Medicaid Expansion Not The Devil After All

Earlier this winter, the folks at Bernheim Arboretum noticed a majestic golden eagle spending time in the forested hills of Bernheim Forest in Bullitt County. [H-L]

To Sen. Bernie Sanders, the new Republican budgets offered this week aren’t so much spending blueprints as they are promises to help the rich get richer and boost income inequality. [HuffPo]

A Louisville Metro Council committee unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday calling for “a complete and thorough environmental impact statement” on whether the new Robley Rex Veterans Affairs Medical Center should go near the Watterson Expressway and Brownsboro Road. [C-J/AKN]

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for information about its behavior detection program. [The Hill]

If the Kentucky General Assembly does nothing about Kentucky’s dwindling road fund, the state will have to make tough choices about which highway projects to fund, according to the state agency that administers highway construction projects. [WFPL]

Americans are more likely than ever to say President Barack Obama’s time in the White House has been successful, according to a new CNN/ORC poll released Thursday. [Politico]

The city of Cumberland has a new police chief. During a meeting on Tuesday, Mayor Carolyn Elliot appointed Cumberland City Police Officer Cody Williamson to the position of Chief of Police. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

An order issued by a federal judge in Alabama said the state has agreed to halt scheduled executions until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a case challenging another state’s lethal injection protocol. [Reuters]

Bowling Green City Commission on Tuesday night rejected proposed limits on how soon campaign signs can be displayed before an election. City leaders approved the first reading of an amendment to the Warren County zoning ordinance but rejected a proposal within that amendment to only allow campaign signs to be displayed beginning 30 days before an election. [BGDN]

Many of the states that agreed to expand the eligibility requirements for their Medicaid programs under the health law are reaping millions of dollars in savings, according to two new reports that confirm the financial benefits in store for state lawmakers who implement this particular Obamacare provision. [Think Progress]

Glasgow City Council’s Finance Committee is expected to get more into the nitty gritty of preparing the budget for the city’s next fiscal year, and the first steps of that process are already underway. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Yet another health insurer reported a massive data breach this week, affecting the financial and medical information of 11 million people. [ProPublica]

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid thanked likely Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul of Kentucky for dispensing “expert advice” on Reid’s injured right eye. [H-L]

Support for gay marriage has become the majority opinion, and voters now also say they’re more likely to reject a presidential candidate opposed to gay marriage than one who backs it — something gay marriage advocates hope marks a political tipping point for 2016. [HuffPo]

Didn’t We Tell Moira To Jump Ship Ages Ago?

The University of Kentucky took another step Monday toward filling the partially vacant patient tower at its Albert B. Chandler Hospital.[H-L]

With the Supreme Court set to rule in the coming months on marriage equality, the gay rights community already is gearing up for its next big fight: the push for a comprehensive federal nondiscrimination bill. [HuffPo]

As the Affordable Care Act pushes doctors and hospitals to join forces to slash health care costs, those with the least-expensive solutions say they’re still largely being ignored. [C-J/AKN]

The top spokeswoman for House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) is stepping down after less than seven months on the job, a rocky period during which Scalise faced a deluge of negative press after revelations he spoke to a white supremacist group in 2002. Moira Bagley Smith, communications director for the whip’s office, is leaving to “pursue opportunities in the private sector,” she said in a statement Wednesday. [The Hill]

Negotiations between local union workers and Marathon Petroleum officials at the Catlettsburg refinery took a step backward Monday, according to local union negotiator Dave Martin. [Ashland Independent]

Do you want to read a million word thing about SOAR that will make you appreciate it even less than you already do? [Click the Clicky]

The Barren County Schools district used a professional development day Monday to put teachers, faculty, administrators and staff members through an active shooter drill at Barren County High School – because, as Superintendent Bo Matthews said, society is different than it was 30 years ago. [Glasgow Daily Times]

But none of the top candidates in this field gets within 10 points of Hillary Clinton in a series of hypothetical general election matchups. Rand Paul comes closest, with 43% saying they’d be more likely to back him while 54% choose Clinton. [CNN]

Rowan Judge-Executive Walter Blevins told Thursday’s meeting of Morehead-Rowan County Chamber of Commerce that the county is getting closer to choosing a site for its new jail. [The Morehead News]

The U.S. government is preparing to roll back a widely criticized approach to public health, in which the “lost pleasure” people might suffer if they quit smoking or chose to eat healthier foods was used to reduce the projected benefits of new regulations, government officials told Reuters. [Reuters]

An abandoned mine blowout has caused flood damage at Turner’s Creek, a community near Evarts. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

