Pre-Existing Condition? You’re Screwed

Rick Sanders apparently thinks leaving sidewalk chalk messages in Frankfort is reason to block people from the Capitol. Matt Bevin has been pressuring KSP to retaliate against protestors because he can’t handle criticism. [H-L]

The Twitterverse exploded in a spyware panic after a Dutch journalist in Singapore posted a photo of a press kit freebie of a tiny fan that connects to computers via the USB portal. It was part of a goodie bag for the journalists covering Donald Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. [HuffPo]

Adam Edelen is right about health care but dangerously wrong about the work he did as Auditor. There were hundreds of cases he refused to push with Jack Conway. So many, in fact, that his office kept a spreadsheet of cases he was afraid to have the Attorney General investigate. Because of politics. Feel free to dig through the archives here to find those stories. He’s the wrong voice for health care. Or anything, really. He’s wrong for Kentucky and can’t beat Matt Bevin. [C-J/AKN]

Many of us have distinct memories of our own childhood homes. That’s not the case for hundreds of children trapped in Illinois psychiatric hospitals. [ProPublica]

Mark Filburn had a fairly simple message about preventing school shootings for the Interim Joint Education Committee Monday. [Ronnie Ellis]

Diplomacy cannot be dictated by “fits of anger”, French President Emmanuel Macron has warned after the G7 summit in Canada ended in acrimony. [BBC]

The Boyd County Public Library has purchased three acres in Summit and plans to build a branch on the land, director Debbie Cosper said. [Ashland Independent]

After failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act with a Republican-controlled Congress, the Trump administration is seizing on a different strategy for dismantling the law, one fraught with political risk. It is asking a court to throw out major elements, including hugely popular provisions that protect sick people from being denied health insurance or charged higher rates. [NY Times]

After he posed several questions about the proposed budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year for Glasgow government and proposed an amendment that failed with a tie-breaking vote by the mayor, Councilman Jake Dickinson cast the sole vote against the budget as a whole. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump’s last-minute refusal to sign a joint statement with America’s closest allies was met with shock but also resignation in Europe, where leaders have grudgingly accepted an increasingly isolated U.S. presence on the world stage. [WaPo]

The Louisville Metro Police Department has formally closed its sexual assault investigation into the late Kentucky state Rep. Dan Johnson, roughly five months after his death. [WFPL]

Hundreds of protesters, including survivors from two of Florida’s deadliest modern mass shootings, staged a rally in Orlando on Monday to call for tougher firearms restrictions two years after a gunman killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub. [Reuters]

The University of Kentucky is raising tuition for Kentucky students by the smallest amount in more than a decade, but the 2.5 percent increase will push the sticker price for undergraduate students above $12,000 a year. [H-L]

When Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced that the Trump administration would add a question asking about citizenship to the 2020 census in March, he pointed to a Census Bureau analysis saying there was no empirical evidence that adding the question would cause people not to respond to the survey. [HuffPo]

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WTF Is Going On At WKU, Folks?

Authorities reportedly planned to remove dogs Tuesday from a controversial shelter in Elliott County that the owner describes as a sanctuary for discarded animals but critics deride as an overcrowded mess where dogs don’t receive adequate care. [H-L]

Hondurans, Guatemalans and Salvadorans who drew the wrath of Donald Trump in a month-long caravan to the U.S. border will make hard decisions on Sunday whether to risk being deported all the way home by trying to cross, or to build a life in Mexico. [Reuters]

It’s always been about politics. Taking over JCPS was about politics a legislative session or two ago when Republicans last tried to screw with the school district. [C-J/AKN]

The long-suffering population of the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk has been the flashpoint of the government’s fight with the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS) in recent days, with catastrophic consequences for defenseless residents. [ThinkProgress]

Candidates running for County Attorney and County PVA, to be narrowed during May’s primary, spoke directly to voters Monday during Richmond Chamber of Commerce’s Meet the Candidates Community Forum at hosted at Eastern Kentucky University. [Richmond Register]

With less than 200 days until the midterm elections, Democrats are generally thought to have a slight advantage in the fight for control of the House. That doesn’t mean they are going to prevail. [NY Times]

