JCPS Set Great Example For Rest Of KY

It wasn’t that long ago that U.S. Sen. Rand Paul declared that he had to win the early-voting state of New Hampshire to gain the momentum that would carry him to the Republican presidential nomination. [H-L]

Cat Kim, a recent graduate from Columbia Law School, had two missions this summer. One was studying for and taking the California bar exam. The other was preparing cases for immigrant women and children in Texas detention centers who, without the help of people like her, could be deported. [HuffPo]

Applause went up in the room Monday evening when the Jefferson County Board of Education approved expanding the policies of Kentucky’s largest school district to specifically protect students and employees regardless of gender expression and gender identity. [C-J/AKN]

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump blasted hedge fund managers on Sunday as mere “paper pushers” who he said were “getting away with murder” by not paying their fair share of taxes. [Reuters]

Big Blue fans of the University of Kentucky athletic teams had things to talk about besides asking “How about them ‘Cats?” Monday morning. [Ronnie Ellis]

The tip came in at about 7 p.m. on Monday, July 27. It was an email from a woman named Patricia Cronan, a banker who lived next door to a group home in Long Beach, California. She said the home, run by a nonprofit called Bayfront Youth & Family Services, seemed to be in a perpetual state of chaos. [ProPublica]

Rand Paul, even with the Kentucky GOP Executive Committee approving a March U.S. presidential caucus Saturday, maintained today that the U.S. Constitution provides him a way to run both for the presidency and a Kentucky Senate seat. [BGDN]

Earlier this year, social work student Coraly León arrived at her research assistant job at the University of Puerto Rico to find her salary abruptly cut in half due to budget cuts. [ThinkProgress]

Glasgow City Council took the final step at its regular meeting Monday evening in the selection of the city’s next police chief. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Confusion over the types of coal being burned in Chinese power stations has caused a significant overestimation of the country’s carbon emissions. [BBC]

Evarts City Council decided not to raise taxes saying “residents are struggling with a downturn in the economy and now is not the time to add to their burden.” [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Same-sex married couples who were living in states that did not recognize their unions and who previously filed claims for Social Security benefits will be able to collect those payments, the government said on Thursday. [NY Times]

The University of Kentucky is opening its first office devoted full-time to the concerns of the LGBTQ community on campus. Created by UK’s Office of Institutional Diversity, the Office of LGBTQ Resources is aimed at creating a more inclusive environment for UK’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer population. [H-L]

The issue is far from over, but a new report found that hunger in America has at least dropped below pre-recession levels. [HuffPo]

There’s A Literal Stink In Bullitt County

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A group of University of Kentucky trustees upheld the proposed revocation of a longtime surgeon’s clinical privileges Monday but modified the decision to allow him access to campus as a tenured professor. [H-L]

Fast-food workers who are hoping to raise the minimum wage will find an ally in the Obama White House this week, with Labor Secretary Tom Perez traveling to Detroit on Tuesday to show his solidarity with the so-called Fight for $15. [HuffPo]

The owner of a failed private wastewater treatment plant that serves more than 700 homes in Bullitt County filed papers late Friday to walk away from the system that’s caused raw sewage to flow into a tributary of popular Floyds Fork for 17 months since a massive tank breakdown. [C-J/AKN]

A U.S. appeals court said the Federal Trade Commission has authority to regulate corporate cybersecurity, and may pursue a lawsuit accusing hotel operator Wyndham Worldwide Corp of failing to properly safeguard consumers’ information. [Reuters]

Berea Mayor Steve Connelly called for changes in city personnel policy after several police officers questioned the fairness of recent salary increases. At the Berea City Council meeting Tuesday, Connelly proposed revising the procedure for employee evaluation and awarding raises. [Richmond Register]

It’s now or never for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. That appears to be the view of his wealthy super-PAC backers, who are spending fast and hard to keep Christie in contention for the Republican presidential nomination. [The Hill]

A company offered a proposal to Barren County Fiscal Court on Tuesday to allow it to do a free evaluation of the county’s energy efficiency. [Glasgow Daily Times]

