Al Cross Makes Important Political Points Again

Calling Hillary Rodham Clinton “a war hawk,” Sen. Rand Paul says that if the former secretary of state seeks the presidency, some voters will worry that she will get the U.S. involved in another Mideast war. [H-L]

During a book signing in Florida on Saturday, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) was confronted by a group of Dreamers over his vote against Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, also known as DACA. [HuffPo]

Al Cross kicks asses and takes names in this column about looking beyond coal. First, he takes Hal Heiner’s ignorant butt to task. Then he points out how slanted and inaccurate stories about coal from both WFPL and the Courier-Journal were. [C-J/AKN]

If it’s happening there, you know it’s happening here. In California, some efforts to toughen oversight of assisted living falter. Cost concerns may derail efforts by lawmakers and advocates to require more frequent inspections and a swifter response to allegations of abuse and neglect. [ProPublica]

Owensboro is preparing to host some old-fashioned political stump-speaking. This year’s Red, White, and Blue Picnic is Tuesday and will be headlined by U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes. [WKUFM]

Of course this Kentucky story made international news. Two Kentucky firefighters are being treated for severe burns after suffering electric shocks while helping students participate in the “ice bucket challenge”, local media report. [BBC]

After heated discussion that led to a tied vote and the ejection of one Carter County resident, the Carter County Fiscal Court passed into law an ordinance giving magistrates access to a total of $1.5 million for road repairs. [Ashland Independent]

Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democrat hoping to unseat Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), thinks that “limited air strikes for humanitarian reasons and in support of our allies against terrorists are appropriate,” according to a campaign aide. [The Hill]

Spending more taxpayer dollars on mailing in his first term in office than most other members of Congress, Kentucky U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, says he will not apologize for communicating with his constituents and defends his office’s fiscal record of cutting other wasteful spending. [CN|2]

The small city of Jennings, Mo., had a police department so troubled, and with so much tension between white officers and black residents, that the city council finally decided to disband it. Everyone in the Jennings police department was fired. New officers were brought in to create a credible department from scratch. That was three years ago. One of the officers who worked in that department, and lost his job along with everyone else, was a young man named Darren Wilson. [WaPo]

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker [yester]day announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.15 million grant to the city of Maysville, Kentucky, to construct a new water tank. According to the grantee, the project will support the expansion of the region’s automotive cluster, specifically a Mitsubishi plant, which will create 105 new jobs, retain 660 jobs and generate $60 million in private investment. [Press Release]

We hear Joshua Powell fought the school lunch program in Montgomery County with every pound of his being. Which comes as a surprise to no one, as he couldn’t stand watching a child in need receive a free meal. Or, more to the point (this is also happening in Morgan County), he didn’t want his nutritional managers to have to account for every last cent or prove they’re serving healthy food. [Click the Clicky]

Leaders at Northern Kentucky University say they plan to travel around the state in an effort to spread the word about what makes the school special. [H-L]

This small St. Louis suburb has been transformed over the past two weeks. Hundreds of people turn out every night to march up and down West Florissant Avenue demanding justice, accountability and a voice in the decisions made on their behalf. [HuffPo]

Rand Paul Lives In His Own Little Fantasy World

When the University of Kentucky’s new emergency room opened in 2010, Dr. Michael Karpf, executive vice president for UK’s health affairs, compared the sleek new facility to a Ferrari. [H-L]

President Barack Obama has ordered a review of the distribution of military hardware to state and local police out of concern at how such equipment has been used during racial unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. [HuffPo]

State tax incentives should be denied to the Noah’s Ark theme park in Northern Kentucky because of discriminatory hiring practices, a national organization for the separation of church and state told Gov. Steve Beshear in a letter Friday. [C-J/AKN]

US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen has said there is still “remaining slack in the labour market”. It was understated by the unemployment rate, at 6%, she said. [BBC]

Although the Madison County EMS has suffered a significant income drop from fees as a result of the Affordable Care Act, the ambulance board enacted a tax rate Thursday that will generate only $64,116 in additional revenue. [Richmond Register]

