Barren County Just Made Major Progress

For 50 years, the Kirwan Blanding complex — its towering twin towers looming over the south side of campus — were among the University of Kentucky’s most iconic images. But those icons can no longer provide the housing spaces that students desire, so they are being demolished. [Linda Blackford]

Narrow wins in special elections don’t typically qualify as major political events, but Tuesday night’s Senate race in Alabama, in which Democrat Doug Jones is the apparent winner, may be the exception. [HuffPo]

Oh, please, she was hand-picked. It was an open secret for months. Her lying ass needs to be dragged out of council like the rest of these good old boy shysters that have taken over. Metro Council candidate Nicole George dismissed claims that she was groomed by Louisville Democrats to replace former Councilman Dan Johnson, who was removed last month due to sexual misconduct. [C-J/AKN]

While Jared Kushner is working on a peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians, the Kushner Companies Charitable Foundation is funding a controversial West Bank settlement. [ProPublica]

The Harlan City Council discussed the new rates for the city’s contribution to state retirement funds during a meeting on Monday. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

A year ago, no one would have envisioned President Emmanuel Macron of France as the public face of Western diplomacy in the Middle East. But that is not the case anymore. [NY Times]

Barren County Fiscal Court narrowly approved Tuesday a needle exchange program for the county, moving the proposal closer to becoming reality. [BGDN]

The U.S. military is preparing to accept transgender recruits for the first time beginning in January, the Pentagon said Wednesday, the latest signal that Donald Trump’s desired ban may not materialize after all. [WaPo]

The Louisville Metro Police Department is investigating state Rep. Dan Johnson for alleged sexual abuse in his church. [WFPL]

An inmate at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay is still being tortured, the U.N. special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer said in a statement on Wednesday. [Reuters]

Living in hiding downtown for four years, Byron “Roc” Peeler was thrust into the spotlight on Friday after challenging Mayor Greg Fischer to spend a night in his homeless camp. In a prior Courier Journal story, he took the mayor to task, saying that city leaders cannot call Louisville a “compassionate city” while pushing homeless people out. [More C-J/AKN]

The Morehead State University Board of Regents voted Thursday to sell Sunny Brook Golf Course and two other properties owned by the university. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump called a sitting U.S. Senator a whore and no one batted an eyelash. Because it wasn’t the craziest thing to occur that morning. This is the new normal. [BBC]

The Kentucky Personnel Cabinet has requested an investigation of whether a male officer sexually harassed female employees at the prison in Elliott County. [H-L]

The number of journalists imprisoned around the globe hit a record high in 2017, with at least 262 reporters currently behind bars, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. They’re guilty of doing their jobs. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Don’t Forget Your Elders, Appalachian Millennials & Outsiders

Suicide is never the answer. But it’s disgusting for people like Jeff Hoover and Matt Bevin to praise this monster in his cowardly death. [H-L]

An already dire situation for North Atlantic right whales became even worse in 2017. This species of whale is among the most endangered animals in the world, and if significant actions to recover their populations aren’t taken soon, they could face extinction, researchers at the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration said this week. [HuffPo]

Authorities say a Kentucky constable has been charged with helping a jail inmate escape from custody. [H-L]

Mmmm hmm. Investor Charles Price hosted a lucrative fundraiser for Gov. Matt Bevin a few months after the governor announced that Braidy Industries, a company at which Price is a director, would receive an unusual $15 million state investment. [C-J/AKN]

It took 16 years and more than 1,000 deaths for the Consumer Products Safety Commission to crack down on deadly portable generators. Trump’s appointees could undo that in a matter of months. [ProPublica]

Maybe it isn’t working out because no one in the area can afford to shop there? That’s apparently lost on these wealthy white folks running the show. [WFPL]

E.P.A. enforcement officials nationwide rely on provisions of the Clean Air and Clean Water acts that give them the power to order polluters to test their emissions to see if they are violating the law. Mr. Pruitt, after a request from the oil industry, has put new limits on that power. [NY Times]

On average, a new synthetic drug is identified in the U.S. every seven to 10 days. [Richmond Register]

The Environmental Protection Agency released a list of Superfund sites around the country Friday that it said regulators will target “for immediate and intense attention.” [WaPo]

Four law enforcement agencies are investigating allegations of malfeasance by County Jailer Joe Burchett at the Boyd County Detention Center, a prosecutor said Tuesday. [Ashland Independent]

