No Puppies & Rainbows Here Today

HELP PROTECT OUR SOURCES! Stop the Montgomery County-Joshua Powell-Phil Rison insanity! [CLICK HERE]

The Kentucky Kernel, the University of Kentucky’s independent campus newspaper, announced Monday that it will cut production of the print newspaper from five days a week to two in an effort to put more emphasis on its online products. [H-L]

This is just… sick. Two beloved Virginia journalists were shot and killed Wednesday morning when a gunman opened fire in a shocking moment caught on live television. [HuffPo]

A wildlife research organization that studies the expanding range of cougars in North America has come to a different conclusion from the one offered by state authorities on how an ill-fated mountain lion made its way into Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

Here’s a real ruh ro moment for a few legislators… The chief executive of Rentboy.com and six employees running the website were arrested Tuesday and charged with promoting prostitution under the federal Travel Act. [The Hill]

The high fence surrounding a Purdue University research farm here was installed to keep out pesky deer, but this summer it served a second purpose: Keeping federal drug agents at bay. The research farm, 10 miles south of Purdue’s West Lafayette campus, is home to the first legally grown industrial hemp crop in Indiana in decades. [News & Tribune]

Often maligned for speaking too frankly, Vice President Joe Biden’s reputation for shooting from the lip might be one of his biggest weapons if he does decide to run against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. [Reuters]

Three Kentuckians made Modern Healthcare’s “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” list. [Business First]

Across the country, those who support abortion rights and those who oppose them are feuding in court over how much information should be disclosed about women undergoing abortions. Supporters say there’s no margin for error. Opponents say it’s about ensuring quality care. [ProPublica]

House Speaker Greg Stumbo will propose a constitutional amendment that would allow as many as seven casinos to open in Kentucky, with tax revenue from the businesses dedicated to public education, boosting the racing industry and shoring up the state’s ailing retirement system. [WFPL]

By 2050, an area of forests the size of India is set to be wiped off the planet if humans continue on their current path of deforestation, according to a new report. That’s bad news for the creatures that depend on these forest ecosystems for survival, but it’s also bad news for the climate, as the loss of these forests will release more than 100 gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. [ThinkProgress]

Only the Madison County School Board and the fiscal court as well as the cities of Richmond and Berea, have not set property tax rates for 2015. [Richmond Register]

NPR’S Audie Cornish talks to Megan Greene, managing director and chief economist at Manulife, about how the interest rate hike will affect mortgages, auto and student loans, and consumer behavior. [NPR]

Visitors entering the Georgetown Police Department’s new $5 million headquarters on Bourbon Street might notice two details. [H-L]

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest renewed the Obama administration’s call for Congress to take action on gun control after a gunman shot and killed a reporter and cameraman during a live television broadcast on Wednesday. [HuffPo]

There’s A Literal Stink In Bullitt County

HELP PROTECT OUR SOURCES! Stop the Montgomery County-Joshua Powell-Phil Rison insanity! [CLICK HERE]

A group of University of Kentucky trustees upheld the proposed revocation of a longtime surgeon’s clinical privileges Monday but modified the decision to allow him access to campus as a tenured professor. [H-L]

Fast-food workers who are hoping to raise the minimum wage will find an ally in the Obama White House this week, with Labor Secretary Tom Perez traveling to Detroit on Tuesday to show his solidarity with the so-called Fight for $15. [HuffPo]

The owner of a failed private wastewater treatment plant that serves more than 700 homes in Bullitt County filed papers late Friday to walk away from the system that’s caused raw sewage to flow into a tributary of popular Floyds Fork for 17 months since a massive tank breakdown. [C-J/AKN]

A U.S. appeals court said the Federal Trade Commission has authority to regulate corporate cybersecurity, and may pursue a lawsuit accusing hotel operator Wyndham Worldwide Corp of failing to properly safeguard consumers’ information. [Reuters]

