State Must Follow Louisville’s Lead On Dumping

Goodness gracious, what’s going on in Frankfort these days? An internal investigation led to felony charges against a Franklin County Regional Jail officer accused of bringing contraband into the facility and illegally using another person’s food stamps. [H-L]

Only a few senators are planning to forfeit a portion of their salaries to charity or the U.S. Treasury while sequestration is in effect, according to a survey conducted by The Hill. [The Hill]

Kentucky Democrats are bringing in a well-connected out-of-state politician to headline their annual state dinner. [WFPL]

The tech industry wants more skilled workers — from overseas. Companies are lobbying hard for Congress to raise the limit on H-1B visas — visas for people with specialized skills — researchers, for instance, or software engineers. [NPR]

Drug roundups are becoming a regular part of the sheriff’s office in Laurel County. “The word on the street is that you don’t deal drugs in Laurel County,” said Captain Rodney Van Zant. [WKYT]

President Barack Obama’s proposed budget will call for reductions in the growth of Social Security and other benefit programs by including a proposal to lower cost-of-living adjustments to government social safety net spending, a senior administration official says. [HuffPo]

Ronnie Ellis remains the only political journalist in Kentucky who barely touches on the problems with the pension bill. Given his involvement in the last-minute negotiations on pension reform, it wasn’t surprising, but Gov. Steve Beshear announced Thursday he signed bills to change the pension system to fund increased contributions to it. [Ronnie Ellis]

Honoring the memory of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. on the 45th anniversary of his assassination, dozens of young people pledged at a ceremony on Thursday to embrace his message of nonviolence as a way of life. [Reuters]

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky has sent open records requests to all 174 public school superintendents in the state seeking information about how outside organizations and people are granted access to elementary schools during school hours to distribute religious or other literature to students. [WHAS11]

A federal judge has ruled that the Unites States government must make the most common morning-after pill available over the counter for all ages, instead of requiring a prescription for girls 16 and under. [NY Times]

A man has been charged with murder in the shooting death Wednesday of a civilian employee at Fort Knox, according to court filings. [H-L]

You’ve no doubt been following the discussions about the Violence Against Women Act super closely, yes? And in doing so, you’ve been thinking “hey, I wonder what disgraced felon quitter angerbear reality show star Tom Delay thinks of this bill a full 7 years after having to step down from the body that can actually consider it?” [Wonkette]

The rest of the state really does need to get on the wagon with this trend. Another vehicle, at least the fourth, involved in illegal dumping has been impounded by Louisville Metro Police under tough measures recently enacted by the Louisville Metro Council. [C-J/AKN]

It’s Time For Everyone To Give Back In Ashland

A cache of 2.5 million files has cracked open the secrets of more than 120,000 offshore companies and trusts, exposing hidden dealings of politicians, con men and the mega-rich the world over. [HuffPo]

A group announced Thursday that it will seek funding for a study to look at the pros and cons of merging Pulaski County and four municipal governments into one. [H-L]

A California billionaire is pledging to spend as much of his fortune as necessary to make climate change “the defining issue of our generation.” [The Hill]

Wanna dig in to Kentucky’s immigration chart and basic immigration concepts? It’s a 75-page PDF file, so have at it. [Click the Clicky]

Amber Bartlett was waiting last Friday for her kids to come home from school. One of them called from the entrance to the upscale subdivision near Little Rock, Ark., to tell her the community was being evacuated because of an oil spill. Bartlett was amazed by what she saw out her front door. [NPR]

This is one of the funniest things we’ve read in weeks. Musician and music promoter Bennie J. Smith is the second Democrat to announce that he will seek the nomination to challenge U.S. Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in the 2014 election. [C-J/AKN]

President Barack Obama used fundraisers on Wednesday to assuage supporters’ concerns about a transnational oil pipeline and his commitment to tackling climate change, while urging them to drive Republicans out of power in Congress in 2014. [Reuters]

The Eastern Kentucky Board of Regents will convene 10 a.m. [today] to name the university’s next president. The meeting was announced Thursday morning by EKU spokesperson Marc Whitt. [Richmond Register]

Almost exactly 45 years to the day after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, new video footage has surfaced of his killer, James Earl Ray. [HuffPo]

The state will release nearly $2 million in low-interest loans to help a small southeastern Kentucky town stop the flow of human waste into the Cumberland River during rainstorms and to upgrade the town’s water metering system. [WKYT]

Of course the FAA is playing pat-a-cake with Exxon in Arkansas. [Wonkette]

Volunteers at the food pantry inside Ashland First United Methodist Church know there are times when they simply don’t have enough food to send home with families, especially those with children when school is not in session. [Ashland Independent]

