Will Martin County Finally Get Justice?

After a plea from a citizens activist group, Attorney General Andy Beshear announced his office will investigate the current and past management of the Martin County Water District. [H-L]

Most Americans feel overwhelmed or exhausted by the amount of news there is, a new survey by the Pew Research Center finds. [HuffPo]

Manbaby Damon Thayer is once again in unethical hot water. A Kentucky lawmaker says he complied with “the letter and the spirit” of the state’s ethics code in taking a four-day trip to England that’s now at the heart of an FBI investigation that has led to the resignation of Ohio’s House speaker. [C-J/AKN]

An acute shortage of affordable homes in the United States will continue over the coming year, according to a majority of property market analysts polled by Reuters, driving prices up faster than inflation and wage growth. [Reuters]

More than six years after acquiring the land and home on Lancaster Avenue known as Elmwood, Eastern Kentucky University is looking at putting a walking trail around the property. [Richmond Register]

Bloodstain-pattern analysis has been accepted as reliable evidence by appellate courts in one state after another with little or no examination of its scientific accuracy. [ProPublica]

The Boyd County School District is facing some additional expenses in the coming year and will draw on its contingency fund to meet them, the district’s top finance official said. [Ashland Independent]

This is not good news for Kentucky’s economy. Mexico has announced new tariffs on US products in response to Donald Trump’s decision to impose steep duties on imports of steel and aluminium. [BBC]

Republicans can’t handle losing. Freddie Joe Wilkerson, the Republican candidate for the judge-executive’s seat in the May primary election, has filed a lawsuit in Barren County Circuit Court contesting the results of the race and is asking for a recount. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Let’s not act like anyone is surprised about Donald Trump’s diplomats behaving undiplomatically. [NY Times]

A new government report says that the federal black lung trust fund that helps sick and dying coal miners pay living and medical expenses could incur a $15 billion deficit in the next 30 years. [WFPL]

A new survey finds significant anxiety and fear among teenagers who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer. [WaPo]

Forty-two police recruits graduated Thursday from the Lexington Police Training Academy. Several recruits have military experience and many have a family connection in the department or other public safety agencies. [H-L]

A private contractor working at the White House was arrested for an outstanding warrant linked to an attempted murder charge on Tuesday, according to the Secret Service. [HuffPo]

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Creepy Wayne Lewis Has Ruined KDE

Donald Trump’s decision to launch a trade war against some of America’s closest allies now threatens Kentucky’s bourbon industry and much more. But don’t just blame the fool in the White House; blame the spineless Kentucky Republicans in Congress who enable him. [H-L]

“I’m not really anything special,” Miss Major Griffin-Gracy says with a slight chuckle. “I’m just one of the girls.” But despite her modesty, Griffin-Gracy is anything but ordinary. [HuffPo]

Kentucky education officials are considering a state takeover of Jefferson County Public Schools despite a lack of evidence that such moves transform academic achievement across large, urban districts. “If people are expecting quick results and miraculous returns … they are going to be disappointed,” said Michael Petrilli, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative education policy think tank based in Washington, D.C. [C-J/AKN]

Two higher-education associations released statements on Wednesday opposing the U.S. State Department’s move to limit the length of student visas for some Chinese citizens. [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Alison Grimes should definitely run. As Kentucky’s political world wonders whether Republican Matt Bevin will run for re-election in 2019, it is also watching to see what some Democrats will do. [Ronnie Ellis]

After U.S. tariffs on imports of European steel and aluminum took effect Friday morning, the EU’s top trade commissioner called them “illegal” and a classic case of protectionism. The EU plans to make its case to the World Trade Organization. [NPR]

Joe Burchett’s Attorney, Scott White, filed a motion recently requesting a change of venue for the court proceedings in a case accusing the Boyd County Jailer of malfeasance or neglect of county officer. [Ashland Independent]

The aunt of the woman shot and killed by a Border Patrol agent last week after crossing the border illegally near Laredo, Tex., has a message for the United States: “Don’t treat us like animals.” [ NY Times]