Contrary to the narrative you’ll hear from DC/NYC outsiders, this is not a new movement. There have always been women fighting to improve lives in Appalachia. Until recently, there was almost always progress on that front. My mother was running prenatal clinics in Morgan and Rowan Counties 30+ years ago, working with a network of individuals focusing on radical progress. They had successes. They built what these younger folks are standing upon today. Do not forget them. [CNN]

The process is well underway now to have a family court judge in place for the 43rd Judicial Circuit relatively soon after the resignation of Mitchell Nance takes effect at 11:59 p.m. Saturday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A U.S. judge questioned on Tuesday whether the federal government properly formulated new rules that undermine an Obamacare requirement for employers to provide insurance that covers women’s birth control. [Reuters]

Bourbon County officials are considering a plan to expand Bluegrass Station at Avon by 2,500 acres to build an 8,000- to 10,000-foot runway and two two-bay hangars to accommodate C-130 military cargo planes that need to be outfitted for special operations missions, according to a report in the Bourbon County Citizen. [H-L]

Southern bigotry is real, Bernie Bros and the worthless executive director of the KDP. The sooner you own it, the sooner you eradicate it. It’s time to shut the hell up with the “stop highlighting our racism” schtick. It’s real and you have to deal with it. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Can Republicans Do Anything Right?

Former disability lawyer Eric C. Conn pleaded not guilty to escape charges Wednesday, a day after the FBI flew him back to Kentucky from Honduras, where he was captured Saturday after six months as a fugitive. [H-L]

Facing swift and stiff backlash from lawmakers and activists, the Department of Veterans Affairs has reportedly backtracked on a decision to slash funding for a successful program that helps provide housing to homeless veterans. [HuffPo]

The city of Louisville has paid more than $566,000 to nine law firms to fight Kerry Porter’s claim for compensation for the 14 years spent behind bars for a murder he did not commit. Porter was exonerated in 2011 by former Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Stengel for the 1996 killing of truck driver Tyrone Camp. In 2012 he sued the city and 10 police officers, alleging a conspiracy to unlawfully arrest and convict him. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration is holding talks on providing nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia — a move that critics say could upend decades of U.S. policy and lead to an arms race in the Middle East. [ProPublica]

Affordable housing development could be a victim of the proposed $1.5 trillion tax cut currently working its way through the United States Congress. [WFPL]

Donald Trump’s outrageous, self-aggrandizing rhetoric is the butt of so many jokes precisely because it’s so transparently false, it should be funny. When he inflates the size of his inauguration crowd to soothe his ego, bruised after he lost the popular vote to his rival, it sounds like a kid lying about who came to his birthday party. But it’s funny until the lies have deadly consequences — beyond just discouraging the American public’s trust in democracy and its own institutions. [ThinkProgress]

Despite his Nov. 5 announcement that he is stepping down as Speaker of the House in the wake of reports he signed a confidential settlement of sexual harassment claims, Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, may legally still be Speaker. [Ronnie Ellis]

White House national security adviser HR McMaster says the US is “in a race” to address the threat from North Korea. [BBC]

House Republican Communications Director Daisy Olivo filed suit Monday against the Legislative Research Commission alleging retaliation for reporting allegations that then-Speaker Jeff Hoover engaged in a consensual sexual relationship with another staff aide. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump ran a campaign on lifting up the little guy. He was, in the words of his oldest son, “a blue-collar billionaire,” and it was his plain-spoken promise to be their warrior in Washington that helped win over voters in hollowed-out Midwestern towns. But almost a year into his presidency, evidence shows he has governed not as the populist champion he proclaimed himself to be, but instead as a president siding more often with large corporations, special interests, and the wealthiest of Americans. [Boston Globe]

The recommendation of the Barren County Fiscal Court Administrative Committee to the full fiscal court will be for the county to move forward with establishing a syringe exchange program through the health department, but the decision was not unanimous. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Charter schools are among the nation’s most segregated, an Associated Press analysis finds — an outcome at odds, critics say, with their goal of offering a better alternative to failing traditional public schools. [AP]

Republican members of the Kentucky House are asking Republican Gov. Matt Bevin not to call a special legislative session on pension reform before the end of the year. [H-L]

It was late morning in an artsy cafe, the smell of coffee and baked goods sweetening the air, and Ashley Bishop sat at a table, recalling a time when she was taught that most of secular American society was worthy of contempt. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Bevin’s Standing Up While The Rest Of Frankfort Twiddles Its Thumbs