There’s an old saying in journalism that there are no new stories, everything’s been done before, ProPublica’s Joe Sexton says. But when he came across “The Outlaw Ocean,” investigative reporter Ian Urbina’s latest series for The New York Times, he couldn’t help but be “genuinely jealous” of the intriguing, outrageous world he uncovered. [ProPublica]

An Ashland man who until recently lived in Medellin, Colombia, is among defendants accused of selling millions of dollars worth of untaxed cigarettes from a Russell storefront. David White, who is free on bond and living with a friend in Ashland pending his January trial date, posted information about his arrest and alleged part in the cigarette scheme on Facebook and spoke on Friday to a reporter from The Independent. [Ashland Independent]

Scientists in the US have found a way to take carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air and make carbon nanofibres, a valuable manufacturing material. [BBC]

Rowan Fiscal Court agreed Tuesday to an inter-local agreement with the City of Morehead to form a city-county recreation commission. [The Morehead News]

After her two leading rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination became targets of the Black Lives Matter movement, Hillary Clinton came armed with policy arguments when she met with members of the African-American activist group last week. [Mother Jones]

Mathieux Saint Fleur has been virtually blind for two decades. In less than 24 hours, he will see again. [H-L]

Students in America’s schools are much, much poorer than they were nine years ago. In 2006, 31 percent of America’s students attended schools in “high-poverty” districts, meaning that 20 percent or more of the district’s students lived below the federal poverty line. [HuffPo]

Examining Records After An Athlete’s Death Is Difficult, Frustrating, Sad

On Thursday, August 13, Hopkinsville High School football player Jayvon Quarles died in what can only be considered a freak accident while moving equipment.

From USA Today:

Jayvon Corey Quarles, a 17-year-old at Hopkinsville High School, was reportedly helping move a “large, heavy piece of metal football equipment,” at Hopkinsville Middle School, which serves as the high school football team’s practice facility. The equipment fell and struck Quarles in the head, killing him with blunt force trauma.

The accident occurred before practice, at some point earlier than 4 p.m. Thursday, with Quarles rushed to Jennie Stuart Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

“The equipment fell on his head,” Christian County coroner Dorris Lamb told The Leaf-Chronicle, a Gannett partner. “He was dead on arrival at Jennie Stuart Medical Center.”

-SNIP-

Clarksville (Tenn). Fox affiliate WZTV reported that Hopkinsville police have launched an investigation into the incident, though there has been no indication thus far that there is any reason to believe an element of foul play was involved.

From WDRB:

Hopkinsville Police say Jayvon Corey Quarles was helping move a large, heavy piece of football equipment at the Hopkinsville Middle School practice field, when it fell and hit him in the head.

Quarles was taken to Jennie Stuart Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 4:00 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

A tragedy no matter how you look at it.

In situations like this, particularly in light of 2009’s House Bill 383 (Warning: External PDF Link) – which was enacted to require athletics coaches to pass mandatory safety courses, it only makes sense to determine whether or not Hopkinsville High School coaches had undergone required training. Note: The Kentucky High School Athletics Association spells out (Warning: External PDF Link) training requirements a bit better than the legislation.

On August 14 we filed an open records request with Christian County Schools and Hopkinsville High School:

All certificates or confirmation (electronic or hardcopy) that football coaches, assistant coaches and anyone affiliated with football at Hopkinsville High School have received required safety training as required by HB 383 of 2009.

While the district didn’t respond within the three-day window required by state law, we’re not going to complain about receiving a response a day late. Still worth noting.

Jack Lackey of Deatherage, Myers & Lackey finally got back to us this morning and here’s what we’ve learned…

Head football coach Marc Clark and other individuals affiliated with athletics had Adult First Aid/CPR/AED training on August 26, 2014:


But did not undergo the same training until the day after we filed our request and two days after the accident:


Clark’s required KMA/KHSAA Sports Safety Course and Medical Symposium Certification expired on July 3, 2015:

More than a month prior to the death of Quarles.

