Steve Beshear: Sneakily Hating Eastern Kentucy

A Kentucky judge has ordered a once-prominent and now disbarred class-action attorney to pay $42 million to settle allegations he improperly took too much money in a diet drug lawsuit. [H-L]

The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee is stalling the release of its detailed investigation of the CIA’s use of torture, alleging the administration has blacked out too many of the key details. [HuffPo]

Of course Steve Beshear appointed two mountaintop removal-loving coal kings to Morehead State’s board. Craig Preece and Kathy Walker. [Press Release]

Right-wing extremists say Obama is fighting a war on coal. They’re obviously wrong. [Mother Jones]

During the opening day for Barren County Schools teachers and staff, Superintendent Bo Matthews made an important announcement. This year, all BCS employees will be given an extra 1 percent raise, on top of the other one percent that was approved by the Kentucky Department of Education earlier this year. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Each new climate-change study seems more pessimistic than the last. [NY Times]

Students and parents in the Perry County School District should expect some changes this year both in and out of the classroom as new standards for exit criteria for Kindergarten through eighth grades will be implemented beginning this week. [Hazard Herald]

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has provided nearly accurate information on eligibility data for consumers who sought subsidized health coverage through Obamacare’s private insurance exchanges. [Reuters]

Just in case you’re wondering why a discussion of Montgomery County Schools superintendent Joshua Powell and legal fees is necessary? Here you go. [Page One]

When Freedom Summer landed in white America’s living rooms. An iconic civil rights print hung in one rural Maine home and helped shape a family’s commitment to justice. [ProPublica]

A federal appeals judge hearing arguments about gay marriage bans in four states says “it doesn’t look like the sky has fallen in” in other states that allow same-sex marriage. [WHAS11]

Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) can almost taste becoming Senate majority leader, but first he has to make sure he isn’t the Republican who costs the GOP its shot at chamber control. [The Hill]

The developer of the controversial CentrePointe project wants the state to issue $30 million in bonds for a three-story underground parking garage now under construction in the middle of downtown Lexington. [H-L]

Independent watchdogs of dozens of federal agencies decried on Tuesday what they said were Obama administration efforts to delay or stall their investigations. [HuffPo]

Montgomery Co. School Board Hides From Public

You already know the Montgomery County School Board chairman, Kenney Gulley, has attempted to prevent discussion of superintendent Joshua Powell’s legal fees at this evening’s board meeting. Gulley and an administrative assistant of Powell’s claimed a board member didn’t ask for the matter to be added to the agenda. So we published video evidence that it not only took place but that Gulley acknowledged it.

So would it surprise you to learn that the board, despite always announcing meetings in the newspaper, didn’t bother to mention tonight’s meeting in the Mt. Sterling Advocate?


Of course not.

What could they possibly want to keep under the radar? Have a look for yourself:


That’s right — raising your property taxes. That’s what the board will discuss tonight. And they want as few people there as possible.

Aaaand there’s still no mention on the agenda about a discussion of Powell’s attorney and legal fees, which might be illegal, as a board member definitely asked for it to be a part of the meeting.

People ought to show up in droves to express their outrage.

Comer's Louisville Network Is Deceptively Huge

Even if two victims of the deadly Ebola virus recover after being given a medicine derived from genetically modified tobacco, much more study would be needed to confirm whether the drug worked, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday. [H-L]

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) stood by his recent remarks that white people are the ones who are truly suffering in America, arguing Tuesday that it’s currently legal to discriminate against Caucasians. [HuffPo]

Who in Possibility City believes the Gannett split doesn’t have a serious impact on the company’s “local commitment”? That’s right — absolutely no one. Not even the people who work at A Kentucky Newspaper. [C-J/AKN]

The leading organization representing the nation’s pollsters criticized CBS News and the New York Times on Friday for releasing results of a nationwide poll the survey-researchers organization said was conducted using an unproven methodology. [Politico]

After receiving only one bid on the first phase of its strategic plan, the Madison Airport Board decided at its meeting Tuesday afternoon to delay any decision regarding expansion and improvements to the facility until it receives further information. [Richmond Register]

