Coal Isn’t Just Killing Your Environment

Coal companies linked to the billionaire governor of West Virginia owe $2.9 million in delinquent property taxes in Kentucky, shorting schools and local government programs of money at a time many are struggling with tight finances. [H-L]

The reaction to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, followed a familiar arc: GOP leaders offered thoughts and prayers. The media profiled fallen victims. Democrats urged action on the same gun safety bills they’ve been pushing for years, as Republicans said none of their ideas would work. [HuffPo]

Of course Greg Fischer is working against the homeless because he wants to build another unsightly stadium in Louisville. [C-J/AKN]

The troubled teen authorities say killed 17 people at a Florida high school excelled in an air-rifle marksmanship program supported by a grant from the National Rifle Association Foundation, part of a multimillion-dollar effort by the gun group to support youth shooting clubs and other programs. [NY Times]

The Berea City Council voted Monday to appoint David Rowlette to fill the unexpired term of Billy Wooten, whose resignation was announced at the council’s last meeting. [Richmond Register]

Trump’s public track record in the face of proximate danger, his words instead ended up underscoring a separate truth: His actions have, at times, read differently than his tough talk. [WaPo]

Law enforcement officers in the [Ashland] area won’t be outfitted with body-worn cameras any time soon. [Ashland Independent]

The U.S. intelligence community developed substantial evidence that state websites or voter registration systems in seven states were compromised by Russian-backed covert operatives prior to the 2016 election — but never told the states involved, according to multiple U.S. officials. [NBC News]

Shortly after Dr. Mark A. Murphy, a top opioid prescriber in the U.S., started practicing here three days a week last year, the clinic owners asked a police detective to meet for dinner. [The Morehead News]

Investigators for special counsel Robert Mueller have recently been asking witnesses about Donald Trump’s business activities in Russia prior to the 2016 presidential campaign as he considered a run for president, according to three people familiar with the matter. [CNN]

Coal companies controlled by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s family owe nearly $3 million in delinquent Kentucky property taxes, money that local governments desperately need to avoid laying off teachers. [WFPL]

Hope Hicks, one of Donald Trump’s longest-serving and most trusted aides, is resigning from her job as White House communications director, a blow to the president, whose inner circle has been depleted by firings and clouded by scandal. [Reuters]

Barely literate hypocrite and bigot, Kim Davis, is pretending to have written a book. [H-L]

Norway’s doomsday agricultural seed vault will get a $13 million upgrade to better protect world food supplies amid growing threats from climate change. [HuffPo]

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KY Republicans Want More Prisons

A former Kentucky lawmaker who is serving a seven-year prison sentence plans to plead guilty in a separate fraud case. Former state Rep. W. Keith Hall plans to plead guilty in a case in which he is accused of using fake documents in order to convince a customer he had insurance. [H-L]

Donald Trump claimed to be calling for Americans to come together on the issue of immigration in his State of the Union address on Tuesday. But he couldn’t resist painting immigration as an “us vs. them” struggle. Because modern Republicanism is built upon racism. [HuffPo]

It was a journalist’s worst nightmare. The editor of the Marshall County Daily Online raced to the county’s high school Tuesday morning after reports that shots had been fired. [C-J/AKN]

The emailed response from the Guggenheim’s chief curator to the White House was polite but firm: the museum could not accommodate a request to “borrow” a painting by Vincent Van Gogh for President and Melania Trump’s private living quarters. Instead, wrote the curator, Nancy Spector, another piece was available, one that was nothing like “Landscape With Snow,” the lovely 1888 Van Gogh rendering of a man in a black hat walking along a path in Arles with his dog. The curator’s alternative: an 18-karat, fully functioning, solid gold toilet – an interactive work entitled “America” that critics have described as pointed satire aimed at the excess of wealth in this country. [WaPo]