No, Jim Gray is not going to congress. No Democrat in that district will get to congress until they learn to abandon the Kentucky Democratic Party and the good old boy system. They’ve gotta learn how to eat Republicans alive and we all know that isn’t going to happen. None of them have the guts to get nasty and dirty. [WKYT]

Nearly 25 years after strangling the life out of her stepson, Stephanie Spitser faced a chance at parole. Spitser, 46, had received a degree in divinity and a diploma in Bible studies from Christian schools while in prison, and she had taken a class that prepares inmates to re-enter society. [H-L]

A senior official on Donald Trump’s transition team suggested that Russia had “thrown” the U.S. presidential election in Trump’s favor in a December 2016 email thread leaked to the New York Times and published Saturday. [HuffPo]

A state social worker who said she suffered retaliation by supervisors after she refused to change her findings in a report on a horrific child abuse case has received a $43,000 settlement from the state. [C-J/AKN]

Poverty is normally seen as a deep, complex, social problem. But to the Dutch historian Rutger Bregman it comes down to something simple: a lack of cash. [Fast Company]

Republican House leaders will turn over their investigation of sexual harassment claims against four of their colleagues to the Legislative Ethics Commission which has the power to subpoena witnesses and evidence. [Ronnie Ellis]

When Donald Trump fired his national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in February, White House officials portrayed him as a renegade who had acted independently in his discussions with a Russian official during the presidential transition and then lied to his colleagues about the interactions. But emails among top transition officials, provided or described to The New York Times, suggest that Mr. Flynn was far from a rogue actor. In fact, the emails, coupled with interviews and court documents filed on Friday, showed that Mr. Flynn was in close touch with other senior members of the Trump transition team both before and after he spoke with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, about American sanctions against Russia. [NY Times]

Maybe now it’d be a good time to remember that ignorance of the law isn’t a valid excuse in government. A few issues were found during the audit of the 2016-17 fiscal year financial statements of Barren-Metcalfe County Emergency Medical Services, but the auditors mostly chalked them up to office staff turnover and inexperience with government accounting standards as opposed to those used for private businesses. [Glasgow Daily Times]

These people are just insane, hate-filled bigots. There’s no other way to describe them. [WaPo]

Local officials told state lawmakers they want more control over the way they raise money to fund their governments and they are willing to take responsibility for the “inviolable contract” guaranteeing their employees pension benefits if lawmakers allow them to split off from the state employee pension system. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump lashed out at the FBI on Sunday, issuing a fresh denial that he asked former director James Comey to drop an investigation into the conduct of one of his top aides, Michael Flynn. [BBC]

Kentucky’s Republican governor asked his party on Saturday to call for the resignation of four GOP lawmakers who signed a secret sexual harassment settlement, but party leaders rejected it in a move the governor said “speaks to the fact that we’ve got real problems.” Bam Carney, the backward Republican “teacher” who fought to gut education and educator accountability, is now attacking Matt Bevin for standing up for what’s right. Absurd. [WFPL]

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to rescind its delay of a rule that allows some foreign entrepreneurs to stay in the United States to grow their companies, court documents show. [Reuters]

A former employee in Gov. Matt Bevin’s office, who is also the daughter of an outspoken Republican lawmaker, said Thursday that a member of the State House of Representatives sent her “highly inappropriate” messages. [H-L]

Donald Trump gloated in a tweet Saturday that he fired Michael Flynn because he knew he lied to the FBI. If that was the case, Trump’s attempt to stop former FBI head James Comey’s investigation of Flynn could constitute obstruction of justice, legal experts warned. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Flashback: A Nightmare At Woodsbend

***Care about the future of Kentucky? Help us cover FOIA and open records request fees relating to Matt Bevin and Jamie Comer.*** [CLICK HERE]

Kentuckians have yet to see the public employee pension “reform” bill that Matt Bevin and the General Assembly’s Republican majority hope to railroad into law during a special session this year that has yet to be scheduled. But Bevin and GOP leaders outlined their ideas at a Frankfort news conference Oct. 18 that left many questions unanswered. Among them: Where do they plan to get the money to pay down more than $30 billion in unfunded pension obligations? [Tome Eblen]

Multiple families of military service members killed in the line duty are now getting rush-delivered letters from Donald Trump, days after Trump claimed he had called the immediate families of all service members who had been killed since he took office in January. [HuffPo]

