Bullitt County May Be Kentucky’s Worst

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Widow v. widow? Bullitt County is insane. Linda Belcher, from Bob’s Burgers, will face Rebecca Johnson, widow of alleged child sex predator Dan Johnson. What on earth?! It’s gonna be crazy when the Rebecca Johnson research file hits. The fact that she allegedly helped her husband cover things up won’t be the half of it. Hold on to your cult wigs, kids. [H-L]

This was the year the political media couldn’t stop reminding us of the forgotten Americans. All year long, outlets parachuted reporters into “Trump Country” to observe his voters in their habitat — “Cletus safari” is the derisive term of art — and the reporters returned with tenderly crafted soft-focus portrait after tenderly crafted soft-focus portrait of people aching to say the n-word. [HuffPo]

Screw Matt Bevin’s backward, racist, homophobic, end-timer opinions. He’s easily the dumbest man to be elected governor in our lifetime. Secretary of State Alison Grimes’ New Year’s resolution is blunt: Medical marijuana must be legalized in Kentucky to help veterans suffering from PTSD and others who are painfully ill. [C-J/AKN]

Transgender people will be allowed for the first time to enlist in the U.S. military starting on Monday as ordered by federal courts, the Pentagon said on Friday, after Donald Trump’s administration decided not to appeal rulings that blocked his transgender ban. [Reuters]

Matt Bevin named Kevin Williams, of Irvine, as judge-executive of Estill County on Wednesday, replacing Wallace Taylor, who has resigned. [Richmond Register]

This year ProPublica documented the many ways waste is baked into our health care system, from destroying perfectly good medication to junking brand new supplies. Eliminating the waste could insure millions of Americans. [ProPublica]

Attorney General Andy Beshear said his office secured $152,000 for the state’s General Fund from a settlement with a Connecticut-based pharmaceutical company for improperly promoting its drugs to Kentuckians. [Ashland Independent]

The entire Trump universe is a nightmare. A US singer has filed a sexual assault claim against Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. [BBC]

What’s ahead for Louisville in 2018? More of the same. That’s what’s ahead for Louisville in 2018. More death, more b.s. As long as people like Matt Bevin are fighting against common sense? Louisville is going to be frozen in time. [WFPL]

Stoking racist fears, Trump defied bureaucracy to advance his bigoted immigration agenda. [NY Times]

All of the written arguments have been submitted now in the appeal made by a former Glasgow police chief regarding the dismissal of his lawsuit against the city and his successor, and a panel of judges has been assigned to consider the appeal, but a decision is still months away. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Since 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency has been embroiled in an enforcement battle with a Michigan-based company accused of modifying the state’s largest coal-fired power plant without getting federal permits for a projected rise in pollution. [WaPo]

Eric C. Conn violated his bond conditions when he left the country and did not show up for sentencing in his Social Security disability fraud case, U.S. Magistrate Judge Magistrate Judge Robert E. Wier ruled Thursday. The decision means the government can immediately sell the former disability attorney’s office complex on U.S. 23 in Floyd County, Conn’s attorney, Scott T. White, said after the hearing in federal court in Lexington. [H-L]

The Justice Department is pushing for a question on citizenship to be added to the 2020 census, a move that observers say could depress participation by immigrants who fear that the government could use the information against them. That, in turn, could have potentially large ripple effects for everything the once-a-decade census determines — from how congressional seats are distributed around the country to where hundreds of billions of federal dollars are spent. [HuffPo]

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This Wasn’t Mitch McConnell’s Year

Everything was in place for this to be Mitch McConnell’s year. He had a Republican Congress and White House for the first time in a decade, and a simple majority of votes was all that was needed to not only confirm major nominees but pass major legislation too. [H-L]

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government has issued a warning to the U.S.: Don’t “meddle” in the country’s upcoming election. [HuffPo]

Morgan Watkins is the person who claims to have been refused communication by the Chicago Police Department during the United Airlines fiasco but neither she nor her editor could prove it. CPD sent us proof that she’d never tried to communicate with them in any way – there was no record – but okay. Now she’s quote racist and homophobic piece of shit (check our archives) Jim Waters as some expert. A Kentucky Newspaper refuses to name plaintiffs in lawsuits but uses folks like this to make comment on important stories. She won’t last long here (mark my words) because she’ll eventually get run off like everybody else. And this Braidy situation? It’s not over. [C-J/AKN]

The cities of New York, San Francisco and Philadelphia have sued the U.S. Department of Defense to make it fix its system for reporting conviction records to a database used for background checks on gun buyers. [Reuters]

Full of highs and lows, 2017 has been political whiplash for Kentucky Republicans. [Richmond Register]

