Oh, NOW The EEC Wants To Talk?

The fun thing today: Kim Davis, backward ass Rowan County Clerk, was just sued by the ACLU on behalf of four couples she turned away. [Deep Eastern Kentucky Thoughts]

Kentucky leads the nation in participation in federally funded local food projects, with 1,659 projects including high tunnels that extend the growing season, microloans for smaller farmers, and direct funding for food hubs, farmers’ markets and other local food enterprises. [H-L]

A decision this week to cut tuition for Washington state’s public universities by 15 to 20 percent over the next two years is a rare move that national experts believe could influence other states as they come out from under the recession. [HuffPo]

Shortly after he was born, tremors wracked Leopoldo Bautista’s tiny body as he suffered through the pain of drug withdrawal — pain his mother understands. Samantha Adams is being treated with methadone for heroin addiction and passed the methadone into Leopoldo’s system. Sitting vigil with him at Norton Hospital, she teared up about watching the 10-day-old she loves “going through what I’d been through.” [C-J/AKN]

You won’t believe this horrible Fox story about the homeless. Or maybe you will. [MMFA]

When the board of regents hired Michael Benson as Eastern Kentucky University president in August 2013, it announced him as EKU’s “next great visionary leader.” [Richmond Register]

The stupid is thick. GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee predicted that Christians will push back against gay marriage in a similar way to Dr. Martin Luther King’s fight against racial discrimination. [The Hill]

The Boyd County Fiscal Court’s 2013 audit found a weakness about the public bidding process for its home incarceration program. [Ashland Independent]

U.S. private employers hired the most workers in six months in June and factory activity accelerated, providing fresh evidence the economy was gathering solid momentum after contracting at the start of the year. [Reuters]

Barren County Judge-Executive Micheal Hale has been appointed by Gov. Steve Beshear to serve on the newly reconstituted Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board, it was announced in a press release. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Power plants will continue to able to emit unlimited mercury, arsenic, and other pollutants thanks to the Supreme Court, which on Monday invalidated the first-ever U.S. regulations to limit toxic heavy metal pollution from coal and oil-fired plants. [ThinkProgress]

The Daniel Boone National Forest welcomes Jonathan Kazmierski as the new district ranger for the Cumberland Ranger District in Morehead. [The Morehead News]

In a desperate bid to save one of the world’s most endangered animals, conservationists are taking the controversial step of defacing the last survivors. [BBC]

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet said Wednesday that it will meet with the FBI to determine whether a longtime coal mine inspector, Kelly Shortridge, falsified his reports beyond his work on mines that were owned by former state Rep. W. Keith Hall. Spoiler alert: cabinet folks were aware of everything before it came up at trial. They’re only talking because of public embarrassment at this point. [H-L]

Hillary Clinton has a bit of a problem on her hands. When it comes to filling a venue, Sen. Bernie Sanders is not exactly 2016’s underdog. [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]

Trickle-Down Economics. Who Knew???

Kentucky GOP gubernatorial hopeful Matt Bevin wants his state to remove a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis from its statehouse. [The Hill]

More than 90 cases involving possible child abuse or neglect in Northern Kentucky have been lost, with some languishing for months before being recently discovered, state social service officials said. [H-L]

Really, the stupid is thing with these presidential candidates. Huckabee refused to take a real position on the confederate flag. Probably because he has quite a history of palling around with racist organizations. [HuffPo & TDB]

How much should you worry when your young athlete gets headaches? Dr. Tad Seifert, a neurologist for Norton Healthcare, hoped to help answer that question through a recent study. [C-J/AKN]

The International Monetary Fund says trickle-down economics don’t work. The lending group usually known for its pro-market stance is realizing that growing income inequality can actually undermine an economy. [Fast Company]

Matt Bevin, the upset winner of the Republican gubernatorial primary, said at the statewide Lincoln Day Dinner on May 30 that he had reached out to Republican state lawmakers in an effort to get the party solidly behind his fall campaign against Democrat Jack Conway. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Earth has entered a “new period of extinction”, a study by three US universities concludes, and humans could be among the first casualties. [BBC]

