UofL Messes Have Grown Since 2008

The University of Kentucky named longtime faculty member Lisa Cassis its vice president for research. [H-L]

The criminal justice system is “particularly skewed by race and by wealth,” President Barack Obama said on Tuesday in a speech at the NAACP Annual Convention in Philadelphia, citing a “long history of inequity in the criminal justice system in America.” [HuffPo]

Despite a consultant’s findings that University of Louisville President James Ramsey is paid above the market rate, the board of trustees’ compensation committee recommended Monday that he get a 6 percent merit pay increase and a bonus worth about $150,000. [C-J/AKN]

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen urged lawmakers to tread lightly when it comes to overhauling the central bank, warning that proposed changes could undermine its ability to support the economy. [The Hill]

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway issued a press release Tuesday warning flood victims to be aware of potential price-gouging scams in areas affected by recent storms. [Ashland Independent]

A regional cap-and-trade program has added $1.3 billion in economic activity to nine New England and Mid-Atlantic states since 2011, while decreasing their carbon emissions by 15 percent, according to independent analysis released Tuesday. [ThinkProgress]

Will Russell sure is milking you-know-what out of his arrest in an attempt to gain publicity. [Glasgow Daily Times]

This sad Eastern Kentucky situation has made international news. Search teams in Kentucky are looking for six people missing after heavy floods that already killed two people. [BBC]

Rowan Fiscal Court hopes to cash in on state road and bridge funds before the end of the year. [The Morehead News]

The Supreme Court was definitive in its decision to legalize gay marriage nationwide, but what is far from clear is whether U.S. companies must offer corporate benefits to same-sex spouses. [Reuters]

Visitors to all five national parks in Kentucky can earn a special free commemorative patch in recognition of the National Park Service 2016 centennial. [WKYT]

Labor leaders said there was a clear understanding that no national unions would make an endorsement before July 30. But the American Federation of Teachers jumped the gun. [Politico]

It took only a few minutes for nearly everything James Martin owned to swirl away in a muddy torrent. [H-L]

For a while the Wisconsin governor, running for the GOP nomination for the presidency, has been engaging in his own version of dog-whistling to homophobes, as he and the GOP struggle with the reality that the base of their party is still in the Stone Age on LGBT rights, while most Americans support equality. [HuffPo]

Kim Davis: Come Outta Yer Hidey Hole!

Homophobic coward Kim Davis didn’t have the guts to show up in court yesterday. She hid out, tried to avoid being served, played the typical hate-filled victim role. [Deep Gay Thoughts]

Engaged couples in Rowan County will have to wait a little longer to get married. U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning will continue a hearing next week over Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis’ decision to stop issuing marriage licenses to anyone because of her personal objections to same-sex marriage. [H-L]

Police departments across the country that have spent years boasting about plummeting crime numbers are now scrambling to confront something many agencies have not seen in decades: more bloodshed. [HuffPo]

University of Louisville President James Ramsey last year was paid 2 ½ times more than the average of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s other 14 presidents and chancellors — all of whose universities are ranked far higher academically than U of L. [C-J/AKN]

Scores of Democrats are calling on President Obama to champion an expansion of Social Security benefits for millions of seniors nationwide. [The Hill]

Kentucky’s electricity generation landscape will look drastically different in the next five years, as coal-fired power plants retire or convert to natural gas. [WFPL]

U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took swipes at Wall Street and her Republican rivals on Monday, promising to impose tougher regulations on banks and raise the wages of ordinary Americans if she wins the 2016 White House race. [Reuters]

The white church on the corner of Main Street and Prestonsburg Street here has officially returned. [Ashland Independent]

Climate change is threatening the survival of bumblebees, significantly reducing the habitats in which they can survive, researchers say. [BBC]

City commissioners agreed Monday night to continue working with the insurance company it has previously done business with, but one commissioner asked whether the city solicited bids for coverage. [Glasgow Daily Times]

When Chuck Rosenberg took the top job at the Drug Enforcement Administration two months ago, the longtime prosecutor had a reputation as “Mister Fix It.” [NPR]

Jimmy Hogg, Somerset budget director for the past 21 years, will be proposed as Richmond city manager at Tuesday’s city commission meeting. [Richmond Register]

Coming to Kentucky before you know it? Probably. Since Steve and Andy are tight with the payday loan sharks. [ThinkProgress]

