Worst Gubernatorial Campaign Ever?

In their first public, joint appearance as candidates for governor, Democrat Jack Conway and Republican Matt Bevin traded only soft verbal blows, setting the scene for some potentially nasty campaign fights down the road. [H-L]

A website surfaced on Saturday containing a possible trove of photos of Dylann Roof and a racist manifesto explaining why he allegedly targeted Charleston, South Carolina, in a shooting this week that killed nine African-Americans. [HuffPo]

Louisville Metro Police officers and area youths held a frank conversation following a recent police shooting at a forum in the California Community Center on Thursday. [C-J/AKN]

The Confederate flag was adopted to represent a short-lived rebellion to extend and protect white supremacy and black slavery. [Vox]

Campbell District Court Judge Gregory T. Popovich is facing 15 days of suspension from the bench for misconduct. The Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission issued its findings Thursday evening, saying Popovich violated five canons of the state Code of Judicial Conduct. [Cincinnasti.com]

South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn (D) said on Sunday that he believes the Confederate flag stirs up memories of insurrection against the U.S. [The Hill]

Oh, god, the humor. House Speaker Greg Stumbo, (D-Prestonsburg), has announced the formation of the House Special Committee on Advanced Communications and Information Technology. Rep. Martha Jane King (D-Lewisburg) has been appointed to chair the committee, which will meet during the interim months of the General Assembly. [Berea Online]

Tensions are building inside and outside the white marble facade of the U.S. Supreme Court building as the nine justices prepare to issue major rulings on gay marriage and President Barack Obama’s healthcare law by the end of the month. [Reuters]

Matt Bevin told county officials from across the state gathered here for a conference there are “very distinct differences” between him and his Democratic opponent for governor, Jack Conway. [Ronnie Ellis]

With tears welling in her eyes, Hillary Clinton on Saturday delivered an emotional call to action after the Charleston church shooting, first vowing to fight for “common sense” gun reforms, then shifting to an assessment of racism in America. [Politico]

Moments before Rowan Fiscal Court adopted its operating budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year, Judge-Executive Walter Blevins suggested the county add a half percent occupational tax increase for one year. [The Morehead News]

The People v. the Coal Baron. Don Blankenship always knew exactly what he wanted during the years he ran Massey Energy, once the sixth-largest coal company in the United States. He had specific and emphatic ideas about how to operate mines, how to treat employees and how to deal with regulators. When he issued instructions, he wanted them followed to the letter, and this wasn’t just true about his business. [NY Times]

Educators from Maine and Virginia are among the finalists for Fayette County Public Schools superintendent. [H-L]

Russell Moore still thinks the religious right will win the battle against same-sex marriage. Oh, not at the Supreme Court later this month — like nearly everyone else, Moore is almost positive the right will lose there. But the long game… that, he says, could be a different story. [HuffPo]

Airline? In Pikeville? Well, About That…

Won’t say we told you so, but… Appalachian Air, and Public Charters, Inc., will end service to the Pikeville- Pike County Regional Airport in July with the final date of service to be announced soon. [H-L]

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced Tuesday that the Pentagon has added “sexual orientation” as a protected class under its Military Equal Opportunity Policy. [HuffPo]

Beve Cotton ticked off all the ways his body is failing him — high blood pressure, bone spurs, circulation problems, pinched nerves, diverticulitis, cataracts and five broken vertebrae from a car wreck. [C-J/AKN]

President Obama on Tuesday made an emotional plea to protect the Affordable Care Act just weeks before the law could face its biggest legal challenge to date. [The Hill]

Opponents of a proposed Environmental Protection Agency rule on carbon emissions by power plants lost an initial round Tuesday when a federal appeals court said it cannot review a regulation that doesn’t yet exist. [Ronnie Ellis]

Coal companies and 14 states sued to stop a draft regulation to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, a priority for the Obama administration. [NY Times]

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) held a Strategic Planning Listening Session Thursday at the Morehead Conference Center. [The Morehead News]

Student poverty is a major barrier to learning, according to teachers polled in a new national survey of educators. [WaPo]

In 25 years, Kentucky’s energy landscape will look dramatically different than it does now. [WFPL]

U.S. stocks rose slightly on Tuesday, bouncing back partially from the previous day’s decline as higher oil prices helped energy shares, but the dollar slipped on global economic concerns. [Reuters]

Here’s the latest column Greg Stumbo’s Legislative Research Commission staffers have written for him. [Floyd County Times]

The national high school graduation rate is an impressive 81 percent. So impressive, President Obama highlighted it in his State of the Union address this year: “Our high school graduation rate has hit an all-time high.” [NPR]

Next week, the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees is expected to approve UK’s largest budget ever, a $3.4 billion document that reflects a burgeoning health care enterprise paired with continued reliance on tuition paid by out-of-state students. [H-L]

