Matt. Bevin. Ruins. Literally. Everything.

An improvised explosive device made from a lighter went off and injured three people when a man at an estate sale picked it up, police said Friday. Additional components and explosive substances were found in a search of the house in the 700 block of Nakomi Drive where the estate sale was being held, said Lexington police Lt. Nathaniel Muller. [H-L]

Progressives are gaining influence within the Democratic Party and it’s starting to make some other Democrats anxious. [HuffPo]

For the second time in a week, officials with the administration of Matt Bevin have reversed themselves on a controversial change to the state’s Medicaid program. State Medicaid officials now say they will suspend patient copays of $1 to $50 abruptly enacted July 1. The copays caught health providers by surprise and caused alarm among patients who didn’t know about or understand the changes. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. Democrats’ support for abortion rights grew in the last two years, but for most it will be a low priority in the November mid-term election compared with issues such as healthcare and the economy, a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll shows. [Reuters]

Kentucky’s school system is ranked 20th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in a national report by WalletHub, a credit and personal finance website. [Ronnie Ellis]

A Central Brooklyn hospital featured in ProPublica and NPR’s “Lost Mothers” series for its high hemorrhage rate will serve as a pilot for quality reforms. [ProPublica]

Boyd County Clerk Debbie Jones’ office has received an $18,000 grant from the Kentucky Department of Library and Archives. [Ashland Independent]

Idiot. Idiot. Idiot. Donald Trump has said he has “no problem doing a shutdown” to pry funding from Congress for his planned border wall. [BBC]

Fatal drug overdoses increased by 11.5 percent in 2017, fueled by a continuing rise in fentanyl abuse, according to a report by the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy. [More Ronnie Ellis]

The Trump administration is considering bypassing Congress to grant a $100 billion tax cut mainly to the wealthy, a legally tenuous maneuver that would cut capital gains taxation and fulfill a long-held ambition of many investors and conservatives. [NY Times]

In order to comply with federal regulations, Kentucky will begin issuing a new state credential in the first few months of 2019, said Matt Henderson, commissioner of Kentucky’s Division of Vehicle Regulations, during the Glasgow Rotary Club meeting Thursday at the T.J. Health Pavilion Community Center. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Maria Butina, the Russian who reportedly infiltrated the National Rifle Association and became a popular figure in conservative circles in 2016, certainly earned her keep. The indictment issued last week states she worked closely with a Russian official, widely believed to be Russian Central Bank Deputy Gov. Alexander Torshin, to access and influence conservative organizations and politicians. [WaPo]

What was reported as an ATV crash Thursday in Perry County turned out to be violence, with an arrest made and two victims airlifted to hospitals with gunshot wounds. [H-L]

A former personnel chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency is being investigated for sexual misconduct, including allegations that he hired women he met at bars and on dating websites in the hopes that they would become sexual partners for male employees. [HuffPo]

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KDP Is Also MIA On Mitch McConnell

The Kentucky Democratic Party should have been all over this but couldn’t be bothered. On the day after Donald Trump deepened doubts about this country’s commitment to its European allies and western-style democracy, what did Majority Leader Mitch McConnell do? He stood on the Senate floor to praise a decision that will make it easier for foreign interests to illegally funnel money into U.S. politics and elections. [H-L]

Did she? Hopefully. Did Queen Elizabeth, the 92-year-old monarch of the United Kingdom, throw some subtle shade at Donald Trump during his recent U.K. visit? [HuffPo]

Speaking to college students five years ago in Florida, Louisville pizza magnate John Schnatter bragged he’d scored a nearly perfect 790 on his SAT in math but a dismal 200 on the verbal exam. Though, maybe using racist homophobes in a story to defend Schnatter’s remarks isn’t a great idea. [C-J/AKN]

More than half of Americans disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling relations with Russia, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted after his controversial summit and joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin. [Reuters]

An ordinance that would raise the salary range of city employees by 2 percent had a first reading Tuesday during the Berea City Council. [Richmond Register]

Without any public scrutiny, insurers and data brokers are predicting your health costs based on data about things like race, marital status, how much TV you watch, whether you pay your bills on time or even buy plus-size clothing. [ProPublica]

