Not Yet Inaugurated & He’s Already Embarrassing

We doubt that spending more than $11 billion to finish the final 300 miles of the 3,090-mile Appalachian Development Highway System is the smartest way to breathe life into local economies. But the rest of Democrat Hillary Clinton’s $30 billion plan for helping coal communities weather upheavals in the energy market is promising. [H-L]

Washington’s capacity to foster crony capitalist larceny and corruption never ceases to amaze. But according to the Bloomberg, Wall Street’s shameless thievery from US taxpayers is about to get a whole new definition. [HuffPo]

A University of Louisville study of asthma, older adults and indoor air quality is revealing a mix of potentially dangerous chemicals inside participants’ homes. [C-J/AKN]

Tell us more, Matt Bevin, about how great refugees have it and about how easy it is for them to find safety. LGBT refugees from across the Middle East flock to Turkey, escaping Islamist militias, sexual assault, and death threats. But what they find there leaves many in despair. [BuzzFeed]

The biggest double-edged sword facing the Carter Caves State Resort Park is perhaps the dangers an increase in foot traffic poses to critters living inside the popular caves. [Ashland Independent]

More than half a dozen state governors have come out against President Obama’s plans to relocate several thousand Syrian refugees within the United States. Some have pledged to actively resist settlement of these refugees. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), for example, signed a letter to Obama that begins “as governor of Texas, I write to inform you that the State of Texas will not accept any refugees from Syria in the wake of the deadly terrorist attack in Paris.” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) issued an executive order instructing all “departments, budget units, agencies, offices, entities, and officers of the executive branch of the State of Louisiana” to “utilize all lawful means to prevent the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the State of Louisiana while this Order is in effect.” The problem for Jindal, Abbott and the other governors opposed to admitting refugees, however, is that there is no lawful means that permits a state government to dictate immigration policy to the president in this way. [ThinkProgress]

With uncertainty about the future of his signature health initiative, Gov. Steve Beshear is touting the outcomes of Kentucky’s efforts to improve the well-being of residents. [WFPL]

At least four times in the past year, Al Gore has passed up opportunities to endorse Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, brushing off questions from People magazine and other media outlets with the admonition that it’s still too early in the Democratic primary process for him to take sides. On Monday, an aide to the former vice president told POLITICO he’ll stay on the sidelines until his party has selected its nominee. [Politico]

If you missed it the other day, there’s yet another scandal at the University of Louisville. More specifically, involving an official accused of squandering hundreds of thousands of dollars. [The ‘Ville Voice]

While Matt Bevin ignorantly sides with the bigots, here’s a video featuring Syrian immigrants in Kentucky. [BBC]

Governor Steve Beshear is keeping busy during his final few weeks in office. [WKYT]

Refugee advocates don’t seem particularly concerned that governors will be able to make good on their calls to ban Syrian refugees from their states. [NPR]

Top level administrators are being hired at the University of Kentucky at more than twice the rate of full-time faculty, according to UK employee statistics. [H-L]

Hillary Clinton argued during Saturday’s Democratic presidential debate that she could take a hard line on Wall Street excesses while accepting millions from the industry in campaign contributions. As proof, she pointed to attacks on her campaign funded by two hedge fund billionaires. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin (R-Turd) Now Fears Refugees

YET ANOTHER University of Louisville official is under investigation for allegedly squandering hundreds of thousands of dollars! [The ‘Ville Voice]

Former Morgan County Judge-Executive Tim Conley’s appeal of his guilty plea in a corruption case should be dismissed, a federal prosecutor has argued. Conley waived his right to appeal his plea and conviction as part of the deal, in which the government dismissed some charges, Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles P. Wisdom Jr. said in a motion. [H-L]

Apparently, if you are a Democratic presidential candidate, there is no longer such a thing as being too strict about gun safety. All three candidates were locked in a fierce battle to prove their gun control bona fides at the Democratic debate at Drake University in Iowa on Saturday night. [HuffPo]

Just a few years ago, Louisville’s Family Health Centers were on the brink of closing clinics and laying off staff. More than half the patients at the network of seven community clinics had no health insurance. Operating losses for the clinics, a medical safety net for the poor, had reached $2.5 million. [C-J/AKN]