And he didn’t receive updated training or a certificate until August 16, 2015, two days after we requested his records and three days after the death:

While maybe not an intentional lapse, it’s still concerning because the safety of young athletes is at stake and lives are in the hands of coaches. A lack of timely certification could also indicate there’s a pattern of ignoring safety of student athletes within that school district.

Neither the district nor its law firm have responded to requests for comment so we can only speculate at this point.

According to sources well-acquainted with athletics in Kentucky and the KHSAA, there are currently dozens of head football couches around the state. Troubling when realizing the first football matches of the season begin this Friday.

CLICK HERE to contribute to a GoFundMe account going to the family of Quarles.

UPDATE —

We got a response from the district’s law firm:

Coach Clark completed the last of the required training on August 13, 2015 at approximately 3:30 pm, which was prior to your request and prior to the incident likely giving rise to your request.

Unfortunately, that’s not what anyone literate would call accurate, as you can see on the documents above. August 15 would be the date training was completed with the Red Cross. August 16th with KHSAA. Not on August 13. Not completed and received prior to the incident. Not prior to our inquiry.

Hugely disappointing that the school district, via its attorneys, would be spinning in such a manner after this tragedy.

For the sake of documentation — you may click here to access a 480K zip file containing the three PDF documents obtained via open records request. They’ve been manually redacted as a courtesy to remove direct email addresses and cell phone numbers.

The Gays Are Ruining Everything In KY

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When the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage this summer, Kentucky and many other states tweaked their marriage license forms to give no hint of a person’s gender. [H-L]

GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee supports Paraguay’s decision to deny an abortion to a 10-year-old rape victim, he revealed in an interview Sunday. [HuffPo]

Previously sealed evidence filed in two cases related to a Central Kentucky bourbon and steroid organized crime ring has been released following a Franklin Circuit Court judge’s ruling. [C-J/AKN]

The Pentagon’s massive new Law of War Manual drew criticism from the New York Times editorial board on Monday for its section on how to treat journalists, which the Times said would “make their work more dangerous, cumbersome and subject to censorship.” [The Intercept]

More than 100 volunteers combed Boonesborough Beach on Saturday morning, picking up litter. They also picked up trash on the Clark County side of the Kentucky River. [Richmond Register]

Government employees have an obligation to follow the letter of the law despite their religious convictions—or else resign the offices they hold. [The Atlantic]

There have already been 10 suicides in Boyd County investigated by the coroner’s office, according to Coroner Mark Hammond. Four of these happened just in the month of July; two on the same day. [Ashland Independent]

With a rise nationally in fatal heroin overdoses, the White House on Monday will announce a plan pairing law enforcement officials with public health workers in an effort to emphasize treatment rather than prosecution of addicts, the Washington Post said. [Reuters]

A few times a year, Anna Lucio leaves her office and heads back to her roots. “Everybody’s got their own way of seeing it,” she said. Lucio grew up on a piece of land in Kentucky that welcomed the shade needed for Ginseng. “The first time we went in the woods- It’s that excitement that you can be able to find it, and even if you’ve seen a million, you’d be like, ‘Oh! I found one!'” [WKYT]

American Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern has long portrayed her organization as a beacon of openness, once declaring “we made a commitment that we want to lead the effort in transparency.” But when the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, opened an inquiry last year into the Red Cross’ disaster work, McGovern tried to get it killed behind the scenes. [ProPublica]

The Mayor of Shepherdsville was arraigned Tuesday morning on a prostitution charge. Shepherdsville Mayor Scott Ellis was not in court and was represented by his attorney. [WDRB]

Since last week’s indictments of three top political aides to Ron and Rand Paul, new details have emerged about the Ron Paul campaign’s scheme in 2012 to buy the endorsement of Kent Sorenson, who was then an influential Republican state senator in Iowa. [Mother Jones]

Some executives dream of retiring to a big boat on a big body of water, and that is just what James Street did. Since retiring as Eastern Kentucky University’s vice president for administration in July 2013, Street and his wife, Stacey, have spent a lot of time on their 34-foot Beneteau 331 sailboat on Kentucky Lake and their Catalina 22 on Cave Run. [H-L]