This season on Downlow Abbey… [BBC]

The Kentucky Attorney General’s office has ruled in favor of a newspaper seeking police records. [H-L]

The U.S. Department of Education acknowledges all of its contract debt collectors have violated federal consumer protection laws. But it doesn’t much seem to care, according to advocates for borrowers and the debt collectors themselves. [HuffPo]

Election 2015 Schadenfreude Has Shifted Into Gear

About 45 minutes before Comer’s remarks began, the latest Bluegrass Poll was released showing the state commissioner of agriculture trailing former Louisville councilman Hal Heiner by 8 points and tied with Louisville businessman Matt Bevin, who lost a primary challenge to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell last spring. Hours before that, Comer’s campaign faced a minor embarrassment when the PageOneKentucky blog revealed that the parents and brother of Holly Harris Von Luehrte, Comer’s former campaign manager, were hosting a fundraiser for Heiner. [H-L]

Surprising new research suggests that our home galaxy is about 50 percent bigger than previously thought, spanning some 150,000 light-years across rather than the 100,000 light-years that has been the generally accepted number. [HuffPo]

A half-dozen faculty members speaking before the University of Louisville Faculty Senate on Wednesday denounced large deferred compensation packages that have been given to the university’s top executives. Several speakers said that while the packages for President James Ramsey, Provost Shirley Willihnganz and Chief of Staff Kathleen Smith might be legal, they are not ethical, given tuition hikes and low pay for faculty. [C-J/AKN]

Former high-ranking aides to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have formed an “issues management” firm called Cavalry, according to an announcement. [The Hill]

With an 8-point lead in the latest polling, GOP gubernatorial candidate Hal Heiner is calling the poll “encouraging” given his 53 weeks on the campaign trail so far. [CN|Toot]

But Mitch McConnell fought like crazy FOR those “advantage” plans. Federal health officials were advised in 2009 that a formula used to pay private Medicare plans triggered widespread billing errors and overcharges that have since wasted billions of tax dollars, newly released government records show. [Public Integrity]

If you enjoy watching politicians squirm, the next week offers a delicious version of political March madness in Kentucky. [Ronnie Ellis]

Johnathan Masters admits he’s not exactly the ideal running mate – he’s got a string of charges on his record, and pending court appearances on the calendar — but he is absolutely puzzled by his latest arrest in Kenton County, Kentucky. Apparently, he was told by police on Wednesday he failed to return a library book from 11 years ago. [Umm]

Several residents in the Haywood vicinity reported what sounded like an explosion Thursday evening, and some also reported seeing smoke in the direction of U.S. 31-E. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Iraqi Kurdish authorities said on Saturday they had evidence that Islamic State had used chlorine gas as a chemical weapon against their peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq in January. [Reuters]

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System will keep its tuition the same for the next academic year. [WFPL]

Mitch McConnell says there’ll be no vote to confirm Loretta Lynch as attorney general until Republicans and Democrats resolve a dispute over a human trafficking bill. [Politico]

Now that Kentucky can grow hemp again, the next step is figuring out what to do with it. Ryan Quarles has his work cut out for him. [H-L]

The share of unemployed Americans who receive unemployment insurance benefits has dwindled to its lowest point in decades, thanks in part to benefit cuts in Republican-led states. Just 23.1 percent of unemployed workers received state unemployment benefits at the end of 2014. [HuffPo]

Perry Co School Board Slap Fight Take 889384

Several people who live in Bell Court and Mentelle Park gathered around businessman Alan Stein Tuesday night after a meeting of the Fayette County school redistricting committee that he chairs. [H-L]

Talk about hypocrisy of epic proportions from Rand Paul. Good grief. You can’t claim you want to stop nation building and then attempt to redraw the Middle East. [HuffPo]

Nearly half of Kentucky voters believe that local communities should be able to play a greater role in determining their economic futures by allowing them to set their own minimum wages and deciding whether they should have so-called “right-to-work” laws. [C-J/AKN]

Texas is down to its final dose of lethal injection drugs after the US state executed a man on Wednesday. [BBC]

It took Becky and James Tracy less than half an hour to make the tour Tuesday of various information stations set up by East Kentucky Power Cooperative regarding a new power transmission line and substation the utility plans to construct south of Glasgow. [Glasgow Daily Times]

News about race in America these days is almost universally negative. Millennials are more racist than they think. [Politico]

Waters are lapping up on the Port of Ashland. It nearly covered the rail on the ramp leading to the top of the riverport area on Thursday. [Ashland Independent]

