Get Ready For Groundhog Day 2016

A problem in the solicitation to build a high-speed broadband network across Kentucky has jeopardized funding for the project, a top administration official said Thursday. [H-L]

Coverage of the influence of money in politics tends to suffer from the same weakness that all horse-race politics writing does: it almost never connects day-to-day movements to any broader reality or purpose. [HuffPo]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! A month’s worth of Glumetza diabetes pills cost Margaret Meffert’s $746 last April. Then the price inexplicably began skyrocketing – to $6,714. [C-J/AKN]

Trump has the highest unfavorable ratings of any presidential candidate in either party. [The Hill]

Just weeks after Gov. Matt Bevin confirmed he would seek to dismantle Kentucky’s health insurance exchange and roll back the state’s expanded Medicaid system, 10 hospitals in the commonwealth announced they have formed a new regional health care collaborative aimed at lowering costs. [WFPL]

A conservation group said the federal government must stop approving offshore fracking from oil platforms in California’s Santa Barbara Channel under the settlement of a lawsuit it filed. [Reuters]

Glasgow attorney Danny Basil filed Tuesday as a Democratic candidate for the 23rd District Kentucky House of Representatives seat. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A blame game has erupted over the lead-ridden drinking water in Flint, Michigan. For weeks, residents, politicians, and observers across the country have been asking: Who is responsible for this public health catastrophe? [ThinkProgress]

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has opened an administrative proceeding to investigate the Kentucky Universal Service Fund (KUSF), which provides subsidies for telephone service for low-income consumers in the state. In an order issued today, the PSC said the investigation was prompted by a rapid depletion of the fund, which is in danger of being exhausted by April. In May 2011, the KUSF balance peaked at about $11 million. It has since declined steadily, reaching just over $400,000 in October 2015. [Press Release]

Private individuals will no longer be allowed to advertise guns on Facebook and Instagram, the photo-sharing service owned by Facebook. [BBC]

Hearing there’ll be some, ahem, fun for a corrupt bunch in Shelby County tomorrow. [Things We Hear]

Most of the time when we talk about homelessness, big cities come to mind. But about seven percent of homeless people live in rural areas, where access to help is much harder to come by. [NPR]

Tucked inside Gov. Matt Bevin’s state budget bill is language that would suspend prevailing wage on public works projects and end state funding for Planned Parenthood clinics, two hot-button items for Republicans that are bottled up in the legislative process. [H-L]

James Carville, the well-known political adviser to former President Bill Clinton, is a bit baffled that more donors have given to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) than to Hillary Clinton, especially given the former secretary of state’s résumé. [HuffPo]

Louisville: Once Again Murder Central

A Wisconsin organization is still looking for a Wilmore citizen to act as a plaintiff willing to sue to remove a cross from a city-owned water tower. No lawsuit has been filed since the Freedom From Religion Foundation of Madison, Wis., first raised the issue in late September. [H-L]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday issued the first decision in a series of class action cases this term that are widely viewed as attempts by business interests to shut the courthouse door to consumers and everyday plaintiffs. [HuffPo]

Wednesday evening violence has left three dead in Louisville. [C-J/AKN]

The father of Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul said on Wednesday that it’s “realistic” that Donald Trump will be the GOP nominee. [The Hill]

UK HealthCare and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center have finalized an agreement to partner for pediatric heart care and other services. A Letter of Intent (LOI) for a partnership was announced between the two health care systems in September. [Richmond Register]

President Barack Obama pledged to offer support for the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan on Wednesday and environmental regulators were set to provide Congress with information about their role. [Reuters]

With bitter cold temperatures, snow and other weather emergency situations on the horizon, Joanne Dunfee of the Grayson Emergency Management Agency wants everyone to be informed and have the latest information. [Ashland Independent]

Republican Party elders in Congress have nothing but nice things to say about Marco Rubio, but the Florida senator is encountering a nagging problem — they’re not ready to coalesce around him as the man to stop Donald Trump or Ted Cruz from marching to the nomination. [Politico]

Demolition at the site of the future Rowan County Detention Center continues and architectural drawings for the new facility are getting closer to completion. [The Morehead News]

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tried to reassure the World Economic Forum that his country’s economy is strong, despite low oil prices. [BBC]

Barren County Jailer Matt Mutter announced to the county’s fiscal court the Barren County Detention Center is in the beginning stages of having a garden program at the jail. [Glasgow Daily Times]