People who live in low-income urban areas tend not to have access to the green spaces that are more easily found in rural and suburban communities. But the lack of connection with nature in concrete jungles is changing, according to NPR’s Paige Pfleger. Across the country, various eco-non-profits are populating community centers and high schools with communal gardens. [HuffPo]

Rand & Donald Start Mega Slap Fight

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On the first day of the academic year, Fayette County Public Schools’ new superintendent, Manny Caulk, rode a school bus to Mary Todd Elementary with students who, he said with a smile, “told me everything.” [H-L]

The Connecticut Supreme Court on Thursday ruled the state’s death penalty is unconstitutional. The ruling will affect the 11 inmates currently on the state’s death row. [HuffPo]

Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo says he will file a resolution next year to remove the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis from the Kentucky Capitol and place it in a museum. [C-J/AKN]

Billionaire Donald Trump is firing back against Sen. Rand Paul (R-Hopeless), saying Paul “has no chance” of winning the White House in 2016 in the latest salvo between the GOP presidential candidates. [The Hill]

A revision of Richmond’s nuisance ordinance that would criminally penalize landlords after tenants receive three police citations in six months, such as late-night noise at the same location, drew protests before the city commission Tuesday night. [Richmond Register]

Transition care for transgender members of the U.S. military would cost around $5.6 million a year, “little more than a rounding error” as a share of total expenditure, according to new research published amid criticism of proposed funding. [Reuters]

The Boyd County Sheriff’s Office launched a new hotline on Wednesday for reporting illegal drug activities. [Ashland Independent]

The Food and Drug Administration has endorsed the use of a safety device for bottles of children’s medication containing liquid acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. [ProPublica]

Legislative leaders plan to pare down from about 30 the number of applicants under consideration to become the Legislative Research Commission’s new director. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump thinks he would do “very well” in a potential general election against Vice President Joe Biden, as the chatter about a Biden presidential run ratcheted back up this week. [Politico]

The Rowan County Clerk’s Office has turned away three gay couples seeking marriage licenses today despite a federal judge’s order that dismissed Kim Davis’ argument involving religious freedom. [The Morehead News]

Prominent Muslim leaders are putting the final touches on a new statement on climate change, hoping to issue a sweeping call to protect the planet and insist that followers of Islam have a religious duty to help the environment. [ThinkProgress]

Five Kentucky state parks have become certified “waystations” for Monarch butterflies and are working to protect their habitat. [H-L]

Less than eight months into 2015, humans have already consumed a year’s worth of the Earth’s resources. [HuffPo]

Kentucky Bigots Flying Hate Flag High

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This summer, Zachary Schwarzkopf spent five weeks at Morehead State University in the prestigious Governor’s Scholars Program. In addition to enrichment classes in civics, economics and leadership, the program provides a huge perk: a $40,000 Presidential Scholarship to the University of Kentucky, provided you have a 28 ACT score and a grade-point average of 3.3. [H-L]

Famed neurosurgeon Ben Carson says that most medical research can be conducted without using fetal tissue, which has been in the news recently after a series of secretly taped but edited videos showed Planned Parenthood officials discussing how to legally provide aborted tissue to researchers. [HuffPo]

Pushing a toxic mixture of natural gas liquids through an aging pipeline near Mammoth Cave National Park threatens the world-famous cave’s unique and fragile ecological systems, the National Park Service is warning. [C-J/AKN]

Way to go, Kentucky bigots, way to go. Betsy Layne High School in rural Kentucky this year had a two-page yearbook spread that featured all of the seniors on the boys basketball team. Except, one senior was left out of the tribute: Dalton Maldonado, the team’s starting point guard who came out publicly as gay a couple months ago. [Out Sports]

The stupid is still thick with Kim Davis. She employs Nathan Davis just like her mother employed her — nepotism runs in the family. A Kentucky clerk’s office turned away a gay couple seeking a marriage license on Thursday, defying a federal judge’s order that dismissed her argument involving religious freedom. [AP]

