Greg Fischer: Still Not Remotely Transparent

A religious group is threatening to sue the state of Kentucky over a year-old policy that prohibits anti-gay comments to youths at the state’s juvenile detention centers. [H-L]

Disastrous sea level rise is an issue for today’s public. [HuffPo]

Of course Greg Fischer’s stunt broke state law. Did anyone ever expect this man to truly be transparent? To truly be up-front? Please. Not even the Brown Family is in his corner. First-rate shyster that the Democrats are afraid to oust. The news director of WAVE-3 is accusing Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer of violating Kentucky’s open meetings law after banning photographs and video footage during a press briefing to review new designs for the downtown Omni Hotel project. [C-J/AKN]

The Senate on Sunday rejected a GOP-led amendment to repeal ObamaCare that fell several votes short of a 60-vote threshold to advance. [The Hill]

Pension spikes have become the city’s newest finance problem, and the board of commissioners is wondering how to handle this unbudgeted expense. [Ashland Independent]

The Associated Press is making thousands of hours of archival news footage available on YouTube. [NPR]

One of the defining characteristics of democracy in the 21st century is that nearly every member of the public can watch the government in action. Through live broadcasts and daily TV news reports, citizens can see and hear the deliberations and decisions that affect their daily lives. [WAVE3]

The U.S. government is violating a 1997 settlement by detaining unauthorized immigrant children, and an order may be forthcoming to require the release of the minors and parents detained with them, a judge in California has ruled. [Reuters]

A death investigation is underway in Bell County after a man was bitten by a snake Sunday during a church service. [WKYT]

Studies have shown time and again that humans are pretty effective at driving other animals to extinction — but a new study published in Science this week suggests that when it comes to some species, that blame might have been misplaced. [ThinkProgress]

Climate change will begin to have a demonstrative effect on Kentucky’s economy within five years. [WFPL]

New York state recently announced an increase in the minimum wage for fast food workers, to $15 an hour. It’s the fruit of a three-year labor campaign. But there’s another group of workers out there that hasn’t had a real wage increase in decades. [NPR]

Wealthy libertarians are giving big to Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul. Three super PACs supporting the Kentucky senator say they raised a combined $6 million through June 30. [H-L]

President Barack Obama freed dozen of nonviolent offenders earlier this month to draw attention to the harsh and often unfair sentences given under mandatory minimum sentencing rules for drug offenders. [HuffPo]

Mailbox Economy Freakout Under Way

Dexter Conn needs a lawyer. So do 1,500 of his neighbors. The 57-year-old from Dana is one of the 1,500 people, mostly in eastern Kentucky, whose federal disability benefits are in jeopardy after the federal government ordered a review of cases handled by attorney Eric Conn. [H-L]

Americans’ views of Sen. Bernie Sanders have grown more favorable as they continue to learn more about him, according to a new Gallup poll. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin has said he opposes gambling on all levels but it looks like when it comes to providing healthcare to working poor families in Kentucky, he’s betting that they either don’t hear what he’s saying or are going to stay home on Election Day. [C-J/AKN]

The Obama administration is planning to devote an additional $100 million to fight the national drug addiction epidemic as deaths from substances like heroin and prescription painkillers reach record-breaking levels. [The Hill]

We’re a week away from the best day of any Kentucky political season, the Fancy Farm Picnic which takes place Saturday in the midst of the oddest governor’s race I can recall. [Ronnie Ellis]

A planet believed to be remarkably similar to Earth has been discovered orbiting a distant sun-like star, bolstering hopes of finding life elsewhere in the universe, U.S. scientists said on Thursday. [Reuters]

Rick Whelan is the new chair of the Rowan County Board of Education. He was elected Tuesday to succeed Bill Redwine, who resigned in June. [The Morehead News]

The American Red Cross met a deadline this week to answer congressional questions about how it spent nearly half a billion dollars donated after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, but the group says details can’t yet be released publicly. And the senator who posed the questions is not satisfied. [ProPublica]

At Tuesday’s regular Fiscal Court meeting, Magistrate Charlie Winkleman recommended the county pay for the new Rowan County Detention Center site out of the general fund carryover from the last fiscal year rather than waiting on the county’s $15 million bond issue. [The Morehead News]

