Ronnie Ellis Schooled Matt Bevin

Coal companies controlled by a billionaire running for governor of West Virginia owe $3.5 million in delinquent property taxes in Eastern Kentucky, shortchanging schools and other public agencies at a time many are struggling. [H-L]

A Fox News contributor has offered a bizarre defense of Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson’s assertion that the Holocaust was the result of Nazi gun control. [HuffPo]

Kentucky’s race for attorney general is a contrast in old school politics and modern politics. It’s also a case study for the potential of old school corruption and the potential for modern corruption. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. law enforcement agencies could have a tougher time operating in the European Union after a bombshell court ruling struck down a key data transfer agreement between the two governments. [The Hill]

The more small town newspapers promote these bigots, the more harm people like Kim Davis cause. We’re looking at you, CNHI. [Ashland Independent]

Joshua Powell was deposed for longer than Bill Cosby. Let that sink in. [Reuters]

You can thank Kim Davis for drawing Westboro Baptist Church to Morehead State University. [The Morehead News]

Drugmakers disclose their payments to doctors, dentists, even chiropractors. But spending on nurse practitioners and physician assistants is excluded. Legislation in the Senate would change that. [ProPublica]

Don’t worry, that $68.6 million will grow over time. Change order after change order will drive the cost up beyond belief. A Glasgow company has been awarded a construction contract to complete the widening of Interstate 65 in Kentucky. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Hillary Clinton sat down with Black Lives Matter activists Friday for a policy-centered discussion of criminal justice in the African American community. According to an aide to the former secretary of state and 2016 Democratic frontrunner, the discussion centered on the roles of police in communities, allocation of police resources in areas that need them the most, and “violence against transgender Americans.” [Politico]

Maybe Matt Bevin isn’t old enough to recall Orville Faubus or George Wallace but I am. Bevin, the Republican running for governor, frequently invokes the 10th Amendment, promising to tell the federal government to “pound sand” on such issues as environmental regulations if he’s elected. [Ronnie Ellis]

Russia has agreed to resume talks with the US on air safety during Syria bombing campaigns, says the Pentagon. [BBC]

Plans are proceeding to build in Mercer County the largest solar-powered generating facility in Kentucky. Louisville Gas & Electric Co. and Kentucky Utilities announced Friday that they have secured a contract for engineering, procurement and construction of the facility, and that construction is expected to begin in November. [H-L]

A white Cleveland police officer was justified in fatally shooting a black 12-year-old boy holding a pellet gun moments after pulling up beside him, according to two outside reviews conducted at the request of the prosecutor investigating the death. [HuffPo]

Gubernatorial Race Still Boring As Hell

A federal judge dismissed four of the five counts against Jesse Benton Friday, ruling that the U.S. Department of Justice violated an agreement with the former aide to U.S. Sens. Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell by using his statements to obtain an indictment. [H-L]

If Paul Ryan can’t save the GOP, could Democrats? Many Republicans have been turning toward the Wisconsin representative as their best shot of electing a House speaker to replace John Boehner (R-Ohio), who wants to leave his post at the end of the month. [HuffPo]

Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services could be in for some major changes after the upcoming governor’s race. [C-J/AKN]

Back in 1990, as the debate over climate change was heating up, a dissident shareholder petitioned the board of Exxon, one of the world’s largest oil companies, imploring it to develop a plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from its production plants and facilities. The board’s response: Exxon had studied the science of global warming and concluded it was too murky to warrant action. The company’s “examination of the issue supports the conclusions that the facts today and the projection of future effects are very unclear.” [LA Times]

Democrat Jack Conway has a five-point lead over Republican Matt Bevin in the latest publicly released poll, but he enjoys a commanding fundraising lead over Bevin, a gap which could prove critical on Nov. 3. With only 25 days before voters go to the polls, Conway has $2.3 million on hand to Bevin’s $674,427. [Ronnie Ellis]

