Surprise! Trump’s Bad For KY Business

Agence France-Presse reports that Chinese state enterprises will provide $500 million in loans to a development project in Indonesia that will include Trump-branded hotels, residences and golf courses. [QZ]

Eddie Devine voted for Donald Trump because he thought he would be good for American business. Now, he says, the Trump administration’s restrictions on seasonal foreign labor may put him out of business. [Tom Eblen]

Israeli troops shot dead dozens of Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border on Monday as the United States opened its embassy to Israel in Jerusalem, a move that has fueled Palestinian anger and drawn foreign criticism for undermining peace efforts. [HuffPo]

Wondering who the next out-of-stater is to further ruin mainstream media in Kentucky? [C-J/AKN]

Lobbyists who joined the Trump administration and now want to return to their old trade have a problem: Donald Trump said they can’t. But never doubt the ingenuity of the Washington swamp class. At least eight former Trump officials have found ways around the so-called ethics pledge. [ProPublica]

Three-term Kentucky Rep. Jonathan Shell, R-Lancaster, who serves as House Majority Leader, is facing off against Republican candidate and long-time teacher R. Travis Brenda in the May primary for his seat in House district 71. [Richmond Register]

This software millionaire is building the low-tech college of his dreams… in Kentucky. [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Three candidates for Rowan County Judge-Executive participated in the Primary Candidate Forum held last month at the Morehead Conference Center. [The Morehead News]

Robert Mueller is looking into the curious case of Donald Trump’s record inaugural fundraising. [ThinkProgress]

With a vote of 5-2, the board of directors for Barren-Metcalfe counties’ ambulance service agreed Wednesday to go ahead and hire Taylor, Polson and Company, a certified auditing firm, to conduct a special audit of the ambulance service’s financial records over a nine-month period. [Glasgow Daily Times]

FBI agents working for special counsel Robert Mueller allegedly detained a lawyer with ties to Russia who is closely associated with Joseph Mifsud, the shadowy professor who claimed during the election that Russia had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. [The Atlantic]

The Boyd County Board of Education named Bill Boblett the district’s new superintendent Thursday. [Ashland Independent]

Kentuckians should probably keep an eye on efforts like this as charters become a thing. Wealthy Americans have been funding U.S. charter schools for years now through their hedge funds, private foundations or personal fortunes, but it turns out that super-rich foreigners are forking over big money to American charters too. Do you think it’s for the kids? Guess again. [WaPo]

No, gambling on ball games won’t help Kentucky’s pension crises. And Julian Carroll’s legislation didn’t go anywhere because he’s an alleged (caught on tape, even!) sexual predator. What a stain on Kentucky. [H-L]

The leaders of a South African group that has referred to apartheid as a “so-called” historical injustice recently toured Washington and met with top members of the U.S. government, including officials at the U.S. Agency for International Development and staffers for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Turd Burglar). They even bumped into national security adviser John Bolton. [HuffPo]

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Bevin: Too Dumb To Walk & Chew Gum?

The Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents violated the state open meetings act when it met behind behind closed doors for more than five hours, Attorney General Andy Beshear said. [H-L]

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators have questioned a Russian oligarch about hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments his company’s US affiliate made to Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, after the election, according to a source familiar with the matter. [CNN]

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith sharply criticized Donald Trump on Friday for headlining the National Rifle Association convention mere months after he vowed to take action on gun control in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in which 17 people died. [HuffPo]

Jefferson County Public Schools could fight a state takeover in court by arguing that the state board of education cannot issue a fair decision because its new members are biased, a lawyer says. Louisville attorney David Tachau, whose practice includes constitutional litigation, said the circumstances leading up to interim Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis’ recommendation for a takeover seem suspect. [C-J/AKN]

Cambridge Analytica used its own database and voter information collected from Facebook and news publishers in its effort to help elect Donald Trump, despite a claim by a top campaign official who has downplayed the company’s role in the election. [The Guardian]

Presidents facing re-election often employ what’s euphemistically called “the Rose Garden Strategy” — events outside the White House which make them look presidential. Congressmen don’t have that luxury, but Kentucky’s Republican Congressman from the 6th District, Andy Barr, gets pretty close. [Ronnie Ellis]

The lobbyist and his wife who rented a condominium to Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt for $50 a night last summer paid a $2,034 fine on Friday for renting the property without the proper license. [The Hill]

Four Democrats and two Republicans are vying to fill the role of Greenup County Sheriff, an office that has been occupied by Democrat Keith Cooper since 1999. Cooper has opted against running for a sixth term. [Ashland Independent]

