UK Agency Again Ignoring Sunshine Laws

Remember when the Attorney General told the Kentucky Medical Services Foundation that it was subject to Kentucky’s open records laws?


From November 9, 2015:

A foundation affiliated with the University of Kentucky that was questioned during the controversial ouster of a UK surgeon must turn over its records for public inspection, Attorney General Jack Conway has ruled.


“Kentucky Medical Services Foundation operated as a secretive entity within UK for more than 30 years,” Hatemi said. “I have significant concerns about the university’s money being mismanaged under the disguise of KMSF without any oversight from UK Board of Trustees.”


The Herald-Leader has made several requests for documents to the foundation in recent months. Officials have provided the requested documents but have maintained they were not required to do so by law.


UK’s argument that the foundation is private relied on a 1982 decision by the attorney general which found that the foundation was not subject to the Open Records Act. But subsequent decisions by the attorney general found the University Medical Center, which administers the University of Louisville’s practice plan, was a public agency because U of L appointed a majority of its board.

The same is true for KMSF, the attorney general ruled.

“Documents submitted to this office … confirm that the University of Kentucky and the College of Medicine exercise extensive and continuing control of the foundation,” the opinion states.

The ruling cites numerous examples of UK’s control of the foundation, including bylaws that prohibit the foundation from accepting gifts or merging with another entity without the university’s consent and require the foundation to submit to audits by UK’s internal audit office.


Turns out the KMSF decided to break the law again!

Lachin Hatemi filed another request with the organization on February 1, asking specifically for:

Any agreements between KMSF, University of Kentucky and Coldstream Laboratories Inc. between January 2010 and January 2015

And KMSF said:


Can you believe that? They had the nerve to claim agreements – government agreements – are confidential. Hahaha.

Okay. Sure. Keep up with that front. Because the matter is being appealed, yet again, to the Office of the Attorney General.

This is why Kentucky can’t have nice things.

Quick, Scare The Meemaws With Zika!

Amid many aspects of Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed state budget, one line item in particular raised a lot of eyebrows: $21 million to renovate and expand the University of Kentucky’s Wildcat Coal Lodge, the deluxe accommodations for UK’s basketball team that opened in 2012. [H-L]

Hillary Clinton delivered a fiery response to a Muslim veteran’s question about Islamophobia in the United States. [HuffPo]

The University of Kentucky’s 4-year-old Wildcat Coal Lodge, home of the men’s basketball team, could be heading for a renovation. [C-J/AKN]

President Obama said Monday he will ban solitary confinement for juveniles in the federal prison system and reduce the practice for certain other inmates. [The Hill]

London will be wet. Registered voters within the city limits took to the polls Tuesday to answer one simple question: “Are you in favor of the sale of alcoholic beverages in the city limits of London, Kentucky?” The result was a resounding “yes.” [Richmond Register]

Lockheed Martin Corp said on Tuesday it reached a deal to combine its information systems and government services business with Leidos Holdings Inc, and reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue. [Reuters]

City of Ashland personnel policy contradicts what City Manager Ben Bitter said about a vacation pay advance made to a department head this summer. [Ashland Independent]

Standing at a podium before the World Economic Forum, Leonardo DiCaprio briefly smiled as he received an award for his leadership in tackling climate change. Once settled under the spotlight, he quickly moved away from his grateful statements, and began railing on corporate avarice. [ThinkProgress]

City Attorney Rich Alexander released Tuesday the transcript from a portion of a disciplinary hearing that he acknowledged Monday he incorrectly closed to the public. [Glasgow Daily Times]

American scientists studying the Zika virus have warned that it could be a decade before a vaccine is publicly available. [BBC]

Marc Guilfoil is the new executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Federal Reserve has decided to keep its benchmark interest rate where it is, even as Fed officials expressed somewhat more caution about global economic conditions. [NPR]

Victims of domestic violence could break rental agreements without fear of penalty to get away from their abusers under a bill approved Wednesday by a Kentucky House panel. [H-L]

Will he have the guts to stand up? Every single Democrat in the Senate, and the two independents who caucus with them, are urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to act quickly to help the island of Puerto Rico restructure its debt. [HuffPo]