The Bevin crew says one thing and does another on the prison front. This is more hype to build more private prisons. Kentucky’s top public safety official says the state’s prisons will run out of space by May 2019, possibly forcing the early release of thousands of nonviolent inmates as the state continues to grapple with the effects of a nationwide opioid epidemic. [Richmond Register]

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Brenda Fitzgerald resigned Wednesday, one day after reports that she traded tobacco stocks while heading the agency. [The Hill]

The filing deadline for Kentucky candidates closed Tuesday, and some northeastern Kentucky lawmakers will face challengers in this year’s election cycle. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump urged lawmakers on Tuesday to work toward bipartisan compromises, but pushed a hard line on immigration, insisting on a border wall and other concessions from Democrats as part of any deal to protect the children of illegal immigrants. [Reuters]

The Rowan County Board of Education has hired a consultant to lead in the search for the next superintendent. [The Morehead News]

Starting in Canada, Facebook is rolling out a global program to prevent foreign meddling in elections. Ads targeted to a narrow audience may be seen by other Facebook users — if they look hard enough. [ProPublica]

Barren County Schools’ iLearn@home program, as well as other non-traditional instruction programs, would eventually be eliminated if a bill that recently passed the Kentucky Senate becomes state law. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin urged Congress on Tuesday to raise the federal government’s statutory borrowing limit and said Washington must soon grapple with the mounting federal debt, just as lawmakers are embarking on a significant spending spree. [NY Times]

A leading Republican lawmaker has filed a bill to stop the Bevin Administration’s attempt to eliminate liquor license quotas, a move critics say would bring a glut of bars and liquor stores in rural Kentucky. [H-L]

A new era of internet regulation is about to begin. Years after Facebook and Google went public, regulators in the United States and abroad are finally taking a closer look at the internet behemoths. And they’re not only looking at the way these companies have come to dominate markets, but also examining the heart of the two firms’ business models. What they decide will have powerful implications for the way we do business on the internet. [HuffPo]

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Sending McConnell Folks To ARC? Just Gross. Appalachia Is Doomed.

Rand Paul said Sunday it was a “living hell” after he was attacked in November. Paul made his comments on Face the Nation, a news television show on CBS. [H-L]

Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office released a transcript Tuesday of Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee. [HuffPo]

PEE ALERT! Rick Pitino’s attorneys requested the University of Louisville Athletic Association’s countersuit against the former basketball coach be dismissed or for a ruling in the former coach’s favor. [C-J/AKN]

The controversy that swirled around the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity far exceeded its output. [ProPublica]

This is terrible news for Appalachia and I defy anyone to prove me wrong. Donald Trump intends to tap a member of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s staff to serve as federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission. [Richmond Register]

A number of Republican lawmakers were visibly incensed on Thursday, following a report by the Associated Press that claimed Attorney General Jeff Sessions is considering rescinding an Obama-era policy allowing marijuana legalization to move forward in several states. [ThinkProgress]

The Ashland commission is bracing for a massive wave to hit the city this year. [Ashland Independent]

The Trump administration has proposed a controversial plan to open up protected areas in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans for offshore drilling. The five-year plan expands drilling to most of the US outer continental shelf, including California and Maine, where drilling has been blocked for decades. [BBC]

If Matt Bevin or anyone in Frankfort really gave a flip about education? This self-promoting guy would be far, far away from the Kentucky Department of Education. [The Morehead News]

Customs officers stationed at the American border and at airports searched an estimated 30,200 cellphones, computers and other electronic devices of people entering and leaving the United States last year — an almost 60 percent increase from 2016, according to Homeland Security Department data released on Friday. [NY Times]

It’s an ABC affiliate. The Glasgow Electric Plant Board narrowly decided at a special meeting Thursday to drop WHAS, a CBS affiliate broadcast channel in Louisville, from its lineup after all. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The rivalry between fast food giants has taken on a strange political twist: KFC has aped Donald Trump’s message to Kim Jong-un, in an attempt to feud with McDonald’s. [BBC]

