Another Huge Jail Expansion In Ashland

The Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund has approved a $500,000 combination grant and loan for hemp-processing equipment. [H-L]

The federal government and Gulf Coast states have reached an $18.7 billion settlement agreement with the oil company BP for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. [HuffPo]

What started as a toothache from a lost filling became a raging infection that landed Christopher Smith in the University of Louisville Hospital emergency room, then in intensive care on a ventilator and feeding tube. [C-J/AKN]

The bacterium Yersinia pestis has inflicted almost unimaginable misery upon humankind over the centuries, killing an estimated 200 million or more people and triggering horrific plagues in the 6th and 14th centuries. [Reuters]

All these years later and CentrePointe is still nothing. [WKYT]

Four U.S. Embassies got upgraded screening rooms last year, paid for by the lobbying arm of the big studios. The industry and the government say there were no strings attached. [ProPublica]

Kentucky has signed new contracts with five managed-care organizations to provide health care services to Medicaid eligible Kentuckians. [Business First]

While Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) quickly moved to donate the contributions he received from Earl Holt III to a fund established to help the victims’ families, this stands in stark contrast to his past handling of white separatist donors. [ThinkProgress]

Boyd County’s government is close to fully approving expansion of its current 200-bed jail in order to add 50 more beds that will open more space to accept federal inmates. [Ashland Independent]

The UK must take urgent action to prepare for the impacts of climate change in the UK, according to a report submitted to the government. [BBC]

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, divorced, is still screaming about the gays. [The Morehead News]

In a victory for opponents of partisan gerrymandering, the Supreme Court on Monday upheld the use of an independent commission to draw Arizona’s congressional districts. Writing for a narrow majority in the 5-4 ruling, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg touted the importance of direct democracy and making sure the power of the people is not hijacked by its elected representatives. [Mother Jones]

Last August, Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday issued a challenge to Kentuckians to read the state’s current academic standards in English/language arts and mathematics and suggest changes. [H-L]

Here’s something you probably didn’t know happened in California in the last few years, and maybe it’s something you never imagined could happen: In 2011, two high-ranking state regulators were fired from their posts for pissing off the oil industry. [HuffPo]

Gay Panic Is At An Extreme Level

Political fallout from the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage will likely show up first in Kentucky, one of the few conservative states where Democrats still control state government. [H-L]

Now the Mike Huckabee brand of “christian” has a persecution complex. [HuffPo]

Sadly, this isn’t the first time Teresa James and other social services administrators have retaliated against someone for doing the right thing. It’s happened in Montgomery County, Rowan County, McCracken County. Just to name a few. This is merely the first time someone has had the guts to stand up. [C-J/AKN]

Jamie Comer and Hal Heiner are apparently still not very well-known. [PPP]

Some local clerks are struggling with issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples after last week’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court requiring all states to do so. [Ashland Independent]

Even as a lesbian in a conservative Southern state, Katrina Martir managed to thrive in central Kentucky. She married — in another state — is raising an adopted child with her wife and recently started her own consulting business. But when the former fourth-grade science teacher told her principal in 2010 that she planned to get pregnant and raise a child with her partner, Martir said she was promptly fired because public school officials feared a parent backlash over a lesbian teacher. Martir, 32, decided to sue for employment discrimination and went to see a lawyer. But she soon discovered that there was nothing illegal, either in Kentucky or her county, about firing someone for being gay. [LA Times]

Clark County Clerk Michelle Turner said as of Monday, one marriage license has been issued to a same-sex couple in Clark County since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Friday that same-sex marriage was legal in all 50 states. [Winchester Sun]

Now Republicans like Rand Paul are screaming that government should stop handling marriages. It’s a really convenient thing to suggest now that the Supreme Court has ruled that anti-gay marriage bans are unconstitutional. It’s a direct, homophobic reaction and anyone who suggests otherwise — particularly Republican operatives working on statewide campaigns — they’re lying to you. Don’t like the gays getting married? Abolish marriage! [TIME]

Thousands flocked to the Perry County Park Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of last week to take part in the 2015 Perry County Fair—the first of its kind in a number of years. [Hazard Herald]

A look at public opinion on same-sex marriage and what drives party affiliation suggests that Cruz, Walker and the other candidates on the right may be risking the party’s appeal in the general election. The Republican Party’s opposition to same-sex marriage is one of the top positions that may have kept voters from identifying with and potentially voting for the GOP. [FiveThirtyEight]

Three years after a tornado destroyed it, the congregation of a Magoffin County church now has a new place to worship. [WYMT]

Scientists agree that children raised by same-sex couples are no worse off than children raised by parents of the opposite sex, according to a new study co-authored by a University of Oregon professor. [Reuters]

