Something Positive Happened In Bullitt County

Another fun scandal is brewing at the University of Louisville. The VP of Human Resources was canned and escorted away by cops. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Lexington police Chief Ronnie Bastin was promoted to public safety commissioner on Tuesday, and the city quickly began a search for a new chief. [H-L]

For Dreamers, the president’s unveiling of an executive action to defer deportations represented a historic victory, their second since convincing Obama to create DACA two and a half years ago. But the victory was bittersweet for many activists who had wanted relief to be broadened even further. [HuffPo]

Responding to public outcry, Bullitt Fiscal Court on Tuesday approved removing Southeast Bullitt Fire Chief Julius Hatfield from his position as a trustee on the fire protection district board. [C-J/AKN]

Mitch McConnell won’t become majority leader until next month, but he’s already acting the part. [The Hill]

Just as the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting learned eight months ago, a Louisville high school teacher has been told that financial details about his state-funded retirement plan are secret and can’t be disclosed. [WFPL]

Iraq plans to ask NATO for help training its security forces, the alliance said on Wednesday, months after the Iraqi army collapsed in the face of an offensive by Islamic State militants. [Reuters]

East Kentucky Power Cooperative, based in Winchester, has added its voice to those claiming power plant emission regulations proposed by the Obama administration go too far and will harm Kentucky’s manufacturing economy and increase electrical rates. [Ronnie Ellis]

All school districts in the country are required to tell the federal government how many times kids have been restrained in their schools. But some districts aren’t following through. [ProPublica]

Evangelicals are teaming up with environmentalists to support the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan to substantially reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal-burning power plants. [Ashland Independent]

US President Barack Obama has renewed calls for Congress to approve $6bn (£3.8bn) in emergency aid to fight the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The president made the plea on a visit to the National Institutes of Health, where he congratulated scientists on work towards a vaccine. [BBC]

An October car crash had a lasting impact on not only a section of fence around a water tower on West Main Street but also the communication system for the Glasgow Police Department. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Food and Drug Administration is considering revising a ban on blood donations from men who have had sex with other men. An FDA advisory committee Tuesday mulled the issues raised by changing the policy, which has been in effect since the early 1980s. [NPR]

The Kentucky Supreme Court has declined to hear oral arguments in the appeal of an inmate condemned to death for a 1997 slaying in Floyd County. [H-L]

For more than a century, scientists have been scratching their heads over a strange clocklike device recovered from a shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera in 1901. [HuffPo]

A Deeper Look At Another Joshua Powell Lawsuit

We told you some months ago that Amanda Reffitt sued Montgomery County Schools superintendent Joshua Powell.

That came after one of the myriad scandals we uncovered last year.

But we figured it’d be a good idea to look at the suit itself in light of the most recent lawsuit:



7. Immediately upon taking the position of Superintendent, Powell created a pattern of Discriminatory conduct toward the Plaintiff.

8. Defendant Powell singled out the Plaintiff as a female for a relationship she had been involved in with a male employee of the Montgomery County Board of Education.

9. The disparate treatment of the Plaintiff resulted in the loss of her employment in 2012.

10. In May, 2012 the Plaintiff received Notice that her contract for the 2012-2013 academic year would not be renewed.

11. Pursuant to KRS 161.750 et seq, the Plaintiff requested a written explanation for the non-renewal from the Defendant Powell.

12. Defendant Powell failed to respond to the Plaintiff’s request for a specific, detailed, and complete statement of grounds upon which the nonrenewal of contract is based in violation of KRS 161.750(2).

13. The Plaintiff interviewed in June 2012 with the Montgomery County High School (“MCHS”) for a vacant position within the social studies department.

14. The Plaintiff was the overwhelming choice of the MCHS Site Base Council for the position.

15. Despite being well qualified for the position, the Plaintiff was passed over in favor of less qualified male candidates.

Serious mess.

It’s not going away any time soon.

Montgomery County Superintendent Sued AGAIN!

Remember Michelle Goins-Henry?

She’s one of the people Montgomery County Schools superintendent Joshua Powell is accused of threatening and intimidating. Henry alleges he’s physically stalked her and secret audio recordings reveal what appear to be threats toward her family.

Just in case you don’t remember:

  • Revelation Of More Powell Threats & Intimidation [July 9]
  • Explosive Secret Audio: Powell Admits Wife’s Hiring Is Conflict, Unprofessional, Attempts To Intimidate Employee Bringing Concerns To Him [July 10]
  • Powell Scandal: Henry Allegations Get Scarier [August 14]
  • Supporting Documents For The Powell-Henry Mess [August 14]

All caught up on that nightmare of a mess for Montgomery County Schools and Powell?

She finally sued Powell and the district last week. Though, he was only served yesterday and most school board members tell us they haven’t been notified.

Sources at the local newspaper there tell us Powell has already attempted to spin the matter with them. So you can expect another big rant from him later this week.