What on earth is wrong with people? Lexington-Fayette Animal Care and Control seeks the public’s help in finding whoever abandoned a puppy in a trash bag. [H-L]

Donald Trump, who recently said he would announce the “MOST DISHONEST & CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS OF THE YEAR,” has been awarded the title of the world’s most oppressive leader toward press freedom by the Committee to Protect Journalists. [HuffPo]

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This Wasn’t Mitch McConnell’s Year

Everything was in place for this to be Mitch McConnell’s year. He had a Republican Congress and White House for the first time in a decade, and a simple majority of votes was all that was needed to not only confirm major nominees but pass major legislation too. [H-L]

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government has issued a warning to the U.S.: Don’t “meddle” in the country’s upcoming election. [HuffPo]

Morgan Watkins is the person who claims to have been refused communication by the Chicago Police Department during the United Airlines fiasco but neither she nor her editor could prove it. CPD sent us proof that she’d never tried to communicate with them in any way – there was no record – but okay. Now she’s quote racist and homophobic piece of shit (check our archives) Jim Waters as some expert. A Kentucky Newspaper refuses to name plaintiffs in lawsuits but uses folks like this to make comment on important stories. She won’t last long here (mark my words) because she’ll eventually get run off like everybody else. And this Braidy situation? It’s not over. [C-J/AKN]

The cities of New York, San Francisco and Philadelphia have sued the U.S. Department of Defense to make it fix its system for reporting conviction records to a database used for background checks on gun buyers. [Reuters]

Full of highs and lows, 2017 has been political whiplash for Kentucky Republicans. [Richmond Register]

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have sought bank records about entities associated with the family company of Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, according to four people briefed on the matter. [NY Times]

Of course the new guy at this particular CNHI paper is pushing right-wing nonsense like this story. This is how Eastern Kentucky remains in the dark. [Ashland Independent]

Former US President Barack Obama has warned against the irresponsible use of social media, in a rare interview since stepping down in January. [BBC]

Those in Rowan County who are delinquent paying certain taxes will now have three months to do so without penalty. [The Morehead News]

Tyler Haire was locked up at 16. A Mississippi judge ordered that he undergo a mental exam. What happened next is a statewide scandal. [ProPublica]

Educators from across the country have been focusing on teaching STEM, an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Christians should not support policies that punish the weak and marginalized, the Anglican bishop of Liverpool said. [WaPo]

Kentucky native Robby Strong, the self-proclaimed “Prophet of Poo,” says he is the man behind the gift of horse manure left for U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and Strong said he plans more dirty tricks. [H-L]

A Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen has killed 109 civilians in air strikes in the past 10 days, including 54 at a crowded market and 14 members of one family in a farm, the top U.N. official in the country said on Thursday. [HuffPo]

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OH! And a big P.S.: Jeff Hoover is a whiny-ass titty baby victim-blamer. [H-L]

Kentucky’s Economy: Tanking Under Bevin

This scandal involves something called the Pee Palace. Five partners in a Russell County drug-testing lab have been sentenced to prison terms after being convicted in a health care fraud case. [H-L]

As Donald Trump’s administration takes steps backward in the world’s fight against climate change, China is ramping up its commitment. Chinese Premier Xi Jinping on Tuesday made good on his promise to launch a national carbon market. Officials from the National Development and Reform Commission unveiled the highly anticipated emissions trading system during a conference call with industry and government representatives, the Australian Financial Review reported. [HuffPo]

Drowned out amid the uproar over pension reform and stunning allegations of sexual harassment in the legislature this fall has been a public policy message that will have a far greater impact on the lives of Kentuckians: The next state budget has a $1 billion hole to fill, and if there is no new revenue, massive cuts to programs are coming when the legislature convenes to tackle the problem. [C-J/AKN]

The Department of Health and Human Services tried to play down on Saturday a report that officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had been barred from using seven words or phrases, including “science-based,” “fetus,” “transgender” and “vulnerable,” in agency budget documents. [NY Times]