The Federal Reserve is emerging as one of the most popular punching bags on the GOP campaign trail. [The Hill]

Here comes Backward Bevin! Way to go, Kentucky, you’ve elected an actual dog turd. Echoing the stance of several Republican governors, Matt Bevin on Monday said he opposes the resettling of Syrian refugees in Kentucky. [WFPL]

Capital punishment in the United States has moved into the slow lane, with the number of executions and new death sentences likely to hit lows not seen for more than 20 years. [Reuters]

Mayor Jim Tom Trent on Thursday signed a proclamation declaring November as Adoption Awareness Month in the City of Morehead. [The Morehead News]

Astronomers have identified the most distant object yet in the Solar System. Observations with Japan’s Subaru telescope reveal the likely icy body to be some 15.5 billion km from the Sun – about three times further away than even far-flung Pluto. [BBC]

Tucked away in the back roads of Rowan County lies a piece of Morehead State only a few know exist. Since 1967, the Derrickson Agricultural Complex, also know as the University Farm, has been a part of the Department of Agricultural Sciences. Recently, 24 agriculture students have been given the privilege of living in the newly built Lundergam Hall that rests in the middle of the farm. [Ashland Independent]

Almost 20 percent of the people in low-income communities who die of colon cancer could have been saved with early screening. And those premature deaths take a toll on communities that can least bear it. [NPR]

The Kentucky State Police is urging all motorists to be aware of the increased dangers posed by deer wandering onto roadways during November and December. [Richmond Register & Press Release]

20 percent, or 1 in 5, were reporting patients to credit agencies or placing liens on their properties or garnishing wages, practices that aren’t supposed to happen if hospitals are following the rules. [WaPo]

Marriage licenses altered by Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis this summer don’t meet the state’s legal requirements, but they still should be considered valid, lawyers for Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear told a federal judge Friday. [H-L]

Federal and state prosecutors are poised to announce a settlement with Education Management Corporation, one of the nation’s largest for-profit college chains, that would resolve allegations it defrauded taxpayers out of $11 billion, according to people familiar with the case. [HuffPo]

Harmon Should Continue Major UofL Audit

We’ve highlighted scandals involving programs like these in Montgomery County but they’ve been ignored by the paper. By January, consultants could be conducting audits of programs for special education, gifted and talented students, and English-language learners, according to Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk. [H-L]

When it comes to accreditors, the private organizations paid by colleges to help them maintain access to nearly $150 billion annually in federal student aid, the U.S. Department of Education seems to think sunlight is the best disinfectant. [HuffPo]

The Louisville Arena Authority ended its total ban on firearms and agreed Monday to give promoters and booking agents of events at the KFC Yum! Center the right to decide whether ticketed visitors can carry firearms into the downtown arena. [C-J/AKN]

Leaked internal emails from the powerful Democratic think tank Center for American Progress (CAP) shed light on several public controversies involving the organization, particularly in regard to its positioning on Israel. They reveal the lengths to which the group has gone in order to placate AIPAC and long-time Clinton operative and Israel activist Ann Lewis — including censoring its own writers on the topic of Israel. [The Intercept]

Kentucky’s next state auditor, Danville Republican Rep. Mike Harmon, said he’s not sure if he’ll continue the investigation of the University of Louisville’s Board of Trustees and its relationship with the University of Louisville Foundation, which manages the school’s $1.1 billion endowment. [WFPL]

President Obama is on a collision course with congressional Republicans over the Guantánamo Bay detention facility, with increasing chatter in Washington that he might seek to close the prison through executive action. [The Hill]

Boyd County Clerk Debbie Jones’ office was one of 30 awarded a state grant to assist in preserving local government records for the 2015-16 fiscal year. Gov. Steve Beshear announced Thursday that Jones will receive $657,023 from the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives for the purposes of preserving and managing local records. [Ashland Independent]

Three major companies, citing the under-representation of minorities in science and technology fields, are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold affirmative action in university admissions in a closely watched case to be argued next month. [Reuters]

