It’s Just The Tip Tuesday Again

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Four vehicles sold by a state agency at an “employees only” sale in 2014 fetched prices that are 70 percent or more below their current value, according to Transportation Cabinet records. []

Mike Pence said on Saturday the United States would honor a controversial refugee deal with Australia, under which the United States would resettle up to 1,250 asylum seekers, a deal Donald Trump had described as “dumb”. [HuffPo]

Before he got dental coverage, David Thompson, who works at various construction jobs, said he suffered for years with untreated dental pain and decay. [C-J/AKN]

Next week, according to sources, seven black Fox News employees plan to join a racial discrimination suit filed last month by two colleagues. [NY Magazine]

This seems like one of the dumbest things Richmond could possible waste time on. No wonder that town remains in the dark ages. The owner of a Stratford Drive home on Wednesday night told Richmond’s Codes Enforcement Board the property would be in compliance by May 1 with the city’s prohibition against more than two unrelated people sharing a dwelling in a single-family residential zone. [Richmond Register]

Talk is already heating up that President Trump could have a chance to appoint a second person to the Supreme Court. [The Hill]

Members from a local environmental coalition shared comments Friday with the Kentucky Air Quality Division during a hearing focusing on including fence line monitoring of odor emissions in Big Run Landfill’s new air quality permit. [Ashland Independent]

Tens of thousands of people turned out in cities across the United States and beyond on Saturday for Earth Day events billed as a “celebration of science” to counter what organizers say is a growing disregard for evidence-based knowledge in Washington. [Reuters]

“People really don’t realize how many kids there are out there without a bed,” says Mary Claire Williams, program director for MSUCorps’ Build-A-Bed program, which began in 2009. This year, volunteers will be building over 250 twin-sized beds for children preschool through 12th grade in need in the region. [The Morehead News]

Fears of Russian meddling in a French vote reflect an overt and covert influence campaign. [ProPublica]

Officials with the Southeastern Cave Conservancy Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to cave conservation, announced on Friday afternoon the purchase of the Daleo entrance to the Roppel section of Mammoth Cave. [Glasgow Daily Times]

It was supposed to be a night out. But for the young man who calls himself Maksim, as for scores of other gay men arrested in a pogrom this month in Russia’s Chechnya region, it pivoted into nearly two weeks of beatings and torture. [NY Times]

There are far more fast food workers in Kentucky than coal miners. A little dose of reality might help. [H-L]

Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) told the mother of a service industry worker who has benefitted from the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion that her son should get a better job if he wants decent insurance when Obamacare is repealed. [HuffPo]

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Education: Not A Real Thing In Kentucky

US authorities have prepared charges to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. [CNN]

The Kentucky commission responsible for investigating judicial misconduct has the fewest resources available to it in comparison to neighboring states, and before 2010, the commission was run out of its secretary’s basement in Lexington. [H-L]

Donald Trump is contemplating a new strategy to get repeal of the Affordable Care Act through Congress: threatening to torpedo insurance for millions of Americans unless Democrats agree to negotiate with him. [HuffPo]

The U.S. attorney’s office had decided it won’t prosecute Dr. David Dunn and two other former University of Louisville executives who were under investigation for allegedly misusing federal money for non-university purposes, their lawyers say. [C-J/AKN]

American corporations scored far worse than their European counterparts in the rankings, which were developed by the Geneva-based UN Global Sustainability Index Institute. [QZ]

Kentucky is one of the least educated states in the country, according to a recent study by WalletHub, a personal finance website that gathered data from the U.S. Census Bureau, National Center for Education Statistics, The Chronicle of Higher Education and U.S. News and World Report. [Glasgow Daily Times]

In case you missed it… A Russian government think tank controlled by Vladimir Putin developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system, three current and four former U.S. officials told Reuters. [Reuters]

A local environmental coalition is urging the state to include fence line monitoring of odor emissions in Big Run Landfill’s new air quality permit, which will be discussed Friday in a public hearing in the Boyd County High School auditorium. [Ashland Independent]