Berea Mayor Steve Connelly called for changes in city personnel policy after several police officers questioned the fairness of recent salary increases. At the Berea City Council meeting Tuesday, Connelly proposed revising the procedure for employee evaluation and awarding raises. [Richmond Register]

It’s now or never for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. That appears to be the view of his wealthy super-PAC backers, who are spending fast and hard to keep Christie in contention for the Republican presidential nomination. [The Hill]

A company offered a proposal to Barren County Fiscal Court on Tuesday to allow it to do a free evaluation of the county’s energy efficiency. [Glasgow Daily Times]

There’s an old saying in journalism that there are no new stories, everything’s been done before, ProPublica’s Joe Sexton says. But when he came across “The Outlaw Ocean,” investigative reporter Ian Urbina’s latest series for The New York Times, he couldn’t help but be “genuinely jealous” of the intriguing, outrageous world he uncovered. [ProPublica]

An Ashland man who until recently lived in Medellin, Colombia, is among defendants accused of selling millions of dollars worth of untaxed cigarettes from a Russell storefront. David White, who is free on bond and living with a friend in Ashland pending his January trial date, posted information about his arrest and alleged part in the cigarette scheme on Facebook and spoke on Friday to a reporter from The Independent. [Ashland Independent]

Scientists in the US have found a way to take carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air and make carbon nanofibres, a valuable manufacturing material. [BBC]

Rowan Fiscal Court agreed Tuesday to an inter-local agreement with the City of Morehead to form a city-county recreation commission. [The Morehead News]

After her two leading rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination became targets of the Black Lives Matter movement, Hillary Clinton came armed with policy arguments when she met with members of the African-American activist group last week. [Mother Jones]

Mathieux Saint Fleur has been virtually blind for two decades. In less than 24 hours, he will see again. [H-L]

Students in America’s schools are much, much poorer than they were nine years ago. In 2006, 31 percent of America’s students attended schools in “high-poverty” districts, meaning that 20 percent or more of the district’s students lived below the federal poverty line. [HuffPo]

Post-Holiday Hangover? Read This Crap

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul led a successful effort to block renewal of the Patriot Act early Saturday morning, followed by a deeply divided Senate leaving Washington without taking action on the National Security Agency’s soon-to-expire power to collect Americans’ phone records. [H-L]

Some electronic cigarette companies say that their products help people quit smoking, but the evidence to back up this claim is lacking, a new study finds. [HuffPo]

Republican state Sen. Brandon Smith has been acquitted of driving under the influence of alcohol. [C-J/AKN]

A federal judge on Thursday reaffirmed her earlier ruling that same-sex couples in Alabama have a right to wed under the Constitution, but she put the ruling on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court issues a landmark decision on gay marriage. [Reuters]

Roughly 17 months since the enterprise’s first summit started the conversation and began asking the tough questions, Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) returned to Pikeville for another summit, this time to provide insight and answers. [Hazard Herald]

The voicemail message was like so many others from my mom. “Hi, it’s mom,” she began, then chatted on, full Jewish mother in her distinctive gravelly timbre. “There’s a storm coming your way…Please drive very carefully….Love you. Bye.” [ProPublica]

It’s time for a reminder about Adam Edelen and educational audits. An audit is NOT a forensic accounting investigation. It’s typically a random sampling that gets reviewed unless specific concerns are brought to light. Or, in the case of Montgomery County, not. Because specific concerns were deliberately ignored by Edelen’s team. When he says there was no fraud discovered? Remember: not a forensic accounting, not an in-depth investigation of every nook and cranny. [Business First]

Arizona’s legislature has decided to try to plug a $1 billion budget deficit in part by kicking people off of welfare after just 12 months, the strictest time limit in the country. Sounds like something Frankfort would try. [Think Progress]

More than 50 community members gathered Wednesday to formulate an action plan to improve the health of Madison County residents in three areas – mental health and healthy lifestyle choices as well as alcohol, tobacco and other drug dependency. [Richmond Register]

