Miniature Texan Probably Really Mad At Hillary

A Bell County coal miner was crushed and killed by a large rock last October because a foreman allowed the man to go in an area of the mine where there was no support for the roof, federal investigators found. [H-L]

The Forbes 500 is still, as The New York Times described it in 1987, “a gossipy ranking of the country’s richest people.” Increasingly, those people are from the financial industry. [HuffPo]

A new nationwide poll on the 2016 presidential race shows former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leading Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul by an 11-point margin. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters on Friday that the Obama administration will issue national guidelines urging local municipalities to drop their use of debtors prisons like those recently detailed in the Justice Department’s investigation in Ferguson, Missouri. [Reuters]

A new state senator for this area was elected Tuesday in a special election that was decided by only 12 percent of the nearly 82,000 registered voters in eight counties. [The Morehead News]

Paralyzed from the waist down in a workplace accident, Joel Ramirez relied on an aide provided by his employer’s insurer. After a new workers’ comp law passed in California, the aide was taken away. [ProPublica]

Even after the massive snowfall that blanketed northeast Kentucky overnight Thursday, Lawrence County schoolchildren remain on track to finish school on time or close to it although the district has called off school 28 times this year. [Ashland Independent]

A groundbreaking new study has found that long-term improvements in air quality are associated with better respiratory function in children during critical growth years. [ThinkProgress]

In a lengthy special called board meeting on Feb. 20, the Perry County Board of Education laid the groundwork for much of the next school year. [Hazard Herald]

Money is ruining America’s courts. It’s happening in Kentucky, too. Remember when the 4th District Kentucky Supreme Court seat was open? One lady who desperately wanted the job had her husband doing her fundraising for her. The whole time he was telling people — including Jake — that they were prepared to spend up to $2 million as a family for her to get the job. Meaning they were ready to buy a seat on the bench. It’s beyond time for reform. [Politico]

The state Senate recently approve a bill that would tie higher education funding to Kentucky universities’ ability to produce more and better graduates. [WFPL]

Mitch McConnell is now telling states to ignore President Barack Obama’s climate rules. [Mother Jones]

Water burst from a mine on the mountain above Lynch early Friday, sending a muddy torrent for about a mile down Main Street of the historic Harlan County coal town, according to city Clerk Erica Eldridge. [H-L]

The federal government has no idea how much Americans owe on student loans. [HuffPo]

Who’ll Win Today’s EKY Special Election?

The Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation has released its 2015 list of endangered properties, called “Eleven in Their Eleventh Hour.” [John Cheves]

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul won the straw poll vote at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday. [HuffPo]

As the legislature enters the final full week of its 2015 session, the local option sales tax — Mayor Greg Fischer’s top legislative priority — is as close as it has ever been to getting the necessary votes from lawmakers to get a statewide referendum. But it still has a long way to go and a diminishing amount of time to get there. [C-J/AKN]

Jeb Bush may have wealthy Republican donors backing him, but the former Florida governor will have to woo conservative activists wary of his moderate positions to win his party’s 2016 nomination for president. [Reuters]

The state House on Friday passed a bill that would create a personnel policy for the troubled Legislative Research Commission, the state agency that provides staffers and research for legislators. [WFPL]

Federal health watchdogs say they are cracking down on organizations that don’t protect the privacy and security of patient records, but data suggests otherwise. [ProPublica]

Voters in Rowan and seven other counties will go to the polls Tuesday (today) to elect a new senator for the 27th District. [The Morehead News]

Simon & Schuster has landed the rights to Jill Abramson’s first book since her abrupt departure from The New York Times. The deal, rumored to be around $1 million, will see Abramson weighing in on “the evolving state of media in the information age and what it means for the future of news,” per a press release from the publisher. [Politico]

A bill strengthening regulation of deep-well drillings was unanimously passed by a state Senate committee Thursday. [Richmond Register]

A US intelligence assessment of security threats faced by the country highlights cyber attacks from foreign governments and criminals. [BBC]

Appears the Harlan County Sheriff has quite a few audit problems on his hands, according to two new reports from the State Auditor. [External PDFs: Here & Here]

When it comes to eating well, we should consider the health of our bodies and the planet. This was the recommendation coming from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on Feb. 19. [NPR]

Kentucky in 2014 had the second highest per-capita rate in the country of inappropriate relationships between school employees and students, according to a national study of media reports conducted by a former U.S. Department of Education official. [H-L]

It could hardly have been a more perfect storm, and it was all because of a single question in a routine briefing. [HuffPo]