Investigative journalist Bob Woodward on Tuesday rebutted former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s claims that he had always been skeptical about U.S. efforts to promote democracy in Iraq following the 2003 invasion. [HuffPo]

Another Hospital Bites The Dust

New Horizons Medical Center, formerly Owen County Hospital, has filed for bankruptcy protection. [H-L]

Will Hillary Clinton’s campaign mimic the Alison Daddy’s Name Grimes campaign when it comes to zero access? [HuffPo]

Property Valuation Administrator Tony Lindauer will be called to testify before a Kentucky legislative committee this month over allegations that his office is not physically examining taxable properties in accordance with state law. [C-J/AKN]

A plan for a new global research program aimed at driving down the costs of renewable energy more quickly has drawn serious interest from the world’s leading economies, its proponents say. [Reuters]

This, sadly, will surprise absolutely none of you. Per-student funding in Kentucky is falling behind other states per a recent report, and the news has the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy worried about the future for economic growth. [CN|Toot]

The number of people shot dead by US police is twice as high as official figures show. [BBC]

This week Greg Stumbo had his LRC staffers submit a column about Kentucky’s historical markers. [Floyd County Times]

On Wednesday, when President Barack Obama spoke at the US Coast Guard Academy’s commencement ceremony, he called climate change “an immediate risk to our national security.” In recent months, the Obama administration has repeatedly highlighted the international threats posed by global warming and has emphasized the need for the country’s national security agencies to study and confront the issue. [Mother Jones]

The coal business was the only business Tony Gray had ever known, having worked in the industry since he was 17. Then, at the age of 50, the bottom fell out of the industry in Gray’s native Clay County. [Hazard Herald]

Wondering what kind of people the Creation Museum attracts to Northern Kentucky? Check out this homeschool lady’s videos. This is why you should have to have a teaching certificate to homeschool. Good grief. [Here & Here]

The Harlan City Tourism and Convention Commission went over an assortment of routine business during the regular meeting on Tuesday, focusing on the economic impact of tourism on our region. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

How the Red Cross raised half a billion dollars for Haiti and built just six homes. Kinda like they allegedly took the money and ran from West Liberty. [ProPublica]

The city of Lexington and a group that controls more than $12.8 million have entered into a new agreement that will give Fayette County more oversight of how federal workforce dollars are spent and will require that management of that money be bid competitively, city officials said. [H-L]

A judge has awarded more than $15 billion Canadian (US$12 billion) to Quebec smokers in a case that pitted them against three giant tobacco companies. The case is believed to be the biggest class-action lawsuit ever seen in Canada. [HuffPo]

Morgan Co-Conley Meltdown Continues

First the Fredericks threatened the Herald-Leader with a lawsuit and then submitted this bizarre letter. What Daniel Frederick fails to do is realize that most assessments (something like 95.17%) by the PVA in Morgan County are spot-on. Specifically, from 2008-2012, all properties sold in Morgan County averaged out to be about 95% of the ultimate sales price. The state requires 90%. That’s pretty darn solid and the opposite of being grossly under-assessed. John Cheves didn’t mislead anyone. Pro-Tip: Daniel is the son of Joleen, former county attorney. And fun rumor: We hear the Fredericks pulled all of their money out of Commercial Bank when Standafer won the banking bid. So that’s fun. [H-L]

Militants attacked a remote guesthouse and killed nine Afghans working for a Czech charity on Tuesday, as a new report by a U.S. university warned that almost 100,000 people have been killed in Afghanistan since the 2001 U.S. invasion. [HuffPo]

University of Louisville trustees will decide Thursday whether parents and students will again have to shoulder a bit more of the school’s ever-inflating costs. [C-J/AKN]

Florida Senator Marco Rubio has one; Texas Senator Ted Cruz has one; even former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, considered a longshot for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, has a billionaire in his corner. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has two. [Reuters]

Attorney Ned Pillersdorf does not mince words about Eric C. Conn. He has called Conn’s actions “scheming,” “conniving,” and more, after hundreds of Eastern Kentuckians are seeing their Social Security benefits suspended due to suspicion of fraud. [Hazard Herald]

Turns out that Martin O’Malley, like every other politician, is a… politician. Politicians love to reinvent themselves. Clinton, Bush, O’Malley, Conway, Beshear, McConnell. They all do it. [Hullabaloo]

Routine business made up a large part of the Harlan City Council’s recent meeting for the month of May. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Rand Paul, the man of the hour when it comes to pushing back against government secrecy, is throwing his weight behind a fresh push to declassify 28 pages from a 2002 Senate inquiry into the causes of 9/11. [TDB]

