That McConnell-Paul Rift Is Growing

Bethany Stanziano, the attorney for a former Pulaski County preacher charged with three counts of murder, was allowed to withdraw from the case Monday after she filed a motion saying she was not in the state of mind to provide effective assistance in the wake of her husband’s fatal shooting a year ago. [H-L]

Next season’s flu shot will contain two new flu strains that weren’t present in last season’s shot, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [HuffPo]

When Louisville resident Gillian Miller was walking atop the hill at Iroquois Park last Sunday, she noticed something odd: A bird cage attached to a tree. [C-J/AKN]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Granny) said Monday that he has “no problems” with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Garden Gnome) in the wake of a public battle between the two over the Patriot Act. [The Hill]

Members of the Cave City Tourist and Convention Commission were scheduled to approve the commission’s budget on first reading Monday, with changes, but after some discussion they chose to approve the budget as it was presented during their May meeting. [Glasgow Daily Times]

High in the Rocky Mountains, snowmelt fills a stream that trickles down into Ohio Creek and then onward toward the Upper Gunnison River. From there, it tumbles through the chasms of the Black Canyon, joining the Colorado River, filling the giant Lake Powell reservoir, and, one day, flowing to Los Angeles. [ProPublica]

At a special meeting Monday, Rowan Fiscal Court authorized DLZ, the project architect, to present a design for an estimated 240 beds with the possibility for future expansion if needed. [The Morehead News]

Some students harmed by bankrupt Corinthian Colleges, Inc. can apply to have their student loans canceled by the federal government through a new opt-in system Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced on a Monday press call, and students who apply for debt relief will not have to make loan payments or field collections calls for the next year. [ThinkProgress]

In a recent Harlan County Fiscal Court meeting nearly every item on the agenda involved saving money in some form. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

A North Carolina executive is pouring his own money into trying to sway people in the GOP to take global warming seriously. [Politico]

After a brief update on government funding bills, U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie gave a preview of “speed bumps” Congress will likely run over this summer. [Ashland Independent]

The rate of abortions falls across almost all of the US since 2010, a new survey from the Associated Press suggests. [BBC]

After more than five years on the back burner, design standards for renovations and new development in Lexington’s downtown cleared their first major hurdle on Tuesday. [H-L]

In the 1970s, only 3 percent of retiring members of Congress went on to become Washington lobbyists. Now, half of all retiring senators and 42 percent of retiring representatives become lobbyists. [HuffPo]

Humana: Louisville On Pins & Needles

Eastern Kentucky University students would pay 2.9 percent more in tuition this fall under a proposal being considered by the EKU Board of Regents finance committee, which met Monday in Lexington. [H-L]

A Texas police officer has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation after video surfaced showing one cop pulling a gun on a crowd of teens at a pool party while others handcuffed teenage partygoers. [HuffPo]

Humana has pulled out of a major health care conference and said it will not comment on rumors of a merger, actions that will likely fuel Wall Street speculation that the insurer is part of a developing deal. [C-J/AKN]

Republicans in Congress are worried the Supreme Court will hand them a major headache this month if it rules against the federal health insurance exchanges in more than 30 states, ending subsidies for millions of people. [The Hill]

Jack Conway, the Democratic nominee for governor, said Monday he’s committed to six joint appearances with his Republican opponent Matt Bevin prior to the November election. [Ronnie Ellis]

A summer of gridlock is bearing down on Washington, threatening to put an end to the burst of legislative productivity that kicked off Mitch McConnell’s reign atop the Senate. [Politico]

Dick Doty’s first proposed budget since becoming mayor made it through its first reading with the Glasgow City Council with no opposition votes, although he did receive a few suggestions. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Rising sea temperatures attributed to global climate change could drive many marine creatures away from the equator, but their move toward the poles promises to put them in peril in habitats that are smaller and less hospitable, scientists say. [Reuters]

It is unlawful for persons to fail to remove a political sign within 10 days after the election for which the sign is posted. At least that is what a Rowan County ordinance says. [The Morehead News]

China’s greenhouse gas emissions could start to decline within 10 years, says a London School of Economics report. [BBC]