Granny Mitch is still keeping his promise of ruining the country by spending every waking moment attacking the president. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell railed against President Obama’s foreign policy on Sunday, calling his philosophy “mind-boggling” and evidence of a belief in “American retreat around the world.” [The Hill]

They recognized a problem, so now they’re attacking it head on. Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo and other local and state leaders hosted a public forum in Floyd County to address the drug problem in the region. One statistic inspired the event that leaders say they hope will save lives. [WYMT]

About four miles from the world’s largest Christopher Columbus parade in midtown Manhattan on Monday, hundreds of Native Americans and their supporters will hold a sunrise prayer circle to honor ancestors who were slain or driven from their land. [Reuters]

Conway, in an effort to walk that line, has emphasized his allegiance toward the coal industry and opposition toward Obama administration regulations designed to lower emissions from coal-fired power plants. Conway released a pro-coal ad in September boasting “he stood up against Obama” when he sued the Environmental Protection Agency over the coal regulations. []

The color of debt: how collection suits squeeze black neighborhoods. [ProPublica]

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway has a major financial advantage over Republican Matt Bevin, who has struggled to raise funds and has loaned his campaign $995,100 during the general election period. [WFPL]

The Republican leaders of a House committee who have been in a bitter partisan battle with Democrats are enmeshed in a new fight with one of the committee’s former staff members. A former investigator for the Republicans on the House Select Committee on Benghazi plans to file a complaint in federal court next month alleging that he was fired unlawfully in part because his superiors opposed his efforts to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the 2012 attack on the American diplomatic mission in the Libyan city rather than focus primarily on the role of the State Department and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. [NY Times]

Democratic state Auditor Adam Edelen is within striking distance of raising a record-breaking $1 million for his re-election campaign, greatly outpacing his Republican rival, state Rep. Mike Harmon. [H-L]

The U.S. Department of Defense will seek to make “condolence payments” to families of victims of a U.S. air strike that mistakenly hit a Medecins Sans Frontieres hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, killing 22 people, the Pentagon said on Saturday. [HuffPo]

Coal Pandering’s Worse Than Child Abuse, Right? Surely It’s Worse Than That. Or Maybe Elder Abuse?

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway tried to reinforce his friend-of-coal credentials Thursday, pledging to promote the industry and look for tax incentives to boost production as he distanced himself from a president routinely blamed for coal’s downturn. [H-L]

If you want to stop violence against people, stop violence against animals. [HuffPo]

Because of course they are. Some of Kentucky’s most vulnerable people — frail, elderly and disabled individuals in nursing homes — have been threatened, ridiculed, slapped, injured or sexually abused, but the state’s nursing home industry is seeking relief from what it calls heavy-handed state oversight. [C-J/AKN]

The lack of accurate information about police-involved shootings is roiling the nation’s law enforcement community, leaving officials unable to say whether high-profile killings are isolated events or part of an alarming trend, FBI Director James B. Comey said Wednesday. [WaPo]

What this means is Mark Hebert is prolly spilling the hooker tea. A former University of Louisville basketball player has given investigators a version of events that indicates strippers were in the players’ dorm on at least one occasion, a source close to the investigation told WDRB News. [WDRB]

Leading theologians from the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) are making news this week for again speaking out against ex-gay therapy, also known as reparative or conversion therapy. But what these theologians have been saying at the annual Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) conference about how to respond to LGBT people belies the supposed progress of rejecting these harmful, ineffective treatments. [ThinkProgress]

A federal judge won’t drop charges against two of the six accused in a scheme to sell millions of dollars of untaxed cigarettes from a storefront in Russell, according to court records. [Ashland Independent]

A few days ago, the RAND Corporation published an opinion piece that raised questions about Surgeon Scorecard, our searchable online database of complication rates for surgeons performing several elective operations. We appreciate the authors’ intentions and plan to take some suggestions into account as we prepare Surgeon Scorecard 2.0. [ProPublica]