As the issue of immigration — legal or otherwise — gains traction in the 2016 presidential race, there’s more evidence that illegal immigration is not only declining, but it’s been on a decade-long downward trend. [NPR]

Memo from home to Sen. Rand Paul: Be careful what you wish for. [H-L]

Ted Cruz may wind up becoming Donald Trump’s greatest weapon. [HuffPo]

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Let’s All Hang Our Heads For Rand

An oversight office and union organizations are challenging bankrupt Alpha Natural Resources’ proposal to give bonuses of up to $11.9 million to top employees even as it seeks to cut health and insurance benefits to some retirees. [H-L]

That awkward moment when your dad thinks your rival will best you in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) must have been pretty bummed when his father, former Congressman Ron Paul, admitted that it’s likely Donald Trump will become the GOP’s candidate for president. [HuffPo]

PEE ALERT! Louisville Metro Councilman Dan Johnson said he will file the necessary paperwork on Thursday to challenge state Rep. Denny Butler, the first Democratic member of the Kentucky House of Representatives to switch parties leading up to the 2016 legislative session. [C-J/AKN]

Look what’s happening in West Virginia with cable companies opposing broadband expansion. Unless they directly profit, of course. You can expect the same sort of freakout here in the Commonwealth once Google Fiber makes it to Louisville and the rest of the state starts get a whiff of it. [Charleston Gazette-Mail]

You can’t even live in an apartment in Lexington these days without getting shot. [WKYT]

The Navy on Wednesday launched its first carrier strike group powered partly by biofuel — a mix made from beef fat — calling it a milestone toward easing the military’s reliance on foreign oil. [The Hill]

Drunken drivers would have to wait 10 years for convictions to come off their records under a bill that cleared the state Senate on Wednesday, potentially increasing the number of repeat offenders and adding to the state’s local jail population. [Richmond Register]

Air quality regulators agreed on Wednesday to scrap a proposal to capture and burn off some of the methane spewing into the air from a subterranean pipeline rupture that has forced thousands of Los Angeles residents from their homes since October. [Reuters]

The Republican leader of the Senate warned state lawmakers Wednesday not to expect “a very pretty” budget proposal from new Republican Gov. Matt Bevin next week. [Ronnie Ellis]

Companies that have found a niche taking Obama-style digital campaigns to Europe fear a data dispute could sour their prospects. [Politico]

The Glasgow Daily Times filed a complaint with Glasgow’s mayor Wednesday, protesting the fact that a portion of a Monday evening disciplinary hearing for a police sergeant was closed to the public. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Kevin Schiller had no idea what hit him. With 21 years on the job, the building engineer for Macy’s department stores had been in and out of every nook and cranny of many of the retail giant’s Texas stores, including the storage room in the Macy’s in Denton, Texas. [NPR]

Can you believe that PeckrePointe mess is still going on in Lexington after all these years? [H-L]

Sarah The Quitter Palin gets dumber by the minute. You already knew that. This is just a reminder. [HuffPo]

Stay Safe During The Snowpocalypse!

Matt Bevin is asking state workers for their input on his budget plan. So he can promptly ignore their concerns. [H-L]

Vice President Joe Biden got visibly heated while discussing the importance of LGBT rights on Wednesday. [HuffPo]

Louisville has been dealing with this stupid mess for years. The JBS pork processing plant in Butchertown stepped out in front by agreeing to make sure all trucks using its large parking lot be equipped with California-compliant refrigeration units that limit soot and other toxic exhaust from burning diesel fuel. [C-J/AKN]

A BBC journalist with dual British-Iranian nationality has been prevented from flying to the US after falling foul of changes to visa rules. [BBC]

White ones, black ones, polkadot or pink ones, the Dressing Room doesn’t care, just as long as they can help residents in need. [Ashland Independent]

Big spending by campaigns and super PACs has clearly not translated into front-runner status for either Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio, according to the latest data on cumulative advertising buys. [Politico]

Glasgow Mayor Dick Doty said he will decide by the end of business Friday whether to sustain the recommendation of the police chief he hired last year and fire a Glasgow Police Department sergeant who is charged with several administrative violations, all related to a seminude photo and text message exchange between two other officers that were later sent to him. [Glasgow Daily Times]

