir Putin that we didn’t already know. [The Nation]

Addiction doesn’t make any sense and purely punitive approaches to ending addiction will not work, Dr. John Sanders, the medical director for hospice and palliative medicine at St. Claire HealthCare in Morehead, told a group of Morgan County health care professionals on July 18. [The Morehead News]

Rand Paul is complicit in this – he’s a criminal. Rand Paul on Thursday blocked a resolution from Sen. Bernie Sanders that backed the intelligence community’s assessment of Russian election interference and demanded Donald Trump speak with special counsel Robert Mueller. [The Hill]

Circuit Judge John T. Alexander has issued an order detailing the costs incurred for an election recount in the Republican primary for the Barren County judge-executive’s race. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The willingness of the White House to contemplate handing over a former U.S. ambassador for interrogation by the Kremlin drew ire and astonishment from current and former U.S. officials. Such a proposition is unheard of. So is the notion that the president may think he has the legal authority to turn anyone over to a foreign power on his own. [WaPo]

It’s chump change compared to what buffoon Andy Barr has on-hand. The former fighter pilot’s haul between May 3rd and June 30th is large. [H-L]

The Department of Justice unveiled a new report detailing a campaign of aggressive, persistent efforts to undermine American democracy on Thursday and said it would institute new policies to inform the public about a scourge of cyberattacks by foreign governments. [HuffPo]

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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]

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Another Day, Another Bevin Lawsuit

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Matt Bevin’s administration violated the law by withholding funds from Kentucky’s Area Development Districts that lawmakers had earmarked for the agencies, claims a lawsuit filed in Franklin Circuit Court [H-L]

A former aide to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt recently told congressional investigators that she was asked to help her boss’s wife find a job with a six-figure salary, according to multiple media reports on Monday. [HuffPo]

She may want to travel outside the Watterson Expressway more than a couple times before making such wild claims. Democratic state Rep. Attica Scott said Thursday she is leaning toward what would be a historic run for Kentucky governor in 2019 after months of encouragement from supporters. [C-J/AKN]

Some immigrant U.S. Army reservists and recruits who enlisted in the military with a promised path to citizenship are being abruptly discharged, the Associated Press has learned. [AP]

According to a recent report, Kentucky ranks 37th in the nation in overall child well-being. [Richmond Register]

PEE ALERT! A giant balloon dubbed “Trump baby” has been given the green light to fly near parliament during the president’s UK visit. [Sky]

Jailer Joe Burchett was granted a change of venue and will stand trial on a charge of malfeasance in Rowan County. [Ashland Independent]

The Trump administration on Saturday halted billions of dollars in payments to health insurers under the Obamacare healthcare law, saying that a recent federal court ruling prevents the money from being disbursed. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which administers programs under the Affordable Care Act, said the action affects $10.4 billion in risk adjustment payments. [Reuters]

Some political pundits see our country as riven by tribal and ethnic divisions and partitioned by gender as we self-segregate into communities of the like-minded. Such divisions sometimes affect families and lead to alienation of longtime friends. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Trump administration said Saturday that it was suspending a program that pays billions of dollars to insurers to stabilize health insurance markets under the Affordable Care Act, a freeze that could increase uncertainty in the markets and drive up premiums this fall. [NY Times]

Over the past winter, when Mandy Goessling started a Facebook group for Shelter Barren County, someone sent her an idea for a thing called a blessing box. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Those factors have contributed to the United States having a higher level of income inequality and a larger share of low-income residents than almost any other advanced nation. Only Spain and Greece, whose economies have been ravaged by the euro-zone crisis, have more households earning less than half the nation’s median income — an indicator that unusually large numbers of people either are poor or close to being poor. [WaPo]

HEAD-DESK. State Rep. C. Wesley Morgan of Richmond is suing the woman who defeated him in May’s Republican primary election, claiming her campaign falsely accused him of backing legislation to enrich himself. [H-L]

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are telling detained migrant parents that to be reunited with their children they must sign a voluntary deportation form. [HuffPo]

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Kentucky Republicans Are The Real Tax-And-Spend Government Nightmares

Tax-and-spend Republicans love to give their wealthy, horse-owning pals tax breaks. While choking the average Kentuckian with massive tax increases on vehicle repairs, veterinary services and ways to stay healthy. If cowards like Chris “Cool With Domestic Violence If It’s My Running Mate” McDaniel and Steve Rudy truly believed in the free market, this taxation would apply across the board and not just to the working class. [H-L]

These are the asylum seekers the new racist US government is turning away. Aracely Martinez Yanez, 33, knows she’s one of the lucky ones. A deep scar that carves a line through her scalp, from crown to cheek, is proof of that fortune. [HuffPo]

Being a black student in Jefferson County Public Schools means you likely won’t get the most experienced teachers in your classrooms. [C-J/AKN]

They cheer when people they’re bigoted against don’t get served in restaurants. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Saturday that she had been asked to leave a Virginia restaurant the night before because she worked for Donald Trump. [Reuters]

Ten Madison County banks have come together to pledge support for the Madison County Community Fund, a charitable endowment established by local citizens to support civic and charitable causes in Madison County. [Richmond Register]