Matt Bevin’s office formally announced that Louisville-based Alliant Technologies plans to invest nearly $1.19 million in Glasgow to establish a 30-job electrical panel fabrication facility. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Jessica Morales gets to Prairie Queen Elementary before the bell rings. In class, she is a lifeline for recent immigrant students, translating lessons they cannot understand. Last year, when a teacher had to leave school unexpectedly, Morales filled in, decorating the classroom, teaching the class, holding parent-teacher conferences. [WaPo]

The Rowan County Board of Education voted unanimously to name John Maxey as the district’s next superintendent. [The Morehead News]

How Russian Facebook ads divided and targeted US voters before the 2016 election. [Wired]

Western Kentucky University’s student body president-elect and executive vice president say they want to curb a “toxic environment” within the Student Government Association that made current SGA President Andi Dahmer fear for her safety. [BGDN]

A Russian mixed martial arts fighter who has connections with Donald Trump, the president’s personal attorney Michael Cohen and Russian President Vladimir Putin was questioned this week by the FBI, his manager confirmed Saturday. [TPM]

This should fail spectacularly. An MTV reality show set in Eastern Kentucky is set to debut this summer, and the mayor of the rural town does not want his town shown in a bad light. [H-L]

Jill Stein ended months of silence and speculation about her role in the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, announcing this week that she would not be complying with a documents request put forth by the Senate intelligence committee. [ThinkProgress]

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How On Earth Is It Only Wednesday?

When Dr. Harold Bornstein described in hyperbolic prose then-candidate Donald Trump’s health in 2015, the language he used was eerily similar to the style preferred by his patient. It turns out the patient himself wrote it, according to Bornstein. [CNN]

About a month after a state audit recommended increased supervision over the Pike County treasurer, a report from the Appalachian News-Express revealed the treasurer has failed to deposit about $1 million in checks paid to the county over the last 6 months. [H-L]

Literally the only person who is going to be against this is somebody who wants to protect payday lender profits. [HuffPo]

On a cricket field on the outskirts of Maysville, Kentucky, a mob in 1899 burned to death a young black man accused of raping and murdering the wife of a white farmer. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump’s physician Ronny Jackson on Thursday withdrew from consideration to head the Veterans Affairs department after allegations that he had been lax with prescription drugs and drank alcohol on the job. [Reuters]

A new report ranks Kentucky drivers among the 10 states with the most aggressive drivers. [Richmond Register]

Ilbouto Micheline began listing the countries represented by the little flags lined up on the mantelpiece of the former church rectory where she lives: Cameroon, Guatemala, Ethiopia. These are the places where Micheline’s current and former housemates fled from — immigrants who have won asylum from 42 countries over the past year. [ProPublica]

The incumbent representing Carter and Lawrence counties in the Kentucky House of Representatives is facing a Republican primary challenger in a race that will reflect some perennial issues and some that have been thrust into the political spotlight. [Ashland Independent]

Ann Jacks quit her job as a restaurant chef in North Carolina, started her own business and worked 80 hours a week for two years, before exhausting herself and her patience. [NY Times]

Matt Bevin Thursday vetoed five bills and part of a sixth but allowed a tax cleanup bill which corrected mistakes in a revenue bill he opposed to become law without his signature and didn’t veto last-minute “fixes” to the budget bill. [Ronnie Ellis]

It has faded into the background noise by now, as does anything in politics these days that’s older than about 12 hours. But it’s occasionally worth remembering that the president of the United States disparaged the news media as “the enemy of the American people” within his first month in office. [WaPo]

Preliminary set-up work for the construction of a swinging bridge to be built inside Hidden River Cave in downtown Horse Cave began Thursday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump suggested during an interview on Fox & Friends Thursday that he might become involved in the work of in his Justice Department—a threat that could signal a desire by the commander in chief to interfere with investigations into his campaign and business associates, as well as investigations relating to his perceived political enemies. [Mother Jones]

