Let The Matt Bevin Funtimes Begin!

Daniel Boone National Forest officials have some advice on avoiding encounters with black bears. [H-L]

The United States might just be on the verge of a wind power revolution. Or, at least, the newest generation of wind turbines, featuring taller towers and longer blades, have the potential to push the country in that direction. [HuffPo]

Kentucky and Indiana are among the fattest states in the nation. [C-J/AKN]

How on earth can a majority of people support something that is secret? A majority of Americans support new trade deals, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Wednesday, even as President Barack Obama struggles to win support for legislation key to sealing a signature Pacific Rim trade agreement. [Reuters]

Glasgow’s city attorney responded Wednesday to a lawsuit filed by former Glasgow police chief Guy Turcotte against the city and interim chief James Duff by saying the lawsuit will provide an opportunity for the public to look closer at Turcotte’s record with the Glasgow Police Department. [Glasgow Daily Times]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… A human skull from a deep cave in northern Spain shows evidence of a lethal violent attack 430,000 years ago, a study shows. [BBC]

First Lady of Kentucky Jane Beshear didn’t seem to mind getting her hands dirty in order to promote agriculture at the dedication of a Governor’s Garden at Morehead State University on Wednesday. [Ashland Independent]

With new businesses sprouting up left and right, there’s a lot of talk these days about Detroit being on the comeback trail. [NPR]

An un-named source within the Laurel County school district told WKYT that South Laurel High School was threatened with legal action if they allowed prayer at their graduation this weekend. [WKYT]

Kevin Drum doesn’t write much about guns, which is why I’m going to keep on it a bit here and honor him by rolling out the red carpet for a bunch of grating 2A trolls to stampede into the comments thread. [Mother Jones]

Jack Conway on the nomination of Matt Bevin: I welcome Matt Bevin to the governor’s race as the Republican nominee. I look forward to a spirited race with my opponent and a conversation with voters over the next five months about the issues that matter most to Kentucky families. / This campaign is about standing up for their interests and values. It’s about moving Kentucky forward by creating good-paying jobs and growing our economy, investing in our education system at all levels, and building out our infrastructure. I’m the only candidate with a proven record of putting people over politics, and that’s a commitment I promise to keep. / Sannie Overly, our families and I are incredibly grateful to those who have opened their hearts and homes to us thus far, lending their friendship and support throughout this journey. We are excited to continue crisscrossing the state, visiting our counties and sharing our vision for Kentucky’s future with voters this summer and fall. [Press Release]

In a presidential campaign defined by billionaire sugar daddy donors, Rand Paul has a problem: He doesn’t seem to have one. [Politico]

A Lexington man was shot eight times during an officer-involved shooting in Richmond in September after he pointed a Taser stun gun at police, Kentucky State Police concluded in an investigation. [H-L]

Poverty, which affects a growing number of American students, begins its negative impact on learning as early as the beginning of kindergarten, according to a National Center for Education Statistics report released Thursday. [HuffPo]

Hal Rogers Shows His True Colors

The federal government has moved to suspend disability payments to some people in Eastern Kentucky whose cases were handled by Floyd County attorney Eric C. Conn, citing suspected fraud by Conn and doctors that his clients often consulted. [H-L]

A $62,500 settlement has been reached in a lawsuit that alleged the sheriff in Jackson County falsely arrested the judge-executive last year. The settlement deal was reached Thursday following a mediation session, said Ned Pillersdorf, a Prestonsburg attorney who represents former Jackson County Judge-Executive William O. Smith. [More H-L]

Ireland has voted resoundingly to legalize gay marriage in the world’s first national vote on the issue, leaders on both sides of the Irish referendum declared Saturday even as official ballot counting continued. [HuffPo]

The attorney for the alleged ringleader of a bourbon theft and steroid trafficking ring questioned Friday whether her client Gilbert “Toby” Curtsinger can get a fair trial with the attention the case is getting. Something tells us this story is going to get crazier by the minute all summer long. [C-J/AKN]

A U.S. federal appeals court on Friday ruled that tobacco companies cannot be forced to announce publicly that they deliberately deceived the public over the health risks of cigarettes. [Reuters]