This effort is a good one but if there’s ever a community that does not need armored military surprise vehicles, it’s Morehead. [The Morehead News]

About a half-million Medicare Part D recipients “received high amounts of opioids” in 2016. Almost 20 percent of that group are at “serious risk of opioid misuse or overdose.” [WaPo]

The Barren County Ambulance Service Taxing District’s board of directors have agreed not to make a payment on the Barren-Metcalfe County Emergency Medical Service’s deficit for the month of May. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A leading U.S. group of cancer doctors is wary of new Trump administration proposals for lowering drug prices, particularly if new negotiation tools are introduced that will mean the U.S. government no longer routinely pays for all cancer drugs in the Medicare health program for older people. [Reuters]

Asher Sharp lives a life of faith and certainty in rural Tennessee. He has a wife, a 9-year-old son and a small fundamentalist Christian congregation he pastors. But when rains swell the Cumberland River into a flood of Biblical proportions, his certainty is swept away with the water. [H-L]

A vitriolic audiotape of a phone call between Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen and a reporter reveals how the lawyer tried to protect his boss with threats and fury. [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin Got Slapped In Court Again

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Frustrated by years of financial mismanagement and limited accountability, an Eastern Kentucky activist group this week asked Attorney General Andy Beshear to investigate. [H-L]

This is a serious violation of the First Amendment. The fact that neither the Kentucky Democratic Party nor the Republican Party of Kentucky have condemned Trump’s attacks on citizens – effectively government retaliation – speaks volumes about their cowardice. [HuffPo]

Louisville mayoral candidate and JCPS critic Angela Leet joined Metro Council Democrats on Thursday in supporting a measure that opposes the state seizing control of the school district. [C-J/AKN]

Federal prosecutors sorting through materials seized from Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s personal attorney, said Wednesday they needed more time to piece together the contents of a shredder taken in an FBI raid. [NBC News]

The audit of the financial statement of the Boyd County Fiscal Court for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2016 has been released. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump falsely accused The New York Times on Saturday of making up a source in an article about North Korea, even though the source was in fact a senior White House official speaking to a large group of reporters in the White House briefing room. [ NY Times]

It is being recommended that Warren County residents older than one year get Hepatitis A vaccinations due to an ongoing outbreak. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, met at Trump Tower in New York days before the 2017 inauguration with a Russian billionaire who was sanctioned this year by the U.S. government. [WaPo]

Every year, Louisville police officers take hundreds of guns off the streets. Some of them were purchased legally, but were being used illegally. Some were confiscated during arrests or drug searches. Some were owned by felons. [WFPL]

Kentucky agencies considering these stunts should tread lightly, as I hear there’s a wealthy family in Louisville set to fight the hell out of these messes in court. Cough, cough. Instead of turning over requests for records, a growing number of cities, school boards and other government agencies across the nation are suing people seeking documents — forcing them to decide whether it’s worth fighting for their request in court — at their own expense. [Herald-Tribune]

If you thought the replacement for Toni Konz wouldn’t be bad, you were mistaken – because I was. Sure, she was one of the worst education reporters in Kentucky history – and played pat-a-cake with people like Terry Holliday while lying about it… but she’s slowly being upstaged. How anyone could report on Kevin Brown “resigning” from the Kentucky Department of Education without bothering to do any real reporting on the crap he’s been involved in through the years is beyond me. It’s lazy, offensive press release journalism and everyone deserves better. Wheatley’s wholly capable and a good person but I’m way over this shit with ed reporters. If *I* can do it? Anyone can. So spare me your whining. [WDRB]

House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy said Tuesday he is now “more convinced” that the FBI acted appropriately in its handling of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible connections to Donald Trump’s campaign. [CNN]

Matt Bevin asked a judge that he recently called “an incompetent hack” to step aside in Attorney General Andy Beshear’s legal challenge of Kentucky’s new public pension law, but the judge said late Thursday he’s staying put. [H-L]