Last spring, Marc H. Morial, the president of the National Urban League, found himself in a place he has come to know well over the years, across a desk from Sen. Mitch Mc-Connell, the majority leader, talking about public policy. [H-L]

Pope Francis left for Rome on Sunday at the end of a trip to South America during which he censured capitalism, championed the rights of the poor, warned of irreversible damage to the planet and urged youths to “make a mess.” [HuffPo]

Probably Not A Fun Time For Keith Hall

A jury convicted former state Rep. W. Keith Hall, D-Phelps, on Friday of bribing a state coal mine inspector to win favorable treatment for surface mines he owned in Pike County. [H-L]

Justice Antonin Scalia may have penned the most colorful dissent to Friday’s landmark Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, but his colleague Clarence Thomas wrote the weirdest. [HuffPo]

Gov. Steve Beshear on Friday appointed two new members to the University of Louisville Board of Trustees, potentially tipping the balance of a board divided over the actions of the university’s foundation. [C-J/AKN]

Here we go again — Mitch McConnell is still trying to repeal health care reform. Republicans in Congress are moving toward a plan to use a special budgetary process to repeal ObamaCare, after the Supreme Court ruled for a second time to uphold the controversial law. [The Hill]

Despite challenging lower court rulings throwing out Kentucky’s ban on same sex marriage, Gov. Steve Beshear moved quickly to comply with Friday’s historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling invalidating such bans in all 50 states. [Ronnie Ellis]

Keith Hall made the international news. A former Kentucky state lawmaker was convicted on Friday of bribing a former mining inspector not to cite his coal mining companies for violations. [Reuters]

The Morehead Tourism Commission agreed Thursday to pay a Lexington architectural firm to develop a master plan for the old SunnyBrook golf course. [The Morehead News]

The Supreme Court on Friday ruled 5-4 that same-sex couples nationwide have the constitutional right to marry, splitting the 2016 candidates sharply along partisan lines. [Politico]

The Board of Trustees of the Pine Mountain Settlement School has announced the appointment — effective June 1 — of Geoff Marietta as executive director. He succeeds Miriam Pride who has been serving as interim executive director since spring of last year. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

A battle is brewing in Mississippi, as the growing animosity directed against Confederate symbols following the church shooting in Charleston has led to calls to remove the rebel pattern from the state’s flag. [BBC]

After the Supreme Court ruled all 50 states must allow same-sex marriages, Republican Matt Bevin used the decision to criticize Attorney General Jack Conway as the two men battle to be the next Kentucky governor. [WKYT]

People from around the country react to Friday’s Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage. [NPR]

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has admonished South Carolina, Texas and Kentucky for failing to provide enough money from tobacco tax revenue or tobacco prevention efforts. [H-L]

President Barack Obama delivered a stirring eulogy at the funeral for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a South Carolina state senator and pastor who was one of nine people shot and killed at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church last week. [HuffPo]

Edelen To Sniff Around UofL Foundation

Yesterday, State Auditor of Public Accounts Adam Edelen announced that he will examine the University of Louisville Foundation.

Here’s his statement:

Auditor Adam Edelen on Thursday announced his office would conduct an examination into the governance and oversight of the University of Louisville Foundation, an organization that manages the school’s $1.1 billion endowment.

The Auditor’s office also will examine the existing governance structure of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees, and the actions of the Foundation.

“The importance of the University of Louisville in regards to education and workforce development cannot be overstated,” Auditor Edelen said. “Dr. Ramsey has presided over a period of significant growth and achievement. I have heard from dozens of business and community leaders who believe that a review by my office will be a constructive exercise, resulting in easing tensions and a fact-based path for moving forward.”

The University of Louisville Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that holds, invests and allocates donations for the University. It is directed by a 15-member board of directors, the majority of whom are not members of the University’s Board of Trustees.

Under state law, University trustees are required to oversee the compensation of the school’s president, faculty and staff. The Foundation independently awarded compensation packages to the University president and other top officials during the 2012-13 fiscal year. The University itself has begun a Foundation board level review of those deferred compensation awards.

“The Foundation is critically important to the University, but it must be fully transparent,” Auditor Edelen said. “In addition, the Board of Trustees must have primacy in its governance and oversight roles in relation to University activities funded by the Foundation.”

Given the dramatic growth of the University and enhanced academic reputation in recent years, Auditor Edelen said it is important the review be conducted to ensure the Board of Trustees is in a position to meet its statutory and fiduciary obligations as the governing body of the institution.

