UofL Messes Have Grown Since 2008

The University of Kentucky named longtime faculty member Lisa Cassis its vice president for research. [H-L]

The criminal justice system is “particularly skewed by race and by wealth,” President Barack Obama said on Tuesday in a speech at the NAACP Annual Convention in Philadelphia, citing a “long history of inequity in the criminal justice system in America.” [HuffPo]

Despite a consultant’s findings that University of Louisville President James Ramsey is paid above the market rate, the board of trustees’ compensation committee recommended Monday that he get a 6 percent merit pay increase and a bonus worth about $150,000. [C-J/AKN]

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen urged lawmakers to tread lightly when it comes to overhauling the central bank, warning that proposed changes could undermine its ability to support the economy. [The Hill]

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway issued a press release Tuesday warning flood victims to be aware of potential price-gouging scams in areas affected by recent storms. [Ashland Independent]

A regional cap-and-trade program has added $1.3 billion in economic activity to nine New England and Mid-Atlantic states since 2011, while decreasing their carbon emissions by 15 percent, according to independent analysis released Tuesday. [ThinkProgress]

Will Russell sure is milking you-know-what out of his arrest in an attempt to gain publicity. [Glasgow Daily Times]

This sad Eastern Kentucky situation has made international news. Search teams in Kentucky are looking for six people missing after heavy floods that already killed two people. [BBC]

Rowan Fiscal Court hopes to cash in on state road and bridge funds before the end of the year. [The Morehead News]

The Supreme Court was definitive in its decision to legalize gay marriage nationwide, but what is far from clear is whether U.S. companies must offer corporate benefits to same-sex spouses. [Reuters]

Visitors to all five national parks in Kentucky can earn a special free commemorative patch in recognition of the National Park Service 2016 centennial. [WKYT]

Labor leaders said there was a clear understanding that no national unions would make an endorsement before July 30. But the American Federation of Teachers jumped the gun. [Politico]

It took only a few minutes for nearly everything James Martin owned to swirl away in a muddy torrent. [H-L]

For a while the Wisconsin governor, running for the GOP nomination for the presidency, has been engaging in his own version of dog-whistling to homophobes, as he and the GOP struggle with the reality that the base of their party is still in the Stone Age on LGBT rights, while most Americans support equality. [HuffPo]

Corrupt Guy Dies, Media Gushes

Lester H. Burns Jr., a one-time candidate for governor and one of Kentucky’s most colorful, best-known defense attorneys before going to federal prison in the 1980s, has died. [H-L]

War-time suicide attempts in the Army are most common in newer enlisted soldiers who have not been deployed, while officers are less likely to try to end their lives. At both levels, attempts are more common among women and those without a high school diploma, according to a study billed as the most comprehensive analysis of a problem that has plagued the U.S. military in recent years. [HuffPo]

Lawyers for the Sierra Club and LG&E on Thursday argued for two hours over the meaning the word “occasional” in a federal court hearing stemming from a pollution lawsuit filed last year involving the Mill Creek power plant. [C-J/AKN]

Sen. Charles Grassley is demanding the American Red Cross explain how it spent nearly half a billion dollars raised after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. [ProPublica]

Fourteen schools will now offer free breakfast and lunch to the entire student population during the upcoming school year. The total includes all but four schools (Madison Central and Madison Southern high schools, B. Michael Caudill Middle and White Hall Elementary), which is a broad difference from last year. Only five schools previously offered the free lunch plan. [Richmond Register]

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will meet privately this month with leaders of the nation’s largest labor federation as she seeks to prevent a revolt by union members infuriated by her cautious stance on a looming trade deal, labor sources told Reuters. [Reuters]

Health officials, confronted with a shocking increase in heroin abuse, are developing a clearer picture of who is becoming addicted to this drug and why. The results may surprise you. [WFPL]

As the world enters into a sixth great extinction, scientists are racing against the clock to save genetic evidence from plants around the world. [BBC]

Kentucky has added two towns in the southern part of the state to those designated as “Trail Towns.” [WKYT & Press Releases]

The Obama administration faces an uphill battle when it seeks to convince a panel of federal judges to let the president’s executive actions on immigration take effect. [The Hill]

Um… Officials say a West Virginia man had been keeping two deer in captivity at his home for at least a year. [Ashland Independent]

Jeb Bush’s unprecedented $114 million haul makes it official: Big money rules American presidential politics. [Politico]

Has Lexington turned into the new Louisville with all the robberies and shootings? [H-L]

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management said on Thursday that hackers had stolen sensitive information – including Social Security numbers – of about 21.5 million people who have undergone background checks for security clearances since 2000. [HuffPo]

