Pro-Pipeline Crowd Is Going Crazy Now

A legislative committee has bet on a longshot bill to provide tax relief for Kentucky’s horse industry. [H-L]

Sen. Turd Cruz (R-Turd) is out with a deceptive new mailer that masquerades as official government business and promises people there’s a “check enclosed” when it’s actually asking for money instead. [HuffPo]

The Kentucky Supreme Court has let an appeals court decision stand that only regulated utilities can use the power of eminent domain to get land for pipelines. [C-J/AKN]

The United States and India have held talks about conducting joint naval patrols that a U.S. defense official said could include the disputed South China Sea, a move that would likely anger Beijing, which claims most of the waterway. [Reuters]

On Feb. 2, Pine Branch Coal announced more than 150 employees will be laid off in April. Three Pine Branch sites are the focus of these layoffs, two of which are located in Perry County, with one operation located in Leslie County. [Hazard Herald]

A federal court had ordered the VA to reassess its policy denying Agent Orange benefits to Navy sailors who served in the Vietnam War. The VA’s conclusion: They still don’t qualify. [ProPublica]

Eliminating the Common Core standards from Kentucky’s educational accountability requirements may be the highest-profile provision of legislation currently before the state Senate, but some educators worry that the bill will marginalize programs in music, art, theater and dance because it all but eliminates them from the accountability process. [Ashland Independent]

A year and a half after it started spending money and time to screen welfare applicants for drug use, Tennessee still hasn’t found many poor people who are “getting all potted up on weed“. Out of 39,121 people who have applied for Families First in Tennessee benefits since the state instituted drug tests in mid-2014, just 65 have tested positive for narcotics. [ThinkProgress]

The Rowan County Board of Education at its last board meeting approved the 2016-17 school calendar. The first day for students is set for Thursday, Aug. 11. But a bill pending in the Kentucky Senate would push the start date back another two weeks. [The Morehead News]

How does it feel to give up your nationality, to renounce the country you were born in, potentially forfeiting the chance to ever return? [BBC]

Glasgow Independent Schools Board of Education held a regular board meeting Monday night at South Green Elementary. Site-based councils were also in attendance and discussed student achievement in their respective schools. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Wednesday retweeted a user named “WhiteGenocideTM” before deleting the message. [The Hill]

Although they are on different political sides, first lady Glenna Bevin and Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear announced Tuesday a statewide training program aimed at protecting Kentucky’s children from sexual abuse. [H-L]

A federal appeals court on Monday ruled it is not unconstitutional for law enforcement to set up a camera on a public utility pole and record a suspect’s moves for 10 weeks straight. [HuffPo]

JCPS Will Make Your Eyes Roll Back

Jeff Taylor, a retired official with the Tennessee Valley Authority from Hopkinsville, is trying to become the first black person to represent his state House district in far Western Kentucky. [H-L]

Martin Shkreli, the disgraced ex-CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, revealed on Friday night that he is backing the presidential candidacy of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. [HuffPo]

Remember that Jefferson County Public Schools story we covered that everyone else ignored? The Office of the Attorney General said JCPS broke the law. Who could have known??? [C-J/AKN]

President Obama on Tuesday unveiled the last budget of his presidency, a $4.1 trillion plan that reflects his desire to set the agenda for his final months in office and beyond. [The Hill & Budget Overview]

The president of Kentucky State University wrote in newsletter Monday that the 130-year-old historically black college in Frankfort “cannot withstand” deep cuts in state funding proposed by Gov. Matt Bevin and may have to close if Bevin’s budget is adopted. [WDRB]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham Wouldn’t Understand… In an ancient streambed on Kenya’s Rusinga Island, scientists have unearthed fossils of a wildebeest-like creature named Rusingoryx that boasted a weird nasal structure more befitting of a dinosaur than a mammal. [Reuters]

No one under the age of 18 would be able to use a tanning bed in the state of Kentucky—with or without their parent’s permission—except for medical reasons under a bill that has cleared the state House. Here’s hoping the LRC starts using Commonwealth of Kentucky instead of “state of Kentucky” in their press releases. [Press Releases]

A wide swath of public officials are calling for change in response to a Daily News and ProPublica investigation about the NYPD’s use of an obscure type of lawsuit to boot hundreds of people from homes. The cases are happening almost exclusively in minority neighborhoods. [ProPublica]

Morehead State Public Radio (MSPR) has announced five new members to its Community Advisory Board (CAB). [The Morehead News]