While Amnesty’s latest report doesn’t necessarily rule out the Peshmerga as reliable allies, it might cast a gray cloud over American’s political pandering. [ThinkProgress]

Just a reminder of what Julie Raque Adams has been doing to poor women in Kentucky. While she flits about Frankfort talking about how great she is for wealthy, Republican women? Poor people are suffering as a direct consequense of her imposing her antiquated religious beliefs on the Commonwealth. [Page One]

Attorney General Loretta Lynch defended President Obama’s recent executive actions on guns Wednesday in the face of fierce Republican criticism. [The Hill]

Kentucky’s state parks are offering assistance during the winter storm to people who may be stranded or otherwise need lodging. [WKYT & Press Releases]

Demonstrators from the Black Lives Matter movement interrupted the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ meeting on Wednesday, protesting the killing of a Chicago teenager by police and the lead-tainted water supply of Flint, Michigan. [Reuters]

Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked a bill that would crack down on Syrian and Iraqi refugees coming to the U.S. as the debate turned into a referendum on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his policies. [H-L]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… Researchers are now pretty certain there’s a ninth planet in the solar system. [HuffPo]

Ramsey Disaster Continues: Day 82938

If you need one more motivation to exercise, eat right and maintain a healthy weight, consider the obesity and cancer link. [H-L]

The nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, Human Rights Campaign, endorsed Hillary Clinton for president on Tuesday. [HuffPo]

Jim Ramsey can’t stop being an epic disaster. University of Louisville President James Ramsey contradicted the position of the university’s board of trustees in announcing last week that he agrees with Gov. Matt Bevin that the board has too few minority members – and that the last three appointments to it should be declared “null and void.” [C-J/AKN]

The main reason Trump is leading national polls is because he dominates the white non-college world. [NPR]

The yearly audit of the City of Morehead revealed no financial irregularities or significant accounting problems, according to Kelley Galloway Smith Goolsby, PSC. [The Morehead News]

Candidates for the Democratic race for the White House have clashed on gun control and healthcare in their liveliest TV debate so far. [BBC]

After seeing a near average growth rate in health insurance premiums the last few years, Kentuckians saw a 12 percent jump in 2014. [Richmond Register]

In a recent round of interviews, Charles Koch, the billionaire industrialist and political patron, has been stressing that he only recently became involved in politics. [Politico]

Ashland’s 2015 fiscal year confirmed city government made more money than it spent for a third straight year ­— something Mayor Chuck Charles stated earlier this month. [Ashland Independent]

Mitch McConnell (R-Grandmother) is pressuring Democrats ahead of a procedural vote Wednesday on legislation freezing the acceptance of refugees from Syria and Iraq. [The Hill]

Metcalfe County magistrates took care of a few housekeeping items when they met earlier [last] week. [Glasgow Daily Times]

One European country can’t seem to stop breaking records when it comes to wind power. [ThinkProgress]

A woman died of hypothermia early Monday in Laurel County after she walked away from an assisted living facility in London. [H-L]

Or in Kentucky, it’s the Democrats who want to do this. [HuffPo]

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Bevin’s Already Harming Education In KY

Really, there aren’t more pressing educational issues to tackle instead of pandering in an election year? A Kentucky Republican state senator from London has introduced a bill that he said could have prevented biblical references from being cut from a presentation of A Charlie Brown Christmas at a Johnson County elementary school. [H-L]

French President Francois Hollande has declared what he called “a state of economic emergency” and says it’s time to redefine France’s economic and social model. [HuffPo]

The Bevin administration has shut down an advanced battery research and development center in Lexington that involved cooperation between the University of Kentucky, University of Louisville and a big federal energy lab and automakers. [C-J/AKN]

A federal judge on Tuesday ruled President Obama cannot use executive privilege to keep records on the “fast and furious” gun-tracking program from Congress. [The Hill]

Police departments across Kentucky began outfitting officers with body cameras last year, but don’t expect state troopers to join their ranks anytime soon. [WFPL]

Puerto Rico, struggling to make its debt payments, outlined an increase in its financing gap on Monday, saying it now projects a $16.06 billion hole to fill, cumulatively, over the next five years, an increase of $2.1 billion from a September projection. [Reuters]

The brother of former Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway will be back in court for a domestic violence charge. [WHAS11]

A Senate subcommittee is looking at waste by a Pentagon task force. It would do well to review the reasons why a major hydroelectric power plant sits unfinished. [ProPublica]