Former Barren Metcalfe Family Court Judge W. Mitchell Nance — who stepped down from the bench Saturday — received a public reprimand from the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission on Tuesday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Just before leaving his Defense Department job two months ago, intelligence officer Luis Elizondo quietly arranged to secure the release of three of the most unusual videos in the Pentagon’s secret vaults: raw footage from encounters between fighter jets and “anomalous aerial vehicles” — military jargon for UFOs. [WaPo]

Those waiting for a preview of any proposed public pension system reform coming in the 2018 General assembly are still waiting after Monday’s meeting of the Public Pension Oversight Board. [Ronnie Ellis]

Mmmm hmm. Told y’all “Green Party” jackasses so. The top congressional committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has set its sights on the Green Party and its nominee, Jill Stein. [BuzzFeed]

State Budget Director John Chilton said Gov. Matt Bevin is likely to issue a budget reduction order within the next week or so in the wake of an official revenue forecast that state receipts will fall $156.1 million short of projections this year. [Ronnie Ellis]

A U.S. District Court judge ruled on Monday that President Donald Trump’s administration must allow access to abortion for two pregnant teenagers who are in the country illegally, escalating a high-profile legal fight. [Reuters]

A new permanent exhibit opening Sunday at the University of Louisville planetarium includes meteorites that visitors can touch. [WFPL]

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had his office professionally examined earlier this year to look for covert surveillance devices. [The Hill]

A contractor pleaded guilty Monday to a federal charge for paying more than $530,000 in bribes and kickbacks to a St. Joseph Hospital executive in exchange for contracting work. In U.S. District Court in Lexington, Rocky Williams, 50, who lives in Arkansas, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. The restitution amount included in the plea agreement is $532,660. [H-L]

Russian chess champion and political activist Garry Kasparov has a chilling warning for Americans: While you’re distracted by the bully in the White House, democratic institutions are being ripped apart. Kasparov said he sees some of the same tactics he witnessed in Russia being used in the U.S., like a leader “lying constantly while attacking targets for lying” and the “escalation of rhetoric to dictatorial extremes.” [HuffPo]

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Jim Gray: More Waste, More Bullshit

Someone should pay for the Jim Gray research files that exist. Because if this jackass is going to waste taxpayer dollars fighting the release of public documents? He’s got another thing coming. [H-L]

Thousands of people are fleeing Puerto Rico as the island remains without power and the death toll continues to climb more than a month after Hurricane Maria. [HuffPo]

James O’Malley, a farmer from Shelby County, has crossed the East End bridge at least five times this year to visit his son in Indianapolis or travel to Wisconsin. He doesn’t mind paying a toll to cross, he said. But he’s never gotten a bill. [C-J/AKN]

Haha, personal funds? More like pilfered charity dollars. Trump plans to spend at least $430,000 of his personal funds to help cover the mounting legal costs incurred by White House staff and campaign aides related to the ongoing investigations of Russian meddling in last year’s election, a White House official said. [WaPo]

The mayor and the father-and-son founders of a new company starting in Glasgow have officially signed off on a deal providing the company a $30,000 loan from the Glasgow Economic Development Loan Fund. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The latest chapter in the country’s continuing reckoning with the legacy of the Confederacy is being written by grade school students. [NY Times]

Drama’s afoot! In a split but bi-partisan vote Tuesday and without providing reason on cause, the state Board of Elections dismissed its executive director, Maryellen Allen, and assistant director, Matthew Selph. [Ronnie Ellis]

A 17-year-old illegal immigrant in federal custody in Texas can have an abortion immediately despite the objections of Donald Trump’s administration, a U.S. appeals court decided on Tuesday in a ruling spearheaded by Democratic-appointed judges. [Reuters]

As the newly appointed Boyd County Commonwealth Attorney, Rhonda Copley hopes to make a difference regarding the local drug issue. [Ashland Independent]

