Will Martin County Finally Get Justice?

After a plea from a citizens activist group, Attorney General Andy Beshear announced his office will investigate the current and past management of the Martin County Water District. [H-L]

Most Americans feel overwhelmed or exhausted by the amount of news there is, a new survey by the Pew Research Center finds. [HuffPo]

Manbaby Damon Thayer is once again in unethical hot water. A Kentucky lawmaker says he complied with “the letter and the spirit” of the state’s ethics code in taking a four-day trip to England that’s now at the heart of an FBI investigation that has led to the resignation of Ohio’s House speaker. [C-J/AKN]

An acute shortage of affordable homes in the United States will continue over the coming year, according to a majority of property market analysts polled by Reuters, driving prices up faster than inflation and wage growth. [Reuters]

More than six years after acquiring the land and home on Lancaster Avenue known as Elmwood, Eastern Kentucky University is looking at putting a walking trail around the property. [Richmond Register]

Bloodstain-pattern analysis has been accepted as reliable evidence by appellate courts in one state after another with little or no examination of its scientific accuracy. [ProPublica]

The Boyd County School District is facing some additional expenses in the coming year and will draw on its contingency fund to meet them, the district’s top finance official said. [Ashland Independent]

This is not good news for Kentucky’s economy. Mexico has announced new tariffs on US products in response to Donald Trump’s decision to impose steep duties on imports of steel and aluminium. [BBC]

Republicans can’t handle losing. Freddie Joe Wilkerson, the Republican candidate for the judge-executive’s seat in the May primary election, has filed a lawsuit in Barren County Circuit Court contesting the results of the race and is asking for a recount. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Let’s not act like anyone is surprised about Donald Trump’s diplomats behaving undiplomatically. [NY Times]

A new government report says that the federal black lung trust fund that helps sick and dying coal miners pay living and medical expenses could incur a $15 billion deficit in the next 30 years. [WFPL]

A new survey finds significant anxiety and fear among teenagers who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer. [WaPo]

Forty-two police recruits graduated Thursday from the Lexington Police Training Academy. Several recruits have military experience and many have a family connection in the department or other public safety agencies. [H-L]

A private contractor working at the White House was arrested for an outstanding warrant linked to an attempted murder charge on Tuesday, according to the Secret Service. [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin Fears Anti-Poverty Activists

Anti-poverty activists were denied group access into Kentucky’s Capitol on Monday following an outdoor rally where the nation’s first work requirements for Medicaid were denounced. [H-L]

The U.S. has “probably never before had a delusional president, one who speaks gibberish, insults those around him including his closest associates, and baffles the world. We strive to make sense of Trump’s nonsense, implicitly assuming some hidden strategy. There is none,” Sachs declared. He warned: “Harming our closest allies, raising the prices on key intermediate products, and provoking retaliation cannot possibly deliver higher wages, better jobs, or an improved trade balance.” [HuffPo]

Coal executive Joseph W. Craft III, a Kentucky native and Republican political donor, is in the spotlight for his relationship with embattled Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt, highlighted in a New York Times article published Saturday. [C-J/AKN]

Surprise! Sessions is a key witness in the obstruction investigation. By the time Attorney General Jeff Sessions arrived at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort for dinner one Saturday evening in March 2017, he had been receiving the presidential silent treatment for two days. Mr. Sessions had flown to Florida because Mr. Trump was refusing to take his calls about a pressing decision on his travel ban. [NY Times]

Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd Thursday afternoon denied a motion by Matt Bevin that Shepherd should step aside in a legal challenge to a recently enacted law which alters the state’s public pension benefits. [Ronnie Ellis]

The White House has named a new National Security Council chief of staff from a group that propagates the conspiracy theory that Islamists have infiltrated the U.S. government in a plot to take over the country. [WaPo]

A recanvassing of three races from last week’s primary election has confirmed the same results as initially reported. [Ashland Independent]

Maybe it’s time for the KDA to stop supporting these people. Donald Trump’s latest “America first” policy may have just harmed America’s Native Spirit. [C-J/AKN]

