Bevin: Still An Awful Human Being

Researchers from Duke University and the non-profits SkyTruth and Appalachian Voices released a first-of-its-kind study Wednesday showing the year-by-year impact of surface coal mining in Central Appalachia. [H-L]

Dangerous idiot. [HuffPo]

For the first time in weeks, Matt Bevin on Wednesday availed himself to questions from the capital press corps. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration must face a lawsuit by states and advocacy groups over its plan to ask people who are filling out the 2020 census form whether they are U.S. citizens, a federal judge ruled on Thursday. [Reuters]

Sporting a new beard, Matt Bevin took questions from reporters Wednesday for the first time in a month – but he remained coy about whether he’ll seek re-election next year and he wouldn’t say if he’ll attend this year’s Fancy Farm Picnic and political speaking. [Ronnie Ellis]

A Maryland judge is allowing a class action lawsuit against Jared Kushner’s family real estate company to proceed, in a ruling that denies most of the company’s arguments to dismiss the case over its treatment of tenants at large apartment complexes in the Baltimore area. [ProPublica]

A vote to double the payroll tax in the city of Raceland was postponed Wednesday night because there were not enough City Council members available to attend the meeting. [Ashland Independent]

Impeach the motherfucker already. The Trump administration will no longer publish public summaries of Donald Trump’s phone calls with foreign leaders, US media report. [BBC]

The St. Claire Foundation’s recent 2018 Signature Event raised $23,000 to support St. Claire HealthCare’s efforts to relocate and upgrade our inpatient rehabilitation services with a state-of-the-art therapy gym and functional training space, including a home simulation environment. [The Morehead News]

For years, Trump has used Twitter as his go-to public relations weapon, mounting a barrage of attacks on celebrities and then political rivals even after advisers warned he could be creating legal problems for himself. [NY Times]

Fatal drug overdoses increased by 11.5 percent in 2017, fueled by a continuing rise in fentanyl abuse, according to a report by the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy. [More Ronnie Ellis]

In a ruling that some legal scholars say could be an important precedent nationally, a federal judge struck down a Florida law barring early-voting centers on college campuses. [WaPo]

One of the nation’s largest managers of off-campus student housing has discriminated against Kentucky children and families and is violating the federal Fair Housing Act, three fair housing groups allege in a federal lawsuit. [H-L]

A federal judge in New York ruled Thursday that a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s decision to add a question asking about citizenship to the 2020 census could advance, saying the challengers had shown enough evidence that the decision could have been driven by discrimination to move the case forward. [HuffPo]

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Another Bevin Administration Scandal

Lexington has been chosen as one of 10 places nationwide where federal authorities will take part in a special enforcement program aimed at curbing distribution of synthetic opioids, powerful painkilling drugs that have helped drive up overdose deaths in Kentucky. [H-L]

You don’t have to believe there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to see this clearly: When Vladimir Putin and his top military intelligence officers facilitated the hacking of the computer systems of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, they engaged in an act of war against the United States. [HuffPo]

The state’s former top social services official says a colleague sexually harassed her and she was discriminated against at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, allegations the cabinet says are unsubstantiated. Adria Johnson, who resigned June 4, made the allegations in her resignation letter and a subsequent June 11 letter from her lawyer, Thomas Clay, according to copies of the documents the Courier Journal obtained through an open records request. [C-J/AKN]

Shortly before Donald Trump detonated a NATO summit, shanked the beleaguered British prime minister and prepped for a face-to-face love session with Vladimir Putin, his White House quietly divested itself of a senior official hawkish on Russia and bullish on the transatlantic military alliance. [TDB]

For 10 years, Liberty Place has been a beacon in the night for many women who have faced drug or alcohol addiction. [Richmond Register]

Long-struggling U.S. gambling industries hope to cash in on newly legal sports betting, but the growing wave of electronic and mobile gaming choices is considered more likely to change the face of those businesses rather than revive them. [Reuters]

A proposed doubling of the payroll tax in Raceland has staffers in the Raceland-Worthington School District up in arms, but city officials say there is no other way to get money it needs to pay bills. Teachers, administrators and support workers in the school district dispute the fairness of the tax because many don’t live in the city and they believe Raceland is using them as a cash cow. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump pardoned two Oregon ranchers Tuesday, firing a new salvo in a complicated culture war previously marked by air-mailed sex toys, nuanced disputes over the management of public lands, and a police shootout that killed a would-be leader of a modern crackpot revolution. [ThinkProgress]

