Creepy Wayne Lewis Has Ruined KDE

Donald Trump’s decision to launch a trade war against some of America’s closest allies now threatens Kentucky’s bourbon industry and much more. But don’t just blame the fool in the White House; blame the spineless Kentucky Republicans in Congress who enable him. [H-L]

“I’m not really anything special,” Miss Major Griffin-Gracy says with a slight chuckle. “I’m just one of the girls.” But despite her modesty, Griffin-Gracy is anything but ordinary. [HuffPo]

Kentucky education officials are considering a state takeover of Jefferson County Public Schools despite a lack of evidence that such moves transform academic achievement across large, urban districts. “If people are expecting quick results and miraculous returns … they are going to be disappointed,” said Michael Petrilli, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative education policy think tank based in Washington, D.C. [C-J/AKN]

Two higher-education associations released statements on Wednesday opposing the U.S. State Department’s move to limit the length of student visas for some Chinese citizens. [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Alison Grimes should definitely run. As Kentucky’s political world wonders whether Republican Matt Bevin will run for re-election in 2019, it is also watching to see what some Democrats will do. [Ronnie Ellis]

After U.S. tariffs on imports of European steel and aluminum took effect Friday morning, the EU’s top trade commissioner called them “illegal” and a classic case of protectionism. The EU plans to make its case to the World Trade Organization. [NPR]

Joe Burchett’s Attorney, Scott White, filed a motion recently requesting a change of venue for the court proceedings in a case accusing the Boyd County Jailer of malfeasance or neglect of county officer. [Ashland Independent]

The aunt of the woman shot and killed by a Border Patrol agent last week after crossing the border illegally near Laredo, Tex., has a message for the United States: “Don’t treat us like animals.” [ NY Times]

This effort is a good one but if there’s ever a community that does not need armored military surprise vehicles, it’s Morehead. [The Morehead News]

About a half-million Medicare Part D recipients “received high amounts of opioids” in 2016. Almost 20 percent of that group are at “serious risk of opioid misuse or overdose.” [WaPo]

The Barren County Ambulance Service Taxing District’s board of directors have agreed not to make a payment on the Barren-Metcalfe County Emergency Medical Service’s deficit for the month of May. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A leading U.S. group of cancer doctors is wary of new Trump administration proposals for lowering drug prices, particularly if new negotiation tools are introduced that will mean the U.S. government no longer routinely pays for all cancer drugs in the Medicare health program for older people. [Reuters]

Asher Sharp lives a life of faith and certainty in rural Tennessee. He has a wife, a 9-year-old son and a small fundamentalist Christian congregation he pastors. But when rains swell the Cumberland River into a flood of Biblical proportions, his certainty is swept away with the water. [H-L]

A vitriolic audiotape of a phone call between Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen and a reporter reveals how the lawyer tried to protect his boss with threats and fury. [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin Got Slapped In Court Again

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Frustrated by years of financial mismanagement and limited accountability, an Eastern Kentucky activist group this week asked Attorney General Andy Beshear to investigate. [H-L]

This is a serious violation of the First Amendment. The fact that neither the Kentucky Democratic Party nor the Republican Party of Kentucky have condemned Trump’s attacks on citizens – effectively government retaliation – speaks volumes about their cowardice. [HuffPo]

Louisville mayoral candidate and JCPS critic Angela Leet joined Metro Council Democrats on Thursday in supporting a measure that opposes the state seizing control of the school district. [C-J/AKN]

Federal prosecutors sorting through materials seized from Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s personal attorney, said Wednesday they needed more time to piece together the contents of a shredder taken in an FBI raid. [NBC News]

The audit of the financial statement of the Boyd County Fiscal Court for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2016 has been released. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump falsely accused The New York Times on Saturday of making up a source in an article about North Korea, even though the source was in fact a senior White House official speaking to a large group of reporters in the White House briefing room. [ NY Times]

It is being recommended that Warren County residents older than one year get Hepatitis A vaccinations due to an ongoing outbreak. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, met at Trump Tower in New York days before the 2017 inauguration with a Russian billionaire who was sanctioned this year by the U.S. government. [WaPo]