Meanwhile, both Jamie Comer and Hal Heiner continued to raise campaign funds. [WKMS]

While Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Granny) and allies in his party ostracize the junior Bluegrass State senator, Rand Paul (R-Cookie Maker), for opposing the Patriot Act, the American people lean far more towards Paul’s position than McConnell’s. [Politico]

With just a slight breeze, the smell of bourbon and whiskey wafts into the noses of visitors to the Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience. [Business First]

The Antarctic ozone hole would have been 40% bigger and a hole over the Arctic would have opened up if ozone-depleting chemicals had not been phased out, according to research. [BBC]

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo is calling for a 140-mile extension of the Mountain Parkway from Prestonsburg to Beckley, W.Va., at a cost of $8 billion to $10 billion. [H-L]

College graduates, brace yourselves for some disappointing news. Wages for university grads are 2.5 percent lower than what they were 15 years ago, according to the latest edition of the Economic Policy Institute’s annual report on the labor market prospects of new workers. [HuffPo]

The Gays Went To Court Today

Want to hear audio of today’s Supreme Court hearing on gay marriage? Transcript will be there, as well. [Part One & Part Two]

The Kentucky State University Board of Regents approved a tuition increase during a meeting Friday. [H-L]

As he began his first re-election run in early 2013, tea party Rep. Thomas Massie had no trouble raising money from business interests. [HuffPo]

There’s an old Broadway musical song that says “Money makes the world go around” and that’s true nowhere more than in the political realm where money is quite often the deciding factor. It’s not only who can raise it, but it’s also who can spend it wisely. [C-J/AKN]

NASA on Thursday marked the silver anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope with fireworks, of a celestial kind, conveyed by the orbiting observatory itself. [Reuters]

Looks like Jamie Comer was forced to admit his hypocrisy on the Ernie Fletcher front: Comer said Monday that he “reached out” to members of the Fletcher administration to make sure they knew he was talking only about “a few bad apples,” that the “overwhelming majority” of those in the Fletcher administration were good people and that Fletcher was a good man. He pointed out that he hired some former Fletcher administration employees at the Department of Agriculture and others are supporting his campaign. [Ronnie Ellis]

This is going to anger people like Ken Ham. People with lower back problems are more likely to have a spine similar in shape to the chimpanzee, our closest ape ancestor. [BBC]

Here’s Greg Stumbo’s latest column — written by some lowly LRC staffer — about Right to Work. [Floyd County Times]

This week’s same-sex-marriage cases at the Supreme Court brought in a record number of friend-of-the-court briefs — 148 of them, according to the court, beating the previous record of 136 in the 2013 Obamacare case. [NPR]

Kentucky State Police Trooper Rodney Sturgill is investigating an incident involving a 2-year-old girl found unresponsive off Osborne Lane in Terrys Fork in the Wallins Creek community. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

One of the first fights of the Republican presidential primary season will be over U.S. spying. [The Hill]

The Lexington Police Department is investigating a violent home invasion after a man exchanged gunfire with four robbery suspects on Tuesday morning. [WKYT]

When the country’s most powerful union leader delivers what’s being billed as a “major address” on Tuesday, it will be widely seen as a memo to Hillary Clinton outlining what she must do to earn organized labor’s support. [Politico]

When Pellom McDaniels III was researching black athletes and their influence on the 20th century, he kept running across the name Isaac Murphy. One article referred to Murphy as “an elegant specimen of manhood.” [H-L]

When asked why they’d come to the National Mall on a recent overcast Saturday, four days before the Supreme Court would hold its latest hearing on same-sex marriage, nearly all of the dozens of people I talked to opened with the same statement, pretty much word for word: “I believe that God’s marriage is between a man and a woman.” Several added, as an afterthought, “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” — looking at me frankly, as if that settled everything. [HuffPo]

Don’t forget to enter to win a copy of Lawn Darts of Fate! Contest runs through the end of the week. [Page One & The ‘Ville Voice]

There’s A Scandal Brewing In Bowling Green

The Executive Director of the Education Professional Standards Board is retiring at the end of April. So that should be fun. [Deep Thoughts]

Berea Mayor Steven Connelly is asking residents to sign a petition for a local-option vote to allow alcohol sales in qualifying restaurants. [H-L]

President Barack Obama on Wednesday created the first-ever sanctions program to penalize overseas hackers who engage in cyber spying and companies that knowingly benefit from the fruits of that espionage, potentially including state-owned corporations in Russia and China. [HuffPo]

A national traffic-congestion study ranked Louisville as the 36th worst city in the United States, which will probably come as no surprise to Louisville commuters. It’s also the 128th worst on the international list. [C-J/AKN]

Deadly confrontations between police officers and unarmed African-American men and boys have raised troubling questions in recent months. Among them is whether a fear of black men fuels racial disparities throughout society. [NPR]