The Morehead-Rowan County-Lakeview Heights Joint Planning Commission Wednesday unanimously approved preliminary design plans for St. Claire Regional Medical Center’s new medical services building. The three-story, 78,000-square foot building is estimated to cost about $25 million. [The Morehead News]

As part of an overall strategy to reduce overcrowding and give fairer sentences for low-level drug offenders, the U.S. Department of Justice granted 6,000 inmates — including nearly 2,000 immigrants — early release from prison earlier this week. But the immigrants among that group may face additional punishment even after they’re no longer behind bars. [ThinkProgress]

Lindsey Wilson College education majors Anthony Horne and Justin Sumpter felt a warm welcome from faculty and students during three weeks spent student teaching in the Caverna Independent Schools district earlier this year. [Glasgow Daily Times]

They’re hard. At least, that was the rep on new tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards that millions of U.S. kids took last spring. Now you can be the judge. [NPR]

Manny Caulk, superintendent of Fayette County Public Schools, is inviting Gov.-elect Matt Bevin to visit the district to see the efforts being made to raise student achievement before Bevin decides that public charter schools are the answer. [H-L]

How does one explain the lopsided vote against Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO)? If you ask Hillary Clinton, it all comes down to voters’ emotions. The U.S. presidential candidate told the crowd at MSNBC’s Democratic candidates forum on Friday night that the nondiscrimination measure’s failure defied common sense. [HuffPo]

KDP Needs To Clean House In Worst Way

Whatever Republican Matt Bevin has in mind for Kentucky’s health insurance reform efforts after he’s sworn in as governor Dec. 8, there are unlikely to be changes this winter while people enroll for their 2016 coverage. [H-L]

Ben Carson is truly crazier than anyone thought. Way crazier than Donald Trump. [HuffPo]

A daughter of “Breaking Cardinal Rules” author Katina Powell was cited for misdemeanor prostitution stemming from a 2014 incident, online court documents show. [C-J/AKN]

Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) has introduced legislation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act introduced Wednesday by Sanders would end the long-time federal prohibition on marijuana. This is the first Senate bill to propose legalizing recreational pot, according to marijuana advocates. [The Hill]

Kentucky Republicans didn’t settle for Matt Bevin’s win in the governor’s race; the GOP scored a major upset with Mike Harmon defeating Democratic incumbent auditor Adam Edelen. [Ronnie Ellis]

ProPublica and Frontline reopen the investigation into a death squad run by former South Vietnamese military men that killed journalists, torched businesses and intimidated those who challenged its dream of re-starting the Vietnam War — all on American soil. [ProPublica]

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 5:45 p.m. Tuesday that Phillip Jent of Cold Springs Hollow Road off Christy Creek Road had been shot in the chest by his brother, Robert Jent. [The Morehead News]

After years of denying that American troops will deploy to Syria, President Obama has changed course and decided to send troops to help in the fight against ISIS, also known as ISIL or the Islamic State. [ThinkProgress]

The city of Berea had a very good financial year, according to the results of a recent financial audit. During a council session Tuesday evening, Jerry Hensley and Heather Cochran told officials the city increased its net value during fiscal year 2014-2015 by approximately $5 million. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump has spent much of his presidential campaign bashing his GOP rivals as beholden to major donors, and, in recent weeks, he’s expanded his attacks to include three major donors in particular ― Sheldon Adelson, Paul Singer and the Koch brothers. But POLITICO has learned that Trump or his surrogates have sought to build relationships ― if not support ― from all three, calling into question the billionaire real estate showman’s repeated assertions that, because of his wealth, he has no use for major donors. [Politico]

Democratic leaders met in Frankfort Wednesday morning to talk about how they lost the Governor’s race and three other statewide offices, only winning Attorney General and Secretary of State. [WKYT]

The Rosetta spacecraft discovers molecular oxygen in the cloud of gas surrounding Comet 67P prompting a rethink on the origins of the Solar System. [BBC]

Offering harsh words for fellow Democrats, Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones appeared to be of two minds Wednesday when discussing whether Tuesday’s enormous Republican victories in Kentucky will influence whether he runs for Congress. [H-L]

The U.S. electric sector is expected to hit its lowest carbon emissions since 1995 this year, partly due to the widespread closure of coal-powered power plants over the past five years, a Sierra Club report released Wednesday found. [HuffPo]

