Gotta Sweeten That Pension Up A Whole Bunch

Gotta get that pension bump! State Sen. Bob Leeper has filed paperwork to run for McCracken County judge-executive. [H-L]

Rand Paul thinks civilization will fall apart if abortion rights aren’t curtailed. The stupid gets thicker by the day with this small man. [HuffPo]

The ethics of experimental Ebola medications are no academic matter for Liberian refugee Moses Adonis Jr., whose parents, brothers and sisters still live in a country so devastated by the deadly disease that bodies have been left in the streets. [C-J/AKN]

After a bruising legal fight, tobacco companies agreed in 1998 to compensate 46 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories for the health-related costs of smoking. [ProPublica]

Congressman Hal Rogers and other state, local, and federal officials convened at the Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center on the afternoon of Monday, August 4, for a special ribbon cutting ceremony for the new, 100,000 square foot Joe Craft Tower. [Hazard Herald]

Bankers are nearly unanimous on the subject of Anat R. Admati, the Stanford finance professor and persistent industry gadfly: Her ideas are wildly impractical, bad for the American economy and not to be taken seriously. [NY Times]

The Kentucky Dept of Education scored a $464,887 grant from the Advanced Placement Test Fee Program. [Press Release]

Vanity Fair, in partnership with “60 Minutes,” set off a firestorm this week by publishing a poll that forces readers to play the divisive game of who suffered the most as a result of U.S. acts of oppression: African slaves, Native Americans, victims of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki or the victims of the Vietnam or Iraq wars. [WaPo]

Yet another Beshear lackey has become a lobbyist. Kate Wood has gone to work for Commonwealth Alliances to lobby for AT&T, big pharma, tobacco, for-profit schools, HP, Microsoft and such. [Press Release]

PPP’s newest Kentucky poll finds Mitch McConnell taking a small lead, with 44% to 40% for Alison Lundergan Grimes, and 7% for Libertarian David Patterson. Patterson’s supporters say if they had to choose between the major party candidates they would pick McConnell by a 44/34 spread, and when you reallocate those voters to their second choice it leaves McConnell with a 47/42 advantage. [PPP]

Moonshine from East Tennessee is now available in Kentucky. [Business First]

I confess to feeling some kinship with Snowden. Like him, I was assigned to a National Security Agency unit in Hawaii—in my case, as part of three years of active duty in the Navy during the Vietnam War. [WIRED]

A Republican candidate for Fayette County coroner has filed an ethics complaint against incumbent coroner Gary Ginn alleging that Ginn works part time but receives a full-time salary. [H-L]

Amnesty International says the U.S. military systematically ignored evidence of torture and unlawful killings in Afghanistan as recently as last year. [TDB]

GO TO THE KENTUCKY STATE FAIR, MEEMAWS!

In a Southern Living magazine online listing, three Kentucky attractions — Mammoth Cave, the Cumberland Falls moonbow and the Red River Gorge — are among its Seven Wonders of the South. [H-L]

Less than half of borrowers with the most common type of federal student loan are repaying their debt on time, new data released by the U.S. Department of Education show. [HuffPo]

Get ready for the Kentucky State Fair! Joan Sue Mihalovic, 74, who lives off Brownsboro Road in eastern Jefferson County, intends to whip up a batch of oatmeal cookies and a Spam-based dish to enter in the 2014 Kentucky State Fair culinary competition. [C-J/AKN]

A recent surge in migrant children from Central America across the U.S. border has eased, but the numbers are still high compared to historical standards, and could rise again once the weather cools down, the White House said on Friday. [Reuters]

A man form Colorado is staking his time, money and experience on a farm in Kentucky all to make medicine from hemp. [WHAS11]

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]

Audrey T. Haynes, secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), came to the luncheon meeting of the Morehead-Rowan County Chamber of Commerce Thursday with a list of impressive statistics on improvements in health care and how they have affected citizens of Rowan County. [The Morehead News]

In his first public address since taking the helm of the embattled Department of Veterans Affairs, Secretary Robert A. McDonald vowed on Saturday to restore trust in the agency by initiating an independent audit of its scheduling practices and holding poorly performing officials accountable. [NY Times]

Smoke-Free Kentucky made a stop in Hazard on Tuesday, July 29, on their way to the annual Fancy Farm Picnic. A special Smoke-Free Kentucky van crisscrossed the Commonwealth from July 28 through Saturday, August 2. [Hazard Herald]

One of the most frequent arguments offered by House Republicans to demonstrate how hard they are working is to point out that there are more than 300 bills passed by the House that are waiting for action in the Senate. [WaPo]

Ashland In Motion Executive Director Danny Craig spoke of downtown Ashland’s future, and possible options to improve the downtown scene with diagonal parking and two-lane traffic along four blocks of Winchester Avenue, during Monday’s meeting with members of the Ashland Rotary Club. [Ashland Independent]

