Election 2015 Sure Is Awfully Meh

The four men seeking the Republican nomination for governor agreed on many key points in a debate Wednesday night, including their support for the coal industry and “right to work” legislation that would end workplace requirements for union membership. [H-L]

Looks like Frankfort’s bigots aren’t alone in hating the gays. [HuffPo]

Targeted for elimination just 15 years ago, syphilis has been rebounding in Kentucky and across the nation in recent years, mainly among men — part of an uptick that is leading public health officials to seek expanded testing and education. [C-J/AKN]

Orange man John Boehner wrote a thing about Mitch McConnell. [Time]

The Cumberland City Council performed the first reading of an animal control ordinance designed to allow for easier enforcement of animal control issues during a meeting on Tuesday. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

House Democrats on Thursday vowed to fight any attempt by Republicans to tuck gun provisions into government spending bills. [The Hill]

Last Tuesday, City of Hazard Mayor Jimmy Lindon and City of Buckhorn Mayor Pat Wooton approved a proclamation to set April 7 as National Service Recognition Day to celebrate volunteerism and to encourage residents to recognize the positive impact of national service in the region, to thank those who serve, and to find ways to give back to the community. [Hazard Herald]

As a historic constitutional showdown over gay marriage looms this month at the U.S. Supreme Court, attorneys are fighting over another bitterly disputed issue: their fees. [Reuters]

Churchill Downs Racetrack officials wanted to provide a little more “tender loving care” for owners of Kentucky Derby horses by improving their access to the track and their horses while also providing a better view and amenities. [Business First]

A blog hosting posts from former and current New York City officers reinforces the worst kinds of stereotypes. [ProPublica]

Here’s a bit of Greg Fischer-Animal Shelter shadenfreude for ya. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Partisan tensions over a human trafficking bill are bogging down another key piece of congressional business: patent reform. [Politico]

Kentucky officials say the state’s unemployment rate fell to 5.1 percent in March, the lowest rate since June 2001. [H-L]

The private prison industry’s growing role in immigrant detention is due in part to Congress’ requiring the federal government to maintain some 34,000 detention beds, according to a report released Wednesday. The report, drafted by Grassroots Leadership, a nonprofit based in Austin, Texas, calls on Congress to eliminate the immigrant detention quota from its 2016 appropriations request. [HuffPo]

Louisville’s Racial Divide Bubbles To Top

The University of Kentucky will pay a Washington D.C. lobbying firm with connections to U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Somerset, more than $500,000 over the next three years to represent UK on the federal stage. [H-L]

A pair of lawmakers behind a historic congressional amendment protecting medical marijuana operations from federal crackdown issued a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday demanding the Department of Justice stop prosecuting cases against medical marijuana patients and providers in states where the substance has been legalized. [HuffPo]

“I am offended. … I am deeply offended that they would be victimized by an individual and express some kind of fear of all black men,” he said. [C-J/AKN]

Rand Paul tells pastors and religious leaders at a private prayer breakfast that ultimately Washington, D.C., politicians won’t solve America’s problems and instead a spiritual revival is what is needed. [PEE ALERT]

The amounts Glasgow city employees receive in their next pay raises is expected to correlate with performance evaluations, which will be done with a new format. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-Drunk Son On A Plane) is reportedly trying to downplay his connections to fringe conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones. [MMFA]

The White House highlighted a bunch of Kentucky trade and such. [Click the Clicky]

The lights went out on an interview with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Butt Cramp) on Friday after a tense encounter with a reporter from the Guardian. It’s just the latest flare-up between Paul and the press in the days following Tuesday’s announcement that he’ll run for president. [The Hill]

Watching Greg Fischer’s inept team dig themselves deeper and deeper is frightening. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Investors will cast a wary eye on the latest gauges of the United States’ economic health this week, while troubled Europe shows early signs of turning the corner. [Reuters]

As Louisville’s murder rate continues to climb, local groups continue efforts to stem the violence in the community. [WLKY]

Hillary Clinton’s campaign-in-waiting held its final pre-game briefing Saturday at its Brooklyn Heights headquarters, just ahead of her expected official entry into the race on Sunday. [Politico]