The Pentagon has released a photo of the Chinese fighter jet it says made a “dangerous intercept” of a U.S. Navy maritime patrol aircraft, flying close passes, performing barrel rolls and flying wingtip-to-wingtip with the American plane in what officials described as an “aggressive and unprofessional” manner. [NPR]

Does surface mining harm the health of people in the East Kentucky Coal Field? And why haven’t more elected officials participated in this summer’s meetings to gather ideas to diversify and improve the economy of Appalachian Kentucky? [Ashland Independent]

Just after noon on Saturday, Aug. 9, Michael Brown was shot dead by a police officer on Canfield Drive. For about four hours, in the unrelenting summer sun, his body remained where he fell. [WFPL]

No, Rand Paul, Democrats aren’t afraid you’ll run in 2016. They WANT you to run in 2016 so the Democratic nominee will win. [Politico]

Kentucky State Police are investigating an accident at the Spencer and Shelby County airport. [WLKY]

Rand Paul is right that about critics of the Ferguson shooting. Their criticism is justified. What he’s wrong about is that he believes anyone needs his permission to criticize or have thoughts. [The Hill]

A program aimed at helping veterans hone their skills through education to prepare them for careers is seeing booming registration at Western Kentucky University. [H-L]

New research from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center shows that large quantities of a chemical responsible for depleting the ozone layer are still being emitted, even years after an international ban. [HuffPo]

Poop Smell On Penile Road (No Joke, Serious)

There’s still hundreds of millions being flushed down the toilet each year, so this is a paltry sum. Kentucky Retirement Systems will get $23 million from Bank of America’s $16.65 billion national settlement with the federal government over accusations that the bank improperly dumped “toxic” mortgage-backed securities on the market, helping fuel the economic recession of 2008. [H-L]

Gun violence is not only the second leading cause of death for American children, behind car accidents, but the leading cause of death for black American children. [HuffPo]

As Gov. Steve Beshear’s Natural Resources commissioner wrote scolding letters to Jim Justice’s companies in April and June for neglecting obligations to reclaim strip mines in Eastern Kentucky, the governor’s wife was also writing to Jim Justice. “Dear James: As you may be aware, this year the Commonwealth is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Governor’s Mansion in Frankfort…I need your help in accomplishing our goal of preserving the Mansion…” [C-J/AKN]

Of course the Obama Administration is going to send a journalist to prison. [Mother Jones]

An argument between two men at a southern Kentucky gas station ended with one hitting the other with a saw. [WLKY]

The face value of $100 is the same in all 50 states, but when it comes to actual purchasing power, your mileage may vary depending on where you are. These are the states that offer the biggest bang for your buck. [Lifehacker]

Just in case you’re wondering what’s wrong with Louisville Metro Animal Services and Greg Fischer’s administration. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Remember when we told you all about the silly teabagger bus tours and all that nonsense that rolled through Kentucky for Matt Bevin? We maintained at the time that it was all just a publicity stunt and an attempt to line their pockets. Whattya know? That’s all it was. [TDB]

Jack Conway’s campaign chairman, Nathan Smith, who is also a big dog in the Alison Grimes world, is a trailer park slum lord. He’s allowing human poop to flow in the streets and he gets away with it because he’s part of the good old boy network we know as the Kentucky Democratic Party. Nathan, gurl, get your act together. No wonder you walk around with your nose so high in the air all the time. [WFPL]

Bank of America’s $17 billion mortgage crisis settlement could be a total bust. But don’t tell Jack Conway, as he’s attempting to score political points for doing nothing. [Think Progress]

State emergency officials are keeping a close eye on the rain potential over the next few days. Officials say the ground is already full of water in some areas, particularly eastern Kentucky. [WKYT]

Today on “The 700 Club,” televangelist Pat Robertson weighed in on the ongoing situation in Ferguson, Missouri, insisting that Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was shot and killed by a police officer, was a “giant” monster who assaulted a “little cop” and may have been using PCP. [Right Wing Watch]

No mention of surface coal mining’s effect on human health appeared in U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers’ electronic update on the recent SOAR Health Impact Series. [H-L]

In 2012, almost 620,000 of the households who relied on the organization’s services had at least one member currently in the military. That’s 25 percent of all U.S. military households. [HuffPo]

Powell Potentially Pulling A Legal Fee Fast One

Montgomery County Schools superintendent Joshua Powell has claimed on several occasions that the school district has paid his legal bills relating to the Education Professional Standards Board case against him stemming from his time in Union County.

