The Powell-Holliday Ties Get Stranger And Stranger As The Days Go By

Or, more to the point: here’s yet another reason to be suspicious of just about everything going on at EPSB.

If you’re reading this, you likely already know who Terry Holliday is. There’s almost no need to link to the countless stories we’ve published filled with gobs of government documents proving his ties to fired former Montgomery County Schools superintendent Joshua Powell. Holliday enabled Powell and spent years excusing and dismissing scandal after scandal after scandal.

Holliday, of course, was run out of the Commonwealth last year by the Beshear Administration.

But whattya know, his daughter, Ellie Holliday, is now the Assistant Director of International School Partnerships at the University of Kentucky College of Education in the Office of the Dean.

The dean? Mary John O’Hair, a friend/confidant of Terry Holliday. And a voting member of the Education Professional Standards Board, which will soon decide whether or not it’s necessary to hold Joshua Powell accountable. The same EPSB of which Holliday was a member.

Terry Holliday’s pal employs his daughter and just happens to sit on the board of the entity set to determine his friend’s future. Surprise!

And you wonder why Kentucky can’t have nice things. Or why there are so many doubts about educational accountability and the EPSB.

The Bevin Administration can’t step in quickly enough.

Note: No, there’s no immediately available evidence of wrongdoing on the part of O’Hair. But Holliday’s verified history, along with well-documented shenanigans that have been pulled at EPSB, makes this not only fair game but worthy of discussion. The appearance of impropriety matters when it comes to something as serious as educational accountability.

Ashland Leads The Way On EKY Health

Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt says that if Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed budget is approved by the General Assembly, the Department of Education will face $72 million in reductions over the next two years. [H-L]

More than a few curiosities, oddities and abnormalities arose when presidential campaigns and super PACs filed their 2015 end-of-year campaign finance disclosures Sunday night. [HuffPo]

As Planned Parenthood turns 100, officials with the regional branch met with reporters Monday to reaffirm their commitment to serving Kentucky and Indiana amid a controversy over its proposed abortion services. [C-J/AKN]

The chairman of Iowa’s Democratic party is declaring Hillary Clinton the caucus winner, despite the razor-slim margin separating her from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). [The Hill]

Ruh ro, there’s a whole buncha drama in Morehead these days! Tensions were high for a portion of Friday’s special called work session of Morehead City Council. [The Morehead News]

Attorneys for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump are trying to stop Elizabeth Mae Davidson, the woman accusing the Trump campaign of gender discrimination, from speaking publicly about her allegations. [ThinkProgress]

Legislation that would prohibit the General Assembly from diverting state lottery funds away from Kentucky’s need- and merit-based scholarship programs has cleared a House committee. [Press Release]

Bernie Sanders’ campaign plane departed from Des Moines amid uncertainty over who exactly won the Iowa caucuses, but it didn’t matter to the candidate or his staff. [Politico]

Cave Country Trails Initiative board of directors discussed at their meeting Thursday night upcoming workshops that will take place in surrounding communities. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Astronomers have discovered the largest known solar system, consisting of a large planet that takes nearly a million years to orbit its star. [BBC]

Ashland is once again leading on the health care front in Eastern Kentucky. The Ashland-Boyd County Health Department is planning a needle-exchange program to prevent the further spread of Hepatitis C in the area, epidemiologist Kristy Bolen said. [Ashland Independent]

Companies and scientists are racing to create a Zika vaccine as concern grows over the mosquito-borne virus that has been linked to severe birth defects and is spreading quickly through the Americas. [Reuters]

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin wants state colleges and universities to produce more electrical engineers and less French literature scholars. [H-L]

The FBI is joining a U.S. investigation into Flint, Michigan’s water contamination crisis, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit said on Tuesday. [HuffPo]

It’s Montgomery County Tidbit Time

The latest:

  • Joshua Powell, via his new/latest attorney, Samuel Hayward (Louisville), got another continuation/extension from the judge on Friday
  • EPSB canceled its February 8 meeting but scheduled a “Special meeting” on Friday, February 19. That will allow the agency to conduct a Friday evening news dump and draw out any open records requests. EPSB’s new attorney has to appear in court on Friday, February 26 to prove to a judge that she’s turned over a copy of the complete Powell hearing transcript to Michelle Henry.
  • The Bevin Administration appears to be taking the EPSB/Powell situation way more seriously than the Beshear crew. And that’s saying a lot. It’d be safe to assume the people in charge of Bevin’s education team will be taking accountability as seriously as any administration in recent memory. They’ve been more up front and direct with me than anyone in the Beshear and Fletcher administrations. That’s good news for people who take accountability seriously.
  • You won’t believe what’s been uncovered from Joshua Powell’s old Montgomery County Schools email account, browser history, cell phone records and iPad. The man can continue to attack people personally but that will only end poorly for him.

2016 is going to be fascinating.

Random Montgomery Co Update Time

Remember when this happened last year in Montgomery County?

Last week Montgomery County Schools superintendent Joshua Powell hired a man named Larry Dixon as a curriculum specialist at the district’s high school. Unfortunately for the district, Powell didn’t inform the Site Based Decision Making council. You can imagine that the SBDM is livid, to say the least.


Dixon retired. Got served a subpoena last week to testify against Powell. And then he got re-hired.

Doesn’t help that his wife is also at the high school working in the same position.

Powell’s gone as superintendent but there’s still lingering unrest regarding many of his appointees and henchmen.

Will the district work to improve morale? Or will key corruptors remain in place? (We may never find out, honestly, because everyone on the board is afraid of their own shadow)

Last week Powell scored a 45-day extension in his case against the board of education.

We’re guessing that means it’s time to get the popcorn ready.

Just over a month until the Education Professional Standards Board acts.

MoCo: Not Much Has Changed In A Year

Flash back to a year ago in Montgomery County.

This is what was going on:

  • Montgomery County Schools Corruption Uncovered: A Multi-Part Look At Collusion, Spin And Coordinated Attacks On Investigators [December 15, 2014]
  • Joshua Powell Helped Devise A Public Disinformation Ad Campaign After Multiple Investigations Launched [December 16, 2014]
  • The Extent Of Joshua Powell’s Disinformation Campaign Will Surprise Even His Harshest Critics [December 17, 2014]
  • Another Sad Media Failure In Montgomery County [December 18, 2014]

It’s a year later and little has changed.

This is why Kentucky can’t have nice things.

Joshua Powell Update Time!

It’s been a minute, hasn’t it?

He’s been screaming about me left and right — gotta attack the messenger and all that. So let’s messenger some more.

This morning a hearing was held in his appeal of his due process hearing. Powell previously filed his appeal in Franklin County in an attempt to move things out of Montgomery County.

And. Wait for it… It was kicked it back to Montgomery County.

Today a judge was selected. You already know what the outcome of the appeal will be.

On Friday there’s a hearing in his case against the board of education in Pikeville.

Board members are beginning to get anxious about upcoming trials in suits filed against Powell and the district. We keep hearing that discussions about settlements are beginning to be handled by the board’s attorney, not its insurance attorneys, and that would appear to be a sign that the board is taking those suits much more seriously than in the past.

2016 is going to be interesting.

We’re Almost There, Thanks To You!

Seriously — you readers are the absolute best.

Thanks to you, we’ve nearly paid off the legal fees associated with defending our sources against the Joshua Powell-Phil Rison crew. You’re familiar with them (and if not, check the sidebar) because you watched (and in many cases, helped) as we reported on their shenanigans that ultimately cleaned up Montgomery County Schools. All of this would have been impossible without you.

We’re down to owing just $716 in legal fees and I’m hopeful that with your help we can get things paid off by the end of the year. If you want to pitch in, you can give a dollar or $500. Whatever floats your boat.

If you’ve got it in you, throw all your money at us:

It’s secure. Via Paypal. We never see your confidential information and will not reveal your support.

If you don’t want to contribute via Paypal but still want to pitch in, we can send you an invoice via email. You just tell Jake the amount and you can pay our online processor, Square.

We would never have been able to impact educational accountability in Kentucky without your help. And without you, Montgomery County would still be wallowing in pain.