The sleepy United States senators thought they were done voting. But then, around 1 a.m. on the Saturday before Memorial Day, Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky and presidential candidate, marched spryly to the Senate floor to let it be known that, no, he would not agree to extend the federal government’s bulk collection of phone records program. Not even for one day. [NY Times]

Bradley Lewis has resigned as a sergeant at the Glasgow Police Department, according to information released Friday by interim GPD Chief James Duff. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Mitch McConnell stood at his desk on the Senate floor after 1 a.m. Saturday, the eyes of his colleagues trained on him. He seemed bewildered. [WaPo]

We’ll miss the voice of Merlene Davis and wish her the best! It has been suggested that with this farewell column I should burn bridges and drop the mic. A couple of years ago, I might have done just that. But I’m a bit tired now, weakened by the weight of mirrors I’ve tried to hold up to politicians, school administrators, conservatives, liberals, Democrats and Republicans, neighbors and friends. I’m running out of ways to say the same thing. [Merlene Davis]

A revealing conversation on the Senate floor Thursday showed precisely how secretive President Barack Obama’s pending trade deals are, and the absurdity of arguments to the contrary. [HuffPo]

It’s Post-Primary Hangover Time!

You should check out this interactive map of last night’s vote results from across Kentucky. [H-L]

As much as journalists may fancy themselves superhuman observers of history, the truth is that we are as susceptible to trauma as the victims whose stories we tell. [HuffPo]

A Franklin County grand jury Tuesday indicted former Buffalo Trace Distillery security guard Leslie M. Wright, 34, of Frankfort, on charges of being paid to look the other way as barrels were stolen for what authorities say was a bourbon theft criminal syndicate. [C-J/AKN]

Kentucky hates old people. States with at least 40 percent of homes ranked on the bottom two rungs include North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. [Newsweek]

The real reason Republicans running for governor didn’t have in-depth discussions is because two of the candidates were incapable. The other two, one a former state supreme court justice and the other, an evangelical extremist who is overcompensating like woah, have never been outside their respective bubbles. Ever. [Eye Roll]

After winning reelection and control of the U.S. Senate, Republican Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., appointed Hazen Marshall, a lobbyist for Koch Industries, as his new policy chief. [The Intercept]

A historic case against the iconic Wagner’s Pharmacy near Churchill Downs is likely to end, since the Kentucky Supreme Court has ruled that morbid obesity is not a state-protected disability. [Business First]

The White House on Monday called the fall of Ramadi to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) a “setback,” but vowed the U.S. is determined to help retake the Iraqi city. [The Hill]

An online fundraising campaign was successful for the Louisville businessman who is set to buy Guntown Mountain, the Western-themed roadside attraction in Cave City. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Obese young adults may be more likely to have a stroke than people who aren’t overweight, a U.S. study suggests. [Reuters]

His first four and a half months in office have included two record-breaking winter storms, two instances of flooding, collapsed bridges and the arrest of a Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program employee on forgery and theft charges. “All that’s missing is for a plague of locusts to hit Madison County, and we would have faced all possible challenges,” Madison Judge/Executive Reagan Taylor said Friday in his first State of the County address. [Richmond Register]

Millions of Americans use GlaxoSmithKline’s purple inhaler. But whether Advair poses a higher risk of asthma-related death remains uncertain 15 years after regulators approved the drug. [ProPublica]

The University of Kentucky has begun a sweeping overhaul of its body bequeathal program after finding numerous problems with its administration and oversight, including a three to five year delay in burying the remains of people who’d given their bodies for scientific research. The overhaul includes eliminating the position of program director Gary Ginn, who is also the Fayette County Coroner. [H-L]

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg officiated a same-sex wedding over the weekend, and according to New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, the Notorious R.B.G. gave a big shout-out to the U.S. Constitution. [HuffPo]

Better Late Than Never, Huh, Newsies?