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have sought bank records about entities associated with the family company of Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, according to four people briefed on the matter. [NY Times]

Of course the new guy at this particular CNHI paper is pushing right-wing nonsense like this story. This is how Eastern Kentucky remains in the dark. [Ashland Independent]

Former US President Barack Obama has warned against the irresponsible use of social media, in a rare interview since stepping down in January. [BBC]

Those in Rowan County who are delinquent paying certain taxes will now have three months to do so without penalty. [The Morehead News]

Tyler Haire was locked up at 16. A Mississippi judge ordered that he undergo a mental exam. What happened next is a statewide scandal. [ProPublica]

Educators from across the country have been focusing on teaching STEM, an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Christians should not support policies that punish the weak and marginalized, the Anglican bishop of Liverpool said. [WaPo]

Kentucky native Robby Strong, the self-proclaimed “Prophet of Poo,” says he is the man behind the gift of horse manure left for U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and Strong said he plans more dirty tricks. [H-L]

A Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen has killed 109 civilians in air strikes in the past 10 days, including 54 at a crowded market and 14 members of one family in a farm, the top U.N. official in the country said on Thursday. [HuffPo]

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OH! And a big P.S.: Jeff Hoover is a whiny-ass titty baby victim-blamer. [H-L]

Marijuana-Related Deaths Aren’t Really A Thing, Matt Bevin

It is hard to imagine now, but the Red River Gorge, a natural and archaeological wonder that has become one of the region’s most popular hiking and rock-climbing destinations, was almost flooded for a lake. [Tom Eblen]

About a third of the students with disabilities who enroll in a four-year college or university graduate within eight years. For those that enroll in two-year schools, the outcomes aren’t much better: 41 percent, according to federal data. [HuffPo]

Only a matter of time until your taxpayer dollars are used to pay Dan Johnson and his avowed racist attorney a fat settlement. [C-J/AKN]

A year after Donald Trump was elected president on a promise to revive the ailing U.S. coal industry, the sector’s long-term prospects for growth and hiring remain as bleak as ever. [Reuters]

More people in Louisville are being charged for possessing methamphetamines than for heroin and opiates combined, according to police data. [WFPL]

On Monday, the FBI released its latest tally of hate crimes in the U.S. Despite a 1990 law that mandates data collection on hate crimes, the FBI’s count remains only a fraction of what an annual national crime victims survey estimates the real number to be. [ProPublica]

An Allen County teen was fatally shot during a pursuit early Saturday involving two law enforcement agencies, police said. [BGDN]

Bad Chinese steel? Drone footage has captured the scale of a 5,000 barrel oil leak in South Dakota. The leak was discovered by Keystone pipeline operators TransCanada on Thursday. [BBC]

Of course CNHI and the Richmond Register are spreading content from proud racist Pat Buchanan. Wouldn’t expect anything less. [Richmond Register]

A senior Russian official who claimed to be acting at the behest of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia tried in May 2016 to arrange a meeting between Mr. Putin and Donald J. Trump, according to several people familiar with the matter. [NY Times]

Spoiler alert: it wont. Braidy Industries CEO Craig Bouchard on Monday told more than 600 northeastern Kentuckians his company will “kill” its metals competition. [Ashland Independent]

Pay attention, you mouth-breathers in Frankfort – both Democrats and Republicans. A case report about the seizure and death of an 11-month old after exposure to cannabis has prompted headlines about “the first marijuana overdose death” this week. Except that’s not what the doctors meant. [WaPo]

Remember how we spent a bunch of time covering CentrePointe in Lexington all those years ago? Construction has started on the first building of the CentrePointe project, more than nine years after the downtown development was first announced. [H-L]

Donald Trump has an inflated view of his assets. The president’s family business is worth about one-tenth of the value he has claimed, according to an analysis of the latest figures he has filed with the federal government. Some of the discrepancy is due to a downturn in business, but the rest is credited to an overheated imagination, according to Crain’s New York Business reporter Aaron Elstein, who examined the numbers. [HuffPo]

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Bevin Goes Full Whiny-Ass Titty Baby

TL;DR: Hoover had a bunch of stress because his ass got caught. That’s why he had a “heart issue” – that and probably decades of eating poorly and never getting exercise. Former Kentucky House Speaker Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, was released from the hospital Tuesday following testing for a heart related issue, according to a statement by House Speaker Pro Tempore David Osborne, R-Prospect. [H-L]