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that it’s too early to intercede in a lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed carbon dioxide limits for power plants. [WFPL]

After watching the biggest donors increasingly shun the major political parties and send their six-figure checks to super-PACs and other outside spending groups, Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress made a sly bid last December to bring billionaires and millionaires back into the party fold. [Mother Jones]

Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday told lawmakers Monday that state officials would work with Fayette County staff to develop a plan aimed at closing the achievement gap. [H-L]

The Texas pool party where a police officer pinned a screaming teenaged girl to the ground and pointed his pistol at others might have escaped notice if not for Brandon Brooks. [HuffPo]

Mitch Scares Meemaws, Hypes Burma

Mitch McConnell has spent years trashing health care reform. It doesn’t matter what it is — he’s fought against it.

Here he is again. Doing the same thing.

The problem?

The man has had YEARS to offer an alternative. He’s done nothing of the sort. It’s all about scaring old white people who don’t know any better.

What he has done, though, is spend more time than any person should discussing Burma:

Can you imagine how much better off Kentucky would be if he’d spent a tenth the time he’s spent talking about Burma working to improve the Commonwealth?

His in-laws and friends must have serious business interests there.

Your Audit Race Slap Fight Has Begun

A judge ruled Thursday that the estranged wife of former state Rep. W. Keith Hall cannot testify about their marital conversations at his bribery trial, set to begin June 22 in Pikeville. Although Stephanie Hall was willing to waive her spousal privilege to testify against her husband, Keith Hall was not willing to waive his. If the case goes to trial, the jury will not hear Stephanie Hall testify about a 2010 conversation in which she said that Keith Hall — who owns coal mines — told her that he was paying money to the state mine inspector assigned to his operations, U.S. District Chief Judge Karen Caldwell said. [John Cheves]

State Rep. Mike Harmon, the Republican nominee in this year’s race for state auditor, challenged his opponent, Democratic incumbent Adam Edelen, on Wednesday to conduct a full audit of the financially strapped Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System. Edelen still wins. Even though he’s purposefully ignored corruption, washed his hands of Montgomery County (blaming inaction on Jack Conway) and talked out of both sides of his mouth for years. [More H-L]

A majority of Democratic members in the House and Senate have now signed on to letters rebuking the Obama administration for expanding the practice of detaining immigrant women and children. [HuffPo]

Following complaints about the compensation for President James Ramsey and other executives, the University of Louisville board of trustees has hired a Chicago consulting firm to produce a “competitive market review” of his pay and that of five other administrators. [C-J/AKN]

The extremists surrounding the Paul Family sure are… extreme. [RWW]

Jack Conway, the Democratic candidate for governor, said Wednesday efforts by his Republican opponent Matt Bevin and the Republican Governors Association to tie him to President Barack Obama won’t work. But highlighting everything else will work. [Ronnie Ellis]

Nearly six months into his tenure as Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell is finding it’s not easy to keep his party’s presidential candidates in line. [The Hill]

Most considered the 2015 General Assembly session successful, primarily because it passed a bill to attack the growing incidence of heroin abuse. [Ronnie Ellis]

A majority of early-state insiders believe it’s helpful for Rand Paul to differentiate himself from the Republican field through his views on foreign policy and national security. But over the course of the campaign, many say, those same positions will prove to be a serious liability. [Politico]

The Glasgow City Council infrastructure committee learned this week it costs the city about $340,000 annually to operate street lights. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Those who weren’t accusing him of endangering US national security blasted him for what they saw as grandstanding in the interest of advancing his presidential interests. [BBC]

An activist and a University of Louisville doctor are shining light on gun violence in the city. [WLKY]

College admissions take a crucial factor into account that could be creating enormous racial bias, but it’s not grades or extracurricular activities or even SAT scores. It’s a student’s disciplinary record. [ThinkProgress]

The Fayette County Schools superintendent screening committee issued a statement Wednesday night saying it had finished its work and would give the school board a list of candidates in closed session. [H-L]

America’s middle class may be in trouble — but what it means to be in the middle class depends on who you’re talking to. [HuffPo]