The White House has warned that delaying action on climate change would carry a heavy price, racking up an additional 40% in economic losses from climate impacts and other costs over the course of 10 years. [Mother Jones]

A habitat improvement project has anglers hoping for their next big catch at Cave Run Lake. [Ashland Independent]

Critics have raised an outcry over Sovaldi, a hepatitis C drug heralded as a breakthrough but costing $84,000 for a typical person’s total treatment. [NY Times]

The Barren-Edmonson-Allen Drug Task Force board has named a successor to Jeff Scruggs, who had planned to retire as director July 1 but stuck around while the search process was extended. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Stranded on a barren mountaintop, thousands of minority Iraqis are faced with a bleak choice: descend and risk slaughter at the hands of the encircled Sunni extremists or sit tight and risk dying of thirst. [WaPo]

Outgoing Perry County Judge-Executive Denny Ray Noble found himself facing surprising opposition last month as he appeared before the Kentucky Department for Local Government in Frankfort to bond money for road projects. [Hazard Herald]

The inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services finds Medicare spent tens of millions of dollars in 2012 for HIV drugs there’s little evidence patients needed. A 77-year-old woman with no record of HIV got $33,500 of medication. [ProPublica]

Despite his rural roots, Jamie Comer plans a big push to win Louisville Republicans in race for governor. Spoiler alert for Hal Heiner: Comer started laying those roots while you were still nursing your wounds from getting beat by Greg Fischer. [H-L]

Three third-graders from the Chicago suburbs were the force behind a new law that increases penalties for animal abuse. [HuffPo]

Here's What Powell's Big City Trip Cost Taxpayers

Remember when Montgomery County Schools superintendent Joshua Powell went to the Kentucky Association of School Administrators conference in Louisville for two days and one night? He took his wife and a couple employees with him and gave a presentation about, of all things, Dealing with Difficult Employees.

He also gave away an award to Jacqui Johnston, his underling in the district who has been mentioned hundreds of times in various scandals.

We decided to poke around a bit to see what Powell spent on his vacation in Louisville – just an hour or so away from the district. Buried on page 38 of the school board agenda packet from July 17th we discovered the following:


According to the board’s documentation above, Powell spent at least $2,785.56 to attend the conference. Where he promoted himself and gave an award to his right hand.

That’s a pretty penny, to say the least. Because the Galt House is the opposite of fancy and usually costs something like $150 per night.

This comes on top of the district spending a whopping $3,338.40 at the Hilton in Lexington (15 minutes away!) on May 28, 2014, $300 on a billboard on June 30, 2014 and $1,375 on local radio spots during the month that promote Powell.

No wonder the district can’t afford to do anything.

Nope, The Kathy Groob Scandal Just Won't Quit

If you missed it yesterday, the Montgomery County board of education is attempting to play more corrupt games. Unfortunately for them, we have video proof to prove them wrong. [Page One]

Just days after Democrats scrambled to disavow a political consultant’s comments about the ethnicity of former U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, she is starring in a new ad on behalf of her husband, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. [H-L]

A handful of simple words in a piece of legislation could prevent more than 4 million people losing their health insurance, but Congress isn’t going to write them. [HuffPo]

Way to go, Kentucky, wasting money by suing the EPA. [C-J/AKN]

Jerry Lundergan may become a liability for his apparent difficulty speaking the language of gender equality. [Ruh Ro]

Need to whitewash problems with LG&E’s Cane Run plant? No problem! Steve Beshear to the rescue! [The ‘Ville Voice]

Supporters and opponents of the federal ban on marijuana took to the pages of The New York Times this weekend with full-page color advertisements that highlight the fast-evolving debate in the United States about medical and recreational drug use. [Reuters]

The Kentucky Environmental Education Council (KEEC) and the Kentucky University Partnership for Environmental Education have added Grayson, Bowling Green and Murray to the list of public meetings in August for input on Kentucky’s five-year environmental education master plan. [Press Release]

From phone hacking to bribery, the corruption at News International has involved many players — increasingly, ones close to Rupert Murdoch. [ProPublica]

Kentucky’s statewide rail plan is ready for review at the Transportation Cabinet. [Click the Clicky]