Greenup County is one step closer to requiring Hepatitis A vaccinations for all food service workers in the county. [Ashland Independent]

Why has the NRA been cozying up to Russia? The Right to Bear Arms in Moscow enjoys a close relationship with America’s leading gun-rights group. [ThinkProgress]

John Maxey led his first Rowan County Board of Education meeting July 17 as new superintendent. On the agenda was an update on Senate Bill 1, approving the dual credit agreement with MCTC and approving the annual financial report. [The Morehead News]

Violence in Central America has brought thousands of L.G.B.T. migrants to the United States border to seek asylum in recent years, hoping to find protection from persecution over their gender identity and sexuality. [NY Times]

Economic fallout from failing pension systems? Surely not. No one could have predicted that. [WFPL]

When the 8-year-old stepped off a plane here earlier this month with freshly cut bangs and a shelter-issued sweatsuit, she was met by crowds and television cameras and finally, in a carpeted airport conference room, by the mother who had been taken from her two months earlier at the border. [WaPo]

A Boyd County Circuit Court judge recommended a grand jury investigation Friday after the Boyd County Detention Center failed to notify local or state law enforcement after mistakenly releasing an inmate last week who displayed “extreme indifference to the value of human life,” according to the inmate’s indictment. [H-L]

Anti-American idiocy is at the highest level in decades. Donald Trump on Tuesday once again threw cold water on NATO, an intergovernmental military alliance between the U.S. and 28 other countries. [HuffPo]

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Rand Paul Is Supporting Treason

Rand Paul and Donald Trump are now best friends, as the Kentucky Republican has become a rare ray of GOP support for the embattled president. [H-L]

Former President Barack Obama offered a sobering and alarming view of the state of the world in what appeared to be a rebuke of Donald Trump, warning that nationalist and populist sentiments are making their way into the mainstream. [HuffPo]

Former University of Louisville President James Ramsey resigned under pressure a mere 27 days into the 2016-17 fiscal year, but he was still the nation’s highest-paid public college president that year. [C-J/AKN]

Special counsel Robert Mueller wants to give a form of immunity to five potential witnesses against former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort, according to court papers filed Tuesday. [NBC News]

Greenup County is one step closer to requiring Hepatitis A vaccinations for all food service workers in the county. [Ashland Independent]

Two security experts from the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory drove to San Antonio, Texas, in March 2017 with a sensitive mission: to retrieve dangerous nuclear materials from a nonprofit research lab there. Their task, according to documents and interviews, was to ensure that the radioactive materials did not fall into the wrong hands on the way back to Idaho, where the government maintains a stockpile of nuclear explosive materials for the military and others. [CPI]

The Cave City Tourist and Convention Commission’s board of directors voted Monday during a special-called meeting to accept the resignation of executive director Sharon Tabor after meeting in closed session to discuss a personnel issue. [Glasgow Daily Times]

This data conclusively debunks the myth of conservative censorship on Facebook. We studied Facebook pages that post content about American political news. Conservatives are not being censored — in fact, right-wing Facebook pages are thriving. [MMFA]

The Glasgow City Council is putting $100,000 toward a construction project expected to alleviate one of motorists’ most pervasive headaches. City officials hope additional funding can be attained through a federal grant. [BGDN]

The same Russian military intelligence service now accused of disrupting the 2016 presidential election in America may also be responsible for the nerve agent attack in Britain against a former Russian spy — an audacious poisoning that led to a geopolitical confrontation this spring between Moscow and the West. [NY Times]

What the hell is wrong with JK McKnight giving STEVE HENRY money for an organization that was caught up in his (Henry’s) guilty pleas in 2009? People are stupid. Really stupid. Henry’s various “foundations” and campaign funds were used for his personal gain. He made three Alford Pleas. The IRS came for him over the Rosemary Clooney House. Yet these jackasses still think it’s safe to give him money. Stupid, stupid, stupid. [WFPL]

