People Still Losing Their Simple Minds

Redefining marriage for the nation, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Friday that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed one another. The 5-4 decision in Obergefell vs. Hodges reverses a Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that upheld state bans of same-sex marriage in Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan and Tennessee. Lower courts in all four states had struck down the bans as unconstitutional. [H-L]

Paleontologists in South Africa have announced the name for a new dinosaur species, but they didn’t have to do any digging to find the creature’s bones. [HuffPo]

The charitable fundraising arm of the National Rifle Association — the NRA Foundation — is applying for a special license plate in Kentucky to help collect donations from the state’s myriad gun enthusiasts. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday that for too long Americans have been “blind” to the “unique mayhem” caused by gun violence in this country. [Reuters]

The Supreme Court’s decision that all states must validate marriages between same-sex couples did not surprise Kentucky county clerks. [Ashland Independent]

The authors of the 1968 Fair Housing Act wanted to reverse decades of government-fostered segregation. But presidents from both parties declined to enforce a law that stirred vehement opposition. [ProPublica]

If Kentucky landowners didn’t previously have a legal leg to stand on against energy giant Kinder Morgan’s plan to repurpose Tennessee Gas pipeline, they might have it now. [The Morehead News]

The House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday that would delay and weaken the federal government’s proposed regulations on power plant emissions. [ThinkProgress]

Lt. Max Graves gives a new meaning to the phrase “protecting the children.” While it is ultimately the duty of law enforcement to protect the community, one of his main duties is to ensure the safety of students inside the school. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

The newest gay rights icon wears a drab black robe and got his job from Ronald Reagan. [Politico]

Police say a tiny amount of bath salts…mixed with a form of methamphetamine called “Ice” is enough to send a person into fits of rage and almost instant insanity. [WKYT]

The famous lemurs of Madagascar face such severe threats to their survival that none of them may be left in the wild within 25 years. [BBC]

A room of government retirees grilled Republican gubernatorial nominee Matt Bevin for more than an hour Friday afternoon in Lexington, but many left unconvinced that his “tough love” proposals would fix the state’s cash-strapped pension systems. [H-L]

An ancient reptile that doesn’t have a shell is an important link in the evolutionary history of the turtle, according to new research. [HuffPo]

Next Up: Big Gay Divorce Settlements

CHERRY ON TOP OF THE DAY: W. Keith Hall was convicted of bribing that mine inspector. He’ll be sentenced September 17. Faces a decade in prison. [Damn]

Former state Rep. W. Keith Hall, D-Phelps, took the witness stand Thursday in his bribery trial to acknowledge that he paid tens of thousands of dollars to the state inspector assigned to his Pike County coal mines. [H-L]

Love wins. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Friday that it is legal for all Americans, no matter their gender or sexual orientation, to marry the people they love. [HuffPo]

In a historic ruling reshaping the definition of the American family, the Supreme Court of the United States invalidated bans on same-sex marriage in Kentucky and other states, holding that gays and lesbians have the constitutional right to marry. [C-J/AKN]

When you flip on a light switch, odds are, you’re burning coal. But as the fracking boom continues to unleash huge quantities of natural gas, the nation’s electric grid is changing. [NPR]

The Boyd County Fiscal Court voted last week to file the audit for the previous fiscal year, which suggested problems with the body’s efforts to be transparent and organized. [Ashland Independent]

Republican presidential contenders face a dilemma when talking about racial issues after last week’s racially motivated murders at a South Carolina church, as a new poll shows many Republican primary voters are less likely to see the topic as important. [Reuters]

The Industrial Development Economic Authority board approved in a special-called meeting to create a new budget category and more money for park work in the city and the county. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Racehorses are continuing to get quicker, a study of winning times spanning 165 years of racing indicates. [BBC]

The Morehead-Rowan County Chamber of Commerce recognized Dr. Ewell Scott with this year’s Ora L. Cline Award, its highest honor. [The Morehead News]

The Federal Election Commission should just do its job already. [Mother Jones]

After struggling for years with a billing system that was created in the 1980s, the City of Hazard is finally moving toward a 21st Century way of billing its utility customers. [Hazard Herald]

In the 14 years since Al Qaeda carried out attacks on New York and the Pentagon, extremists have regularly executed smaller lethal assaults in the United States, explaining their motives in online manifestoes or social media rants. But the breakdown of extremist ideologies behind those attacks may come as a surprise. [NY Times]

Federal authorities are investigating controversial Floyd County attorney Eric C. Conn, according to an attorney familiar with the situation. [H-L]

Searches for “gun shop” are usually more popular than “gun control,” according to data Google Trends averaged from the past year. But in the 72 hours following the Charleston shooting, “gun control” was the more popular search term in 45 states. Only South Dakota, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and North Carolina saw more queries for “gun shop.” [HuffPo]

Fun thing: Attorneys can finally focus on making this thing happen again. Give us all your money so I can stop working 18 hours per day sometime in the future. [Just Do It]

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]

Worst Gubernatorial Campaign Ever?