For years there have been calls for more transparency in Kentucky’s retirement systems, especially the system for lawmakers. [Ronnie Ellis]

As state lawmakers consider a medical marijuana bill in Georgia, the measure is getting support from an unexpected source: a conservative Republican state representative. [ThinkProgress]

There are monumental and historic reasons to march on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but to the crowd who gathered at Union Chuch on Monday despite frigid temperatures, there were modern reasons as well. [Richmond Register]

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Tuesday blasted the Republican field for their rhetoric on destroying the Islamic State. [Politico]

Parent Maggie Draus is concerned about the news that Lexington’s Cassidy Elementary School is one of several in Fayette County likely to get portable classrooms in the fall because of overcrowding. [H-L]

China’s economic growth edged down to 6.8 percent in the final quarter of 2015 as trade and consumer spending weakened, dragging full-year growth to its lowest in 25 years. [HuffPo]

Tuesday Evening Dept Of Bitterness

Once again, bills have been filed in the Kentucky legislature that would provide a one-time death benefit to help the survivors of fallen employees of emergency medical services. The state pays a lump sum to the families of firefighters and police officers who die in the line of duty, but not to the survivors of EMS workers. Survivors of paramedics in Lexington are eligible for the benefits because they are part of the fire department. [H-L]

Hillary Clinton’s plan to stem her slide against Bernie Sanders in the presidential primary began to come into clear focus Sunday night in the fourth Democratic debate. [HuffPo]

A Jefferson County Public Schools board member is once again calling for the closure of the school that falls in the shadow of one of Kentucky’s largest coal-fired power plants and Louisville biggest source of industrial emissions. [C-J/AKN]

On Friday, the Obama administration announced a halt to new coal leases on federal land. In Wyoming, most of the federally-owned coal mines and revenue from coal leases pays for school construction. [NPR]

The McConathy Farm Rescue Team has rescued nearly 60 horses to date and recently took in seven horses between the ages of two and 10 from a farm in Lawrenceburg. [WKYT]

The Taliban were threatening on Tuesday to capture three key strategic districts in Afghanistan’s province of Helmand as fierce fighting with government forces stoked fears over the Islamist insurgents’ gains in their traditional heartland. [Reuters]

High pension liabilities were discussed during the presentation of the City of Ashland 2015 fiscal year audit — a problem cities all over Kentucky are having, according to officials. [Ashland Independent]

When news broke today that Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian would be freed from his longstanding imprisonment from Iran, it came as a welcome surprise to many reporters. But not, apparently, to some journalists at The Huffington Post, CNN, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. [Poynter]

Morehead State President Wayne Andrews lifted his Powerball ticket in the air and joked with faculty that he’d only retire if he owned the winning lottery digits. Andrews extinguished rumors he’s leaving the university and strategized ways to circumvent potential budget cuts on Wednesday during the 2016 MSU Spring Convocation at Button Auditorium. [The Morehead News]

A former Navy SEAL who shot Osama bin Laden and wrote a bestselling book about the raid is now the subject of a widening federal criminal investigation into whether he used his position as an elite commando for personal profit while on active duty, according to two people familiar with the case. [The Intercept]

“I’m not here to lecture you,” said Beth Nimmo, the mother of slain Columbine High School student Rachel Scott, speaking to students at Knox Central High School on Friday, “I’m just here to talk to you as a mother…and I hope you can use this as an opportunity to step away from something that may be harmful to you, a mindset, an activity, or whatever that may be.” [Richmond Register]

Candidates for the Democratic race for the White House have clashed on gun control and healthcare in their liveliest TV debate so far. [BBC]

The National Book Critics Circle will honor famed Kentucky author Wendell Berry with a lifetime achievement awards and has named Lexington poet Ada Limón as one of 30 finalists in six categories for outstanding books of 2015, the group announced Monday. [H-L]

A group of Americans who went missing over the weekend in Iraq were kidnapped from their interpreter’s home in Baghdad, according to an Iraqi government intelligence official. [HuffPo]

Need cheap mobile phone service? Maybe even for a backup cell phone? I’m talking $6/mo cheap? Use our Ting referral code and we’ll all get a sweet credit. You get $25 — enough for a couple months of service to determine whether you like it. Both CDMA and GSM options. For worriers: no, you don’t get identified to us if you use our link… so please consider letting us know if you do! [Ting]