Kentucky passed a similar law two years ago, and, while it feels like the Indiana legislature’s move last week should make us all feel a little déjà vu, it doesn’t really. That seems weird because, despite the attention Indiana’s new law has gotten on a national scale — which includes an appearance by Pence on ABC’s Sunday morning program This Week , the NCAA expressing mid-March Madness concerns over the law and #BoycottIndiana trending on Twitter — nowhere near this level of fury arose when Kentucky’s legislature passed HB 279 by even wider margins than its Hoosier neighbors. [WCPO]

The Supreme Court delivered a victory to state health departments on Tuesday, ruling that private Medicaid doctors cannot sue states to raise their reimbursement rates. [The Hill]

Warren County and the Warren County Downtown Economic Development Authority have filed a complaint in Warren Circuit Court asking that mechanic’s liens filed for money unpaid in the construction of Hitcents Park Plaza, a garage wrap project in the downtown Bowling Green TIF district, be found invalid. What on earth have Jody Richards and Jim DeCesare caused down there??? [BGDN]

Republicans from all across Kentucky will be in the audience next week when Sen. Rand Paul announces his presidential run in Louisville — with one big exception. [Politico]

Here’s another pile of nonsense from Greg Stumbo’s Legislative Research Commission staffers. [Floyd County Times]

Several Republican governors likely to run for president have secured hundreds millions of dollars under Obamacare while working to dismantle the healthcare law, according to a Reuters review of federal spending records. [Reuters]

For the ignorant teabagger-types who think they can choose to prevent their children from participating in state tests? Think again. It’s called ruining your kid’s future. And why allow an entire school year to go to waste? Sitting through class after class only to skip testing. Riiiight. [KSBA Flashback]

The billionaire investor, Warren Buffett, has said he would not raise interest rates if he was in charge of the US Federal Reserve. [BBC]

President Barack Obama on Tuesday shortened the prison sentences of nearly two dozen drug convicts, including eight serving life in prison, in an act the White House said continues Obama’s push to make the justice system fairer by reducing harsh sentences that were handed down under outdated guidelines. [H-L]

Taxes are a pain. Health insurance is a pain. This year, Americans will suffer both when they file their income taxes. Ouch. [HuffPo]

No, The Presidency Is Not Some Crown

“I’m going to move on my casino bill and ask for hearings on it during the interim. It’s part of my personal agenda,” Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said after the 2015 session ended. [H-L]

A U.S. district judge in Texas on Thursday issued a stay to halt the U.S. Labor Department from implementing a rule that would expand medical leave protections for same-sex couples, saying the move impinges on the rights of states that ban gay marriage. [HuffPo]

The most fascinating vote of the entire 2015 legislature happened a few minutes after 3 a.m. on the final morning of the session when a wide-ranging group of Democrats and Republicans banded together in the House to beat back a leadership bill. [C-J/AKN]

The state of the U.S. labor market in March will consume economists and investors in the week leading up to Easter, adding to the seesaw debate over when the Federal Reserve will spring its first interest rate hike. [Reuters]

Democrats are apparently seething over this one. A Louisville woman has been appointed to serve on the newly created National Women’s History Museum Commission. Bridget Bush, a lawyer, was appointed by Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell. [WLEX18]

Senators approved a budget amendment Thursday that would give married same-sex couples access to Social Security and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits. [The Hill]

Everybody is freaking out… President Barack Obama will be coming to Louisville April 2. [WHAS11]

The House Ethics Committee is launching a full-scale investigation into whether Kentucky Republican Rep. Ed Whitfield improperly aided his wife’s lobbying work for the Humane Society Legislative Fund. [Politico]

W. Keith Hall is apparently doing everything he can to stall the inevitable. A former Kentucky lawmaker facing a bribery charge has asked that his trial be postponed following a guilty plea by a co-defendant. [WLKY]

A man who won an auction to shoot an endangered black rhino in Namibia has been given a US permit to import the trophy if he kills one. [BBC]

The frustration of one-lane paths along U.S. 60 in Summit won’t last much beyond next weekend, although the overall project will continue for months to come. [Ashland Independent]

New rules put forward by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would have a major impact on the high-cost loan industry. But if history is any guide, lenders will quickly find some loopholes. [ProPublica]

The Cave-In-Rock Ferry is resuming operation in western Kentucky between Crittenden County, Kentucky, and Hardin County, Illinois. [H-L]

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley spoke about his potential run for the Democratic presidential nomination on Sunday, seeming to take a shot at the idea of another Clinton in the White House. “Let’s be honest here, the presidency is not some crown to be passed between two families. It is an awesome and sacred trust to be earned and exercised on behalf of the American people,” O’Malley said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week.” [HuffPo]