Boyd County Jail Nightmare Continues

Seventeen crosses with the names and ages of the victims killed in last month’s Florida school massacre have been hung from a Kentucky billboard advertising a gun show. [H-L]

The White House announced support Sunday for firearms training for some teachers to protect schools, and has backed off an earlier call by Donald Trump to raise the age individuals can purchase assault-style weapons from 18 to 21. [HuffPo]

Rand Paul is all in for Kentucky’s medical marijuana bill. House Bill 166, which has gained support of Republicans and Democrats in the Kentucky legislature, would allow patients with certain conditions to use the drug. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports could result in economic growth that is slower than states assumed in their budget forecasts, S&P Global Ratings said on Friday. [Reuters]

A special prosecutor was assigned to the case against Boyd County Jailer Joe Burchett, who has pleaded not guilty to a charge of malfeasance or neglect of county officer. [Ashland Independent]

A complex banking bill currently making its way through the Senate is praised by proponents as a common sense revision of banking regulations, that would help small banks and lenders thrive. But activists for fair housing practices are increasingly sounding alarms warning the bill opens the door for many financial institutions to hide racially discriminatory practices in mortgage lending. [ThinkProgress]

Facing a $15 million budget shortfall, Western Kentucky University announced last month it would return its regional campuses in Glasgow, Owensboro and Elizabethtown to the Division of Extended Learning and Outreach. [Glasgow Daily Times]

It was late in the afternoon of November 9, 2013, in Moscow, and Donald Trump was getting anxious. [Mother Jones]

A lawsuit has been filed by a large shareholder of Louisville-based Kindred Healthcare that seeks to block the sale of the company to Humana and two private equity firms. [WFPL]

A Belarusian escort with close ties to a powerful Russian oligarch said from behind bars in Bangkok on Monday that she had more than 16 hours of audio recordings that could help shed light on Russian meddling in United States elections. [NY Times]

Local school officials are working with students should they decide to join in a national school walkout to protest gun violence and call for tighter gun laws this week. [BGDN]

Donald Trump would be able to dispatch Secret Service agents to polling places nationwide during a federal election, a vast expansion of executive authority, if a provision in a Homeland Security reauthorization bill remains intact. [Boston Globe]

John Ray of Martin County worked in coal mines nearly 10 years before the company told him he would be laid off. [H-L]

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had one of the most contentious confirmation hearings of the Trump administration, with two Republicans voting against her nomination. On Sunday night, she told Lesley Stahl of “60 Minutes” that she’s “more misunderstood than anything.” [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Greg Fischer: Still Fighting Transparency

House Republicans working to flesh out their recent promise of tax reform should heed the evidence that’s piling up in other states: Cutting income and business taxes, and offsetting the losses by raising sales taxes, is no magic economic elixir. It’s more a recipe for starving education, infrastructure and other public services and dishing up more budget crises. [H-L]

Last Saturday, in a private meeting with Republican donors who had gathered at his Mar-a-Lago estate, Donald Trump attacked yet again the basic foundations of American democracy. In his freewheeling and unscripted talk, a recording of which was obtained by CNN, Trump eventually focused his comments on President Xi Jinping of China. He noted Xi’s plan to abolish China’s presidential term limits, and lavished praise on this authoritarian grab at unrestricted power. [HuffPo]

Flashback to Greg Fischer claiming to be the most transparent mayor in Louisville history. Courier Journal is suing Louisville for refusing to release details on the incentives it offered to Amazon in return for the online retail giant building its second headquarters here. [C-J/AKN]

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway violated the Hatch Act on two occasions, the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) informed the Trump administration Tuesday. [The Hill]

Madison County is now officially the only community in Kentucky, and one of only seven nationwide, to be a Blueprint for Safety Community. [Richmond Register]

Migrants separated from their children after they were detained for illegally entering the United States filed a class action lawsuit on Friday, claiming there are “hundreds” of parents in the same situation, and that the Trump administration is violating their due process rights. [Reuters]

A Catlettsburg city councilman pleaded guilty to drug charges Friday and then was accused of almost immediately violating the terms of his probation by being under the influence of heroin, meth and other drugs. [Ashland Independent]

Coal ash — the residual byproduct of burning coal — is the second-largest form of waste in the entire country, with utilities producing more than 100 million tons of it each year. For decades, companies have dealt with all that coal ash by storing it in unlined pits or landfills. Now, new reporting data shows this has lead to the contamination of groundwater at coal-fired power plants across the country. [ThinkProgress]

Rowan County Sheriff Matt Sparks talked guns with Morehead-Rowan County Chamber of Commerce members this month. [The Morehead News]