A former Karl Rove deputy and campaign aide to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has formed a super PAC that could help the Kentucky Republican. [Politico]

Newsflash: Frankfort Is Still A Disaster, Carry On

A bipartisan nominating commission has recommended that Gov. Steve Beshear consider a state appeals court judge and two other lawyers for an open state Supreme Court seat in Northern Kentucky. What the paper won’t tell you is that the “timetable” is likely next Wednesday. [H-L]

A group of hardline conservative members of the House are coming out in favor of immigration reform, writing in a letter to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) dated March 21 that they support his efforts to negotiate a comprehensive bill. [TPM]

A leadership breakdown in Frankfort cost Kentucky a chance to take up a constitutional amendment to allow casinos and has imperiled a deal on shoring up Kentucky’s public pension system, state Rep. David Osborne, R-Prospect said. [Ryan Alessi]

Matthew Barzun, a businessman and Obama fundraiser, will become the next U.S. ambassador to the royal court of the United Kingdom, CBS News’ Major Garrett reports. [CBS News]

A federal court has ruled that a Kentucky coal mine owes the government $1.67 million in fines for more than 1,200 safety violations over a six-year period. [C-J/AKN]

Coming soon to a Kentucky legislator near you. Lawmakers in Arizona are weighing a law requiring transgender people to use public toilets of the gender listed on their birth certificate. [BBC]

Now Jim Deckard is trying to get involved in the Murray State shenanigans. [WEKU]

Conspiracy theorists are going to lose their marbles over this one. If you’re a vehicle owner and happen to have a car accident in the near future, it’s likely the crash details will be recorded. Automotive “black boxes” are now built into more than 90 percent of new cars, and the government is considering making them mandatory. [NPR]

A Johnson County grand jury has indicted the son of an Eastern Kentucky couple found buried on their farm. Willie Blanton is charged with for two counts of murder, two counts of tampering with physical evidence, and one count of being a persistent felony offender. [H-L]

Way to go, Lexington, you’ve made all the national news sites over something embarrassing. Let’s blame Jim Gray for not having the guts to stand up for what’s right. [Consumerist]

The Kentucky Supreme Court will decide if an inmate involved in a 2009 prison riot received a fair disciplinary hearing after an officer prevented any witnesses from testifying on his behalf. [WKYT]

Professional Bible-humper Pat Robertson — who uses his teevee show The 700 Club to golden shower the faithful with handy advice like how to avoid icky adopted children cooties and how to get the Satan out of your Goodwill sweaters — has some new tips for clean living. [Wonkette]

What A Crazy Evening Round-Up This Turned Into

Child care agencies contracting with the state of Kentucky are barred from discriminating against children on the basis of religion under a settlement announced Wednesday by state officials and multiple groups. [H-L]

Hillary Clinton has double-digit leads over two favorite sons of Florida in the 2016 presidential race, according to a Quinnipiac University poll on Thursday. [Politico]

As Kentucky Democrats make a last-minute push to allow U.S. military personnel overseas to vote online, Florida is reporting what appears to be the first case of someone trying to manipulate U.S. voting through the Internet. [C-J/AKN]

In the buttoned-down world of government officials who oversee computer contracts, Poland’s Andrzej Machnacz cut a colorful figure. He enjoyed fine cigars and tooled around Warsaw on a motorcycle. Salesmen beat a path to his office, where the big-screen television was usually tuned to the fashion channel. [ProPublica]

Louisville Metro government continues to round up vehicles they say have been used for illegal dumping of trash, tires and even appliances. Really, this type of legislation needs to spread around the state. [WHAS11]

The US Federal Reserve has said that the economy has strengthened “moderately” but still needs stimulus measures to underpin recovery. In a statement after a two-day meeting, the Fed said it would keep its policy of buying $85bn a month of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities. [BBC]

The Kentucky Division of Waste Management has denied a pending permit for a coal ash landfill in Trimble County. [WFPL]

Walk-in clinics are popping up in shopping malls and main streets across the United States and private equity is helping fund the expansion. [Reuters]

The Kentucky Supreme Court on Thursday disbarred famed Cincinnati trial attorney Stanley Chesley over his involvement in a notorious $200 million settlement involving the diet drug fen-phen. [H-L]

As gay marriage heads to court, a look back at the bumpy ride. Gays and lesbians have adopted the phrase “it gets better” as a kind of slogan to assure young people that life won’t always be so tough. [NPR]

A central Kentucky cave won’t be destroyed for the purpose of building a landfill. Here’s how it’s being covered in the rest of the state. [WKYT]

Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was dismissive on Thursday of conservative critics such as Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh, saying their arguments against immigration reform were misguided. [HuffPo]

Let’s talk about the Democrats responsible for HB 279 for a moment, folks. [Page One]

