Kentucky Bourbon’s Getting Shafted By The EU, Thanks To Republican Stupidity, Beginning Today

Thousands of years ago, humans set up camp in the Daniel Boone National Forest. They made fires, cooked meals and made tools — then they left. Now, EKU students, in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service, are retracing their steps. [H-L]

Rudy Giuliani says FBI agents interviewed him in his room at the Trump International Hotel earlier this year regarding his 2016 remarks predicting a “surprise” in the closing days of the presidential race that would benefit then-Republican nominee Donald Trump. [HuffPo]

Former Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino “forced open doors into his long-standing pattern and practice of inappropriate behavior” with his lawsuit against the university, attorneys for the University of Louisville Athletic Association said Monday. [C-J/AKN]

This is still hilarious – I don’t care how badly the guy got his ass beat. A federal judge on Friday sentenced a Kentucky man to 30 days in prison for assaulting U.S. Senator Rand Paul in an attack last November that left the politician with several broken ribs, prosecutors said. [Reuters]

Salisa Luster Harrison told police that she lay in her apartment for two days, beaten, bruised and unconscious, after being raped in 2008. In the days and weeks that followed, Harrison expected her rapist to be brought to justice. Ten years later, she’s still waiting. [WFPL]

ProPublica has obtained audio from inside a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility, in which children can be heard wailing as an agent jokes, “We have an orchestra here.” [ProPublica]

Throwback to Matt Bevin and the Republicans trying to kill this important institution. The Morehead News has determined that a proposed $25,000 grant from the Morehead Tourism Commission apparently is the final piece of a local funding package to keep Morehead State University’s Kentucky Folk Art Center operating for at least another year. [The Morehead News]

One day in late May 2016, Roger Stone — the political dark sorcerer and longtime confidant of Donald Trump — slipped into his Jaguar and headed out to meet a man with a Make America Great Again hat and a viscous Russian accent. Stone and Caputo’s interactions with Greenberg mean that at least 11 Trump associates or campaign officials have acknowledged interactions with a Russian during the election season or presidential transition. Those interactions have become public in the year and a half since a Trump spokeswoman said that no one associated with the campaign had communications with Russians or other foreign entities. [WaPo]

A budget that includes $75,000 to help the county operate the animal shelter had first reading heard by the Richmond City Commission last week. [Richmond Register]

A few years ago, the US announcing it would abandon the UN Human Rights Council would have been unthinkable. But today, as most of the world — including the UN human rights chief — recoils in horror at the US government’s treatment of migrant children, “inevitable” feels more accurate. The truth is, this is the right time for the US to step away from its seat at the Human Rights Council, as UN Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley announced Tuesday. Under the Trump administration, the United States cannot perform the role that the world needs it to, marshaling allies — especially the members of the G7 that Trump has alienated — to push forward a clear view of universal values in the council’s resolutions. Right now, we’ve made it difficult to get even Canada on our side. [BuzzFeed]

A $50 per year fee appended to property tax bills will replace phone surcharges to fund the Boyd County 911 system. [Ashland Independent]

The European Union will begin charging import duties of 25 percent on a range of U.S. products on Friday, in response to U.S tariffs imposed on EU steel and aluminum early this month, the European Commission said on Wednesday. [Reuters]

The Lexington parking authority could lose more than $200,000 a year when the University of Kentucky takes control of all or parts of more than a dozen streets in coming years as part of a swap that would give the city more than 250 acres of land for economic development. [H-L]

Actor George Takei, who was sent to a Japanese prison camp with his family during World War II, said immigrant detention centers that separate migrant children from their parents are worse than what he experienced. [HuffPo]

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Pre-Existing Condition? You’re Screwed

Rick Sanders apparently thinks leaving sidewalk chalk messages in Frankfort is reason to block people from the Capitol. Matt Bevin has been pressuring KSP to retaliate against protestors because he can’t handle criticism. [H-L]