That’s not a secret.

There’s a bit of problem.

When you examine Powell’s contract (don’t miss the hundreds of thousands spent so far!), you learn the school board agreed to pay his legal fees (as well as his own personal attorney, Mike Owsley) for anything that occurs during his time at Montgomery County:

Indemnity: The Board agrees that to the extent insurance or similar coverage is afforded to the Board, the Board shall defend, hold harmless, and indemnify the Superintendent from all Demands, claims, suits, actions, and legal proceedings brought against the Superintendent in his individual capacity or in his official capacity as agent and employee of the District provided same arose while the Superintendent was acting within the scope of his employment (emphasis ours). [ If in the good faith opinion of the Superintendent a conflict exists regarding the defense to such claim between the legal position of the Superintendent and the legal position of the Board and/or District, the Superintendent may engage counsel in which even the District shall indemnify the Superintendent for the cost the legal.] subject to insurance coverage.

We finally had the opportunity to review the EPSB charging document originally filed against Powell and discovered this language:

Respondent is advised that he has the right to be represented by counsel … at his own expense (emphasis ours)…

At his own expense. Sense the problem? Powell has potentially pulled a fast one over the district to get it to pay for his Union County corruption. On a related note: Officials tell us that Union County Schools paid for all of his legal fees until he left the district. So he’s likely done the same there.

Kind of a big deal.

During last year’s audit from Adam Edelen, information was provided to the audit staff highlighting potential legal insurance fraud. But guess who Edelen allowed to conduct that part of the investigation: board chair Kenney Gulley and board member Kelly Murphy. Here’s the audit (Warning: External PDF Link) if you wish to review it.

Pertinent excerpt from Page 2, Paragraph 2:

According to one Board member who recently made suchlike a request, the Superintendent did not provide the Board member with the information stating that the details associated with the billing statements were related to personnel matters. Upon auditor’s request, the Board Chair and Assistant Board Chair requested and reviewed unredacted Board attorney billing statements and indicated to auditors that all attorney activity recorded within the billings related to District business.

Clearly, legal fees related to Union County and the EPSB are not related to Montgomery County business. But. There you have it. Adam Edelen took their word for it that all was well, puppies and rainbows, nothing to see.

No wonder Gulley and Murphy aren’t seeking re-election. They know what’s coming.

Stinks to high heavens. Especially in light of the recent decision to stop paying Powell’s personal attorney.

There’s more on the EPSB charging document coming a bit later. Check back at 2:00, our next scheduled spot.

Major Change Washes Over Montgomery County

Joshua Powell lost his attorney last night.

By a 3-2 vote, the board decided Powell is on his own.

Here’s what he looked like the entire evening:


No more free ride.

Outstanding invoices will be paid but no more in the future.

It’s been easy for Powell to behave with reckless abandon when someone else was picking up the tab. But now? It’s over. It’s on him.

You’ll enjoy what’s coming later today and in two parts tomorrow.

P.S. We hear Powell still hasn’t informed the board of the latest EPSB case against him.