The U.S. National Security Agency collected 534 million records of phone calls and text messages of Americans last year, more than triple gathered in 2016, a U.S. intelligence agency report released on Friday said. [Reuters]

Harold “Hal” Rogers, U.S. representative for Kentucky’s 5th congressional district, attended a special meeting of the Gateway Area Development District (ADD) Wednesday to provide an update about ongoing work in Washington, DC and across southern and eastern Kentucky. [The Morehead News]

When the United States sought to punish Russia last month for its election interference and other aggressions, it targeted some of Russia’s wealthiest men, imposing sanctions on those viewed as enriching themselves off President Vladimir V. Putin’s government. Now it turns out that one of the men, Viktor F. Vekselberg, was also singled out in another of the efforts to confront Russia’s election interference: the investigation led by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. Federal agents working with Mr. Mueller stopped Mr. Vekselberg, a billionaire businessman, at a New York-area airport this year and sought to search his electronic devices and question him, according to people familiar with the matter. [NY Times]

While law enforcement agencies and other organizations around the nation may be increasing their gun bring-back programs, so far, that idea is not taking off in the Barren County area. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Beijing’s International Security Defense College, which boasts of becoming “the largest private security training school in China,” sits behind a 45-foot-high exterior wall and a barricade. Inside the compound, trainers with police and military experience teach classes on tackling detainees, handling hostage situations and thwarting terrorist attacks. [WaPo]

Faced with the need to cut nearly $1 million from its budget, Kentucky Educational Television is eliminating its online campus offerings, long known as “distance learning.” [H-L]

A high-ranking political appointee at the Department of the Interior told colleagues their job is ultimately to protect their boss, Secretary Ryan Zinke, internal emails reveal ― in particular from matters that could trigger an ethics probe or negative media attention. [HuffPo]

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It’s Nancy Rodriguez Flashback Time

The University of Louisville and its foundation have sued the school’s former president and other officials in a lawsuit claiming they conspired to divert millions of dollars from the foundation’s endowment. The suit was filed Wednesday in state court. It says former President James Ramsey and his chief of staff, Kathleen McDaniel Smith, colluded to pay excessive compensation to themselves and others. [H-L]

Here’s more on the whole thing. The Board of Trustees decided Wednesday to sue Ramsey, Kathleen McDaniel Smith and others related to past oversight of the U of L Foundation. [WDRB]

Strange how no one bothers to mention that Jerry Stephenson, a charlatan, is one of the country’s most notorious homophobes. [H-L]

Donald Trump repeatedly vowed during the 2016 presidential campaign that he’d only hire “the best people in the world” for his administration. Now, with many of his “best people’ ousted from the Cabinet and other high-level positions, CNN’s Anderson Cooper is wondering what happened to that pledge. [HuffPo]

Just a reminder that Nancy Rodriguez misreported a bunch of the Robert Felner scandal and intentionally ignored what was occurring at the University of Louisville. Now she’s spokesperson for the Kentucky Department of Education. A perfect fit for covering up corruption. [C-J/AKN]

Last month, we reported that over the past five years, IBM has targeted its older U.S. employees for layoffs. The numbers are staggering: Since 2013, we estimated IBM eliminated more than 20,000 American employees ages 40 and over. [ProPublica]

Former Prestonsburg Mayor Jerry Fannin entered an Alford plea after years of litigation. [WLEX18]

Over the past year, U.S. cities and states have been tripping head-over-heels in an effort to be the host of the next Amazon headquarters. Last year, New Jersey approved an incentive package that would give Amazon tax breaks worth $7 billion if it moved to Newark. Philadelphia has offered $2 billion in tax exemptions over 10 years, Georgia $1 billion, and Maryland a whopping $8.5 billion. But while state lawmakers continue to one-up each other in the race to host Amazon’s new HQ, a very different picture has emerged at the lower rungs of the company, where warehouse employees are so underpaid that they already incredibly reliant on state subsidies to survive. [ThinkProgress]

With the Madison County Detention Center over the last two years often housing more than double the number of inmates it is designed to hold, the county attorney is looking at bringing back a home incarceration program to get some non-violent offenders out of the jail. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump and the New Republicans are now challenging Native Americans’ historical standing. [Politico]

The incumbent and two challengers are vying for the state Senate seat in the 18th district. Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, is facing Democrat Chester “Chuck” Highley of Rush in the primary. The winner will run against Republican Scott Sharp of Ashland in the general election. [Ashland Independent]

Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, met personally last year with J. Steven Hart, the lobbyist whose wife had rented him a $50-a-night Capitol Hill condo, a disclosure that contradicts earlier statements that E.P.A. lobbying by Mr. Hart had not occurred. [NY Times]