State utility Florida Power and Light (FPL) wants to buy an old coal plant in Florida just to shut it down, a move that it says would prevent nearly 1 million tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere each year. [Think Progress]

The topic of consolidation of the cities of Cumberland, Benham and Lynch reared its head during a meeting of the Cumberland City Council on Tuesday. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

U.S. import prices rose in February after seven months of declines as the cost of petroleum increased, but there was still little sign of imported inflation pressures. [Reuters]

Once again, the scheduling of the Perry County Board of Education’s (BOE) regular monthly meetings has come under fire. [Hazard Herald]

A bill meant to crack down on human trafficking is in deep trouble in the Senate because of a political fight over abortion. [The Hill]

Lexington’s Keeneland racetrack will get a tax break from the state for hosting the Breeders’ Cup this fall. [H-L]

The International Monetary Fund agreed Wednesday to extend $17.5 billion in loans to Ukraine as part of a program designed to pull the country back from the verge of economic collapse. [HuffPo]

Embry’s Gay Panic Is As Bad As Stan Lee’s

The University of Kentucky will pay $300,000 to become the first corporate sponsor of a group trying to improve life in Eastern Kentucky. Shaping our Appalachian Region, or SOAR, was formed in 2013 by Gov. Steve Beshear and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers. [H-L]

The industrial conglomerate run by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch is refusing to provide Democratic lawmakers with information on whether it has paid for climate change research. [HuffPo]

The Bluegrass Poll was a disaster last year and now everybody is trying to do a bunch of CYA. [C-J/AKN]

Veterans who need to see a doctor often have to travel long distances – 40 miles or more – to get to a Department of Veterans Affairs facility. So last year, after scandals involving long wait times for vets, Congress tried to make getting care easier. [NPR]

CSX, which operates the railroad that runs through Richmond and Berea, and The Conservation Fund, announced this past week that Berea-based Grow Appalachia will receive a $10,000. [Richmond Register]

Swiss researchers have discovered how chameleons accomplish their vivid colour changes: they rearrange the crystals inside specialised skin cells. [BBC]

Now shootings are making their way to Glasgow. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a grave warning about the Mississippi River on Saturday. Because of an oil spill, it said, the cultural landmark is in “imminent and substantial danger” of being contaminated. [Think Progress]

As Morehead City Council prepares to hold its second reading of an ordinance to amend the definition of smoking to include electronic cigarettes, city and county officials say the ordinance will not change current policy at the Rowan County Detention Center. [The Morehead News]

Kentuckians are familiar with behavior like this. Howard Glaser, a lobbyist and longtime confidant to Andrew Cuomo, previously denied he was involved in the then-attorney general’s investigations. Newly obtained emails show otherwise. [ProPublica]

As talk swirls about Sen. Rand Paul’s possible presidential bid, a new Bluegrass Poll finds more likely Kentucky voters think he should bow out of politics rather than run for re-election or the presidency. [WKYT]

Two police officers were shot during a protest outside Ferguson, Missouri, police headquarters early on Thursday, police said, just hours after the city’s police chief quit following a damning U.S. Justice Department report into his force. [Reuters]

If you’ve followed anything at all in Montgomery County, it’s clear that children have NO PLACE on superintendent search committees. Heck, most adults have no business being involved. But this story is really about C.B. Embry being a scared, self-hating bigot. [H-L]

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Congress last week, making his case against the deal the U.S. and partner nations are negotiating over Iran’s nuclear program, Miriam Adelson — the wife of billionaire casino operator Sheldon Adelson — dropped her purple Hermes purse from the gallery onto the floor of the House, hitting the foot of a congressman. The incident, a humorous side note to the speech, was also a helpful reminder of the not-so-subtle role some in the audience have played in promoting Netanyahu’s opposition to the current U.S.-Iran negotiations. [HuffPo]

Cave City & Barren County Sound C-o-r-r-u-p-t

He should have retired ages ago. Leave it up to Jack Brammer, of course, to write some glowing review of one of the men responsible for Kentucky’s corrupt government. Anthony Wilhoit, who has headed the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission since November 1997, is stepping down from the position. [H-L]

Way to go, Kentucky. Two law firms have teamed up to file a federal lawsuit against the state of Kentucky for its practice of forbidding opiate addicts from receiving medical treatment while under the supervision of the criminal justice system. [HuffPo]

A steady stream of weary-looking addicts, many with bags of used hypodermic needles stuffed into old winter coats, walked into an alley behind the health department and joined a small line inside. [C-J/AKN]

No new research projects will begin at the U.S. government’s key livestock study center until animal welfare is improved through stronger oversight and better training of standards, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Monday. [Reuters]

