Coal. Just. Keeps. On. Dying. Its. Death.

People can’t stop snickering over the Alison Daddy’s Name Grimes and Jerry Lundergan subpoenas. [H-L]

Tensions soared across the Hawkeye State during Monday’s Iowa Caucuses. Polls were thwarted, two candidates ended their run for the presidency and another decided to leave the state all together to get some fresh clothes. [HuffPo]

Some 300 or more Kentuckians could retroactively earn their GEDs as the state opts to lower the score required to pass the high school equivalency exam. [C-J/AKN]

Barclays and Credit Suisse have been fined a total of $154m (£108m) by US regulators for their US “dark pool” trading operations. [BBC]

Coal production in Kentucky has slumped to its lowest level since the 1950s after declining nearly 21 percent in 2015. [Harlan Daily Independent]

Hillary Clinton narrowly defeated Bernie Sanders in the Iowa caucuses, according to results announced by the state Democratic Party early Tuesday morning, a dramatic finish to a race so close that The Associated Press declined to call it even after every precinct except one had reported results. [Politico]

At a time when private support is more critical than ever, alumni and friends of Eastern Kentucky University are generously giving of their time, talents and treasure. [Richmond Register]

Damn self-haters. The Log Cabin Republicans are interested in holding Democrats to high standards for LGBT equality, but not their own party. [ThinkProgress]

Nine candidates have filed to run for six seats on the Morehead City Council in the November general election. [The Morehead News]

A journalist immerses herself in New York’s Family Court system and finds a mix of misery and modest hope. [ProPublica]

Documents released to the Glasgow Daily Times in response to open records requests shed slightly more information on the situation that led to a Glasgow Police Department sergeant’s firing. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Pentagon’s planned 2017 budget will shifts its focus on future wars against near-peer competitors Russia and China, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Tuesday. [The Hill]

A non-profit working to revitalize downtown Middlesboro has been awarded $20,000 under a program aimed at making local foods a greater part of local economies. [H-L]

A great man named Donald Trump once said, “I am a whiner, and I keep whining and whining until I win.” Sadly, this Churchillian testicular fortitude came to nought on Monday, as the country’s foremost wall-promiser and fear-player-onner went down to defeat in the GOP’s Iowa caucuses. [HuffPo]

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Is The Budget Hype Dying Down Yet?

The summer playground at Lake Cumberland took a major hit from winter over the weekend, with the weight of ice and snow from Friday’s storm damaging or destroying covers over hundreds of boat slips, according to marina operators. [H-L]

Sen. Bernie Sanders jumped at a chance to talk about mental health care during a presidential town hall event in Iowa hosted by CNN on Monday. [HuffPo]

Every year, hundreds of volunteers bundle up and head to hotels, emergency shelters, camps and soup kitchens, determined to answer two questions: how many people are homeless in the Louisville area and who are they? [C-J/AKN]

A bipartisan task force created by Congress issued “an urgent call to action” Tuesday to overhaul the nation’s federal prisons and reduce the number of U.S. inmates by 60,000 over the next decade. [NPR]

Wanna read/watch one of the dumbest things out of Jim Waters and the Bluegrass Circlejerk yet? Here he is spewing misinformation about Kentucky’s broadband initiative. Leave it to the rich, fat, white Republicans to keep the Commonwealth in the dark ages. Spoiler alert: municipal broadband works. [WAVE3]

Trent Lott and Tom Daschle make an unlikely pair. Trent is gregarious, talkative and loud. Tom is retiring, mild-mannered and quiet. Interview them together and their differences are pronounced. But what makes them almost unheard of as a couple is that Lott is a Republican and Daschle is a Democrat. Specifically they are both former leaders of their respective parties in the US Senate. [BBC]

With the new year comes the continued challenge for area nonprofits to serve as many families and residents in need as possible. To energize those efforts, employees of Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company are lending a hand. Coupled with financial support from the LG&E and KU Foundation, the utilities’ voluntary employee-giving campaign, Power of One, raised more than $1.7 million in contributions. [Richmond Register]

A Nebraska lawmaker wants his state to join the movement to tear down one of the most harmful components of the conservative welfare reforms passed into law in the mid-1990s. [ThinkProgress]

The Russell Area Technology Center is ready for a new generation of vocational students with completion of a $1.2 million renovation. [Ashland Independent]

Cuba’s tourism industry is under unprecedented strain and struggling to meet demand with record numbers of visitors arriving a year after detente with the United States renewed interest in the Caribbean island. [Reuters]