Beshear To Clerks: Ya Buncha Fools

The number of heroin overdoses at five northern Kentucky hospitals has continued to climb, but officials aren’t sure if that’s because more people are calling 911 for help, or more people are using heroin. [H-L]

Fox 2000 is developing a movie about the plaintiff in the June 26 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court case that effectively legalized same-sex marriage. [HuffPo]

A Kentucky clerk of court said the state’s Democratic governor told him he should either issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples or resign from office. [C-J/AKN]

House Republicans are threatening to subpoena documents related to an ObamaCare program at the center of their lawsuit against President Obama. [The Hill]

Population is falling in more than half of Kentucky’s 120 counties, with rural areas bearing the brunt of losses from lagging birth rates and people moving elsewhere. [WDRB]

The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) said on Wednesday it has sued a federal government hiring agency over recent cyberattacks, alleging it violated constitutional privacy rights of NTEU members by failing to keep their personnel records safe. [Reuters]

Loretta Garmon has worked at Phillips IGA for 40 years, running the cash register most of the time, but also stocking shelves and carrying groceries to customers’ cars. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The US Army is to reduce the size of its force by 40,000 soldiers over the next two years, according to US media. [BBC]

It’s slightly sad when elected officials can’t comprehend what the freedom of religion does and does not entail. Whitley County Clerk Kay Schwartz is a Christian and she says issuing same-sex licenses would violate her freedom of religion. [WKYT]

In 2000 the world’s leaders agreed on an ambitious plan for attacking global poverty by 2015. [NPR]

Here’s Steve Beshear’s full statement: This morning, I advised Mr. Davis that I respect his right to his own personal beliefs regarding same-sex marriages. However, when he was elected, he took a constitutional oath to uphold the United States Constitution. According to the United States Supreme Court, the Constitution now requires that governmental officials in Kentucky and elsewhere must recognize same-sex marriages as valid and allow them to take place. One of Mr. Davis’ duties as county court clerk is to issue marriage licenses, and the Supreme Court now says that the United States Constitution requires those marriage licenses to be issued regardless of gender. Mr. Davis’ own county attorney has advised him that his oath requires him to do so. / While there are two or three county court clerks still refusing to perform their duties, the rest of the county court clerks are complying with the law regardless of their personal beliefs. The courts and the voters will deal appropriately with the rest. / I will not be calling any special session on this topic and costing the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars doing so. Any proposal about the process of issuing marriage licenses that meets the standards of the Supreme Court ruling should be carefully thought out and could be considered in the regular session in 2016. [Press Release]

The Supreme Court says midazolam works fine for lethal injections. Experience says otherwise. [Mother Jones]

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is going in the right direction in raising salaries of hundreds of engineers to curb high turnover and costly contracts for private engineers, several state lawmakers said Tuesday. [H-L]

CVS Health Corp said it was withdrawing its membership from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce after media reports that the trade group was lobbying globally against anti-smoking laws. [HuffPo]

Frankfort Always Passing Pension Buck

Thursday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling upheld the nationwide tax credit subsidies to help people buy health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. [H-L]

A fire broke out at a prominent black church in South Carolina on Tuesday night, the latest in a series of blazes at places of worship in the South serving the African-American community. A federal law enforcement source told the Associated Press that the fire was not the work of an arsonist, and that preliminary investigations show it was not intentionally set. [HuffPo]

In a historic ruling reshaping the definition of the American family, the Supreme Court on Friday invalidated bans on same-sex marriage in Kentucky and across the country, holding that gays and lesbians have the constitutional right to marry. [C-J/AKN]

In what may not be a coincidence, a string of nighttime fires have damaged or destroyed at least six predominately black churches in four southern states in the past week. [SPLC]

Much is put into creating ceramics. A sculpture or ware starts as nothing more than a lump of dirt. Then with care, technique, and creativity, it becomes a work of art. [The Morehead News]

You can prove slavery was bad six ways from Sunday, but people can still choose to believe otherwise if they want. Addressing racism isn’t just about correcting erroneous beliefs — it’s about making people see the humanity in others. [Vox]

Data from Kentucky’s 446 public water systems shows they consistently produce excellent quality water and are nearly always in compliance with the Safe Drinking Water requirements, according to the Kentucky annual Drinking Water Report. The report summarizes the compliance data and status of public water system compliance monitoring results. [Energy & Environment Cabinet]

Congressional Republicans are using the power of the purse to do battle against a series of controversial labor regulations from the Obama administration. [The Hill]

Kentucky’s longest serving U.S. Senator says last year’s lengthy and costly campaign showed him two things about how he says people feel about the country. [WKYT]

Scientists who have devoted years developing medicines to cure disease are now working for tobacco companies to make e-cigarettes. [Reuters]