Drink A Bunch Of Bourbon This Weekend

The red steel shipping container was once used to transport toothbrushes and bras. By May, it and another container will be transformed into a one bedroom, one-bathroom, 640-square-foot home that will be part of a new live-work community on York Street spearheaded by the North Limestone Community Development Corp. [H-L]

Hillary Clinton’s campaign spent much of this week waging a dishonest attack on Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and his campaign’s Wall Street reform platform. [HuffPo]

Charter schools are a way for the Christian Taliban and their wealthy friends to get rich using taxpayer dollars. But there’s always some wingnut or someone with 30 pieces of silver in an impoverished community claiming otherwise. [C-J/AKN]

New York’s first medical marijuana dispensaries are opening their doors on Thursday, as the state launches one of the most conservative programs of its kind in the United States. Meanwhile, Mike Ward’s trying to do for Kentucky what Nick Lachey did for Ohio. Spoiler alert: that means he’s trying to ruin everything by profiting personally. [Reuters]

Recent Immigration roundups in Texas, Georgia and North Carolina are sending ripples through WAVE Country as more and more immigration detainees have been brought to a Kentucky jail. [WAVE3]

Turd Cruz’s plan to deport everybody brown is somehow worse than Donald Trump’s. [ThinkProgress]

Matt Bevin warned of steep spending cuts while the state House Republican leader gave a mysterious warning that Monday could be “an historic day” in the only legislative chamber in the South still controlled by Democrats during a dinner with state business leaders. [WKYT]

One US service member has been killed and two wounded reportedly during a special forces mission in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province. [BBC]

This might be the year that Kentucky allows people to clear Class D felony charges from their records. But supporters still have a hurdle or two to clear in the state Senate. [WFPL]

For the first time, you can easily search whether your hospital, clinic, pharmacy or health insurer has been named in patient privacy complaints, breaches or violations. [ProPublica]

Key House Democrats haven’t had time to review a major education reform bill proposed by the Republican Senate but they didn’t sound very receptive Thursday. [Ronnie Ellis]

The economy added 292,000 jobs in December, the Labor Department reported Friday, up from 252,000 in November. [Politico]

Terry Gibson is warming up on a stationary bicycle, a yellow paper mask over her nose and mouth. Later she’ll do strength training. Then she will go home, walk her dog and clean her house. [H-L]

Economist Joe Stiglitz warned back in 2010 that the world risked sliding into a “Great Malaise.” This week, he followed up on that grim prediction, saying, “We didn’t do what was needed, and we have ended up precisely where I feared we would.” The problems we face now, Stiglitz points out, include “a deficiency of aggregate demand, brought on by a combination of growing inequality and a mindless wave of fiscal austerity.” [HuffPo]

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Frankfort Is Already Ruining Everything

The Kentucky General Assembly began its 60-day law-making session Tuesday with a squabble over rules that could affect which party controls the state House in coming months. [H-L]

The gunmen who have occupied a federal building here for three days will resist with force any attempt to remove them, Ammon Bundy, a leader of the militants, said Sunday. But federal authorities have no immediate plans to rush in to retake the remote building. [HuffPo]

People are losing their damn minds over President Obama’s gun proposals. [C-J/AKN]

Mitch McConnell is again confirming he has no plans other than to stand in the way of President Barack Obama. Because his base of support is comprised of racist mouth-breathers who fear brown people. [Salon]

The Kentucky state legislature has gaveled in to begin work on a two-year state spending plan under a new Republican governor. [WKYT]

Military suicides among Army reservists have ticked up from last year, according to new third quarter data for 2015 released by the Pentagon on Monday. [The Hill]

Twenty-eight bottles of the most sought-after bourbon will be available to the public, after it is released from the court. [WAVE3]

Or will they? Franklin County’s sheriff says the bourbon will be destroyed. [H-L]

U.S. manufacturing contracted further in December as lower oil prices undercut spending in the energy sector while construction spending fell in November for the first time in nearly 1-1/2 years, suggesting the economy ended 2015 with less momentum. [Reuters]

State lawmakers convened here Tuesday for their bi-annual, 60-day budget session to confront badly underfunded state pension systems and other issues in a politically charged atmosphere. [Ronnie Ellis]

The success or failure of a farming operation depends hugely on the vagaries of weather and climate. For a farmer, a single intense rain event or prolonged dry period can mean a year of lost crops and income. [ThinkProgress]

he final phase of a complete road upgrade to provide better access from West Liberty to Morehead is expected to begin this spring, according to House Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump is taking to the television airwaves, and his first advert prominently features his controversial call for temporarily halting the entry of all Muslim into the US and a border wall “paid for by Mexico”. [BBC]