When you dream of an ideal world ― one that you would truly, emphatically wish to live in, what does it look like? What does it feel like? How do people live together there? How are wealth and power distributed? How do people find happiness and meaning within their day-to-day lives? [HuffPo]

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UK Must Envy All The UofL Drama

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Holy Cross High School’s graduating valedictorian and student council president learned hours before Friday night’s graduation that they would not be allowed to deliver their planned — and, they thought, pre-approved — speeches at the ceremony. [WCPO]

Attempts to fire a tenured University of Kentucky faculty member for the first time in at least five decades began Wednesday, when journalism professor Buck Ryan appeared at a meeting of the Senate Advisory Committee on Privilege and Tenure. [H-L]

U.S. immigration authorities have altered their account of the Border Patrol’s recent fatal shooting of Claudia Patricia Gómez Gonzáles, a 20-year-old woman who had traveled from Guatemala to Texas to help pay for her education. [HuffPo]

Wayne Lewis, like Matt Bevin, is a con artist. A meeting between members of Jefferson County’s legislative delegation and Kentucky’s new interim education commissioner, Wayne D. Lewis Jr., became confrontational this week when Lewis deflected questions about his proposed takeover of Jefferson County Public Schools, according to lawmakers who attended. [C-J/AKN]

The FBI has obtained secret wiretaps collected by Spanish police of conversations involving Alexander Torshin, a deputy governor of Russia’s Central Bank who has forged close ties with U.S. lawmakers and the National Rifle Association, that led to a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. during the gun lobby’s annual convention in Louisville, Ky., in May 2016, a top Spanish prosecutor said Friday. [Yahoo]

Though it has its share of concerts, shows and other ticketed events, Madison County also is chock-full of things to do without having to pay for the experience. [Richmond Register]

Trump’s in-plain-sight embrace of Russia gets obscured by the Trump news avalanche. But long before running for president, Trump relied on Russian money. [CNBC]

The audit of the financial statement of the Boyd County Fiscal Court for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2016 has been released. [Ashland Independent]

Before James Clapper signed on to become President Barack Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, he wrote the president a letter with these famous last words: “I have always sought to be below the radar. I do not like publicity.” [CBS News]

It was a back and forth battle all Tuesday night for the Democratic nominee of the county’s highest elected seat, but former Magistrate Harry Clark was able to fend off political newcomer and current deputy-judge executive Lincoln Caudill for the opportunity to battle in November for Rowan County Judge-Executive. [The Morehead News]

Indiana authorities on Saturday were yet to charge and identify the student who they say was responsible for wounding a teacher and student at a middle school in what media is reporting as the 23rd shooting on a United States campus in 2018. [Reuters]

Barren County Fiscal Court undid Friday two of its Tuesday amendments to the ordinance establishing the 2018-19 fiscal year budget and created a new amendment to more accurately reflect the intent of the other two. [Glasgow Daily Times]

An American government employee posted in southern China has signs of possible brain injury after reporting disturbing sounds and sensations, the State Department said on Wednesday, in events that seemed to draw parallels with mysterious ailments that struck American diplomats in Cuba. [NY Times]

Andy Barr made coal a central part of his campaign when he landed a seat in Congress. Now facing what could be his first truly competitive challenge, the politics of coal are likely to play a significant role in the Republican incumbent’s race to defend his Central Kentucky seat against Democrat Amy McGrath. [H-L]

So dangerously stupid. Donald Trump attacked The New York Times in a tweet Saturday, claiming the paper made up a “senior White House official” for its story about the canceled North Korea summit. The official, a member of Trump’s National Security Council, actually does exist and led a briefing at the White House on Thursday for reporters. [HuffPo]

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Update: Lobbyists Still Own Frankfort

With the primary election just days away, Rowan County clerk candidate David Ermold walked through his campaign office and joked that the bags under his eyes have grown darker by the day. [H-L]

Two outside groups that successfully meddled in West Virginia’s Republican Senate primary this month by spending millions of dollars on advertising were funded entirely by donors from outside the state. [HuffPo]