Ferguson Highlights Our Sad National Disgrace

Republicans demanded Tuesday that Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes disclose more information about her campaign’s use of a bus and other services provided at seemingly discounted prices by a company her father owns. [H-L]

The fight over whether shoppers should be allowed to tote guns openly in American businesses is about to spill into the aisles of Kroger, the nation’s largest supermarket chain. [HuffPo]

Nurse practitioner Bob Hobbs once came within days of closing his doors to patients because a doctor who gave him permission to write prescriptions was leaving the state and he couldn’t find another one quickly enough. [C-J/AKN]

How tobacco bonds work and what can go wrong. States and localities got cash up front but may end up paying back a lot more than they expected. [ProPublica]

An investigative committee has taken charge of digging into a nightmarish scandal that mayor Greg Fischer has refused to deal with. [The ‘Ville Voice]

The Federal Aviation Administration extended for another week a ban on low-flying aircraft over Ferguson, Mo., the site of protests and clashes with police following the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. [The Hill]

An estimated 5,000 gallons of fuel oil spilled into the Ohio River about 20 miles southeast of Cincinnati. [Ashland Independent]

Could it be that our long national nightmare is just beginning? Could it be that after decade upon decade of refusing to address the cost of racism in America, the bill has finally come due? [Politico]

The CEO of a bankrupt southern Kentucky oil company was sentenced today to nearly three years in prison for scamming investors into giving him money for three oil partnerships in Kentucky and Tennessee. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The actions in Ferguson, Mo., have inspired talk about the militarization of U.S. police departments. The real question, is whether police have become militarized in their attitude toward the public. [NPR]

On March 10 at about 2 p.m. Wayne Stevens fell to the ground. His wife called 9-11 for help. George Duvall drove by the Steven’s home on Dry Creek Road. [The Morehead News]

US police say they have arrested 31 people during another night of angry protests in the town of Ferguson in the state of Missouri. [BBC]

A billionaire coal operator has admitted to hundreds of surface-mining violations in Eastern Kentucky and has agreed to post $10.8 million in bonding to ensure reclamation. [H-L]

Thousands of protesters marched through downtown LA on Sunday afternoon to demand justice for Ezell Ford, the 25-year-old black man who was shot and killed by two police officers while walking down the street near his home on Aug. 11. [HuffPo]

Bi-Partisan Louisville Effort To Clean Up LMAS

You can’t even wear a towel and sing Christmas carols outside a Lexington school these days without getting arrested. [H-L]

More than five years into an economic recovery, with unemployment falling and the stock market at record highs, millions of Americans like Taormina still can’t afford basic nutrition, according to a blockbuster study. [HuffPo]

State Rep. Tom Burch, D-Buechel, touched off a firestorm Wednesday when, speaking at the Louisville Forum, he had what many in the GOP think is the gall to suggest that the state needs to move beyond coal and focus on renewable types of energy. [C-J/AKN]

When the police bring the hammer down, whether on Occupy Wall Street in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park in 2011 or outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968, the response from conservatives tend to be fairly consistent: The protesters got what they had coming. [NY Times]

The lobbying wing of the National Rifle Association has sent a mailer to some residents in Kentucky that says Senator Mitch McConnell will stop the “gun control agenda” of President Obama and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. [WUKYFM]

Piaget Crenshaw, a witness to the Michael Brown shooting, talks with CNN’s Michaela Pereira. Go watch the sad video. [CNN]

A researcher at Mammoth Cave National Park is fearful that a fungal disease is set to kill large numbers of bats in the region. [WFPL]

A state official said two people were shot, but not by police, and that fires were set during another night of violence. [WaPo]

Lawmakers and leaders with Seven Counties Services met Friday in what is being called an educational and productive meeting meant to open the lines of communication between the groups as the state considers the future of the retirement system. [CN|2]

Georgia Congressman John Lewis talks about what changed — and didn’t — because of the movement he helped to lead 50 years ago. [ProPublica]

An investigative committee has taken charge of digging into a nightmarish scandal that mayor Greg Fischer has refused to deal with. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Between five and ten migrant children have been killed since February after the United States deported them back to Honduras. [Think Progress]

Federal officials have proposed the largest timber sale in more than a decade in the Daniel Boone National Forest, prompting objections from some environmental groups but some support as well. [H-L]

Backed by U.S. airstrikes, Iraqi and Kurdish forces on Monday wrested back control of the country’s largest dam from Islamic militants, a military spokesman in Baghdad said, as fighting was reported to be underway for the rest of the strategic complex. [HuffPo]