Rand Paul Flip-Flopped On Pompeo

Kentucky’s acting public health commissioner on Friday issued a statement saying “it is safe to travel to Kentucky and it is safe to attend the Kentucky Derby.” [H-L]

Rand Paul (R-Keebler) announced Monday that he would support Mike Pompeo to be secretary of state, a change in position that allowed the CIA chief to be recommended favorably out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee after all. [HuffPo]

Don’t worry, it wasn’t Heather French Henry claiming the sun was in her eyes this time. Police are investigating after a bicyclist was killed early Saturday morning after being struck by a vehicle on Dixie Highway. [C-J/AKN]

In a sprawling plant near Amarillo, Texas, rows of workers perform by hand one of the most dangerous jobs in American industry. Contract workers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pantex facility gingerly remove the plutonium cores from retired nuclear warheads. Although many safety rules are in place, a slip of the hand could mean disaster. [Reuters]

Lee Henderson closes his eyes and pictures Mary Turner holding her swollen belly and breathing heavily as she runs from the lynch mob. [Richmond Register]

New reports provide an unprecedented look at contaminants leaking from coal ash ponds and landfills. But the chasm between information and environmental protection may deepen thanks to a proposed Trump administration rollback. [ProPublica]

Americans overwhelmingly believe teachers don’t make enough money, and half say they’d support paying higher taxes to give educators a raise. [Ashland Independent]

Former FBI Director James Comey’s newly released memos indicate that in early 2017, Donald Trump repeatedly tried to refute one of the most salacious allegations in the Steele dossier — that Trump engaged in acts with sex workers at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton during a trip to Russia for the 2013 Miss Universe competition — by claiming he didn’t even spend a night in Moscow. But Trump’s defense against what he characterizes as “fake news” is directly contradicted by the sworn testimony of his longtime bodyguard, Keith Schiller. [ThinkProgress]

All Kentucky students in grades K-12 will be required to have the Hepatitis A vaccine by July 1 in order to attend school. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Trump administration says it plans to roll back a rule issued by President Barack Obama that prevents doctors, hospitals and health insurance companies from discriminating against transgender people. [NY Times]

Only a handful of families remain in the residential farming community beside the Trimble County power plant. The rest have sold their properties and moved away. The ones who stay behind live with daily blasting and construction as Louisville Gas & Electric builds a coal ash landfill across the street from their homes. Two families say they’re ready to leave, but they can’t because LG&E hasn’t offered them a fair price on their homes. [WFPL]

Eight months after a white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville ended in the death of a counterprotester, the loose collection of disaffected young white men known as the alt-right is in disarray. [WaPo]

Kentucky’s rich farmland is rapidly disappearing, and most of it is being lost to a different kind of development than you might think, according to a new study by American Farmland Trust. [H-L]

Did you have a happy Tax Day? Are you feeling grateful for the Republican tax cut? Evidently, most American taxpayers are not. In a sublime case of poetic justice, the so-called Tax Cut and Jobs Act is backfiring on the Republicans big time. Most voters are unimpressed, and Republicans themselves are ceasing to emphasize it in their campaign material. [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin Is Gutting Public Education

Matt Bevin and former House Speaker Jeff Hoover scrapped Friday as the House voted to override Bevin’s veto of the state tax bill, with Hoover knocking Bevin’s attempted education budget cuts and Bevin hitting Hoover for a sex harassment scandal. [H-L]

Donald Trump’s sudden decision not to impose tough new sanctions on Russia left many lawmakers dumbfounded this week and led some to question whether Trump had seriously undermined Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who had announced the sanctions just a day prior. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin’s statement on the effect of teacher protests and rallies on the state’s children is prompting outrage among state officials — including members of his own party. [C-J/AKN]

A major donor with close ties to the White House resigned on Friday as deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee after the revelation that he had agreed to pay $1.6 million to a former Playboy model who became pregnant during an affair. [NY Times]

Attorneys for Matt Bevin filed a motion Tuesday in Franklin Circuit Court seeking to disqualify Attorney General Andy Beshear in a suit filed by Beshear challenging the constitutionality of a recently passed law which makes changes to Kentucky’s public pension systems. [Ronnie Ellis]