The Twitterverse exploded in a spyware panic after a Dutch journalist in Singapore posted a photo of a press kit freebie of a tiny fan that connects to computers via the USB portal. It was part of a goodie bag for the journalists covering Donald Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. [HuffPo]

Adam Edelen is right about health care but dangerously wrong about the work he did as Auditor. There were hundreds of cases he refused to push with Jack Conway. So many, in fact, that his office kept a spreadsheet of cases he was afraid to have the Attorney General investigate. Because of politics. Feel free to dig through the archives here to find those stories. He’s the wrong voice for health care. Or anything, really. He’s wrong for Kentucky and can’t beat Matt Bevin. [C-J/AKN]

Many of us have distinct memories of our own childhood homes. That’s not the case for hundreds of children trapped in Illinois psychiatric hospitals. [ProPublica]

Mark Filburn had a fairly simple message about preventing school shootings for the Interim Joint Education Committee Monday. [Ronnie Ellis]

Diplomacy cannot be dictated by “fits of anger”, French President Emmanuel Macron has warned after the G7 summit in Canada ended in acrimony. [BBC]

The Boyd County Public Library has purchased three acres in Summit and plans to build a branch on the land, director Debbie Cosper said. [Ashland Independent]

After failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act with a Republican-controlled Congress, the Trump administration is seizing on a different strategy for dismantling the law, one fraught with political risk. It is asking a court to throw out major elements, including hugely popular provisions that protect sick people from being denied health insurance or charged higher rates. [NY Times]

After he posed several questions about the proposed budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year for Glasgow government and proposed an amendment that failed with a tie-breaking vote by the mayor, Councilman Jake Dickinson cast the sole vote against the budget as a whole. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump’s last-minute refusal to sign a joint statement with America’s closest allies was met with shock but also resignation in Europe, where leaders have grudgingly accepted an increasingly isolated U.S. presence on the world stage. [WaPo]

The Louisville Metro Police Department has formally closed its sexual assault investigation into the late Kentucky state Rep. Dan Johnson, roughly five months after his death. [WFPL]

Hundreds of protesters, including survivors from two of Florida’s deadliest modern mass shootings, staged a rally in Orlando on Monday to call for tougher firearms restrictions two years after a gunman killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub. [Reuters]

The University of Kentucky is raising tuition for Kentucky students by the smallest amount in more than a decade, but the 2.5 percent increase will push the sticker price for undergraduate students above $12,000 a year. [H-L]

When Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced that the Trump administration would add a question asking about citizenship to the 2020 census in March, he pointed to a Census Bureau analysis saying there was no empirical evidence that adding the question would cause people not to respond to the survey. [HuffPo]

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Get It Together, Marshall County Schools

The former leader of a white supremacist group who once caused outrage with racist remarks at a University of Kentucky event was killed in a crash, and a woman has been charged with his murder, according to court records and media reports. [H-L]

Perhaps no other photo is in more need of a thorough caption than the one released Saturday by the office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel from the Group of Seven’s annual meeting in Quebec. [HuffPo]

Is the Marshall County Board of Education just filled with stupid people or what? The Marshall County School District has banned students from carrying backpacks at the district’s high school and two middle schools. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. authorities are transferring into federal prisons about 1,600 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees, officials told Reuters on Thursday, in the first large-scale use of federal prisons to hold detainees amid a Trump administration crackdown on people entering the country illegally. [Reuters]

The Concerned Citizens of Estill County, a group formed in 2016, has filed a petition with the Energy and Environment Cabinet’s (EEC) Office of Administrative Hearings. The group seeks a review of the Cabinet’s decision to allow Advanced Disposal Services’ Blue Ridge Landfill to leave more than 1,000 tons of radioactive waste in the Estill County landfill location. [Richmond Register]

Despite a lengthy record of safety violations, the University of California will continue its 75-year legacy of running Los Alamos National Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration announced Friday. [ProPublica]

