Bevin: Now An Early Education Expert

The race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Kentucky is a dead heat, with Hal Heiner, James Comer and Matt Bevin all statistically tied with a week to go until the May 19 primary, according to a new Bluegrass Poll. [H-L]

The Urban County Council probably will be asked by August to approve a needle-exchange program aimed at stemming growing rates of hepatitis and HIV in Fayette County. [More H-L]

The nation focused its attention last year on deaths resulting from some police officers’ controversial use of force. But just as tensions rose between law enforcement and citizens in 2014, so did killings of officers. [HuffPo]

Gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin called for reconsidering money spent on early childhood education, saying that the current Head Start program isn’t working. [C-J/AKN]

Likely Republican presidential contender and former Gov. Jeb Bush (Fla.) is attracting heat from conservatives for his recent declaration that he, too, would have invaded Iraq in 2003 if he had been president. [The Hill]

Viewers didn’t have to wait long for the allegations of domestic abuse to come up in the statewide, televised debate Monday night between four Republican candidates for governor. [Ronnie Ellis]

Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline, which decided last week to retain rather than float off its HIV drugs business, is to collaborate with U.S. scientists in developing a cure for AIDS. [Reuters]

The City of Glasgow took steps Monday to encourage a local business’ growth in addition to what local and state economic development authorities have done. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Incommunicado Forever: Gitmo detainee’s case stalled for 2,477 days and counting. The Senate torture report chronicled the CIA’s interrogation of high-profile detainee Abu Zubaydah, but the justice system’s treatment of his habeas corpus petition has largely escaped notice. [ProPublica]

Fitz Steele had his LRC staffers write a thing for the local paper. [Hazard Herald]

Deb Nardone does a lot of traveling. As campaign director for the Sierra Club’s natural gas reform campaign, she goes to the places where fracking is prolific, speaking to affected families. When she’s in Pennsylvania, she’s most often in poor, rural townships — like Dimock, in Susquehanna county. [Think Progress]

Family is seeing the good points and the bad points in each other, and loving them anyway, said Donna Bailey, a foster, adoptive and biological parent. Bailey and her husband, John, recently were recognized as Foster Parents of the Year by the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services. [Richmond Register]

The height of a swathe of the Himalayas has dropped by around one metre as a result of the devastating Nepal earthquake, scientists say. [BBC]

Louisville businessman Matt Bevin gave $500,000 on April 24 to his Republican campaign for governor, while former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott provided his GOP gubernatorial campaign with $61,146. [H-L]

Even though some politicians claim America is a “Christian nation,” the share of the population that identifies as Christian has declined significantly in recent years. [HuffPo]

Y’all Seen This Landfill Fight In NEKY?

A public meeting to discuss the status of Kinder-Morgan’s proposal to convert the Tennessee Gas Pipeline for the transport of natural gas liquids through Kentucky will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at Inter-County Energy, 1009 Hustonville Road in Danville. [H-L]

This screwed up Louisville story made the national news. People are horrible. Help that guy out, folks, and donate. [HuffPo]

The Louisville Metro Council’s government accountability committee wants answers about rising home assessments in certain neighborhoods. [C-J/AKN]

The price of eating anywhere other than your own kitchen could go up significantly, depending on a federal judge’s decision in a week-long hearing that began Tuesday. [ThinkProgress]

Elected officials and employees will be out for blood Monday, May 11, but for a good cause. [Richmond Register]

The Pentagon wants to make it clear: No one is messing with you, Texas. [Politico]

A room full of residents and community leaders received an update on the progress of the community group opposed to the continued operations of Big Run Landfill. [Ashland Independent]

In New York City, supporters of public libraries say that respect for — and repair of — the libraries is long, well, overdue. [NPR]

Barren was not among the 27 counties that were authorized for assistance in covering the cost of damage as a result of the severe winter storm event that hit in mid-February, but the county plans to appeal that decision, said Tracy Shirley, director of Glasgow-Barren County Emergency Management. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A coalition of advocacy groups from all sides of the political spectrum has joined forces to warn against Sen. Mitch McConnell’s plan to renew expiring portions of the Patriot Act without changes. [The Hill]