You’ll want to read this, Morgan Countians. A knock at the door after midnight brought the grim news that 17-year-old Dennis Buttry was dead. His mother collapsed at the news. Just days earlier, she received a letter reporting the boy had “arrived safely” at Woodsbend Boys Camp, a state center for juvenile offenders in Eastern Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Granny) has become a flashpoint for Republicans running for Senate in 2018. [The Hill]

Sometimes Berea is a lovely center of artistic life and sometimes it comes off sounding like a barnyard full of backwoods yokels. A proposed dog park in the Harrison Court area of Berea drew a lot of opposition from area residents Thursday at a public forum. [Richmond Register]

Ford Motor Co said on Wednesday it would recall about 1.3 million vehicles in North America, including certain 2015-17 Ford F-150 and 2017 Ford Super Duty trucks, to add water shields to side door latches. [Reuters]

The Barren County School District has reasons to celebrate and reasons for concern Superintendent Bo Matthews shared during Tuesday night’s board meeting. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A federal judge this week unsealed the source code for a software program developed by New York City’s crime lab, exposing to public scrutiny a disputed technique for analyzing complex DNA evidence. [ProPublica]

After 25 years of serving as the Raceland city attorney, James Lyon Jr. has announced his resignation due to a conflict with the City Council. In a resignation letter distributed on Friday Lyon explained his reasoning saying “the actions of council in refusing to take my advice and insisting on hiring separate counsel create an unworkable situation for me.” [Ashland Independent]

For years, the Environmental Protection Agency has struggled to prevent an ingredient once used in stain-resistant carpets and nonstick pans from contaminating drinking water. [NY Times]

The fix for Kentucky’s badly underfunded pension systems proposed by Matt Bevin and Republican legislative leaders is complex with a lot of moving parts. [Ronnie Ellis]

Don’t worry – Kentucky comes off looking and sounding terrible. For more than a decade, Kristin Page-Nei begged Montana lawmakers to raise cigarette prices. As a health advocate for the American Cancer Society, she watched year after year as other states increased their cigarette taxes and lowered their smoking rates. “What they’re doing is saving lives,” she kept saying. [WaPo]

Paul Prather’s an idiot who couches his bigotry – and it’s very much bigotry – in a shroud of faux religion. Here he is claiming landlords are being victimized by poor people. Someone slap some sense into this man. Good fucking grief. Calling himself a “christian” (no, you don’t get a capital C) and whining about how bad well-to-do folks like him have it. If it’s not this, he’s whining about non-white people, the gays or women. [H-L]

On a warm Wednesday evening here in late August, six minutes from where a Ferguson police officer had shot and killed an unarmed man three years prior, an armed man was pacing in front of his mother’s home, yelling at the cops. His left hand was on a gun in his waistband and his right hand was holding a cellphone. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Hahaha. Rick Pitino. Hahahahahahaha.

Sweeping changes recommended for Kentucky’s public pension systems would cost taxpayers and public employees more money while making public employment far less attractive to future generations, according to a report released Monday. [John Cheves]

Donald Trump joked that Vice President Mike Pence “wants to hang” all gay people, according to a profile of Pence published in The New Yorker on Monday. [HuffPo]

Donald Trump’s decision late Thursday to cancel federal payments that help low-income people with costs not covered by their health insurance has sent shock waves through Kentucky, where more than 40,000 people benefit from such assistance. [C-J/AKN]

PEE ALERT! It’s November 2013 and you’re Donald Trump. By your standards it’s a normal weekend, which means you’re sitting in the presidential suite of the Moscow Ritz Carlton fuming at Barack Obama. In part you’re fuming because you’re very racist, and in part you’re fuming because Obama publicly humiliated you more than two years ago. If you were more self-aware than a mosquito, you’d realize these were heavily intertwined sources of aggrievement. [Crooked]

A grandmother in the front passenger seat was shot and killed by youths playing with an old handgun in the back seat of the car as they drove home from church. A grandson driving the car was not injured. [Ashland Independent]

Hey, Louisville and Lexington councils: get on this. In a sweeping change to Portland housing policy, City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly announced Sunday that the city will allow overnight RV camping and tiny homes on wheels, as long as they’re parked on private property. [Willamette Week]

It’s time once again to ask churches, businesses, and individuals in the community to participate in the preparation of Thanksgiving food baskets for those in need. [The Morehead News]