Newly elected Gov. Matt Bevin delivered a “sober” budget message to a joint session of the General Assembly, telling them he will cut $650 million from the current budget. [Ronnie Ellis]

The religious loonies are racist as hell, apparently. Donald Trump’s support among white evangelicals stands at 37 percent, rising 5 points in one week, according to an NBC News/SurveyMonkey online poll released early Tuesday. [The Hill]

As snow piled up outside, Kelly Gibson was thrilled to see a Fayette County sheriff’s deputy waiting for her at the end of her nursing shift Friday afternoon at Shriners Hospital for Children. [H-L]

Noam Chomsky, the noted radical and MIT professor emeritus, said the Republican Party has become so extreme in its rhetoric and policies that it poses a “serious danger to human survival.” [HuffPo]

Stay Safe During The Snowpocalypse!

Matt Bevin is asking state workers for their input on his budget plan. So he can promptly ignore their concerns. [H-L]

Vice President Joe Biden got visibly heated while discussing the importance of LGBT rights on Wednesday. [HuffPo]

Louisville has been dealing with this stupid mess for years. The JBS pork processing plant in Butchertown stepped out in front by agreeing to make sure all trucks using its large parking lot be equipped with California-compliant refrigeration units that limit soot and other toxic exhaust from burning diesel fuel. [C-J/AKN]

A BBC journalist with dual British-Iranian nationality has been prevented from flying to the US after falling foul of changes to visa rules. [BBC]

White ones, black ones, polkadot or pink ones, the Dressing Room doesn’t care, just as long as they can help residents in need. [Ashland Independent]

Big spending by campaigns and super PACs has clearly not translated into front-runner status for either Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio, according to the latest data on cumulative advertising buys. [Politico]

Glasgow Mayor Dick Doty said he will decide by the end of business Friday whether to sustain the recommendation of the police chief he hired last year and fire a Glasgow Police Department sergeant who is charged with several administrative violations, all related to a seminude photo and text message exchange between two other officers that were later sent to him. [Glasgow Daily Times]

While Amnesty’s latest report doesn’t necessarily rule out the Peshmerga as reliable allies, it might cast a gray cloud over American’s political pandering. [ThinkProgress]

Just a reminder of what Julie Raque Adams has been doing to poor women in Kentucky. While she flits about Frankfort talking about how great she is for wealthy, Republican women? Poor people are suffering as a direct consequense of her imposing her antiquated religious beliefs on the Commonwealth. [Page One]

Attorney General Loretta Lynch defended President Obama’s recent executive actions on guns Wednesday in the face of fierce Republican criticism. [The Hill]

Kentucky’s state parks are offering assistance during the winter storm to people who may be stranded or otherwise need lodging. [WKYT & Press Releases]

Demonstrators from the Black Lives Matter movement interrupted the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ meeting on Wednesday, protesting the killing of a Chicago teenager by police and the lead-tainted water supply of Flint, Michigan. [Reuters]

Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked a bill that would crack down on Syrian and Iraqi refugees coming to the U.S. as the debate turned into a referendum on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his policies. [H-L]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… Researchers are now pretty certain there’s a ninth planet in the solar system. [HuffPo]

Tuesday Evening Dept Of Bitterness

Once again, bills have been filed in the Kentucky legislature that would provide a one-time death benefit to help the survivors of fallen employees of emergency medical services. The state pays a lump sum to the families of firefighters and police officers who die in the line of duty, but not to the survivors of EMS workers. Survivors of paramedics in Lexington are eligible for the benefits because they are part of the fire department. [H-L]

Hillary Clinton’s plan to stem her slide against Bernie Sanders in the presidential primary began to come into clear focus Sunday night in the fourth Democratic debate. [HuffPo]

A Jefferson County Public Schools board member is once again calling for the closure of the school that falls in the shadow of one of Kentucky’s largest coal-fired power plants and Louisville biggest source of industrial emissions. [C-J/AKN]

On Friday, the Obama administration announced a halt to new coal leases on federal land. In Wyoming, most of the federally-owned coal mines and revenue from coal leases pays for school construction. [NPR]

The McConathy Farm Rescue Team has rescued nearly 60 horses to date and recently took in seven horses between the ages of two and 10 from a farm in Lawrenceburg. [WKYT]

The Taliban were threatening on Tuesday to capture three key strategic districts in Afghanistan’s province of Helmand as fierce fighting with government forces stoked fears over the Islamist insurgents’ gains in their traditional heartland. [Reuters]