Russian scientists have determined that a massive crater discovered in a remote part of Siberia was probably caused by thawing permafrost. [Think Progress]

Lexington police officers are taking advantage of a change that allows them to use their cruisers for errands and other personal uses, department officials say. [H-L]

The only type of bird that relies solely on its own strength to hover in the air, a hummingbird flapping its wings requires more mass-based mechanical power output than any other form of locomotion. Now, scientists have discovered that the tiny bird’s efficiency comes from the ratio of the wing’s length to its width. [HuffPo]

Another Look At Montgomery Co. Schools Spending

Wondering how Montgomery County Schools superintendent Joshua Powell is spending your tax dollars?

On billboards like this:


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And ads at movie theaters like this — sorry for the low quality, it’s all our source could capture (crank your volume up):




Pretty self-promotional, isn’t it?

These ads are running in Mt. Sterling and that’s where the billboard is located. They serve no purpose because there is no other school district. Public schools aren’t a business and don’t need advertisement.

Meanwhile, the excuse that there’s no money for important programs gets tossed around left and right.

Fight Amongst Candidates For Coroner In Lexington

Ruh ro, meemaw, there’s a fight brewing among people trying to be the coroner of Fayette County.

Larry Owens, a guy running for coroner, apparently (because who pays attention to THOSE races? come on), filed an ethics complaint against Gary Ginn, the current coroner. The reason? Owens says Ginn doesn’t work full-time in the coroner’s office and that’s problematic.

From a release:

“Gary is paid a full-time, taxpayer funded, $72,000 salary to be our Coroner, but he doesn’t show up to the office until 3 pm every day, and he’s out the door by 5. We’re paying him a full-time salary for half-time work. Taxpayers in Lexington asking to work two hours a day for $72,000 would be laughed out of the interview. But Gary’s been getting away with it for a decade.”

So… fight?

Take a look at the complaint Owens filed:


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Owens, an apparent tea person, likely won’t beat Ginn, a Democrat in the general election this fall. Because he’s not a Democrat. You know the drill in Kentucky.

But he’s hitting a nail on the head if Ginn barely shows up to work collecting that kind of paycheck from the taxpayers.

Ginn, who currently sits on the board for the KCA, hasn’t responded to requests for comment. Which he should probably do right away if none of this is true.

Rand: Take Limerick Lessons Instead Of Bowling

Unless the party changes in some dramatic fashion between now and early 2016, a Paul candidacy would seem destined for at least a third-place finish in the state’s caucuses, based solely on support from his father’s followers. [H-L]

Now Rand Paul wants to explain his actions. Spoiler alert for Rand: If you have to explain it, you’re doing it wrong. [HuffPo]

Alison Daddy’s Name Grimes is so afraid to think for herself that she doesn’t realize there are more important things than coal in Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

In a possible preview of a presidential campaign plan of attack, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) called Hillary Clinton “disconnected” from the middle class. [The Hill]

For the first time in a year, quarterly data shows an increase in coal production in Eastern Kentucky. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the industry is rebounding. [WFPL]

Horses look to the ears to work out what another animal is thinking, according to a study. [BBC]

The Berea City Council adopted two resolutions to affirm a 2007 smoking ban imposed by the Madison County Health Department. [Richmond Register]

As early as 2015, firms with more than 200 employees may have to automatically enroll their workers in a company health plan. Though workers can opt out, some still find the provision patronizing. [NPR]

A disciplinary hearing before the Glasgow City Council has been scheduled for a Glasgow Police Department sergeant accused of domestic violence and for whom termination has been recommended. [Glasgow Daily Times]

U.S. college sports took a first step in addressing broad criticism about treatment of student-athletes with a vote Thursday to grant some autonomy to rich athletic conferences, a tacit acknowledgement of their unrivaled economic clout. [Reuters]

An eastern Kentucky woman faces up to 50 years in prison following her conviction in a cockfighting case. [WAVE3]

Politicians wanted upfront cash from a legal victory over Big Tobacco, and bankers happily obliged. The price? A handful of states promised to repay $64 billion on just $3 billion advanced. [ProPublica]

A University of Kentucky pharmacy professor has developed a nasal spray to stop heroin and other opioid overdoses, and his invention has now been fast-tracked by the Food and Drug Administration. [H-L]

Kentucky’s Fancy Farm picnic is a chance for the state’s politicians and political hopefuls to get together and hurl insults at each other while the crowd eggs them on. [HuffPo]

House Republican Floor Leader Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, today pre-filed legislation for the 2015 session that if it becomes law would restore voting rights to Kentuckians who have been convicted of certain felonies and met all requirements of their sentencing. [Press Release]

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?


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Of course not.

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


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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.