Demoralized by rounds of job cuts, journalists at San Jose’s Mercury News and East Bay Times in Oakland, Calif., took their case to the public last month. At a rally in Oakland, they handed out a fact sheet detailing the “pillaging” of their papers, accompanied by a cartoon of a business executive trying to milk an emaciated cow. [WaPo]

Due to an ongoing outbreak of Hepatitis A, the Department for Public Health (DPH) within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), is recommending vaccination for everyone residing in Boyd, Greenup and Carter Counties. [Ashland Independent]

Don Blankenship… hahahahahahahahahahaha,. Just move all beverages away from your computer before clicking the clicky [ThinkProgress]

State lawmakers put the finishing touches on the General Assembly’s 2018 session by overriding gubernatorial vetoes, most notably on the state budget and tax reform legislation, and passing bills right up to the session’s final hours. [The Morehead News]

Barbara Bush, former US first lady and literacy campaigner, has died aged 92. [BBC]

Pruitt was terrible and needed to go but his replacement is going to be a nightmare. It didn’t take long for the newly configured state Board of Education, whose members have now all been appointed by Gov. Matt Bevin, to change directions. [More Ronnie Ellis]

The parents of a 17-year-old student who was shot five times as he shielded others during the Parkland, Florida high school mass shooting on Tuesday filed the first lawsuit on behalf of a victim in the massacre that killed 17 people and wounded 17 others. [Reuters]

Lexington is still arguing about dogs. Because there’s obviously nothing more important going on. [H-L]

This guy did exactly what Steve Henry did! The Missouri attorney general’s office has uncovered “evidence of potential criminal acts of wrongdoing” by Gov. Eric Greitens, Attorney General Josh Hawley announced Tuesday. At issue, Hawley said, is an electronic donor list Greitens obtained from a Missouri nonprofit called The Mission Continues. [HuffPo]

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Bevin: Now A National Embarrassment

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Matt Bevin is a disgusting, garbage human. DCBS needs to visit his home ASAP to make sure his kids are safe. Matt Bevin, asked Friday about teachers leaving the classrooms to attend a protest rally in Frankfort, said, “I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them.” [H-L]

Donald Trump’s decision to strike Syrian facilities in response to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s reported use of chemical weapons against civilians fulfills Trump’s promise of being tougher than President Barack Obama. But it’s unlikely to have much impact beyond that ― and will likely be historically judged as a failure on Trump’s own terms. [HuffPo]

Despite the scandal over the secret harassment settlement involving former Kentucky House Speaker Jeff Hoover, the legislature hasn’t passed any measures to address the issue this session. [C-J/AKN]

The Justice Department special counsel has evidence that Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and confidant, Michael Cohen, secretly made a late-summer trip to Prague during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Confirmation of the trip would lend credence to a retired British spy’s report that Cohen strategized there with a powerful Kremlin figure about Russian meddling in the U.S. election. [McClatchy]

If you rely on public transportation in Louisville, it might limit not only how long it takes you to get where you’re going, but also where you’re able to work, and live. A story by WFPL’s Amina Elahi looks into how bus routes affect the lives of those who commute on them. [WFPL]

High school physics teacher Craig Hoxie filed to run for Oklahoma’s House of Representatives on Friday, a day after the end of a two-week teacher walkout that had pressed lawmakers for school funding. [Reuters]

Kentucky’s 2016 child abuse rate — more than double the national average — was the second highest rate in the nation. [Richmond Register]

Why is Trump’s business arguing its properties are worth just a fraction of what Trump has claimed they are on his own financial disclosures? To save on taxes. [ProPublica]

In a rebuke of their own governor, the Republican-controlled General Assembly overrode three major vetoes by Matt Bevin on Friday. [Ronnie Ellis]

It has been an iron rule for candidates in rural areas and red states for decades: Do not antagonize the National Rifle Association. But that was before the massacre at a high school in Parkland, Fla., galvanized gun politics across the country. Now, a striking number of Democratic candidates in coming midterm elections, from congressional contests in the Rocky Mountains to governor’s races in the Deep South, are openly daring, defying and disparaging the N.R.A., a group with deep pockets, a loyal membership and a record of Election Day score-settling. [NY Times]

The former speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives and three other legislators paid a former female staffer $66,000 and her lawyers $44,000 last fall to keep sexual harassment complaints against them hush-hush. [Ashland Independent]

