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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Don’t Hold Your Breath On Broadband

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Sad about the cuts to higher education in Kentucky? There’s a funeral for that. [H-L]

It’s been almost two decades, but Jerome Rose still remembers his one and only brush with Donald Trump like it was yesterday. A fire in Rose’s South Park Tower apartment building had just killed four of his neighbors. [HuffPo]

Yetter is full of it and likely pulling a fast one. That’s not okay. The good old days of politics in education didn’t disappear under Steve Beshear and no one believes that unless they just haven’t been paying attention. Does no one remember Terry Holliday and the nightmares he okayed? Hellur? I got the guy fired. Matt Bevin’s crew is garbage – no question – but come on. Yetter reads this stuff, she knows what’s occurred, she just refuses to acknowledge it because it upsets her that it often reveals Democratic Party corruption. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump told former FBI Director James Comey that he didn’t stay in Russia overnight during his 2013 visit to the country — part of his explanation for why the salacious allegations from the Steele dossier couldn’t be true, according to the Comey memos that were released Thursday evening. But public evidence — from previous news reports, as well as NBC News’ own reporting — strongly suggests that Trump did stay at least one night in Moscow in November 2013. [NBC News]

Kentucky farmers plan to grow the lowest amount of burley tobacco on record this year, according to a new report. [Richmond Register]

Rex Tillerson’s team was fighting again. “So, who’s going to go in with him?” Margaret Peterlin, his chief of staff, was saying. She looked me up and down with an expression that suggested she’d discovered a pest in the house. [New Yorker]

Surely no one is holding their breath. Construction crews will begin installing a fiber optic infrastructure in Boyd County this summer as part of the long-discussed Kentucky Wired high-speed internet project, according to a project liaison. [Ashland Independent]

The National Rifle Association (NRA) doesn’t want to talk about its relationship with Russia. For months, the gun lobby has avoided questions from lawmakers on its ties to Russian officials specifically sanctioned by Washington — all the more after the NRA’s primary contact in Russia, Alexander Torshin, was named in the latest round of U.S. sanctions. [ThinkProgress]

A Franklin Circuit Judge said Thursday he wants to proceed expeditiously toward a ruling in a suit challenging the legality and constitutionality of a pension reform bill recently enacted by the Kentucky General Assembly. [Ronnie Ellis]

Trump administration officials, seeking ways to lower drug costs, are targeting pharmaceutical companies that refuse to provide samples of their products to generic drug companies, making it impossible to create inexpensive generic copies of a brand-name medicine. [NY Times]

More cases in Hart Circuit Court were dismissed Friday on motions by the commonwealth regarding matters involving the Horse Cave Police Department. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Democratic National Committee filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit Friday against the Russian government, the Trump campaign and the WikiLeaks organization alleging a far-reaching conspiracy to disrupt the 2016 campaign and tilt the election to Donald Trump. [WaPo]

Gross. The polarizing nominee to lead the CIA is an avid University of Kentucky basketball fan, but she’s also been called “the head cheerleader of waterboarding” by one of the state’s Republican U.S. senators. [H-L]

A heavily militarized police force of some 400 officers aggressively patrolled a small neo-Nazi rally in this city 40 miles southwest of Atlanta on Saturday and arrested about 10 counterprotesters, many for the crime of wearing a mask. [HuffPo]

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Surprise! Republicans Just Screwed You

A new study of the tax bill rushed through the Kentucky General Assembly Monday shows the changes it makes to the tax code are likely to lower taxes for the wealthy while raising taxes for 95 percent of Kentuckians. [H-L]

Bernice King had just turned five when she learned of her father’s assassination. It was 7:01 p.m. in Memphis when Martin Luther King Jr. was shot, close to her bedtime, so she didn’t know about the tragedy until the next day. [HuffPo]

When a community cares more about sports than academics, it’s probably diseased. No one should be surprised. Since that community supported con artists like Jim Ramsey and Robert Felner for years and years. [C-J/AKN]

Here’s looking at you, Matt Bevin, Hal Heiner and the rest of the Six Flags Over Jesus charlatans in Louisville. California Democrats want to make ‘conversion’ therapy consumer fraud. “Courts have found that claims that sexual orientation change efforts are effective in changing an individual’s sexual orientation constitute unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent business practices under state consumer protection laws.” [Rewire & SPLC]

