Woah, Prestonsburg Produced A Big Ass Pumpkin

State regulators and a watchdog agency for people with disabilities have reached an agreement that advocates say will dramatically improve the lives of 600 people with serious mental illness who are living in personal care homes. [H-L]

There has been lots of reporting on the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs in recent months. But the most politically significant moment might well have been Barton Gellman’s revelation late Thursday that the NSA in recent years has committed thousands of privacy violations — per year. [WaPo]

Dear Central Kentucky Teabaggers: Brett Guthrie has already said that the defund amendment is a supreme waste of time. [BGDN]

More than half of all homes sold last year and so far in 2013 have been financed without a mortgage, according to an analysis by economists at Goldman Sachs Group. [WSJ]

State House Democrats Friday released their latest proposal to re-draw House legislative districts and it pits two sets of Democratic incumbents, including Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins and Kevin Sinnette, and two sets of Republican incumbents against each other in new districts. [Ronnie Ellis]

Matt Bevin went on some teabagger podcast thing no one has heard of and then promoted it. But if you take a look at the podcast host’s remarks, he’s no fan. [Click the Clicky]

Alison Grimes certainly isn’t alone when it comes to avoiding questions from the press. Here’s the latest involving Mitch McConnell. [Ashland Independent]

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Saturday called for a Supreme Court review of the constitutionality of the National Security Agency’s top-secret surveillance programs, arguing that congressional hearings and new safeguards announced by President Obama might not be sufficient to ensure privacy rights. [The Hill]

Once able to make appointments for breast and cervical cancer screenings at HealthFirst Bluegrass, women are now having to line up outside the clinic at 7:30 a.m. to be seen and still might not be screened that day. [H-L]

The acrimony between the Republican establishment and Ron Paul supporters who took control of state parties in 2012 has begun to fade as a new period of détente – even cooperation – starts to shape their often-fraught relationship. [Politico]

An agreement has been reached that will lead to better care for some residents at personal care homes. [WKYT]

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Wednesday offered an endorsement for a proposal to grant citizenship to children who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents. [The Hill]

Whether you go for the food, the rides or the exhibits, your first fair attraction will be the parking. After many people complained about time and hassle in the past, the Kentucky State Fair says it is off to a much better start this year thanks to a revamped system. [WDRB]

The 20-year-old document – labeled the Hotel Custody log by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office – is not easy to decipher. [ProPublica]

Dwight Slone, a Prestonsburg grower, grabbed first place in the fourth annual Largest Pumpkin Contest at the Kentucky State Fair. His pumpkin, which was grown in a patch of sand, weighed 1,034 pounds. Slone was the 2011 State Fair runnerup in the largest pumpkin competition. [C-J/AKN]

D.C. Folks Are More Excited Than Kentuckians

A federal grand jury has added a new charge against a Kentucky sheriff’s deputy, this one related to an alleged assault in 2008. [H-L]

National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden wants to set the record straight after individuals associated with his father have, in his words, “misled” journalists into “printing false claims about my situation.” [HuffPo]

Just as a new school year is about to get underway, a central Kentucky school district has had to make some tough decisions. [WKYT]

The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since 2008, the Washington Post reported on Thursday, citing an internal audit and other top-secret documents. [Reuters]

King’s Daughters Health System is restructuring its operations in response to a decline in patient volumes and reimbursement levels. [Ashland Independent]

Ancient rock etchings found along a dried-up lake bed in Nevada are the oldest petroglyphs in North America, scientists have said. The carvings, in the north of the state, are at least 10,000 years old and may be as old as 14,800 years. [BBC]

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources says federal officials have confirmed that a gray wolf was killed in Kentucky for the first time in more than a century. [H-L]

Though the topic may be decidedly less salacious, the Republican Party is embroiled in its own semantics gymnastics this week as its national committee members gather in Boston for their summer meeting. The imbroglio playing out Thursday is over the swap of the word “may” for the word “shall” — and how that little change in a party rule could affect the 2016 presidential prospects of potential out-of-the-GOP-mainstream candidates. [NPR]

Jack Conway said Thursday he doesn’t think the firm that wants to build a natural gas liquids pipeline has the ability to take land through eminent domain. [CN|2]

The sweeping presidential power to help prisoners that Attorney General Eric Holder didn’t mention. [ProPublica]

The two leading independent political handicappers in the country — Charlie Cook and Stu Rothenberg — paint very different pictures of the race unfolding in Kentucky between Sen. Mitch McConnell (R), businessman Matt Bevin (R) and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D). [WaPo]

Federal investigators found no initial evidence that a UPS cargo jet suffered engine failure or was burning before it clipped trees at the end of a runway and slammed into a hillside, killing the two crew members onboard, officials said Thursday. [WLEX18]

Matt Bevin Supported White Supremacist In 2004

Watching the latest video from the McConnell campaign is kind of entertaining:

In 2004, Bevin supported a secessionist white supremacist. These damn teabaggers (not tea partiers – there’s a big difference) love waving the confederate flag, throwing out race-baiting material and voting for the extremists.