Josh Farrow knows he will be following in legendary footsteps with his acceptance of the top position of Gateway Area Development District. [The Morehead News]

Poverty in the United States is extensive and deepening under the Trump administration whose policies seem aimed at removing the safety net from millions of poor people, while rewarding the rich, a U.N. human rights investigator has found. [Reuters]

The Barren County Board of Elections conducted a recanvass Thursday morning, taking another look at May primary vote totals for the Barren County Judge-Executive’s race. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Wanna spill the beans on the health insurance company that employs you? Here’s your chance. [ProPublica]

Here’s this week’s HEAD-DESK moment. Ball Homes wants city approval to build up to 77 single-family houses on a 20-acre parcel that Fayette County Schools opted not to buy because of asbestos contamination. [H-L]

I spent two weeks touring the U.S. last year in my capacity as the U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty. My visit, at the invitation of the federal government, was to investigate the extent to which government policies on extreme poverty met human rights obligations. My report came out last week, and the conclusions are stark. Poverty rates in the United States are shockingly high for one of the richest countries in the world. [HuffPo]

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Creepy Wayne Lewis Has Ruined KDE

Donald Trump’s decision to launch a trade war against some of America’s closest allies now threatens Kentucky’s bourbon industry and much more. But don’t just blame the fool in the White House; blame the spineless Kentucky Republicans in Congress who enable him. [H-L]

“I’m not really anything special,” Miss Major Griffin-Gracy says with a slight chuckle. “I’m just one of the girls.” But despite her modesty, Griffin-Gracy is anything but ordinary. [HuffPo]

Kentucky education officials are considering a state takeover of Jefferson County Public Schools despite a lack of evidence that such moves transform academic achievement across large, urban districts. “If people are expecting quick results and miraculous returns … they are going to be disappointed,” said Michael Petrilli, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative education policy think tank based in Washington, D.C. [C-J/AKN]

Two higher-education associations released statements on Wednesday opposing the U.S. State Department’s move to limit the length of student visas for some Chinese citizens. [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Alison Grimes should definitely run. As Kentucky’s political world wonders whether Republican Matt Bevin will run for re-election in 2019, it is also watching to see what some Democrats will do. [Ronnie Ellis]

After U.S. tariffs on imports of European steel and aluminum took effect Friday morning, the EU’s top trade commissioner called them “illegal” and a classic case of protectionism. The EU plans to make its case to the World Trade Organization. [NPR]

Joe Burchett’s Attorney, Scott White, filed a motion recently requesting a change of venue for the court proceedings in a case accusing the Boyd County Jailer of malfeasance or neglect of county officer. [Ashland Independent]

The aunt of the woman shot and killed by a Border Patrol agent last week after crossing the border illegally near Laredo, Tex., has a message for the United States: “Don’t treat us like animals.” [ NY Times]

This effort is a good one but if there’s ever a community that does not need armored military surprise vehicles, it’s Morehead. [The Morehead News]

About a half-million Medicare Part D recipients “received high amounts of opioids” in 2016. Almost 20 percent of that group are at “serious risk of opioid misuse or overdose.” [WaPo]

The Barren County Ambulance Service Taxing District’s board of directors have agreed not to make a payment on the Barren-Metcalfe County Emergency Medical Service’s deficit for the month of May. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A leading U.S. group of cancer doctors is wary of new Trump administration proposals for lowering drug prices, particularly if new negotiation tools are introduced that will mean the U.S. government no longer routinely pays for all cancer drugs in the Medicare health program for older people. [Reuters]

Asher Sharp lives a life of faith and certainty in rural Tennessee. He has a wife, a 9-year-old son and a small fundamentalist Christian congregation he pastors. But when rains swell the Cumberland River into a flood of Biblical proportions, his certainty is swept away with the water. [H-L]

A vitriolic audiotape of a phone call between Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen and a reporter reveals how the lawyer tried to protect his boss with threats and fury. [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin Got Slapped In Court Again