A Russian national with alleged ties to a top Russian official was charged in federal court in Washington Monday with conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation, and was ordered held without bond. Butina is accused of developing relationships with American politicians and a “gun rights organization,” none of which are named in the affidavit supporting the criminal complaint. She began reaching out to NRA members and other American gun enthusiasts in 2013. Butina also attended an NRA convention in May 2016, where a Republican operative named Paul Erickson worked to get Torshin a meeting with Trump. [WaPo]

State budget officials recently divided up $31 million in state funding between Kentucky’s public universities, but Morehead State University, Kentucky State University and four Eastern Kentucky community colleges each got zero. [H-L]

The labyrinth of cables and hardware that supports the internet is likely to be flooded with saltwater as sea levels rise over the next 15 years, submerging thousands of miles of underground infrastructure, particularly in coastal cities. [HuffPo]

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Rocky v. Andy Will Be A Funny Fight

A planned appearance by the president of the National Rifle Association, not far from the site of a Kentucky school shooting, is stirring controversy. [H-L]

It what may be an early onslaught of Kremlin-linked Twitter attacks ahead of the U.S. midterm elections, Russia(sic) bots appear to be fueling a wave of criticism targeting Democrats over alleged intimidation in political confrontations and a lack of “civility,” according to bot trackers. [HuffPo]

A group of protesters confronted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Bardstown Road in Louisville Saturday, calling out “Abolish ICE,” before adding they know where he lives. And of course Jonathan Shell, a human-shaped turd, spewed racism. [C-J/AKN]

The 1-year-old boy in a green button-up shirt drank milk from a bottle, played with a small purple ball that lit up when it hit the ground and occasionally asked for “agua.” [AP]

This time they got in, into what they call “our house,” the people’s house, the Kentucky state Capitol. [Ronnie Ellis]

North Korea has accused the US of using “gangster-like” tactics to push it towards nuclear disarmament after a fresh round of high-level talks. [BBC]

A plan by the city of Greenup to annex highway right of ways stunned Greenup County leaders Tuesday, prompting calls for the county to move its courthouse out of the city of Greenup. [Ashland Independent]

Attempts by Anne Frank’s father to escape the Nazis in Europe and travel to the United States were complicated by tight American restrictions on immigration at the time, one of a series of roadblocks that narrowed the Frank family’s options and thrust them into hiding, according to a new report released on Friday. [NY Times]

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear, son of the state’s last Democratic governor, Steve Beshear, officially announced his intentions to run for the state’s highest seat on Monday morning. [The Morehead News]

Trump’s delusions are about to blow up in his own voters’ face. [WaPo]

Do you keep up with what’s happening around the Commonwealth? A misunderstanding regarding purchase orders for a communications tower to be installed in the Summer Shade area led to a lengthy discussion Tuesday during a Metcalfe County Fiscal Court meeting. [Glasgow Daily Times]

With tears and smiles, Salvadoran asylum seeker Walter Armando Jimenez Melendez reunited with his 4-year-old son Jeremy on Tuesday after six weeks of anguished separation. [Reuters]

Matt Bevin’s administration has been ordered to pay the Courier Journal’s legal cost because it refused to release public records identifying shareholders of a company planning to build a state-subsidized $1.5 billion aluminum rolling mill near Ashland. [H-L]

Donald Trump on Wednesday kicked off what is shaping up to be a contentious NATO summit by lashing out at Germany, saying the country is “captive to Russia” because of a gas pipeline deal. [HuffPo]

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McConnell Doesn’t Want To Do Anything

Is he the most dishonest person on earth or just the laziest? In 2018, at least 26 students have died in five school shootings in America. Two of those deaths came in a shooting at Marshall County High School in Kentucky. [H-L]

It’s hard to see the sky from Mitch Whitaker’s back porch. The mountainside, lush and green on a summer day, rises almost vertically. When Whitaker was a teenager, the top of it was blown off and the land was mined for coal. In the years since, native grasses have grown back and deer have returned. He and a few buddies now run a remote-controlled airplane club up there. Some hunt, have picnics and hike with their grandkids. But things are set to change here in rural Roxana, Kentucky. [HuffPo]