Some Kentucky county clerks who initially refused to issue any marriage licenses after the U.S. Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision Friday now say they will do their duty for all qualified applicants. [H-L]

The Supreme Court says it will dive back into the fight over the use of race in admissions at the University of Texas, a decision that presages tighter limits on affirmative action in higher education. [HuffPo]

Northern Kentucky Wingnut Freaks Out

Luke Barlow and Jim Meade of Bardstown met 48 years ago and married in 2009 in Iowa. But, as Barlow said 90 minutes after the Supreme Court declared their marriage legal in Kentucky, the two men had never held hands in public here. [H-L]

When President Barack Obama learned that the Supreme Court had rejected a major lawsuit against his signature health care law, White House photographer Pete Souza was there to capture the moment. [HuffPo]

Gov. Steve Beshear on Friday named Carol Martin “Bill” Gatton as an “honorary member of the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees for so long as he shall live.” [C-J/AKN]

The U.S. Supreme Court’s declaration on Friday of a right to same-sex marriage resolved a momentous question, yet the ruling left many others unanswered and is likely to spark future legal battles over gay rights. [Reuters]

Jail time was averted, at least for now, by an Amish father and son who refuse to pay fines for violating an Auburn city ordinance requiring owners to prevent waste from horses from falling on city streets. [BGDN]

North Carolina and Tennessee are the latest states to side with telecoms, which have long lobbied against allowing cities to become Internet providers. [ProPublica]

A Northern Kentucky clerk said no to all marriage licenses Friday after the U.S. Supreme Court declared that all states are required to marry gay couples and recognize marriages from other states. []

In Charleston, South Carolina, Civil War history and accounts of plantation life are a huge part of the town, and state, culture. An entire tourism business thrives off of showing visitors parts of this history – reenactments of Civil War battles, tours of mansions once owned by slave-owners, and staged scenes of home life for aristocrats of the period. It would be difficult for a culture that sees the Confederate flag as a symbol of Southern pride instead of slavery, not to manifest itself at school. [ThinkProgress]

In a rolling Kentucky pasture, the first few wooden ribs of a giant Noah’s ark tourist attraction have begun to sprout up. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

NPR’s Audie Cornish and Rachel Martin read the concluding paragraph in Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in Friday’s Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage. [NPR]

Berea Mayor Steve Connelly and a group of local representatives have launched the Berea Age-Friendly Survey 2015 to gather public input on making the city more Age-Friendly. [Richmond Register]

Every single US state fails to comply with global standards for police use of lethal force. [Mother Jones]

Rand Paul is looking for big green from the marijuana industry. Paul, Kentucky’s junior senator and a candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, is scheduled to attend a fundraising reception next week at the National Cannabis Business Summit and Expo in Denver. [H-L]

President Barack Obama is a major fan of Sir David Attenborough, the celebrated British naturalist and TV host who has created and narrated numerous science and nature documentaries for the BBC. [HuffPo]

Rand Has A Reaganist Myth Problem

If you’re running for the presidency, why not at least try to keep your stories based in reality?

Rand Paul certainly isn’t doing so:

From the Washington Post:

We now present to you the real story of how dirt — and much more — got Robert Lucas locked up in prison.


He hired an engineer to design and approve sewage systems, which were installed in the soil and then covered with topsoil (i.e., “dirt”). Inspectors warned Lucas that sewage systems in wetlands need to meet state and federal standards, so that waste is properly filtered and disposed without contaminating drinking water.

But no one had applied for or received any such permit, according to the 2004 grand jury indictment.


The area was prone to seasonal flooding. So homes flooded during major rainfalls, while raw sewage seeped up from the ground, and flowed through the subdivision.


The jury, however, found the trio guilty on all counts. They were sentenced to prison and ordered to pay hefty fines and costs.


Paul has his opinions, but he got factual details wrong while retelling the story in this speech. Lucas was never convicted of racketeering charges (often referred to as RICO), filed against organized criminal organizations.

And Lucas did not serve his full nine-year term. After serving about seven years, he was released early to a halfway house, where the 75-year-old will live under federal Bureau of Prisons custody until later this year. His attorneys did not respond to The Fact Checker’s requests for an interview.

Paul’s campaign did not respond when we asked for additional comment.


[J]ust about every aspect of Paul’s recounting is inaccurate at worst and misleading at best.

Rand knows he has no shot. He and his people have known from the beginning. But why not at least try to be honest on the campaign trail?