High pension liabilities were discussed during the presentation of the City of Ashland 2015 fiscal year audit — a problem cities all over Kentucky are having, according to officials. [Ashland Independent]

When news broke today that Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian would be freed from his longstanding imprisonment from Iran, it came as a welcome surprise to many reporters. But not, apparently, to some journalists at The Huffington Post, CNN, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. [Poynter]

Morehead State President Wayne Andrews lifted his Powerball ticket in the air and joked with faculty that he’d only retire if he owned the winning lottery digits. Andrews extinguished rumors he’s leaving the university and strategized ways to circumvent potential budget cuts on Wednesday during the 2016 MSU Spring Convocation at Button Auditorium. [The Morehead News]

A former Navy SEAL who shot Osama bin Laden and wrote a bestselling book about the raid is now the subject of a widening federal criminal investigation into whether he used his position as an elite commando for personal profit while on active duty, according to two people familiar with the case. [The Intercept]

“I’m not here to lecture you,” said Beth Nimmo, the mother of slain Columbine High School student Rachel Scott, speaking to students at Knox Central High School on Friday, “I’m just here to talk to you as a mother…and I hope you can use this as an opportunity to step away from something that may be harmful to you, a mindset, an activity, or whatever that may be.” [Richmond Register]

Candidates for the Democratic race for the White House have clashed on gun control and healthcare in their liveliest TV debate so far. [BBC]

The National Book Critics Circle will honor famed Kentucky author Wendell Berry with a lifetime achievement awards and has named Lexington poet Ada Limón as one of 30 finalists in six categories for outstanding books of 2015, the group announced Monday. [H-L]

A group of Americans who went missing over the weekend in Iraq were kidnapped from their interpreter’s home in Baghdad, according to an Iraqi government intelligence official. [HuffPo]

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Another Week Of Bevin Shenanigans?

Fayette County Sheriff Kathy Witt is looking for used coats to distribute to those in need. She announced Friday that Republic Bank & Trust had volunteered to collect coats at its Lexington branches. Chase Dry Cleaners on South Ashland Avenue will clean the coats before they are distributed. [H-L]

Diplomacy’s great promise is that one can never predict where discussions will lead once they have begun. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin is just like Ernie Fletcher. Always appointing and promoting corrupt good old boys. In fairness, that means he’s just like the current mess of Democrats in charge. And that’s not a good thing. [C-J/AKN]

This is what you get. Reap what you sow, you look-the-other-way-and-whistle, ignore-the-hate-spread-by-your-leaders, just-worried-bout-your-own-money motherfuckers. Trump voters are the illegitimate children you spawned while skullfucking a bald eagle atop a pile of Peggy Noonan columns and screaming, “I JUST REALLY BELIEVE IN SMALL GOVERNMENT!!!!!” [Click the Clicky]

Told ya Matt Bevin’s decision to kill Beshear’s effort on voting rights restoration was a disaster because Republicans in Frankfort are worse than Kentucky Democrats. [WFPL]

The United States on Saturday lifted sanctions against Iran and announced that four Americans held prisoner in the country will be returning home, in a whirlwind day of diplomacy that cements President Obama’s engagement with Iran as a pillar of his legacy. [The Hill]

Nicholasville photographer Walter Roycraft has been selected as the Kentucky Arts Council’s featured artist for January and February. [Richmond Register]

This Martin O’Malley thing seems dumb as hell. Once furniture is used or lived with, it greatly depreciates in value. [Reuters]

From grappling with more than 20 inches of snow that was dumped on roadways, to dealing with day-to-day concerns that arise when overseeing government entities, Barren County Judge-Executive Micheal Hale and Glasgow Mayor Dick Doty detailed Friday the struggles and successes of their inaugural years in office. [Glasgow Daily Times]

How a woman whose muscles disappeared discovered she shared a disease with a muscle-bound Olympic medalist. [ProPublica]

Mayor Jim Tom Trent said his first year in office was largely positive and he thinks more good things are coming in 2016. [The Morehead News]

For his first State of the Union address in his new role as Speaker of the House, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has invited a group of guests aimed at demonstrating that developing local organizations, rather than relying on government, is the solution to the problem of poverty in America. A ThinkProgress examination of the people Ryan has chosen to feature, however, shows that several have received significant government assistance for their nonprofits. [ThinkProgress]

Twelve incumbents have filed to run for the Lexington Urban County Council in the fall, but only one has a challenger. [H-L]