Morehead State University President Jay Morgan reported to the institution’s Board of Regents last month that he had to cut nearly $11 million in personnel costs to balance the budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year. [The Morehead News]

When President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia sits down with Donald Trump in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday for a meeting he has long wanted, he will already have accomplished virtually everything he could reasonably hope for. [NY Times]

Jimmy Tosh sells a lot of pigs. He is owner and CEO of Tosh Farms, Tosh Pork, and Bacon By Gosh, in Henry County, Tennessee, and has 84 contracted barns in the region where farmers grow pigs for his products. [WFPL]

Scott Pruitt was known inside the Environmental Protection Agency’s headquarters for sipping $10 organic juice infused with kale, sporting Ferragamo shoes with his Hickey Freeman suits, and making biblical references in texts and conversations with aides. [WaPo]

A judge has barred the removal of signs that KentuckyOne Health paid to have at Rupp Arena as the University of Kentucky’s marketing partner tries to kick the hospital company out. [H-L]

Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin were welcomed to Helsinki, Finland, with a potent message about the importance of press freedom ahead of their bilateral summit. [HuffPo]

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UK Needs A Serious Reality Check

Really, suing poor people because they can’t afford health care?! A group of Kentuckians has asked a Franklin County judge to grant class action status to a lawsuit aimed at stopping the University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Department of Revenue from garnishing people’s wages for unpaid medical bills. [H-L]

But they are not the only Kochs. There are, in fact, four Koch brothers and nearly a dozen Koch kids, many of whom have their own billions, their own ideologies and their own political ambitions. [HuffPo]

Democratic candidate for governor Andy Beshear has promised that any money his 2015 campaign for attorney general received that was tainted by the Tim Longmeyer kickback scandal will be donated to the political watchdog group Common Cause. But an analysis of the campaign contributions to Beshear’s 2015 primary and general election committees shows that Beshear may not have enough remaining in his current balance to cover what might be considered “tainted” dollars. [C-J/AKN]

The Trump administration is cutting most of the funds previously provided to groups that help people get health insurance under the Affordable Care Act and will push them to promote plans lacking the law’s benefits and protections, a government agency said on Tuesday. [Reuters]

Madison County is seeking a transportation grant in the amount of $25 million to complete the widening of the KY Highway 52 connector road, judge/executive Reagan Taylor said Tuesday during a regular scheduled fiscal court meeting in Berea. [Richmond Register]

It’s unclear what Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of NATO, has said to Mr. Trump. But the notion that Mr. Trump single-handedly and drastically reversed military spending by members is inaccurate. [NY Times]

A federal appeals court has reinstated the conviction of a former Ashland cardiologist accused of performing heart procedures on patients who did not need them. [Ashland Independent]

The American Civil Liberties Union is calling on the Trump administration to stop distributing a government form that offers to reunite detained migrant parents with their children once the parents are ready to be deported from the United States. [WaPo]

After a 3-2 vote by the Morehead Tourism Commission two weeks ago went against backing a quarter of the funds needed to support the Kentucky Folk Art Center, a revote could be in sight. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump has clashed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel over Russian influence and defence spending, ahead of a Nato summit. [BBC]

It was hardly a surprise and he won’t be the last, but Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear announced Monday he will run for governor next year. [Ronnie Ellis]

A family of chemicals — known as PFAS and responsible for marvels like Teflon and critical to the safety of American military bases — has now emerged as a far greater menace than previously disclosed. [ProPublica]

Dr. Misty Clark, a dentist who operates her own practice in Prestonsburg, pulled up her schedule Tuesday afternoon and shook her head. Her calendar showed five and a half hours of vacancies — an usual sight for Clark, who normally fills her schedule with as many as three patients an hour. But since last week, when Matt Bevin cut dental and vision coverage for about 460,000 low-income Kentuckians on Medicaid, more than half of Clark’s patients have been turned away. [H-L]

In 2005, a group of workers at a meatpacking plant in Brooklyn voted to join a union. Their employer, a kosher meat wholesaler called Agri Processor, fought the organizing effort as best it could. Once the workers were unionized, the company refused to bargain, arguing that most of them weren’t covered by collective bargaining law because they were undocumented immigrants. [HuffPo]

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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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