Auditor Edelen said the process represents a significant undertaking by his office, and he expects it will take months to complete.

“We anticipate full cooperation from the boards of the University and its Foundation, as well as the University administration,” Auditor Edelen said. “At the end of the day, the number one priority for both organizations is to do what is best for the University and greater community of Louisville. I’m optimistic that a review by my office will provide a constructive, fact-based path for moving forward.”

What Edelen’s office didn’t clear up is concern about a potential conflict of interest. That being that he was at one point invited to become a member of that very foundation’s board of directors.

While that doesn’t mean there’s a real conflict, the appearance is pretty high and it’s something he should clear up to avoid any unease or confusion as foundation members keep talking about it. If only because the people who work so hard within the APA don’t have to deal with questions.

Also — it’s about dang time! The UofL Foundation has been a monster for a long time. This milquetoast review will finally open the doors a bit so the public can peek inside.

You Should Follow The Landfill Saga

With a little more than six months before a new state law to address dating violence takes effect, Kentucky officials are trying to determine how best to offer emergency protective orders to victims of abusive dating relationships. [H-L]

Confidence in the police is lower than it’s been in more than 20 years, according to a new Gallup poll measuring the levels of faith in American institutions. [HuffPo]

This is just jacked up. The giant banner across Jackson Street in the heart of Louisville’s medical center offers hope for victims of a dread disease. [C-J/AKN]

As the iconic American gun maker Colt Defense struggled to stay in business after losing a key contract to supply M4 rifles to the U.S. Army, the company was paying a range of political allies, including the National Rife Association, the consulting firm set up by retired Army General Stanley McChrystal, and other trade groups and lobbying outfits. [The Intercept]

Big Run Landfill will no longer accept waste in the form of bales transported in gondola cars due to odor issues connected to this type of rail transportation of trash, according to top landfill company officials. [Ashland Independent]

The White House has pushed foundations, institutional investors and philanthropies to commit more than $4 billion to clean energy projects and help fight climate change, doubling a goal set in February, officials said. [Reuters]

Jack Conway made a stop in Prestonsburg Monday as part of the campaign tour he and his team have dubbed the “Bluegrass Business Listening Tour.” [Floyd County Times]

The European Space Agency says its comet lander, Philae, has woken up and contacted Earth. [BBC]

Representatives from the coal and utility industries as well as environmental and community activists appeared on KET’s Kentucky Tonight to discuss what’s next in energy and environmental issues in the state. [KET]

Political gridlock over climate change has left the US military exposed to Russia’s superior fleets in the Arctic, flooding in its naval bases and a more unstable world, according to high-ranking former military commanders and security advisors. [Mother Jones]

When lawmakers failed to agree on ways to shore up the troubled Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System, some – like House Minority Leader Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown – called on Gov. Steve Beshear to appoint a task force to study solutions. [Ronnie Ellis]

A couple of miles outside the town of Page, three 775-foot-tall caramel-colored smokestacks tower like sentries on the edge of northern Arizona’s sprawling red sandstone wilderness. At their base, the Navajo Generating Station, the West’s largest power-generating facility, thrums ceaselessly, like a beating heart. [ProPublica]

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has revealed how a pledged $10 million dollars will be used to tackle the state’s heroin epidemic. [H-L]

Real estate developer Donald Trump’s speech announcing he is running for the Republican nomination for president contained a number of false and misleading statements on the economy, trade, health care and terrorism. [HuffPo]

Granny Mitch Will Wiretap You So Hard

Dr. Steven J. Stack, an emergency physician, has become the second Lexington doctor in three years to become president of the American Medical Association. [H-L]

On Sept. 10, 2014, a woman arrived at a domestic violence program in Nevada desperately seeking emergency shelter. She had been living in her car with her four kids for two weeks, she said, hiding from an abusive partner. [HuffPo]

Kosair Charities, which had donated millions of dollars to Norton Healthcare’s Kosair Children’s Hospital to care for poor children, says financial documents show Norton has reaped a fortune from the hospital that it’s using to “float the entire Norton empire.” [C-J/AKN]

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to repeal meat labeling laws, which were widely backed by U.S. consumer groups, after Canada and Mexico threatened $3 billion in trade sanctions. [Reuters]

