Are Fayette County Schools Just Terrible?

In the 2013-2014 school year, Nicole Jenkins said, her then 8-year-old son witnessed a friend “being called the n-word on the school bus.” “Later that year,” Jenkins said, “he and a Hispanic friend were called the n-word. Finally, … he was called a baboon by a classmate” at Meadowthorpe Elementary School. [H-L]

After the Republican Party took a drubbing at the polls on Election Day 2012, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus ordered an autopsy. The party, the coroner’s report found a few months later, had alienated women and minorities and came off as plutocratic. [HuffPo]

Fire investigators have blamed the total loss of a General Electric warehouse on outdated Appliance Park equipment that failed when fire crews rushed to the scene April 3. [C-J/AKN]

The FBI on Friday announced the arrests in Oakland of two animal rights activists, Joseph Buddenberg and Nicole Kissane, and accused the pair of engaging in “domestic terrorism.” This comes less than a month after the FBI director said he does not consider Charleston Church murderer Dylann Roof a “terrorist.” The activists’ alleged crimes: “They released thousands of minks from farms around the country and vandalized various properties.” That’s it. Now they’re being prosecuted and explicitly vilified as “terrorists,” facing 10-year prison terms. [The Intercept]

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling that states must recognize same-sex marriages is roiling Kentucky and pulling in other parties who probably would rather stay out of the controversy. [Ronnie Ellis]

Consumers of organic foods are getting both more and less than they bargained for. On both counts, it’s not good. When will people quit it with pseudoscience and Ferd Berb wooery? Organic doesn’t equal magic and GMOs are not the devil. [Forbes]

This may be the funniest story of the entire 2015 campaign. [Kentucky New Era]

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter is due to meet with senior military leaders on Thursday to map out his budget priorities for the coming year, the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer said on Tuesday. [Reuters]

Glasgow Mayor Dick Doty announced at Monday night’s city council meeting the three finalists for the position of police chief. [Glasgow Daily Times]

All these articles act as if Rand really thought he had a shot at winning the presidency. And is it really a bad thing that he’s not trying to sell his rear end for campaign cash? Really? This all bodes extremely well for his U.S. Senate campaign. No, this doesn’t mean we’re fans. [Politico]

Seriously? This guy was arrested for shooting down a drone flying over his property? Most of you reading this would do the same damn thing and so would we. [WDRB]

Half of American adults had their personal information exposed to hackers last year alone. In a recent attack at the federal Office of Personnel Management, hackers stole the most sensitive personal data for 21.5 million people. [NY Times]

Lexington leaders from city government, education and business gathered Monday evening to announce their goal of obtaining accreditation from the National Safety Council as a “safe community.” [H-L]

After a group of GOP senators huddled Tuesday afternoon to discuss the recently released undercover “sting” videos of Planned Parenthood, Republicans unveiled legislation to strip the family planning provider of its federal funding. [HuffPo]

Jack Is No Alison Daddy’s Name Grimes

It’s no secret that we despise Jack Conway’s campaign people (his office staff is terrific, even if he doesn’t let them do their jobs). But it’s a stretch to compare Jack to Alison Grimes in her mind-bogglingly awful 2014 campaign. Conway had his own bad campaign in 2010 but he still doesn’t compare to the embarrassment that was Grimes. [H-L]

Decades after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education ruling declared segregated schooling of black students unconstitutional, many American schools with high minority populations continue to receive fewer resources and provide an education that’s inferior to schools with large white populations. Kentucky’s in a terrible spot and Frankfort doesn’t care. [HuffPo]

In a push for better Internet service across Kentucky, state government is poised to become a large-scale owner of broadband infrastructure over the next four years, raising new questions about digital privacy and the potential for censorship or bureaucratic snooping. [C-J/AKN]

Leaked video reveals omissions in official account of police shooting. [The Intercept]

A woman who works in Washington, D.C., has accused a visiting Richmond Police officer of “catcalling.” [Richmond Register & Popville]

National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent attacked President Obama and gun safety advocates for calling attention to the deaths of children from guns, calling such efforts “The Big Lie” — a phrase associated with Nazi propaganda. [MMFA]

At a time when most states are restoring funding for higher education after the deep and sustained cuts of the recession, Kentucky has continued to reduce funding and lags behind in several funding categories, according to a new study. [Ashland Independent]