Every year, Louisville police officers take hundreds of guns off the streets. Some of them were purchased legally, but were being used illegally. Some were confiscated during arrests or drug searches. Some were owned by felons. [WFPL]

Kentucky agencies considering these stunts should tread lightly, as I hear there’s a wealthy family in Louisville set to fight the hell out of these messes in court. Cough, cough. Instead of turning over requests for records, a growing number of cities, school boards and other government agencies across the nation are suing people seeking documents — forcing them to decide whether it’s worth fighting for their request in court — at their own expense. [Herald-Tribune]

If you thought the replacement for Toni Konz wouldn’t be bad, you were mistaken – because I was. Sure, she was one of the worst education reporters in Kentucky history – and played pat-a-cake with people like Terry Holliday while lying about it… but she’s slowly being upstaged. How anyone could report on Kevin Brown “resigning” from the Kentucky Department of Education without bothering to do any real reporting on the crap he’s been involved in through the years is beyond me. It’s lazy, offensive press release journalism and everyone deserves better. Wheatley’s wholly capable and a good person but I’m way over this shit with ed reporters. If *I* can do it? Anyone can. So spare me your whining. [WDRB]

House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy said Tuesday he is now “more convinced” that the FBI acted appropriately in its handling of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible connections to Donald Trump’s campaign. [CNN]

Matt Bevin asked a judge that he recently called “an incompetent hack” to step aside in Attorney General Andy Beshear’s legal challenge of Kentucky’s new public pension law, but the judge said late Thursday he’s staying put. [H-L]

When you dream of an ideal world ― one that you would truly, emphatically wish to live in, what does it look like? What does it feel like? How do people live together there? How are wealth and power distributed? How do people find happiness and meaning within their day-to-day lives? [HuffPo]

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Woo, Another School District Scandal

A woman who worked as payroll manager in a Kentucky school district says officials want to get rid of her because she’s a whistleblower who complained about employees abusing a new time-clock system. [H-L]

Over 4,600 people died in Puerto Rico during the aftermath of Hurricane Maria ― more than 70 times the official death toll ― according to a new Harvard study released Tuesday. [HuffPo]

Two Kentucky district court judges illegally refused to let motorists participate in the Jefferson County attorney’s traffic school, the Kentucky Court of Appeals said in affirming a lower court ruling. The court in a 3-0 ruling Friday upheld an opinion by Jefferson Circuit Judge McKay Chauvin that District Judges Sean Delahanty and Stephanie Pearce Burke improperly blocked alleged traffic scofflaws from Drive Safe Louisville. [C-J/AKN]

How does one “lose” almost 1,500 children? Last month, Steven Wagner, the acting assistant secretary of the administration for children and families (ACF), announced at a Senate hearing that the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement — which is to say, an office he oversees — was “unable to determine with certainty the whereabouts of 1,475 children between October and December.” [ThinkProgress]

Almost all of northeast Kentucky’s top school officials earn six-figure salaries, but for almost all of them their salaries are lower than the state average. [Ashland Independent]

After the landmark nuclear agreement of 2015, hundreds of European, Asian and even American companies rushed to enter Iran’s largely untapped market of 80 million people, assured by the United States and the other signatories that their investments would be safe for at least a decade. [ NY Times]

A former Morehead State University recreation center may just be Rowan County’s “newest” if Morehead City Council has its way and it’s not too much of a burden on taxpayers. [The Morehead News]

The gun-control group Giffords has released a short documentary on students affected by shootings — two students from Parkland, Fla., and a Chicago teenager whose brother was killed. [WaPo]

This, like all things Matt Bevin touches, will be a disaster. Derrick Ramsey will be calling the signals for the Kentucky Cabinet for Education and Workforce Development. [Ronnie Ellis]

A new study published Tuesday estimates that Hurricane Maria killed over 5,000 people after striking Puerto Rico last September. That’s more than 75 times higher than the island’s previous official count, and if widely accepted would cement the storm as one of the most deadly natural disasters to ever affect US citizens. [Mother Jones]

The Jefferson County School board will appeal the state education department’s recommendation for a takeover of the district. [WFPL]