The Rowan County Board of Education will hold a special meeting Thursday at 5:30 p.m. to discuss budget constraints. It is projected that about $300,000 will need to be cut from the current operating budget to offset financial shortfalls and lack of funding from the state and federal governments. [The Morehead News]

The monthly global average concentration of carbon dioxide just broke 400 parts per million for the first time since record-keeping of greenhouse gas levels began. [Mother Jones]

A Somerset optometrist has been found liable for seeking payment from Medicare for more than 11,000 unnecessary eye examinations on nursing home residents. [H-L]

The Obama administration on Tuesday morning put in motion one of the last major elements of the president’s economic agenda, a reform to overtime rules that could result in a pay bump for millions. [HuffPo]

Haven King Is A Big Time Disaster

If you missed it last night, Jamie Comer’s career officially ended. [Page One from C-J/AKN]

Blake Johnson, 16, who identifies as gay, said when he attended last year’s Pride Prom, an annual event for high school students, “I was surrounded by people like me.” [H-L]

Famously animal-loving Jon Stewart is said to have bought a farm in New Jersey, for purposes of giving home to rescued farm animals. [HuffPo]

Louisville Metro police are investigating separate fatal shootings from Saturday, both involving men in their 20s. [C-J/AKN]

Thirty-seven-year-old freshman Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Buttcramp) has become a conservative foil to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. [The Hill]

A Greenup man is in jail on drug charges after detectives arrested him Friday, and authorities believe they have uncovered a significant distribution operation in Greenup and Lewis counties, according to Lewis County Sheriff Johnny Bivens. [Ashland Independent]

Meanwhile, Matt Bevin tweets about going to crawfish boils. [Reuters]

This week, about 30 large truckloads of horse manure and soiled hay will leave Churchill Downs. The manure is taken to nearby agricultural areas and used as fertilizer. But a Kentucky-based startup is trying to attract investment in a process that would recycle the horse bedding and be easier on the environment. [WFPL]

Government releases massive trove of data on doctors’ prescribing patterns. The move follows a ProPublica investigation showing that Medicare did little to find dangerous prescribing by doctors to seniors and the disabled. It is also part of the government’s new push to bring transparency to taxpayer-supported medical care. [ProPublica]

“It’s a lot of fun,” House Speaker Greg Stumbo said of the four-way GOP primary. Gov. Steve Beshear added: “They’re having a good time it looks like among the four of them going back and forth.” [CN|Toot]

Vaccines don’t always make it into the people who need them the most. Many require a syringe and a needle to enter the bloodstream and create immunity. And that means a doctor or nurse has to do the job. [NPR]

Controversy swarmed this week around an incident in Perry County that was caught on video and shared thousands of times across multiple social media platforms. The incident has raised questions throughout the state about the authority of local officials, what could constitute an abuse of power, and what Kentucky laws actually say concerning disabled license plates. In the video, obtained by the Herald, a 19-year-old Hazard Community and Technical College (HCTC) student is accosted by a man who identifies himself as the Perry County Clerk; the Perry County Clerk is Haven King. [Hazard Herald]

In an ornate room on the first floor of the Capitol, some of the most liberal members of Congress met for lunch on Thursday with nearly a dozen stalwart conservatives who’ve repeatedly taken on their own leadership for being too soft. [Politico]

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer talks about his record and plans in seeking the Republican nomination for governor. [H-L]

The head of a respected police research organization that has studied policing in St. Louis over the past several months said his organization has “never before encountered” the types of profit-driven policing practices it found in parts of St. Louis County. [HuffPo]

Kentucky’s Earth Day Awards For 2015

The Kentucky Environmental Quality Commission recently recognized the achievement of Kentuckians (and businesses) for Earth Day 2015.

Here they are:

Safelite AutoGlass, Louisville
Safelite AutoGlass, the nation’s largest provider of vehicle glass repair and replacement, has a large recycling program. The company’s Kentucky locations have recycled 43,227 windshields, saving more than 756 tons of waste, and recycled nearly 40 tons of cardboard in 2014. Their sustainability policy is to increase efficiency by reducing solid waste and wasted energy.