The mother of an 11-year-old girl from Kentucky who was shot dead by her father in a murder-suicide this week was on the phone with her and heard the child’s anguished last words moments before gunfire erupted on the other end of the line. [Daily Mail]

Barren County Schools is working to combat what is commonly called the “summer learning loss” or “summer slide” again this summer with its 21st Century Summer Camps. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The House is looking to use an overwhelming bipartisan vote to raise pressure on the Senate over a medical cures bill on which the upper chamber has been lagging. The House is moving forward on its 21st Century Cures measure, aimed at speeding up the FDA’s approval of new drugs and increasing funding for the National Institutes of Health. [The Hill]

Rowan County Fiscal Court is facing the possibility that the projected $15 million cost of a new jail might not be enough for the proposed 300-bed facility. [The Morehead News]

Of course the Republican National Committee is as backward and anti-gay as Kentucky Democrats. [ThinkProgress]

This is the extent of coverage that’s been provided to the Terry Holliday situation. No wonder people in Kentucky feel like they’ve been kept in the dark. [H-L]

President Barack Obama said that LGBT rights “are human rights” in a statement released Saturday to commemorate the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. [HuffPo]

No Wonder Lil Randy’s Racist Dad Left Congress

Didn’t they try this same thing last year? Kentucky State University will drop a quarter of its students from enrollment for unpaid bills, some of which are as high as $40,000 and have lasted two years, the university announced Wednesday. [H-L]

As the Obama administration weighs whether it should try to manage the Islamic State, destroy it or follow it to the “gates of Hell,” endless news coverage and non-stop cable chatter have focused on the possibility of expanding the fight from Iraq to Syria. [HuffPo]

He was a philanthropic superstar who was once honored by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale with an award dubbed the “Nobel Prize for Goodness.” President Bill Clinton presented him with the nation’s top recognition for volunteers, the President’s Volunteer Action Award, in a Rose Garden ceremony at the White House. [C-J/AKN]

In hundreds of police departments across the country, the percentage of whites on the force is more than 30 percentage points higher than in the communities they serve, according to an analysis of a government survey of police departments. [NY Times]

In what appear to be his first public comments on civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri following the fatal police shooting of an 18 year old man, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) urged Wednesday for people not to jump to any conclusions. [WHAS11]

A new George Washington University “Battleground” poll shows that, on the list of things that people think are wrong with this country, Obamacare actually ranks pretty low. As in behind-“other” low. [WaPo]

The Berea City Council heard the first reading of an ordinance that would slightly increase property taxes. But the rate would still increase revenue less than the 4 percent allowed without a referendum. [Richmond Register]

A federal judge has found oil giant BP Plc “grossly negligent” for its role in the 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a ruling that could add billions of dollars in fines to the more than $42 billion in charges taken so far for the worst offshore disaster in U.S. history. [NBC News]

The road to building a safer Lynch was discussed by Police Chief James Fox at a recent meeting of the Lynch City Council. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Yep, we’re running this again. Last week’s guilty plea by former Iowa State Sen. Kent Sorenson wasn’t the end of the federal investigation into the 2012 Iowa caucus payola scandal — not by a longshot. No wonder Rand Paul’s racist dad left congress. [Open Secrets]

Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, juggled an Ebola outbreak in Africa while traveling in Eastern Kentucky in August to learn about the region’s stark health disparities. We appreciate his accepting U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers’ invitation to … participate in events and discussions that drew more than 1,000 people, all while fielding worldwide calls and emails from those working to contain the deadly virus. After all that, the least Kentuckians can do is pay attention to what Frieden had to say, especially about what he called “the No. 1 cause of preventable death in this country” — smoking. [Times Leader]

Don’t miss Comment on Kentucky tonight at 8:00 P.M. Eastern on KET. Scheduled guests: Ronnie Ellis, John Stamper, Nick Storm. [KET]

It’s just what Central Kentuckians wanted on their televisions: More political ads. Both candidates in the 6th Congressional District started airing their first commercials of the fall campaign this week. [John Cheves]

Just days after an internal report found that the Republican Party is alienating female voters by opposing equal pay laws, the party attempted to reverse that trend in a tweet. [HuffPo]

Hey, Jerry Lundergan: There’s More Than Coal

With signs pointing to a potentially rocky road ahead in coal country, Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes sought to retool her coal message this week, injecting a populist strain into her pro-coal platform. [Sam Youngman]