The Glasgow Management Control Board has decided it is not the appropriate authority to determine whether the 911 dispatch center should allow a radio channel to be added for the exclusive use of one volunteer fire department. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Distillery Innovation and Excise Tax Reform Act unveiled Tuesday would drop the current tax rate for distilled spirits from $13.50 per proof gallon to $2.70 per proof gallon on the first 10,000 gallons of productions for all distillers and then $9 per proof gallon after that. [The Hill]

Rowan County Fiscal Court Tuesday had first reading of its 2015-16 fiscal year budget which includes a cost of living pay increase for county employees. [The Morehead News]

Senate Republican leaders managed to scrape up enough votes just past midnight Saturday morning to put off decisive action on the NSA’s bulk collection of American phone records until next Sunday, May 31. But the hardliners — and make no mistake, they are taking an even harder and more absurd line than the NSA itself — have no endgame. [The Intercept]

Jack Conway’s brother has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct in a case that stemmed from an allegation he hit a woman in the face following a Christmas party in 2013. [WDRB]

Five of the world’s largest banks are to pay fines totalling $5.7bn (£3.6bn) for charges including manipulating the foreign exchange market. Four of the banks – JPMorgan, Barclays, Citigroup and RBS – have agreed to plead guilty to US criminal charges. [BBC]

In a seven count indictment Perry County Clerk Haven King faces charges for an April incident. The victim Kalie Bentley claims King followed her down the road and confronted her while she was in the car. In a video posted on Facebook by Bentley she identifies King. It shows the man questioning her about driving a car with a handicap license plate. [WYMT]

Many public high schools lack funding for STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering and Math — programs. Energy companies worried about finding future employees are donating to schools. [NPR]

Of course Hal Rogers opposes needle exchanges. Until his family members figure out how to profit from them, they won’t get his support. [H-L]

Rand Paul’s dumb ass wanted to give the executive branch of government even more power. [HuffPo]

Everyone’s Numb Over That Crazy Race

This Woodford County city took the first step Monday toward becoming the eighth in Kentucky to adopt an ordinance to prohibit discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on sexual orientation or gender identity. [H-L]

Louisiana residents may go gaga over Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell and Kate Hudson when they arrive in the state later this year to film a movie about the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion. But Louisiana and some other states are starting to question whether they are giving up too much to attract such star power. [HuffPo]

Steve Beshear’s administration has paid $195,400 to a private law firm to defend the state’s gay marriage ban after Attorney General Jack Conway refused to do so. [C-J/AKN]

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is set to unveil legislation that would provide free tuition at four-year public colleges and universities on Tuesday. [The Hill]

Despite efforts by the city to seek a different auditing firm for the next fiscal year, the commission voted to accept a proposal from the same firm that has performed audits for the past 20 years. This move came after Kelley Galloway Smith Goolsby, PSC, in Ashland, was the only accounting firm to respond to the city’s requests for proposals. [Ashland Independent]

The dry, red earth could almost be mistaken for a Martian landscape. It is in fact the Atacama desert in Chile, one of the driest places on Earth. [BBC]

Morehead City Council approved first reading Monday of its 2015-16 budget ordinance which includes a 45-cents-per-hour pay raise for all city employees. [The Morehead News]

A coalition of public policy advocates warned on Tuesday that a group of armed conservative activists who have been guarding a mine in southern Oregon for over a month are a sign of an emerging violent anti-government movement. [Reuters]

The Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division of Waste Management announced 46 recycling and 25 household hazardous waste (HHW) grants of more than $3.3 million. [Click the Clicky]

The bitter Kentucky Republican gubernatorial primary is going into overtime. [Politico]

In one of the most exciting and tightest statewide elections in history, Republican Matt Bevin apparently won a razor-thin, 83-vote win over James Comer in the primary race for the GOP nomination for governor. [Ronnie Ellis]

David Clarke, the sheriff in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin doesn’t think federal involvement in policing is going to change much. [NPR]

Nearly 1,300 of the 7,211 Kentucky children and youth in foster care are in group placements instead of with families, a news release from a child advocacy group said Tuesday. [H-L]

Leading Republican presidential candidates in the past week settled on an Iraq war narrative. Yes, the intelligence turned out to be faulty, so much so that there wouldn’t be a strong enough case to authorize the invasion in retrospect. But there was consensus that at the time President George W. Bush made the call, something had to be done about the threat posed by Iraq. [HuffPo]

