Barren County Just Made Major Progress

For 50 years, the Kirwan Blanding complex — its towering twin towers looming over the south side of campus — were among the University of Kentucky’s most iconic images. But those icons can no longer provide the housing spaces that students desire, so they are being demolished. [Linda Blackford]

Narrow wins in special elections don’t typically qualify as major political events, but Tuesday night’s Senate race in Alabama, in which Democrat Doug Jones is the apparent winner, may be the exception. [HuffPo]

Oh, please, she was hand-picked. It was an open secret for months. Her lying ass needs to be dragged out of council like the rest of these good old boy shysters that have taken over. Metro Council candidate Nicole George dismissed claims that she was groomed by Louisville Democrats to replace former Councilman Dan Johnson, who was removed last month due to sexual misconduct. [C-J/AKN]

While Jared Kushner is working on a peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians, the Kushner Companies Charitable Foundation is funding a controversial West Bank settlement. [ProPublica]

The Harlan City Council discussed the new rates for the city’s contribution to state retirement funds during a meeting on Monday. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

A year ago, no one would have envisioned President Emmanuel Macron of France as the public face of Western diplomacy in the Middle East. But that is not the case anymore. [NY Times]

Barren County Fiscal Court narrowly approved Tuesday a needle exchange program for the county, moving the proposal closer to becoming reality. [BGDN]

The U.S. military is preparing to accept transgender recruits for the first time beginning in January, the Pentagon said Wednesday, the latest signal that Donald Trump’s desired ban may not materialize after all. [WaPo]

The Louisville Metro Police Department is investigating state Rep. Dan Johnson for alleged sexual abuse in his church. [WFPL]

An inmate at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay is still being tortured, the U.N. special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer said in a statement on Wednesday. [Reuters]

Living in hiding downtown for four years, Byron “Roc” Peeler was thrust into the spotlight on Friday after challenging Mayor Greg Fischer to spend a night in his homeless camp. In a prior Courier Journal story, he took the mayor to task, saying that city leaders cannot call Louisville a “compassionate city” while pushing homeless people out. [More C-J/AKN]

The Morehead State University Board of Regents voted Thursday to sell Sunny Brook Golf Course and two other properties owned by the university. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump called a sitting U.S. Senator a whore and no one batted an eyelash. Because it wasn’t the craziest thing to occur that morning. This is the new normal. [BBC]

The Kentucky Personnel Cabinet has requested an investigation of whether a male officer sexually harassed female employees at the prison in Elliott County. [H-L]

The number of journalists imprisoned around the globe hit a record high in 2017, with at least 262 reporters currently behind bars, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. They’re guilty of doing their jobs. [HuffPo]

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Pension Reform Is Not Now And Never Will Be A Real Thing In Kentucky

Kentucky’s highest court will hear a controversial case involving a Lexington company’s refusal to print a T-shirt for the city’s annual gay-pride festival. [H-L]

This racist jackass is still supported by people like Jeff Hoover and Bob the Bigot Stivers. Donald Trump is reportedly reviving the racist “birther” conspiracy theory, which claims that President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States. [HuffPo]

A whittled down tree-protection ordinance heads to the Louisville Metro Council for a vote as early as Thursday, nearly a year after the proposal was unveiled. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. Supreme Court justices on Monday appeared divided over whether a federal agency’s in-house process for challenging patents violates the constitutional rights of patent owners, leaving the fate of a system that has led to a high rate of patent cancellations uncertain. [Reuters]

House Republican leaders say they are closer to an agreement on pension reform after a closed-door two and a half hour meeting Tuesday — but they still don’t have a final agreement. [Ronnie Ellis]

The US consumer financial watchdog was plunged into turmoil on Monday as rival directors vied to take charge amid a lawsuit against the White House. [BBC]

New Greenup County Commissioner Earnest “Earnie” Duty said he wants to help the county build on momentum generated by the announcement of a $1.3-billion aluminum rolling mill. [Ashland Independent]

