Puppies & Rainbows At Retirement Systems

Couples from Rowan County, Kentucky today filed a brief in U.S. District Court supporting their prior assertion that the Rowan County clerk’s office failed to comply with orders directing deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses without interference by Clerk Kim Davis. [ACLU]

The debate on whether some Kentucky school districts start the school year too early is playing out in Scott County. [H-L]

The Environmental Protection Agency proposed tougher new limits on Tuesday on smokestack emissions from nearly two dozen states that burden downwind areas with air pollution from power plants they can’t control. [HuffPo]

Kentucky’s largest retirement plan for state workers faced more declines in funding over the past year even as the state continues to pump additional money into the system. [C-J/AKN]

There’s a scientific consensus that by 2050, the United States can expect to see an increase in flooding, heat waves, droughts and wildfires due to climate change. Now, scientists at Climate Central and ICF International have produced the first Preparedness Report Card for the United States, highlighting how states are preparing for the projected disasters. Spoiler alert: Kentucky is ill-prepared. [Vocativ]

A member of the band “Survivor” has sued Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign for allegedly violating the copyright of the 1980s’ hit, “Eye of the Tiger.” A lawsuit filed in Chicago federal court Wednesday says the Republican’s campaign played it at a Kentucky rally for a county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The song that featured in the movie “Rocky III” played as Kim Davis departed jail with the former Arkansas governor. [WKYT]

The American Medical Association on Tuesday called for a ban on advertising prescription drugs and medical devices directly to consumers, saying the ads drive patients to demand expensive treatments over less costly ones that are also effective. [Reuters]

Kentucky State Troopers and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officers will help brighten the holiday season for families in need this year through the sixth annual Cram The Cruiser food drive, which begins Friday and continues through Dec. 11. [Richmond Register]

Before a SWAT team stormed a tenement in the Belgian city of Verviers in January, police used listening devices to monitor their targets inside: Belgian jihadis who had returned from Syria to attack a local police station in the name of the Islamic State. [ProPublica]

Even though candidates couldn’t officially file until last week, the U.S. presidential election has been in full swing for months, with some candidates already having dropped from the race. Kentuckians should be aware, however, that that’s not going to be the only race on their 2016 ballots. Certain legislative seats at the local, state and national levels will be up for grabs as well, and next November will bring some school board elections, too. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Starting a new job is always tough — no matter the profession. But the first year for a new teacher can be brutal. [NPR]

The big news in the hometown of Kim Davis? A church is changing its name. [The Morehead News]

Mosques in the US and Canada have experienced an increase in vandalism and threats since the Paris attacks, say campaigners. [BBC]

Berea College issued a statement Wednesday in response to incidents in which racial and homophobic slurs were allegedly directed to students over the past homecoming weekend. [H-L]

Payday loan sharks strike again. Every good idea in American politics eventually becomes a vehicle for corporate lobbying. [HuffPo]

Harmon Should Continue Major UofL Audit

We’ve highlighted scandals involving programs like these in Montgomery County but they’ve been ignored by the paper. By January, consultants could be conducting audits of programs for special education, gifted and talented students, and English-language learners, according to Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk. [H-L]

When it comes to accreditors, the private organizations paid by colleges to help them maintain access to nearly $150 billion annually in federal student aid, the U.S. Department of Education seems to think sunlight is the best disinfectant. [HuffPo]

The Louisville Arena Authority ended its total ban on firearms and agreed Monday to give promoters and booking agents of events at the KFC Yum! Center the right to decide whether ticketed visitors can carry firearms into the downtown arena. [C-J/AKN]

Leaked internal emails from the powerful Democratic think tank Center for American Progress (CAP) shed light on several public controversies involving the organization, particularly in regard to its positioning on Israel. They reveal the lengths to which the group has gone in order to placate AIPAC and long-time Clinton operative and Israel activist Ann Lewis — including censoring its own writers on the topic of Israel. [The Intercept]

Kentucky’s next state auditor, Danville Republican Rep. Mike Harmon, said he’s not sure if he’ll continue the investigation of the University of Louisville’s Board of Trustees and its relationship with the University of Louisville Foundation, which manages the school’s $1.1 billion endowment. [WFPL]

President Obama is on a collision course with congressional Republicans over the Guantánamo Bay detention facility, with increasing chatter in Washington that he might seek to close the prison through executive action. [The Hill]

Boyd County Clerk Debbie Jones’ office was one of 30 awarded a state grant to assist in preserving local government records for the 2015-16 fiscal year. Gov. Steve Beshear announced Thursday that Jones will receive $657,023 from the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives for the purposes of preserving and managing local records. [Ashland Independent]

Three major companies, citing the under-representation of minorities in science and technology fields, are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold affirmative action in university admissions in a closely watched case to be argued next month. [Reuters]