The Republican National Committee is celebrating former President George W. Bush’s birthday this weekend by selling wistful “I Miss W.” t-shirts to its supporters. [HuffPo]

Staff reductions at the Oldham County Health Department will limit women’s cancer screening and family planning services starting Monday. [C-J/AKN]

Rand Paul is taking steps to shore up his perceived political vulnerabilities ahead of a possible presidential run in 2016. But we already know it won’t work for him. [The Hill]

After entering into executive session per KRS 61.810 (l) (c) at a recent special called meeting, members of the Harlan Fiscal Court returned and reported all county employees, salaried and hourly, may now request reimbursement for their cumulative vacation time on an annual basis. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

At the Native Roots Apothecary, a discreet marijuana shop in a grand old building in Denver’s busy 16th street shopping mall, business is so brisk that customers are given a number before taking a seat to wait their turn. [Reuters]

Kentucky Senate hopeful Alison Lundergan Grimes made a visit to Southeastern Kentucky this week as part of her eight-county jobs bus tour—one of her stops being at the local Treehouse Cafe and Bakery on Main Street in Hazard. [Hazard Herald]

After a ProPublica story, the military will exhume a grave in the Philippines that may hold the remains of Bud Kelder, an American POW whose family has long been fighting the Pentagon to get him home. [ProPublica]

Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes know a good place to look for votes when they see it. [Ronnie Ellis]

US billionaire publisher and influential conservative Richard Mellon Scaife has died aged 82. [BBC]

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who is seeking a sixth term, will address a Richmond Chamber of Commerce Business at Noon Luncheon, Friday, July 18. [Richmond Register]

Before immigrants get deported, they are sometimes held temporarily by local law enforcement at the request of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. But cities across the country, most recently Philadelphia, are saying they will no longer fully cooperate with that plan. [NPR]

The $12 million contract to feed Kentucky’s 21,200 prison inmates is up for bid for the first time since a 2010 audit found significant problems with the state’s current contractor. [H-L]

The “super PAC to end all super PACs” reached a major fundraising goal on Friday in its quest to reduce the influence of money in politics. [HuffPo]

Maybe Leave Your Guns In The Car, Legislators?

University of Kentucky officials will ask the General Assembly this year for more than $200 million in state aid for new construction on campus, including a law school renovation and a new science research building. [H-L]

Help the homeless during bitter cold by providing supplies, assistance and a sense of dignity. People across the country are rushing to shutter themselves indoors as meteorologists warn of a “life-threatening” deep freeze that has settled over the Midwest and is steadily headed southward and eastward. [HuffPo]

Tom Loftus got some reactions to Governor Steve Beshear’s State of the Commonwealth address last night. [C-J/AKN]

Rand Paul on Tuesday pushed back against criticism from a fellow Republican who said “Americans will die” if they listen to the senator. [TPM]

Matt Bevin just realized that all professional campaigns use trackers and he doesn’t like it. How dare an opposing campaign follow an opposing candidate on the campaign trail to see what they have to say. [Ashland Independent]

Republicans aren’t yet willing to put their money where their mouths are on ObamaCare attacks, it seems. The Republican National Committee backed its new New Year’s-themed radio ads with as little as $15 dollars in some districts. [The Hill]

We are loathe to publish entire press releases but the latest from the Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism is too great to ignore. Frankfort is finally paying attention to all that Louisville has to offer. [The ‘Ville Voice]

It was long thought that marriage was a solution to poverty, but new research suggests that impoverished single moms may be better off staying single. [HuffPo]

The Bell County clerk and two deputy clerks have entered not guilty pleas in a case involving vehicle registrations. [H-L]

The US trade deficit narrowed to its lowest level in four years in November, as rising sales of oil pushed US exports to a record high. [BBC]

Here’s how the Associated Press is highlighting the State of the Commonwealth address. Gov. Steve Beshear says he’ll propose a major health initiative that includes the goal of cutting Kentucky’s smoking rate by 10 percent by 2018. [BGDN]

Here’s why we don’t believe medical marijuana legislation in Kentucky would be well-received. Because New York is having a tough time with it. [Reuters]

We believe it’s time for Rep. Combs to leave all firearms secured in a vehicle or at home, where they belong. [Scary Moment]

Put Your Fears To Bed! Laurel County Is Back!