Another Corrupt Judge Gets Revealed

Rand Paul has hinged his fledgling presidential campaign on polls showing him ahead of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in some swing states, but the latest Bluegrass Poll suggests Paul might have a hard time beating Clinton in his own backyard. [H-L]

Pike Circuit Judge Steven D. Combs violated ethics standards in a number of instances, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission has charged. [More H-L]

Americans may largely agree on the charges filed against Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, but they remain deeply divided over the way his case, and others like it, have been covered by the media. [HuffPo]

Kentucky Kingdom amusement park could receive up to $3.75 million in tax-recovery incentives to be spread over the next decade. [C-J/AKN]

The history of the most iconic American whiskies isn’t always reflected in the names that appear on their labels. [The Atlantic]

Citing concerns for public safety and the environment, the Madison County Fiscal Court unanimously adopted a resolution expressing opposition to the proposed conversion of gas pipeline. [Richmond Register]

The Oklahoma attorney general’s office misrepresented the facts behind a key argument about the availability of certain execution drugs in its filings at the U.S. Supreme Court, BuzzFeed News has determined. [BuzzFart]

Glad to see Riggs Lewis is shopping around the information we uncovered. Yet more proof that the Comer crew is using the Marilyn Thomas incident politically. They’ve had that information about Michael Adams’ ties to Jeff Hoover since early 2014. [Ashland Independent]

A coalition of conservative groups want to make sure Congressional Republicans don’t let up on the fight to eliminate what they call D.C.’s exemption from ObamaCare. [The Hill]

A total of $300,000 is the amount the Rowan County Board of Education had to find last year to balance the budget and this year the district faces the same fiscal shortfall. [The Morehead News]

Republican Jeb Bush said on Tuesday that “mistakes were made” in the Iraq war, moving to disavow a controversial statement he made in support of the 2003 invasion ordered by his brother, then-President George W. Bush. [Reuters]

Multiple coroners in Kentucky have gone years without meeting the training standards that are set forth in Kentucky law. [WKYT]

The heart of the batting order is due up in the House Appropriations Committee beginning Wednesday: four major spending bills that will capture all the contradictions in the new Republican budget over the next month. [Politico]

The only people standing behind Jamie Comer are people like Anne “KT’s Old Fashioned” Northup, Dan “FEAR THE GAYS and Let My Daughter Illegally Run For Office” Seum, Julie “Let Me Pad My Pension” Denton and similar shysters. [H-L]

House Republicans are again attacking measures aimed at protecting U.S. troops from predatory lending practices, two weeks after a similar GOP effort failed. [HuffPo]

April Receipts: Just Puppies & Rainbows

Since so many asked for this to be published, here you go — April receipts. Everything increased because… wait for it… it was tax season.

All that media hype about Kentucky’s magical economic state? That’s all it was. Hype.

Highlights:

  • General Fund up 23.3%
  • Road Fund up 12.8%
  • Sales & Use taxes up 7.3% for the month, up 4.4% for the calendar year
  • Individual income taxes up 39.5%
  • Business taxes up just 4.4%
  • Property taxes up 0.6%, up 0.9% for the year
  • Cancer stick taxes up 14.6%, down 2.3% for the year
  • Coal severance taxes fell another 7.5%, down 7.2% for the year
  • Motor fuels taxes dropped a whopping 14.8%
  • Vehicle use taxes fell 2.9%
  • License & Privilege taxes dropped 16%

Wanna read the entire hyped up report? Click here (Warning: PDF Link) to dig in.

Anyone Believe Beshear Won’t Win?

