UK Must Envy All The UofL Drama

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Holy Cross High School’s graduating valedictorian and student council president learned hours before Friday night’s graduation that they would not be allowed to deliver their planned — and, they thought, pre-approved — speeches at the ceremony. [WCPO]

Attempts to fire a tenured University of Kentucky faculty member for the first time in at least five decades began Wednesday, when journalism professor Buck Ryan appeared at a meeting of the Senate Advisory Committee on Privilege and Tenure. [H-L]

U.S. immigration authorities have altered their account of the Border Patrol’s recent fatal shooting of Claudia Patricia Gómez Gonzáles, a 20-year-old woman who had traveled from Guatemala to Texas to help pay for her education. [HuffPo]

Wayne Lewis, like Matt Bevin, is a con artist. A meeting between members of Jefferson County’s legislative delegation and Kentucky’s new interim education commissioner, Wayne D. Lewis Jr., became confrontational this week when Lewis deflected questions about his proposed takeover of Jefferson County Public Schools, according to lawmakers who attended. [C-J/AKN]

The FBI has obtained secret wiretaps collected by Spanish police of conversations involving Alexander Torshin, a deputy governor of Russia’s Central Bank who has forged close ties with U.S. lawmakers and the National Rifle Association, that led to a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. during the gun lobby’s annual convention in Louisville, Ky., in May 2016, a top Spanish prosecutor said Friday. [Yahoo]

Though it has its share of concerts, shows and other ticketed events, Madison County also is chock-full of things to do without having to pay for the experience. [Richmond Register]

Trump’s in-plain-sight embrace of Russia gets obscured by the Trump news avalanche. But long before running for president, Trump relied on Russian money. [CNBC]

The audit of the financial statement of the Boyd County Fiscal Court for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2016 has been released. [Ashland Independent]

Before James Clapper signed on to become President Barack Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, he wrote the president a letter with these famous last words: “I have always sought to be below the radar. I do not like publicity.” [CBS News]

It was a back and forth battle all Tuesday night for the Democratic nominee of the county’s highest elected seat, but former Magistrate Harry Clark was able to fend off political newcomer and current deputy-judge executive Lincoln Caudill for the opportunity to battle in November for Rowan County Judge-Executive. [The Morehead News]

Indiana authorities on Saturday were yet to charge and identify the student who they say was responsible for wounding a teacher and student at a middle school in what media is reporting as the 23rd shooting on a United States campus in 2018. [Reuters]

Barren County Fiscal Court undid Friday two of its Tuesday amendments to the ordinance establishing the 2018-19 fiscal year budget and created a new amendment to more accurately reflect the intent of the other two. [Glasgow Daily Times]

An American government employee posted in southern China has signs of possible brain injury after reporting disturbing sounds and sensations, the State Department said on Wednesday, in events that seemed to draw parallels with mysterious ailments that struck American diplomats in Cuba. [NY Times]

Andy Barr made coal a central part of his campaign when he landed a seat in Congress. Now facing what could be his first truly competitive challenge, the politics of coal are likely to play a significant role in the Republican incumbent’s race to defend his Central Kentucky seat against Democrat Amy McGrath. [H-L]

So dangerously stupid. Donald Trump attacked The New York Times in a tweet Saturday, claiming the paper made up a “senior White House official” for its story about the canceled North Korea summit. The official, a member of Trump’s National Security Council, actually does exist and led a briefing at the White House on Thursday for reporters. [HuffPo]

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Carpetbagger McGrath Is Playing Gray’s Victim To Gain Political Points

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Amy McGrath is upset that she’s being called out for not living in Kentucky. Pointing out – factually – that she hasn’t lived in Kentucky in a loooong time is not an attack on her military service. Jim Gray is a crap candidate and his people are even worse but enough with that “stop attacking my service” nonsense. Being a veteran doesn’t automatically make someone above reproach. It’s not a free pass. If it were, this country wouldn’t allow so many veterans to be homeless and destitute without care. [H-L]

Employers who stiff their workers or discriminate against them just got a big lift from the Supreme Court, which issued a major ruling Monday making it easier for companies to avoid employee lawsuits. [HuffPo]