These are your friends or your family. Please consider helping them step away from their xenophobia. [Page One]

There have only been 9 days this year when the police have not killed somebody. Some news outlets put the number as high as 500 dead in the past six months, according to both The Guardian and Killed by the Police.Net. The Washington Post’s own investigation showed nearly 400 dead as of the end of May. [WaPo]

Kentucky’s retired state workers’ pension fund is a mess. It’s the most underfunded of any in the country, and it’s sinking dangerously close to running out of money. Yet state lawmakers, the men and women responsible for budgeting those pensions, don’t have quite the same worry about their own money. [H-L]

Meanwhile, Kentucky can’t even get medicinal marijuana right. Oregon ended marijuana prohibition at midnight Wednesday, joining Colorado, Washington state, Alaska and the District of Columbia in legalizing recreational use of the drug. [HuffPo]

The Gays Went To Court Today

Want to hear audio of today’s Supreme Court hearing on gay marriage? Transcript will be there, as well. [Part One & Part Two]

The Kentucky State University Board of Regents approved a tuition increase during a meeting Friday. [H-L]

As he began his first re-election run in early 2013, tea party Rep. Thomas Massie had no trouble raising money from business interests. [HuffPo]

There’s an old Broadway musical song that says “Money makes the world go around” and that’s true nowhere more than in the political realm where money is quite often the deciding factor. It’s not only who can raise it, but it’s also who can spend it wisely. [C-J/AKN]

NASA on Thursday marked the silver anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope with fireworks, of a celestial kind, conveyed by the orbiting observatory itself. [Reuters]

Looks like Jamie Comer was forced to admit his hypocrisy on the Ernie Fletcher front: Comer said Monday that he “reached out” to members of the Fletcher administration to make sure they knew he was talking only about “a few bad apples,” that the “overwhelming majority” of those in the Fletcher administration were good people and that Fletcher was a good man. He pointed out that he hired some former Fletcher administration employees at the Department of Agriculture and others are supporting his campaign. [Ronnie Ellis]

This is going to anger people like Ken Ham. People with lower back problems are more likely to have a spine similar in shape to the chimpanzee, our closest ape ancestor. [BBC]

Here’s Greg Stumbo’s latest column — written by some lowly LRC staffer — about Right to Work. [Floyd County Times]

This week’s same-sex-marriage cases at the Supreme Court brought in a record number of friend-of-the-court briefs — 148 of them, according to the court, beating the previous record of 136 in the 2013 Obamacare case. [NPR]

Kentucky State Police Trooper Rodney Sturgill is investigating an incident involving a 2-year-old girl found unresponsive off Osborne Lane in Terrys Fork in the Wallins Creek community. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

One of the first fights of the Republican presidential primary season will be over U.S. spying. [The Hill]

The Lexington Police Department is investigating a violent home invasion after a man exchanged gunfire with four robbery suspects on Tuesday morning. [WKYT]

When the country’s most powerful union leader delivers what’s being billed as a “major address” on Tuesday, it will be widely seen as a memo to Hillary Clinton outlining what she must do to earn organized labor’s support. [Politico]

When Pellom McDaniels III was researching black athletes and their influence on the 20th century, he kept running across the name Isaac Murphy. One article referred to Murphy as “an elegant specimen of manhood.” [H-L]

When asked why they’d come to the National Mall on a recent overcast Saturday, four days before the Supreme Court would hold its latest hearing on same-sex marriage, nearly all of the dozens of people I talked to opened with the same statement, pretty much word for word: “I believe that God’s marriage is between a man and a woman.” Several added, as an afterthought, “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” — looking at me frankly, as if that settled everything. [HuffPo]

Don’t forget to enter to win a copy of Lawn Darts of Fate! Contest runs through the end of the week. [Page One & The ‘Ville Voice]

Your ‘Lectric’s Gonna Cost More

Nine people were indicted Tuesday on charges of spiriting away what Kentucky authorities say was more bourbon whiskey than one person could drink in a lifetime. But, uh, we could definitely drink that in a lifetime. [H-L]

Defenders of the White House push for sweeping trade deals argue they include tough enforcement of labor standards. But a top union leader scoffed at such claims Tuesday, revealing that administration officials have said privately that they don’t consider even the killings of labor organizers to be violations of those pacts. [HuffPo]

A Franklin County grand jury indicted nine people Tuesday in connection with Kentucky whiskey thefts dating back to 2008, possibly including the notorious heist of 65 cases of Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve. [C-J/AKN]

Support for ObamaCare has climbed to its highest level in more than two years, according to a new Kaiser Health Tracking Poll released Tuesday. [The Hill]

Narrowly drawn voting precincts have been an issue for protecting secret ballots in Boyd County for awhile, according to Boyd County Clerk Debbie Jones. [Ashland Independent]