The University of Kentucky has hired a new dean for the College of Medicine, officials announced Monday. Robert DiPaola, director of the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and vice chancellor for cancer programs at the Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences center, is expected to start in March, pending approval from the UK Board of Trustees. [H-L]

The Obama administration on Monday defended its deportation tactics and confirmed it has begun raids on families, despite Democratic candidates and immigrant advocates saying officials could be sending mothers and children to their deaths. [HuffPo]

Legislative Hell Breaks Loose Tomorrow

Ron Hink talks about being Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass project manager for the plant that will destroy chemical weapons in Madison County. [H-L]

The troubled campaign of Democratic U.S. presidential contender Martin O’Malley was dealt another blow on Thursday when the struggling candidate failed to qualify for the primary ballot in the political bellwether state of Ohio. [HuffPo]

Yes, UofL could have paid her to go away. UofL loves to pay people to go away. Look at Shirley, the former attorney, nearly everyone else who knows something and hasn’t gone to prison. [C-J/AKN]

This is from a couple years ago but you can’t afford not to re-read it. We hates us some poor people. First, they insist on being poor when it is so easy to not be poor. They do things like buy expensive designer belts and $2500 luxury handbags. [TPM]

The U.S. Alzheimer’s Disease Centers recently awarded Allan Richards and Ann Christianson of the University of Kentucky School of Fine Arts and Visual Studies a grant to study the effects of visual arts activities on quality of life for people with mild to moderate dementia and their caregivers. [Richmond Register]

But not in Kentucky! As the United States marks more than six years without an increase in the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, 14 states and several cities are moving forward with their own increases, with most set to start taking effect on Friday. [Reuters]

Boyd County Sheriff Bobby Jack Woods knew going into his position that it would not be your average 40-hour-a-week job. He understood the challenges that would accommodate the title and has spent his first year in office tackling them all. [Ashland Independent]

This type of consideration when it comes to medical malpractice will never happen in the United States. Primarily beacuse people like Scott Jennings – for money – fight to lie to people about the need for tort reform for the wrong reasons. [ProPublica]

Union officials said Thursday that nearly 600 coal miners could lose their jobs at Murray Energy Corp. mines in West Virginia and Ohio, dealing another blow to the beaten-down industry and Appalachian region. [Harlan Daily Independent]

Why is Middle America killing itself? The fact itself is probably the most important social science finding in years. It is already reshaping American politics. The Post’s Jeff Guo notes that the people who make up this cohort are “largely responsible for Donald Trump’s lead in the race for the Republican nomination for president.” The key question is why, and exploring it provides answers that suggest that the rage dominating U.S. politics will only get worse. [WaPo]

Even media outlets outside Louisville are freaking out about a stupid mall incident. [WKYT]

Donald Trump has again defended his call for a ban on Muslims entering the US after it was used in a propaganda video by Somali militant group al-Shabab. [BBC]

Remember that time Kim Davis thought she could prevent the gays from getting married? She’s a perfect poster gal for being too hateful to breathe. [H-L]

The Affordable Care Act survived a near-death experience, made major progress and faced some significant setbacks in 2015, the fifth year since President Barack Obama’s historic health care reform program became law. These were the biggest Obamacare stories of the year about to end. [HuffPo]

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Your Monday Morning Dept Of Awful

Kentucky’s legislature returns to Frankfort on Tuesday for a 60-day session featuring an ambitious Republican governor who wants to shake up state government, a solidly Republican Senate that intends to help him and a House that almost has slipped from Democrats’ hands. [John Cheves]

White wingnut terrorists took over a federal building in Oregon and almost no mainstream media covered it. [HuffPo]

Kentucky economic and labor statistics in several key areas are surpassing comparable numbers in many parts of the country. [C-J/AKN]

President Obama says he’ll be meeting Monday with Attorney General Loretta Lynch “to discuss options” for reducing gun deaths in America. [The Hill]

Kentucky is last in animal protection laws. Trotting happily alongside Lake Reba on a blustery day in his bright red jacket, Logan pauses for a minute to observe a group of ducks waddling their way to the muddy bank — his tail wagging as Brandee Coffey, his foster mom, reaches down to scratch his ears. [Richmond Register]