Newport Aquarium, Newport
With more than 700,000 visitors annually, the Newport Aquarium has an opportunity to educate its guests about water and its role in daily life. With the “Water Story” project, the aquarium has developed a fun, relevant way to reach its audience and presents ways the public can get involved in conservation efforts.

Berea College Student EcoChallenge Team
The Berea College Student EcoChallenge Team, a diverse group of 11 student volunteers, produced the first carbon-neutral green basketball in Kentucky. The group’s goal is to increase awareness with those who would normally not be involved in such environmental efforts by involving various organizations on campus. Berea College placed first in the National Recyclemania (to increase recycling) and Campus Conservation National (to reduce energy consumption) competitions.

Deborah Payne, Berea
Deborah Payne serves as project director of the Health Impact Assessment of Shawnee Fossil Plant. Her goal is to increase community dialogue around health as it connects to both the environment and the local economy. Her success was measured by the level of increased stakeholder involvement through open dialogue and literature review.

Eddie Atherton, Owensboro
During his 24 years of service in the city of Owensboro, Eddie Atherton has been involved with the beautification of the original Smothers Park in the early 1980s and currently the riverfront revitalization. To ensure that the distinguished “Tree City USA” designation is upheld, he plants hundreds of trees in the city parks and on other city properties. Other projects include the Greenbelt, Frederica Street Island Improvements and various other city medians and rights of way. He has proven to be an effective manager of the grounds of Owensboro.

Banklick Watershed Council Inc., Covington
The Banklick Watershed Council Inc. is comprised of volunteers whose mission is to restore, protect and promote Banklick Creek and its watershed. There are 12 different local jurisdictions within the boundary of the Banklick Watershed. The council works in partnership with Planning and Development Services of Kenton County, the Northern Kentucky Health Department and Sanitation District No.1.

Cayley Crum, Louisville
As a cadet-level girl scout, Cayley Crum, now 15, decided to start a project called Re-Tree Shively, officially founded in February 2013. Cayley’s goal was to plant and tag 115 trees including 32 different native tree species on Arbor Day. Working closely with her mother, they developed relationships with Shively’s businesses, organizations, residents and city agencies, raising more than $10,000 to pay for the trees. Cayley’s overall goals are to help decrease Shively’s heat index, improve air quality, and beautify the parks.

Elizabeth Schmitz, Frankfort
Elizabeth Schmitz’s energy and environmental education installation at the Capitol Education Center, developed under the direction of Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear, is raising awareness of how personal actions affect the environment. The Capitol Education Center is dedicated to environmental sustainability and civic engagement. The center hosts more than 60,000 students and adults annually. In 2002, Elizabeth also spearheaded Bowling Green’s first producer-only farmer’s market. She is now executive director of the Kentucky Environmental Education Council.

Public Service Award – Floyd County Conservation District
The Floyd County Conservation District’s goal is to help the community gain a better understanding of our natural resources. It is a holistic education program for residents of Floyd County, offering workshops on fruit trees, hay, and pasture maintenance and development. The district provides a work-based learning location for the Carl D. Perkins Job Corps Center, where participants are able to gain a better understanding of environmental and agricultural issues.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Joyce Bender, Frankfort
Joyce Bender is the first and only manager of Kentucky’s nature preserves. Since 1986 the state nature preserves system has grown from 16 preserves totaling 5,703 acres to 63 preserves, encompassing 27,663 acres. Her coordinated efforts and partnership development, along with volunteers and local officials, have minimized damage to the preserves in the wake of dumping, timber theft, off-road vehicles and illegal marijuana growing operations.

“It’s an honor to recognize Kentuckians for their tireless efforts and unwavering advocacy to environmental protection,” said Arnita Gadson, executive director of the Environmental Quality Commission. “This year’s recipients are diverse and their efforts will have positive lasting effects in our state.”

Fun bonus: The Energy and Environment Cabinet and the EQC apparently haven’t produced a state of the environment report in 15 years:


Some Guy Changed His Name To Gatewood Galbraith. For Real. Stupid Beams On HIGH.