A white nationalist group claimed credit for hanging a “patriot, hero, statesman” sign to replace a plaque removed from the statue of Confederate president Jefferson Davis in the Kentucky Capitol Rotunda. [H-L]

A memorial honoring thousands of black people who were lynched in the United States in the decades following the Civil War opened on Thursday in Montgomery, Alabama. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Keep Losing To Beshear

***Care about the future of Kentucky? Help us cover FOIA and open records request fees relating to Matt Bevin and Jamie Comer.*** [CLICK HERE]

Comedian Michelle Wolf took the bold route during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday night. [YouTube]

The General Assembly has adjourned, and thousands of protesting teachers have left the Capitol and gone back to their classrooms. But the battle for public schools and universities in Kentucky has just begun. [Tom Eblen]

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is proposing to increase rent for millions of low-income tenants in government-subsidized housing and impose stricter work requirements. [HuffPo]

A robbery suspect fleeing from police Tuesday was shot at more than 20 times and killed by three officers and one detective from Louisville Metro Police’s First Division, according to police body camera videos. [C-J/AKN]

A federal judge has blocked Donald Trump’s administration from terminating grants issued through a teen pregnancy prevention program, marking the third time in a week that a court has held that the administration’s 2017 decision was unlawful. [Reuters]

Madison County Board of Education approved in a special-called meeting Wednesday to enter into a contract with the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA) for services in finding a new superintendent, as current Superintendent Elmer Thomas has announced his final day will be June 30. [Richmond Register]

The U.S. Department of Education was investigating why black students in Bryan, Texas, are almost four times as likely as white students to be suspended. Then Betsy DeVos took over. [ProPublica]

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear can continue to pursue his challenge to a pension reform bill passed by the 2018 General Assembly. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump made two significant legal errors during a Fox & Friends phone interview on Thursday morning, during which he became audibly agitated about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation — at one point yelling about FBI raids on his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and his personal attorney, Michael Cohen. [ThinkProgress]

The Barren County Economic Authority appears to have a buyer for its 80,100-square-foot speculative building in Highland Glen Industrial Park, and it’s a company that already has a presence here. [Glasgow Daily Times]

When you have the best known name in your congressional district and your younger brother is a heartbeat away from the presidency, it is difficult to run a stealth campaign. But Greg Pence is doing a pretty good job of it. [NY Times]

The Kentucky Labor Cabinet has filed suit against the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting to prevent releasing details about employees accused of sexual harassment — the second state agency to sue KyCIR in the last month. [WFPL]

As views shift on the decriminalization of marijuana, and current and former lawmakers question existing drug laws, the fact that people of color, particularly from low-income communities, are still suffering consequences from decades-old marijuana laws is deeply concerning, critics say. [WaPo]

The former pension fund manager who once lived in a multimillion-dollar house in Bourbon County was sentenced Wednesday to more than three years in prison for money laundering and the theft of $600,000 from two employee pension plans. [H-L]

Scott Pruitt, the embattled Environmental Protection Agency administrator, admitted Thursday that he signed off on controversial five-figure raises for political appointees, contradicting statements he made in a tense Fox News interview earlier this month. [HuffPo]

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Democrats Are Once Again Gearing Up To Probably Lose To Andy Barr

It’s a journalism cliche to say political candidates “traded barbs” during a debate. On Monday, the candidates running to represent Central Kentucky’s Sixth Congressional District traded unsharpened pencils. [H-L]

Black students and students with disabilities routinely receive harsher punishments at school than their peers. But the Education Department is considering eliminating civil rights guidance designed to stymie these disparities ― even as data released Tuesday illustrates the scope of the problem. [HuffPo]

Kentucky State Police said it plans to appeal a recent attorney general’s decision that stated the agency violated open records law when it denied Courier Journal requests for a database of arrest and traffic citations. [C-J/AKN]

Trump administration officials rejected recommendations from federal experts on Indian gaming policy when they blocked two American Indian tribes from opening a casino in Connecticut last year. [Politico]

After the Board of Regents denied allegations of violating the Kentucky Open Meetings Act during its closed session on March 19, The Eastern Progress submitted an appeal to the Kentucky Attorney General’s office on April 17. [Richmond Register]