Barren Circuit Judge Phillip Patton has issued an order today agreeing with the decision of the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General that the Glasgow Independent Schools Board of Education violated the Open Meetings Act with its closed session on March 30, when it discussed a potential property agreement. [Glasgow Daily Times]

U.S. stocks ended higher on Thursday with the S&P 500 closing at a seven-week high as investors saw further signs of dovishness in the Federal Reserve’s September meeting minutes which shed light on its decision to keep interest rates near zero. [Reuters]

If Madison County institutes a needle-exchange program in an attempt to control infections such as HIV and hepatitis C among inter-venous drug users, it will benefit from the lessons learned by its neighbor to the north. [Richmond Register]

US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has outlined her plan to curb Wall Street abuses. [BBC]

Preservation Kentucky will present its Excellence in Preservation Awards on Saturday at a particularly notable historic site: Traveler’s Rest, home place of Isaac Shelby, the first and fifth governor of Kentucky. [H-L]

Senior U.S. lawmakers have begun probing possible intelligence lapses over Moscow’s intervention in Syria, concerned that American spy agencies were slow to grasp the scope and intention of Russia’s dramatic military offensive there, U.S. congressional sources and other officials told Reuters. [HuffPo]

Happy Friday! Everything Probably Sucks

Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway enjoys a sizable cash advantage over Republican Matt Bevin as the two men head down the home stretch of the governors race. [H-L]

Syria’s chief-of-staff on Thursday declared a wide-ranging ground offensive by government forces, a day after Russian airstrikes and cruise missiles launched from the Caspian Sea backed Damascus’ multipronged advance into two Syrian provinces. [HuffPo]

Former Louisville basketball recruit JaQuan Lyle, in an interview with the NCAA this week, confirmed “the gist of allegations” against U of L in a new book. [C-J/AKN]

When David Martine arrived at the redbrick federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, in the summer of 2011, he was three years past his retirement and had not participated in an interrogation since 2007, when he was one of the CIA’s top inquisitors. On this day, however, he was not going to be asking questions. He was going to be answering them. [Newsweek]

There were some frightening moments at a southern Kentucky elementary school on Wednesday. [WKYT]

The Obama administration has formally threatened a veto on a House bill that would lift the federal ban on crude oil exports. [The Hill]

The Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) Executive Board has given the green light for communities in the region to apply for grants up to $250,000 for job creation and broadband expansion via the Kentucky Appalachian Regional Development (KARD) fund. [State Journal]

A U.S. jury on Wednesday awarded a cancer patient $1.6 million after finding DuPont was liable for leaking a toxic chemical used to make Teflon into drinking water near one of its plants. [Reuters]

Following a report this summer showing Floyd County led the state last year in the per capita number of drug-overdose deaths, House Speaker Greg Stumbo is gathering state and local leaders in Prestonsburg on Friday morning to discuss solutions. The public and community partners are invited to attend. [Floyd County Times]

In March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition began bombing Yemen in an attempt to support the embattled regime and counter the advances of the Houthi rebels. This coalition, supported by logistics and intelligence provided by the United States, has now been accused of war crimes in a recent report by a prominent international rights group. [ThinkProgress]

Some prominent Northern Kentucky Republicans have told the Enquirer they support Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway. The bitterness among many Republicans against the tea party, which has challenged many in leadership recent years, might catch up to Republican candidate Matt Bevin, often seen as an outsider candidate who has heavy tea party support. []

The death penalty reared its head again at the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday. It was the first time the court publicly considered a death case since last term, when a constitutional challenge to lethal injection procedures erupted into a rare, nasty and vituperative debate among the justices. This time, the issues were far more technical but still a matter of life and death. [NPR]

The University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy will train pharmacists across the state to distribute naloxone, a medication used to prevent overdoses from heroin and other opioids. [H-L]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… If you’ve ever wanted to experience space from the perspective of an astronaut, here’s your chance. [HuffPo]