Don’t Forget Who Wrote Rand’s Book

Fayette County Public Schools superintendent candidate Emmanuel “Manny” Caulk said he would bring the skill set of a CEO to the district. [H-L]

Millions of people gained health insurance last year as Affordable Care Act benefits took effect, according to the first official accounting by the federal government. [HuffPo]

Rand Paul called for removal of the confederate flag but he still had a racist, confederate flag-wearing wingnut write one of his books. [C-J/AKN]

Ban gifts and pay trustees? From May 3 to May 7 of this year, hundreds of pension trustees from around the nation gathered at the National Conference of Public Employee Retirement Systems’ annual conference in New Orleans. The gathering, billed as educational, also featured representatives of dozens of financial firms eager to expand their business. [International Business Times]

Trial has begun for a former state lawmaker accused of secretly paying tens of thousands of dollars to a mine inspector in 2009 and 2010 “so he could have that inspector in his back pocket if he needed it,” according to a federal prosecutor. [Ashland Independent]

More Americans are renting — and paying more — as homeownership falls. [NY Times]

The Glasgow Police Department was recently awarded a $3,000 matching grant through the Kentucky League of Cities and purchased several pieces of equipment with it. [Glasgow Daily Times]

An overwhelming majority of Americans say they believe protests against unfair government treatment make the United States a better country. Unless, that is, the protesters are black. [WaPo]

Supporters of a new law that will expand the use of ignition interlocks say it will save lives. [WAVE3]

The Ebola epidemic in Guinea that began early last year has set back the country’s fight against malaria, say experts. [BBC]

Kentucky State Police Post 8 Morehead is conducting a felony investigation in the Clearfield area of Rowan County and is requesting the public’s assistance. [The Morehead News]

Global equity markets and the dollar slipped on Wednesday as skittish investors sought the safety of less risky assets as the possibility of a Greek debt default loomed a little bit larger. [Reuters]

The Urban County Council voted unanimously Tuesday to move forward with the purchase of body cameras for Lexington police officers. A final vote on the $600,000 allocation is expect in a couple of weeks. [H-L]

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi waved the white flag on Wednesday, telling her caucus she would support passage of a key measure tethered to President Barack Obama’s broader trade agenda. Her support all but guarantees that the measure will succeed, thereby handing Obama a major victory on trade. [HuffPo]

Frankfort Repubs Harm Public Health

W. Keith Hall, then a powerful state lawmaker who owned coal mines in Pike County, secretly paid tens of thousands of dollars to a state mine inspector in 2009 and 2010 “so he could have that inspector in his back pocket if he needed it,” a federal prosecutor told a jury Monday. [John Cheves]

Those who believe slavery was not a central point of conflict in the Civil War may wish to peruse the South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas declarations of secession. Those documents all explicitly cite threats to slavery as reasons for secession. Mississippi’s declaration goes so far as to say that “a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization.” [HuffPo]

One week into the opening of Louisville’s syringe exchange, health officials doled out 1,352 clean syringes to drug users and collected just 189. So get with the program, small town Kentucky! [C-J/AKN]

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that a Los Angeles ordinance that lets police view hotel guest registries without a warrant violates the privacy rights of business owners, taking away what the city called a vital tool to fight prostitution and other crimes. [Reuters]

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved, with modifications, a settlement agreement granting a rate increase to Kentucky Power Co. [Ashland Independent]

Racist wingnuts are the worst. The absolute worst. This country can do better than this hatred. [ThinkProgress]

After hearing additional information from Mayor Dick Doty and comments from the city’s fire chief, Glasgow City Council decided to abandon the idea of placing a third fire station at a site donated by a local manufacturing company. [Glasgow Daily Times]

On the eve of what could be a landmark US Supreme Court decision enshrining gay marriage as a constitutional right across the country, evangelical conservatives converged on Washington DC to talk politics and size up Republican presidential hopefuls. [BBC]

“Freedom Fest: Thunder Over Triplett,” is not only a fireworks show but a community event that has brought together several organizations to create an evening of fun and fellowship. [The Morehead News]

Police across the country have collected an enormous amount of data with license plate readers over the past few years. But what does that data actually tell us and who can see it? [NPR]

Leave it to backwater Republicans to complain about Louisville’s needle exchange. [WKYT]

GOP-backed legislation pending in Congress would thwart NASA’s push to end U.S. dependence on the Kremlin to send astronauts to the International Space Station, the agency is warning. [The Hill]

For Rand Paul, the rubber is meeting the road. In the wake of last week’s racist shootings in Charleston, S.C., the Republican Party has been torn on the issue of whether the Confederate flag should continue to fly on the grounds of the state Capitol in Columbia. [H-L]

Charleston, South Carolina Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. (D) said on Sunday that the lack of gun control in the United States was “insane.” [HuffPo]

Mitch McConnell is unpopular in Kentucky and Matt Bevin is leading Jack Conway. [PPP]