Bruised by their fight over pensions, Kentucky teachers are mobilizing like never before to support legislative candidates who pass a key political test: support for public education. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump does not like the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. “It’s a horrible law,” Trump has said. The FCPA makes it a crime for U.S. companies to bribe foreign officials, or to partner with others who are clearly doing so. [ProPublica]

The Kentucky Army National Guard has installed a new solar panel array at its field maintenance shop on Summit Road in Boyd County. [The Morehead News]

On Thursday night, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt’s point person for the EPA’s Superfund program failed to show up at a scheduled meeting with residents of a West Virginia town contaminated by toxic chemicals. [ThinkProgress]

More than 30 crafters and vendors from across the region will participate in the fourth annual Morehead Kentucky Proud Expo next weekend at the Morehead Conference Center. [The Morehead News]

This is what Republicans want. Inside a private prison: blood, suicide and poorly paid guards. On the witness stand and under pressure, Frank Shaw, the warden of the East Mississippi Correctional Facility, could not guarantee that the prison was capable of performing its most basic function. [NY Times]

Western Kentucky University announced in February that it would return its regional campuses in Glasgow, Owensboro and Elizabethtown to the Division of Extended Learning and Outreach (DELO) due to the university facing a $15 million budget shortfall. [Glasgow Daily Times]

In the five decades since Martin Luther King Jr. was shot dead by an assassin at age 39, his children have worked tirelessly to preserve his legacy, sometimes with sharply different views on how best to do that. But they are unanimous on one key point: James Earl Ray did not kill Martin Luther King. [WaPo]

On the same day thousands of teachers descended on the Capitol to protest a surprise pension bill passed late last week, the legislature presented them with another surprise Monday: the most significant change to Kentucky’s tax code in more than a decade. [H-L]

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement sent more than 40 Cambodians, many of whom were refugees, back to Cambodia this week. [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin Doesn’t Care About Kids

Here’s your regular reminder that Matt Bevin doesn’t actually give a flip about the foster care system. He could afford to buy his children from a foreign country (don’t even try to act like that’s not what happened – wealthy people do it all the time to avoid government scrutiny from the social services system and because they’re impatient) and hasn’t really given much thought to what goes on at home. He and his wife put on little shows here and there to feign empathy but if they truly gave a flip? Stuff like this wouldn’t occur. [H-L]

Several days after a former Russian spy and his daughter were found catatonic on a bench in Salisbury, England, British, Prime Minister Theresa May revealed that the pair had been poisoned by a rare and highly-deadly nerve agent known as Novichok. The revelation prompted U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to say the poisoning “clearly came from Russia.” Novichok, he added, is a military-grade agent found “only in the hands of a very, very limited number of parties.” [HuffPo]

Donald Trump’s decision to slap tariffs on imported steel and aluminum triggered cheers at Kentucky aluminum and steel mills — and a far more somber reaction from bourbon distillers and manufacturing businesses. [C-J/AKN]

An adviser to the United Arab Emirates with ties to current and former aides to Donald Trump is cooperating with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and gave testimony last week to a grand jury, according to two people familiar with the matter. [NY Times]

Boyd County and Fairview Independent schools will soon have more law enforcement officers on campus. [Ashland Independent]

In the spring of 2016, longtime political operative Roger Stone had a phone conversation that would later seem prophetic, according to the person on the other end of the line. [WaPo]

Rowan County Sheriff Matt Sparks is hoping to educate the public about what to do when being followed or harassed in a public space after a social media post went viral over the past few days. [The Morehead News]

U.S. students spilled out of classrooms by the tens of thousands on Wednesday, chanting slogans like “No more silence” and “We want change” as part of a coast-to-coast protest over gun violence prompted by last month’s massacre at a Florida high school. [Reuters]

Hundreds of Kentucky high school students, including survivors of a campus shooting this year, joined a nationwide gun violence protest Wednesday by rallying in frigid weather at the state Capitol. [Richmond Register]

You can thank Mitch McConnell for killing any protections you have against corrupt banks. The Senate voted to advance Wednesday the most sweeping bipartisan changes yet to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill enacted by President Obama after the 2007 financial crisis. [The Hill]

Louisville-area schools joined nearly 3,000 others across the country Wednesday walking out of class at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes. [WFPL]

The UK will expel 23 Russian diplomats after Moscow refused to explain how a Russian-made nerve agent was used on a former spy in Salisbury, the PM says. [BBC]