Before stopping at 761.12 feet above sea level, Cave Run Lake took in a record amount of runoff water this spring. By the first week of June, however, the lake reached its ideal summer pool level, thanks to the efforts of Anthony Orr, natural resources project manager for the Army Corps of Engineers. [The Morehead News]

During the school year, over 21 million children receive free and reduced-price breakfast and lunch each day through the USDA’s National School Lunch Program. But, when school is out, many children who rely on these meals go hungry. The challenge is particularly great in rural areas and Indian Country, where 15 percent of households are food insecure. In these areas, children and teens often live long distances from designated summer meal sites and lack access to public transportation. [White House]

A new lawsuit filed in Floyd Circuit Court this week has shed more light on the tragic events surrounding a former Eric C. Conn client who committed suicide in depression over losing his Social Security disability benefits. [Hazard Herald]

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday in favor of husband-and-wife farmers in California who had been left with nothing but sour grapes by a Depression-era federal program requiring raisin producers to put aside some of their crop without guaranteed compensation. [Reuters]

An issue of who is responsible for collecting restaurant taxes due the city came up in a recent meeting of the Cumberland Tourist Commission meeting. Chair Cleon Cornett said he feels it is “the city’s sole responsibility to initiate efforts to collect restaurant tax.” [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

The Council of Conservative Citizens, an organization with white supremacist leanings, has issued a statement defending the “legitimate grievances” expressed by Charleston shooting suspect Dylann Roof. [Mother Jones]

Health officials in Louisville say 57 intravenous drug users visited the city’s needle exchange program during its first week of operation. [H-L]

A substantial share of America’s youth remains economically disconnected, even as the economy continues to recover. [HuffPo]

Check Your White Privilege. Now.

Fishface, cokehead, dumbo, retarded, coward, and prick – Use of those words has led to the temporary suspension of a Pike County circuit judge. The Judicial Conduct Commission temporarily suspended Steven D. Combs Tuesday until the resolution of 10 charges brought against him, according to documents released by the commission. [H-L]

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has gained support in New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary polls and is now within 10 percentage points of front-runner Hillary Clinton. [HuffPo]

Sometimes you just can’t fix stupid. Although he vows to repeal the Common Core education standards if elected governor, Republican gubernatorial nominee Matt Bevin owns part of an education technology company that embraces those standards. [C-J/AKN]

The U.S. Federal Reserve is meeting with the possibility of an interest rate hike squarely on the table, but with a different issue center stage: Is the worst of 2015 over? [Reuters]

Gas prices in the Lexington and Madison County areas rose 10.9 center per gallon in the past week. [Richmond Register]

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Indian Cabinet approved increasing the country’s solar target five times to a goal of reaching 100 gigawatts, up from 20 GW, by 2022. [ThinkProgress]

The Boyd County Fiscal Court took two major steps Tuesday toward limiting trash intake at Big Run Landfill. [Ashland Independent]

A global bioenergy assessment has said biofuels could meet up to a third of the world’s transportation fuel needs by the middle of the century. [BBC]

Barren County Fiscal Court passed a revised version of its budget on Tuesday, amended to reduce the amount of funding from prior years’ surplus. [Glasgow Daily Times]

This is not a time for peace and quiet. Only scared white people want peace and quiet. [NY Times]

The Kentucky Arts Council is accepting applications from artists interested in participating in a program that helps them market their creations. [WKYT]

The FCC voted 3-2 today to expand the Lifeline program for low-income consumers to include an optional credit for broadband access. [Consumerist]

Eleven individuals and one state championship team will comprise the Woodford County Public Schools Hall of Fame’s fourth class of inductees. They will be inducted into the hall at a ceremony Aug. 22 at Woodford County Middle School. They also will be introduced during a halftime ceremony at the Aug. 21 Woodford County High School football game. [H-L]