UofL Wastes Cash In Every Way Possible

Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear on Tuesday sharply criticized Matt Bevin, the Republican who hopes to succeed him, for calling Kynect “a disaster” and pledging to eliminate it if elected next Tuesday. [H-L]

The Federal Reserve decided to leave its benchmark interest rate unchanged on Wednesday, citing “moderate” economic expansion that has reduced job growth and inflation pressures. [HuffPo]

With Halloween approaching, the mansion for the University of Louisville president in the Cherokee Triangle is once again decorated for the holiday, and President James Ramsey and his wife, Jane, may hand out treats to trick-or-treaters on Halloween night Saturday as they have in the past. [C-J/AKN]

The universe really is weird, which is bad news both for Albert Einstein and for would-be hackers hoping to break into quantum encryption systems. Eighty years after the physicist dismissed as “spooky” the idea that simply observing one particle could instantly change another far-away object, Dutch scientists said on Wednesday they had proved decisively that the effect was real. [Reuters]

The job of political cartoonist and Ashland native Marc Murphy is to use imagery to provoke the responses the printed word is incapable of doing. [Ashland Independent]

Denis Villeneuve’s movie gets much right about the borderlands but crosses the line into exaggeration. A veteran border correspondent compares the film’s underworld to the one he knows. [ProPublica]

The 2015 general election is one week away and most of the ballot in Rowan County will feature statewide offices. [The Morehead News]

An undocumented immigrant has been denied a visa into the United States to reunite with his U.S.-citizen wife and children based on tattoos that U.S. consulate officials in Mexico say are gang-related. [ThinkProgress]

By all accounts, the former CEO of Massey Energy was a highly demanding man. Prosecutors argue those demands came in the form of profits and coal production, but Don Blankenship’s defense team spent another full day Tuesday cross examining former Performance Coal President Chris Blanchard to show Blankenship demanded compliance to safety regulations, too. [Richmond Register]

Whaaaat? Is this something that’s straight out of House of Cards or what? [Politico]

Glasgow City Council’s personnel policy committee will be recommending to the full council the elimination of the city’s return-to-work program for employees who have experienced an on-the-job injury. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The deputy director of the US National Security Agency (NSA), Richard Ledgett, has warned of the increasing danger of destructive cyber attacks by states. [BBC]

In September 2003, Matt Bevin felt celebratory: he had just settled a stressful legal dispute that justified his risky decision to leave a lucrative investment firm, and paved the way for him to strike out on his own. [H-L]

Finally settling the turmoil that has gripped the House Republican caucus for weeks, members of the party formally nominated Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to be their speaker Wednesday, picking the fresh-faced former vice presidential candidate who had said repeatedly he didn’t want the job. [HuffPo]

Will UofL Accept Human Trafficking Training?

If you missed it late Friday, a human trafficking task force has offered to train the University of Louisville in the wake of its latest scandal. [Page One]

After many years without health insurance, Cathy Ingram recently got a subsidized policy through the state-run Kynect exchange. Her first stop was the dentist, who pulled some rotten teeth infecting her gums. [H-L]

As the clock winds down, the Obama administration is artfully pushing its message on the Paris climate change negotiations, doing all that it can to guarantee a “durable, credible, and universal” agreement is reached. [HuffPo]

The head of Kentucky Retirement Systems, who announced plans to retire at the end of the year, will remain with the agency under a new contract that increases his salary by more than 25 percent. [C-J/AKN]

Fifty-four percent of the 598 Democrats surveyed said they believed the U.S. House of Representatives investigation into the attacks and Clinton’s actions was entirely or mostly about discrediting the former U.S. secretary of state. [Reuters]

Andy Beshear, who is running for state attorney general, and Adam Edelen, who is working to fend off a Republican challenge to secure a second term as state auditor, met with fellow Democrats on Thursday afternoon to generate enthusiasm for next month’s state elections. [Messenger-Inquirer]

Monday will see an international team of scientists set sail for the mid-Atlantic on a quest to sample microbes living deep in the ocean floor. [BBC]