The Morehead-Rowan County-Lakeview Heights Joint Planning Commission Wednesday unanimously approved preliminary design plans for St. Claire Regional Medical Center’s new medical services building. The three-story, 78,000-square foot building is estimated to cost about $25 million. [The Morehead News]

As part of an overall strategy to reduce overcrowding and give fairer sentences for low-level drug offenders, the U.S. Department of Justice granted 6,000 inmates — including nearly 2,000 immigrants — early release from prison earlier this week. But the immigrants among that group may face additional punishment even after they’re no longer behind bars. [ThinkProgress]

Lindsey Wilson College education majors Anthony Horne and Justin Sumpter felt a warm welcome from faculty and students during three weeks spent student teaching in the Caverna Independent Schools district earlier this year. [Glasgow Daily Times]

They’re hard. At least, that was the rep on new tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards that millions of U.S. kids took last spring. Now you can be the judge. [NPR]

Manny Caulk, superintendent of Fayette County Public Schools, is inviting Gov.-elect Matt Bevin to visit the district to see the efforts being made to raise student achievement before Bevin decides that public charter schools are the answer. [H-L]

How does one explain the lopsided vote against Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO)? If you ask Hillary Clinton, it all comes down to voters’ emotions. The U.S. presidential candidate told the crowd at MSNBC’s Democratic candidates forum on Friday night that the nondiscrimination measure’s failure defied common sense. [HuffPo]

Democrats Still Playing The Blame Game

SurveyUSA has finally been kicked to the curb! [H-L & C-J/AKN]

Letcher Circuit Judge Sam Wright III defeated Court of Appeals Judge Janet Stumbo in the race for Eastern Kentucky’s 7th District Supreme Court seat. [H-L]

If France can do it, the United States can do it. France will end its ban on blood donations by gay men, its health minister said Wednesday, calling the move the end “of a taboo and discrimination.” [HuffPo]

Republican Matt Bevin has scheduled no press conference or public events on the day after his huge victory in the governor’s election that raises implications for every major issue facing the state, including healthcare, education and pensions. But the transition process is already taking shape in Frankfort. [C-J/AKN]

A few hours before their afternoon shift at the Marshall County Mine last spring, hundreds of coal miners were summoned to a mandatory meeting with their new boss, Bob Murray, CEO of Murray Energy Corp. At a training facility in Moundsville, West Virginia, the chief executive of the nation’s No. 1 underground coal producer sported his signature sweater vest and struck a confrontational tone. [IBT]

Opinions issued by a federal appeals court Monday will allow two major air pollution-related lawsuits in Louisville to move forward. [WFPL]

This is basically why everyone is skeptical of whatever it is the U.S. Justice Action Network is doing in D.C. with the Koch money. It’s a story political journalists couldn’t resist. Reporters at the New York Times, Politico, Yahoo News, and other outlets have been rhapsodizing lately about how the ultra-conservative billionaire Koch brothers are “braving the spotlight” and joining forces with “tree-hugging liberals” to dedicate themselves to the cause of ending America’s over-incarceration crisis. Meanwhile, however, Koch money continues to finance election-year efforts that promote tough-on-crime politics. [The Intercept]

It has been two months since a head on crash destroyed Scott County Habitat for Humanity’s only pickup and delivery truck. [WKYT]

Instead of thanking Barack Obama, as these outsiders suggest, Matt Bevin should be thanking Kentucky Democrats for being to the right of national Republicans. It’s always some asshole outsider pontificating on Kentucky as if they’ve been here more than twice in their life. [WaPo]

The votes have all been counted, and Harlan County’s choice for circuit court clerk is incumbent Democrat Wendy Flanary. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

It is rare to hear a candidate for the United States Senate so earnestly quote rock lyrics. Rarer still, lyrics from a Canadian progressive-rock band. But Rand Paul quoted “The Spirit of Radio” by Rush — a group whose members were similarly influenced by the writings of Ayn Rand — everywhere he went during the Republican primary in Kentucky in 2010. [NY Times]

A Perry County man from the community of Chavies is facing multiple theft charges after Hazard Police say he stole a police cruiser. [Hazard Herald]

Hillary Clinton leaned as far as she ever has into making gun control a central focus of her presidential campaign on Tuesday, releasing a somber new 30-second television advertisement calling for more stringent gun policies. [Politico]

Ryan Quarles, a Republican state representative from Georgetown, will be the new commissioner of agriculture. [H-L]

Though 8,000 Detroit residents were foreclosed on this year, they’re finding inventive ways to deal with an ongoing crisis. Tynetta Sneed, 32, had been settled for years in a modest white bungalow, down the street from her mom and brother, when she got a notice saying that her house was going into foreclosure. [HuffPo]