Sen. Jeff Flake delivered a scathing speech about Trump from the floor of the Senate on Tuesday, as he officially announced that he will not run for reelection in 2018. [The Hill]

Only minor issues were reported during an annual audit of Rowan County Schools. Lori Dearfield, senior auditor for Kelly Galloway Smith Goolsby, PSC, presented the report during last Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting. [The Morehead News]

The voter-fraud-checking program championed by the head of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity suffers from data security flaws that could imperil the safety of millions of peoples’ records, according to experts. [ProPublica]

The nation’s two largest credit ratings agencies, both of which downgraded Kentucky this year because of its large public pension debt, have handed in mixed reviews of Republican Giant Pussy Matt Bevin’s proposal to reshape the state’s retirement systems. Standard & Poor’s predicted that Bevin’s proposal “will likely face legal challenges” over the “inviolable contract” rights of school teachers and state employees to not have their retirement benefits reduced. [John Cheves]

Seeing Russian flags get thrown at Dipshit Donald as he walked through the Capitol with Mitch McConnell was prime viewing. [HuffPo]

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Hahaha. Rick Pitino. Hahahahahahaha.

Sweeping changes recommended for Kentucky’s public pension systems would cost taxpayers and public employees more money while making public employment far less attractive to future generations, according to a report released Monday. [John Cheves]

Donald Trump joked that Vice President Mike Pence “wants to hang” all gay people, according to a profile of Pence published in The New Yorker on Monday. [HuffPo]

Donald Trump’s decision late Thursday to cancel federal payments that help low-income people with costs not covered by their health insurance has sent shock waves through Kentucky, where more than 40,000 people benefit from such assistance. [C-J/AKN]

PEE ALERT! It’s November 2013 and you’re Donald Trump. By your standards it’s a normal weekend, which means you’re sitting in the presidential suite of the Moscow Ritz Carlton fuming at Barack Obama. In part you’re fuming because you’re very racist, and in part you’re fuming because Obama publicly humiliated you more than two years ago. If you were more self-aware than a mosquito, you’d realize these were heavily intertwined sources of aggrievement. [Crooked]

A grandmother in the front passenger seat was shot and killed by youths playing with an old handgun in the back seat of the car as they drove home from church. A grandson driving the car was not injured. [Ashland Independent]

Hey, Louisville and Lexington councils: get on this. In a sweeping change to Portland housing policy, City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly announced Sunday that the city will allow overnight RV camping and tiny homes on wheels, as long as they’re parked on private property. [Willamette Week]

It’s time once again to ask churches, businesses, and individuals in the community to participate in the preparation of Thanksgiving food baskets for those in need. [The Morehead News]

Eighteen U.S. states sued Donald Trump’s administration on Friday to stop him from scrapping a key component of Obamacare, subsidies to insurers that help millions of low-income people pay medical expenses, even as Trump invited Democratic leaders to negotiate a deal. [Reuters]

The Glasgow Water Co. received “the standard clean, unqualified auditor’s report,” as certified public accountant Brent Billingsley put it at Thursday’s regular meeting of the Glasgow Water and Sewer Commission. [Glasgow Daily Times]

When you looked up, you could once see nothing but the lush, emerald canopy of tabonuco and sierra palm trees covering El Yunque National Forest. [NY Times]

Get rekt, Rick. The board that oversees athletics at the University of Louisville has unanimously voted to fire men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino. [WFPL]

Democrats accused Trump of trying to sabotage the nation’s health-care system through his decision to halt payments to insurers meant to shore up the system, while Republicans countered Sunday that Trump is just pushing for a hard bargain. [WaPo]

A rock fall that killed an employee at a Whitley County surface coal mine in March happened after the operator failed to identify and correct hazardous conditions, according to a federal report. [H-L]

In Midtown Manhattan, in a building that also hosts a dermatologist, a sports medicine doctor and a package tour operator, two North Korean diplomats run a backchannel line of communication to U.S. officials in Washington. [HuffPo]

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