Attorneys for the University of Louisville Athletic Association called the damage caused by former men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino “catastrophic” in seeking to dismiss the lawsuit against the organizations. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, who made millions over the past 18 months soliciting funds from clients seeking entree and influence at the White House, met with a senior Qatari official in Florida last month, just days before the FBI raided Cohen’s home and office, according to two sources familiar with the matter. [Foreign Policy]

Kentucky House Rep. C. Wesley Morgan, who has represented the 81st district since January 2017, will take on challenger Deanna Frazier of Richmond in Tuesday’s primary. [Richmond Register]

Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Monday was set to hold a series of meetings on how to combat school violence, three days after a 17-year-old killed 10 people in the fourth-deadliest mass shooting at a public school in modern U.S. history. [Reuters]

Keeping children adequately fed in the summer doesn’t have to be a problem, because several area school districts are serving up free lunches every day. [Ashland Independent]

On Mother’s Day, Michael Avenatti, attorney for Stormy Daniels, posted a cryptic tweet with several images of Trump Tower on December 12, 2016. The photos featured Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who Avenatti is suing on Daniels’ behalf, Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser and several men who are more difficult to identify. About six hours later, Avenatti revealed the identity of one of the other men in the picture. According to Avenatti, it’s Ahmed al-Rumaihi, a former Qatari diplomat who now heads up the nation’s massive investment fund. [ThinkProgress]

A motion challenging “the good faith” of current Rowan County Circuit Clerk Kim Barker-Tabor has been dismissed. [The Morehead News]

The event was grotesque. It was a consummation of the cynical alliance between hawkish Jews and Zionist evangelicals who believe that the return of Jews to Israel will usher in the apocalypse and the return of Christ, after which Jews who don’t convert will burn forever. [NY Times]

As of the end of the third quarter of the current fiscal year, the city of Glasgow’s funds had nearly half a million dollars more in revenue than expenses. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A music promoter who promised Donald Trump Jr. over email that a Russian lawyer would provide dirt about Hillary Clinton in June 2016 made the offer because he had been assured the Moscow attorney was “well connected” and had “damaging material,” the promoter testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee. [WaPo & Committee on the Judiciary Material]

How many second chances can a person get in this life? Public corruption fraudster Richie Farmer will avoid jail time after pleading guilty to driving under the influence earlier this year, according to court records and media reports. [H-L]

This 20-year-old CEO has created a website aimed at preventing suicide and self-harm by pairing people online who can support each other. [HuffPo]

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The Republican Party of Kentucky’s Assault On Education Hits Raceland

Republican Senate candidate Don Blankenship stepped up his unconventional attacks on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday with a new ad that accuses him of creating “millions of jobs for China people.” [H-L]

Aides to Donald Trump, the US president, hired an Israeli private intelligence agency to orchestrate a “dirty ops” campaign against key individuals from the Obama administration who helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal, the Observer can reveal. People in the Trump camp contacted private investigators in May last year to “get dirt” on Ben Rhodes, who had been one of Barack Obama’s top national security advisers, and Colin Kahl, deputy assistant to Obama, as part of an elaborate attempt to discredit the deal. [The Guardian]

Louisville prosecutors want probation revoked for the leader of a white nationalist group who repeatedly pushed a woman at a Donald Trump campaign rally in Louisville in 2016. [C-J/AKN]

Surprise! Republicans are still massive homophobes. The Kansas Legislature on Friday approved a bill that allows faith-based adoption agencies to turn away gay and lesbian couples based on religious beliefs, and the state’s governor said he would sign it. [Reuters]

The Attorney General issued an opinion Thursday stating the Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents violated the Open Meetings Act in discussing multiple potential layoffs in a session closed to the public. [Richmond Register]

Jared Kushner’s ethics disclosure filing misstated the financials on two Brooklyn loans, the latest in a long series of errors and omissions on the form. [ProPublica]

The board of directors for Barren County’s special ambulance service taxing district has decided it will not pay – at least for April – the typical portion Barren-Metcalfe County Emergency Medical Services bills it for its deficit. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump knew about a six-figure payment that Michael D. Cohen, his personal lawyer, made to a pornographic film actress several months before he denied any knowledge of it to reporters aboard Air Force One in April, according to two people familiar with the arrangement. [NY Times]

The Henderson School Board unanimously voted a century ago to ban the teaching of German in city schools, which was just the tip of the spear in the community’s case of anti-German hysteria at the time. [Frank Boyett]