President Barack Obama’s final budget proposal is a clarion call for Democratic progressivism — a $4 trillion spending blueprint that would pour billions into clean energy, education and Medicaid, and pay for it by raising taxes on big banks and the wealthy. [Politico]

Congressman Hal Rogers and Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin made their way to Pine Mountain State Resort Park to host the SOAR Executive Board Meeting on Friday. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

The billionaire former mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, has confirmed he is considering running as an independent candidate for the US presidency. [BBC]

Less than a week after Rand Paul ended his presidential campaign, some of the Kentucky senator’s top supporters in the state legislature have backed Marco Rubio ahead of the state’s Republican presidential caucus next month. [H-L]

Hillary Clinton is concerned for the future of women’s reproductive rights. [HuffPo]

The Ramsey-Pitino-UofL Circus Goes On

Stung by losses under the federal health law, major insurers are seeking to sharply limit how policies are sold to individuals in ways that consumer advocates say seem to discriminate against the sickest and could hold down future enrollment. [H-L]

In their first head-to-head debate, Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) made it clear that any lingering pleasantries from a happier time earlier in the campaign are vanishing quickly. [HuffPo]

It’s hilarious that Rick Pitino is defending Jim Ramsey, as if they’re both victims of things they can’t help. Both of these men are the worst of the worst in higher education. Pitino, with sex scandal after sex scandal. Ramsey, with financial corruption mess after financial corruption mess. Both should be relieved of their duties instead of allowing a bunch of kids to take the blame for crap that those two are ultimately supposed to take responsibility. [C-J/AKN]

President Barack Obama is set on Tuesday to unveil his budget proposal for fiscal year 2017, his final year in office. [Reuters]

Lack of communication is what kept many black accomplishments from being known, said educator William Twyman, one of the 14 panelists discussing “Education in the Barren’s Region of Kentucky” Saturday at the South Central Kentucky Cultural Center. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Amid significant reforms, federal officials worry that sexual abuse in juvenile justice system remains prevalent and too often unpunished. [ProPublica]

A personal finance website study has determined Kentucky ranks 9 out of 51 for dependency on the arms and ammunition industry for jobs and political contributions, and indirectly through firearm ownership. [Ashland Independent]

At the end of last year, lawmakers in West Virginia unveiled a bill that would drug test some applicants for the state’s welfare program. Applicants who failed could eventually be barred from receiving benefits, possibly permanently. [ThinkProgress]

A bill that would eliminate the prevailing wage on public school projects on Thursday failed to pass a House committee. [WFPL]

The US economy added 151,000 jobs in January, helping to push the country’s unemployment rate down to 4.9%. [BBC]

Since Jan. 1, five Richmond Police officers have submitted resignations. At the same time, two joined the force for field training, and two others entered the Department of Criminal Justice Training’s academy for 23 weeks. [Richmond Register]

“Squat! Squat! Squat! Higher! Faster!” In the basement of the Duane Physics and Astrophysics building at the University of Colorado Boulder, a science demonstration is going on, but it looks more like a vaudeville act. [NPR]

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto has formed a task force to advise him on what to do about a controversial mural in Memorial Hall. [H-L]

Islamophobia is real. And it’s not going anywhere. After last year’s terror attacks in Paris and mass shooting in San Bernardino, California — and amidst a surge in anti-Muslim rhetoric from U.S. politicians — reports about Muslims in America facing violence, harassment, intimidation and bigotry have become omnipresent. Many Muslims say Islamophobia is worse now than it’s ever been — even worse than it was after 9/11. [HuffPo]

Jerry Lundergan’s Good Old Boy Mess Is Once Again Center Stage

During her three political campaigns, including an $18 million run for the U.S. Senate in 2014, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes reported paying $111,831 to Lexington companies owned by her father, former state Democratic Party chairman Jerry Lundergan, and $41,745 more in direct payments to him and other family members, for various services. [John Cheves]

As Sen. Turd Cruz (R-Tex.) campaigns across the Granite State ahead of next Tuesday’s first-in-the nation primary, he’s changing rhetoric in an attempt to expand his base and attract libertarian-leaning supporters following Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Cookie Tree) exit from the race this week. [HuffPo]

Conservationists have pounced on a bill that sought to allow motorized all-terrain vehicles on the Pine Mountain State ScenicTrail that’s being developed for backpacking and primitive camping along 120 miles of scenic Eastern Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

The State Department Inspector General has found that classified emails were received on the personal accounts of former Secretary of State Colin Powell and the senior aides to his successor, Condoleezza Rice. [The Hill]

The new head of Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet doesn’t expect any short-term rebound in the state’s struggling coal industry. In his first appearance before the state Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee, Secretary Charles Snavely told senators the outlook wasn’t good over the next five years. [WFPL]