Alice Forgy Kerr is a homophobic monster and Kentucky media ought not forget or excuse it. You’ll never see people like Jack Brammer report on that, however. Instead, people like Brammer paint her as some kind of victim just trying to do the right thing. It’s that kind of bullshit narrative that keeps Kentucky in the dark ages. [H-L]

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders pointedly avoided saying the word “Russia” on Monday when very specifically questioned about that country’s culpability in the poisoning last week of a former Russian spy with a deadly nerve agent. [HuffPo]

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Boyd County Jail Nightmare Continues

Seventeen crosses with the names and ages of the victims killed in last month’s Florida school massacre have been hung from a Kentucky billboard advertising a gun show. [H-L]

The White House announced support Sunday for firearms training for some teachers to protect schools, and has backed off an earlier call by Donald Trump to raise the age individuals can purchase assault-style weapons from 18 to 21. [HuffPo]

Rand Paul is all in for Kentucky’s medical marijuana bill. House Bill 166, which has gained support of Republicans and Democrats in the Kentucky legislature, would allow patients with certain conditions to use the drug. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports could result in economic growth that is slower than states assumed in their budget forecasts, S&P Global Ratings said on Friday. [Reuters]

A special prosecutor was assigned to the case against Boyd County Jailer Joe Burchett, who has pleaded not guilty to a charge of malfeasance or neglect of county officer. [Ashland Independent]

A complex banking bill currently making its way through the Senate is praised by proponents as a common sense revision of banking regulations, that would help small banks and lenders thrive. But activists for fair housing practices are increasingly sounding alarms warning the bill opens the door for many financial institutions to hide racially discriminatory practices in mortgage lending. [ThinkProgress]

Facing a $15 million budget shortfall, Western Kentucky University announced last month it would return its regional campuses in Glasgow, Owensboro and Elizabethtown to the Division of Extended Learning and Outreach. [Glasgow Daily Times]

It was late in the afternoon of November 9, 2013, in Moscow, and Donald Trump was getting anxious. [Mother Jones]

A lawsuit has been filed by a large shareholder of Louisville-based Kindred Healthcare that seeks to block the sale of the company to Humana and two private equity firms. [WFPL]

A Belarusian escort with close ties to a powerful Russian oligarch said from behind bars in Bangkok on Monday that she had more than 16 hours of audio recordings that could help shed light on Russian meddling in United States elections. [NY Times]

Local school officials are working with students should they decide to join in a national school walkout to protest gun violence and call for tighter gun laws this week. [BGDN]

Donald Trump would be able to dispatch Secret Service agents to polling places nationwide during a federal election, a vast expansion of executive authority, if a provision in a Homeland Security reauthorization bill remains intact. [Boston Globe]

John Ray of Martin County worked in coal mines nearly 10 years before the company told him he would be laid off. [H-L]

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had one of the most contentious confirmation hearings of the Trump administration, with two Republicans voting against her nomination. On Sunday night, she told Lesley Stahl of “60 Minutes” that she’s “more misunderstood than anything.” [HuffPo]

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Andy Barr & Mike Pence Sittin In A Tree

Don’t forget that Andy Barr is tightly aligned with Trump and Pence. Mike Pence touted the GOP tax overhaul and U.S. Rep. Andy Barr’s re-election bid Wednesday at More Than a Bakery in Versailles. [H-L]

Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School weren’t pleased with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ visit to the Parkland, Florida, school on Wednesday, saying that she met with few students. [HuffPo]

The House this week restored funding to 24 of the 70 programs that Matt Bevin proposed be eliminated in his proposed budget. [C-J/AKN]

An industry group says the Trump Misadministration is run “like a bad family-owned small business” and they love it. [ProPublica]

Pension continues to be the most haunting word for politicians seeking solutions to Kentucky’s failing pensions in a session, which Senator Jared Carpenter called “unique and difficult,” during a legislative update Monday. [Richmond Register]

Billionaire investor and longtime Trump confidant Carl Icahn dumped $31.3 million of stock in a company heavily dependent on steel last week, just days before Trump announced plans to impose steep tariffs on steel imports. [ThinkProgress]

Who else forgot Hampton existed? When she was a child, she never envisioned her life would take the path it has, Kentucky’s lieutenant governor told nearly 80 youths in Glasgow on Monday morning. [Glasgow Daily Times]