***Care about the future of Kentucky? Help us cover FOIA and open records request fees relating to Matt Bevin and Jamie Comer.*** [CLICK HERE]

Frustrated by years of financial mismanagement and limited accountability, an Eastern Kentucky activist group this week asked Attorney General Andy Beshear to investigate. [H-L]

This is a serious violation of the First Amendment. The fact that neither the Kentucky Democratic Party nor the Republican Party of Kentucky have condemned Trump’s attacks on citizens – effectively government retaliation – speaks volumes about their cowardice. [HuffPo]

Louisville mayoral candidate and JCPS critic Angela Leet joined Metro Council Democrats on Thursday in supporting a measure that opposes the state seizing control of the school district. [C-J/AKN]

Federal prosecutors sorting through materials seized from Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s personal attorney, said Wednesday they needed more time to piece together the contents of a shredder taken in an FBI raid. [NBC News]

The audit of the financial statement of the Boyd County Fiscal Court for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2016 has been released. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump falsely accused The New York Times on Saturday of making up a source in an article about North Korea, even though the source was in fact a senior White House official speaking to a large group of reporters in the White House briefing room. [ NY Times]

It is being recommended that Warren County residents older than one year get Hepatitis A vaccinations due to an ongoing outbreak. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, met at Trump Tower in New York days before the 2017 inauguration with a Russian billionaire who was sanctioned this year by the U.S. government. [WaPo]

Every year, Louisville police officers take hundreds of guns off the streets. Some of them were purchased legally, but were being used illegally. Some were confiscated during arrests or drug searches. Some were owned by felons. [WFPL]

Kentucky agencies considering these stunts should tread lightly, as I hear there’s a wealthy family in Louisville set to fight the hell out of these messes in court. Cough, cough. Instead of turning over requests for records, a growing number of cities, school boards and other government agencies across the nation are suing people seeking documents — forcing them to decide whether it’s worth fighting for their request in court — at their own expense. [Herald-Tribune]

If you thought the replacement for Toni Konz wouldn’t be bad, you were mistaken – because I was. Sure, she was one of the worst education reporters in Kentucky history – and played pat-a-cake with people like Terry Holliday while lying about it… but she’s slowly being upstaged. How anyone could report on Kevin Brown “resigning” from the Kentucky Department of Education without bothering to do any real reporting on the crap he’s been involved in through the years is beyond me. It’s lazy, offensive press release journalism and everyone deserves better. Wheatley’s wholly capable and a good person but I’m way over this shit with ed reporters. If *I* can do it? Anyone can. So spare me your whining. [WDRB]

House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy said Tuesday he is now “more convinced” that the FBI acted appropriately in its handling of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible connections to Donald Trump’s campaign. [CNN]

Matt Bevin asked a judge that he recently called “an incompetent hack” to step aside in Attorney General Andy Beshear’s legal challenge of Kentucky’s new public pension law, but the judge said late Thursday he’s staying put. [H-L]

When you dream of an ideal world ― one that you would truly, emphatically wish to live in, what does it look like? What does it feel like? How do people live together there? How are wealth and power distributed? How do people find happiness and meaning within their day-to-day lives? [HuffPo]

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Gentrification Is Bad For All Kentuckians

What can Lexington do about gentrification? Literally the opposite of everything Louisville is doing. Don’t let AirB&B take over. Don’t let wealthy people buy up neighborhoods like Portland and Butchertown. Just don’t. Yes, I’m talking about my own friends. Don’t do it. It’s not necessary. [H-L]

Amanda Painter sat at the kitchen table in an unfamiliar apartment with an absurd dilemma: She had nothing to wear to a vigil for her three dead children. Her clothes were at home, but her home was now a crime scene. [HuffPo]

Metro Council Democrats elbowed through a measure on Thursday that supporters says will help lower Louisville’s obesity rate by giving youngest restaurant patrons healthier options. [C-J/AKN]

A former Marine says he alerted the Corps to a white supremacist in its ranks last October. Six months later, he wonders how seriously the Corps is investigating. [ProPublica]