Have a look:







JOSHUA POWELL, in his individual and official capacity as Superintendent of The Board of Education of Montgomery County, Kentucky


JOHN DOE(S), 1 through 10


22. the plaintiff was denied employment due to her sex when the Defendant hired a less qualified male during the school year;


28. That on numerous occasions both during and not during the school years, the Defendant(s), intentionally bullied GOINS HENRY through the use of degrading, humiliating, vulgar, harassing and false communications;

29. That as a direct and proximate result of Defendant(s)’ actions and/or communications, and subsequently, GOINS HENRY suffered from severe emotional distress;


30. The defamatory statements made by the Defendants and Defendant Joshua Powell were made in public, and witnessed by a large number of individuals known and unknown to the Plaintiff;

31. The Defendants and Defendant Joshua Powell made statements to others attributing misconduct, sexual and professional, to and about GOINS HENRY damaging her reputation;

This is merely the beginning, as it is obvious additional briefs will be filed as the case proceeds through the legal system.

No one but Joshua Powell doubts he’ll be out of a job come January but the lawsuits keep piling up. It’s possible Powell will be costing Montgomery County taxpayers for years to come.

Kentuckians Know Rand Won't Be President

A southern Kentucky man facing a possible death sentence in the death of a federal informant claims the FBI improperly tried to interview him in jail. [H-L]

Rand Paul, you’re going to want to call your office. Conservative pundit Bill Kristol said that Paul is “totally overrated” as a potential 2016 candidate. [HuffPo]

State lawmakers are drawing closer to the 2015 General Assembly without a clear path to fight heroin abuse, even as the drug continues to claim hundreds of lives across Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

Why the Supreme Court should be the biggest issue of the 2016 campaign. [WaPo]

Seriously? This is how backwater things have become in Horse Cave? [Glasgow Daily Times]

Republicans said China wouldn’t follow through on its climate pledges. Looks like they were wrong. [Mother Jones]

Questions were raised last week about the amount of additional election expenses accumulated during the November general election. Last week, County Judge-Executive Denny Ray Noble told a meeting of the Perry County Fiscal Court that a difference of nearly $30,000 in total election expenses had been noted between the May primary and the November election. [Hazard Herald]

Oil prices hit a four-and-a half-year low in the wake of the decision by the Opec producers’ cartel not to cut output. [BBC]

Frontier Housing has been awarded $1.1 million from the U.S. Department of Treasury in Community Development Financial Institutions Funds. [The Morehead News]

Republican presidential prospects like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio have tapped the tech industry’s fat wallets and mined its big-data expertise — but these 2016 hopefuls couldn’t be further from Silicon Valley when it comes to policy. [Politico]

Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet is working on producing a feature-length film to highlight how the state’s changing energy mix is affecting electricity prices and manufacturing. [WFPL]

The GOP is preparing to mount a full-scale assault on President Obama’s regulatory agenda, using the party’s strengthened hand in Congress to delay, soften or block contentious administration rules at every turn. [The Hill]

Up a tree-lined trail still marked “no blastin on Sundays,” swarms of bees now patrol a mountain once partially broken apart for coal. [H-L]

Lame-duck lawmakers return to Washington on Monday facing a stacked agenda and not much time to get it all done before the new Congress convenes in January and a Republican takeover is complete. [HuffPo]

Don't Forget That Scathing Andy Beshear Story

Poor Andy Beshear. More than a year away from being sworn in to an office he hasn’t even won, and already his integrity in that office is open to question because of his unprecedented fund-raising. Not to mention the shadow cast on the administration of his father, Gov. Steve Beshear, as state contractors, lobbyists and appointees have lined up at 87 fund-raising events to give almost $1.5 million to the son’s campaign for attorney general. [H-L]

The white police officer who killed Michael Brown has resigned from the Ferguson Police Department, his attorney said Saturday, nearly four months after the fatal confrontation with the black 18-year-old that fueled protests in the St. Louis suburb and across the nation. [HuffPo]

Vilified for demanding that judges stop “disingenuous maneuvering” by defense lawyers in drunken-driving cases, Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell said he feels vindicated now that the Kentucky Supreme Court has officially banned the moves he complained about. [C-J/AKN]

The U.N. Committee against Torture urged the United States on Friday to fully investigate and prosecute police brutality and shootings of unarmed black youth and ensure that taser weapons are used sparingly. [Reuters]

The Court-Appointed Special Advocate program has seen a surge in support from local corporate sponsors for its annual fundraiser “12 Days of CASA,” which officially begins Monday. [Ashland Independent]

Many observers, such as Slate’s Jamelle Bouie and Vox’s Lauren Williams, pointed out that Wilson’s testimony has historical echoes of the “black brute” caricatures that portrayed black men as savage, destructive criminals. [NPR]

For the second straight month, controversy and testy exchanges ruled the day at a Perry County Fiscal Court meeting. [Hazard Herald]

It is the image that became indelible, fueling protests nationwide after the confrontation on a muggy August day here: Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old African-American, with hands raised in surrender moments before a white police officer fired the shots that killed him. [NY Times]