Bill Hanson, a veteran newspaper executive, has been named publisher of the Glasgow Daily Times, effective immediately. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Congress wouldn’t allow Medicare to pay for benzodiazepines such as Xanax and Ativan until 2013. Now, the medications are among the most prescribed in its drug program. While it might appear that an epidemic of anxiety swept the nation’s Medicare enrollees, the spike actually reflects a failed policy initiative by Congress. [ProPublica]

It’s a vital, potentially life-saving project that has been more than a decade in the making—and it finally has secured funding, according to one Perry County official. [Hazard Herald]

There’s a fast-growing city in Texas that also has one of the most progressive energy programs in the country — and it’s not Austin. [ThinkProgress]

Environmental groups have once again announced their intention to sue an Eastern Kentucky coal company for allegedly falsifying the pollution reports it submits to the state. [WFPL]

Scientists find evidence of “long term and recurrent” drinking of an alcoholic plant sap among chimpanzees in the wild. [BBC]

Nothing to see here, move along, puppies and rainbows. Metro Councilman David James has resigned from the University of Louisville Police Department and taken a job with the U of L Foundation. [WDRB]

The global economy must be completely fossil fuel–free by the end of the century. That point of climate consensus came out of a meeting today between the US, the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the European Union, which make up the G7. [Mother Jones]

A lending program for small businesses in Appalachia is making millions in loans available throughout the region. [H-L]

Only a week after Congress passed reforms to the Patriot Act ending the National Security Agency’s metadata phone collection program, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, with the help of big business allies, is moving to expand domestic surveillance of a different type. [The Intercept]

Your Audit Race Slap Fight Has Begun

A judge ruled Thursday that the estranged wife of former state Rep. W. Keith Hall cannot testify about their marital conversations at his bribery trial, set to begin June 22 in Pikeville. Although Stephanie Hall was willing to waive her spousal privilege to testify against her husband, Keith Hall was not willing to waive his. If the case goes to trial, the jury will not hear Stephanie Hall testify about a 2010 conversation in which she said that Keith Hall — who owns coal mines — told her that he was paying money to the state mine inspector assigned to his operations, U.S. District Chief Judge Karen Caldwell said. [John Cheves]

State Rep. Mike Harmon, the Republican nominee in this year’s race for state auditor, challenged his opponent, Democratic incumbent Adam Edelen, on Wednesday to conduct a full audit of the financially strapped Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System. Edelen still wins. Even though he’s purposefully ignored corruption, washed his hands of Montgomery County (blaming inaction on Jack Conway) and talked out of both sides of his mouth for years. [More H-L]

A majority of Democratic members in the House and Senate have now signed on to letters rebuking the Obama administration for expanding the practice of detaining immigrant women and children. [HuffPo]

Following complaints about the compensation for President James Ramsey and other executives, the University of Louisville board of trustees has hired a Chicago consulting firm to produce a “competitive market review” of his pay and that of five other administrators. [C-J/AKN]

The extremists surrounding the Paul Family sure are… extreme. [RWW]

Jack Conway, the Democratic candidate for governor, said Wednesday efforts by his Republican opponent Matt Bevin and the Republican Governors Association to tie him to President Barack Obama won’t work. But highlighting everything else will work. [Ronnie Ellis]

Nearly six months into his tenure as Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell is finding it’s not easy to keep his party’s presidential candidates in line. [The Hill]

Most considered the 2015 General Assembly session successful, primarily because it passed a bill to attack the growing incidence of heroin abuse. [Ronnie Ellis]

A majority of early-state insiders believe it’s helpful for Rand Paul to differentiate himself from the Republican field through his views on foreign policy and national security. But over the course of the campaign, many say, those same positions will prove to be a serious liability. [Politico]

The Glasgow City Council infrastructure committee learned this week it costs the city about $340,000 annually to operate street lights. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Those who weren’t accusing him of endangering US national security blasted him for what they saw as grandstanding in the interest of advancing his presidential interests. [BBC]

An activist and a University of Louisville doctor are shining light on gun violence in the city. [WLKY]

College admissions take a crucial factor into account that could be creating enormous racial bias, but it’s not grades or extracurricular activities or even SAT scores. It’s a student’s disciplinary record. [ThinkProgress]

The Fayette County Schools superintendent screening committee issued a statement Wednesday night saying it had finished its work and would give the school board a list of candidates in closed session. [H-L]

America’s middle class may be in trouble — but what it means to be in the middle class depends on who you’re talking to. [HuffPo]