The Muscogee County School Board in Columbus, Georgia, dealt another blow to embattled Camelot Education when it voted Monday night to delay for three months a decision on whether to hire the company to run its alternative education programs. The delay in awarding the $6.4 million annual contract comes in the wake of a recent report by ProPublica and Slate that more than a dozen Camelot students were allegedly shoved, beaten or thrown by staff members — incidents almost always referred to as “slamming.” [ProPublica]

The Berea City Council adopted a resolution denouncing acts of discrimination, violence and harassment in city limits and greater Madison County. Council member Billy Wooten stated the measure was partly in response to a recent incident in which a county resident’s property was vandalized with homophobic graffiti. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump has yet to nominate the State Department official who oversees diplomatic security abroad — despite having made the 2012 Benghazi attacks a centerpiece of his campaign against Hillary Clinton. [Politico]

A researcher at the University of Louisville wants to know whether coal ash is in homes in Southwest Louisville and how it’s potentially affecting the children living there. [WFPL]

The March for Science is not a partisan event. But it’s political. That’s the recurring message of the organizers, who insist that this is a line the scientific community and its supporters will be able to walk. It may prove too delicate a distinction, though, when people show up in droves on Saturday with their signs and their passions. [WaPo]

Attorney General Andy Beshear on Wednesday announced a settlement with Kentucky Utilities and Louisville Gas & Electric that would reduce a large rate increase the companies requested in November. It also would shelve the utilities’ controversial plan to more than double the fixed monthly charge that all customers must pay, regardless of how much electricity they use. [John Cheves]

Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, is now working on women’s issues in the White House despite having once forcefully argued against paid maternity leave and equal pay legislation, according to unnamed White House officials. [HuffPo]

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Another Day, Another Frankfort FBI Investigation Because Kentucky = Corruption

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The FBI is conducting an anti-trust investigation into state contractors involving road work. [H-L]

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) began an all-night protest on the Senate floor late Tuesday, promising to speak “as long as I’m able” in protest of the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. [HuffPo]

They carried black coat-hangers and signs that said things like “Think outside my box.” And they chanted slogans like “Mister, mister, hands off my sister” and “My body, my choice.” [C-J/AKN]

It was no secret during the campaign that Donald Trump was a narcissist and a demagogue who used fear and dishonesty to appeal to the worst in American voters. The Times called him unprepared and unsuited for the job he was seeking, and said his election would be a “catastrophe.” Still, nothing prepared us for the magnitude of this train wreck. [LA Times]

A summit on addiction held last winter at the University of Louisville has produced a slew of recommendations for overcoming the heroin and opioid epidemic in Kentucky. [WFPL]

A couple of weeks ago, for the first time ever, I represented an undocumented worker in deportation proceedings. Or rather, I tried to. My attempts to navigate this system were not what I would call successful. Part of this may be due to the fact that, though I have been a practicing attorney for 10 years, this was my first go at immigration law. But another part of it—most of it, I’d venture—is due to the fact that the U.S. immigration system is designed to be opaque, confusing, and inequitable. [Dan Canon in Slate]

Madison Circuit Judge William G. Clouse on Monday ordered a year’s delay in the trial of Raleigh Sizemore and Gregory Ratliff in the murder of Richmond Police Officer Daniel Ellis. [Richmond Register]

For years, Tammy and Joseph Pavlic tried to ignore the cracked ceiling in their living room, the growing hole next to their shower and the deteriorating roof they feared might one day give out. Mr. Pavlic worked for decades installing and repairing air-conditioning and heating units, but three years ago, with multiple sclerosis advancing, he had to leave his job. [NY Times]

Even in a state with a long history of tobacco culture and a high percentage of smokers, public support for a statewide smoking ban is growing. [Ronnie Ellis]

Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, is currently in Iraq as a White House envoy in a further expansion of his role as shadow diplomat. [WaPo]

The two families who actually showed up Monday morning to protest in front of the Barren County Courthouse had their own sets of circumstances to work through with the state agency that investigates child abuse allegations, but their stories had one thing in common: They don’t like the way the job has been done. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The United Arab Emirates arranged a secret meeting in January between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian close to President Vladi­mir Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump, according to U.S., European and Arab officials. Prince’s sister Betsy DeVos serves as education secretary in the Trump administration. [More WaPo]