Donald Trump on Monday announced that he plans to nominate former pharmaceutical executive Alex Azar to replace Tom Price as health and human services secretary. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin is that twat of a kid in school believing he’s special and deserves a better grade than he earned. It’s only a matter of time until he has his Julian Carroll or Jeff Hoover moment. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump, Jr. was in contact with WikiLeaks during the campaign. So keep screaming, mouth-breathers, cause the chickens are coming home to roost. [NBC News]

All three incumbent judge-executives in Boyd, Carter and Greenup counties are seeking re-election, and at least two of them will face challengers. [Ashland Independent]

The Republican National Committee is withdrawing its support for besieged Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, leaving him increasingly isolated as he confronts charges of sexual misconduct with teenagers. [Politico]

Local businessman and entrepreneur Harold M.D. Armstrong announced Monday his candidacy for mayor of Glasgow in the 2018 election. [Glasgow Daily Times]

RT America, the U.S. arm of the Kremlin-backed TV station RT, has registered with the U.S. Department of Justice as a “foreign agent” in the United States, the outlet’s editor in chief said on Monday. [Reuters]

Constituents of Sen. Steve West had the opportunity to hear his stance on Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed pension bill during a question and answer session held Thursday at Rowan County Middle School. [The Morehead News]

Here’s your no shit, Sherlock, story of the week about Orange Dingus and the economy. [WaPo]

Matt Bevin’s efforts to overhaul Kentucky’s ailing pension systems took another twist Tuesday when his administration asked consultants to redo their analysis of his proposed changes to retirement benefits for public school teachers. [Richmond Register]

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday denied, again, lying to Congress about the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. He said he had forgotten about a campaign round-table in which an aide touted his Russian connections and suggested arranging a meeting for Donald J. Trump in Moscow. [NY Times]

This is the garbage Valarie Honeycutt Spears is covering these days. Never mind any of the truly significant educational stories or scandals. She’s pushing this bible bullshit. [H-L]

An upcoming case may clarify what kind of speech is permitted at the polls on Election Day. [HuffPo]

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Beshear Let Jones Off The Hook

1. Andy Beshear, who allegedly got his children’s elite private school to give him a sweetheart deal (hey, special treatment no one wants to talk about!), ought to be laughed out of Frankfort for not pressing Ray Jones to defend himself. 2. Glenn Hammond complaining that he, as a candidate, was followed or tracked by his opponent’s campaign is disingenuous beyond all belief. Because that’s what campaigns do. [H-L]

Justice Department prosecutors have dropped their case against a woman who laughed at now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing. Desiree Fairooz was scheduled to face trial for a second time next week, but a DOJ prosecutor entered a nolle prosequi filing in the case on Monday indicating the department is dismissing the charges. [HuffPo]

LMPD not only overreacted in the Highlands, there’s… more the story. We need to quit whitewashing people when they die. It sucks that Jason Spencer got murdered. But no more than it sucks when anyone else in this city gets gunned down. His life is not more important than my life or your own. His death does not erase his history as a public bigot. He was openly homophobic, transphobic, misogynistic, classist and racist. He tried to excuse it all with the typical southern baptist bullshit but that’s what he was – a bigot. He’s white, though, and this is the Highlands we’re talking about, so everybody is freaking out. I’m just here to say fuck Jason Spencer’s bigotry. Mourn him if you want but fuck that bigotry. [C-J/AKN]

The FBI says racism motivated more than 57% of hate crimes in 2016. And nearly 18% of hate crimes were perpetrated against the LGBT community. Those are just the crimes that were reported and properly classified. [FBI]

Matt Bevin’s effort to pass his pension reform bill was already facing an uphill fight, given the feedback legislators heard during recent town hall forums as well as the House leadership shakeup brought on by a reported sexual harassment settlement involving former Majority Leader Jeff Hoover and three other state representatives. But for Pulaski County’s local legislators, it’s the actuarial analysis of what the proposed changes would do to the pension system for public school teachers that spells the biggest trouble for the bill. [Commonwealth Journal]

Rand Paul of Kentucky said he returned to work on Monday, more than a week after he suffered six broken ribs when tackled by a neighbor while mowing his lawn. [Reuters]

Louisville may soon join the list of cities that have a year-round farmer’s market. The Logan Street Market, backed by Mike Safai, is tentatively scheduled to open next year in the Shelby Park neighborhood. [WFPL]

Among the wealthy sophisticates who came and went from their seaside villas on the Spanish island of Mallorca, there was something that didn’t quite fit about the Russian who lived in a neoclassical mansion on the Avenida Portals Vells. [ProPublica]

The city of Ashland hit a snag in one of its two infrastructure projects along 29th Street, but still expects all work to be completed by May. [Ashland Independent]