Opponents of a 3 percent utility tax in the Greenup County School District are circulating petitions in an effort to get the levy recalled by voters. [Ashland Independent]

White House officials have homed in on Donald Trump’s Washington transition headquarters as a likely location where chief of staff John Kelly’s personal cellphone could have been compromised in late 2016, two U.S. officials familiar with the matter said. [Politico]

Morehead State University’s Board of Regents has approved a new operating budget, extended the contract of President Jay Morgan and voted to demolish Butler Hall. [The Morehead News]

Striking a note for transparency, a federal judge ruled on Friday that Donald Trump and his longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, cannot proceed in total secrecy as they weigh in on the final stages of a laborious review of a huge trove of materials seized from Mr. Cohen during a series of raids by the authorities in April. [NY Times]

Stacey Thomas, assistant principal of Clinton County High School, was named the new principal of Barren County Middle School during an announcement Friday in the BCMS media center. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Frank Kameny was furious that he’d been fired from his government job because he was gay. So he appealed to the nation’s highest court. [WaPo]

In response to a scathing report from Kentucky’s state auditor, the credit rating agency S&P Global withdrew its rating for the largest local government in Eastern Kentucky, making it “nearly impossible” for Pike County to borrow money. [H-L]

Just two years after working to put Donald Trump in the White House, Russian leader Vladimir Putin is now getting help from Trump to achieve foreign policy objectives that Russia has sought for years. [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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Another Kentucky Newspaper Is Dying

Lexington deserves what it gets if it elects Teresa Isaac again. What a total buffoon. [H-L]

Albert Kelly, a top aide to Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt in charge of overhauling the organization’s cleanup of America’s most contaminated sites, has resigned. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin’s mansion and the 10 acres it sits on are now valued at $2.9 million under a new round of local property valuation updates — $1.3 million higher than what a company owned by Bevin paid for it slightly more than a year ago. The 81 percent difference follows questions from last year over the home’s true value and whether Bevin got a sweetheart deal when he bought the seven-bedroom, 9,100-square-foot estate from friend and donor Neil Ramsey in March 2017. [C-J/AKN]

Fearing they could lose access to federal student loans and grants, colleges and universities hire consultants to keep student loan defaults in check. But these advisers too often encourage borrowers to temporarily postpone payments, rather than enroll in plans that would manage their debt long-term — a strategy that skews the default data and threatens the financial health of borrowers, according to a study released Thursday by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. [WaPo]

Jim Gray found a modest sized crowd but a warm reception here Monday as he opened a local campaign office, telling about 35 people he’ll “get things done” in Washington if he’s elected U.S. Congressman from Kentucky’s 6th District. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Russian lawyer who met with Trump campaign officials in Trump Tower in June 2016 on the premise that she would deliver damaging information about Hillary Clinton has long insisted she is a private attorney, not a Kremlin operative trying to meddle in the presidential election. But newly released emails show that in at least one instance two years earlier, the lawyer, Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, worked hand in glove with Russia’s chief legal office to thwart a Justice Department civil fraud case against a well-connected Russian firm. Ms. Veselnitskaya also appears to have recanted her earlier denials of Russian government ties. [NY Times]

A hepatitis A outbreak growing in the Louisville area since last summer reached a new peak recently with a travel advisory from Indiana health officials. They told Hoosiers heading to Kentucky to get a hepatitis A vaccine. [WFPL]

The Trump administration is likely to propose freezing fuel economy standards from 2020 through 2026, according to three people briefed on the matter, a move likely to spark a fight with California and other states backing tougher vehicle emissions rules. [Reuters]

A single Boyd Democrat sheriff candidate will be selected this month to face the lone Republican candidate November. [Ashland Independent]

In February 2017, a top White House aide who was Trump’s longtime personal bodyguard, along with the top lawyer at the Trump Organization and a third man, showed up at the office of Trump’s New York doctor without notice and took all the president’s medical records. The incident, which Dr. Harold Bornstein described as a “raid,” took place two days after Bornstein told a newspaper that he had prescribed a hair growth medicine for the president for years. [NBC News]