In their first public, joint appearance as candidates for governor, Democrat Jack Conway and Republican Matt Bevin traded only soft verbal blows, setting the scene for some potentially nasty campaign fights down the road. [H-L]

A website surfaced on Saturday containing a possible trove of photos of Dylann Roof and a racist manifesto explaining why he allegedly targeted Charleston, South Carolina, in a shooting this week that killed nine African-Americans. [HuffPo]

Louisville Metro Police officers and area youths held a frank conversation following a recent police shooting at a forum in the California Community Center on Thursday. [C-J/AKN]

The Confederate flag was adopted to represent a short-lived rebellion to extend and protect white supremacy and black slavery. [Vox]

Campbell District Court Judge Gregory T. Popovich is facing 15 days of suspension from the bench for misconduct. The Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission issued its findings Thursday evening, saying Popovich violated five canons of the state Code of Judicial Conduct. [Cincinnasti.com]

South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn (D) said on Sunday that he believes the Confederate flag stirs up memories of insurrection against the U.S. [The Hill]

Oh, god, the humor. House Speaker Greg Stumbo, (D-Prestonsburg), has announced the formation of the House Special Committee on Advanced Communications and Information Technology. Rep. Martha Jane King (D-Lewisburg) has been appointed to chair the committee, which will meet during the interim months of the General Assembly. [Berea Online]

Tensions are building inside and outside the white marble facade of the U.S. Supreme Court building as the nine justices prepare to issue major rulings on gay marriage and President Barack Obama’s healthcare law by the end of the month. [Reuters]

Matt Bevin told county officials from across the state gathered here for a conference there are “very distinct differences” between him and his Democratic opponent for governor, Jack Conway. [Ronnie Ellis]

With tears welling in her eyes, Hillary Clinton on Saturday delivered an emotional call to action after the Charleston church shooting, first vowing to fight for “common sense” gun reforms, then shifting to an assessment of racism in America. [Politico]

Moments before Rowan Fiscal Court adopted its operating budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year, Judge-Executive Walter Blevins suggested the county add a half percent occupational tax increase for one year. [The Morehead News]

The People v. the Coal Baron. Don Blankenship always knew exactly what he wanted during the years he ran Massey Energy, once the sixth-largest coal company in the United States. He had specific and emphatic ideas about how to operate mines, how to treat employees and how to deal with regulators. When he issued instructions, he wanted them followed to the letter, and this wasn’t just true about his business. [NY Times]

Educators from Maine and Virginia are among the finalists for Fayette County Public Schools superintendent. [H-L]

Russell Moore still thinks the religious right will win the battle against same-sex marriage. Oh, not at the Supreme Court later this month — like nearly everyone else, Moore is almost positive the right will lose there. But the long game… that, he says, could be a different story. [HuffPo]

KY Obviously Needs More Campaign $

You won’t believe the wild horse shit flowing from a Louisville FOP president. It might blow your mind. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Rand Paul of Kentucky, running for president on a platform of keeping the government out of people’s business, took a deep breath when asked at a recent stop in Philadelphia whether he’d make addressing abortion a part of his campaign. Pander to bigots = you’re a bigot. [H-L]

American gun owners are far more likely to injure themselves or someone else with their firearm than to stop a criminal, according to a new study from a group calling for tighter gun control. [HuffPo]

The search officially is on for the leader of Kentucky’s Department of Education. Which, sadly, means next to nothing. [C-J/AKN]

The CIA did not know in advance that al-Qaeda’s leader in Yemen was among the suspected militants targeted in a lethal drone strike last week, according to U.S. officials who said that the operation went forward under counter­terrorism guidelines that were eased by the Obama administration after the collapse of the U.S.-backed government in Yemen this year. The officials said that Nasir ­al-Wuhayshi, who also served as ­al-Qaeda’s overall second-in-command, was killed in a “signature strike,” in which the CIA is permitted to fire based on patterns of suspected militant activity even if the agency does not know the identities of those who could be killed. [WaPo]