In a blow to Matt Bevin’s effort to reshape Kentucky’s Medicaid program, a federal judge has struck down his plan to require some people to meet strict new requirements including working or volunteering and paying monthly premiums in order to get health coverage through Medicaid. [C-J/AKN]

As a meeting last August in the Oval Office to discuss sanctions on Venezuela was concluding, Donald Trump turned to his top aides and asked an unsettling question: With a fast unraveling Venezuela threatening regional security, why can’t the U.S. just simply invade the troubled country? [AP]

Stories like this that glorify Mitch McConnell’s bullshit with Supreme Court nominees only serves to keep Eastern Kentuckians ignorant. [Ashland Independent]

Embattled Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt directly appealed to Donald Trump this spring to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and let him run the Department of Justice instead, according to three people familiar with the proposal. In an Oval Office conversation with Trump, Pruitt offered to temporarily replace Sessions for 210 days under the Vacancies Reform Act, telling the President he would return to Oklahoma afterward to run for office. [CNN]

When the 2018-19 school year begins, Glasgow Independent Schools will have a resource officer in each of its schools, GIS Superintendent Keith Hale said during the board of education’s special-called meeting Tuesday at the central office, adding that he appreciates the board’s commitment to school safety. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Tackling an issue that Congress has largely ignored for decades, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee voted Thursday to request $50 million in new funding for programs aimed at reducing the comparatively high U.S. rate of women who die in pregnancy or childbirth. [ProPublica]

Donald Trump’s desire to help boost the Ohio Valley’s energy industry and bring back mining jobs could be stymied by the administration’s escalating trade battle with China and other trading partners across the globe. [WFPL]

The Trump administration will encourage the nation’s school superintendents and college presidents to adopt race-blind admissions standards, abandoning an Obama administration policy that called on universities to consider race as a factor in diversifying their campuses, Trump administration officials said. [NY Times]

Warren County Public Schools continues to see significant gaps in test scores for students who are African-American, Hispanic, English learners, disabled and those who qualify for free and reduced lunch, according to a report recently released by the district. [BGDN]

Finally, a family separation story with a happy ending. It’s not the sort of family separation that has been in the headlines lately. [WaPo]

Andy Barr said Monday he supports Kentucky’s ability to determine who receives Medicaid benefits, a day after the Bevin administration eliminated access to vision and dental coverage for 460,000 Kentuckians on Medicaid. [H-L]

Racists gonna racist. Donald Trump’s administration is planning to undo policies that would encourage race as a factor in college admissions, according to news reports. [HuffPo]

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Surprise! Mitch McConnell Wants To Kill The Mueller Investigation

Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd struck down Kentucky’s controversial new public pension law Wednesday. [H-L]

Julian Carroll is a confirmed monster and the fact that neither the Kentucky Democratic Party nor the Republican Party of Kentucky care to oust him is damning. [More H-L]

Conservative groups that promote themselves as “pro-life” and “pro-family” are quietly supporting the Trump administration policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the border, or refusing to weigh in at all. [HuffPo]

Opposition to Donald Trump’s controversial policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the border crossed partisan lines Tuesday as Sen. Mitch McConnell and U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth said they would support plans to fix the problem. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration has likely lost track of nearly 6,000 unaccompanied migrant children, thousands more than lawmakers were alerted to last month, according to a McClatchy review of federal data. [McClatchy]

As Paul Trickel approached the front entrance of the Kentucky state Capitol Monday, he observed three people enter without incident. [Ronnie Ellis]

Just a reminder that Mitch McConnell is trying to kill the Mueller investigation. [The Hill]

Ashland City Commisioner Matt Perkins believes thousands of dollars the city pays annually to elected leaders for vehicle allowances should be re-allocated to help fund the cost of Boyd County’s new animal shelter. [Ashland Independent]

It’s a fundamental part of representative government: Politicians are elected to advocate for their constituents, and not their own interests. But in many states, laws and ethics rules allow representatives to advance bills that would benefit their own financial interests, as well. [ProPublica]