The special counsel in the Russia investigation has learned of two conversations in recent months in which Donald Trump asked key witnesses about matters they discussed with investigators. [NY Times]

The Interapt Skills proposal is being downsized after it apparently became clear that the original price tag of nearly $1.9 million was going to be “too lofty a goal for our community at this point.” [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Social Security Administration’s acting commissioner had no authority to act after mid-November because the agency is in violation of a federal law regarding vacant positions, according to a report to the president. [WaPo]

A student accidentally shot himself in a classroom at Lexington’s Frederick Douglass High School with a “pocket-sized handgun” he took to school Friday, according to school district police and administrators. [H-L]

A top GOP fundraiser pitched Donald Trump last year on a plan to recruit a thousands-strong international Muslim army — to be advised by retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal — that would help the United Arab Emirates battle the Taliban and the Islamic State in Afghanistan, according to a leaked memo the fundraiser wrote documenting his meeting with the president. The army “would consist of two brigades (5,000 total troops) comprised of Muslim soldiers recruited from Arab and Islamic nations,” Elliott Broidy, a Republican National Committee deputy finance chair, wrote in the memo. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

What Will The RPK Ruin This Week?

***Care about the future of Kentucky? Help us cover FOIA and open records request fees relating to Matt Bevin and Jamie Comer.*** [CLICK HERE]

Thousands of people who own houseboats on Kentucky’s lakes don’t pay required property taxes, but lawmakers are pondering a measure that could ensure the luxury boats are on the tax rolls. [H-L]

The ACLU’s top voting rights lawyer faced down one of Donald Trump’s voter fraud commissioners in court on Friday, getting him to concede that he had shaky evidence of significant voter fraud in Kansas. [HuffPo]

Denise Brown is still a damn fool and she should be disbarred. A Jefferson County Family Court judge on Monday jailed a mother whose daughter refuses to go on weekend visits with her father, saying she fears her dad and doesn’t feel safe with him. Finding the mother in contempt of court, Judge Denise Brown ordered the mother to spend two days in jail and had threatened to return her to jail Friday if the 10-year-old refused to go to her father’s home for a visit this weekend. [C-J/AKN]

A key aide to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has been granted permission to make extra money moonlighting for private clients whose identities are being kept secret. [AP]

This wasn’t supposed to happen. Maybe in the House but not in the Senate. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump’s lawyer is trying to silence adult-film star Stormy Daniels, obtaining a secret restraining order in a private arbitration proceeding and warning that she will face penalties if she publicly discusses a relationship with the president, NBC News has learned. [NBC News]

Rural Johnson County Kentucky native Paul Castle remembers the first time he visited Chicago in his 20s. [Ashland Independent]

In January, after a long day at his London office, Christopher Steele, the former spy turned private investigator, was stepping off a commuter train in Farnham, where he lives, when one of his two phones rang. [New Yorker]

Rowan County Attorney Cecil Watkins has advised those running for office in the May 22 primary election that they can go against county ordinance and begin placing political posting signs earlier than 45 days before the election. [The Morehead News]

In a letter marked “Private & Confidential” to the hotel’s other owners, the businessman, Orestes Fintiklis, likened the Trumps to leeches who had attached to the property, “draining our last drops of blood,” according to a copy reviewed by The New York Times. [NY Times]

The Hart County Sheriff’s Office is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the theft of a car in Munfordville this week. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The U.S. Department of Justice formally submitted a regulation on Saturday to ban “bump stocks,” a modification to high-capacity rifles that lets them fire like an automatic weapon. [Reuters]

Republicanism is a disease. A measure pending in a House committee would repeal a rule that cost a state representative access to his luxury houseboat for a time after he allegedly did not pay fees to a marina. The legislator, Republican Rep. C. Wesley Morgan of Richmond, is a co-sponsor of House Bill 183, which is more broadly aimed at making sure owners of houseboats pay their property taxes. But one part of the bill would address a situation that has Morgan involved in litigation. [H-L]

When the NRA lunatics claim things should be left up to the states to decide? Well… here’s proof they don’t mean that. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Jeff Hoover’s Finally Had His Bigoted Butt Handed To Him And We All Get To Watch Him Melt Down

The Legislative Research Commission is still corrupt as hell. The former chief clerk of the Kentucky House has filed a lawsuit saying he was fired for reporting ethical misdeeds in the sexual harassment scandal involving former House Speaker Jeff Hoover and other lawmakers. Brad Metcalf, who was fired in January, alleges in his whistleblower suit filed Thursday that the woman who made the complaint showed him text messages she’d exchanged with Hoover, “many of an explicit nature,” as well as a timeline of their “inappropriate encounters,” before the secret settlement was reached. [C-J/AKN]

