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UK cosmologist Prof Stephen Hawking has withdrawn from a high-profile Israeli conference, in support of an academic boycott of the country.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

Can You Believe They Let The Gays Immigrate?

In the past five years, Kentucky lawmakers have cut the state budget by $1.6 billion. But if something doesn’t change, they may have just begun to cut services. [Ronnie Ellis]

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is taking a page from President Obama’s reelection playbook for his own campaign — embracing Internet memes, data mining and cinematic storytelling. [The Hill]

The Kentucky Democratic Party has outpaced the state Republican Party in raising money in recent years, but that could change this year with U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s money-generating prowess. [H-L]

Federal workers say they don’t have much to celebrate these days. Furloughs began in April, exacerbating already low morale for many government agencies as budgets have tightened. [NPR]

As Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes mulls whether to challenge U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell in 2014, the Kentucky Republican Party is eager to cast doubts on Grimes’ potential candidacy, calling it “a last ditch effort to recruit a candidate of even second-tier credibility” and questioning whether other Democrats have ulterior motives. [WHAS11]

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy shrugged off concerns that offering rights to gay immigrants will kill the sweeping immigration bill as his committee prepares to mark up the legislation on Thursday. [Politico]

A University of Kentucky Police investigation has led to the arrest of a man in connection with multiple indecent exposure incidents that have been reported over the last month on UK’s campus. The dude is lucky one of those women didn’t reach in and cut his wanger off. [WKYT]

When the Obama administration released its 2013 Drug Control Strategy recently, drug czar Gil Kerlikowske called it a “21st century” approach to drug policy. “It should be a public health issue, not just a criminal justice issue,” he said. [ProPublica]

Shoes from about a dozen famous people, including Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Oprah Winfrey and young Jennifer Lawrence are going on display Thursday at the Muhammad Ali Center as an adjunct to a traveling “Global Shoes” exhibit. [C-J/AKN]

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits dropped to its lowest level in nearly 5-1/2 years last week, signaling labor market resilience in the face of fiscal austerity. [Reuters]

The jury found Brian Hatfield, Candy Maiden and Debbie Partin guilty of complicity to commit murder on Wednesday. The jury returned with the minimal 20 year sentence for each of the defendants. [Middlesboro Daily News]

Tests indicating that rice imported to the US contained high levels of lead have been cast into doubt. At a conference in April, researchers reported that commercially available rice contained many times more lead than US food authorities deemed safe. [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]

Gov. Steve Beshear announced Thursday that Kentucky will expand the federal and state Medicaid program to provide coverage to an estimated 308,000 Kentuckians currently without health insurance. Teabaggers everywhere are losing their minds. [H-L]

Derby’s Over & The Crazy’s Back In Full Force

In a desperate attempt to hide their bipartisan collusion in raiding pensions, the legislature and governor have put out a disastrous bill, Senate Bill 2, that not only tries to cover up their past indiscretions but harms local governments and non-profits as well. [H-L]

Where’s Jack Conway on this? Oh, right. New York’s attorney general on Monday accused Wells Fargo and Bank of America of violating the terms of last year’s national mortgage settlement by failing to process hundreds of refinancing requests promptly. [HuffPo]

BREAKING NEWS! Okay, kidding about that part. But Jonathan Miller had the nerve to suggest Democrats aren’t scrambling to catch up to Mitch McConnell’s campaign. [Kenny Coleslaw]

Three Tea Party senators are angling for the White House — and could be one another’s greatest obstacles to winning the GOP nomination. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), three favorites of the conservative movement, have been quietly jostling for position over policy and stature within the party. [The Hill]

Norma Padgett has had seven teeth pulled since August — several after cavities festered because she couldn’t afford to see the dentist. She’s used Crazy Glue to repair her old, broken dentures. And she once delayed having a wisdom tooth removed until a severe infection forced her to get emergency treatment. [C-J/AKN]

On Jan. 23, 2008, the pharmaceutical company Novartis threw a party at a restaurant on Long Island. The party, which cost $1,250, was ostensibly for doctors to learn about cardiovascular drugs made by the company, with Novartis sales representatives present as well. [ProPublica]

Carter Fiscal Court met Friday in special session for the second reading of an ordinance to address overcrowding at the Carter County Detention Center. [Journal-Times]

The incoming president of the National Rifle Association (NRA) has told attendees of its conference they are freedom fighters in a “culture war”. James Porter, who takes over the top job on Monday, issued the rallying cry at the NRA’s annual meeting in Texas. [BBC]

Way to go, Laurel County, way to go. A Laurel County teenager is in jail on federal charges for making bombs. [WKYT]

This school in Bowling Green is apparently tops in the entire nation. [HuffPo]

Jamie Cornbr… COMER will travel to Washington, D.C. to lobby for Kentucky hemp. [H-L]

President Barack Obama signaled on Friday that a proposal to add a same-sex partnership measure to an immigration overhaul should not be allowed to derail the entire legislative effort. [Reuters]

We say “amen” to our colleagues at the Lexington Herald-Leader who have called for a new method of realigning legislative districts to balance population changes from census to census. [The Morehead News]

Insane in the brain? Everything is turning up horse poop for Michele Beard Bachmann. [Wonkette]