The Senate Republican tax plan gives substantial tax cuts and benefits to Americans earning more than $100,000 a year, while the nation’s poorest would be worse off, according to a report released Sunday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. [WaPo]

A majority of the Glasgow Electric Plant Board’s board of directors decided Tuesday that to drop three broadcast stations in Nashville and Louisville rather than pay the increases demanded for their content, but it will keep the ones in Bowling Green that also bumped up their prices. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Uh, obviously experts disagree with Republicans when it comes to the tax bill. Because facts are facts. Even though facts are something Republicans don’t understand. [NY Times]

Rowan County Fiscal Court is looking at options to help gain more revenue through the more efficient collection of occupational taxes. [The Morehead News]

Last week, we bought more than a dozen housing ads excluding categories of people explicitly protected by the Fair Housing Act of 1968. [ProPublica]

There’s no legitimate pension bill because the modern Republican Party of Kentucky is run by a bunch of con artists who can do nothing but sexually harass folks without power. [H-L]

Global arms experts say North Korea’s latest test of a ballistic missile was an expected but troubling development that further solidifies Kim Jong Un’s role as a nuclear-backed strongman. [HuffPo]

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Louisville Politicians Hate Poor People – Especially If They’re Black

Kentucky’s legislature needs billions of dollars to pay down the state’s unfunded pension liabilities. As it happens, Kentucky essentially gives away billions of dollars every year through what are called “tax expenditures.” [John Cheves]

The deputy director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sued the Trump administration on Sunday to block the president’s appointment of Mick Mulvaney as interim director of the agency. [HuffPo]

Scott Reed, like most Kentucky Republicans, is a racist bigot. Their racism is especially easy to spot in Louisville because they freak out when low incomes are involved. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump thinks he’s accomplished more than FDR. There are Kentucky Republicans that believe him. [The Hill]

Discussion of the city’s purchase of electric power again dominated Tuesday’s meeting of the Berea City Council. [Richmond Register]

The Freedom of Information Act is fundamental to investigative journalism. If the Freedom of Information Act were a person, who would it be? That’s a real question I asked our newsroom this week, because that’s the kind of thing I randomly think about. [ProPublica]

A search warrant executed by the Boyd County Sheriff’s Department Tuesday resulted in four arrests and the seizing of over 50 grams of Crystal Methamphetamine, money and drug paraphernalia. [Ashland Independent]

Tens of thousands of people wanted by law enforcement officials have been removed this year from the FBI criminal background check database that prohibits fugitives from justice from buying guns. [WaPo]

The Kentucky State Police began accepting donations for their eighth annual “Cram The Cruiser” holiday food drive on Nov. 22. [The Morehead News]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday left in place a Nebraska law that prohibits picketing near funerals after it was challenged by a Kansas church known for anti-gay protests. [Reuters]

A bill moving through Congress aims to simplify the national suicide hotline — a move that advocates say is necessary. But with that could come an increased call volume at crisis centers, and those same advocates caution additional funding will be needed to handle all the calls at money-strapped crisis centers. [WFPL]

He’s a racist bigot. Donald Trump has mocked a political rival as Pocahontas – as he welcomed Native Americans to the White House. [BBC]

A juvenile is suspected of making a threat on social media about violence this week at Madison Central High School, according to Kentucky State Police. [H-L]

Robert Jay Lifton has spent his life trying to understand some of the most unfathomable milestones of the 20th century. [HuffPo]

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Overdoses Are Hitting Ashland Hard

The effort to preserve a 125-mile stretch of Pine Mountain that runs the length of southeastern Kentucky has taken a significant step forward with the purchase of nearly 2,000 acres, the Kentucky Natural Lands Trust announced Thursday. [H-L]

The public feud between Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Donald Trump continued to escalate on Tuesday. The GOP senator, who warned earlier this month that Trump’s behavior could lead to World War III, told CNN that he believes the president’s legacy will be the “debasement of our nation.” [HuffPo]