Wanna see Greg Stumbo use his LRC staffers to pat himself on the back? It’s mostly about how Terry McBrayer allegedly used him and a handful of other Democrats to go after A-B in Owensboro. [Floyd County Times]

Hillary Clinton’s defense of her use of personal emails while she was secretary of state triggers memories of the “pink press conference” during the Whitewater investigation. [ProPublica]

Louisville businessman Hal Heiner leads the crowded race for the Republican party’s nominee for Kentucky’s next governor who would then likely take on Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway, according to a new Bluegrass Poll. [WKYT]

During a decade of war, U.S. troops relied on interpreters — thousands of Iraqis and Afghans — who worked and often fought alongside Americans. Many of them were promised visas to the U.S. but they have been waiting for years with no answer. Now, nine Iraqis are suing the U.S. government to get their status resolved. [NPR]

Not disclosing details of a settlement involving government is about as corrupt as it gets. A civil lawsuit that had lingered since 2011 against Cave City and Barren County governments, the Barren County jailer and others has been settled. The terms are not being disclosed. [Glasgow Daily Times]

ON FEBRUARY 26, ISIS released a video of its militants smashing ancient Assyrian artifacts in the central museum in Mosul, Iraq. In a matter of minutes, they jackhammered the face of a famous 1,400-year-old Assyrian winged bull and broke apart four 2,000-year-old statues of the kings of Hatra. That same week, insurgents from the so-called Islamic State burned thousands of rare books and manuscripts from Mosul’s library. [Mother Jones]

In a statement issued Friday, Morehead State University responded to area news reports about an ongoing review of its academic programs. [The Morehead News]

A Muslim college received formal academic accreditation this past weekend, making it the first officially recognized Islamic institution of higher learning in the United States. [Think Progress]

The Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission will discuss the decline of important natural pollinators like bees and butterflies. The meeting Thursday in Frankfort will be open to the public. [H-L]

John Shaw, the city manager of Ferguson, Missouri, who oversaw city agencies that the Department of Justice accused of systematically discriminating against African-American residents, has resigned. [HuffPo]

Polling Was Bad News Bears For Jamie Comer

Former Louisville councilman Hal Heiner has the early advantage in what looks to be a competitive three-way race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Kentucky, according to a new Bluegrass Poll. [H-L & Detailed Crosstabs PDF]

How Rand Paul thinks he’s a judicial expert. Judicial term limits aren’t the sexiest, most inspiring campaign issue of modern times. But they’ve been mentioned in recent weeks in speeches and appearances by several potential Republican presidential candidates, suggesting that they could very well become a prominent fixture of the GOP’s 2016 primary. [HuffPo]

Twenty years after two Louisville men were sent to prison for life for what the prosecution claimed was a Satanic-inspired murder, new DNA testing has discredited the key evidence that led to their convictions. [C-J/AKN]

Oil prices rose on Monday, rebounding from early losses, after market data firm Genscape reported a modest stock build last week at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery point for U.S. crude. [Reuters]

Lunatic extremist Ben Carson was in Louisville, apparently. The only people who knew about it were the teabagger extremists who think they’ve made a black friend. [WHAS11]

Esteemed parliamentary genius puppetmaster Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader whose greatest accomplishment so far has been to fail to override a veto, played a cute trick. [Salon]

The Kentucky state Senate won’t go along with the state House on a plan to borrow $3.3 billion to stabilize the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System — at least not for now. [Ronnie Ellis]

In the top-secret documents, ranging from 2010 through 2012, the researchers appear particularly intent on extracting encryption keys that prevent unauthorized access to data stored — and firmware run — on Apple products. [The Intercept]

The Kentucky Education Association (KEA) announced their endorsement of Attorney General Jack Conway and Rep. Sannie Overly, D-Paris, in the race for the open Governorship on Monday. [CN|Toot]

US Senator and delicate southern flower Lindsey Graham has, in his own words, never sent an email in his life. He also just so happens to be a member of the Senate Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law [Gizmodo]

Remember, this organization also claimed Joshua Powell was superintendent of the year. Boone County — where Powell’s attorney sits on the school board — winning the award this year? That should tell you all you need to know. It’s not all puppies and rainbows. []

When it comes to the current controversy over antibiotic use on farm animals, milk is in a special category. [NPR]

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway holds an advantage over all four Republicans in the race for governor, but early numbers in his Democratic primary against an unknown candidate hint at potential concerns down the road. [H-L & Detailed Crosstabs PDF]

Because people who are homeless are animals, right? Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) suggested Thursday that the solution to homelessness is wolves. [HuffPo]