Hal Rogers has asked the voters of the 5th Congressional District of Kentucky to elect him to be their representative 18 times now, and each time they have responded in the affirmative, almost always overwhelmingly. With his latest election victory earlier this month, Rogers added to his legacy of being the longest serving Republican ever elected to office in Kentucky. [Middlesboro Daily News]

Republicans in Ohio are pushing a law to keep all details of executions secret. [The Guardian]

The Glasgow city council voted 8 to 3 to approve a third fire station. Mayor-elect Dick Doty said he is still struggling with the idea of committing approximately $650,000 of taxpayer funds to build a third station for a fire department that is already performing at a high level with the stations it has. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The only thing as bad as being tortured for months as a captive of jihadists in Syria was dealing with the U.S. government afterward, according to one former American hostage. [McClatchy]

The 2015 Kentucky General Assembly, which starts Jan. 6, will be asked to devote billions of dollars in additional debt and spending to shore up the struggling pension funds that cover state workers and school teachers. [John Cheves]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham won’t understand… Archaeologists have unearthed an incredibly rare flint axe from the Stone Age that just may have been used in an ancient ritual. [HuffPo]

Some Fun Thanksgiving School District Corruption

You already know Menifee County Schools are a disaster.

So let’s dig in to this 2013-2014 school year financial audit:



Seven people were paid more than they were supposed to receive, of course, and no one is batting an eye.

Several of the people we’ve covered in Montgomery County, hired by superintendent Joshua Powell, were yanked directly out of that Menifee mess. All with the blessing and recommendation of Terry Holliday.

Holliday has a copy of the audit but won’t take action on anything because of who is/was at fault. Quite a bit of misuse of funds in there. Paying out checks that were never approved by the school board, folks being overpaid (with that payroll clerk now working for Joshua Powell), yadda yadda.

In one instance a finance officer was paid way more than their contract but Adam Edelen’s office never mentioned it. Kind of like it ignored a $300,000 no-bid contract in Montgomery County, among other things.

Just one big disaster.

Education in Kentucky is never going to improve until the corruption is flushed out. Regardless of who the next governor is, they need to take action by kicking Holliday to the curb and immediately cleaning house. KDE needs to be a monster of a priority.

Will T. Scott Will Not Be Your Next Governor

Worst-kept secret for 2015? He still has no idea he has no shot. Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott of Pikeville said Monday he will decide by early January whether to run for governor next year. [H-L]

Undocumented LGBT immigrants are criticizing President Barack Obama for excluding them from his immigration plan, even as they are happy to see members of their families and communities freed from the fear of deportation. [HuffPo]

A state panel will likely call on the General Assembly to find more money for Kentucky’s struggling pension system, although it’s unclear where the funding might come from. [C-J/AKN]

You can say a lot of things about the U.S. Congress. One thing you can’t really say, though, is that they’v(sic) been in Washington way too long. [WaPo]

Although the plan was for a $10 utilities assessment to be for only one year, the city of Lynch voted to renew it at its monthly meeting on Tuesday. Mayor John Adams said the city could not afford to operate without the revenue generated by the assessment. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

What will they call this place once the glaciers are gone? A century ago, this sweep of mountains on the Canadian border boasted some 150 ice sheets, many of them scores of feet thick, plastered across summits and tucked into rocky fissures high above parabolic valleys. Today, perhaps 25 survive. [NY Times]

Some much needed jobs are on the way to eastern Kentucky. [WYMT]

A Seattle police plan to outfit officers with body cameras was back on for early December after the agency struck an unusual deal with an anonymous programmer whose massive public-records requests threatened to cripple the program, police said on Friday. [Reuters]

Former U.S. Congressman for Kentucky’s Sixth District Ben Chandler said it was unlikely he would run for governor in 2015, citing a currently “unconducive” atmosphere. [Ashland Independent]

President Obama took aim at Speaker John Boehner (R-Orange) on Friday as he defended his executive action on immigration, saying the Republican leader had stood between giving “millions of people that chance to get right with the law.” [The Hill]

The Kentucky State Police kicked off the fifth annual ‘Cram the Cruiser’ food drive this past week. Food collection sites have been established at all 16 posts across the state, including Post 7 in Richmond on the Eastern Bypass next to Roy Kidd Stadium, and at the agency’s headquarters location in Frankfort. [Richmond Register]

The House Intelligence Committee dismissed on Friday a number of the most persistent myths about the 2012 terrorist attacks at a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi. [Politico]

Coal operations in Eastern Kentucky accounted for six of the top 10 highest unpaid health and safety fines nationwide, according to an analysis by two news organizations. [H-L]

On March 22, 1991, a visibly shaken and angered President George H.W. Bush said he was “sickened and outraged” by what he saw on television. That was the beating of black motorist Rodney King by a swarm of LAPD cops. A year later, following the acquittal of four LAPD cops by a Simi Valley jury with no blacks on it, Bush ordered then-Attorney General William Barr to begin the process of slapping federal civil rights charges on the four officers. [HuffPo]