U.S. President Barack Obama will launch a long-shot bid next week to impose a $10-a-barrel tax on crude oil that would fund the overhaul of the nation’s aging transportation infrastructure, the White House said on Thursday. [Reuters]

House Democrats proved willing to compromise on one abortion-related bill in a critical election year, but there were signs Friday they aren’t prepared to do it a second time. [Ronnie Ellis]

US presidential hopeful Marco Rubio has seen a surge in high-profile endorsements, after a surprisingly strong finish in the Iowa caucuses. [BBC]

A group of students from Clark-Moores Middle School will be traveling to Frankfort Tuesday where they will meet with legislators and advocate for the passage of Senate Bill 33, which will make training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) a requirement for graduation in Kentucky schools. [Richmond Register]

If U.S. and British negotiators have their way, MI5, the British domestic security service, could one day go directly to American companies like Facebook or Google with a wiretap order for the on-line chats of British suspects in a counterterrorism investigation. [WaPo]

It’s been no secret that Morehead City Council has been mulling the thoughts of building a joined police and fire station in the near future. [The Morehead News]

Really? It takes “insiders” to know that Marco Rubio crashed and burned? [Politico]

An ongoing cultural battle between coal mining and environmental groups played out in a Senate hearing Wednesday over an Obama administration proposal to mitigate the impacts of coal mining activity on streams. [H-L]

The United States has to reduce greenhouse emissions to less than a quarter of what they were in 2005 to meet its commitment under the Paris climate agreement. [HuffPo]

Bevin Drags KY Health Into Dark Ages

As Gov. Matt Bevin prepares to remake Kentucky’s Medicaid program, a new national survey shows what’s at stake: gains in insurance coverage matched only by one other state. [H-L]

American schools are hotbeds for racial discrimination, according to a preliminary report from a group of United Nations experts. [HuffPo]

Former U.S. Sen. Marlow W. Cook, a leader of the Republican renaissance in Louisville and Jefferson County during the 1960s, has died. [C-J/AKN]

Every day in America more than 50 people die from an overdose of prescription pain medication. Some people who start out abusing pain pills later turn to heroin, which claims another 29 lives each day. [NPR]

These are the candidates who have filled for city commissioner in Hazard. [Hazard Herald]

Presidential candidate Donald Trump has called for a new election in Iowa, accusing the Republican winner, Ted Cruz, of fraud. [BBC]

Jim Ramsey knows his days at the University of Louisville are numbered. [Business First]

In the lead-up to Donald Trump’s loss in Iowa, staffers sought additional funding for campaign infrastructure and were denied. [Politico]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! The Creation Museum wants Boone County’s blessing for an expansion. Leaders of the museum’ dedicated to a literal interpretation of the Bible wants to nearly triple its exhibit space over the next three years. [Cincinnasti.com]

The U.S. Justice Department is considering legal changes to combat what it sees as a rising threat from domestic anti-government extremists, senior officials told Reuters, even as it steps up efforts to stop Islamic State-inspired attacks at home. [Reuters]

What does 100 days of school mean to White Hall Elementary School second grade students? That in 74 more days, they will be third graders, said teacher Susan Huntzinger. [Richmond Register]

The Des Moines Register is calling for a “complete audit” of the Iowa Democratic caucuses in light of concerns by Bernie Sanders about the razor-thin margin. [The Hill]

A proposal in Congress would provide $1 billion for mine reclamation projects in Eastern Kentucky and other areas grappling with a sharp downturn in coal jobs. [H-L]

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) slammed President Barack Obama’s visit to a mosque on Wednesday, during which the president denounced anti-Muslim rhetoric, for “pitting people against each other.” [HuffPo]

Need cheap mobile phone service? Maybe even for a backup cell phone? I’m talking $6/mo cheap? Use our Ting referral code and we’ll all get a sweet credit. You get $25 — enough for a couple months of service to determine whether you like it. Both CDMA and GSM options. For worriers: no, you don’t get identified to us if you use our link… so please consider letting us know if you do! [Ting]

Do You Still Have A Sad For Lil Rand?