More than 200 former Justice Department employees are urging Congress to “swiftly and forcefully respond” should Donald Trump fire Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, or Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who is overseeing the federal probe. [WaPo]

Legislative Ethics are not a thing in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. And those “secrets”? Someone has them in their possession. A little more than five months after a secret sexual harassment settlement agreement wreaked havoc on the Republican Party of Kentucky, former House Speaker Jeff Hoover reached another settlement Tuesday, this time with the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission. Hoover, R-Jamestown, agreed to admit that he violated legislative ethics laws, pay a $1,000 fine and subject himself to a public reprimand. The deal saves his seat in the Kentucky House of Representatives while keeping secret the details of his alleged harassment of a former House Republican staffer. [H-L]

Former U.S. ambassador Joseph Wilson, a man whose family was turned upside down by Scooter Libby and other President George W. Bush administration officials, sharply criticized Donald Trump for pardoning Libby, saying it showed his disregard for America’s national security. [HuffPo]

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Surprise! Republicans Just Screwed You

A new study of the tax bill rushed through the Kentucky General Assembly Monday shows the changes it makes to the tax code are likely to lower taxes for the wealthy while raising taxes for 95 percent of Kentuckians. [H-L]

Bernice King had just turned five when she learned of her father’s assassination. It was 7:01 p.m. in Memphis when Martin Luther King Jr. was shot, close to her bedtime, so she didn’t know about the tragedy until the next day. [HuffPo]

When a community cares more about sports than academics, it’s probably diseased. No one should be surprised. Since that community supported con artists like Jim Ramsey and Robert Felner for years and years. [C-J/AKN]

Here’s looking at you, Matt Bevin, Hal Heiner and the rest of the Six Flags Over Jesus charlatans in Louisville. California Democrats want to make ‘conversion’ therapy consumer fraud. “Courts have found that claims that sexual orientation change efforts are effective in changing an individual’s sexual orientation constitute unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent business practices under state consumer protection laws.” [Rewire & SPLC]

Bruised by their fight over pensions, Kentucky teachers are mobilizing like never before to support legislative candidates who pass a key political test: support for public education. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump does not like the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. “It’s a horrible law,” Trump has said. The FCPA makes it a crime for U.S. companies to bribe foreign officials, or to partner with others who are clearly doing so. [ProPublica]

The Kentucky Army National Guard has installed a new solar panel array at its field maintenance shop on Summit Road in Boyd County. [The Morehead News]

On Thursday night, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt’s point person for the EPA’s Superfund program failed to show up at a scheduled meeting with residents of a West Virginia town contaminated by toxic chemicals. [ThinkProgress]

More than 30 crafters and vendors from across the region will participate in the fourth annual Morehead Kentucky Proud Expo next weekend at the Morehead Conference Center. [The Morehead News]

This is what Republicans want. Inside a private prison: blood, suicide and poorly paid guards. On the witness stand and under pressure, Frank Shaw, the warden of the East Mississippi Correctional Facility, could not guarantee that the prison was capable of performing its most basic function. [NY Times]

Western Kentucky University announced in February that it would return its regional campuses in Glasgow, Owensboro and Elizabethtown to the Division of Extended Learning and Outreach (DELO) due to the university facing a $15 million budget shortfall. [Glasgow Daily Times]

In the five decades since Martin Luther King Jr. was shot dead by an assassin at age 39, his children have worked tirelessly to preserve his legacy, sometimes with sharply different views on how best to do that. But they are unanimous on one key point: James Earl Ray did not kill Martin Luther King. [WaPo]

On the same day thousands of teachers descended on the Capitol to protest a surprise pension bill passed late last week, the legislature presented them with another surprise Monday: the most significant change to Kentucky’s tax code in more than a decade. [H-L]

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement sent more than 40 Cambodians, many of whom were refugees, back to Cambodia this week. [HuffPo]

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Bevin: Always On The Wrong Side

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Matt Bevin’s decision to defend Scott Pruitt’s ridiculous waste, fraud and abuse should paint a clearer picture of who Bevin really is. He’s trash. A garbage human. He has no business serving in an elected capacity in Kentucky. He has no business being in charge of a company. Someone excusing Pruitt’s corruption really has no business being around flipping children. What a disgrace. [H-L]