A former Horse Cave police officer who has been charged with one count of wire fraud is scheduled to change his plea in May in U.S. District Court. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Reptilian menaces called Silurians evolved on Earth before humankind — at least in the “Doctor Who” rendition of the universe. But, science fiction aside, how would we know if some advanced civilization existed on our home planet millions of years before brainy humans showed up? This is a serious question, and serious scientists are speculating about what traces these potential predecessors might have left behind. And they’re calling this possibility the Silurian hypothesis. [WaPo]

A representative from Alliance Coal came to the Pike County Fiscal Court with a difficult proposition last week: provide a tax break worth millions over the next 12 years, or say goodbye to the 250 jobs the company provides in the county. [H-L]

Mick Mulvaney, Donald Trump’s budget director and the acting head of a top consumer watchdog group, raised eyebrows on Tuesday with an anecdote about his time in the House of Representatives. [HuffPo]

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Rand Paul Flip-Flopped On Pompeo

Kentucky’s acting public health commissioner on Friday issued a statement saying “it is safe to travel to Kentucky and it is safe to attend the Kentucky Derby.” [H-L]

Rand Paul (R-Keebler) announced Monday that he would support Mike Pompeo to be secretary of state, a change in position that allowed the CIA chief to be recommended favorably out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee after all. [HuffPo]

Don’t worry, it wasn’t Heather French Henry claiming the sun was in her eyes this time. Police are investigating after a bicyclist was killed early Saturday morning after being struck by a vehicle on Dixie Highway. [C-J/AKN]

In a sprawling plant near Amarillo, Texas, rows of workers perform by hand one of the most dangerous jobs in American industry. Contract workers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pantex facility gingerly remove the plutonium cores from retired nuclear warheads. Although many safety rules are in place, a slip of the hand could mean disaster. [Reuters]

Lee Henderson closes his eyes and pictures Mary Turner holding her swollen belly and breathing heavily as she runs from the lynch mob. [Richmond Register]

New reports provide an unprecedented look at contaminants leaking from coal ash ponds and landfills. But the chasm between information and environmental protection may deepen thanks to a proposed Trump administration rollback. [ProPublica]

Americans overwhelmingly believe teachers don’t make enough money, and half say they’d support paying higher taxes to give educators a raise. [Ashland Independent]

Former FBI Director James Comey’s newly released memos indicate that in early 2017, Donald Trump repeatedly tried to refute one of the most salacious allegations in the Steele dossier — that Trump engaged in acts with sex workers at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton during a trip to Russia for the 2013 Miss Universe competition — by claiming he didn’t even spend a night in Moscow. But Trump’s defense against what he characterizes as “fake news” is directly contradicted by the sworn testimony of his longtime bodyguard, Keith Schiller. [ThinkProgress]

All Kentucky students in grades K-12 will be required to have the Hepatitis A vaccine by July 1 in order to attend school. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Trump administration says it plans to roll back a rule issued by President Barack Obama that prevents doctors, hospitals and health insurance companies from discriminating against transgender people. [NY Times]

Only a handful of families remain in the residential farming community beside the Trimble County power plant. The rest have sold their properties and moved away. The ones who stay behind live with daily blasting and construction as Louisville Gas & Electric builds a coal ash landfill across the street from their homes. Two families say they’re ready to leave, but they can’t because LG&E hasn’t offered them a fair price on their homes. [WFPL]

Eight months after a white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville ended in the death of a counterprotester, the loose collection of disaffected young white men known as the alt-right is in disarray. [WaPo]

Kentucky’s rich farmland is rapidly disappearing, and most of it is being lost to a different kind of development than you might think, according to a new study by American Farmland Trust. [H-L]

Did you have a happy Tax Day? Are you feeling grateful for the Republican tax cut? Evidently, most American taxpayers are not. In a sublime case of poetic justice, the so-called Tax Cut and Jobs Act is backfiring on the Republicans big time. Most voters are unimpressed, and Republicans themselves are ceasing to emphasize it in their campaign material. [HuffPo]

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Don’t Hold Your Breath On Broadband

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Sad about the cuts to higher education in Kentucky? There’s a funeral for that. [H-L]

It’s been almost two decades, but Jerome Rose still remembers his one and only brush with Donald Trump like it was yesterday. A fire in Rose’s South Park Tower apartment building had just killed four of his neighbors. [HuffPo]