Terry Holliday didn’t just “retire” with hundreds of thousands of dollars remaining on his contract. So let’s stop acting like he didn’t get forced out because of the Powell and other scandals. [H-L]

About a half-dozen states are considering cutting income taxes and simultaneously increasing sales or excise taxes — sparking debate on whether wealthier taxpayers will benefit disproportionately at the expense of those living on lower incomes. [HuffPo]

Just a reminder that Marilyn Thomas has challenged Jamie Comer to take a polygraph exam. [C-J/AKN]

World financial markets were unsettled again on Thursday as a week-long sell-off in benchmark government bonds, stocks and the dollar and a race up in oil prices showed little sign of relenting. [Reuters]

Three men campaigning to lead the state of Kentucky faced potential voters Wednesday night in Booth Auditorium at the University of Pikeville. [WYMT]

A newly discovered life form could help resolve one of the most contentious conundrums in modern biology. [BBC]

Over 1,000 persons attended the Appalachian Renaissance Initiative’s Action Research Summit in Pikeville on April 21, 2015, while another 2,700 from across the nation and world viewed portions of the livestream in order to learn about the exciting educational best practices taking place in our southeastern Kentucky schools and districts. [Hazard Herald]

Now that Bevin’s chances appear to be on the rise in the May 19 primary (thanks to Agriculture Commissioner James Comer’s problems), here comes Team McConnell to knock him down a peg or two. [WaPo]

Recently publishing his second novel, “The Pelle Anchor Cross,” Richard G. “Dick” Edwards along with fellow Harlan County native Billy J. Looney will host a book signing event at Jewelcraft in the Village Center Mall in Harlan on May 14 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

A federal appeals court panel ruled on Thursday that the NSA’s bulk collection of metadata of phone calls to and from Americans is not authorized by Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, throwing out the government’s legal justification for the surveillance program exposed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden nearly two years ago. [The Intercept]

A leader for the community action group opposing Big Run Landfill’s continued operation in Boyd County announced a letter of intent to launch a federal lawsuit against the company for air quality violations has been filed. [Ashland Independent]

The result of two controversial 2010 federal court cases removing traditional restrictions on political action committee spending, super PACs are expected to have a significant influence on the results of the 2016 elections. [The Onion]

Republican voters have two options to potentially end the party’s long absence from the Kentucky attorney general’s office: a state lawmaker who touts his role in shaping criminal-justice legislation and a county prosecutor who promotes his courtroom experience. [H-L]

You’ve got a nasty head cold, or maybe your kid is home with the flu. If you’re a waitress and you call in sick, should the law forbid your employer from withholding your day’s wages? [HuffPo]

Y’all Seen This Landfill Fight In NEKY?

A public meeting to discuss the status of Kinder-Morgan’s proposal to convert the Tennessee Gas Pipeline for the transport of natural gas liquids through Kentucky will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at Inter-County Energy, 1009 Hustonville Road in Danville. [H-L]

This screwed up Louisville story made the national news. People are horrible. Help that guy out, folks, and donate. [HuffPo]

The Louisville Metro Council’s government accountability committee wants answers about rising home assessments in certain neighborhoods. [C-J/AKN]

The price of eating anywhere other than your own kitchen could go up significantly, depending on a federal judge’s decision in a week-long hearing that began Tuesday. [ThinkProgress]

Elected officials and employees will be out for blood Monday, May 11, but for a good cause. [Richmond Register]

The Pentagon wants to make it clear: No one is messing with you, Texas. [Politico]

A room full of residents and community leaders received an update on the progress of the community group opposed to the continued operations of Big Run Landfill. [Ashland Independent]

In New York City, supporters of public libraries say that respect for — and repair of — the libraries is long, well, overdue. [NPR]

Barren was not among the 27 counties that were authorized for assistance in covering the cost of damage as a result of the severe winter storm event that hit in mid-February, but the county plans to appeal that decision, said Tracy Shirley, director of Glasgow-Barren County Emergency Management. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A coalition of advocacy groups from all sides of the political spectrum has joined forces to warn against Sen. Mitch McConnell’s plan to renew expiring portions of the Patriot Act without changes. [The Hill]

The Rowan County Board of Education will hold a special meeting Thursday at 5:30 p.m. to discuss budget constraints. It is projected that about $300,000 will need to be cut from the current operating budget to offset financial shortfalls and lack of funding from the state and federal governments. [The Morehead News]

The monthly global average concentration of carbon dioxide just broke 400 parts per million for the first time since record-keeping of greenhouse gas levels began. [Mother Jones]

A Somerset optometrist has been found liable for seeking payment from Medicare for more than 11,000 unnecessary eye examinations on nursing home residents. [H-L]

The Obama administration on Tuesday morning put in motion one of the last major elements of the president’s economic agenda, a reform to overtime rules that could result in a pay bump for millions. [HuffPo]