Wells Fargo has been fined a record $1bn by two US regulators to resolve investigations into car insurance and mortgage lending breaches. [BBC]

A cut in state funding, a downward enrollment trend and requirements that pin some of the state money to performance benchmarks have left Ashland Community and Technical College with one of the thinnest budgets yet. [Ashland Independent]

The European Union and Mexico on Saturday announced a major update to their existing free trade pact signed nearly two decades ago, a development that will allow almost all goods, including agricultural products, to move between Europe and Mexico duty-free. The deal, which has yet to be formally signed, is expected to increase trade in dairy, pork, services, digital goods and medicines between the economies. It will also give Mexico greater access to an advanced consumer market, as negotiations with the Trump administration over the modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement still appear to be on uncertain ground. [NY Times]

A Louisville-based company that plans to add a new location in Glasgow for its operations has already been approved for state financial incentives and has cleared the first few hurdles for local enticements. Alliant Technologies is a “full-service controls company that designs, manufactures and commissions automation systems for the freight and parcel, airport baggage handling, and warehouse distribution markets,” according to its website. It also has locations in Dallas and Ontario, Canada. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Ohio, a state where 4,329 people died of drug overdoses in 2016, a death rate second only to neighboring West Virginia, is taking the fight against the opioid epidemic into the classroom with a new style of drug-abuse-prevention education. [WaPo]

A new analysis from a national nonprofit research organization finds Louisville has gained some ground over the past three decades when it comes to shrinking inequality between the richest and poorest city residents. But sizable gaps still remain between white residents and those of color. [WFPL]

Donald Trump is increasingly relying on his personal cell phone to contact outside advisers, multiple sources inside and outside the White House told CNN, as Trump returns to the free-wheeling mode of operation that characterized the earliest days of his administration. [CNN]

Officials at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky plan to dedicate a trail that has been made more accessible for people with disabilities.

When Lorena Sanabria, who survived a shooting that left 17 people dead at her Florida high school, awoke on her 17th birthday this month, the first thing that crossed her mind was: “I’m one year closer to being able to vote.” [More WaPo]

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KRS Trustees Are Still Shady As Hell

The Kentucky Retirement Systems Board of Trustees voted unanimously Thursday to not join a lawsuit filed by eight public employees alleging that several major investment firms cheated it on up to $1.5 billion in hedge fund investments, with blame to be shared by some of its own current and former trustees and officials. [John Cheves]

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted on Saturday that a source quoted in her story derided by Donald Trump as a “drunk/drugged up loser” is likely former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg. [HuffPo]

In a definitive win for open records advocates, the state attorney general’s office has found Kentucky State Police violated the state public records law by denying Courier Journal requests for the agency’s database of arrest and traffic citations. [C-J/AKN]

Jeff Sessions, miniature human but full-sized racist, wants to remove domestic abuse as a legal justification for seeking asylum. [Politico]

White Hall State Historic Site is set to break ground Saturday for the first hemp crop grown on the property since the early 19th century. The inaugural plot will be featured on the Heritage Hemp Trail, and showcased during events and tours. [Richmond Register]

Schoolchildren across the US walked out of their classrooms on Friday morning to demonstrate against gun violence. The National School Walkout marked the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado. [BBC]

Carter County residents stood in a line that stretched out the door and down the hallway as they waited for their turn to receive vaccinations against the Hepatitis A virus at the Carter County Health Department on Thursday. [Ashland Independent]

Memos written by the former F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, that were released on Thursday revealed several new details about his relationship with Donald Trump and the president’s first chief of staff, Reince Priebus. [NY Times]

Rowan County Fiscal Court has decided against any further discussion about potentially contracting out the services of the Tri-County Animal Shelter. [The Morehead News]

Keith Davidson, the former attorney for two women who were paid to keep quiet about their alleged affairs with Donald Trump, has been contacted by federal authorities investigating Trump attorney Michael Cohen and is cooperating with them, a spokesman for Davidson confirmed. [WaPo]