A contentious and controversial yearlong school redistricting process in Fayette County is now finished, officials said. The proposed final maps for elementary, middle and high school attendance zones will be presented to the public Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. in Norsworthy Auditorium at the district office, 701 East Main Street. [H-L]

Jack Conway’s name was on the letter. Top state prosecutors from Oregon to Massachusetts, who contend they have evidence that thousands of Americans were fraudulently urged to take out federal student loans to attend dodgy for-profit schools, urged the U.S. Department of Education on Thursday to forgive the borrowers’ debts. [HuffPo]

Be Thankful Fischer Has No Frankfort Influence

The House and Senate gave final approval to Senate Bill 119, which includes language allowing school districts to waive some of their mandatory 1,062 instructional hours this year because of snow days, if the districts cannot make up the time by June 5. [H-L]

This man helps American cities hide their homeless populations. His tactics are being put to use in Louisville by Greg Fischer. But no one wants to talk about it because how dare anyone question puppies and rainbows. [HuffPo]

The Greg Fischer kiss of death is a real thing and it is alive and well. [C-J/AKN]

A New York-based FBI official is warning the public to prepare for major cyberattack given the increasing sophistication of hackers around the world. [The Hill]

Barren County Fiscal Court began paving the way Tuesday to refinance its 2010 bond sale used to fund construction of a new jail a few years ago. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A case of bird flu confirmed Wednesday in the heart of America’s poultry region, is certain to mean more export restrictions, increasing U.S. supply and likely forcing the world’s biggest poultry companies to trim prices. [Reuters]

Even though the two sides have narrowed their differences, the Democratic-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate still have no agreement on how to attack the rise in heroin addiction and trafficking. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Federal Reserve Board’s inspector general has reopened an investigation into a two-year-old leak of confidential monetary information amid rising Congressional scrutiny into how the Fed has handled the matter. [ProPublica]

Get ready! The Rogers folks are set to enrich themselves again with a fancy vacation to Atlanta. U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) and Operation UNITE will put the drug abuse issue back in the national spotlight during the 2015 National Rx Drug Abuse Summit in Atlanta, Ga. April 6-9, 2015. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Of course Martin O’Malley wants to run against Hillary Clinton. Why the heck else would Elisabeth Smith be working for him? He’s the opposite of Lundergan-style Democratic shenanigans. [Politico]

Two Southeastern Kentucky men are working to re-frame the region’s view on an alternative energy source that they think could help put laid-off miners back to work—and they’re starting this work by appealing to those they have called “tomorrow’s leaders.” [Hazard Herald]

Of the million or so women who have abortions every year in the U.S., nearly a quarter end their pregnancy using medications. But just as states have been passing a record number of restrictions on surgical abortion, more are trying to limit this option as well. [NPR]

Kentucky officials are praising the ideas of state employees who are helping save on costs and improve productivity in government offices. [H-L]

Two police officers were shot outside the Ferguson Police Department just after midnight Thursday, police and eyewitnesses said. The shootings came during protests following the Ferguson police chief’s resignation on Wednesday afternoon. [HuffPo]

Westerfield Can’t Even Spell Attorney General

A conservation group is poised to add 1,200 acres to a Harlan County nature preserve that’s home to the largest tract of old-growth forest in Kentucky. [H-L]

Darren Wilson, the former police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August, will not face federal civil rights charges in connection with Brown’s death, Justice Department officials said Wednesday. [HuffPo]

Come on, Whitney! What the heck? You just proved you’re running because you’re butthurt over health care and the gays. Yes, we said it. The gays. You’ve used your own personal failings to hate gay people trying to adopt children and provide stable homes for them. Quit while you’re ahead, Todd P’Pool Junior. Andy Beshear may be tainted by his privileged boy lifestyle and his daddy’s messes but you’re showing your true colors. Your life is going to be picked apart by the Democrats because OAG (in addition to Auditor) is about the only statewide office they think they can hold on to in 2015. [C-J/AKN]

Senate and House Democrats on Wednesday unveiled a package of tax cuts aimed at helping the middle class as part of a new political offensive against Republicans. [The Hill]

Both the Boone County superintendent and his deputy were recognized over the weekend as leaders in their profession. Just a shame some of the school board members are hot messes with major conflicts of interest. [Cincinnasti.com]