It appears the baby recession really is over: Preliminary figures show U.S. births were up last year for the first time in seven years. [HuffPo]

Legislative Ethics Are Not A Thing In KY

Just in case you were wondering why nothing ever happens when legislators are unethical mountains of awful? John Schaaf, who has been legal counsel for the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission since 2004, will become its news executive director Aug. 1. [H-L]

Tens of thousands of people are deported each year for minor drug offenses, even if they served their time long ago, because of draconian U.S. drug laws, according to a report released Tuesday by the international advocacy group Human Rights Watch. [HuffPo]

When an alleged victim of domestic violence recanted her claims last week, a judge interrogated her in court without counsel and threw her in jail on a $10,000 bond for filing a false report. But the offices of the Jefferson County attorney and public defender agreed that District Judge Sheila Collins’ actions were a miscarriage of justice, and in an extraordinary effort, they cooperated to win the release of Jasmine Stone. [C-J/AKN]

Asset Preservation Advisors says Kentucky could be the next Illinois and you should be highly selective about Kentucky bonds. Mostly because the state’s pension disaster is… a disaster. Despite the b.s. story Frankfort tries to sell you. [External PDF Link]

Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, wrote to top state environmental officials requesting the venue for Big Run Landfill’s permit renewal public hearing be in Boyd County. [Ashland Independent]

Nobody disputes the fact that Deng Manyoun attacked a Louisville police officer with a flag pole on Saturday afternoon. What is up for debate — among police and the public in Kentucky — is whether the officer’s split-second decision to respond by firing two bullets into the 35-year-old was justified. [WaPo]

The Madison County Fiscal Court held a surplus auction on Saturday at the County Road Department #2 Building, at 208 Clarksville Lane. The auction, which brought in $39,798, was the first held by the County in three years. [Richmond Register]

A majority of Americans say Congress should make sure Obamacare subsidies to buy health insurance are available nationwide if the Supreme Court rules that the payments in at least 34 states are illegal, according to a poll released on Tuesday. [Reuters]

Cave City Council members approved on second reading four ordinances during a special-called meeting Friday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Sen. Lindsey Graham says Sen. Rand Paul is the only Republican presidential hopeful who would not be better on foreign policy than Democrat Hillary Clinton. [Politico]

The Rowan County Chapter of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth is hosting a community meeting regarding the Kinder Morgan pipeline repurposing project on Tuesday, June 23, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Carl D. Perkins Community Center in Morehead. [The Morehead News]

The environmental justice movement has been fighting the hazards and toxins disproportionately affecting poor communities of color for decades. [Mother Jones]

Run on it or run away from it? When it comes to Kentucky’s health insurance exchange, that’s the decidedly complicated question facing Democrats running for statewide office in a state that seems to hate Obamacare and seems to like Kynect. [H-L]

If you think costs would come down if hospitals were all owned and operated by big for-profit corporations like Hospital Corporation of America, you might want to take a look at a study published last week by the journal Health Affairs. [HuffPo]

Louisville Just Loves Killing People

In most ways, Kentucky’s Women, Infants and Children Program is public: Federally funded and run by the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services, it provides $84 million a year for low-income families to buy nutritious food at about 750 state-approved stores, from big supermarket chains to tiny gas stations. But the WIC Program suddenly turns private when those stores get in trouble for repeatedly overcharging customers, letting them buy liquor or cigarettes with their payments, selling expired food, not keeping the proper groceries on shelves or otherwise breaking the rules. [H-L]

Reversing a long-held position, the Department of Veterans Affairs now says Air Force reservists who became ill after being exposed to Agent Orange residue while working on planes after the Vietnam War should be eligible for disability benefits. [HuffPo]

Kosair Charities, which had donated millions of dollars to Norton Healthcare’s Kosair Children’s Hospital to care for poor children, says financial documents show Norton has reaped a fortune from the hospital that it’s using to “float the entire Norton empire.” [C-J/AKN]