Eighteen U.S. states sued Donald Trump’s administration on Friday to stop him from scrapping a key component of Obamacare, subsidies to insurers that help millions of low-income people pay medical expenses, even as Trump invited Democratic leaders to negotiate a deal. [Reuters]

The Glasgow Water Co. received “the standard clean, unqualified auditor’s report,” as certified public accountant Brent Billingsley put it at Thursday’s regular meeting of the Glasgow Water and Sewer Commission. [Glasgow Daily Times]

When you looked up, you could once see nothing but the lush, emerald canopy of tabonuco and sierra palm trees covering El Yunque National Forest. [NY Times]

Get rekt, Rick. The board that oversees athletics at the University of Louisville has unanimously voted to fire men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino. [WFPL]

Democrats accused Trump of trying to sabotage the nation’s health-care system through his decision to halt payments to insurers meant to shore up the system, while Republicans countered Sunday that Trump is just pushing for a hard bargain. [WaPo]

A rock fall that killed an employee at a Whitley County surface coal mine in March happened after the operator failed to identify and correct hazardous conditions, according to a federal report. [H-L]

In Midtown Manhattan, in a building that also hosts a dermatologist, a sports medicine doctor and a package tour operator, two North Korean diplomats run a backchannel line of communication to U.S. officials in Washington. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Matt Bevin Tried To Harm Foster Children

Jeff Hoover isn’t just a borderline racist, homophobic bigot… he’s also a con artist. Working on the pension mess in total secrecy is about as corrupt and shady as corrupt and shady can be. [H-L]

Donald Trump on Thursday signed an order that could rattle the Affordable Care Act’s private insurance markets by allowing a proliferation of cheaper, less comprehensive plans that would undermine rules about who and what insurers must cover. [HuffPo]

Why on earth are people giving Greg Postel crap for having temporary security during the height of the latest Rick Pitino bullshit? It’s like the people complaining have never done the right thing in the face of powerful, corrupt people with tons of resources at their fingertips. [C-J/AKN]

Late each night, Rafael Surillo Ruiz, the mayor of a town with one of Puerto Rico’s most critical ports, drives for miles on darkened roads, easing around downed power lines and crumpled tree branches — to check his email. [WaPo]

The fact that Nate Haney is involved with this Braidy bullshit should send red flags up with every state and federal investigator in Kentucky. Hi, Nate! You should be more careful about what you reveal to friends you’re with when you’re out in public. [Ashland Independent]

As Donald Trump promotes a tax plan critics say would raise the federal deficit by slashing corporate rates and eliminating some taxes paid by the rich, some three quarters of Americans believe the wealthiest should pay more, Reuters/Ipsos polling shows. [Reuters]

Fuck Matt Bevin for trying to harm foster children in need. The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear a case involving a growing number of Kentucky relatives providing free foster care for children. The result is that Kentucky must begin paying those relatives the same as they do licensed foster families, news outlets report. [Richmond Register]

Human grease fart, Donald Trump, threatened to stop recovery efforts in Puerto Rico because he’s fucking insane. If you support him, something is dangerously wrong. [NY Times]

Kentucky Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. said a “public conversation” is needed on whether to amend the state’s constitution so state judges are appointed by the governor instead of elected. [BGDT]

John Thomas set up the deal the way he had arranged nearly two dozen others. A friend said he wanted to buy as many guns as he could, so Thomas got in touch with someone he knew who had guns to sell. [ProPublica]

One item of business taken up by the Horse Cave City Council during their meeting Monday night was approving an audit proposal from Campbell, Myers and Rutledge PLLC. The auditing firm proposed conducting audits of the city’s financial records for the 2018, 2019 and 2020 fiscal years with the cost not exceeding $11,000, according to the city council meeting minutes. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The island of Puerto Rico was devastated by the worst hurricane in its history over three weeks ago. Parts of the Caribbean island – home to 3.4 million US citizens – remain isolated, and phone networks have been catastrophically ruined, making it difficult to confirm the picture on the ground. [BBC]

Kentucky officials say a new report shows a massive increase in the number of Kentucky adults and children receiving disability benefits. [H-L]

Attorney General Jeff Sessions broadly accused immigrants of lying to attain asylum Thursday, claiming that “dirty immigration lawyers,” along with “rampant abuse and fraud,” allow too many people to avoid deportation. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]