Independent candidate for governor Drew Curtis needs to get 5,000 signatures by Aug. 11 in order to appear on the ballot in November’s general election. [WFPL]

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the right of the state of Texas to reject a specialty license plate featuring a Confederate flag. The case featured an unusual alliance in which Justice Clarence Thomas, known for his rigid ideological conservatism, teamed up with the court’s four liberal justices in a 5-4 majority. [Mother Jones]

When Audrey Haynes sat down before the legislature’s Medicaid Oversight and Advisory Committee Wednesday, she expected the data she brought would persuade lawmakers that Kentucky’s expansion of Medicaid has been good for the state. [Ronnie Ellis]

Rand Paul made headlines recently with his one-man effort to roll back government surveillance. And that’s the just beginning of Paul’s plan to dismantle big chunks of the federal government. [NPR]

The answer has been filed to a lawsuit against the City of Glasgow and its interim police chief that was filed last month by Glasgow Police Department Lt. Col. Guy Turcotte. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A state legislature’s strong environmental voting record can translate into real results for states, according to a new study. [ThinkProgress]

A special election to allow alcohol sales in Berea will likely take place in late September, according to Berea Mayor Steve Connelly. [Richmond Register]

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will call for tax credits for businesses that hire and train apprentices as a way to raise wages and boost youth employment during a campaign stop in South Carolina on Wednesday. [Reuters]

A Florida-based group is challenging in court a Kentucky law that bans corporations from making political contributions to candidates and parties. [H-L]

Deaths by drug overdose have been on the rise in the United States, with a majority of states recording increases from 2009 to 2013, according to a study released on Wednesday. [HuffPo]

You Should Follow The Landfill Saga

With a little more than six months before a new state law to address dating violence takes effect, Kentucky officials are trying to determine how best to offer emergency protective orders to victims of abusive dating relationships. [H-L]

Confidence in the police is lower than it’s been in more than 20 years, according to a new Gallup poll measuring the levels of faith in American institutions. [HuffPo]

This is just jacked up. The giant banner across Jackson Street in the heart of Louisville’s medical center offers hope for victims of a dread disease. [C-J/AKN]

As the iconic American gun maker Colt Defense struggled to stay in business after losing a key contract to supply M4 rifles to the U.S. Army, the company was paying a range of political allies, including the National Rife Association, the consulting firm set up by retired Army General Stanley McChrystal, and other trade groups and lobbying outfits. [The Intercept]

Big Run Landfill will no longer accept waste in the form of bales transported in gondola cars due to odor issues connected to this type of rail transportation of trash, according to top landfill company officials. [Ashland Independent]

The White House has pushed foundations, institutional investors and philanthropies to commit more than $4 billion to clean energy projects and help fight climate change, doubling a goal set in February, officials said. [Reuters]

Jack Conway made a stop in Prestonsburg Monday as part of the campaign tour he and his team have dubbed the “Bluegrass Business Listening Tour.” [Floyd County Times]

The European Space Agency says its comet lander, Philae, has woken up and contacted Earth. [BBC]

Representatives from the coal and utility industries as well as environmental and community activists appeared on KET’s Kentucky Tonight to discuss what’s next in energy and environmental issues in the state. [KET]

Political gridlock over climate change has left the US military exposed to Russia’s superior fleets in the Arctic, flooding in its naval bases and a more unstable world, according to high-ranking former military commanders and security advisors. [Mother Jones]

When lawmakers failed to agree on ways to shore up the troubled Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System, some – like House Minority Leader Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown – called on Gov. Steve Beshear to appoint a task force to study solutions. [Ronnie Ellis]

A couple of miles outside the town of Page, three 775-foot-tall caramel-colored smokestacks tower like sentries on the edge of northern Arizona’s sprawling red sandstone wilderness. At their base, the Navajo Generating Station, the West’s largest power-generating facility, thrums ceaselessly, like a beating heart. [ProPublica]

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has revealed how a pledged $10 million dollars will be used to tackle the state’s heroin epidemic. [H-L]

Real estate developer Donald Trump’s speech announcing he is running for the Republican nomination for president contained a number of false and misleading statements on the economy, trade, health care and terrorism. [HuffPo]

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