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

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

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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Will April Be Just As Crazy As March?

The General Assembly introduced a tax bill today that is a shift in taxes away from corporations and high-income people and over to low- and middle-income Kentuckians. Although the official estimate is that it would bring $248 million more in net revenue by the second year, the plan relies heavily on a fading source in a cigarette tax increase and very uncertain new revenues from conformity to the federal tax code. By moving away from more productive income taxes to slower-growing consumption taxes, it will worsen Kentucky’s budget problems in the future. [Republicans Are Screwing You]

It was fitting that Republicans rammed their newest secret pension plan through the General Assembly in a matter of hours Thursday as an amendment to a bill about sewer system regulations. The whole process stank. [Tom Eblen]

Trump touted second chances for former prisoners the day before he blasted California Gov. Jerry Brown for giving ex-convicts a … second chance. [HuffPo]

Teachers from across Kentucky stormed Frankfort on Friday morning, furious over a controversial pension bill that lawmakers passed the night before in a matter of hours. [C-J/AKN]

Thousands of Kentucky teachers descended on Frankfort on Monday morning to rally against a surprise pension reform bill that passed through the legislature late last week. [More C-J/AKN]

Investigators probing whether Donald Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with Russia have been questioning witnesses about events at the 2016 Republican National Convention, according to two sources familiar with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiries. [Reuters]

An action packed Thursday night ended in a passed pension bill, however, for many Kentucky educators the fight, they say, is far from over. [Richmond Register]

Nearly a year after record Midwestern floods killed at least five people and caused $1.7 billion in damage, a secretive lobbying effort funded by Illinois and Missouri drainage districts is underway to roll back flood regulations, documents show. [ProPublica]

Northeastern Kentucky lawmakers discussed their votes Friday on a controversial pension reform bill that surged through the state Legislature. [Ashland Independent]

Get. Off. Facebook. A Facebook executive’s memo that claimed the “ugly truth” was that anything it did to grow was justified has been made public, embarrassing the company. [BBC]

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]

One was Photoshopped tearing up the Constitution — a falsehood — and criticized for wearing a flag that represented her Cuban heritage. A conservative blog said that another wasn’t even at the school during the killings — then had to backtrack on Monday when that also proved false. The attacks on the teenage survivors of the shooting in Parkland, Fla., have been fierce from the beginning, and have only continued since the students helped spearhead hundreds of protests this weekend. [NY Times]

Kentucky’s Democratic attorney general says he’ll go to court to challenge the pension overhaul bill passed by lawmakers in the Republican-controlled General Assembly Thursday night. [WFPL]

The death of an icon in America’s civil rights history is a reminder of how recently school segregation existed in the United States — and how little has changed since that time. [WaPo]

A former employee of Eric C. Conn pleaded guilty Friday to helping the one-time disability attorney escape the country last year to avoid sentencing in a federal fraud case. Curtis Wyatt, 48, faces up to five years in prison for helping Conn. [H-L]

Far-right white men are dangerous. Jurors in a federal courthouse Thursday were played recording after recording of three militia members spewing genocidal hatred of Muslims. [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin Doesn’t Care About Kids

Here’s your regular reminder that Matt Bevin doesn’t actually give a flip about the foster care system. He could afford to buy his children from a foreign country (don’t even try to act like that’s not what happened – wealthy people do it all the time to avoid government scrutiny from the social services system and because they’re impatient) and hasn’t really given much thought to what goes on at home. He and his wife put on little shows here and there to feign empathy but if they truly gave a flip? Stuff like this wouldn’t occur. [H-L]

Several days after a former Russian spy and his daughter were found catatonic on a bench in Salisbury, England, British, Prime Minister Theresa May revealed that the pair had been poisoned by a rare and highly-deadly nerve agent known as Novichok. The revelation prompted U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to say the poisoning “clearly came from Russia.” Novichok, he added, is a military-grade agent found “only in the hands of a very, very limited number of parties.” [HuffPo]

Donald Trump’s decision to slap tariffs on imported steel and aluminum triggered cheers at Kentucky aluminum and steel mills — and a far more somber reaction from bourbon distillers and manufacturing businesses. [C-J/AKN]

An adviser to the United Arab Emirates with ties to current and former aides to Donald Trump is cooperating with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and gave testimony last week to a grand jury, according to two people familiar with the matter. [NY Times]

Boyd County and Fairview Independent schools will soon have more law enforcement officers on campus. [Ashland Independent]

In the spring of 2016, longtime political operative Roger Stone had a phone conversation that would later seem prophetic, according to the person on the other end of the line. [WaPo]

Rowan County Sheriff Matt Sparks is hoping to educate the public about what to do when being followed or harassed in a public space after a social media post went viral over the past few days. [The Morehead News]

U.S. students spilled out of classrooms by the tens of thousands on Wednesday, chanting slogans like “No more silence” and “We want change” as part of a coast-to-coast protest over gun violence prompted by last month’s massacre at a Florida high school. [Reuters]

Hundreds of Kentucky high school students, including survivors of a campus shooting this year, joined a nationwide gun violence protest Wednesday by rallying in frigid weather at the state Capitol. [Richmond Register]

You can thank Mitch McConnell for killing any protections you have against corrupt banks. The Senate voted to advance Wednesday the most sweeping bipartisan changes yet to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill enacted by President Obama after the 2007 financial crisis. [The Hill]

Louisville-area schools joined nearly 3,000 others across the country Wednesday walking out of class at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes. [WFPL]

The UK will expel 23 Russian diplomats after Moscow refused to explain how a Russian-made nerve agent was used on a former spy in Salisbury, the PM says. [BBC]

Alice Forgy Kerr is a homophobic monster and Kentucky media ought not forget or excuse it. You’ll never see people like Jack Brammer report on that, however. Instead, people like Brammer paint her as some kind of victim just trying to do the right thing. It’s that kind of bullshit narrative that keeps Kentucky in the dark ages. [H-L]

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders pointedly avoided saying the word “Russia” on Monday when very specifically questioned about that country’s culpability in the poisoning last week of a former Russian spy with a deadly nerve agent. [HuffPo]

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