In the midst of a federal investigation into corruption in the world of college basketball, a Louisville lawmaker is trying to tighten up the rules that govern athletic agents. [Linda Blackford]

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is changing the mission statement of his agency, removing promises of inclusive and discrimination-free communities. [HuffPo]

Republican John Schickel is a basket of clown dicks. That old racist is fighting to keep forced child marriages legal. [More C-J/AKN]

The world’s biggest investment management firm is stepping up pressure on companies that make and sell guns after the Florida school shooting. [BBC]

Kim Davis is a hypocrite and a monster. But Matt Bevin is worse. Can’t wait til people start to talk about what goes on in his private office. 2019 will be fun. [WDRB]

A prominent Kremlin-linked Russian politician has methodically cultivated ties with leaders of the National Rifle Association and documented efforts in real time over six years to leverage those connections and gain deeper access into American politics. [NPR]

It’s a far cry from what the original pension reform proposal released last fall and it’s far from acceptable to most teachers and state employees, but Wednesdaym a state Senate committee sent a compromise pension reform bill to the full Senate. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that people held in immigration detention, sometimes for years, are not entitled to periodic hearings to decide whether they may be released on bail. [NY Times]

On wintry or rainy days, most Kentucky state lawmakers travel from their offices in the annex through an underground tunnel connected to the Capitol building. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Inside the White House, aides over the past week have described an air of anxiety and volatility — with an uncontrollable commander in chief at its center. These are the darkest days in at least half a year, they say, and they worry just how much farther Donald Trump and his administration may plunge into unrest and malaise before they start to recover. As one official put it: “We haven’t bottomed out.” [WaPo]

he state House Judiciary Committee heard a second day of testimony on a bill legalizing the use of medical marijuana – this time from opponents – but took no vote. [Even More Ronnie Ellis]

George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman, has hovered on the fringes of international diplomacy for three decades. He was a back-channel negotiator with Syria during the Clinton administration, reinvented himself as an adviser to the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates, and last year was a frequent visitor to Donald Trump’s White House. Mr. Nader is now a focus of the investigation by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel. [More NY Times]

A newly-elected board of elders for Southern Acres Christian Church has taken possession of the church and ousted senior pastor Cameron McDonald from his position. [H-L]

Sen Turd Cruz (R-Racist) has a warning for his fellow Republicans: The party is in danger of losing both houses of Congress in November. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Andy Barr & Mike Pence Sittin In A Tree

Don’t forget that Andy Barr is tightly aligned with Trump and Pence. Mike Pence touted the GOP tax overhaul and U.S. Rep. Andy Barr’s re-election bid Wednesday at More Than a Bakery in Versailles. [H-L]

Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School weren’t pleased with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ visit to the Parkland, Florida, school on Wednesday, saying that she met with few students. [HuffPo]

The House this week restored funding to 24 of the 70 programs that Matt Bevin proposed be eliminated in his proposed budget. [C-J/AKN]

An industry group says the Trump Misadministration is run “like a bad family-owned small business” and they love it. [ProPublica]

Pension continues to be the most haunting word for politicians seeking solutions to Kentucky’s failing pensions in a session, which Senator Jared Carpenter called “unique and difficult,” during a legislative update Monday. [Richmond Register]

Billionaire investor and longtime Trump confidant Carl Icahn dumped $31.3 million of stock in a company heavily dependent on steel last week, just days before Trump announced plans to impose steep tariffs on steel imports. [ThinkProgress]

Who else forgot Hampton existed? When she was a child, she never envisioned her life would take the path it has, Kentucky’s lieutenant governor told nearly 80 youths in Glasgow on Monday morning. [Glasgow Daily Times]

China has warned that it does not want a trade war with the US, but will not sit idly by if its economy is hurt. [BBC]

Probably has something to do with Jim Gray’s efforts to sweep as many homeless individuals off the streets as possible. Lipstick on a pig, if you will. Officials in Kentucky’s second-largest city say the number of homeless has declined to its lowest level in more than a decade. [WKYT]

The devastating explosion in the Upper Big Branch coal mine killed 29 men in 2010 and scarred West Virginia like few events in modern memory. Don Blankenship, the head of the mining company, went to prison over it. Not many people would call that a springboard for a career in politics. [NY Times]

Effective communication is one key toward school safety, parents and education officials in the Boyd County district agreed Monday in a community meeting. [Ashland Independent]