Many pension funds for public workers already owe far more in retirement benefits than they have in the bank, and the problem will only grow worse if the economy slows down, according to a report released Thursday. [Richmond Register]

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) took to the Sunday morning shows to push back on the Trump administration’s narrative that the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign was a political witch hunt. To the contrary, Rubio said, it was a totally appropriate investigation into suspicious individuals involved in the campaign. [ThinkProgress]

Becky Miller has officially filed a complaint against Ashland City Commissioner Marty Gute surrounding her recent claims that Gute no longer resides in the city. [Ashland Independent]

When Congress decided not to take significant action after a spate of mass shootings this year and last, some big banks opted to take matters into their own hands by restricting financing for gun sellers. Now, Republican lawmakers are pressing regulators to stop banks from doing so, over concerns they are veering too far into social activism. [NY Times]

Teachers flexed their political muscle Tuesday night, especially in Rockcastle County, spurring a surprise upset win by Travis Brenda over fellow Republican and incumbent state House Majority Leader Jonathan Shell. [Ronnie Ellis]

Ralph Stepney’s home on a quiet street in north Baltimore has a welcoming front porch and large rooms, with plenty of space for his comfortable recliner and vast collection of action movies. The house is owned by Joann West, a licensed caregiver who shares it with Stepney and his fellow Vietnam War veteran Frank Hundt. [WaPo]

The seemingly long-awaited analysis on surveys and other community input for a master plan for Glasgow Parks and Recreation was presented to the master plan steering committee this week. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, spent roughly $3.5 million in taxpayer funds on his personal security detail during his first year in office, 1.7 times what his predecessors spent each year on average, according to records made public Friday by the agency. Those figures included $2.7 million on salaries and overtime for security staff and more than $760,000 on travel for security agents. [More NY Times]

Al Dilley of Glasgow owns Goat Browsers, an “environmentally friendly land enhancement service.” Dilly and his 17 goats are under contract with the city to goatscape (clean up) an overgrown, two-acre area of the park. [H-L]

Katia Hills, a healthy 27-year-old married woman, said she was afraid to have another child after what happened the last time. [HuffPo]

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Amy McGrath Is A Terrible Hypocrite

Prosecutors and congressional investigators have obtained text messages and emails showing that Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was working on a deal for a Trump Tower in Moscow far later than Cohen has previously acknowledged. The communications show that, as late as May 2016, around the time Trump was clinching the Republican nomination, Cohen was considering a trip to Russia to meet about the project with high-level government officials, business leaders and bankers. [Ruh Ro]

Amy McGrath is a carpetbagger and a hypocrite. She has the audacity to attack others for Democratic Party ties while being 14 miles up Jonathan Miller’s slimy you-know-what. What a hack. Made worse by her decision to tip-toe around homophobia. It’s a shame she’ll likely win and ultimately lose to Andy Barr. [H-L]

The U.S. delegation in Jerusalem on Monday to celebrate the opening of the new American embassy includes an evangelical Christian pastor who once said Jews “can’t be saved.” [HuffPo]

These jackasses need to be run out of the Commonwealth. The state should take over contract negotiations with the Jefferson County teachers union because previous deals have led to “implicit racial discrimination” in the public school system, a former district official says. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration has rolled back protections for transgender prison inmates introduced under former President Barack Obama after some prisoners challenged the policies in court. [Reuters]

Former Madison County deputy jailer Billy E. Bales (no image available), 32, of Berea, has been arrested and served a warrant for first offense third-degree controlled substance trafficking and first-degree official misconduct. [Richmond Register]

He was a small man, one interrogator recalled, and so thin that he would slip in his restraints when the masked CIA guards tipped the waterboard upward to let him breathe. [ProPublica]

Area food pantries and non-profits say they are noticing a striking increase in demand for food for the poor in the area. [Ashland Independent]

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt gave a speech on Tuesday to a mining industry group whose member companies are regulated by his agency. Pruitt’s appearance at the event was closed to the public and the press. [ThinkProgress]