Ruh ro, the newspaper finally started to cover what we’ve been reporting for two years. And this bit about the school board seeking permission to fire Joshua Powell only comes a couple weeks late. [H-L]

Luisa Cintron, 25, is sitting up as straight as she can, perched on the edge of the neatly made bed that doubles as a couch inside her dimly lit apartment. She is wearing a sweater and slacks, talking about the government program that she says changed her life, and trying — without much success — not to get distracted by the 4-year-old talking loudly about Batman in the next room. [HuffPo]

Here’s the deal: We all know Whitney Westerfield is just upset that Jack Conway doesn’t hate gay people. Whitney, insecure in his own life, body and existence, projects his perceived failures as a man onto Jack. It’s a real shame because it makes him look dumber than he really is. Folks can hate Jack all they want but he’s not a bigot. [C-J/AKN]

President Obama’s approval ratings have reached their highest mark in almost two years, according to a new poll from CNN/ORC. [The Hill]

Looks like the Harlan County Fiscal Court has a bit of a problem on its hands in the latest audit. [External PDF Link]

Looks like the damage the Robert Felner crony caused in Los Angeles is finally beginning to be cleaned up. [Reuters]

Annual unemployment rates were lower in all 120 Kentucky counties in 2014 than in 2013, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. [Press Release]

Over the past several weeks, Republicans—at least those running for president—seem to have discovered the vexing issues of income and wealth inequality. [Politico]

The man known as the Duct Tape Bandit pleaded guilty to robbery Friday under an agreement that will likely put him behind bars for close to 15 years, according to Boyd County Commonwealth’s Attorney David Justice. [Ashland Independent]

Most people can’t imagine living without smartphones or the Internet, let alone without electricity. But even today — even in the United States — there are still people who live without lights and refrigeration. [NPR]

Kentucky House of Representatives Speaker Greg Stumbo has appointed state Rep. Rita Smart, D-Richmond, as the co-chair of the General Assembly’s newly created Subcommittee on Tourism Development. [Richmond Register]

The St Louis Post-Dispatch has won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the Ferguson shooting and unrest. [BBC]

A New York financier who stole millions of dollars from the Kentucky Retirement Systems will serve two to six years in prison. [H-L]

This time, Hillary Rodham Clinton wants to be on liberals’ good side. As a presidential candidate in 2008, she opposed gay marriage, equivocated on granting driver’s licenses to people who were living in the U.S. illegally and endured heavy criticism from rival Barack Obama over her stance on campaign finance. [HuffPo]

How Does Brandon Find The Time?

April Corman Colyer says her father always told her and her siblings that the farm he and they grew up on and gradually expanded to more than 1,200 acres would never be developed or sold out of the family. [H-L]

The Baghdad bureau chief for Reuters has left Iraq after he was threatened on Facebook and denounced by a Shi’ite paramilitary group’s satellite news channel in reaction to a Reuters report last week that detailed lynching and looting in the city of Tikrit. [HuffPo]

The briefs range from the wacky to the mainstream, from the profound to the ridiculous. [C-J/AKN]

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Friday laughed off suggestions that using gentler rhetoric would improve her relationship with big banks. [The Hill]

The Bellefonte Country Club played host to a crowd of women – plus Republican governor candidate Will T. Scott – all speaking on behalf of their male counterparts that are running for Kentucky’s high office in this year’s GOP primary. [Ashland Independent]

In the past few years, students at hundreds of colleges and universities have started pushing their schools to divest from fossil fuel companies as a way to slow climate change. [NPR]

The Kentucky Court of Appeals has vacated, or overturned, a domestic violence order that was issued against a man who was at the time a Glasgow Police Department sergeant. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The iconic name Brontosaurus, once used to describe a family of huge dinosaurs, has been resurrected after being killed off more than a century ago. [BBC]

Brandon Smith is taking time out of his busy days of drinking, driving and allegedly sleeping his way through every woman in Frankfort to pretend to be involved with the Southern Legislative Conference. [Hazard Herald]

Seattle restaurant data demolishes wingnut arguments against a $15 minimum wage. [Think Progress]