Acclaimed authors Wendell Berry of Henry County and Barbara Kingsolver, a Nicholas County native, will lead nearly a dozen artists in an event protesting the proposed road to connect Jessamine County and Interstate 75. [H-L]

Sens. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) warned Friday that recent revelations of privacy violations by the National Security Agency (NSA) were “just the tip of a larger iceberg.” [The Hill]

Recent comments by Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul and by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have me thinking about the taboo subject of race in America. [Ronnie Ellis]

Here’s what the Republican National Committee members didn’t talk about at their summer meeting, but, rather, talked around: their existential need to broaden their base of support, and how so far their traditional base is not exactly embracing the idea. [NPR]

Way to go, Laurel County! You’re back in the spotlight! A Laurel County man is recovering at home after police say he was stabbed with a butcher knife multiple times Friday night. [WKYT]

Scientists in the US have discovered a new animal living in the cloud forests of Colombia and Ecuador. It has been named olinguito and is the first new species of carnivore to be identified in the Western hemisphere in 35 years. [BBC]

Really, way to go, Laurel County! A Laurel County man got into an argument with his wife, shot himself in the chest and then sat down on his front porch with his rifle, refusing to let sheriff’s deputies get close enough to help him, the Laurel County sheriff’s office said. [H-L]

Under increasing pressure to justify electronic surveillance programs that at times capture communications of American citizens, the U.S. National Security Agency went to unusual lengths on Friday to insist its activities are lawful and any mistakes largely unintentional. [Reuters]

The mother of the woman former Kentucky lawmaker Steve Nunn was convicted of killing has settled a lawsuit against the gated community in Lexington where the fatal shooting happened in 2009. [C-J/AKN]

Way to go, America, you’re trying to permanently kill journalism. [Here & Here]

When you hear about politicians teeing off against each other, it’s usually not a good thing. But on Monday, two Kentucky politicians were able to put partisanship aside. [WDRB]

The Rand Paul-Chris Christie feud just won’t end. Because Rand Paul doesn’t know when to shut his mouth. [HuffPo]

With Jack Conway continuing to publicly dream about becoming governor (he probably can’t beat Adam Edelen if Edelen sacks up – even a couple mega money families in Louisville are backing Edelen over Conway these days), it’s prudent to take a look at why a Conway candidacy would be rough. [Page One]

D.C. Folks Are More Excited Than Kentuckians

A federal grand jury has added a new charge against a Kentucky sheriff’s deputy, this one related to an alleged assault in 2008. [H-L]

National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden wants to set the record straight after individuals associated with his father have, in his words, “misled” journalists into “printing false claims about my situation.” [HuffPo]

Just as a new school year is about to get underway, a central Kentucky school district has had to make some tough decisions. [WKYT]

The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since 2008, the Washington Post reported on Thursday, citing an internal audit and other top-secret documents. [Reuters]

King’s Daughters Health System is restructuring its operations in response to a decline in patient volumes and reimbursement levels. [Ashland Independent]

Ancient rock etchings found along a dried-up lake bed in Nevada are the oldest petroglyphs in North America, scientists have said. The carvings, in the north of the state, are at least 10,000 years old and may be as old as 14,800 years. [BBC]

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources says federal officials have confirmed that a gray wolf was killed in Kentucky for the first time in more than a century. [H-L]

Though the topic may be decidedly less salacious, the Republican Party is embroiled in its own semantics gymnastics this week as its national committee members gather in Boston for their summer meeting. The imbroglio playing out Thursday is over the swap of the word “may” for the word “shall” — and how that little change in a party rule could affect the 2016 presidential prospects of potential out-of-the-GOP-mainstream candidates. [NPR]

Jack Conway said Thursday he doesn’t think the firm that wants to build a natural gas liquids pipeline has the ability to take land through eminent domain. [CN|2]

The sweeping presidential power to help prisoners that Attorney General Eric Holder didn’t mention. [ProPublica]

The two leading independent political handicappers in the country — Charlie Cook and Stu Rothenberg — paint very different pictures of the race unfolding in Kentucky between Sen. Mitch McConnell (R), businessman Matt Bevin (R) and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D). [WaPo]

Federal investigators found no initial evidence that a UPS cargo jet suffered engine failure or was burning before it clipped trees at the end of a runway and slammed into a hillside, killing the two crew members onboard, officials said Thursday. [WLEX18]