You can thank Kentucky Democrats for allowing this informed consent nonsense to happen. Way to go, Democrats! Who you gonna attack and defame now that you’ve alienated everybody? [H-L]

Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) is suspending his presidential campaign, Politico and CNN reported Wednesday. “It’s been an incredible honor to run a principled campaign for the White House. Today, I will end where I began, ready and willing to fight for the cause of Liberty,” the senator said in a statement on Wednesday, following his fifth place finish in the Iowa caucuses. [HuffPo]

Louisville had the sharpest increase of any U.S. city in terms of residents age 65 or older who are scrapping by to pay their rent, according to findings released Monday by a national affordable housing group. [C-J/AKN]

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Gina McCarthy said Michigan state officials misled her agency in the run-up to Flint’s lead contamination crisis. [The Hill]

Allie Secor, manager of the Community Recycling Center, said she plans to retire in June. In a recent meeting of the recycling center board, one idea that was mentioned was for her replacement to be an employee of the city, which would mean adding a benefits package in order to attract qualified candidates. [The Morehead News]

The lawyers who enable an abusive business model for collecting consumer debts are now on the hook for their clients’ screwups. [ThinkProgress]

The 2014 tax audit for Metcalfe County Sheriff Rondal Shirley was released Monday by state auditor Mike Harmon. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Republican Senator Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree) has dropped out of the race for US president after a disappointing fifth place finish in the Iowa caucuses. [BBC]

Peoples Bancorp Foundation, a non-profit corporation formed to make donations in Peoples Bank market areas, recently awarded $3,000 to Russell Independent Schools Endowment Foundation, Inc. [Ashland Independent]

The U.S. House of Representatives has subpoenaed the former Midwest chief of the Environmental Protection Agency over the Flint, Michigan, drinking water crisis, Representative Jason Chaffetz said on Wednesday. [Reuters]

Main Street and High Street in downtown Hazard were closed to traffic on the morning of Jan. 28, as a Kentucky State Police dog sniffed through the area in search of possible explosives. [Hazard Herald]

The United States is still lagging the world in the rollout of broadband. Look at the map and you’ll hate people like Brett Guthrie, Jim Waters and anyone associated with them even more than you already do. You’ll rage against just about any telecom-tied lobbyist you can think of after seeing it. Disgusting. [The Register]

When Benjamin Harrison moved from Indianapolis to Washington in 1889 to become the nation’s 23rd president, the White House kitchen steward hired a French chef to prepare meals for the new president and his guests. [Tom Eblen]

Jared Fox, 28, knows first-hand about the perils of intolerance. Just two years ago, when Fox was visiting his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, from New York, he was brutally attacked by a group of teenagers. They beat him, stole his belongings and called him anti-gay slurs. He suffered bruises all over his body. [HuffPo]

Need cheap mobile phone service? Maybe even for a backup cell phone? I’m talking $6/mo cheap? Use our Ting referral code and we’ll all get a sweet credit. You get $25 — enough for a couple months of service to determine whether you like it. Both CDMA and GSM options. For worriers: no, you don’t get identified to us if you use our link… so please consider letting us know if you do! [Ting]

KY’s 2015 Adopt-A-Highway Winners

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet announced the winners of its 2015 Adopt-a-Highway art contest. First-place winners in four different age categories will take home a $100 gift card. Second and third-place winners get $50 cards. All three receive framed prints of their posters.

More than 1,300 entered to win.

“The purpose of the contest is to increase public awareness about the damaging effects of litter,” acting Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock said. “We use the vibrant artwork our contest winners produce to educate Kentuckians about our Adopt-a-Highway program and change attitudes and behaviors about littering.”

Here they are:

5-8 age category

  • 1st place — Mady Coleman — Stinnett Elementary, Leslie County
  • 2nd place — Kennedy Walden — Joe Harrison Carter Elementary, Monroe County
  • 3rd place — Alyssa Hendrickson — Mountain View Elementary, Leslie County

9-11 age category

  • 1st place — Hayli Hundley — Rockfield Elementary, Warren County
  • 2nd place — Sumea Alic — Lost River Elementary, Warren County
  • 3rd place (tie) — Mollyemma Edington — Ashland Elementary, Fayette County
  • 3rd place (tie) — Zoe Jensen — Keavy Elementary, Laurel County

12-14 age category

  • 1st place — Madeline Whaley — Williamstown Independent Schools, Grant County
  • 2nd place — Emily Cornett — Williamstown Independent Schools, Grant County
  • 3rd place — Evelyn Adams — Metcalfe County Middle School, Metcalfe County

15-18 age category

  • 1st place — Shawn Lu — Metcalfe County High School, Metcalfe County
  • 2nd place — Nicole Giesbers — Williamstown Independent Schools, Grant County
  • 3rd place — Austin Maines — Williamstown Independent Schools, Grant County

We’d share photos of the artwork with you, as we have each year for about a decade, but the new administration didn’t release them or make them available on the KYTC website.