Gray Cowers In Corner, Fischer Speaks Up Loudly

Oh, look, now Jim Gray is afraid to take a stand against the anti-gay “religious freedom” bill. If he had any sense about the position he holds and wasn’t an absolute coward, he’d speak up. Even Greg Fischer did the right thing. [H-L]

Even Ronnie knows pension reform is never going to be a real thing in Frankfort. Steve Beshear, the Democratic House and Republican Senate apparently are no closer to agreement on how to fund changes to the state pension system, a key difference on perhaps the most important issue still facing the 2013 General Assembly. [Ronnie Ellis]

Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said the party’s platform on gay marriage has not changed despite the massive effort spearheaded by the RNC to make the party more inclusive. [HuffPo]

BREAKING NEWS! Jack Conway wants attention, since no one wants him to run for governor, so he’s hyping his appearances today in Clark and Jessamine Counties. (Yes, we’re slightly joking here, this isn’t a bad thing) [Press Release]

Wouldn’t it be nice if creepy endtimes dominionist thinking, combined with crackpot climate science denying, was just limited to weird guys haranguing you on street corners? [Wonkette]

Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes still isn’t saying if she’s seriously considering a U.S. Senate bid. She’s being pressed hardcore by her dad and the folks around her. She’ll run quite a bit to the right of Ashley Judd, which is unfortunate. Because Kentucky needs a Democrat who isn’t afraid to say the words gay, equality, jobs, mountaintop removal, etc. Surely there’s a way to create a hybrid of the two. [C-J/AKN]

The majority of Americans favor giving millions of illegal immigrants a way to earn citizenship, according to a survey released on Thursday, highlighting public support for efforts in Congress to reform immigration law. [Reuters]

Joining Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., has introduced a bill to allow judges greater flexibility in sentencing federal crimes where a mandatory minimum punishment is considered unnecessary. [WFPL]

The lesson of JPMorgan’s whale trade: nothing was learned. [ProPublica]

The Republican-led Senate is drafting a plan to help pay for an overhaul of the state pension system, according to House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg. [H-L]

More than 45 million U.S. residents didn’t have health insurance during the first nine months of last year, according to survey findings released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even more people, 57.5 million, were uninsured for at least part of the 12 months before being polled. [HuffPo]

Lawwwd, you can’t even own a business in Lexington these days without getting burgled and having some thief fall through your ceiling. [WKYT]

Carter County Turns Into Even Crazier Disaster

The University of Kentucky will join a national group to work against sweatshop labor being used to make official university apparel. [H-L]

States chose to enact deep cuts to public higher education funding instead of raising taxes, potentially harming both state economies and education quality, a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities finds. [HuffPo]

UK police are alerting students to a report of a scary situation on campus where a strange man is accused of approaching a student. [WKYT]

Mexican grandmother Lucia Angulo has entered the United States illegally so often over the past three decades that she has lost count of how many times border patrols caught her. [Reuters]

Eastern Kentucky is seeing a permanent decline in coal , the region could turn to other energy sources to create jobs and industries — and to diversify the nation’s power portfolio, Kentucky’s energy cabinet secretary said. [Ryan Alessi]

Why is the lamestream media so mean to poor, dumb beard Michele Bachmann? [Wonkette]

Lawwwwd, what is going on in Carter County these days? Tuesday morning’s Carter County Fiscal Court meeting began with friendly chats and the return of a longtime observer to the front row, although it quickly descended to accusations and allegations as the county judge and one magistrate exchanged heated comments with the county jailer, a county resident and the editor of the local newspaper before the elected body could be called into a closed session. [Ashland Independent]

When Congress voted to authorize the Iraq War in October 2002, only seven Republicans voted against it — and they took heat for bucking their party. Looking back now, on the 10-year anniversary of the invasion, many of those Republicans maintained they were right all along and fear that the war wasn’t worth the costs, both financially and in human lives. [HuffPo]

The Urban County Council is set to approve more than $1 million in overtime for firefighters on Thursday, a measure that would immediately eliminate “brownouts” at fire stations in Lexington. [H-L]

Despite major changes in the racial makeup of American public school students, the people training to be teachers are still predominantly white. [NY Times]

Since Frankfort wants you to ignore what’s really happening at CERS and the rest of Kentucky Retirement Systems, we’re talking about it every day. [Page One]

Drilling deeper: the wealth of business connections for Obama’s energy pick. When President Obama nominated Ernest Moniz to be energy secretary earlier this month, he hailed the nuclear physicist as a “brilliant scientist” who, among his many talents, had effectively brought together “prominent thinkers and energy companies” in the continuing effort to figure out a safe and economically sound energy future for the country. [ProPublica]