The United States needs disruptive new technologies, new ways of acquiring equipment and bandwidth, and closer ties with global allies to stay ahead of growing challenges in space from China, Russia and others, the head of U.S. Air Force Space Command told Reuters. [Reuters]

The Housing Authority of Glasgow made a payment to the city of Glasgow in lieu of property taxes Thursday morning during a meeting of the authority’s board of directors. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Nearly one in three black students attend a school that looks as if Brown v. Board of Education never happened. [ProPublica]

As Earth Day approaches, a new survey shows overwhelming support from Kentuckians for environmental education, but room for improvement in residents’ environmental literacy. The Survey of Kentuckians’ Environmental Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviors from the Kentucky Environmental Education Council (KECC) reveals that while 96 percent of Kentuckians believed that environmental education should be taught in schools, some basic information, such as the primary source of water pollution in Kentucky, was unknown by the majority of survey respondents, according to KEEC Executive Director Elizabeth Schmitz. [Press Release]

Lindsey Graham and John McCain are “lapdogs” for President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, Rand Paul said Tuesday, at once firing back at recent remarks from the hawkish Republicans and seeking to distinguish his defense credentials. [Politico]

David Dickerson planned to keep an open mind about this year’s Republican gubernatorial primary. The former Republican Barren County Judge-Executive and businessman supported Matt Bevin in last year’s U.S. Senate primary won by U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell. Bevin is running for governor this time, along with Louisville developer Hal Heiner, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer from neighboring Monroe County and former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott of Pikeville. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Affordable Care Act requires all Americans to get health insurance or pay a penalty. To help coax people to buy a health plan, the federal government now subsidizes premiums for millions of Americans. [NPR]

Kentucky Utilities’ customers will pay more for their monthly electric bill while Louisville Electric & Gas customers will pay more for their gas bills according to a settlement reached Tuesday concerning the companies’ rate requests. [H-L]

Way to go, wingnuts. House Republicans advanced a measure on Tuesday that would reverse a Washington, D.C., law preventing employers from being able to fire individuals based on their personal reproductive health decisions. [HuffPo]

Jim Holsinger’s Pals With Hal Heiner

A fire alarm forced the evacuation of the Fayette County Democratic Party’s awards dinner Tuesday night, but it didn’t stop gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway from finding the stump. [H-L]

Don’t listen to McConnell but pay attention to other Kentuckians. “Before you take advice about climate change from Senator McConnell please consider first what so many knowledgeable voices from the Bluegrass State are saying about climate change, and second how failing to act gives up your state’s right to set its own course of action toward a clean energy future,” states the letter spearheaded by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and signed by four other senators in the Democratic Conference. [HuffPo]

A Monday fundraiser in Lexington for gubernatorial candidate Hal Heiner and his running mate KC Crosbie will look like an Ernie Fletcher reunion. Complete with bigot Jim Holsinger — remember that guy? [C-J/AKN]

Tens of millions of dollars and counting. That’s how much the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has spent so far on a three-year campaign to improve the plight of low-wage retail and fast-food workers, an analysis of public filings shows. [Reuters]

After months of setbacks, frustrations and reformulations, the restaurant and microbrewery under development between Ashland’s signature bridges along Greenup Avenue took a major step forward Saturday with the delivery and initial installation of a batch of double-polished stainless steel equipment purpose-designed for the creation of craft beers. [Ashland Independent]

Campaigners in the Netherlands are taking the government to court for allegedly failing to protect its citizens from climate change. [BBC]

The Benham City Council took time during their meeting on Friday to discuss several items needing the panel’s attention, including an ordinance setting pay rates for city employees. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Presidential candidates are moving away from public financing. [NPR]

The Kentucky Valley Education Cooperative (KVEC) and Hazard Independent Schools have invited the public to attend an Action Research Summit at the Pikeville EXPO Center in Pikeville on April 21. The event is scheduled for 9 a.m. [Hazard Herald]

What does gun violence really cost? Apple’s worldwide revenue is $182 billion. The cost of gun violence is $229 billion. [Mother Jones]

Remember when media ignored the drugged-addled daughter of an elected official in Morehead stealing a man’s dog? Fascinating how that works. [WKYT]

Catholic officials announced on Tuesday plans for a landmark climate change-themed conference to be hosted at Vatican later this month, the latest in Pope Francis’ faith-rooted campaign to raise awareness about global warming. [Think Progress]

Johnny Bell can suck a frozen dog turd for the racist, sexist crap he’s allegedly done. [Bluegrass Politics]

A new poll reveals that public support for same-sex marriage is rising in all 50 states — including the ones that still haven’t legalized the institution for same-sex couples. [HuffPo]