Tobacco giant Altria spent a massive $379,760 to lobby the 2018 Kentucky General Assembly – more than twice as much as any of the 720 corporations and associations that are registered to lobby the legislature. [C-J/AKN]

Workers don’t matter and have never mattered to Republicans. The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a blow to the rights of workers on Monday by allowing companies to require them to sign away their ability to bring class-action claims against management, agreements already in place for about 25 million employees. [Reuters]

The Richmond City Commission met in executive session Friday to narrow down the list of candidates for city manager. The meeting took less than an hour and included Mayor Jim Barnes and commissioners Robert Blythe, Jim Newby and Morgan Eaves. [Richmond Register]

Last year, white supremacist Matthew Heimbach — one of the most prominent faces of the so-called “alt-right” — was riding high, and talking about potentially running for Indiana state legislature. Now, though, Heimbach has different plans in store. With his group and his marriage in tatters, Heimbach will be spending part of the summer in jail. [ThinkProgress]

Jackie Risden-Smith apologized repeatedly for overusing the word “excited” during a 45-minute phone interview, but she probably didn’t need to. [Ashland Independent]

The Justice Department and the F.B.I. are investigating Cambridge Analytica, the now-defunct political data firm, and have sought to question former employees and banks that handled its business, according to an American official and other people familiar with the inquiry. [NY Times]

Despite fears that the 2018-2019 budget would look radically different than in previous years due to changes in Frankfort, the budget for Rowan County Schools remains stable. [The Morehead News]

Former coal executive and ex-convict Don Blankenship on Monday announced plans to launch a third-party bid for a West Virginia Senate seat after losing the GOP primary to state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. [The Hill]

Kentucky Republicans like to say it’s a new day in the Bluegrass State after Republicans took complete control of Frankfort in the 2016 election by capturing the majority in the House of Representatives for the first time in nearly 100 years. [Ronnie Ellis]

Kentucky Derby winner Justify won the Preakness Stakes on Saturday and is on course to become the 13th horse to win US flat racing’s Triple Crown. [BBC]

One of the more popular chants from thousands of teachers at the Capitol this spring protesting a controversial pension bill was “We’ll remember in November.” [H-L]

Two U.S. citizens said they were detained last week by a Border Patrol agent in Montana after he overheard them speaking Spanish to each other in a convenience store. [HuffPo]

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Amy McGrath Is A Terrible Hypocrite

Prosecutors and congressional investigators have obtained text messages and emails showing that Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was working on a deal for a Trump Tower in Moscow far later than Cohen has previously acknowledged. The communications show that, as late as May 2016, around the time Trump was clinching the Republican nomination, Cohen was considering a trip to Russia to meet about the project with high-level government officials, business leaders and bankers. [Ruh Ro]

Amy McGrath is a carpetbagger and a hypocrite. She has the audacity to attack others for Democratic Party ties while being 14 miles up Jonathan Miller’s slimy you-know-what. What a hack. Made worse by her decision to tip-toe around homophobia. It’s a shame she’ll likely win and ultimately lose to Andy Barr. [H-L]

The U.S. delegation in Jerusalem on Monday to celebrate the opening of the new American embassy includes an evangelical Christian pastor who once said Jews “can’t be saved.” [HuffPo]

These jackasses need to be run out of the Commonwealth. The state should take over contract negotiations with the Jefferson County teachers union because previous deals have led to “implicit racial discrimination” in the public school system, a former district official says. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration has rolled back protections for transgender prison inmates introduced under former President Barack Obama after some prisoners challenged the policies in court. [Reuters]

Former Madison County deputy jailer Billy E. Bales (no image available), 32, of Berea, has been arrested and served a warrant for first offense third-degree controlled substance trafficking and first-degree official misconduct. [Richmond Register]

He was a small man, one interrogator recalled, and so thin that he would slip in his restraints when the masked CIA guards tipped the waterboard upward to let him breathe. [ProPublica]

Area food pantries and non-profits say they are noticing a striking increase in demand for food for the poor in the area. [Ashland Independent]