Attorneys for the accused Boston Marathon bomber opened his trial on Wednesday with a simple statement about the man charged with killing three people and the injuring 264 with a stunning statement of their client’s guilt: “It was him.” [Reuters]

Matt Bevin and Will T. Scott pee alert. Repeat, Matt Bevin and Will T. Scott pee alert. [RunSwitch]

Over the past decade, states have slashed workers’ compensation benefits, denying injured workers help when they need it most and shifting the costs of workplace accidents to taxpayers. [ProPublica]

Greg Fischer claims he has no intention to try running for U.S. Senate again in 2016. But he absolutely wanted to. He still doesn’t comprehend that he’ll never win statewide office. Ever. And if anyone had enough money, he wouldn’t currently be mayor. [WHAS11]

The more than $1.3 billion the United States government has spent to encourage abstinence and fidelity among Africans in the last 10 years has done little to change sexual behavior and curb the spread of HIV, a recent study determined. [Think Progress]

Here’s Greg Stumbo using Legislative Research Commission staffers to write a column about how he believes he’s a pension genius who saved the pension system. Sadly, everyone old enough to legally think on their own knows all hell is breaking loose on that front. [Floyd County Times]

David Petraeus, a former CIA director and four-star general, has reached a plea deal with the US Justice Department in which he will admit to mishandling classified materials. [BBC]

When I first heard that Alan Stein had agreed to chair the Fayette County Public Schools’ redistricting committee, I thought: Has he lost his mind? [Tom Eblen]

A damning report released by the Justice Department on Wednesday heavily criticized the operations of the police department and municipal court in Ferguson, Missouri, where Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen, was shot and killed by a white police officer in August. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin Reveals New Gun Pandering Stunt

It takes more than a good idea to create a successful business. But the best way for an entrepreneur to start is to make his or her idea as good as it can be. [H-L]

These are the wingnuts the Republicans are trying to lure in. [HuffPo]

The constitutional amendment to create Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s much sought local option sales tax is in limbo in the final days of the 2015 legislative session. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. officials have identified about 300 Bosnian immigrants who they believe concealed their involvement in wartime atrocities including the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, and are trying to deport at least 150 of them, The New York Times reported on Saturday. [Reuters]

Heads-up for Eastern Kentuckians who have been screwed by W. Keith Hall! The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) will hold a meeting in Pikeville next month to receive public comments on a rate increase proposed by Mountain Water District. The Thursday, April 16, meeting will be held in conjunction with a public comment meeting on the rate increase sought by Kentucky Power Co. The meeting will be held in the auditorium at Pikeville High School, 120 Championship Drive. It will begin at 5 p.m. EDT with a presentation by PSC staff on the regulatory processes governing the case and an overview of the Mountain Water District application. [Press Release]

Here’s a story about Mitch McConnell and hemp. Though, there is no UPS wing at the airport — just a massive UPS hub, really its own airport. [Politico]

Construction is set to begin June 1 on the $4 million renovation at Rowan County Senior High School. The Board of Education approved the initial plans and designs on Wednesday. [The Morehead News]

Dr. Chuck Denham, once a leading voice for patient safety, will pay $1 million to settle civil allegations that he took kickbacks to promote a drug company’s product in national health quality guidelines, the Justice Department announced Monday. [ProPublica]

All four Republican gubernatorial candidates were in Northern Kentucky on Saturday night at the 4th Congressional District GOP Lincoln Reagan Dinner to try to convince voters why they are the best choice to be their party’s nominee for governor. [CN|Toot]

Surprise surprise! Drug testing welfare recipients is a waste of time and money. [Think Progress]

MATT BEVIN PEE ALERT! “There is no reason we should not be the seventh state,” said Bevin, who gave his wife an AR-15 — a rifle similar to the one used by the Sandy Hook shooter — for her birthday. We love guns but come on. [News-Enterprise]

Cuban and US diplomats are optimistic about progress at talks in Washington on restoring full relations between the two countries. [BBC]

There’s a bad smell in parts of Metro Louisville, but nobody knows where it’s coming from. Media report that city crews have been trying for nearly a week to pin down the odor that smells like mildew, but so far they’ve had no luck. [H-L]

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome affects one million Americans, according to recent estimates. Yet there’s no reliable lab test for the illness, and researchers are still struggling to understand why and how the disease develops. [HuffPo]