An Eastern Kentucky nurse is suing the state for not allowing her to take addiction medicine like Suboxone or Vivitrol while she’s out of jail on bond. [WFPL]

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Floriduh told top donors on Monday that he will run for the White House because he is “uniquely qualified” to represent the Republican Party in the 2016 presidential race, the Associated Press reported. [Reuters]

The U.S. Forest Service is halting new timber sales at Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. [H-L]

The Affordable Care Act was designed to slash the percentage of Americans who lack health insurance, and it’s working. The uninsured rate fell to 11.9 percent during the first quarter of this year, 1 percentage point below the rate at the close of 2014, according to the findings of a Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index poll. [HuffPo]

WKU Did A Thing That Is Pretty Great

University of Kentucky graduate Reginald Smith Jr. was one of five winners Sunday in the final round of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. [H-L]

Deception is deception. And, as with Congressman Mark Foley, whom reporters later admitted they knew was gay even as he voted for the Defense of Marriage Act a decade before he resigned in disgrace after a scandal involving male pages in 2006, had reporters exposed Schock’s deception earlier, they might have stopped the later corruption. In both cases I believe the media is implicated in the ongoing corruption by looking the other way on this particular type of deception earlier on, not seeing it as valid. [HuffPo]

There has been some very sobering science news breaking on climate change lately, but what came out of Western Kentucky University is not among those depressing headlines. [C-J/AKN]

The United States assured Afghanistan’s leaders on Monday it would keep funding Afghan security forces at a targeted peak level of 352,000 personnel at least into 2017 to provide stability as foreign troops withdraw from the country. [Reuters]

When settlers made their way to Kentucky overland from North Carolina and what is now eastern Tennessee, they followed a “trace” that Daniel Boone and a party of men in 1775 marked by blazing trees with axes. [Richmond Register]

An influential coalition of the biggest liberal donors is quietly distancing itself from the national Democratic Party and planning to push its leaders — including Hillary Clinton — to the left. The Democracy Alliance funders club at a private April gathering in San Francisco is set to unveil a five-year plan to boost causes on which some of its members contend leading Democrats like Clinton have been insufficiently aggressive. [Politico]

The housekeeping team in Rhonda Bloss’s office worked quietly and efficiently, wielding broom, dustpan, spritzer bottle and cleaning rag to sweep her floor and wipe her desk clean. [Ashland Independent]

The number of new diabetes cases identified among poor Americans has surged in states that have embraced the Affordable Care Act, but not in those that have not, a new study has found, suggesting that the health care law may be helping thousands of people get earlier treatment for one of this country’s costliest medical conditions. [NY Times]

Following an executive session Tuesday, Rowan Fiscal Court authorized Judge-Executive Walter Blevins to make an offer on a tract of property to be used as the site of a new detention center. [The Morehead News]

Every now and then, the universe rises to make clear the enormity of its size — and our relative place in it. One such moment was in February 2013, when an asteroid exploded over the Russian city of Urals, inflicting panic, broken windows and injuries upon more than 1,000 people. People were stunned by what happened, but one asteroid expert named Andrew Glikson was watching from Australia, thinking it could have been much worse. [WaPo]

A Frankfort man says he was protecting his grandchildren from a being kidnapped when he shot a stranger on Saturday evening. “He said that God sent him to get one of the kids,” Redmon told LEX 18’s Josh Breslow. “I’m thinking the man’s crazy and he’s going to hurt one of my grandkids.” [WLEX18]

Republican Ted Cruz has made individual liberty the key theme of his presidential campaign announcement. It’s just a shame he can’t spell “liberty” and is crazier than a shithouse rat. [BBC]

When the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business publishes its annual Kentucky Economic Report, most people just pay attention to the front of the book, which predicts whether the state’s economy will rise or fall, and by how much. [Tom Eblen]

California Gov. Jerry Brown said Sunday that it is a “disgrace” that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to thwart the Obama administration’s plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. [HuffPo]