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt gave a speech on Tuesday to a mining industry group whose member companies are regulated by his agency. Pruitt’s appearance at the event was closed to the public and the press. [ThinkProgress]

The economic impact of tourism in Rowan County grew to more than $72 million in 2017. [The Morehead News]

The first stage of a multibillion-dollar military-VA digital health program championed by Jared Kushner has been riddled with problems so severe they could have led to patient deaths. [Politico]

Ugh, Julian Carroll is super-gross – an alleged (he was caught on tape!) sexual predator who needs to go. Kentucky may have not been prepared for the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday that struck down a prohibition on state sports gambling, but it didn’t take long for a couple of legislators to react. [Ronnie Ellis]

One of the largest contributions to Donald Trump’s inaugural committee in 2016 appears to have been orchestrated by a set of powerful conservative legal activists who have since been put in the driver’s seat of the administration’s push to select and nominate federal judges. [McClatchy]

A judge has ruled that the Kentucky House of Representatives violated the state’s Open Meetings Act with a closed-door conference in August where lawmakers from both parties huddled to discuss their plans to deal with the state’s pension crisis. [John Cheves]

Just in case you’re wondering why the far-right end timers are going bananas lately… [HuffPo]

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Who’ll Win? Carpetbagger Or Rich Guy?

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Ugh, Lexington is going to elect a carpetbagger or an out-of-touch rich guy instead of Reggie. [H-L]

Sounds like Kentucky, doesn’t it? Michigan Republicans are pushing a new, Donald Trump-inspired bill that would require Medicaid recipients in the state’s mostly black cities to work to keep their health benefits, but exempt some of the state’s rural white residents from the same requirement. [HuffPo]

Wayne Lewis, like Matt Bevin, is a con artist. The Kentucky Department of Education won’t tell you that the original plan was for the state to offer assistance to Jefferson County Public Schools rather than take it over and strip the elected school board of power. [C-J/AKN]

A robotic geologist armed with a hammer and quake monitor rocketed toward Mars on Saturday, aiming to land on the red planet and explore its mysterious insides. [AP]

Two weeks after Madison County Attorney Jud Patterson announced plans to start a new home incarceration program to help decrease the jail population, the first step in a possible expansion of the habitually overcrowded facility was taken by magistrates. [Richmond Register]

Matt Wender’s vision for Fayette County begins with the New River Gorge. Whitewater rafters, hikers and mountain bikers congregate there every summer. Craft beer and artisan pizza are helping his home emerge as an outdoor tourism hub. [ProPublica]

A Rowan County resident has filed a motion to challenge “the good faith of a candidate” running in the Primary Election on Tuesday, May 22. The “good faith” motion states King challenges Kim Barker-Tabor, current Rowan County Circuit Court Clerk and running for the seat later this month, of her candidacy for election in the primary, more specifically the date of her citizenship and residency in Rowan County. [The Morehead News]

One of the nation’s largest anti-LGBTQ organizations claims that it’s been treated unfairly because of its homophobic, transphobic, and other derogatory positions. [ThinkProgress]

Barren and 38 other Kentucky counties will receive money to be used for economic development because of Kentucky House Bill 114, which Matt Bevin signed into law in April. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The jobless rate looks like old times but the economy doesn’t. The last time the unemployment rate fell below the 4 percent threshold was in 2000, during a period of frenetic activity remembered as the dot-com boom. [NY Times]

The Fairview Board of Education on Friday chose a new superintendent following two marathon days of interviews. [Ashland Independent]

The abrupt ouster and reinstatement of the U.S. House chaplain are exposing tensions among House Republicans about the role of a vocal Jesuit Catholic priest in Congress in the era of Pope Francis. [WaPo]

A woman who said she gave birth in a jail cell without medical attention has filed a federal lawsuit against staffers with the Franklin County Regional Jail. [H-L]

A new “faith-based” adoption law signed by Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin on Friday is raising red flags for LGBTQ groups. [HuffPo]

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