At a White House meeting last winter, leaders of the F.B.I. and the Justice Department made an urgent appeal to John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, to side with them against Republicans in Congress who were pressing for information about the Russia investigation that would compromise confidential sources. [More NY Times]

A Kentucky truck stop was evacuated Sunday after what was apparently a pipe bomb was found in a trash can, according to Kentucky State Police. [H-L]

Anti-trust nerds, consumer advocates and open internet campaigners and have been fighting to break up Facebook for years. But in their crusade against the social network’s online monopoly, the usual suspects have enlisted a growing coalition of allies: artists and progressive Muslim and Jewish activists. [HuffPo]

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Surprise! Everybody Is Still Broke

Lexington is a polite city, and voters Nov. 6 will choose between two polite and genuinely nice people to be their next mayor. [Tom Eblen]

Of course the man who paid women off and paid for abortions is pushing this anti-woman horse shit. [HuffPo]

The Jefferson County school board can hire superintendents, sign off on new charter schools and manage district funds. But under the proposed state takeover of Jefferson County Public Schools, those powers would be swept away and sent to Kentucky’s schools chief — the man who recommended the takeover last month. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump’s personal lawyer helped a major donor to Mr. Trump’s inauguration pitch a nuclear-power investment to the Qatari sovereign wealth fund at a meeting in April, according to people familiar with the matter. [WSJ]

Artist and environmentalist Pat Banks of Madison County won the Democratic nomination Tuesday in the 73rd District for the Kentucky House of Representatives. [Richmond Register]

A company owned by Joel Zamel, an Israeli entrepreneur whose work has drawn the scrutiny of special counsel Robert Mueller, formed a strategic partnership with a data firm for Donald Trump’s campaign in a joint bid to win business from the U.S. government and other clients after the 2016 election, according to people familiar with the matter. [WSJ]

The Democratic primary race for Kentucky House of Representatives District 100 was incredibly close with unofficial results showing Terri Branham Clark winning by just 16 votes. [Ashland Independent]

Four in ten Americans can’t, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Board. Those who don’t have the cash on hand say they’d have to cover it by borrowing or selling something. [CNN]

Rowan County Fiscal Court met in regular session last week and unanimously approved a $13,867,722 operating budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year. [The Morehead News]

We’re looking at you, Matt Bevin. Donald Trump cannot block Twitter users for the political views they have expressed, a federal judge in Manhattan ruled on Wednesday. Blocking users from viewing his Twitter account — a feature offered by the social media platform — is unconstitutional and a violation of the First Amendment, Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald wrote in her ruling. [NBC News]

Hank Linderman won Tuesday’s Democratic primary for U.S. House of Representatives District 2. He will face incumbent U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky, in November’s general election. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, received a secret payment of at least $400,000 (£300,000) to fix talks between the Ukrainian president and Trump, according to sources in Kiev close to those involved. The payment was arranged by intermediaries acting for Ukraine’s leader, Petro Poroshenko, the sources said, though Mr Cohen was not registered as a representative of Ukraine as required by US law. [BBC]

Lexington voters will choose between Linda Gorton, a former vice mayor, and Ronnie Bastin, a former police chief, in the November general election for mayor. [H-L]

Top Democrats on Wednesday urged the Justice Department to scrap a classified briefing with top House Republicans regarding sensitive documents that the GOP lawmakers had requested about the Russia investigation, but said if the meeting was to go forward on Thursday, it ought to include lawmakers of both parties. [HuffPo]

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Who’ll Win? Carpetbagger Or Rich Guy?

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Ugh, Lexington is going to elect a carpetbagger or an out-of-touch rich guy instead of Reggie. [H-L]

Sounds like Kentucky, doesn’t it? Michigan Republicans are pushing a new, Donald Trump-inspired bill that would require Medicaid recipients in the state’s mostly black cities to work to keep their health benefits, but exempt some of the state’s rural white residents from the same requirement. [HuffPo]

Wayne Lewis, like Matt Bevin, is a con artist. The Kentucky Department of Education won’t tell you that the original plan was for the state to offer assistance to Jefferson County Public Schools rather than take it over and strip the elected school board of power. [C-J/AKN]

A robotic geologist armed with a hammer and quake monitor rocketed toward Mars on Saturday, aiming to land on the red planet and explore its mysterious insides. [AP]