That KSP Situation Is Absolutely Fascinating

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray’s inauguration fund has paid a $510 fine for filing financial records 46 days late. [H-L]

President Barack Obama apologized to Doctors Without Borders on Wednesday for the American air attack that killed at least 22 people at its hospital in Afghanistan, and said the U.S. would examine military procedures to look for better ways to prevent such incidents. [HuffPo]

A lawsuit filed by a woman exonerated of a murder after serving eight years behind bars offers new details about how she alleges an overzealous Kentucky State Police detective framed her. [C-J/AKN]

Top House Democrats are accusing the chairman of the House Oversight Committee of refusing to share the unedited footage from the recent undercover videos targeting Planned Parenthood. [The Hill]

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, is predicting low voter turnout for March’s Republican presidential caucus next year. Yarmuth expects turnout will be “pretty pathetic” because voters in the state have no history with caucuses. [WFPL]

U.S. stocks ended stronger after a volatile session on Wednesday, led by a rebound in biotechnology companies that pushed the S&P 500 to its highest level in three weeks. [Reuters]

An attorney for former Glasgow Fire Department Sgt. Roger Hampton has filed documents with the Kentucky Court of Appeals that attempt to get the case regarding his firing dismissed. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A new study published last month in Sociological Forum has found two important connections that demonstrate how discrimination has a negative impact on the health and well-being of transgender people. [ThinkProgress]

Casey County Clerk Casey Davis says his office is now issuing marriage licenses. [WKYT]

Verizon is merging its cellphone tracking supercookie with AOL’s ad tracking network to match users’ online habits with their offline details. [ProPublica]

When best-selling author Neil Gaiman was asked to give advice to aspiring authors at Western Kentucky University’s latest installment of the 2015-16 Cultural Enhancement Series on Tuesday night, his first piece of advice was only one word. [BGDN]

After years of drug addiction, Jayne Fuentes feels she’s close to getting her life back on track, as long as she doesn’t get arrested again — but not for using drugs. She fears it will be because she still owes court fines and fees, including hundreds of dollars for her public defender. [NPR]

With platoons of Republicans running for president, the Democratic National Committee has had too much on its plate to spend much time commenting on Kentucky’s gubernatorial race. [H-L]

The Affordable Care Act’s chief aim is to extend coverage to people without health insurance. One of the 2010 law’s primary means to achieve that goal is expanding Medicaid eligibility to more people near the poverty level. But a crucial court ruling in 2012 granted states the power to reject the Medicaid expansion. [HuffPo]

It’s Now Trendy To Hate Kim Davis

Hillary Rodham Clinton says that jail was the “right thing” for a Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. [H-L]

Hillary Clinton came out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Wednesday, breaking with President Barack Obama on the 12-nation trade deal that is set to become a key part of his legacy. [HuffPo]

Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate lectured the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet on Monday for recently agreeing to a confidentiality clause in a proposed settlement of a case against an Eastern Kentucky oil company for a leak of diesel fuel into the Kentucky River. [C-J/AKN]

Planned Parenthood has sought class action status for its Medicaid patients in Arkansas after a U.S. judge ordered the state to continue payments to three women who challenged Arkansas’ move to halt payments to the organization. [Reuters]

Already home to one of the most underfunded public pension plans in the nation, Kentucky Retirement Systems is losing further ground through its investment choices. [WFPL]

The myth of the good guy with the gun. [Politico]

If the prevailing judgment about the 2015 gubernatorial race is that no one is excited about it, then Tuesday evening’s debate between Republican Matt Bevin and Democrat Jack Conway probably didn’t set any fires under prospective voters. [Ronnie Ellis]

A Florida candidate for US Senate has come under criticism after it emerged that he once killed a goat and drank its blood. He’s a “Libertarian.” [BBC]