The US Navy is reportedly planning to build sprawling immigrant detention centres on military bases, amid a Trump crackdown at the US-Mexico border. [BBC]

Tiny houses are a big thing these days, and vocational students at Lawrence County High School may get a chance this fall to get in on the trend. [Ashland Independent]

Maybe it’s because they’ve never been worth that much? Visits to Donald Trump’s hotels and resorts by the president and people seeking to influence him have been seen as boons for his business empire, but his real estate business seems to be stagnating. Since he took office, there have been few big property sales for the Trump Organization. Now the president’s company appears to have pulled its most luxurious offering off the market, after it lingered unsold for years. [Mother Jones]

The Housing Authority of Glasgow has the option of converting apartments it now rents through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s public housing program to another HUD program called the Rental Assistance Demonstration program. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The mayor of this Texas border city has been dealing with a crisis. This week, he declared a state of emergency. Drones filled the skies and emergency vehicles raced down the streets. But none of it had anything to do with illegal immigration. It had to do with the weather. [NY Times]

Hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the federal courthouse in downtown Louisville Thursday to voice opposition to the Trump Administration’s treatment of migrant families along the southern border. [WFPL]

Philip G. Alston arrived in Washington last fall on a mission from the United Nations Human Rights Council to document poverty in America. At his first meeting, Alston said he was told by a senior State Department official that his findings may influence the United States’ membership in the human rights body. “A senior official said to me my report could be a factor in whether the U.S. decided or not to stay in the council,” said Alston, U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, who declined to name the official. “I think I was being sent a message.” [WaPo]

A large portion of a bourbon barrel storage facility at Barton 1792 Distillery in Bardstown collapsed Friday, according to the company. [H-L]

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough didn’t mince words Friday morning: He called Donald Trump “openly racist” and said that, by extension, so are his supporters. [HuffPo]

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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]

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Surprise! The Kentucky Republicans Are More Secretive & More Corrupt Than Kentucky Democrats

John-Mark Hack, who has been trying to help Kentucky comply with federal security regulations involving drivers licenses, is no longer a member of the Bevin administration. [H-L]

After orbiting Jupiter for a little more than a year and a half, NASA’s Juno spacecraft recently finished its 10th trip around the massive planet. Now the space agency is sharing some of the photos Juno snapped that were edited by citizen scientists, including this close-up shot of Jupiter’s surface. [HuffPo]

First, the incompetence of Nancy Rodriguez is what allowed A Kentucky Newspaper to effectively whitewash the monster Robert Felner scandal. Second, Allison Martin is the person who lied for Donna Hargens for months and months. So you know this is some bullshit at Jefferson County Public Schools and the Kentucky Department of Education. [C-J/AKN]

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough thanked author Michael Wolff for opening a wider discussion into President Donald Trump’s apparent mental decline. The “Morning Joe” host has been trying to sound the alarm about the president, whom he’s known for years, but he said political and journalistic norms had kept the topic buried. “I’ve written twice in my column a quote about one of the people closest to Donald Trump during the campaign saying he’s got early stage of dementia,” Scarborough said. [Raw Story]

For years, a group of Madison Countians has worked toward a foundation that would provide funding for non-profits and other groups working to benefit the community. [Richmond Register]

Trump’s voter fraud commission is gone but scrutiny will continue. The president dissolved the commission and indicated that the Department of Homeland Security will continue its mission. Experts say DHS won’t achieve the results he wants — and critics won’t back down. [ProPublica]

A special House committee will review allegations that Speaker Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, sexually harassed an employee and tried to cover it up through a confidential financial settlement. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Trump misadministration may have just admitted to violating campaign finance law. The White House is reportedly considering firing a former employee from a group it cannot legally control. [ThinkProgress]

The AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA members serving in Morehead through the Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky are hosting a donation drive for STAR (Saving The Animals of Rowan), the local animal shelter in Morehead, Jan. 2-12. [The Morehead News]

Did Jeff Sessions just increase the odds Congress will make marijuana legal? The opossum attorney general has created intolerable uncertainty for a growing industry that is now demanding legal protections from Congress. And lawmakers are listening. [Politico]

Some meetings of a special House committee formed to look into charges against Republican Speaker Jeff Hoover are likely to be conducted in private despite protestations from Democrats and the eight Republicans who filed the charges. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump gave firm instructions in March to the White House’s top lawyer: stop the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, from recusing himself in the Justice Department’s investigation into whether Mr. Trump’s associates had helped a Russian campaign to disrupt the 2016 election. [NY Times]

Tiffany Dunn, who teaches English at Lassiter Middle School in Louisville, began to weep Tuesday at the state Capitol. She was speaking at a rally of educators scared of what the 2018 General Assembly will do to Kentucky’s schools when it axes up to $1 billion a year from the state’s $11 billion General Fund. [John Cheves]

Just a day after he declared himself a “very stable genius” and “like, really smart,” Donald Trump mixed up the word “consequential” with “consensual” in an embarrassing tweet. [HuffPo]

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