For decades, Kentucky’s own coal stoked the fires that generated most of its electricity. And while some of those power plants have shut down or switched to natural gas, their legacy remains today in the leftover coal ash that’s stored all over the commonwealth. [WFPL]

Donald Trump on Saturday repeated his false assertion that Democrats were responsible for his administration’s policy of separating migrant families apprehended at the border, sticking to a weekslong refusal to publicly accept responsibility for a widely condemned practice that has become a symbol of his crackdown on illegal immigration. [NY Times]

Barren County Fiscal Court approved the second reading of its budget ordinance Tuesday with only two sources of discussion – a summary by the judge-executive of some of the notable changes and expenses and one commentary during the public hearing portion of the court’s regular meeting. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The economy is not robust or wonderful. The average hourly wage paid to a key group of American workers has fallen from last year when accounting for inflation, as an economy that appears strong by several measures continues to fail to create bigger paychecks, the federal government said Tuesday. [WaPo]

A Pike County man who previously pleaded guilty to shooting his brother last June is back in police custody after, Kentucky State Police say, he shot his brother again Thursday. [H-L]

New Republicanism is a disease. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley will announce on Tuesday that the United States is withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council, a Trump administration source told Reuters. [HuffPo]

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This Tim Longmeyer Mess Is Bananas

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Denmark’s tax agency seeks to recover $41 million in allegedly fraudulent tax refunds paid to several Central Kentucky-based pension plans and their representatives. [H-L]

The Trump administration separated nearly 2,000 immigrant children from parents or guardians at the border over the span of six weeks, a Department of Homeland Security official said on Friday. [HuffPo]

Kentucky uses an unconstitutional and outdated test to determine whether defendants have the mental competence to get the death penalty, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled Thursday. [C-J/AKN]

Paul Manafort is going to jail. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office convinced a federal judge on Friday to revoke the bail of Donald Trump’s former campaign chief after he was accused of witness tampering. [NBC News]

Diane Artist Wallace, Miriam (Mim) R. Pride and Ken Koh have been elected to the Berea College Board of Trustees. [Richmond Register]

A cabinet secretary in former Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration said Wednesday that the governor’s chief of staff pressured him to award a lucrative state contract to a company that had helped him raise money. [AP]

The Boyd County Fiscal Court will discuss what the county’s unit-based fee should be to fund the Boyd County 911 Center at its upcoming meeting on Tuesday. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump’s immigration policies and hurricane response in Puerto Rico are having lethal consequences for nonwhites. This is real American carnage. [USA Today]

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear announced Thursday he is suing Walgreens, contending the pharmaceutical company did nothing to stem the rise in opioid addiction despite “having a front-row seat as opioids flooded and devastated our communities.” [Ronnie Ellis]

The New York attorney general is suing Donald Trump’s charitable foundation along with its directors — the President, his sons Eric and Donald Jr. and daughter Ivanka, alleging they violated state and federal charities law. Attorney General Barbara Underwood alleges a pattern of persistent illegal conduct over more than a decade that includes extensive unlawful political coordination with the Trump presidential campaign. [CNN]

Barren County’s comprehensive plan contains information from more than 100 sources compiled in one place to provide an overview of where the county is now and project how it may change and where it is mostly likely to grow over the next two decades. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The former deputy defense secretary for both Barack Obama and Donald Trump is criticizing the substance and framing of Trump’s abrupt cancellation of joint military exercises with South Korea as a “pretty substantial concession” to North Korea—something that both Russia and China could turn to their advantage elsewhere. Although Work was out of the administration at the time, he said that “it was about six months ago that Russia and China floated this idea” for halting the U.S.-South Korean drills. [TDB]

All over Kentucky, you hear the same thing at almost every distillery: hammering. The state’s signature bourbon industry is building like never before, adding distilling capacity and warehouses to age whiskey. The new capital investments topped $1.5 billion in 2016 with no end in sight. Will trade tariffs from the European Union, Canada and other countries become a roadblock for bourbon? It’s hard to say. [H-L]

In the four months since a mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school, the number of states with so-called red flag laws has doubled, expanding the ability of courts around the nation to temporarily remove guns from people who are found to be dangerous. [HuffPo]

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