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has made its final decision for a new VA hospital in Louisville, and it is sticking with a 35-acre farmland site off Brownsboro Road. [C-J/AKN]

The U.S government issued a rare public warning that sophisticated hackers are targeting energy and industrial firms, the latest sign that cyber attacks present an increasing threat to the power industry and other public infrastructure. [Reuters]

A second person has announced her candidacy to become the next Barren County clerk, with incumbent Joanne London not seeking re-election. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Another lawmaker is asking insurers whether their policies have made it easier for patients to access cheaper, more addictive drugs over less addictive alternatives. Meanwhile, the insurance industry trade group pledged additional steps to combat inappropriate prescribing. [ProPublica]

Rowan County Fiscal Court made it clear during its monthly meeting on Tuesday that it did not support a rate increase proposed by Advanced Disposal, owner and operator of the county landfill. [The Morehead News]

This idiot. Speaking to reporters alongside Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló at the White House on Thursday, Trump gave the White House the highest possible marks for its response to Hurricane Maria. [ThinkProgress]

A plaque proclaiming Jefferson Davis as a hero and a patriot will be removed from Kentucky’s Capitol, the latest effort to alter Confederate monuments across the country following outbreaks of racially motivated violence. [Richmond Register]

After a series of high-profile police shootings, police departments across the nation turned to body cameras, hoping they would curb abuses. But a rigorous study released Friday shows that they have almost no effect on officer behavior. [NY Times]

An overdose awareness and prevention seminar is set for Thursday in downtown Ashland amid an overdose crisis that’s devastated the Tri-State and left at least 34 dead in Boyd County this year alone. [Ashland Independent]

These fools have no idea that it’s the media’s job to constantly question those in power – no matter what. Yet again, the White House has declared itself to be above question. [WaPo]

It was time. Long past time, actually. As the sun set Tuesday on a beautiful fall day, it also set on Lexington’s two most visible symbols of history rewritten. [Tom Eblen]

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) won’t run for re-election in 2018, The Arizona Republic first reported. Flake spoke about his decision on the Senate floor Tuesday, railing against the “appalling features of our current politics” and arguing that lawmakers should “never regard as normal the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals.” [HuffPo]

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Republicans Ruin Everything They Touch

It may be true, as its title suggests, that the pension plan outlined last week by Matt Bevin and Republican legislative leaders is “keeping the promise.” But what promise and to whom? Certainly, it doesn’t keep a promise to current or future public workers and retirees that they will retire with financial security. [H-L]

Once upon a time, an insurgent candidate defeated Hillary Clinton, the most prepared potential president in U.S. history, after a nasty, close and historic race. [HuffPo]

Anyone deliberately ignorant enough to claim a soccer stadium in Louisville is going to push wages higher is an asshole. That’s not remotely based in reality. It’s not going to happen. If anything, they’ll hire the lowest common denominator for work and pay them the lowest rate that’s legally possible. It happens in every development in Louisville and it’s not changing any time soon. But this is Attica Scott, the woman who refused to answer questions about her residency when she initially ran for Metro Council. So it’s not surprising she’d put false hope out there to fluff up liberals in wealthy parts of the city. [C-J/AKN]

The two Honduran women told nearly identical stories to the immigration courts: Fear for their lives and for the lives of their children drove them to seek asylum in the United States. [Reuters]

State Librarian and Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA) Commissioner Terry Manuel announced that Madison County Clerk Kenny Barger has received a grant totaling $17,302 from the KDLA to preserve and manage local government records. [Richmond Register]

It was about 10 a.m. on Aug. 12 when the melee erupted just north of Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Virginia. [ProPublica]

It’s been 10 years since Kentucky judges received a raise, placing judicial salaries in the commonwealth 48th among the 50 states. [Ronnie Ellis]

With the White House under fire over its handling of the deaths of four U.S. soldiers in Niger, questions are rising about the deadly ambush. [ThinkProgress]