The Obama administration, in the first major review of the country’s coal program in three decades, on Friday ordered a pause on issuing coal-mining leases on federal land as part of new executive actions to fight climate change. [HuffPo]

Health Care Reality Will Hit Bevin Hard

The Kentucky Housing Corp. is looking for volunteers to help count Kentucky’s homeless population. The count will begin at sunrise on Jan. 27 and continue for 24 hours. The point-in-time count is known as the K-Count. [H-L]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… Witnesses of the first-ever unveiling of what just might be the world’s largest dinosaur have struggled to find an adjective to aptly capture the sheer enormity of the prehistoric creature. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin’s about to find out just how poor and unhealthy Eastern Kentucky is and it’s going to harm him politically. [C-J/AKN]

President Obama on Saturday unveiled an unemployment insurance plan that he says will provide stability and opportunity to workers in a rapidly changing economy. [The Hill]

The state Department of Insurance is selling assets of the failed Kentucky Health Cooperative to satisfy its debts. [Richmond Register]

Here’s a selection of what has changed since Mr Obama gave his first address to Congress in 2009. [BBC]

Kesley Janes stood on the counter where the coffee pots and a slushy machine sit at the Caver’s Camp Store at Mammoth Cave National Park. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A top surrogate for Hillary Clinton is prepping a new attack in an intensifying and increasingly personal war against rival Bernie Sanders — calling on the 74-year-old to release his medical records before the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1. [Politico]

At the end of 2015, Kentucky saw a rise in the reported cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, throughout the state. [The Morehead News]

Advisers to Hillary Clinton, including former President Bill Clinton, believe that her campaign made serious miscalculations by forgoing early attacks on Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and failing to undercut his archliberal message before it grew into a political movement that has now put him within striking distance of beating her in Iowa and New Hampshire. [NY Times]

For Ginny Ramsey and the volunteers at God’s Net in Lexington, the winter is just getting started. [WKYT]

Certain economic sanctions will be lifted in Iran, but there are critics of the nuclear deal in surrounding countries and in the U.S. NPR’s Rachel Martin speaks with NPR’s Peter Kenyon about their reaction. [NPR]

Tim Morton was hospitalized for psychiatric treatment dozens of times over 36 years, often involuntary and in police handcuffs, because he did not recognize that he had schizophrenia. He refused treatment unless he was confined. When Morton wasn’t held inside Eastern State Hospital, he spent his days walking aimlessly around downtown Lexington. [John Cheves]

Republican presidential candidates are more full of it than you imagined. [HuffPo]

Magical Hugs Will Definitely End Racism

Rand Paul and Kentucky Democrats allegedly have something in common. [H-L]

It’s cute that Republicans think hugs will end racism. Just like Barack Obama getting elected magically ended racism. Black people are magic, did you know? [HuffPo]

No, legislative pensions should not be secret. We’re dumber for being asked the question. [C-J/AKN]

PEE ALERT! Republicans are finally realizing that they’re wasting their money on presidential candidates. [The Hill]

Rebecca Collett was overcome with emotion Wednesday after a Kentucky legislative committee advanced a bill that would allow some nonviolent felons like her to have their criminal records expunged. [Richmond Register]

Everyone is excited that Michigan is more terrible than Kentucky. [Reuters]

A guy worth millions used $2,700 from his mega-business to give to charity in Morehead and the newspaper wrote about it. [The Morehead News]

President Obama might have started off his State of the Union address Tuesday night by saying he wasn’t going to list a bunch of policy priorities, but he did offer up some climate change policy changes that we will likely see this year. [ThinkProgress]

After listening to a plea for financial help, members of the Glasgow-Barren County Tourist and Convention Commission voted Tuesday to contribute $20,000 to help fund the 2016 Glasgow Highland Games, a local Scottish festival that is in its 31st year. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The US is looking to the United Nations for help in dealing with thousands of migrants fleeing to the US to escape violence in Central America. [BBC]

Everybody look how sand Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) is now that he’s being excluded for having absolutely no chance. [WKYT]

Hillary Clinton wants you to know she has a new tax proposal. She also wants you to know that Bernie Sanders does not. [NPR]

Should Fayette County Public Schools build larger elementary schools? [H-L]

When you’re running for president on a platform of universal health care, free college and breaking up the big banks, pretty much everything else seems small bore. And so it was last week when Bernie Sanders laid out his financial reform plan, which included a proposal to turn the credit rating agencies into nonprofits and remove their conflict of interest. [HuffPo]

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