Two weeks after Madison County Attorney Jud Patterson announced plans to start a new home incarceration program to help decrease the jail population, the first step in a possible expansion of the habitually overcrowded facility was taken by magistrates. [Richmond Register]

Matt Wender’s vision for Fayette County begins with the New River Gorge. Whitewater rafters, hikers and mountain bikers congregate there every summer. Craft beer and artisan pizza are helping his home emerge as an outdoor tourism hub. [ProPublica]

A Rowan County resident has filed a motion to challenge “the good faith of a candidate” running in the Primary Election on Tuesday, May 22. The “good faith” motion states King challenges Kim Barker-Tabor, current Rowan County Circuit Court Clerk and running for the seat later this month, of her candidacy for election in the primary, more specifically the date of her citizenship and residency in Rowan County. [The Morehead News]

One of the nation’s largest anti-LGBTQ organizations claims that it’s been treated unfairly because of its homophobic, transphobic, and other derogatory positions. [ThinkProgress]

Barren and 38 other Kentucky counties will receive money to be used for economic development because of Kentucky House Bill 114, which Matt Bevin signed into law in April. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The jobless rate looks like old times but the economy doesn’t. The last time the unemployment rate fell below the 4 percent threshold was in 2000, during a period of frenetic activity remembered as the dot-com boom. [NY Times]

The Fairview Board of Education on Friday chose a new superintendent following two marathon days of interviews. [Ashland Independent]

The abrupt ouster and reinstatement of the U.S. House chaplain are exposing tensions among House Republicans about the role of a vocal Jesuit Catholic priest in Congress in the era of Pope Francis. [WaPo]

A woman who said she gave birth in a jail cell without medical attention has filed a federal lawsuit against staffers with the Franklin County Regional Jail. [H-L]

A new “faith-based” adoption law signed by Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin on Friday is raising red flags for LGBTQ groups. [HuffPo]

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Embarrassing: Bevin’s Loony Projection

Somebody is projecting and his name is Matt Bevin. Matt Bevin went after a Kentucky judge Tuesday, the day after that judge ruled against Bevin’s procedural motion in a lawsuit over Kentucky’s new pension law. [H-L]

An interim memorial for the 49 people killed in the 2016 Pulse nightclub attack opened to the public Tuesday in Orlando, Florida. [HuffPo]

Battling brain cancer at his family ranch in Arizona, 81-year-old Sen. John McCain has been sharing his hopes for the future of the country and reflections on his political life with friends who visit. For former Vice President Joe Biden, McCain’s message was a simple one: don’t “walk away” from politics, Biden told The New York Times, describing his conversation with the Arizona Republican. [CBS News]

While Louisville frantically tries to rescue residents from heroin, fentanyl and pain pills, another drug is creeping back to prominence. Crystal meth. [C-J/AKN]

When former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. traveled to Senator John McCain’s Arizona ranch last Sunday to spend a few hours with his ailing friend, the two reminisced about the “crazy senators” they had served with, the overseas trips they took together for decades and the friendship Mr. McCain forged with Mr. Biden’s two sons. But the conversation on the sun-splashed deck off Mr. McCain’s bedroom was not all nostalgia. [NY Times]

Kentucky is among the many states considered by the National Safety Council to be “lagging” in handling the opioid crisis. [Richmond Register]

The Drug Enforcement Administration said Friday that it had immediately suspended opioid sales by a wholesale distributor, accusing a Louisiana company of failing to report unusually large shipments of narcotics to independent drugstores “with questionable need for the drugs.” [WaPo]

The Greenup County Board of Education took the first formal step toward enacting a utility tax Monday and made plans for a public hearing on the levy. [Ashland Independent]

The US Navy has said it will re-establish its Second Fleet, as Russia becomes more assertive. [BBC]

A budget totaling slightly more than $1.26 million was approved Monday by the Cave City Tourist and Convention Commission. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, who could take command at EPA if Pruitt leaves, is “like Mike Pence is to Trump,“ says one person who has worked with him. [Politico]

State lawmakers from Louisville agree that the city’s public school system needs to improve, but disagree along party lines over whether the state should intervene in the management of the district. [WFPL]