A prominent Southern Baptist leader whose comments about spousal abuse set off a firestorm last week said in an interview Friday that he couldn’t “apologize for what I didn’t do wrong.” [WaPo]

The state budget crunch and changes in reciprocal enrollment agreements have taken their toll in Raceland-Worthington schools, where a number of staffers will be laid off at the end of the school year. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump harkened back to the racist attack he made on Mexican immigrants on the first day of his campaign in the summer of 2015 during a speech at the National Rifle Association (NRA) convention Friday. [ThinkProgress]

Becky Mullins’ heart broke two decades ago when the 2- and 3-year-old sisters for whom she cared as a foster mother were ordered back to their biological parents, where they had been abused until the state of Kentucky removed them. [John Cheves]

There were reasons to suspect the serial murderer and rapist known as the “Golden State Killer” worked as a cop. He knew to conceal his identity, wearing ski masks and gloves, ordering his victims not to look at him, disguising his voice in a whisper. [HuffPo]

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Kentucky Republicans: Still Killing Ethics

The general counsel for the Kentucky House Republican Caucus, who allegedly sat in the room as former House Speaker Jeff Hoover and three other Republican lawmakers secretly settled a sexual harassment complaint, will soon serve as the attorney for the Legislative Ethics Commission. [H-L]

The Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general has opened “new reviews” into Administrator Scott Pruitt’s alleged ethical lapses, including his $50 per night condo rental, according to letters sent Friday to two top Democrats. [HuffPo]

Greg Fischer unveiled a spending plan for the city Thursday that he said builds on Louisville’s momentum in the face of a $9.4 million bump in retirement costs. [C-J/AKN]

Follow the path of immigrants fleeing violence or persecution, and get a glimpse into the complicated, evolving system designed to grant them refuge in the United States. [ProPublica]

Candidates running for state representative and sheriff laid out their plans and why they should be elected, during a recent Richmond Chamber of Commerce Meet the Candidates Community Forum hosted at Eastern Kentucky University. [Richmond Register]

Within establishment political and media circles, the mythology surrounding the motives of white working-class voters has been the most popular and enduring explanation for why Donald Trump is in the White House. Trump voters are much less worried about their financial well-being than they are about losing their dominant status as white people within a demographically diverse and ever-changing nation. [ThinkProgress]

Louisville Metro Police have now had more shootings involving officers this year than all of last year, following a fatal shooting Wednesday night in Shawnee. [WFPL]

Last year, Howard “Buck” McKeon, a former Republican congressman who chaired the House Armed Services Committee, was hired to lobby for an Albanian political party seeking access to the Trump administration and congressional Republicans. But most of his firm’s work was bankrolled by a Cypriot shell company called Dorelita Limited. [Mother Jones]

More than 3,500 Hepatitis A vaccinations have been given to area residents following an outbreak of the disease. [Ashland Independent]

A top official with the Department of Health and Human Services is expected to tell members of Congress on Thursday that the agency lost track of nearly 1,500 migrant children the agency placed with sponsors in the United States, according to prepared testimony obtained by The New York Times. [NY Times]

Matt Bevin Thursday vetoed five bills and part of a sixth but allowed a tax cleanup bill which corrected mistakes in a revenue bill he opposed to become law without his signature and didn’t veto last-minute “fixes” to the budget bill. [Ronnie Ellis]

After Donald Trump vowed last year to release all the long-secret files related to the JFK assassination, the administration announced Thursday that some documents will remain redacted until October 2021 for national security reasons. [WaPo]

The open race for Lexington’s top job has attracted one of the largest fields of candidates in recent history. And the number of candidates will likely make for a messy primary season. [H-L]

A top Democratic congressman on Friday unsuccessfully tried to create a special committee to investigate why House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Shitbag) abruptly fired the House chaplain last week. [HuffPo]

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Republicans Keep Losing To Beshear

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Comedian Michelle Wolf took the bold route during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday night. [YouTube]

The General Assembly has adjourned, and thousands of protesting teachers have left the Capitol and gone back to their classrooms. But the battle for public schools and universities in Kentucky has just begun. [Tom Eblen]

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is proposing to increase rent for millions of low-income tenants in government-subsidized housing and impose stricter work requirements. [HuffPo]