Years of pouring money into its laboratories, wooing scientists home from overseas and urging researchers to publish and patent is starting to give China a competitive edge in biotechnology, a strategic field it sees as ripe for “indigenous innovation.” [Reuters]

If you doubted the power of coal in Kentucky, the past 10 days should persuade you. [Ronnie Ellis]

Researchers raise alarms about unknown health risks of GE’s Omniscan and Bayer’s Magnevist, drugs injected to get better MRI pictures that contain the heavy metal gadolinium. [ProPublica]

Really? Killing the guy because he was swinging a flag pole? Way to go, Louisville, you love killing people. How compassionate. [WHAS11]

Under the People’s Declaration for Climate Justice, citizens from the nations of Vanuatu, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Fiji, the Solomon Islands, and the Philippines announced their intent to bring legal action against fossil fuel companies for their role in contributing to climate change. [ThinkProgress]

The state veterinarian has banned the sale of birds at flea markets and swap meets to protect Kentucky’s poultry industry amid an avian flu outbreak. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Politicians at a UN climate conference in Bonn, Germany are refusing to discuss whether their polices will actually protect the climate. [BBC]

A federal judge has agreed to delay the criminal trial of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship. [WKYT]

The Pentagon is considering a proposal to place M1 Abrams tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles and armored howitzers in NATO countries in the Baltic and Eastern Europe in a bid to stem what is viewed as Russian aggression. [NPR]

Voters in Magoffin County may have to choose a judge-executive again this fall after the Kentucky Court of Appeals upheld on Friday a lower court’s ruling to toss out the results of the November 2014 race. [H-L]

This is why your racist wingnut relatives love Faux News. A Fox News panel discussing race turned fiery Wednesday night when host Sean Hannity asserted that George Zimmerman was “absolutely” in the right for fatally shooting black teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012. [HuffPo]

Airline? In Pikeville? Well, About That…

Won’t say we told you so, but… Appalachian Air, and Public Charters, Inc., will end service to the Pikeville- Pike County Regional Airport in July with the final date of service to be announced soon. [H-L]

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced Tuesday that the Pentagon has added “sexual orientation” as a protected class under its Military Equal Opportunity Policy. [HuffPo]

Beve Cotton ticked off all the ways his body is failing him — high blood pressure, bone spurs, circulation problems, pinched nerves, diverticulitis, cataracts and five broken vertebrae from a car wreck. [C-J/AKN]

President Obama on Tuesday made an emotional plea to protect the Affordable Care Act just weeks before the law could face its biggest legal challenge to date. [The Hill]

Opponents of a proposed Environmental Protection Agency rule on carbon emissions by power plants lost an initial round Tuesday when a federal appeals court said it cannot review a regulation that doesn’t yet exist. [Ronnie Ellis]

Coal companies and 14 states sued to stop a draft regulation to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, a priority for the Obama administration. [NY Times]

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) held a Strategic Planning Listening Session Thursday at the Morehead Conference Center. [The Morehead News]

Student poverty is a major barrier to learning, according to teachers polled in a new national survey of educators. [WaPo]

In 25 years, Kentucky’s energy landscape will look dramatically different than it does now. [WFPL]

U.S. stocks rose slightly on Tuesday, bouncing back partially from the previous day’s decline as higher oil prices helped energy shares, but the dollar slipped on global economic concerns. [Reuters]

Here’s the latest column Greg Stumbo’s Legislative Research Commission staffers have written for him. [Floyd County Times]

The national high school graduation rate is an impressive 81 percent. So impressive, President Obama highlighted it in his State of the Union address this year: “Our high school graduation rate has hit an all-time high.” [NPR]

Next week, the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees is expected to approve UK’s largest budget ever, a $3.4 billion document that reflects a burgeoning health care enterprise paired with continued reliance on tuition paid by out-of-state students. [H-L]

Investigative journalist Bob Woodward on Tuesday rebutted former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s claims that he had always been skeptical about U.S. efforts to promote democracy in Iraq following the 2003 invasion. [HuffPo]