The Department of Homeland Security ended temporary deportation protection for 57,000 Honduran immigrants on Friday, forcing them to either find another legal way to stay in the country or pack up their lives and leave. [ThinkProgress]

Montgomery County’s about to pay out another settlement.. A middle school chorus teacher who lost his job after disclosing that he is bisexual has filed a discrimination suit in federal court against the Montgomery County Board of Education. [H-L]

If you think this is bad, you’ll be horrified when you find out that organizations like PETA and the HSUS push massive euthanasia programs. A U.S. Department of Agriculture laboratory is under fire after an investigation revealed it has been breeding kittens for research purposes and then killing them when they’re no longer needed. [HuffPo]

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Bevin: Too Dumb To Walk & Chew Gum?

The Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents violated the state open meetings act when it met behind behind closed doors for more than five hours, Attorney General Andy Beshear said. [H-L]

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators have questioned a Russian oligarch about hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments his company’s US affiliate made to Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, after the election, according to a source familiar with the matter. [CNN]

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith sharply criticized Donald Trump on Friday for headlining the National Rifle Association convention mere months after he vowed to take action on gun control in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in which 17 people died. [HuffPo]

Jefferson County Public Schools could fight a state takeover in court by arguing that the state board of education cannot issue a fair decision because its new members are biased, a lawyer says. Louisville attorney David Tachau, whose practice includes constitutional litigation, said the circumstances leading up to interim Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis’ recommendation for a takeover seem suspect. [C-J/AKN]

Cambridge Analytica used its own database and voter information collected from Facebook and news publishers in its effort to help elect Donald Trump, despite a claim by a top campaign official who has downplayed the company’s role in the election. [The Guardian]

Presidents facing re-election often employ what’s euphemistically called “the Rose Garden Strategy” — events outside the White House which make them look presidential. Congressmen don’t have that luxury, but Kentucky’s Republican Congressman from the 6th District, Andy Barr, gets pretty close. [Ronnie Ellis]

The lobbyist and his wife who rented a condominium to Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt for $50 a night last summer paid a $2,034 fine on Friday for renting the property without the proper license. [The Hill]

Four Democrats and two Republicans are vying to fill the role of Greenup County Sheriff, an office that has been occupied by Democrat Keith Cooper since 1999. Cooper has opted against running for a sixth term. [Ashland Independent]

The U.S. National Security Agency collected 534 million records of phone calls and text messages of Americans last year, more than triple gathered in 2016, a U.S. intelligence agency report released on Friday said. [Reuters]

Harold “Hal” Rogers, U.S. representative for Kentucky’s 5th congressional district, attended a special meeting of the Gateway Area Development District (ADD) Wednesday to provide an update about ongoing work in Washington, DC and across southern and eastern Kentucky. [The Morehead News]

When the United States sought to punish Russia last month for its election interference and other aggressions, it targeted some of Russia’s wealthiest men, imposing sanctions on those viewed as enriching themselves off President Vladimir V. Putin’s government. Now it turns out that one of the men, Viktor F. Vekselberg, was also singled out in another of the efforts to confront Russia’s election interference: the investigation led by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. Federal agents working with Mr. Mueller stopped Mr. Vekselberg, a billionaire businessman, at a New York-area airport this year and sought to search his electronic devices and question him, according to people familiar with the matter. [NY Times]

While law enforcement agencies and other organizations around the nation may be increasing their gun bring-back programs, so far, that idea is not taking off in the Barren County area. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Beijing’s International Security Defense College, which boasts of becoming “the largest private security training school in China,” sits behind a 45-foot-high exterior wall and a barricade. Inside the compound, trainers with police and military experience teach classes on tackling detainees, handling hostage situations and thwarting terrorist attacks. [WaPo]

Faced with the need to cut nearly $1 million from its budget, Kentucky Educational Television is eliminating its online campus offerings, long known as “distance learning.” [H-L]

A high-ranking political appointee at the Department of the Interior told colleagues their job is ultimately to protect their boss, Secretary Ryan Zinke, internal emails reveal ― in particular from matters that could trigger an ethics probe or negative media attention. [HuffPo]

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