The Kentucky State University Foundation has paid nearly $85,000 to a Washington, D.C. public relations firm that reports only to the Kentucky State University Board of Regents, working independently of the president and the school’s public relations staff. [H-L]

Ten weeks after the Trump administration unceremoniously pushed out several top-level State Department officials, their positions remain unfilled, and more than half of the positions listed on the agency’s leadership chart are vacant or occupied by temporary acting officials. [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin: The Opposite Of Transparent

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Robert Stivers doth protest too much, henny. The only ignorant and arrogant person involved is him. His bigoted self. He’s the kind of coward who fears shaking hands with a gay person. The disgusting, small (obviously not talking about his massive weight) man who spreads good old boy racism and misogyny left and right. [H-L]

The only way to fix this kind of Republican stupidity is with education. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, has challenged the credibility of Science magazine — one of the world’s most respected science publications. “That is not known as an objective writer or magazine,” Smith said during a hearing Wednesday on climate change, which Smith denies. [HuffPo]

It appears Matt Bevin is once again playing a shady game of secrecy and your taxpayer dollars are funding it. [C-J/AKN]

Budget documents released on Politico this week detailing the Trump administration’s proposed budget moving forward into 2017 reveal some horrifying truths, including but not limited to $342 million in cuts to HIV/AIDS prevention and research. [OUT]

University of Louisville Foundation leaders put an end Tuesday to a controversial deferred compensation plan that doled out an extra $20 million to U of L administrators. [WFPL]

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Sunday that “alarm bells” should go off whenever President Trump calls something “fake,” adding the White House is trying to mislead the country into believing there is no connection between Russian officials and Trump campaign associates. [The Hill]

It looked like a slam dunk, but as the clock ticked past 11:30 p.m. on the final day of the 2017 General Assembly, it suddenly became clear a bill to limit the power of Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear wasn’t going to get a vote. [Ronnie Ellis]

Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, failed to disclose payments from a Russian television network and two other firms linked to Russia in a February financial disclosure form, according to documents released by the White House. [Reuters]

A settlement was reached in a civil lawsuit against the Boyd County clerk and fiscal court that alleged a former deputy clerk was terminated under conditions that violated the Kentucky Whistleblower Act. [Ashland Independent]

When Trump welcomes President Xi Jinping of China to his palm-fringed Florida club for two days of meetings on Thursday, the studied informality of the gathering will bear the handiwork of two people: China’s ambassador to Washington and Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. [NY Times]

A man shot his girlfriend in the head then killed himself during a gunfight with police Tuesday night, after a two-day, cross-state crime spree in which they allegedly stabbed an elderly widower to death and stole two cars and a gun, police say. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Republicans know that drug testing before giving poor people access to life-saving health care doesn’t work. So what do they want to do? Drug test people who need Medicaid in order to survive. Now that House Republicans have squandered their shot at reordering Medicaid, governors who want conservative changes in the health program for ­low-income Americans must get special permission from the Trump administration. [WaPo]

Hold on to your wigs, Republicans like Scott Jennings and Brett Guthrie. You shouldn’t tweet out screenshots of your mobile or home internet providers if you don’t want advocacy groups to come for your browsing history. If you’re displeased with the actions of your representatives in Congress, you typically have to wait until the next election to try to hold them accountable. But in light of the recent approval of Senate Joint Resolution 34, voters are fighting back in a more creative way. [H-L]

The failure of Donald Trump and congressional Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act could lead to an ironic result: the expansion of government-run health care. [HuffPo]

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Leave It To Republicans To Ignore Just How Bottom Of The Barrel Things Have Gotten

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The premature death rate improved in 12 Kentucky counties between 1997 and 2014 but got worse in 44 counties, in part because of increasing drug overdoses, according to a report released Wednesday. [H-L]

Of the many questions surrounding House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), and his conduct in investigating President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia, the most puzzling has to be his explanation for his recent visit to the White House grounds. People who have worked in the White House suggest that, on this matter, Nunes and the White House simply aren’t being credible. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin’s administration is seeking to shut down Kentucky’s only abortion provider, prompting a federal lawsuit by the clinic to block the move it says would have “a devastating impact on women.” [C-J/AKN]