Yetter is full of it and likely pulling a fast one. That’s not okay. The good old days of politics in education didn’t disappear under Steve Beshear and no one believes that unless they just haven’t been paying attention. Does no one remember Terry Holliday and the nightmares he okayed? Hellur? I got the guy fired. Matt Bevin’s crew is garbage – no question – but come on. Yetter reads this stuff, she knows what’s occurred, she just refuses to acknowledge it because it upsets her that it often reveals Democratic Party corruption. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump told former FBI Director James Comey that he didn’t stay in Russia overnight during his 2013 visit to the country — part of his explanation for why the salacious allegations from the Steele dossier couldn’t be true, according to the Comey memos that were released Thursday evening. But public evidence — from previous news reports, as well as NBC News’ own reporting — strongly suggests that Trump did stay at least one night in Moscow in November 2013. [NBC News]

Kentucky farmers plan to grow the lowest amount of burley tobacco on record this year, according to a new report. [Richmond Register]

Rex Tillerson’s team was fighting again. “So, who’s going to go in with him?” Margaret Peterlin, his chief of staff, was saying. She looked me up and down with an expression that suggested she’d discovered a pest in the house. [New Yorker]

Surely no one is holding their breath. Construction crews will begin installing a fiber optic infrastructure in Boyd County this summer as part of the long-discussed Kentucky Wired high-speed internet project, according to a project liaison. [Ashland Independent]

The National Rifle Association (NRA) doesn’t want to talk about its relationship with Russia. For months, the gun lobby has avoided questions from lawmakers on its ties to Russian officials specifically sanctioned by Washington — all the more after the NRA’s primary contact in Russia, Alexander Torshin, was named in the latest round of U.S. sanctions. [ThinkProgress]

A Franklin Circuit Judge said Thursday he wants to proceed expeditiously toward a ruling in a suit challenging the legality and constitutionality of a pension reform bill recently enacted by the Kentucky General Assembly. [Ronnie Ellis]

Trump administration officials, seeking ways to lower drug costs, are targeting pharmaceutical companies that refuse to provide samples of their products to generic drug companies, making it impossible to create inexpensive generic copies of a brand-name medicine. [NY Times]

More cases in Hart Circuit Court were dismissed Friday on motions by the commonwealth regarding matters involving the Horse Cave Police Department. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Democratic National Committee filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit Friday against the Russian government, the Trump campaign and the WikiLeaks organization alleging a far-reaching conspiracy to disrupt the 2016 campaign and tilt the election to Donald Trump. [WaPo]

Gross. The polarizing nominee to lead the CIA is an avid University of Kentucky basketball fan, but she’s also been called “the head cheerleader of waterboarding” by one of the state’s Republican U.S. senators. [H-L]

A heavily militarized police force of some 400 officers aggressively patrolled a small neo-Nazi rally in this city 40 miles southwest of Atlanta on Saturday and arrested about 10 counterprotesters, many for the crime of wearing a mask. [HuffPo]

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Mitch McConnell Helped Create Myanmar But The KDP Has No Clue How To Use It Against Him

The National Rifle Association has accepted contributions from about 23 Russians, or Americans living in Russia, since 2015, the gun rights group acknowledged to Congress. [NPR]

The public education advocacy group Pike County Strong is asking teachers to call in sick Thursday night in order to close schools Friday and allow teachers to rally in Frankfort. A group official said the move goes against the wishes of the Kentucky Education Association, which has taken a cautious approach to school closures that is frustrating many Pike County teachers. [H-L]

A reported chemical attack this weekend has once again thrust into view the Syrian government’s continued assault on civilians. But while Donald Trump has condemned the attack, he’s the one responsible for denying a safe haven in the United States to the Syrian refugees most in need. [HuffPo]

The Jefferson County teachers union has called for more protests after Matt Bevin announced on Monday he would veto both the budget and tax reform bills. [C-J/AKN]

The Keystone crude oil pipeline leak in November in rural South Dakota was nearly double the original estimate, making it one of the largest U.S. inland spills since 2010, a newspaper report on Saturday said. [Reuters]

This year’s Health County Ranking’s report revealed some changes in where area counties stand in health outcomes and factors. [Ashland Independent]

The blast swallowed the firefighters as they were charging through the smoke-clogged hallway of a Brooklyn building, searching for a 67-year-old woman believed to be trapped inside her apartment. According to a January 1999 article in the New York Post, Trump personally “called a dozen council members to lobby against sprinklers.” [WaPo]

Leave it to the Republican Party of Kentucky to screw this up. Businesses that have invested in Kentucky’s delayed statewide broadband network are concerned that the budget passed by legislators earlier this week doesn’t provide enough certainty that the state will hold up its end of the public-private partnership. [WFPL]

The F.B.I. on Monday raided the office of President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, seizing records related to several topics including payments to a pornographic-film actress. [NY Times]

