Some Rare Positive News From Laurel County

An eight-year veteran of the Kentucky State Police has been recognized as Trooper of the Year. Trooper Charles J. Senters was singled out for the award Thursday. [H-L]

Something unexpected and newsworthy happened on the Senate floor Thursday morning during an otherwise commonplace argument between Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell over confirmations and the “nuclear option.” [TPM]

Officials with the state agency overseeing state financial aid say funds ran out earlier than ever before and most Kentucky students who are eligible for the aid programs will not receive funding this year. [WFPL]

You know you love you some Republican race-baiting in Warshington. Because that’s all Steve King is apparently good for. [HuffPo]

After clearing the scene of a single-vehicle crash Thursday that killed an elderly Tennessee woman on Interstate 65, firefighters found the body of her husband more than 970 feet south of the crash. [News-Enterprise]

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) equated the nursery rhyme “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” to the three controversies President Barack Obama’s administration is facing. [ProPublica]

Kentucky’s Transportation Cabinet and a Laurel County resident have been recognized for their efforts to restore rather than replace a landmark bridge. At least one good thing is happening in Laurel County. [WLEX18]

Two-thirds of American voters say that the nation’s economic conditions are poor, but optimism about the state of the country’s financial system is rising, according to a new poll released Friday. [The Hill]

A Louisville lawyer who passed out and caused a mistrial in a medical-malpractice trial may now be punished for it financially. [C-J/AKN]

New government figures add to evidence of a decline in teen pregnancies across the nation and point to a notably large drop in births among Hispanic teens. [NPR]

A Laurel County man who was working as a U.S. Postal Service officer was indicted Thursday for embezzling mail sent from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Way to go, Laurel County, you win the awful award week after week. [H-L]

Orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rose more than expected in April, a hopeful sign that a contraction in factory output could soon run its course. [Reuters]

Many people continue to ask where Mitch McConnell stands on immigration reform. Reality: no one ones, as he won’t answer questions. [Page One]

A strain of cockroaches in Europe has evolved to outsmart the sugar traps used to eradicate them. American scientists found that the mutant cockroaches had a “reorganised” sense of taste, making them perceive the glucose used to coat poisoned bait not as sweet but rather as bitter. [BBC]

Rand Paul Taking Whimsical Jalopy To Henderson

Franklin Circuit Judge Philip Shepherd denied a request by Gov. Steve Beshear to dismiss a Tea Party lawsuit challenging the legality of the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange. [H-L]

After years of vilifying prominent religious and conservative leaders, gay activists on Wednesday turned their ire to an unlikely target: Democrats. [Politico]

The Louisville Metro Council on Monday approved a resolution urging Norfolk Southern Railroad to allow cyclists and pedestrians on the K&I Bridge, which connects the city’s Portland neighborhood with New Albany, Ind. [C-J/AKN]

The Boy Scouts of America have reportedly voted 61-38 to allow gay Scouts. According to multiple media sources, the scouting organization has chosen to eliminate sexual orientation as youth membership criterion. Under the new ruling, gay Scout leaders are still prohibited from serving. [HuffPo]

The Olive Hill Council met in regular session Tuesday night to accept the resignations of former Council members Tony Williams and Angie Johnson Fultz. [Ashland Independent]

Abrupt climate change in Africa helped trigger technological and cultural advances in early modern humans, according to new research. Archaeologists had long noted that the complexity displayed by human groups moved in fits and starts. [BBC]

Drivers will be hitting the roads in full force this weekend for Memorial Day which also means that the potential for accidents will increase. [WKYT]

Attorney General Eric Holder signed off on a controversial search warrant that identified Fox News reporter James Rosen as a “possible co-conspirator” in violations of the Espionage Act and authorized seizure of his private emails, a law enforcement official told NBC News on Thursday. [NBC]

Looks like Rand Paul is going bagging in Henderson on July 1. U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, a prospective candidate for president in 2016, will speak at a luncheon here this summer, the Henderson Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday. [Henderson Gleaner]

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) blamed former President George W. Bush for the IRS’ targeting of tea party groups in the lead-up to the 2012 election. [HuffPo]

Wondering who in Frankfort causes the entire country to laugh at the Commonwealth of Kentucky? Start with Mike Wilson and his mind-blowing… click the clicky, you’ll see. [Page One]

Danger everywhere! Perhaps it would be better for concerned parents to just keep their children home every day, where they will be guaranteed a solid, no-liberal-claptrap education about how the earth is 5,000 years old, gravity is just a theory, Jesus chose America to be extra special, and the zombied arm of Harvey Milk cannot fondle them from the grave to make them gay. [Wonkette]

A Bourbon County chemistry teacher can remain in the classroom even though he violated state law by not disclosing previous misconduct investigations against him at the University of Kentucky, a state board has ruled. [H-L]