Newspapers are continuing to die in Kentucky. The Morehead News will change its publication dates from Tuesday and Friday to once a week on Wednesdays, effective June 6, the newspaper has announced. [The Morehead News]

Peabody Energy, America’s biggest coalmining company, has funded at least two dozen groups that cast doubt on manmade climate change and oppose environment regulations, analysis by the Guardian reveals. [The Guardian]

More than 1,000 employees at the University of Kentucky will be able to continue working on degrees they’ve begun at other universities under a new program announced Tuesday. Those employees had been part of a statewide tuition waiver program that allowed them to take classes toward degrees at other public colleges and universities for free. [H-L]

At a roundtable with the nation’s top educators on Monday afternoon, at least one teacher told Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that her favored policies are having a negative effect on public schools, HuffPost has learned. [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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Republicans Can’t Do Math, Apparently

For decades, people have sparred over the University of Kentucky’s Robinson Forest, a 15,000-acre block of ecologically diverse Appalachian woodland that serves as a living laboratory for how healthy forests can impact the water and animals that run through them. [Linda Blackford]

Striking teachers and other public employees in West Virginia have shut down schools across the state for more than a week, flooding the capitol in Charleston each day to rebuke their lawmakers. The workers are demanding significant raises to their stagnant pay and a clear plan to curb rising premiums in the state employee health care program. [HuffPo]

TL;DR: More of the same from the Republican Party of Kentucky. Line 3 on page 186 of the House budget bill goes a long way in explaining how the House committee could afford to restore so much funding that Bevin cut. It shows that a whopping $480 million will be transferred between now and the end of the next two-year budget period to general state spending from the Public Employees’ Health Plan. That’s about $280 million more than Bevin proposed taking from this fund, which has been tapped regularly over the past decade. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump has moved aggressively in his first year in office to roll back regulations he says have harmed America’s coal miners. But the industry itself remains mired in long-term decline, a downturn that one of Trump’s own government agencies predicts will only worsen over time. [The Hill]

Pregnant women in jail or prison could not be shackled during labor or child birth under a bill passed Monday by the state Senate. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump on Friday nominated a Dow Chemicals lawyer to head-up an Environmental Protection Agency unit that oversees hazardous waste disposal and chemical spills from toxic“Superfund” sites. [Reuters]

The Fairview Schools Board of Education placed the school district’s Superintendent, Michael Taylor, on suspension with pay Monday night but the reason for the suspension was not released. [Ashland Independent]

Mitch McConnell is still enabling genocide. Mitch McConnell, a longtime advocate for democracy in Myanmar and fan of Suu Kyi, has expressed his continued support in recent months despite the bloodshed in Rakhine state. “Publicly condemning Aung San Suu Kyi, the best hope for democratic reform in Burma, is simply not constructive,” the Republican senator said in September. [Politico]

Though details have yet to be announced, search warrants were executed at the Horse Cave Police Department on Monday as part of an ongoing federal investigation. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Former European leaders who tried to bring Ukraine closer to Europe before a 2014 uprising there reacted with shock on Saturday after a federal indictment accused Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, of secretly paying former European officials some two million euros in 2012 and 2013 to lobby on the country’s behalf. [NY Times]

Four Republican lawmakers in Kentucky who signed a secret sexual harassment settlement last year are scheduled to participate in a hearing next month before a state ethics commission that could recommend they be removed from office. [WFPL]

The family real estate company once run by White House adviser Jared Kushner is in talks to buy out its partner in a Manhattan skyscraper that has been losing money for years. [WaPo]

Is Marty Cockring a pervert? Why else would he lobby against ending the practice of taking child brides? [H-L]

Survivors of last month’s deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, have delivered a blistering message to Donald Trump. [HuffPo]

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