Jeff Hoover, the former Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives, and three other lawmakers paid $110,000 last fall to settle a sexual harassment claim by a young female legislative aide against the backdrop of a national debate about sexual harassment. And Julian Carroll did more than “grope” a man – it was on tape and the victim went public. [Ronnie Ellis]

Judge James Ho has been a federal judge for only a few months. Until Wednesday, he had never handed down a judicial opinion in his life. But the Trump appointee’s very first opinion, a dissent calling for a sweeping assault on campaign contribution limits, is a doozy. [ThinkProgress]

Andy Barr couldn’t get a word in. “Some of you agree with what I’m doing in Washington,” Barr said in Richmond, where the crowd often booed him. “A lot of you do.” That statement will be put to the test in November. [H-L]

Ahead of a tight primary on May 8, Dennis Kucinich’s bid to win the Democratic nomination for the critical gubernatorial race in Ohio landed in trouble this week because of the revelation that he was paid $20,000 last year by a group sympathetic to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. Now, largely overlooked election filings show that the former congressman’s political apparatus received thousands of more dollars from two brothers involved in multiple efforts to bring Kucinich and Assad together since 2007. [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin Is Gutting Public Education

Matt Bevin and former House Speaker Jeff Hoover scrapped Friday as the House voted to override Bevin’s veto of the state tax bill, with Hoover knocking Bevin’s attempted education budget cuts and Bevin hitting Hoover for a sex harassment scandal. [H-L]

Donald Trump’s sudden decision not to impose tough new sanctions on Russia left many lawmakers dumbfounded this week and led some to question whether Trump had seriously undermined Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who had announced the sanctions just a day prior. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin’s statement on the effect of teacher protests and rallies on the state’s children is prompting outrage among state officials — including members of his own party. [C-J/AKN]

A major donor with close ties to the White House resigned on Friday as deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee after the revelation that he had agreed to pay $1.6 million to a former Playboy model who became pregnant during an affair. [NY Times]

Attorneys for Matt Bevin filed a motion Tuesday in Franklin Circuit Court seeking to disqualify Attorney General Andy Beshear in a suit filed by Beshear challenging the constitutionality of a recently passed law which makes changes to Kentucky’s public pension systems. [Ronnie Ellis]

Demoralized by rounds of job cuts, journalists at San Jose’s Mercury News and East Bay Times in Oakland, Calif., took their case to the public last month. At a rally in Oakland, they handed out a fact sheet detailing the “pillaging” of their papers, accompanied by a cartoon of a business executive trying to milk an emaciated cow. [WaPo]

Due to an ongoing outbreak of Hepatitis A, the Department for Public Health (DPH) within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), is recommending vaccination for everyone residing in Boyd, Greenup and Carter Counties. [Ashland Independent]

Don Blankenship… hahahahahahahahahahaha,. Just move all beverages away from your computer before clicking the clicky [ThinkProgress]

State lawmakers put the finishing touches on the General Assembly’s 2018 session by overriding gubernatorial vetoes, most notably on the state budget and tax reform legislation, and passing bills right up to the session’s final hours. [The Morehead News]

Barbara Bush, former US first lady and literacy campaigner, has died aged 92. [BBC]

Pruitt was terrible and needed to go but his replacement is going to be a nightmare. It didn’t take long for the newly configured state Board of Education, whose members have now all been appointed by Gov. Matt Bevin, to change directions. [More Ronnie Ellis]

The parents of a 17-year-old student who was shot five times as he shielded others during the Parkland, Florida high school mass shooting on Tuesday filed the first lawsuit on behalf of a victim in the massacre that killed 17 people and wounded 17 others. [Reuters]

Lexington is still arguing about dogs. Because there’s obviously nothing more important going on. [H-L]

This guy did exactly what Steve Henry did! The Missouri attorney general’s office has uncovered “evidence of potential criminal acts of wrongdoing” by Gov. Eric Greitens, Attorney General Josh Hawley announced Tuesday. At issue, Hawley said, is an electronic donor list Greitens obtained from a Missouri nonprofit called The Mission Continues. [HuffPo]

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