W. Keith Hall AND UofL In The Same Roundup!

A federal judge agreed Thursday to postpone the Jan. 5 bribery trial of state Rep. W. Keith Hall, D-Phelps. In her order, U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell said a new trial date will be set at a Dec. 18 hearing in Lexington. Hall’s lawyer had requested the delay, saying he needed to review 13,807 pages of documents turned over as evidence by prosecutors. [H-L]

Whether or not Michael Brown actually had his hands up at the moment that Darren Wilson shot him is one of the many data points that can never be truly settled, though that was what the majority of grand jury witnesses testified. In the language of protest and pop culture, the truth is beside the point. Literalists want protesters such as the Rams players to put their hands down not because raising them perpetuates the Mike Brown narrative, but because “hands up” lays the true dominate narrative bare: Black men are terrifying animals—“demons,” in Wilson’s words—no matter what they do with their hands. [Ana Marie Cox]

No one has been able to give us a solid answer about why tax dollars are needed to build a museum in the name of one of Steve Beshear’s lead apologists. Governor Steve Beshear today joined state and local legislators to announce $800,000 in federal funding to construct the Mike Haydon Transportation Museum in the city of Springfield in Washington County. [Press Release]

Donald Blankenship, in some ways the personification of Big Coal, is finally going to trial after 29 of his miners died in a horrific accident four years ago. [TPM]

Immediately after bringing a special called meeting of the Harlan Fiscal Court to order on Tuesday, Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop made a motion to enter into executive session per KRS 61.810 (l) (c) personnel and litigation. The only item on the agenda was Stone Mountain Boat Dock. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Fewer small businesses added workers in November but the average gain per firm rose slightly and an increasing number of firms anticipated stepping up hiring in the future, a survey released on Thursday showed. [Reuters]

Marcus Woodward allegedly got mugged in Ashland. [Ashland Independent]

With weeks to go until she makes an announcement about her future, Hillary Clinton has started meeting with a broad range of political figures — including potential campaign managers. [Politico]

Park City commissioners approved on first reading Monday night a new animal ordinance, replacing the city’s existing one. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A campaign group website says over a million people in the European Union have signed a petition against trade negotiations with the United States. [BBC]

Richard Thomas has started work as Richmond’s interim city manager and received his first briefing from Mayor Jim Barnes and city department heads Tuesday. [Richmond Register]

Louisville native David Hale, who has been U.S. Attorney since 2010, has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the next federal judge in Louisville. [WHAS11]

Luke Morgan, a Lexington attorney with a lengthy résumé in trial court and state administrative hearings, is considering whether to seek the Republican nomination for attorney general in 2015. [H-L]

The recent non-indictments of police officers Darren Wilson and Daniel Pantaleo have shed light on the secret process of grand jury deliberations, by which a group of ordinary citizens hears a case from a prosecuting attorney and privately decides whether or not there is enough evidence to bring charges against a suspect. Here’s the step-by-step process of how grand juries decide cases. [The Onion]

The University of Louisville is in damage control mode. There’s blood in the water. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Montgomery Supe's Response To Latest Lawsuit

Really? Defamatory, Joshua Powell?

From this week’s Mt. Sterling Advocate about the latest lawsuit against the Montgomery County Schools superintendent:

“The filed suit is a fabrication and, frankly, bizarre. The statements included about me, the school district and ‘various John Does’ are erroneous and defamatory, and we are eager to respond. When individuals file a claim such as this, they must sign a document attesting to the truth of the allegations being made. It can be easily proven that those charges are reckless and false.”


There was certainly no discrimination on the basis of sex. Furthermore, any actions of the district are well documented and contrary to the ‘factual claims’ presend,” he said.

The statement from Powell says Goins-Henry resigned her position with the Montgomery County School District Jan. 2, 2013.


“Making change in Kentucky’s public schools is difficult, which is why most schools shy away from doing so. However, it remains my opinion that the risks are well worth the rewards for Kentucky’s children.”

It’s almost like he’s forgotten about all of this.

The guy is captured on hours and hours of audio. Screaming. Yelling. Threatening. Conniving. Scheming. But it’s all fabricated? And the paper publishes what he has to say as the end all, be all?


Something tells us January will be an exciting time for Montgomery County Schools. Not the least of which has anything to do with the three banker boxes filled with MoCo documents someone dumped in front of our place yesterday.

Powell's Personal Attorney Repping His Big Circle

Remember this blurb we shared in September about Joshua Powell and Montgomery County Schools?

We also hear, though cannot confirm, that Owsley has been billing the board for calls received not just from Powell but from Jacqui Johnston, Phil Rison, Shannon White, Kristi Carter, et al. Allegedly, they call him up for advice when they’re preparing to terminate one of the people (like Dusso, Hall, Reffitt, Henry, Wallace) they can’t get to play along, he tells them how to move the puzzle pieces. If that’s the case, it’s a sign that he could be pushing folks into difficult situations that make them prone to filing lawsuits — lawsuits he gets paid to fight.

If any of that’s true, it’s a big deal. The board has never voted to provide free legal counsel by anyone other than the actual board attorney to Powell’s circle of friends.

But those are just allegations from board members who’ve asked to remain nameless.


Finally got proof.

We’ve got all the itemized legal invoices and they are absolutely damning.

Here’s a taste of some of the redacted documents:


More than $63,000, much of it disallowed by insurance (meaning you pay for it).

Meltdown in 3, 2…

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]