Donald Trump signaled his support for Scott Pruitt on Friday, resisting mounting pressure week to fire the embattled head of the Environmental Protection Agency. [HuffPo]

The University of Louisville’s next president will be Neeli Bendapudi, provost and executive vice chancellor at the University of Kansas school of business. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration on Friday unveiled new actions against various Russian officials, oligarchs, businesses and agencies – freezing assets that are subject to U.S. jurisdiction One of the oligarchs named is Oleg Deripaska, a billionaire with links to former Trump campaign boss Paul Manafort, who has been charged in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. [CNBC]

As Matt Bevin and his administration works to establish Kentucky as an engineering and manufacturing hub, the state ranks among the least innovative in a recent report. [Richmond Register]

For the first time, the U.S. government has publicly acknowledged the existence in Washington of what appear to be rogue devices that foreign spies and criminals could be using to track individual cellphones and intercept calls and messages. [AP]

The financially struggling Fairview School District continues to pay its suspended superintendent while a temporary replacement works to pull the district out of its fiscal hole. [Ashland Independent]

Racist bigots are gonna be racist bigots. Attorney General Jeff Sessions ramped up calls on Friday to criminally prosecute immigrants who cross illegally into the United States, adding to a barrage of statements on immigration by the administration of Donald Trump this week. [Reuters]

Surprise! The paper in Morehead is shilling for a for-profit college that only exists because Republicans wouldn’t allow it to be held accountable. [The Morehead News]

With his son newly installed as a top aide to the president, Mr. Kushner even expressed hope, one close family friend said, that he might receive a pardon. Absolution, however, is not what the White House has conferred on the Kushners. For the patriarch and his family, the pinnacle of American political power has turned out to be a wellspring of trouble. [NY Times]

Residents who are not registered to vote have roughly two weeks to do so if they aim to vote in Kentucky’s May 22 primary election. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The study from researchers at Ohio State University finds that fake news likely played a significant role in depressing Hillary Clinton’s support on Election Day 2016. [WaPo]

On the 58th day of the 60 day legislative session, the Republican majority unveiled the most significant change to the state’s tax code in more than a decade and the Senate passed it before the bill was even made public. The reform package includes cutting some typical tax deductions, including medical expenses and medical insurance. [H-L]

Two of Martin Luther King Jr.’s surviving children gave powerful sermons Tuesday from the pulpit their father stood at when he gave his final speech on April 3, 1968. [HuffPo]

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Told Ya They Were Cheating The KRS Years Ago But Mainstream Media Tried To Discredit It

Several major investment firms that are being sued for allegedly cheating Kentucky Retirement Systems over $1.5 billion in controversial hedge funds want to take the lawsuit behind closed doors. [John Cheves]

Special counsel Robert Mueller is drafting a report about Donald Trump’s actions in office as part of his ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. [HuffPo]

A bill that establishes a flat income tax rate of 5 percent, applies the sales tax to 17 services, and increases the cigarette tax by 50 cents per pack was approved by a legislative conference committee Monday morning. [C-J/AKN]

In a broad expansion of the information gathered from applicants for U.S. visas, the federal government is proposing to collect social media identities from nearly everyone who seeks entry into the United States, according to a State Department filing on Friday. [Reuters]

A Berea City Council member is again questioning a contract the city signed in 2016 with Kentucky Municipal Energy Association (KyMEA) and asking for reports from the other company the city has contracted with, American Municipal Power of Ohio (AMP), about a discrepancy in costs. [Richmond Register]

Five expert committees advised the federal government on ways to improve workplace safety and enhance whistleblower protections. Under Donald Trump, their work has stopped and their recommendations are now stalled. [ProPublica]

The Legislative Ethics Commission Tuesday dismissed complaints against three of four lawmakers who signed a confidential settlement with a former legislative aide who alleged she was victim of sexual harassment. But the commission will continue to investigate charges against former Speaker of the House Jeff Hoover. [Ronnie Ellis]

The guy Trump fired at the VA is speaking out – and loudly. If that doesn’t (it won’t) wake you loyalists up, nothing will. [NY Times]

Board elections, preliminary enrollment numbers, and voluntary separation reports were all on the agenda at last Thursday’s Morehead State University Board of Regents meeting. [The Morehead News]