The proposed reconstruction of Berea City Hall is touted as a project that could meet the needs of city administration and emergency services for years to come. During a Tuesday meeting of the Berea City Council, however, Audit and Finance Committee chairman Jerry Little raised concerns about the project’s $11 million price tag. [Richmond Register]

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued nationwide custody standards governing how immigrants are treated when in U.S. Border Patrol custody. [NPR]

Status reports from Rowan County deputy clerks will now be filed monthly instead of every two weeks, according to a federal order filed Tuesday. [Ashland Independent]

Heads-up, Matt Bevin, you jackass. Tennessee’s first year of drug testing welfare recipients uncovered drug use by less than 0.2 percent of all applicants for the state’s public assistance system. [ThinkProgress]

Eastern Kentucky University canceled all classes on all of its campuses through Friday in part because of threatening graffiti on a bathroom wall on the Richmond campus. [H-L]

House Republicans created a special committee on Wednesday to investigate abortions, fetal tissue procurement and the use of federal funds at Planned Parenthood. [HuffPo]

The KY State Police Need Your Help

Danny Ray Burden fell asleep in mid-sentence as he was booked into the Grant County jail, toppling over on the bench where he sat. Prodded awake, he coughed, shook and pleaded for emergency medical attention. [H-L]

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took a shot this week at President Barack Obama’s immigration strategy from his first years in office, saying it wouldn’t work with today’s GOP. [HuffPo]

A self-proclaimed prostitute says she was told that University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino knew she and other escorts were being paid to have sex with players and recruits. [C-J/AKN]

Hillary Clinton holds double-digit leads nationally over all her Democratic challengers, including a dream team of contenders that remain on the sidelines, according to a new poll. [The Hill]

A few Kentucky counties are searching for poll workers for the upcoming Nov. 3 general election but not Rowan County. [The Morehead News]

The “Resolution Condemning Judicial Tyranny And Petitioning God’s Mercy” asks the state to join rural Blount County in fighting against the ruling and to “protect Natural Marriage from lawless court opinions and the financial schemes of the enemies of righteousness.” [Reuters]

Stephen l. Pruitt today officially became Kentucky’s sixth Commissioner of Education since passage of the landmark Kentucky Education Reform Act in 1990 that created the position. [Ronnie Ellis]

It’s hard to deny that the NRA has won the gun debate over the past 20 years. Despite mass shootings — and despite some 80 to 90 percent of Americans saying they are in favor of background checks — no legislation expanding on the 1993 Brady Bill has passed Congress. [NPR]

This will make your eyes roll back in your head. The Kentucky Executive Branch Ethics Commission described state Rep. Tanya Pullin, D-South Shore, as having demonstrated “the highest level of ethical standards.” [Ashland Independent]

The Justice Department is set to release about 6,000 inmates early from prison — the largest one-time release of federal prisoners — in an effort to reduce overcrowding and provide relief to drug offenders who received harsh sentences over the past three decades. [WaPo]

Habitat for Humanity of Madison and Clark Counties collected more than $58,200 in pledges for the coming five years during its annual Building Hope Community Breakfast. [Richmond Register]

Hillary Rodham Clinton, as she offered up a sheaf of new health care proposals, said she was “building on the Affordable Care Act.” But lurking in those proposals was a veiled criticism of President Obama’s signature domestic achievement: For many families, the Affordable Care Act has not made health care affordable. [NY Times]

Kentucky State Police are asking for help from the public as they search for a Knott County woman who has been missing since May. Natasha Fugate Jones was last seen by family on May 7, and state police began searching for her on June 7, according to a news release by Kentucky State Police. [H-L]

Three top officials with Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign claim political motivations are behind charges alleging they violated federal financial disclosure laws by secretly paying an influential Iowa politician for his endorsement. Paul, a former Republican congressman from Texas, will be called as a prosecution witness at the trial, set for next Tuesday in Des Moines. [AP]