Despite widespread belief to the contrary, no federal law explicitly protects LGBT people from discrimination. Thursday marks the introduction of The Equality Act, a comprehensive bill that would, if passed, add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the protections that already exist based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. But it also would do more than that. [ThinkProgress]

Residents expressed concerns this week that the potential expansion of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in Kentucky would pollute the water and air and bring earthquakes to the region. [WFPL]

Americans will have just three big companies to choose their health insurance from rather than five if the latest deals get the go ahead. [BBC]

Fayette County Public Schools have until Sept. 1 to give the Kentucky Department of Education a plan to provide more support for low-achieving schools. [H-L]

When did humans first begin farming? Scientists have long thought that our prehistoric ancestors didn’t start raising crops until some 12,000 years ago. But a new study suggests that the age of agriculture might have dawned much earlier. [HuffPo]

This All Helps Rand Win Re-Election

It’s a rare Sunday session for senators, and on the agenda are efforts to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law and reviving the federal Export-Import Bank. [H-L]

Someone has taken up Justice Stephen Breyer’s invitation to challenge the constitutionality of the death penalty. [HuffPo]

It wasn’t until after Sarah Norris dropped out of high school that she found an educational program that worked for her. [C-J/AKN]

Has he stalled? It doesn’t matter. This is a push to raise his U.S. Senate profile and it’s worked. A year ago, Rand Paul, the libertarian-minded senator from Kentucky, was among the leading potential candidates in the GOP presidential race, topping at least three national polls in spring and early summer. [The Hill]

Officials from Eastern Kentucky University’s aviation degree program flew into the Ashland Regional Airport Thursday to greet students interested in earning a college degree while spending as much time in an airplane cockpit as in a college classroom. [Ashland Independent]

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz ripped into his party’s establishment on Friday, calling Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell a liar during an unusual public attack on the floor of the Senate. [Reuters]

Matt Bevin, the Republican nominee for governor, acknowledged Thursday for the first time that switching from Kentucky’s state health exchange to a federal exchange won’t in itself affect the state’s expansion of Medicaid. [Ronnie Ellis]

Twenty-five years ago this weekend, the Americans With Disabilities Act was signed into law, officially outlawing discrimination against disabled people in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and government services. [Mother Jones]

Western Kentucky school boards are the absolute worst. Glasgow Independent Schools plans to appeal an opinion from the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General that said its board of education violated the state’s open meetings law in March. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The H-2 visa program invites foreign workers to do some of the most menial labor in America. Then it leaves them at the mercy of their employers. Thousands of these workers have been abused — deprived of their fair pay, imprisoned, starved, beaten, raped, and threatened with deportation if they dare complain. And the government says it can do little to help. [BuzzFeed]

Citizens and emergency responders were only hours away from what could have been a very serious situation when last week’s storms knocked out power at the radio repeater site on Tower Road off Dry Creek Road. [The Morehead News]

You should check out these photos of Dubya and Unka Dick from September 11, 2011. Seriously, not joking, check them out. [Flickr]

A bunch of fat, racist, white guys played dress-up on Friday and showed their true colors. Kentucky’s state government should not turn its back on Confederate symbols, including the “stars and bars” battle flag and Jefferson Davis, speakers told more than a hundred people at a “Southern pride” rally outside the Capitol Friday. [John Cheves]

Mitch McConnell fast-tracked a bill to defund Planned Parenthood on Friday because of an undercover video of a Planned Parenthood doctor discussing the donation of fetal tissue after abortions. But McConnell was one of many Republicans who voted to lift a ban on fetal tissue donations after abortions in 1993 — the very move that legalized Planned Parenthood’s actions. [HuffPo]

Whitesburg: The Worst Place On Earth?