Rand Paul on Friday became the latest senator to call for CIA Director John Brennan to go, concluding he should “be relieved of his post.” [Politico]

This is political pandering with your tax dollars at its finest. Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway joined the suit without input from the Beshear Administration’s Energy and Environment Cabinet. Conway’s office said the attorney general wouldn’t comment on pending litigation, but Conway referenced the lawsuit in his Fancy Farm speech over the weekend. [WFPL]

Natural gas is not going to save the world. Why fossil fuels can’t solve the problems created by fossil fuels. [Mother Jones]

Lexington is definitely trying to become just like Louisville with all the random shootings. [H-L]

Economists have long argued that a rising wealth gap has complicated the U.S. rebound from the Great Recession. [HuffPo]

Another Montgomery Co. Corruption Reality Check

During the July 17 meeting of the Montgomery County School board, a member of that board asked for a topic of discussion be added to the agenda for the August 7 meeting.

That topic? A healthy talk regarding superintendent Joshua Powell’s attorney and the exorbitant fees being paid.

Now, board chair Kenney Gulley and Powell’s Executive Administrative Assistant, Cindy Kincaid, are claiming that didn’t take place and that the topic can’t be discussed during Thursday’s meeting.

Unfortunately for them? We have proof:

Would appear that the powers that be are once again attempting to fleece the taxpayers. You’d think the general manager of a respected farm supply company would have enough sense not to pull stunts like this. He knows that any discussion of Powell’s attorney and the associated costs will result in mass public outrage.

All of Montgomery County should show up in protest, to say the least.

Take hidden cameras, audio recording equipment, make your voice heard.

Just be prepared — Powell and crew will likely panic and have the sheriff there to intimidate you. The sheriff whose son got caught up in the iPad mess, of course.

But don’t let that stop you. Demand answers. You deserve them.

Edelen Already Hyping His Non-Accomplishments

The only person who right now believes Adam Edelen could win a U.S. Senate race in 2016 is Adam Edelen. [H-L]

The U.S. Congress approved $225 million in emergency funding for Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile defense system on Friday, sending the measure to President Barack Obama to be signed into law. That’s right — your tax dollars are paying for this nonsense. [HuffPo]

You wonder how long Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul can keep balancing on his head the two spinning plates of a possible re-election campaign in 2016 and a possible Republican presidential bid in 2016. [C-J/AKN]

Attorney General Eric Holder is calling on states to be more transparent about the drug cocktails used in executions in the wake of a series of botched lethal injections that have renewed a national debate over the death penalty. [Reuters]

Eastern Kentucky University athletics has received its largest-ever single gift. President Michael Benson announced Friday that Donald R. and Irene Dizney, of Ocala, Fla., have committed a lead cash gift toward a $15 million multi-purpose facility to replace the grandstands on the east side of Roy Kidd Stadium. [Richmond Register]

It has been more than five years since the Senate began investigating the CIA’s detainee program, a period marked by White House indecisiveness, Republican opposition, and what we now know was CIA snooping. [ProPublica]

Two cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been confirmed in Barren County, and tests have been submitted to confirm the source. [Glasgow Daily Times]

States and cities have been investing billions of pension money dollars in hedge funds. That’s costing a lot of money in fees, and experts say the pensions don’t have much to show for it. [NPR]

One of the nation’s largest coal producers said Thursday it expects to lay off 1,100 workers at 11 southern West Virginia surface coal mines by mid-October, citing dismal markets and federal regulation. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

John Brennan said CIA employees would never snoop on congressional staffers investigating its use of torture. New revelations show that’s what they did. [Mother Jones]

Bridget Richardson of Bowling Green said she was prepared this school year for school supply expenses. [BGDN]

In backlash against Common Core, lawmakers in 12 states are rewriting their academic standards. [WaPo]

With a spate of botched executions across the country this year looming over their discussion, Kentucky lawmakers are revisiting some fundamental questions about the death penalty, including whether the state should keep it on the books. [H-L]

No one on the Supreme Court objected publicly when the justices voted to let Arizona proceed with the execution of Joseph Wood, who unsuccessfully sought information about the drugs that would be used to kill him. [HuffPo]