Sorry, Sannie, but there were more people fired up about David Williams — and even Gatewood Galbraith — than there are about your ticket. [CN|Toot]

We’re looking at you, UK. There were fewer black men in medical school in 2014 than in 1978. [NPR]

Lawmakers will meet in Vanceburg Monday to unveil legislation to toughen laws against synthetic drugs. [Richmond Register]

Rufus Scales, 26 and black, was driving his younger brother Devin to his hair-cutting class in this genteel, leafy city when they heard the siren’s whoop and saw the blue light in the rearview mirror of their black pickup. Two police officers pulled them over for minor infractions that included expired plates and failing to hang a flag from a load of scrap metal in the pickup’s bed. But what happened next was nothing like a routine traffic stop. [NY Times]

In a little more than a week, either Republican Matt Bevin or Democrat Jack Conway will be elected Kentucky’s next governor. [Ronnie Ellis]

In a scene that would have given Donald Trump heart palpitations, 200 flag-waving Mexican troops breached the U.S. border outside Laredo, Tex., 10 years ago and advanced unopposed up Interstate 35 to San Antonio. [WaPo]

As global demand cools, coal exports from Virginia continue to decline. Terminals along the James River in Newport News exported 11.7 million tons of coal through August. That’s down from 18.1 million tons in the same period a year ago. [H-L]

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on Wednesday denied that voter identification laws and other voter suppression laws are racist, calling such restrictions necessary because voting should be “done by the appropriate people.” [HuffPo]

Human Trafficking Task Force Writes UofL, Offers Training To Ramsey, Jurich, Pitino

The Nelson County Human Trafficking Task Force just wrote a letter to the University of Louisville offering training.

Rather than bore you to tears with what I think, here it is:


And a transcript of the letter:

October 23, 2015

Dr. James R. Ramsey

Tom Jurich

Rick Pitino

Dear Dr. Ramsey, Mr. Jurich and Mr. Pitino,

Since 2008, of the 332 victims of human trafficking identified in Kentucky, 197 were children. Human trafficking is forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation through the use of force, fraud or coercion. When a victim is under 18, force, fraud or coercion are not required to be categorized as human trafficking. The most frequently occurring ages of victims in Kentucky are 15 and 17. Human trafficking is a multibillion dollar industry with horrific exploitation and it is no surprise that it is considered to be modern day slavery.

The allegations of University of Louisville Athletics’ players, recruits and staff being involved in potential human trafficking by attending parties with commercial sex are disturbing. Regardless of the veracity, it is integral that University of Louisville Athletics’ programs be educated regarding human trafficking.

U of L Athletics occupies a prestigious and respected role in our community and in national collegiate athletics. Given this role and the status of student athletes, education about human trafficking is an urgent need. Education can help identify victims, can prevent trafficking by decreasing demand and U of L Athletics can be an ambassador and partner in the antislavery movement.

The Nelson County Human Trafficking Task Force is a diverse group of individuals from various professional and personal backgrounds that is dedicated to creating a climate in Nelson County that is opposed to violence with an emphasis on human trafficking. The task force has provided training to over 200 professionals in and around the Nelson County area. We welcome the opportunity to provide human trafficking education to U of L Athletics for free.

We hope that you will accept this offer and join the effort in ending human slavery. Please contact either Soha T. Saiyed or Amy Nace-Degonda to schedule a meeting at the contact information below.


Soha T. Saiyed
Co-Chair, Nelson County Human Trafficking Task Force University of Louisville Law ‘06

Amy Nace-Degonda
Co-Chair, Nelson County Human Trafficking Task Force University of Louisville ‘02

The task force is made up of representatives from:

  • Catholic Charities
  • Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Legal Aid Society
  • Family Resource Center
  • Bardstown Police Department
  • Visiting Angels
  • KY Higher Education Assistance Authority
  • Sisters of Charity of Nazareth
  • University of Kentucky Targeted Assessment Program
  • US Attorney
  • Nelson County Schools
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • New Life Center
  • Central Kentucky Community Action Council
  • Advocacy and Support Center
  • Bardstown Police Department
  • Vincentian Family
  • Passport
  • Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services
  • Flaget Memorial Hospital

Have reached out to UofL for comment but have received no response.