The carefully maintained secrecy around Donald Trump’s finances is under unprecedented assault a year into his presidency, with three different legal teams with different agendas trying to pry open the Trump Organization’s books. [WaPo]

Democrats outnumber registered Republicans in eastern Kentucky’s Elliott County 10-1 and voted twice for Barack Obama. But in 2016, Elliott County voted 2-1 for Republican Donald J. Trump. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein authorized special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate whether former Donald Trump presidential campaign manager Paul Manafort colluded with the Russian government to affect the outcome of the 2016 election, according to a newly released classified memo. [NBC News]

House and Senate Republicans unveiled the most significant changes to Kentucky’s tax code in more than a decade Monday in attempts to provide funding in a tight budget year. [H-L]

Donald Trump has made his promise of aggressive immigration enforcement the centerpiece of his domestic agenda. But two agencies tasked with enforcing the nation’s immigration laws — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — have long attracted criticism for failing to release documents and data in a timely manner, if at all. That makes it hard for journalists, advocates, lawyers and the public to keep tabs on what the administration is doing. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Are Kickin That Can, Honey

The controversial pension plan rushed through the Kentucky legislature Thursday night would do at least one thing Republican lawmakers vowed to stop this year: It would kick the can down the road. [John Cheves]

Shanna Diederichs crouches in a shallow, circular depression in the floor of a Puebloan ruin, a clear and all-too-familiar sign that looters were here, scouring for pottery and other valuable Native American artifacts. [HuffPo]

The Kentucky Public Service Commission on Friday announced that it had issued its highest ever penalty in a natural gas safety case – a $395,000 fine of Louisville Gas and Electric for a 2014 pipeline break that injured two contract workers. [C-J/AKN]

The widow of the Pulse nightclub gunman walked free on Friday after a jury cleared her of charges related to the 2016 massacre that killed 49 people in Orlando, Florida. [Reuters]

Republican lawmakers Monday morning unveiled a compromise budget which funds public schools at higher levels and paired the budget with a tax overhaul that will lower income taxes, apply sales taxes to some services and raise $479 million in new tax dollars over two years. [Ronnie Ellis]

Former colleagues say the next national security adviser — whose job is to marshal information and present it to the president fairly — resists input that doesn’t fit his biases and retaliates against people he disagrees with. [ProPublica]

River Cities Harvest’s shelves are now 40,169 pounds heavier with food thanks to the annual Food Feud competition between local hospitals. [Ashland Independent]

America needs teachers committed to working with children who have the fewest advantages in life. So for a decade the federal government has offered grants — worth up to $4,000 a year — to standout college students who agree to teach subjects like math or science at lower-income schools. But a new government study, obtained by NPR and later posted by the Department of Education, suggests that thousands of teachers had their grants taken away and converted to loans, sometimes for minor errors in paperwork. That’s despite the fact they were meeting the program’s teaching requirements. [NPR]

Kentucky teachers say they feel betrayed by Republican lawmakers who slipped changes to future pension benefits into an unrelated bill, then hastily passed it in the House and Senate on a party-line vote. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Trump administration is attempting to scale back federal efforts to enforce fair housing laws, freezing enforcement actions against local governments and businesses, including Facebook, while sidelining officials who have aggressively pursued civil rights cases. [NY Times]

Kentucky educators expressed their concern Friday for a bill that passed the Kentucky General Assembly on Thursday. While the 291-page bill originally addressed wastewater services, it now includes pension reform. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A federal judge ruled that the District of Columbia and Maryland may proceed with an unprecedented lawsuit against Donald Trump alleging that Trump’s business dealings have violated the Constitution’s ban on receiving improper “emoluments,” or payments, from individual states and foreign governments. [WaPo]

It was after supper, and Bill Turner was studying for senior finals when his friend Jim Embry ran into the library to tell him the news: “Bill, they killed Dr. King!” [Tom Eblen]

A leading figure in America’s largest Protestant denomination has resigned from his job over a “morally inappropriate relationship in the recent past.” Frank Page, who served as the president and chief executive of the Southern Baptist Convention’s executive committee, announced his retirement on Monday. A day later, he followed up with a statement explaining that he was stepping away from active ministry because of a “personal failing” that has “embarrassed my family, my Lord, myself, and the Kingdom.” [HuffPo]

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