China has warned that it does not want a trade war with the US, but will not sit idly by if its economy is hurt. [BBC]

Probably has something to do with Jim Gray’s efforts to sweep as many homeless individuals off the streets as possible. Lipstick on a pig, if you will. Officials in Kentucky’s second-largest city say the number of homeless has declined to its lowest level in more than a decade. [WKYT]

The devastating explosion in the Upper Big Branch coal mine killed 29 men in 2010 and scarred West Virginia like few events in modern memory. Don Blankenship, the head of the mining company, went to prison over it. Not many people would call that a springboard for a career in politics. [NY Times]

Effective communication is one key toward school safety, parents and education officials in the Boyd County district agreed Monday in a community meeting. [Ashland Independent]

These people are dumb as hell. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro insisted that other countries won’t retaliate in a way that hurts U.S. consumers, dismissing the concerns of many economists and some Republican lawmakers. [WaPo]

Back off the bourbon. And stop trying to annoy Mitch McConnell. That’s the message from two powerful Kentucky interests — distillers and McConnell, the Senate’s most powerful leader. [H-L]

Experts say one of the most pervasive misconceptions about mental illness is that perpetrators of America’s all-too-common mass shootings have mental health issues. [HuffPo]

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Lexington Has A Youth Murder Problem?

The grand jury investigating alleged collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has sent a witness a subpoena seeking all documents involving the president and a host of his closest advisers, according to a copy of the subpoena reviewed by NBC News. [NBC News]

Billionaires these days are more skilled at stiffing “little people” and avoiding taxes. Instead of sending them to prison, we elect them governor of West Virginia — and president of the United States. [Tom Eblen]

For years, under multiple presidents, the State Department has ignored key court rulings that should guide how it grants citizenship to children who are born abroad to LGBTQ Americans. Instead, the department has clung to an outdated interpretation of the law under which it requires a biological tie between the U.S. citizen parent and the child. [HuffPo]

Oh, people do this when there’s a sports scandal but ignore the immediate prior decade of obscene corruption at UofL!? A group of University of Louisville fans is raising money to pay for billboards to pressure for removal of top university leaders, arguing that those in charge haven’t challenged the NCAA ruling and aren’t conducting a transparent search for a new president. [C-J/AKN]

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday expressed “deep concern” to Donald Trump over his announced plans to increase steel and aluminum tariffs. [The Hill]

Sure is fun watching Diane St. Onge prove out out-of-touch she is with reality. A shame the Kentucky Democratic Party can’t get itself together enough to oust her ignorant butt from office. [WFPL]

Gun-control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety said on Friday it will donate up to $2.5 million to support marches around the United States on March 24, the date of a planned March For Our Lives in Washington to demand an end to school shootings. [Reuters]

The Senate passed a measure yesterday to preserve the status quo in determining how many package liquor licenses are issued in individual cities and counties by a 32-4 vote. [The Morehead News]

The Census Bureau is exploring options about adding a citizenship question to the next census, amid a firestorm of protest about the controversial proposal. [ProPublica]

A year after handing out more than $180,000 to local nonprofit groups, Ashland commission members said they plan to take a closer look at annual tax dollar contributions as concerns swell over an increase in pension costs. [Ashland Independent]

Just a reminder that this happened last week. Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, has been stripped of his top-secret security clearance after months of delays in completing his background check, and will now be limited in his ability to view highly classified information. [NY Times]

As community members entered the Metcalfe County Middle School auditorium on Thursday evening for a discussion on school safety, they were handed a sheet of paper that outlined all of the school safety additions and improvements to Metcalfe County Schools since 2013. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Officials in at least four countries have privately discussed ways they can manipulate Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, by taking advantage of his complex business arrangements, financial difficulties and lack of foreign policy experience, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with intelligence reports on the matter. [WaPo]

For people between ages 15 and 24, homicide was the second most frequent cause of death behind unintentional injuries in Fayette County between 2013 and 2016. [H-L]

Many of America’s top trade partners bristled at the news that Donald Trump plans to impose tariffs of 10 percent on aluminum and 25 percent on steel imports next week. Canada called the tariffs “unacceptable” and “inappropriate.” Mexico is considering slapping tariffs of its own on the United States in retaliation. The European Union also plans to retaliate. [HuffPo]

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