The economic impact of tourism in Rowan County grew to more than $72 million in 2017. [The Morehead News]

The first stage of a multibillion-dollar military-VA digital health program championed by Jared Kushner has been riddled with problems so severe they could have led to patient deaths. [Politico]

Ugh, Julian Carroll is super-gross – an alleged (he was caught on tape!) sexual predator who needs to go. Kentucky may have not been prepared for the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday that struck down a prohibition on state sports gambling, but it didn’t take long for a couple of legislators to react. [Ronnie Ellis]

One of the largest contributions to Donald Trump’s inaugural committee in 2016 appears to have been orchestrated by a set of powerful conservative legal activists who have since been put in the driver’s seat of the administration’s push to select and nominate federal judges. [McClatchy]

A judge has ruled that the Kentucky House of Representatives violated the state’s Open Meetings Act with a closed-door conference in August where lawmakers from both parties huddled to discuss their plans to deal with the state’s pension crisis. [John Cheves]

Just in case you’re wondering why the far-right end timers are going bananas lately… [HuffPo]

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Eric Conn Deserves To Rot In Prison

Missing files motivated the leak – by law enforcement – of Michael Cohen’s financial records. The release occurred after it was discovered that additional suspicious transactions disappeared from a government database. [New Yorker]

Former Eastern Kentucky disability attorney Eric C. Conn plans to plead guilty to charges that he escaped to Central America before he was to be sentenced in a massive fraud case. [H-L]

The public was appalled. The family was hurt. But the White House likely won’t apologize for an aide’s cutting comment that Arizona Sen. John McCain’s opposition to Gina Haspel heading the CIA didn’t matter because “he’s dying anyway.” [HuffPo]

The release of a long-awaited special investigation into how Louisville police handled the Explorer Scout sex abuse scandal is being delayed because Mayor Greg Fischer’s office says it could hurt related criminal and civil cases. [C-J/AKN]

These child marriage statistics are nightmarishly bad for Kentucky. [Frontline]

Only two Republican candidates will be seeking citizens’ votes in the Madison County Sheriff’s race during May’s primary election. The winner of the Republican nomination will face unopposed Madison County Sheriff Mike Coyle-D, in the November general election. [Richmond Register]

Two U.S. fighter jets intercepted two Russian bombers in international airspace off the coast of Alaska on Friday. [Reuters]

Another month and half to two months could pass before Federal Emergency Management Agency money starts coming in to repair damage caused by February’s flooding. [Ashland Independent]

In the coming weeks, the U.S. Department of Energy will select a new team to run Los Alamos National Laboratory, the birthplace of the atomic bomb and one of the government’s most important nuclear weapons facilities. [ProPublica]

About 100 people sang and clapped as part of the “Poor People’s Campaign” in Frankfort Monday, saying poverty has worsened in the 50 years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called for a campaign against poverty. [Ronnie Ellis]

In the past six months, the Trump administration has moved to expel more than 300,000 Central Americans and Haitians living and working legally in the United States, disregarding senior U.S. diplomats who warned that mass deportations could destabilize the region and trigger a new surge of illegal immigration. The warnings were transmitted to top State Department officials last year in a series of embassy cables. [WaPo]

The T.J. Regional Health Board of Directors announced Monday afternoon they chose not to renew the contract of the organization’s CEO, Bud Wethington. [Glasgow Daily Times]

In a wide-ranging interview with NPR, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly shared some rather racist views to justify the Trump administration’s new “zero tolerance” policy on illegal border crossings. [ThinkProgress]

On May 6, 1988, a woman’s partially decomposed body was found in a field 18 miles south of Owenton. Kentucky State Police think she was murdered, and 30 years later, they still hope to figure out who she was. [H-L]

One of Donald Trump’s top foreign policy priorities became a reality on Monday as the U.S. embassy in Israel officially relocated to Jerusalem, while only a few miles away in Gaza, Israeli forces killed dozens of Palestinian protesters and wounded hundreds more. [HuffPo]

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