Remember bump stocks? The previously obscure gun conversion kits, which turn semiautomatic rifles into weapons capable of firing long, deadly bursts, were the bane of the Capitol a month ago, after a gunman used the devices to kill 58 people and wound hundreds of others in Las Vegas. Lawmakers in both parties quickly vowed to ban them. Even the National Rifle Association appeared to endorse restrictions. [NY Times]

Assistant Barren County Attorney Mike Richardson has announced his candidacy for Barren County county attorney. [Glasgow Daily Times]

TL;DR: Fox News is making people dumber, scaring the shit out of old people and making it impossible for gullible people to determine fact from fiction. [WaPo]

Here’s Jack Brammer getting excited and acting like this will matter or change anything. Kentucky House Republican leaders said Friday that they expect to get a preliminary investigative report from a Louisville law firm in about 10 days regarding allegations of sexual harassment and secret settlements by Republican lawmakers. [H-L]

Better late than never? Mitch McConnell (R-Granny) is now calling on Roy Moore, the Republican running for Alabama’s open Senate seat, to withdraw his candidacy, telling reporters in Louisville on Monday that he believes the women who have accused Moore of sexual misconduct. [HuffPo]

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Meet Your New KDP Chair, Same As The Old KDP Chair… Because Nothing Ever Changes In Kentucky

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Really? Borderline praising Sannie Overly? After she went to court to stop journalists (me included) from reporting on the Kentucky Democratic Party’s own sexual harassment and assault cases? That’s absurd, Herald-Leader folks. She ought not receive ANY kind of praise until she apologizes for what she’s done and allowed to occur. Those women suffered, never got what they were owed and essentially lost everything – their careers. [H-L]

Contradicting U.S. intelligence agencies, Lunatic Donald Trump on Saturday said he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim that the Kremlin did not attempt to interfere in the 2016 election. [HuffPo]

What the fuck is wrong with Debby Yetter? She’s pretty much whitewashing history by allowing everyone quoted in this story (with the exception of Joni Jenkins, who always stood against the Democratic men perpetrating harassment and assault) to behave as if they aren’t giant hypocrites. During the height of the Dem scandal, Sannie Overly went to court to try to stop my reporting on the mess – effectively attempting to silence victims! Jennifer Moore turned a blind eye to Overly’s actions and excused it. For Yetter to act like these women aren’t as bad as the Republicans currently doing this same shit – for enabling and supporting it – she’s just… for fuck’s sake, I don’t even know what she is but it’s not good. This is why people hate the paper. Yes, I name names and call people what they are. I’ve done it for 12 years and I’m not about to stop now. Fuck these people and fuck Debby Yetter’s pat-a-caking. [C-J/AKN]

Protect Democracy, a nonpartisan watchdog group, is suing the U.S. Justice Department to determine whether there has been any inappropriate influence from Shart Streak Trump or his White House advisers over the AT&T-Time Warner merger. [USA Today]

At least for now, Republican leaders of the Kentucky House of Representatives are resisting calls from Democrats to turn over an investigation into sexual harassment complaints to the Legislative Research Commission or Legislative Ethics Commission. [Ronnie Ellis]

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has questioned Sam Clovis, co-chairman of Donald Trump’s election campaign, to determine if Trump or top aides knew of the extent of the campaign team’s contacts with Russia, two sources familiar with the investigation said on Friday. [Reuters]

Probably because it’s stressful getting caught doing what you’ve spent years attacking the Democrats for doing. Former Republican Speaker of the House Jeff Hoover was hospitalized in Jamestown Thursday after experiencing chest tightness and discomfort. [More Ronnie Ellis]

From early in the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump swore he’d do away with the so-called carried-interest loophole, the notorious tax break that allows highly compensated private-equity managers, real estate investors and venture capitalists to be taxed at a much lower rate than other professionals. [ProPublica]

Just a reminder that Matt Bevin is a crazy-eyed liar. He lies even when he knows he’s been caught by the media. [Yet More Ronnie Ellis]

Josh Holmes helped create this mess. He can claim otherwise, in an attempt to pass the buck, but it’s all on people like him. [NY Times]

Despite rhetoric, mental illness is often not to blame for violent crimes. [WFPL]

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s sprawling investigation has spawned a new guessing game in Washington centered on retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s former national security adviser. [The Hil]

Prediction: this doesn’t help his business. That said, he can’t be any worse than Sannie Overly. Maybe he’ll finally hire an Executive Director who isn’t a disaster of a human being? [H-L]

U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson was found with his arms tied behind his back and a major head wound, indicating he may have been captured and executed in Niger last month, The Washington Post reported, citing local villagers. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Ruin Everything They Touch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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