First lady Jane Beshear says donors across the state contributed nearly $800,000 in money and supplies to the state’s 15 domestic violence shelters on Saturday. [H-L]

Fourteen federal student loan borrowers refusing to make their monthly payments to protest the U.S. Department of Education’s shoddy oversight of for-profit colleges met with senior government officials on Tuesday to share their stories and learn about the department’s plan to help them. [HuffPo]

Kentucky lottery sales continue to show mixed results, but the sale of instant tickets has been especially strong, the lottery corporation directors were told at a recent board meeting. [C-J/AKN]

Private-sector employers added 189,000 jobs in March, the first time in more than a year that monthly gains fell below 200,000, payroll processor ADP reported on Wednesday. [The Hill]

An Eastern Kentucky University has filed a lawsuit against the school alleging he was the victim of racial discrimination. [Richmond Register]

Membership in the United Auto Workers union rose by more than 12,000 people to 403,466 in 2014, the fifth consecutive year of small gains for the American union, according to an annual filing with the U.S. Department of Labor. [Reuters]

Controlling county clerk offices is a tricky game of estimating budgets, maintaining paperwork and managing all the county’s business, according to area clerks in northeast Kentucky. [Ashland Independent]

Undocumented immigrants who make it to college face a host of financial and logistical barriers. But they are dramatically more likely to succeed if they were beneficiaries of President Obama’s executive action program, according to a new Institute for Immigration, Globalization, and Education study. [ThinkProgress]

T.J. Samson Community Hospital’s impact on the community is huge, according to its CEO, spending nearly $73.6 million on employee wages and salaries and purchases of supplies and services in one year. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A number of messages to lawmakers purporting to be from average constituents who oppose the Obama administration’s net neutrality rules don’t appear to have come from people within their districts, according to the company that manages the technology for some House members. The notes have identical wording to those organized by a group called American Commitment, which is led by Phil Kerpen, a former top aide at the Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity. [Politico]

This year’s theme for the Governor’s Derby Exhibit is ‘celebration.’ Two local (Morehead) artists now will be celebrating their selection to have their creations displayed in the Capitol Rotunda. [The Morehead News]

The US has pledged to tackle climate change by cutting its carbon emissions 26-28% by 2025. [BBC]

The stupid is thick these days. Saying he hopes to “warm” the grave of Gatewood Galbraith, a Pulaski County man has filed to run for governor as an independent after legally changing his name in honor of the late perennial candidate. [H-L]

Former Louisiana prosecutor A.M. “Marty” Stroud III made a mistake 30 years ago that cost an innocent man named Glenn Ford nearly half a lifetime of freedom. Now, Stroud is sharing his story, both as a cautionary tale and as a call to action for ending the death penalty. [HuffPo]

Coal Coal Coal Coal Coal Coal Coal

The collapse in energy prices is dealing another blow to the struggling Appalachian coal industry, with estimates that two-thirds of Eastern Kentucky’s coal output is now unprofitable. [H-L]

We’ve long known that children from affluent families get a head start that can translate into a long-lasting advantage, especially when it comes to academic achievement. Now, scientists have found what may be part of the explanation: Children who grow up in higher-income families appear to have larger brains. [HuffPo]

If there’s ever a measles outbreak in Louisville, Lashawnda Starling won’t have to fret about her 4-year-old daughter. [C-J/AKN]

A group of business economists said Monday that they expect the U.S. economy to grow at a faster pace over the next two years. [The Hill]

The Berea Chamber of Commerce has submitted a proposal to the city of Berea to form a new partnership for economic development. [Richmond Register]

The largest association of U.S. pharmacists approved a measure on Monday at its annual meeting in California calling on members to avoid participating in executions, saying it violates a core value of the profession, an official said. [Reuters]

Area residents donated 1,500 non-perishable goods to Safe Harbor of Northeast Kentucky during Shop and Share Day. The annual one-day drive was Saturday with the Russell and Ashland Kroger stores and the Food City store in Louisa serving as partners. [Ashland Independent]

US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko have arrived for the start of a 12-month tour of duty on the International Space Station. It will be the longest continuous stay anyone has had aboard the 400km-high (250 mile) orbiting platform. [BBC]

The Cave Region Trail Initiative Steering Committee met for the second time Monday night to continue work on a federal grant application. [Glasgow Daily Times]