The Boyd County Public Library is operating on a $3.1 million budget and will likely have about $5 million in reserve this fiscal year. The library – like the school districts, volunteer fire departments and health department in Boyd County – is a special taxing district. The bulk of the library’s budget – 84 percent – is funded by property taxes. [Ashland Independent]

The Environmental Protection Agency has published a list of 10 toxic threats it will evaluate first under a law passed last year intended to crack down on hazardous chemicals. [NY Times]

Sometimes you have to wonder if the folks running Morehead State University know their ass from a hole in the ground. [The Morehead News]

Authoritarian bullshit. The White House flashed its authoritarian streak again on Friday when press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it was “highly inappropriate” for journalists to fact-check a false claim by Chief of Staff John F. Kelly. [WaPo]

This sort of thing happened repeatedly in Montgomery County. I reported on it for a few years. Kids ‘escaped’ school on a regular basis, roamed around in traffic, you name it. It was a nightmare situation. Valarie Honeycutt Spears just twiddled her thumbs over those stories. [H-L]

For 27 years, Erwin Marks helped design military aircraft, missiles, drones and even solid rocket boosters for the space shuttle. The work was a good fit for Marks, who’d left the Navajo Nation to study design engineering technology at Brigham Young University in the 1980s. But after almost three decades, Marks had grown tired of the hiring and layoff cycles every few years as federal contracts were awarded and expired. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Have Bungled Pension Reform

Parents slaughter their helpless children during 24 hours of insane violence. An Army nurse falls in love in Amish country and solves a murder mystery. A mighty Thoroughbred claims the first Triple Crown in a quarter-century. The Turtleman pokes a hole in the ceiling and out pours a torrent of rats. These stories have one thing in common: Kentucky taxpayers opened their wallets to bring them to the screen through a financial gift called “film incentives.” [John Cheves]

Never forget that this lazy-ass bigot dodged the draft. A Florida congresswoman described Donald Trump’s phone call to the widow of a soldier killed during an ambush in Niger as “insensitive” after the president reportedly said the man “must’ve known what he signed up for.” [HuffPo]

No, Tom Jurich is absolutely not worth his pay. He’s yet another Six Flags Over Jesus fraud. In a written defense of suspended University of Louisville Athletic Director Tom Jurich released Monday, attorney Allison M. Stemler takes issue with news reports about her client’s pay package, and says he’s worth every penny. [C-J/AKN]

Republicans are just fucking stupid lately. If Indiana state Rep. Jim Lucas had his way, journalists would be required to register with state police in order to report the news. [ThinkProgress]

Pornography publisher Larry Flynt is offering “up to $10 million” to anyone who produces information that leads to Donald Trump’s impeachment and removal from office. [H-L]

A cybersecurity researcher who said he was recruited to vet hacked Hillary Clinton emails last year by a GOP operative tied to President Donald Trump’s campaign team has been interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller, Business Insider has learned. [Business Insider]

The fix for Kentucky’s badly underfunded pension systems proposed by Matt Bevin and Republican legislative leaders is complex with a lot of moving parts. [Ronnie Ellis]

Never forget that this lazy-ass bigot dodged the draft. Rep. Frederica Wilson blasted Donald Trump on Wednesday, calling him a “sick man” after he accused the Florida Democrat of fabricating her claim that he made an insensitive remark to the wife of a fallen soldier. [The Hill]

Matt Bevin and Republican legislative leaders unveiled an outline of their proposed pension system fix Wednesday, one which they say won’t affect current retirees and won’t increase the retirement age for state workers or teachers. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Two U.S. senators on Tuesday reached a bipartisan agreement to shore up Obamacare for two years by reviving federal subsidies for health insurers that Donald Trump planned to scrap, and the president indicated his support for the plan. [Reuters]