A robbery suspect fleeing from police Tuesday was shot at more than 20 times and killed by three officers and one detective from Louisville Metro Police’s First Division, according to police body camera videos. [C-J/AKN]

A federal judge has blocked Donald Trump’s administration from terminating grants issued through a teen pregnancy prevention program, marking the third time in a week that a court has held that the administration’s 2017 decision was unlawful. [Reuters]

Madison County Board of Education approved in a special-called meeting Wednesday to enter into a contract with the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA) for services in finding a new superintendent, as current Superintendent Elmer Thomas has announced his final day will be June 30. [Richmond Register]

The U.S. Department of Education was investigating why black students in Bryan, Texas, are almost four times as likely as white students to be suspended. Then Betsy DeVos took over. [ProPublica]

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear can continue to pursue his challenge to a pension reform bill passed by the 2018 General Assembly. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump made two significant legal errors during a Fox & Friends phone interview on Thursday morning, during which he became audibly agitated about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation — at one point yelling about FBI raids on his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and his personal attorney, Michael Cohen. [ThinkProgress]

The Barren County Economic Authority appears to have a buyer for its 80,100-square-foot speculative building in Highland Glen Industrial Park, and it’s a company that already has a presence here. [Glasgow Daily Times]

When you have the best known name in your congressional district and your younger brother is a heartbeat away from the presidency, it is difficult to run a stealth campaign. But Greg Pence is doing a pretty good job of it. [NY Times]

The Kentucky Labor Cabinet has filed suit against the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting to prevent releasing details about employees accused of sexual harassment — the second state agency to sue KyCIR in the last month. [WFPL]

As views shift on the decriminalization of marijuana, and current and former lawmakers question existing drug laws, the fact that people of color, particularly from low-income communities, are still suffering consequences from decades-old marijuana laws is deeply concerning, critics say. [WaPo]

The former pension fund manager who once lived in a multimillion-dollar house in Bourbon County was sentenced Wednesday to more than three years in prison for money laundering and the theft of $600,000 from two employee pension plans. [H-L]

Scott Pruitt, the embattled Environmental Protection Agency administrator, admitted Thursday that he signed off on controversial five-figure raises for political appointees, contradicting statements he made in a tense Fox News interview earlier this month. [HuffPo]

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Rand Paul Flip-Flopped On Pompeo

Kentucky’s acting public health commissioner on Friday issued a statement saying “it is safe to travel to Kentucky and it is safe to attend the Kentucky Derby.” [H-L]

Rand Paul (R-Keebler) announced Monday that he would support Mike Pompeo to be secretary of state, a change in position that allowed the CIA chief to be recommended favorably out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee after all. [HuffPo]

Don’t worry, it wasn’t Heather French Henry claiming the sun was in her eyes this time. Police are investigating after a bicyclist was killed early Saturday morning after being struck by a vehicle on Dixie Highway. [C-J/AKN]

In a sprawling plant near Amarillo, Texas, rows of workers perform by hand one of the most dangerous jobs in American industry. Contract workers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pantex facility gingerly remove the plutonium cores from retired nuclear warheads. Although many safety rules are in place, a slip of the hand could mean disaster. [Reuters]

Lee Henderson closes his eyes and pictures Mary Turner holding her swollen belly and breathing heavily as she runs from the lynch mob. [Richmond Register]

New reports provide an unprecedented look at contaminants leaking from coal ash ponds and landfills. But the chasm between information and environmental protection may deepen thanks to a proposed Trump administration rollback. [ProPublica]

Americans overwhelmingly believe teachers don’t make enough money, and half say they’d support paying higher taxes to give educators a raise. [Ashland Independent]

Former FBI Director James Comey’s newly released memos indicate that in early 2017, Donald Trump repeatedly tried to refute one of the most salacious allegations in the Steele dossier — that Trump engaged in acts with sex workers at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton during a trip to Russia for the 2013 Miss Universe competition — by claiming he didn’t even spend a night in Moscow. But Trump’s defense against what he characterizes as “fake news” is directly contradicted by the sworn testimony of his longtime bodyguard, Keith Schiller. [ThinkProgress]