It’s Gonna Be Non-Stop Rand Paul Hype

The University of Kentucky stretches over 800 acres of central Lexington, its buildings, its people and its programs touching nearly every aspect of the city and much of the commonwealth beyond. [H-L]

Two congressmen filed separate House bills on Friday that together would legalize, regulate and tax marijuana at the federal level, effectively ending the U.S. government’s decadeslong prohibition of the plant. [HuffPo]

We don’t know any social workers who are surprised when there’s a murder. Primarily because many DCBS offices, like the one in Montgomery County, are an absolute disaster. [C-J/AKN]

Were you ever the teacher’s pet? Or did you just sit behind the teacher’s pet and roll your eyes from time to time? [NPR]

Rand Paul isn’t sure a run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will be successful. [WFPL]

Blanca Katsura will never forget the night of 6 January 1943. She was 12 at the time and living with her parents and two siblings in northern Peru. [BBC]

Kelly Caudill of Maysville, Democratic candidate for the Kentucky Senate, will bring his campaign to Morehead next Wednesday. [The Morehead News]

The Justice Department said Thursday that it will block video recordings of next month’s closing arguments in a Seattle court case that addresses the rights of child migrants to legal counsel in deportation proceedings. [Politico]

All four Republican candidates for governor showed up on a wet, cold and foggy Saturday night at Barren River Lake State Resort Park in search of votes. But one was on very familiar ground. [Ronnie Ellis]

Nestled in the woods of central Minnesota, near a large lake, is a nature sanctuary called the Audubon Center of the North Woods. The nonprofit rehabilitates birds. It hosts retreats and conferences. It’s home to a North American porcupine named Spike as well as several birds of prey, frogs, and snakes used to educate the center’s visitors. [ProPublica]

People in Richmond are fighting over a damn fence. The controversial fence proposed for Richmond’s Irvine-McDowell Park will be on the city commission’s agenda when it meets 6 p.m. Tuesday. [Richmond Register]

The U.S. homeland security chief said on Sunday he takes seriously an apparent threat by Somali-based Islamist militants against prominent shopping sites in the West including the Mall of America in Minnesota and urged people there to be careful. [Reuters]

Rand Paul wasn’t a conventional Republican when he won a U.S. Senate seat in Kentucky, and he’s not mapping out a predictable strategy as he ponders a 2016 bid for the White House. [H-L]

Scientists have long known that the Earth’s crust consists of at least 15 tectonic plates–continent-sized slabs of rock on the surface of the Earth that shift about to create mountains, volcanoes, and earthquake zones. But the exact mechanism by which the plates move has remained a mystery. Until now. [HuffPo]

Democrats Expect To Hold On To Blevins’ Seat

The Republican-led state Senate approved two of its high-priority bills and the Democratic-led House made controversial committee appointments as lawmakers wrapped up the first part of this year’s lawmaking session Friday morning. [H-L]

Friday marks the anniversary of the West Virginia chemical spill in the Elk River, in which thousands of gallons of a toxic chemical used to process coal spilled upstream from a water treatment plant serving the state capital, Charleston, and surrounding areas. Around 300,000 West Virginia residents were left without potable water as officials scrambled to purge the chemical, known as MCHM, from the supply. [HuffPo]

During the five years prior to 2013, McCreary County households had a median annual income of less than $21,000, the lowest county-level income in Kentucky — and in the nation. [C-J/AKN]

Monarch butterflies may warrant U.S. Endangered Species Act protection because of farm-related habitat loss blamed for sharp declines in cross-country migrations of the orange-and-black insects, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said. [Reuters]

A coal company’s temporary closure of a local road has some Perry County residents up in arms. [Hazard Herald]

Sen. Charles Grassley is asking the American Red Cross to explain more clearly how it uses public donations, specifying how much money goes to services and how much to overhead. [ProPublica]

Mining companies can’t sue individual government inspectors for damages, according to a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued late last month. [WFPL]

A series of 77 earthquakes in Ohio — including one strong enough to be felt by humans — was caused by the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing, scientists claimed in research published Tuesday in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA). [Think Progress]

A longtime Cave City attraction is expected to soon change hands – and its name, according to prospective buyer Will Russell of Louisville. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The federal government has spent billions helping doctors and hospitals digitize patients’ lives, but there are still many holes in our electronic records including a big one: We can’t list end-of-life wishes. [Politico]

Kelly Caudill, an attorney from Maysville, and Stephen A. West, an attorney from Paris, were nominated Saturday as candidates for a vacant seat in the Kentucky senate. [Ashland Independent]

McConnell is claiming not just that he can create prosperity without, you know, actually passing any legislation, but that he can reach back in time and create prosperity before even taking power. [NY Times]

There’s been little heat so far in Kentucky over hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a technique of drilling for oil and natural gas that has caused division elsewhere in the country, but now the controversy has gushed up here. [H-L]

Jon Stewart finds out what happens when you rub Mitch McConnell’s shell. [HuffPo]

Another Republican — Michael Hogan — has filed to run for Attorney General. [Secretary of State]

Who’ll Replace Walter Blevins, Jr. This March?