And anyone who thinks the Louisville Tea Party is a thing is sorely delusional. It’s less of a thing than Louisville’s Republican Party.

McConnell Still Afraid The Poors Will Get Care

A northern Kentucky family is suing the city of Fort Thomas, claiming a lack of curb ramps resulted in a man being hit by a car while riding a motorized scooter and being killed. [H-L]

How one state succeeded in restricting payday loans. Lots of lessons for Kentucky and Steve Beshear to learn. [ProPublica]

The director of the Kentucky Emergency Management Agency resigned Thursday, two days after the release of a scathing audit which found evidence of wasteful spending and intimidation of employees who cooperated with auditors. [Ronnie Ellis]

Of course Eastern Kentucky makes an appearance. A 27-year-old U.S. program intended to warn the public of the presence of hazardous chemicals is flawed in many states due to scant oversight and lax reporting by plant owners, a Reuters examination finds. [Reuters]

A state agency under contract to inspect hospitals for the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service says it is conducting an investigation at Baptist Health Corbin. [WHAS11]

Hurricane Sandy caused upward of $60 billion in damage, including an estimated $19 billion in damage and economic losses in New York City alone. Sea level rise played a relatively minor role in contributing to these losses. [Click the Clicky]

Matt Bevin skipped all the Republican functions at Fancy Farm but decided to go to the JIM BUNNING picnic? Someone should probably clue him in that Jim Bunning, you know, has less political support than Steve Henry. [Cincinnasti Enquirer]

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Monday that the Obama administration should delay its signature healthcare law because of concerns about data security. [The Hill]

Tucked inside St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Newport is a modest clinic where the poor and chronically ill find health care and comfort from nurses who ask nothing in return. [WLEX18]

James Van Dyke Evers was only 3 when his father, Medgar, was assassinated in the driveway of the family’s home in Jackson, Miss., in June 1963. [NPR]

Angry taxpayers spoke, and the Jefferson County school board listened — sort of. After a contentious, standing-room only meeting Monday night, board members for Jefferson County Public Schools turned down the district’s request to raise property tax rates 3.1 percent — then minutes later approved a smaller 1.4 percent hike that will generate roughly $8 million more for public schools. [Toni Konz]

Jennifer Lawrence sat down with Vogue to discuss paparazzi and the super “weird” past that made her the lovable star she is today. It turns out America’s dream best friend had a pretty “unhappy” childhood. [HuffPo]

Kim King’s ALEC Claims Just Proved Bunk Again

Federal prosecutors in Milwaukee sued a Kentucky-based pharmaceuticals services firm on Friday, accusing PharMerica Corp. of illegally dispensing addictive narcotics without proper oversight. [H-L]

On the day President Barack Obama proposed reforms to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the National Security Agency shared a paper claiming legal authority for its spying and revealing that it “touches” 1.6 percent of Internet information. [HuffPo]

While his fiery rhetoric was designed to whip people into a frenzy, the paltry number of supporters scattered throughout the crowd left one with the impression that Bevin has a long way to go to defeat McConnell. [Courier & Press]

Turns out the 1960s were an unbelievably scary period of time for Kentucky Fried Chicken and Colonel Sanders. [Buzzfeed]

Just wishful thinking? He may call him a “friend” in Washington, but back home in Nevada, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is predicting the downfall of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. [C-J/AKN]

Representative Andy Barr, a Republican from Kentucky with little experience in the intricacies of Wall Street, was among the lucky House freshmen to secure a seat on the powerful Financial Services Committee. [NY Times]

The 2014 U.S. Senate election is 15 months away but a lot more people than Jesse Benton may be holding their noses before it’s over. [Ronnie Ellis]

Remember how Kim King was super-excited about her ALEC conference? And when her puppet master husband twatted that fracking was magical and had never caused water issues? Check out all the corporate influence in state legislation and lawmakers. [Bill Moyers]

Two of today’s best-selling high-end bourbons, Maker’s Mark and Pappy Van Winkle, got their start in very different ways but their recipes for success have two things in common: wheat and non-traditional marketing. [H-L]

President Barack Obama on Friday slammed Republicans for their continuing push to repeal his signature health care law, asking why the primary issue uniting the GOP involves kicking tens of tens of millions of people off of health insurance with no alternative plan for providing them coverage. [HuffPo]

The Kentucky museum where dinosaurs and biblical characters coexist has rolled out new exhibits and attractions – some with no religious message – to try to bring in new visitors. [WLEX18]

Another showdown over the filibuster is quickly approaching, a mere weeks after the previous one pushed the Senate to the brink of a nuclear-style rules change. [TPM]

A dilemma numerous county governments have found themselves in recently is one that has unfortunately not missed Perry County. [Hazard Herald]

A legal debate over whether one member of a same-sex couple has spousal privilege that would shield her from testifying against her partner is at the heart of a capital murder case in politically conservative Kentucky. [Reuters]