There were few differences between five Democratic candidates for the Sixth Congressional District at a forum here Tuesday night sponsored by the League of Women Voters. [Ronnie Ellis]

The problem is not simply that congressional leaders won’t stop Donald Trump from firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and maybe Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and plunging America into a constitutional crisis. The problem is that those congressional leaders—while allowing Trump to do all this—are also allowing him to take the United States to war. [The Atlantic]

Just a reminder that Legislative Ethics are not a thing in Frankfort. An ethics complaint against former Speaker of the House Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, came to a close Tuesday much as it began — with a settlement that avoided public discussion of the events which led to a settlement of sexual harassment claims by a former staff employee. [More Ronnie Ellis]

US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan will not run for re-election this year, in a big blow to Republicans ahead of autumn’s mid-term elections. [BBC]

This is one of the stupidest things to occur in Lexington in years. You people live in flipping Lexington, Kentucky. Lexington. In Kentucky. Not somewhere fancy or desirable. No one is trying to come for your shitty neighborhood. Quit with the dog ignorance, you fat blobs. People living in a Lexington neighborhood were notified last week that several dog breeds, including pit bulls, Great Danes and huskies, were being banned. [H-L]

This is the nonsense Mitch McConnell helped create but is suddenly quiet about. He’s supporting a genocidal regime. He helped create this nightmare. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Are Kickin That Can, Honey

The controversial pension plan rushed through the Kentucky legislature Thursday night would do at least one thing Republican lawmakers vowed to stop this year: It would kick the can down the road. [John Cheves]

Shanna Diederichs crouches in a shallow, circular depression in the floor of a Puebloan ruin, a clear and all-too-familiar sign that looters were here, scouring for pottery and other valuable Native American artifacts. [HuffPo]

The Kentucky Public Service Commission on Friday announced that it had issued its highest ever penalty in a natural gas safety case – a $395,000 fine of Louisville Gas and Electric for a 2014 pipeline break that injured two contract workers. [C-J/AKN]

The widow of the Pulse nightclub gunman walked free on Friday after a jury cleared her of charges related to the 2016 massacre that killed 49 people in Orlando, Florida. [Reuters]

Republican lawmakers Monday morning unveiled a compromise budget which funds public schools at higher levels and paired the budget with a tax overhaul that will lower income taxes, apply sales taxes to some services and raise $479 million in new tax dollars over two years. [Ronnie Ellis]

Former colleagues say the next national security adviser — whose job is to marshal information and present it to the president fairly — resists input that doesn’t fit his biases and retaliates against people he disagrees with. [ProPublica]

River Cities Harvest’s shelves are now 40,169 pounds heavier with food thanks to the annual Food Feud competition between local hospitals. [Ashland Independent]

America needs teachers committed to working with children who have the fewest advantages in life. So for a decade the federal government has offered grants — worth up to $4,000 a year — to standout college students who agree to teach subjects like math or science at lower-income schools. But a new government study, obtained by NPR and later posted by the Department of Education, suggests that thousands of teachers had their grants taken away and converted to loans, sometimes for minor errors in paperwork. That’s despite the fact they were meeting the program’s teaching requirements. [NPR]

Kentucky teachers say they feel betrayed by Republican lawmakers who slipped changes to future pension benefits into an unrelated bill, then hastily passed it in the House and Senate on a party-line vote. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Trump administration is attempting to scale back federal efforts to enforce fair housing laws, freezing enforcement actions against local governments and businesses, including Facebook, while sidelining officials who have aggressively pursued civil rights cases. [NY Times]

Kentucky educators expressed their concern Friday for a bill that passed the Kentucky General Assembly on Thursday. While the 291-page bill originally addressed wastewater services, it now includes pension reform. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A federal judge ruled that the District of Columbia and Maryland may proceed with an unprecedented lawsuit against Donald Trump alleging that Trump’s business dealings have violated the Constitution’s ban on receiving improper “emoluments,” or payments, from individual states and foreign governments. [WaPo]

It was after supper, and Bill Turner was studying for senior finals when his friend Jim Embry ran into the library to tell him the news: “Bill, they killed Dr. King!” [Tom Eblen]

A leading figure in America’s largest Protestant denomination has resigned from his job over a “morally inappropriate relationship in the recent past.” Frank Page, who served as the president and chief executive of the Southern Baptist Convention’s executive committee, announced his retirement on Monday. A day later, he followed up with a statement explaining that he was stepping away from active ministry because of a “personal failing” that has “embarrassed my family, my Lord, myself, and the Kingdom.” [HuffPo]

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