In many municipalities around the country, the days of sorting your recyclables for curbside pickup are long gone, replaced by a system called “single-stream” recycling. But what happens after all those bits of plastic, paper, glass and metal trash get put in the bin? [NPR]

“Advancing Our Legacy” is the theme of the St. Claire Foundation’s 2015 Annual Fundraising Campaign, which is being launched this week. [The Morehead News]

Medicare’s spending on drugs to treat hepatitis C soared more than 15 fold from 2013 to 2014 as new breakthroughs came to the market, according to previously undisclosed federal data. The drugs cure the disease, but taxpayers are footing the bill. [ProPublica]

Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear said Kentucky’s religious-freedom law, similar to one signed by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence last week, should be clarified to include protections for the LGBT community. [H-L]

Don’t you just love watching Steve Beshear embarrass Kentucky on the national stage again? [HuffPo]

WKU Did A Thing That Is Pretty Great

University of Kentucky graduate Reginald Smith Jr. was one of five winners Sunday in the final round of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. [H-L]

Deception is deception. And, as with Congressman Mark Foley, whom reporters later admitted they knew was gay even as he voted for the Defense of Marriage Act a decade before he resigned in disgrace after a scandal involving male pages in 2006, had reporters exposed Schock’s deception earlier, they might have stopped the later corruption. In both cases I believe the media is implicated in the ongoing corruption by looking the other way on this particular type of deception earlier on, not seeing it as valid. [HuffPo]

There has been some very sobering science news breaking on climate change lately, but what came out of Western Kentucky University is not among those depressing headlines. [C-J/AKN]

The United States assured Afghanistan’s leaders on Monday it would keep funding Afghan security forces at a targeted peak level of 352,000 personnel at least into 2017 to provide stability as foreign troops withdraw from the country. [Reuters]

When settlers made their way to Kentucky overland from North Carolina and what is now eastern Tennessee, they followed a “trace” that Daniel Boone and a party of men in 1775 marked by blazing trees with axes. [Richmond Register]

An influential coalition of the biggest liberal donors is quietly distancing itself from the national Democratic Party and planning to push its leaders — including Hillary Clinton — to the left. The Democracy Alliance funders club at a private April gathering in San Francisco is set to unveil a five-year plan to boost causes on which some of its members contend leading Democrats like Clinton have been insufficiently aggressive. [Politico]

The housekeeping team in Rhonda Bloss’s office worked quietly and efficiently, wielding broom, dustpan, spritzer bottle and cleaning rag to sweep her floor and wipe her desk clean. [Ashland Independent]

The number of new diabetes cases identified among poor Americans has surged in states that have embraced the Affordable Care Act, but not in those that have not, a new study has found, suggesting that the health care law may be helping thousands of people get earlier treatment for one of this country’s costliest medical conditions. [NY Times]

Following an executive session Tuesday, Rowan Fiscal Court authorized Judge-Executive Walter Blevins to make an offer on a tract of property to be used as the site of a new detention center. [The Morehead News]

Every now and then, the universe rises to make clear the enormity of its size — and our relative place in it. One such moment was in February 2013, when an asteroid exploded over the Russian city of Urals, inflicting panic, broken windows and injuries upon more than 1,000 people. People were stunned by what happened, but one asteroid expert named Andrew Glikson was watching from Australia, thinking it could have been much worse. [WaPo]

A Frankfort man says he was protecting his grandchildren from a being kidnapped when he shot a stranger on Saturday evening. “He said that God sent him to get one of the kids,” Redmon told LEX 18’s Josh Breslow. “I’m thinking the man’s crazy and he’s going to hurt one of my grandkids.” [WLEX18]

Republican Ted Cruz has made individual liberty the key theme of his presidential campaign announcement. It’s just a shame he can’t spell “liberty” and is crazier than a shithouse rat. [BBC]

When the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business publishes its annual Kentucky Economic Report, most people just pay attention to the front of the book, which predicts whether the state’s economy will rise or fall, and by how much. [Tom Eblen]

California Gov. Jerry Brown said Sunday that it is a “disgrace” that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to thwart the Obama administration’s plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. [HuffPo]