FBI Director James Comey attempted to go public as early as the summer of 2016 with information on Russia’s campaign to influence the U.S. presidential election, but Obama administration officials blocked him from doing so, two sources with knowledge of the matter tell Newsweek. [Newsweek]

GET INVOLVED IN WHAT YOUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT IS DOING! Very few residents turned out for a town hall-style meeting Tuesday night at the South Barren Volunteer Fire Station on Steam Mill Road during which some elected and appointed Barren County officials shared information abut their responsibilities. [Glasgow Daily Times]

For the past half century, federal law has banned employers from discriminating against people based on their age. But since the early 1990s, corporate lawyers and conservative judges have sought to shrink what counts as discrimination, making it substantially harder to prove age bias. [ProPublica]

“Killing Coal Country,” a documentary about the decline of the coal industry in Appalachia, will debut at a film festival in Eastern Kentucky early next month. [Ashland Independent]

Trump lifted an Obama-era moratorium on new coal leases on public lands, but critics say it will benefit executives, not workers. [ThinkProgress]

Kentucky lawmakers gave final passage to another round of major education reform Wednesday which is aimed at changing how schools are held accountable for student achievement and how teachers are evaluated. [Ronnie Ellis]

Grifters gonna grift. Ivanka Trump, the elder daughter of President Trump, is becoming an official government employee, joining her husband in serving as an unpaid adviser to her father in the White House. [NY Times]

Dr. Joseph “Jay” Morgan is officially Morehead State University’s 14th President. Morgan’s first day as President will be July 1. [The Morehead News]

If you think Paul Ryan is a policy wonk, you likely also believe the Bible is a work of science. [WaPo]

Elliott County’s fiscal court mismanaged its spending, debts and recordkeeping during fiscal 2015, state Auditor Mike Harmon said in a report released Tuesday. [John Cheves]

By undoing the Clean Power Plan, the Trump administration is putting projected carbon emissions back on an upward trajectory. It is also abandoning any hope of meeting the U.S. emissions reduction targets set out in 2015 in the 195-country Paris Agreement, the first global climate pact to include China and the U.S., the world’s top polluters. [HuffPo]

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Yes, McConnell Was Harmed On Health Care

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Flamboyant Social Security lawyer Eric C. Conn, who won disability checks for thousands of people in Eastern Kentucky but caused heartache for many former clients after he was accused of cheating on cases, pleaded guilty Friday in a federal fraud case. [H-L]

The Republican-led Congress moved to dismantle yet another corporate regulation on Wednesday, in a move that safety experts say will make it easier for employers to hide serious workplace injuries from the government. [HuffPo]

Shae Hopkins may be a walking hypocrite but she’s right about the importance of KET. [C-J/AKN]

A unanimous Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that disabled students are entitled to far more than a bare-bones education, raising instructional standards for millions of children but potentially raising costs for local taxpayers. Although the specific decision overruled was decided in 2015, the phrase the justices rejected derives from a 2008 ruling by Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, who had been defending that very decision at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing when word of Chief Justice Roberts’s opinion reached the Hart Senate Office Building. [WSJ]

Bonsai! The very name evokes images of faraway lands and beautifully landscaped gardens. For Ashland resident John Whitt, a childhood love of reading encyclopedias led him to discover Japan and its miniature trees. He learned the art of bonsai and continues working with the plants through Bonsai by John. [Ashland Independent]

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said Wednesday that there is now “more than circumstantial evidence” that Trump’s associates colluded with the Russians to interfere in the U.S. election. [CBS News]

On March 15, family and friends’ visits with inmates at the Barren County Detention Center went digital. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Trump administration’s gradual erasure of LGBT people from the work of the federal government is still underway. This week, the Department of Health and Human Services arbitrarily decided to just stop counting LGBT people in two critical surveys, eliminating vital data collection that could be used to help address the health disparities that LGBT people are known to experience. [ThinkProgress]