Way to go, Whitesburg! Now everyone thinks you’re a bunch of dumb effing rednecks. It’s like you’ve escaped from a television sitcom version of a Nathan Smith-owned trailer park and you’re spewing your stupid everywhere. Perfect stereotype: fat, white lady who sells guns is spewing fear and hatred while a confederate flag and anti-Muslim sign hang in the windows. [WKYT]

Rhyan Moseley, a rising eighth-grader at Lexington’s Carter G. Woodson Academy, has spent his summer in a program at Kentucky State University focused on topics including computer coding and programming, mathematics and game design. [H-L]

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter arrived unannounced in Baghdad on Thursday to assess the government’s progress in healing the country’s sectarian divisions and hear the latest on support for the Iraqi army’s coming attempt to recapture the key city of Ramadi from the Islamic State. [HuffPo]

The big city folks finally started paying attention to what’s going on in Boyd County. Willing to reject more than $1 million a year in revenues, elected officials in Boyd County have called on Kentucky regulators to close a stinky, mega dump that’s fed by daily East Coast trash trains. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump says the chances that he will launch a third-party White House run will “absolutely” increase if the Republican National Committee is unfair to him during the 2016 primary season. [The Hill]

Glasgow firefighters sometimes re-enter a burning house to rescue a family pet that did not make it out with its owners. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Even as immigration remains a hot topic in the U.S. presidential campaign, the number of people emigrating from Mexico to the United States, legally and illegally, has dropped sharply in recent years, research published Wednesday shows. [Reuters]

Just before the Greenup Meals on Wheels program went under, two groups stepped up to keep it afloat. [Ashland Independent]

GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush suggested that the United States should figure out a way to “phase out” Medicare, the federal program that provides insurance to more than 50 million elderly and disabled people, at a political event on Wednesday night. [ThinkProgress]

The Kentucky Arts Council has awarded more than $1.2 million in operating support to 91 arts organizations across the Commonwealth including two in Madison County for the 2016 fiscal year. [Richmond Register]

It’s illegal to hire immigrants without legal status. Yet the federal government employs thousands of undocumented workers. [NPR]

This is apparently a sports thing that happened. Rap star Drake has received a cease-and-desist letter from the University of Kentucky. [WKYT]

The documents also raise questions about the accuracy of the Red Cross’ count of how many Haitians it helped, concluding the figures on one project were “fairly meaningless.” [ProPublica]

Nathan Smith’s trailer park business just paid an $11,000 fine for sewage that’s been discharging into waterways for ages and ages. Yep, the big dogs behind Jack Conway and their spokespeople (KATHY FUCKING GROOB) are still all up in some literal shit. [WFPL]

The KFB Thing Was As Sad As Always

A recently settled sexual harassment lawsuit, involving a state legislator and workers at Kentucky’s capitol, will pay $400,000, according to attorney Thomas Clay. Way to go, Democrats, costing taxpayers mountains of cash. [WDRB]

In a preview of what promises to be a bitter fall campaign, Kentucky’s two major party candidates for governor traded verbal blows as they faced off Thursday at the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s “Measure the Candidates” forum. [H-L]

It’s a whole new day for Republican presidential contenders making their second bid for the White House. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is making serious efforts to woo black voters, and is becoming one of the fiercest critics of real estate mogul Donald Trump. Meanwhile former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, known for his stringent opposition to same-sex marriage, is softening his rhetoric about gay people. [HuffPo]

The Kentucky State Fair Board voted Thursday to “strongly discourage” the sale or giveaway of any product bearing the image of the Confederate battle flag at the 2015 Kentucky State Fair in August. [C-J/AKN]

Just not Kentucky Democrats. Democrats are coalescing around a new proposal to rewrite the Civil Rights Act to include protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people, abandoning a piecemeal strategy that won enough bipartisan support to pass the Senate in 2013. [Politico]

Barren County Fiscal Court unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday opposing proposed changes to the 27 miles of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline that runs through the county. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A year and a half after the Affordable Care Act brought widespread reforms to the U.S. healthcare system, Chicago’s Cook County Health & Hospitals System has made its first profit in 180 years. [Reuters]

An environmental advocacy group has asked a federal court to order River Cities Disposal to cease alleged violations of state emissions standards at its Big Run Landfill. [Ashland Independent]

The main federal fund for roads and bridges runs at a deep deficit. If even red states can raise the gas tax, why can’t Congress? [ProPublica]