All Kentucky students in grades K-12 will be required to have the Hepatitis A vaccine by July 1 in order to attend school. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Trump administration says it plans to roll back a rule issued by President Barack Obama that prevents doctors, hospitals and health insurance companies from discriminating against transgender people. [NY Times]

Only a handful of families remain in the residential farming community beside the Trimble County power plant. The rest have sold their properties and moved away. The ones who stay behind live with daily blasting and construction as Louisville Gas & Electric builds a coal ash landfill across the street from their homes. Two families say they’re ready to leave, but they can’t because LG&E hasn’t offered them a fair price on their homes. [WFPL]

Eight months after a white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville ended in the death of a counterprotester, the loose collection of disaffected young white men known as the alt-right is in disarray. [WaPo]

Kentucky’s rich farmland is rapidly disappearing, and most of it is being lost to a different kind of development than you might think, according to a new study by American Farmland Trust. [H-L]

Did you have a happy Tax Day? Are you feeling grateful for the Republican tax cut? Evidently, most American taxpayers are not. In a sublime case of poetic justice, the so-called Tax Cut and Jobs Act is backfiring on the Republicans big time. Most voters are unimpressed, and Republicans themselves are ceasing to emphasize it in their campaign material. [HuffPo]

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KRS Trustees Are Still Shady As Hell

The Kentucky Retirement Systems Board of Trustees voted unanimously Thursday to not join a lawsuit filed by eight public employees alleging that several major investment firms cheated it on up to $1.5 billion in hedge fund investments, with blame to be shared by some of its own current and former trustees and officials. [John Cheves]

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted on Saturday that a source quoted in her story derided by Donald Trump as a “drunk/drugged up loser” is likely former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg. [HuffPo]

In a definitive win for open records advocates, the state attorney general’s office has found Kentucky State Police violated the state public records law by denying Courier Journal requests for the agency’s database of arrest and traffic citations. [C-J/AKN]

Jeff Sessions, miniature human but full-sized racist, wants to remove domestic abuse as a legal justification for seeking asylum. [Politico]

White Hall State Historic Site is set to break ground Saturday for the first hemp crop grown on the property since the early 19th century. The inaugural plot will be featured on the Heritage Hemp Trail, and showcased during events and tours. [Richmond Register]

Schoolchildren across the US walked out of their classrooms on Friday morning to demonstrate against gun violence. The National School Walkout marked the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado. [BBC]

Carter County residents stood in a line that stretched out the door and down the hallway as they waited for their turn to receive vaccinations against the Hepatitis A virus at the Carter County Health Department on Thursday. [Ashland Independent]

Memos written by the former F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, that were released on Thursday revealed several new details about his relationship with Donald Trump and the president’s first chief of staff, Reince Priebus. [NY Times]

Rowan County Fiscal Court has decided against any further discussion about potentially contracting out the services of the Tri-County Animal Shelter. [The Morehead News]

Keith Davidson, the former attorney for two women who were paid to keep quiet about their alleged affairs with Donald Trump, has been contacted by federal authorities investigating Trump attorney Michael Cohen and is cooperating with them, a spokesman for Davidson confirmed. [WaPo]

Jeff Hoover, the former Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives, and three other lawmakers paid $110,000 last fall to settle a sexual harassment claim by a young female legislative aide against the backdrop of a national debate about sexual harassment. And Julian Carroll did more than “grope” a man – it was on tape and the victim went public. [Ronnie Ellis]

Judge James Ho has been a federal judge for only a few months. Until Wednesday, he had never handed down a judicial opinion in his life. But the Trump appointee’s very first opinion, a dissent calling for a sweeping assault on campaign contribution limits, is a doozy. [ThinkProgress]

Andy Barr couldn’t get a word in. “Some of you agree with what I’m doing in Washington,” Barr said in Richmond, where the crowd often booed him. “A lot of you do.” That statement will be put to the test in November. [H-L]

Ahead of a tight primary on May 8, Dennis Kucinich’s bid to win the Democratic nomination for the critical gubernatorial race in Ohio landed in trouble this week because of the revelation that he was paid $20,000 last year by a group sympathetic to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. Now, largely overlooked election filings show that the former congressman’s political apparatus received thousands of more dollars from two brothers involved in multiple efforts to bring Kucinich and Assad together since 2007. [HuffPo]

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