In 2006, before a perceived “war on coal,” before most Kentuckians had heard of Barack Obama, there were 16 casualties in the Kentucky coal fields — five at Darby Mine in Harlan County as a result of a methane gas explosion. [Ronnie Ellis]

Trump has gotten a hard lesson from his first legislative debacle: Leadership takes more than being able to close a deal. [WaPo]

Kentucky’s new law requiring doctors to conduct an ultrasound exam before an abortion, and then try to show fetal images to the pregnant women, came under withering attack Thursday in federal court. [Richmond Register]

The US has said its policy of “strategic patience” with North Korea is over and suggested it might decide to take pre-emptive military action. [BBC]

If you’re saying Mitch McConnell is untouched by the Republican health care mess, you’re lying. [H-L]

Donald Trump’s frequent travel, large family and unusual living situation are apparently weighing heavily on the Secret Service’s budget. The agency recently requested an additional $60 million in spending for fiscal year 2018, according to a Washington Post report on Tuesday. [HuffPo]

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Rand Paul Is Running From Donald Trump

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If folks cared about animal advocacy, they’d put an end to this stuff happening in their own back yard. n a tiled, windowless room at the University of Kentucky, Meagan Stetler and Toma Matott are playing with six beagles. The dogs trot around the room, wag their tails and poke Matott with wet noses as they look for the can of Cheese Whiz she holds. Though they look like pets, they are actually laboratory animals bred for research. In this case, it’s an Alzheimer’s study sponsored by a pharmaceutical company, which means UK officials say they can’t divulge any details about what’s happening to the dogs. When it’s over, the dogs will be euthanized, or sent to another facility for more testing. [Linda Blackford]

“I can tell you, speaking for myself, I own nothing in Russia,” President Trump said at a news conference last month. “I have no loans in Russia. I don’t have any deals in Russia.” But in the United States, members of the Russian elite have invested in Trump buildings. A Reuters review has found that at least 63 individuals with Russian passports or addresses have bought at least $98.4 million worth of property in seven Trump-branded luxury towers in southern Florida, according to public documents, interviews and corporate records. [HuffPo]

Rand Paul will be in Louisville on Monday but will head back to Washington D.C. prior to President Donald Trump’s political rally at Freedom Hall. [C-J/AKN]

New Republicanism is dangerous. Potty-Trained Republicans would have advocated for the protection of consumers. These new Neo-Nazi jackasses? They’re out to rob you blind. Grift, grift, grift. [WSJ]

This is utter insanity and the Richmond Register ought to apologize to its readership for publish pseudoscience. [Richmond Register]

A Tennessee woman who backs President Donald Trump credits God and the Republican health care bill — which hasn’t been voted into law — for her family’s dramatically lower insurance costs. [Rawstory]

A bill to hold Kentucky’s no-jail jailers accountable for their work passed through the legislature this week and is awaiting Gov. Matt Bevin’s approval. [WFPL]

Republicans who control legislatures in key states around the country are moving to seize power from Democratic executive officers and independent judges, enraging Democrats, who say the moves undermine the will of voters. Kentucky Republicans are advancing a bill to block the state’s attorney general, a Democrat, from filing civil lawsuits. [The Hill]

Some Metcalfe County Fiscal Court members are floating the idea of pulling out of the joint ambulance service for Metcalfe and Barren counties, depending on what other options they may have. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was removed from his post by the Trump administration last week, was overseeing an investigation into stock trades made by the president’s health secretary, according to a person familiar with the office. [ProPublica]

One of two bills that would cut election costs for Kentucky counties is poised to pass through the General Assembly. [Ashland Independent]

Trump’s unproven allegation that his predecessor wiretapped Trump Tower in New York ahead of the election blazed a new path of political disruption Friday as he dragged two foreign allies into his increasingly thin argument that he is right. [WaPo]

Republican bigots like Katie Stine are always suckling at the teat of government. Former state Sen. Katie Stine, R-Southgate, was hired this month by the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet as executive director of the Office of the State Medical Examiner, according to state personnel records. [John Cheves]

When politicians take money from megadonors, there are strings attached. But with the reclusive duo who propelled Trump into the White House, there’s a fuse. [HuffPo]

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