No one said it would be easy and few thought the proposal by Matt Bevin and GOP leaders to reform Kentucky’s public pensions would be embraced by all. [Even More Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump’s latest attempt to bar citizens of eight countries from entering the US has suffered a second federal court defeat. [BBC]

This ought to end in a nightmare… An Indiana native was hired Tuesday as the first president of a new downtown organization that will oversee special events and economic development in Kentucky’s second largest city. [H-L]c

Never forget that this lazy-ass bigot dodged the draft. Donald Trump was slammed on social media overnight for his comments to the grieving widow of a fallen U.S. serviceman. [HuffPo]

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Dick Roeding Was A Homophobic Bigot

Daviess County Sheriff’s Department deputies and the Owensboro Police Department’s hazardous device unit were called to a home under construction in west Daviess County on Thursday after a crew found an explosive device that had been stuffed in a portable toilet. [H-L]

Donald Trump denied a report on Wednesday that he previously requested a tenfold increase to the U.S. nuclear arms supply. NBC News published a piece alleging that he made the ask over the summer after seeing a slide displaying the reduction in American nuclear weaponry since the 1960s. [HuffPo]

The contracts for a pair of suspended Louisville men’s basketball coaches would allow the University of Louisville Athletic Association to fire them as soon as Monday morning’s board meeting. [C-J/AKN]

Groups that advocate for LGBT rights increasingly feel that they are under assault from the Trump administration. [The Hill]

Bigots of a feather flock together. John Schickel is a homophobic bigot just like Dick Roeding. Both have spent years fighting to make the lives of LGBT people miserable and unlivable. Fuck both of these people. Thank goodness one of them is dead. Yes, I said it. Thank goodness Roeding is dead so he can no longer harm young gay people. If you’re praising him? Check yourself. Something is wrong with you. [CN|Toot]

Donald Trump suggested challenging media licenses for NBC and other broadcast news networks on Wednesday, delivering his latest salvo against the media after recent NBC News reports about Trump’s secretary of state and the country’s nuclear arsenal. [Reuters]

It’s almost like someone did zero research regarding freshwater crustaceans before writing this. My eyes rolled way back into my head because I’ve studied them for 20+ years – to the point of my side hustle being speciality freshwater shrimp foods that took a decade to perfect. It’s frustrating to see people get paid for producing mediocre, ill-informed content while editors push it around like it’s stellar or groundbreaking. These shrimp (no S – shrimp is plural) aren’t difficult to find because I’ve been able to locate them my entire life. Their habitat is well understood among hobbyists and scientists. Otherwise, I wouldn’t know what I know and wouldn’t be shocked as hell at a story like this. It’d behoove the writer to put in more effort before publishing something a cave guy knows little about as fact. [WFPL]

The National Institute of Standards and Technology announced last week that it is launching a new study of certain types of DNA analysis used in criminal prosecutions. [ProPublica]

Auditors reviewing an Appalachian county’s finances found that its former treasurer wrote herself checks worth more than $114,000 by dipping into county funds and emergency preparedness grant money, Kentucky’s auditor said Tuesday. State Auditor Mike Harmon said he was forwarding the findings regarding former Jackson County Treasurer Beth Sallee to the FBI, Kentucky State Police and state attorney general. [Richmond Register]

The International Monetary Fund delivered a blunt warning to international policy makers ahead of the fund’s annual meeting this week: Governments risk undermining global economic growth by cutting taxes on the wealthy. [NY Times]

New Boyd Emergency Medical Services director Charles “Chuck” Cremeans said he will work to give his staff the tools it needs to save lives in an aging county with a staggering overdose rate. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump is full of shit about stock market claims. Just like he always is. Here’s proof. [WaPo]

In the days following Sunday night’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, Google searches for gun control spiked to overtake searches for gun shops in every state — except Kentucky. [H-L]

A coalition of more than a hundred Democratic members of Congress has asked Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis if the Pentagon helped advise Donald Trump on his July decision to bar transgender Americans from serving in the U.S. military. [HuffPo]

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