Everybody’s Freaking Out Over Matt Bevin

Kentucky Mist Moonshine filed suit Monday in U.S. District Court against the University of Kentucky in a federal trademark-registration case that has garnered national attention. [H-L]

House Republicans are pushing to give private debt collectors the right to target all unpaid tax bills, handing a traditional IRS responsibility over to an industry with a long record of consumer abuse. [HuffPo]

Four Kentucky hospitals are among 457 in 43 states that have agreed to pay the government more than $250 million to settle allegations that they implanted cardiac devices in patients in violation of Medicare rules. [C-J/AKN]

Congress intends to slash funds for the Obama administration’s counterterrorism partnership fund next year to reduce defense spending to a level negotiated last week between the White House and congressional leadership. [The Hill]

A candidate who barely made it out of the primary ended up leading Kentucky Republicans to one of their most successful election days in recent history. [WFPL]

Democratic U.S. senators on Monday urged the Obama administration to reform the federal coal mine program to include costs of the fuel’s carbon emissions and potentially raise royalties paid by companies that mine the fuel on public lands. [Reuters]

Really, Montgomery County? Hunting equipment required you to call in outside law enforcement? Guess it’s good that you didn’t call in SWAT teams or anything. [WKYT]

Despite lacking access to key documents and personnel, the inspector general determined that nearly $43 million had been spent on a natural gas station that should have cost closer to $300,000. [ProPublica]

Oh man, Greg Stumbo had his LRC staffers write about traffic fatalities. It’s almost like he’s forgotten that time he was pulled over during a suspected DUI stop, hopped over into the passenger seat and claimed someone else was driving his vehicle. [Floyd County Times]

The Vatican faced fresh accusations of mismanagement, excess and resistance to change as details from two new books emerged Tuesday, a day after the Holy See announced the arrest of two insiders on suspicion of leaking internal information. [WaPo]

Kroger presented a check in the amount of $27,360 to the Bowling Green/ Warren County Humane Society. [WBKO]

The UN says the current climate plans from 146 countries represent a significant advance – but will not be enough to prevent dangerous warming. [BBC]

Two former deputy jailers have been indicted on federal charges in the 2013 death of an inmate at the Kentucky River Regional Jail in Hazard. [H-L]

One consequence of Bevin’s victory is that about 400,000 Kentucky residents who qualify for Medicaid under the expansion are now at risk of losing their health insurance. [HuffPo]

Jorts, Trans Am Not Spotted At Biden Thing

Alison Lundergan Grimes is back on TV for the first time since her 2014 race against Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell shattered state spending records. [H-L]

Vice President Joe Biden said he will not run for president in 2016. Biden announced his decision in a statement given from the White House on Wednesday. [HuffPo]

A man was fatally shot Tuesday afternoon after police say he pulled out a gun on Jeffersontown officers and they opened fire. [C-J/AKN]

There’s nothing juicy in these Kim Davis emails, so don’t feel compelled to look through them. But it’s fascinating people are still obsessed with her bigoted shenanigans. [Muckrock]

Members of the Glasgow Independent Schools Board of Education spent a large portion of Monday’s meeting contemplating a potential gift that could light up the football field at Glasgow Middle School. [Glasgow Daily Times]

We can’t afford to be cynical about the news that the most lucrative college hoops program in the country uses women as a form of currency. On revelations that the University of Louisville basketball program may have paid a self-described “Louisville Madam” to supply recruits with strippers and sex, the reactions have congregated into two camps: moralizers and cynics. [The Nation]

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and D.O.V.E.S of Gateway has been serving those impacted since 1989. [The Morehead News]

GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump said late Monday that President Obama is working on an executive order to take Americans’ guns away. [The Hill]

Upper management at Massey Energy used fear tactics and intimidation to get miners to produce as much coal as possible despite numerous safety hazards, a former Upper Big Branch miner testified Tuesday. [Richmond Register]

Oklahoma regulators are cracking down harder on saltwater disposal wells near the vitally important Cushing crude storage hub, where a rash of quakes have stoked concerns its tanks and pipelines may not be designed to handle a major seismic event. [Reuters]

President Barack Obama will announce federal, state, local and private sector efforts to combat prescription drug abuse and heroin use today in Charleston. [Ashland Independent]

When energy booms go bust, the public is often left responsible for the cleanup. That’s because while most states and the federal government make companies put up at least some money in advance to pay for any mess they leave behind, it’s often not enough. [NPR]

No, Republicans cannot save Matt Bevin from himself. Not even if he wins on election day. [H-L]

The Democratic National Committee is benefiting from presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s fundraising prowess even before she wraps up the nomination thanks to loosened campaign finance rules. [HuffPo]