U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to announce executive actions expanding background checks on gun sales, media outlets reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with White House proposals and planning. [Reuters]

Boyd County Judge-Executive Steve Towler said he had to employ his time management skills to keep business on-track during his first year on the job. [Ashland Independent]

President Barack Obama’s bid to assert himself in his final year will begin with long-awaited executive actions on gun control, expected to be released next week, shortly after he returns to Washington. [Politico]

For the next nine days, more than 30 people in Lexington will learn how to survive in the wilderness. [WKYT]

How to understand white male terrorism. We’ve been here before and we know that violent backlash is at its fiercest when movements for racial and gender justice are winning. [The Nation]

This is a letter to the editor the Bowling Green Daily News felt it needed to publish? Some butthurt white guy freaking out about the confederate flag? [BGDN]

If you are black, you’re far more likely to see your electricity cut, more likely to be sued over a debt, and more likely to land in jail because of a parking ticket. It is not unreasonable to attribute these perils to discrimination. But there’s no question that the main reason small financial problems can have such a disproportionate effect on black families is that, for largely historical reasons rooted in racism, they have far smaller financial reserves to fall back on than white families. [ProPublica]

Lexington is still trying really hard to be as murderous as Louisville. [H-L]

Two years ago, Sen. Elizabeth Warren demanded to know why a government-sponsored bank meant to expand homeownership was instead lending money on the cheap to student loan company Sallie Mae, boosting its profits at the public’s expense. [HuffPo]


The electric bill at Lacey Griffey’s neat Harlan County home, with its yellow siding and silk-flower arrangements decorating the living room, was $582.07 in January 2013. [H-L]

A group of Syrian refugees in northwest England are lending a hand to communities devastated by flooding in the wake of one storm and bracing for another. [HuffPo]

We can’t keep track of all the UofL scandals these days! Two former University of Louisville biosafety employees who lost their jobs last year following federal investigations of biological safety practices have filed a federal lawsuit against the university, claiming repeated violations of health and safety regulations and an attempted cover-up by university officials. [C-J/AKN]

The Glasgow City Council approved by a 7-4 vote Monday evening moving forward with a new headquarters for the Glasgow Police Department at 101 Pin Oak Lane near American Legion Park. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Hepatitis C, which can damage the liver and cause cancer, affects more than 3 million people in the U.S., and new medications that have come on the market in the past few years will cure the virus in most patients. But a study has found that Medicaid in Kentucky, Indiana and more than 30 other states restrict who receive the pricey drugs. [Business First]

When officers take the lives of those they are sworn to protect and serve, they undermine their own legitimacy. [The Atlantic]

Positive employment news for the Morehead area dominated the “Good News List for 2015” of The Morehead News. [The Morehead News]

If you missed it this week, there was a whole lot of Jim Gooch hilarity. [Page One]

When the 2016 legislative session begins next month, state lawmakers will consider expanding the Kentucky Safe Infants Act to include churches. [WFPL]

And if you missed it in Louisville? Everybody is losing their damn mind over some misbehaving kids at a shopping mall. [The ‘Ville Voice]

People involved in a wide variety of food venues in Lexington are enthusiastic about the increasing demand for local food, a University of Kentucky study found. Researchers behind the Fayette County Local Food Demand Assessment estimate that Lexington businesses in 2014 spent approximately $14 million on Kentucky food products — money that went directly to farmers — with growth likely to continue to $20 million to $24 million in sales by 2020. [Richmond Register]

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An effort to replace aging climbing hardware in the Red River Gorge recently got a financial boost thanks to a grant from a Colorado-based nonprofit that works to protect climbing areas. [H-L]

Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign is pulling ads previously scheduled to air in Iowa and South Carolina, two key states in the nominating process, and is instead committing resources toward dispatching additional staff in early primary states with a little more than a month to go until the Iowa caucuses. [HuffPo]

Your support is crucial if you want to see us continue. While other media outlets ignore scandals like those in Montgomery County, we’re shining the bright lights of transparency on issues that directly impact you across the Commonwealth. Love us or hate us, we’re putting in the time and effort to spend years reporting on issues from the pension crisis to government-sanctioned animal cruelty to educational corruption and we get real results. [Help Us!]