Edwin Oliva, a 29-year-old petty thief and drug addict, says he was a wreck as he sat in a chair in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office in winter 1995. A year earlier, he’d told police a lie that helped implicate a possibly innocent man in a murder. [ProPublica]

Lesson In Distancing Yourself From Barack Obama

What do Democrats do when they have a candidate in a special election they don’t want to be tied to Barack Obama? Have Obama’s CAMPAIGN MANAGER serve as a consultant on the race so the candidate is tied directly to the president. Smooth move. [Bluegrass Politics]

Just how bizarre-o crazy is the NRCC? It published a story on the IRS scandal including lawmakers no longer in office and the mayor of a Colombian city. [HuffPo]

Regardless of the “official” story given to the press, Larry Cox didn’t depart Jamie Comer’s office because the fuel lab has been shut down. [CN|2]

House Republicans late Thursday began circulating new spending targets for appropriations bills for the coming year with Labor, Education and Health and Human Services facing a nearly 20 percent reduction on top of the cuts already made in the March 1 sequestration order. Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) appears to be backloading the larger reductions in order to salvage a few of the 12 annual bills this summer. [Politico]

The Affordable Health Care Act and, according to Gov. Steve Beshear, a healthier lifestyle for citizens are coming to Kentucky. [Ronnie Ellis]

Your United States Congress voted for the 36th time to repeal health care reform. Because the poors do not deserve health care, amen? [Wonkette]

The manager of the sexual-assault response program at Fort Campbell was arrested in a domestic dispute and relieved of his post, authorities said Thursday. [C-J/AKN]

A House of Representatives panel on Friday opens the first in a series of investigative hearings in Congress on the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups for extra tax scrutiny, as the political storm over the scandal shifts to Capitol Hill. [Reuters]

A quintet of coworkers from the Marathon refinery in Catlettsburg have stepped forward to claim their million-dollar prize after hitting five match numbers in a recent Kentucky Lottery Powerball drawing. [H-L]

A bipartisan group of House negotiators said Thursday it has reached an “agreement in principle” on comprehensive immigration reform legislation. [The Hill]

The Tuesday night meeting of The Richmond City Commission included a heated exchange between a city commissioner and the mayor. While discussing the removal of a softball field Commissioner Laura King accused Mayor Jim Barnes of discrimination. [WKYT]

Terrorists on witness protection were able to board flights because their new identities were not updated on the US no-fly list, a watchdog has found. The US justice department report said its Witness Security Program had failed to give the new names to the FBI-managed Terrorist Screening Center. [BBC]

Jefferson Co. Public Schools Are A Big, Hot Mess

The Senate voted down a gun control measure last month, but the fight is just beginning. The National Rifle Association and new pro-gun control groups headed by former Rep. Gabby Giffords and Michael Bloomberg are in an arms race since a background check bill narrowly failed in the Senate last month – ramping up their fundraising, airing attack ads and revving up their grassroots machines. [Politico]

The fate of the pipes, bongs and rolling papers that Lexington police confiscated from The Botany Bay on Winchester Road last year appears to have finally been decided, but that’s not the end of the tale. [H-L]

The Heritage Foundation came under fire Wednesday from Hispanic lawmakers after reports that the author of a controversial immigration study previously wrote a dissertation warning of the lower intellectual capacity of immigrants. [The Hill]

Shrugging off criticism that the move is too costly, Gov. Steve Beshear insisted Thursday that expanding Medicaid services under the Affordable Care Act will actually save Kentucky more than $800 million over the next eight years. [C-J/AKN]

UK cosmologist Prof Stephen Hawking has withdrawn from a high-profile Israeli conference, in support of an academic boycott of the country. [BBC]

Still wondering what’s wrong with Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville? You shouldn’t be. This is par for the course. [The ‘Ville Voice]

For Niagara Falls, a city in New York staring at the prospect of insolvency in the face of a weak local economy and soaring employee costs, diverting money earmarked for pensions to cover short-term spending needs seemed like the only option. [Reuters]

The FBI was active in rural Madison County on Wednesday, however, an agency spokesperson said no information would be released about what its agents were doing. [Richmond Register]

The nation’s unemployment rate would probably be nearly a point lower, roughly 6.5 percent, and economic growth almost two points higher this year if Washington had not cut spending and raised taxes as it has since 2011, according to private-sector and government economists. [NY Times]

A Franklin Circuit Court judge has given the state 30 days to tell the state’s two largest newspapers why it redacted and took out information from more than 140 case files of children who have been killed or nearly killed from abuse or neglect. [Bluegrass Politics]

The House passed a measure Thursday that would amount to the rough equivalent of declaring bankruptcy for the United States, directing the government to meet only certain obligations if Congress failed to raise the country’s borrowing limit. [HuffPo]

State police say a man and his teenage granddaughter are both at UK Hospital after an early Thursday morning shooting. [WKYT]

Hearings but not listenings. The Republican Benghazi hearings don’t support their conspiracy claims, as if that matters. [Wonkette]