Think people aren’t interested in local issues like education and school boards? Yesterday was our busiest traffic day on the site in its history. Let that sink in for a second. Think about all the previous stories that have, really, been much bigger deals than Montgomery County. That should send a strong message to news organizations everywhere. [It Matters]

The next University of Kentucky provost will be a familiar face. President Eli Capilouto has announced that he will look no further than UK’s campus to find the next chief academic officer to replace former Provost Christine Riordan. [H-L]

More macroeconomic projections will be included in cost estimates for major fiscal legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives under a rule change approved on Tuesday, a move critics said could mask the true impact of tax cuts. [HuffPo]

They’ll sit on their hands and not pass much of anything of consequence. [C-J/AKN]

CONGRESSIONAL TEABAGGER PEE ALERT! Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) says the removal of two Republican lawmakers from a key committee in apparent retribution for voting against Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is something that would happen in a “communist country.” [The Hill]

Over the past 12 years, the Berea City Council has invested in the city in a variety of ways, said Mayor Steve Connelly, who started his fourth term Thursday. [Richmond Register]

A homemade bomb exploded outside the offices of the Colorado Springs chapter of the NAACP civil rights group on Tuesday, authorities said, but a gasoline can placed next to the device failed to detonate and no injuries were reported. [Reuters]

Three state parks – including Barren River Lake State Resort Park in Lucas – will receive grant funding from the Kentucky State Parks Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports state parks. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to pay a Nigerian fishing community for two massive oil spills that devastated the Niger Delta region in 2008 and 2009. [Think Progress]

After a controversial race against former Carter County Judge-Executive Charles Wallace, Mike Malone said he is ready to switch gears and get down to business with the new fiscal court. Carter cleaned house in the November elections, with four out of five magistrates replaced and a new judge-executive, county attorney, sheriff and others also elected in heated races against strong incumbent opponents. [Ashland Independent]

House conservatives didn’t unseat John Boehner, but a dozen settled on Florida Rep. Daniel Webster as their favored alternative. [Politico]

Voters in Rowan and seven other counties will go to the polls on Tuesday, March 3, to pick a new senator for the 27th Senatorial District. Gov. Steve Beshear called the special election Monday after receiving notice of the resignation of Sen. Walter Blevins, D-Morehead, who was sworn in the same day as Rowan County judge-executive. [The Morehead News]

This past year, the number of inmates executed in America was the lowest in two decades at 35, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. But death penalty states are having increasing difficulty obtaining the drugs they have used to execute inmates because pharmaceutical companies refuse to associate their drugs with killing people. [NPR]

Lexington’s homeless shelters are gearing up to handle extra guests, and city officials are warning all residents to take precautions as weather forecasters predict dangerously cold air in Central Kentucky in the next few days. [H-L]

The deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and other African-American men who have died at the hands of law enforcement in recent months were on the minds of the black lawmakers who gathered Tuesday morning in the U.S. Capitol for the start of the new Congress. [HuffPo]

Help Kenn Parks. He deserves it. His son deserves it. [Give Back]

$3.56 Million For Just $29.95 Worth Of Work

Papaw Beshear’s Sorry State of the Commonwealth is tonight at 7:00 P.M. Will you be watching and yelling at your teevee? [Papaw Watch]

Kentucky taxpayers will fork over about $3.56 million to pay for the 2015 General Assembly, which begins at noon Tuesday. Most of the money will go for legislative compensation. [H-L]

President Barack Obama and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell are warily looking for areas of agreement as they begin a new chapter in a relationship that is likely to remain frosty but businesslike. [HuffPo]

Greg Fischer, taxes and Oklahoma City. All in the same article. Hold on to your wigs, ladies, cause shiz is about to get dumb. [C-J/AKN]

The cost of US war-making in the 13 years since the September 11 terrorist attacks reached a whopping $1.6 trillion in 2014, according to a recent report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS). [Mother Jones]

Monday the Comer for Governor campaign reported that it has raised $1,096,434, with $555,842 raised in the second fundraising quarter. This report comes after Commissioner of Agriculture, James Comer, announced his candidacy for Governor just under four months ago. Comer said his fundraising numbers reflect the outpouring of support he has received all across Kentucky. [Press Release]