On July 24, Turkey launched a massive military campaign that included sweeping attacks against Kurdish forces as well as minor strikes on Islamic State positions south of its border. Just five days later, the Turkish government inked a contract to hire a team of prominent lobbyists to add to its already formidable army of influence peddlers in Washington. [The Intercept]

A classic Barry Manilow song inspired state employees to dig deep for the kickoff of the Kentucky Employees Charitable Campaign Tuesday. [WHAS11]

In a new partnership with Yelp, ProPublica has been given unprecedented access to the rating site’s 1.3 million reviews of healthcare providers. One dental chain attracted 3,000 reviews, the vast majority bad. [ProPublica]

This is political patronage at its finest. A governor’s order that triggered a leadership shakeup at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville drew criticism and bewilderment Tuesday from members of the committee that oversees the 41-year-old event. [WFPL]

It appears that New Zealand is finally ready to throw their domestic coal habit into Mount Doom — by 2018, the country will cease to use coal as a source of domestic energy production. [ThinkProgress]

We’ve finally updated the massive document covering what really happened in Montgomery County. [Page One]

Rand Paul’s (R-Hopeless) campaign on Wednesday released a video highlighting fellow 2016 GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s past praise of Democrats. [The Hill]

Members of a Vermont legislative committee are going to be asking why Kentucky State Police weren’t informed in a timely manner about the death of a Vermont inmate who had been serving time in a private Kentucky prison. [H-L]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… In deep water off the coast of Sicily, scientists have found a large and very mysterious monolith that is believed to have been hewn from rock some 10,000 years ago. [HuffPo]

Planned Parenthood Hype’s Taken Over

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The KDP is not happy with Mike Harmon’s decision not to fire Jesse Benton after the indictment. [KDP]

Diversicare of Nicholasville has received the largest nursing home fine in the nation in recent years, following an outbreak of scabies that went unabated for months, infecting 45 percent of the residents. The fine of $ 891,350 was levied by the federal government against Diversicare of Nicholasville following a January inspection. [H-L]

U.S.-led airstrikes targeting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria likely have killed hundreds of civilians, a report by an independent monitoring group said Monday. The coalition had no immediate comment. [HuffPo]

Sara Hall started going to Planned Parenthood when she was in her late teens and needed birth control, and she’s gotten care there ever since. [C-J/AKN]

Documents from a “crisis management” report produced by the cybersecurity firm ZeroFox indicate that the firm monitored Black Lives Matter protesters during the Freddie Gray protests in Baltimore earlier this year. The documents, which surfaced online last Wednesday, also state that the firm “protected” the online accounts of Maryland and Baltimore officials and members of the Baltimore Police Department and Maryland National Guard. [Mother Jones]

Berea citizens will likely be voting for or against restaurant sales of alcoholic drinks by September. [Richmond Register]

In 1953, Dr. John Clements realized something fundamental about the way the lung functions — an insight that would ultimately save the lives of millions of premature babies. [NPR]

The two men running to become Kentucky’s next attorney general leveled personal attacks at each other during their speeches at the Fancy Farm Picnic here Saturday. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Clinton Campaign panicked and started shopping this Biden story around, no doubt. [Politico]

Stress such as bullying, substance abuse, and mental health issues are known to prevent children from reaching their full academic potential and impede positive relationships with fellow students and adults. [The Morehead News]

The stupid is real, kids. President Obama has sort of ruined the whole concept of black presidents, according to Donald Trump. [ThinkProgress]

For Republicans, breakfast on Fancy Farm weekend usually has a lot of red meat on the menu. [Ronnie Ellis]

Civil rights campaigners in the US have begun a 40-day march to highlight what they say is a fresh attack on equal rights for African Americans. [BBC]

Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is hosting a program on the cultural and natural history of the river. [H-L]

Senate Democrats blocked a vote on a bill Monday that would have stripped federal funds from Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest family planning provider. [HuffPo]