In a 7-1 vote, the Berea City Council passed a resolution to apply for a $500,000 grant for new police and fire department facilities. The project would be one element of a $9.7 million project to build a new Berea municipal building on Chestnut. [Richmond Register]

After Dylann Roof opened fire on worshippers gathered inside the historically black Emanuel A.M.E Church in Charleston, South Carolina last month, allegedly killing nine congregants and claiming that they “rape our women” and “are taking over our country,” a disturbing image circulated online. [ThinkProgress]

If you want to waste a few minutes of your time, here’s a look at Jack Conway and Matt Bevin playing pat-a-cake at Kentucky Farm Bureau. Because that’s what you do at a homophobic organization like that. You play pat-a-cake. [WKYT]

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump is very wealthy. And now, thanks to his recently released Federal Election Commission financial disclosure forms covering the past 18 months, we have some new information about the man and the breadth of his financial domain. [BBC]

A federal judge has ruled there is evidence that officers at the Fayette County jail used excessive force on an inmate who died when he was being held in 2012. [H-L]

Same-sex couples can finally get married everywhere in the country, thanks to the Supreme Court’s long-awaited ruling last month. A couple can exchange rings, dance the night away and then post pictures of the event on Facebook. Just like any other couple. [HuffPo]

Thursday Evening Dept Of Awful

Democrats are pulling out the long knives, questioning Bevin’s commitment to agriculture and pressing the theme that Bevin “can’t be trusted.” During a conference call Wednesday morning organized by the Kentucky Democratic Party, one Kentucky farmer even made note of Bevin’s New Hampshire upbringing. [H-L]

Veterans were exposed to toxic chemicals and they’re accusing the VA of dragging its feet. [HuffPo]

West Virginia coal operator Jim Justice, who invited Gov. Steve Beshear to play a round of golf with the great Tiger Woods at Justice’s Greenbrier resort early this month, was the biggest contributor to the Kentucky Democratic Party last month. [C-J/AKN]

Hillary Clinton trails three top Republican presidential candidates in matchups in three key swing states — Iowa, Colorado and Virginia — a new Quinnipiac poll finds. [The Hill]

Rowan County resident Serena Smith has supported Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis and her decision not to issue marriage licenses since the day protests began in late June. [Ashland Independent]

Michigan’s Wayne County, home to Detroit, is in a financial emergency due to chronic budget deficits and a big unfunded healthcare liability, a state-appointed review team announced on Tuesday. [Reuters]

U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Bowling Green, met Monday with constituents at a Glasgow restaurant. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Missouri cattle farmer Greg Fleshman became so concerned about keeping his local hospital open that in 2011 he joined its governing board. “I mean they’ve saved my dad’s life twice,” Fleshman says. “He had a heart attack and a stroke and they life-flighted him out of here both times.” Keeping the doors open at Putnam County Memorial Hospital in Unionville, Mo., seemed crucial to the community — but maybe an impossible task. [NPR]

Turns out Greg Fischer has another director-level hire with a drinking and driving in their city vehicle problem. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Though most states are slowing their emissions, the report shows eight states moving in the opposite direction, each seeing an increase in its emissions rate between 2008 and 2015. They include Kentucky, Louisiana, Arkansas, Nebraska, Utah, Idaho and Alaska. [Climate Central]

The Casey County Fiscal Court says homophobic County Clerk Casey Davis is wrong. May be behind a paywall but the headline and sub-head will tell you everything you need to know. [Casey County News]

Logically, Iraqi refugees shouldn’t exist, according to Sen. Rand Paul, because the United States already “won” the Iraq War. In an interview with Boston Herald Radio this week, Paul attempted to justify why he wanted to restrict the number of refugees the United States takes in, particularly from certain areas of the world like the Middle East. [ThinkProgress]

The Boyd County Fiscal Court unanimously voted Tuesday to seek closure of Big Run Landfill. [More Ashland Independent]

With a little over one week left before funding for the nation’s transportation infrastructure dries up, the Senate has reached a deal on a multiyear bill, parting ways with the House. However, the bill immediately hit some bumps. [HuffPo]

Please accept my apologies for the caching issue that made the site appear to have stopped publication on July 16. Everything should be getting back to normal. If not, clear your browser’s cache and you should be good to go. [Jake]