In the border town of Nogales, Mexico, the lunch crowd is settling in at La Roca restaurant. Its live music and traditional cuisine have made it a landmark for 43 years. The prices are listed in dollars, and many of the diners come in from Arizona. The ownership is American, and so was the restaurant’s bank account and credit card until a couple months ago. [NPR]

Representative Phil Moffett, R-Louisville (32nd District) announced Monday his intention to file a bill for the 2015 session of Kentucky’s General Assembly that if passed would direct all counties that currently do not have an operating jail to consolidate their local jailer’s office with the county sheriff’s office. The proposal is the first bill filed by the newly elected House Republican. [Press Release]

Every year, stories emerge that serve as a reminder that the American system of justice means injustice for too many, with some receiving little or no punishment for egregious offenses, while others receive harsh or faulty punishment for much less, or even by way of partisan civil court decisions. [Think Progress]

Governor Steve Beshear Monday set a special election date to fill a vacant legislative seat in the 27th Senate district. Senator Walter Blevins resigned his office effective yesterday in order to serve as Rowan County Judge-executive. [Press Release & Writ of Election]

The US oil price fell below the symbolic threshold of $50 a barrel for the first time since April 2009, before finishing the day at $50.05. [BBC]

Cockfighting led to more than a dozen arrests in Clinton County on Sunday. [WAVE3]

A federal judge on Monday delayed by nearly three months the criminal trial of former Massey Energy Co Donald Blankenship on charges he violated federal mine safety laws prior to a 2010 West Virginia mine explosion that killed 29 miners. [Reuters]

The condition of Kentucky’s economy depends largely on which political leader happens to offer the prognosis — and maybe which part of the state is being assessed. [H-L]

President Barack Obama’s determined efforts to combat global warming face their biggest trial yet as Republicans take full control of Congress this week. The GOP vows to move fast and forcefully to roll back his environmental rules and force his hand on energy development. [HuffPo]

Put Pressure On B-Holes To Return Man’s Dog

An advocate who works with human trafficking victims throughout Kentucky said she works with about 30 people each year — nearly three times the number of victims who actually had their cases prosecuted in 2013. [H-L]

President Barack Obama on Thursday commuted the sentences of eight federal inmates who were convicted of crack cocaine offenses, greatly expanding his use of the presidential clemency power to help those incarcerated because of harsh drug laws. [HuffPo]

Former CBS news anchor Dan Rather once asked a Democratic operative if election results showing his candidate behind were “making your fingernails sweat.” The same question ought to be posed to the entire Kentucky Democratic Party following Tuesday’s special election in which Republicans claimed the state’s 7th District House seat and moved the GOP within four wins next year of sharing power in the House. [C-J/AKN]

A top official with the United Auto Workers said the American labor union wants to eliminate the two-tier wage system that pays new automotive workers at a lower rate than veterans. [Reuters]

Lawrence County officials and supporters of eastern Kentucky coal are reeling from the Public Service Commission’s approval of an agreement allowing Kentucky Power Company to idle its coal-fired generating units at its Big Sandy facility in Louisa. [Ronnie Ellis]

The past few years have been a period of unprecedented turmoil for the hospital industry. Now, a new report confirms that Catholic hospitals are emerging as one of the few clear winners — and the study adds its voice to a growing chorus of warnings about how church doctrine could affect women’s reproductive health care. [ProPublica]

The Kentucky Office of Employment and Training is reporting a slight improvement to the state’s unemployment rate in November. [WKYT]

Americans who lack medical coverage disapprove of President Obama’s health care law at roughly the same rate as the insured, even though most say they struggle to pay for basic care, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. [NY Times]

Kentucky’s college students are graduating in greater numbers than ever before, but a statewide report card on higher education shows troubling gaps for low-income and minority students. [H-L]

Explore the median household incomes in neighborhoods across the United States, based on the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. [Click the Clicky]

Kentucky’s motor fuels tax rate will decrease by 1.5 cents per gallon beginning January 1. [Press Release]

A right-wing front group poses as journalists to attack an investigation into political money laundering. [AlterNet]

On November 29 at the BP station in Sharkey/Farmers, near Morehead, Ross Madden’s dog, Charlie Brown was stolen. Small town politics are covering th scandal up and no one wants to resolve the problem. [Page One]

While President Barack Obama and White House aides may have wanted the nation’s top tech executives to help dissect their botched health care website, the industry titans themselves had something else in mind: the federal government’s vast cybersnooping. [CNN]