These people are dumb as hell. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro insisted that other countries won’t retaliate in a way that hurts U.S. consumers, dismissing the concerns of many economists and some Republican lawmakers. [WaPo]

Back off the bourbon. And stop trying to annoy Mitch McConnell. That’s the message from two powerful Kentucky interests — distillers and McConnell, the Senate’s most powerful leader. [H-L]

Experts say one of the most pervasive misconceptions about mental illness is that perpetrators of America’s all-too-common mass shootings have mental health issues. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Republicans Can’t Do Math, Apparently

For decades, people have sparred over the University of Kentucky’s Robinson Forest, a 15,000-acre block of ecologically diverse Appalachian woodland that serves as a living laboratory for how healthy forests can impact the water and animals that run through them. [Linda Blackford]

Striking teachers and other public employees in West Virginia have shut down schools across the state for more than a week, flooding the capitol in Charleston each day to rebuke their lawmakers. The workers are demanding significant raises to their stagnant pay and a clear plan to curb rising premiums in the state employee health care program. [HuffPo]

TL;DR: More of the same from the Republican Party of Kentucky. Line 3 on page 186 of the House budget bill goes a long way in explaining how the House committee could afford to restore so much funding that Bevin cut. It shows that a whopping $480 million will be transferred between now and the end of the next two-year budget period to general state spending from the Public Employees’ Health Plan. That’s about $280 million more than Bevin proposed taking from this fund, which has been tapped regularly over the past decade. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump has moved aggressively in his first year in office to roll back regulations he says have harmed America’s coal miners. But the industry itself remains mired in long-term decline, a downturn that one of Trump’s own government agencies predicts will only worsen over time. [The Hill]

Pregnant women in jail or prison could not be shackled during labor or child birth under a bill passed Monday by the state Senate. [Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump on Friday nominated a Dow Chemicals lawyer to head-up an Environmental Protection Agency unit that oversees hazardous waste disposal and chemical spills from toxic“Superfund” sites. [Reuters]

The Fairview Schools Board of Education placed the school district’s Superintendent, Michael Taylor, on suspension with pay Monday night but the reason for the suspension was not released. [Ashland Independent]

Mitch McConnell is still enabling genocide. Mitch McConnell, a longtime advocate for democracy in Myanmar and fan of Suu Kyi, has expressed his continued support in recent months despite the bloodshed in Rakhine state. “Publicly condemning Aung San Suu Kyi, the best hope for democratic reform in Burma, is simply not constructive,” the Republican senator said in September. [Politico]

Though details have yet to be announced, search warrants were executed at the Horse Cave Police Department on Monday as part of an ongoing federal investigation. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Former European leaders who tried to bring Ukraine closer to Europe before a 2014 uprising there reacted with shock on Saturday after a federal indictment accused Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, of secretly paying former European officials some two million euros in 2012 and 2013 to lobby on the country’s behalf. [NY Times]

Four Republican lawmakers in Kentucky who signed a secret sexual harassment settlement last year are scheduled to participate in a hearing next month before a state ethics commission that could recommend they be removed from office. [WFPL]

The family real estate company once run by White House adviser Jared Kushner is in talks to buy out its partner in a Manhattan skyscraper that has been losing money for years. [WaPo]

Is Marty Cockring a pervert? Why else would he lobby against ending the practice of taking child brides? [H-L]

Survivors of last month’s deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, have delivered a blistering message to Donald Trump. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]

Lexington Has A Youth Murder Problem?

The grand jury investigating alleged collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has sent a witness a subpoena seeking all documents involving the president and a host of his closest advisers, according to a copy of the subpoena reviewed by NBC News. [NBC News]

Billionaires these days are more skilled at stiffing “little people” and avoiding taxes. Instead of sending them to prison, we elect them governor of West Virginia — and president of the United States. [Tom Eblen]

For years, under multiple presidents, the State Department has ignored key court rulings that should guide how it grants citizenship to children who are born abroad to LGBTQ Americans. Instead, the department has clung to an outdated interpretation of the law under which it requires a biological tie between the U.S. citizen parent and the child. [HuffPo]

Oh, people do this when there’s a sports scandal but ignore the immediate prior decade of obscene corruption at UofL!? A group of University of Louisville fans is raising money to pay for billboards to pressure for removal of top university leaders, arguing that those in charge haven’t challenged the NCAA ruling and aren’t conducting a transparent search for a new president. [C-J/AKN]

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday expressed “deep concern” to Donald Trump over his announced plans to increase steel and aluminum tariffs. [The Hill]

Sure is fun watching Diane St. Onge prove out out-of-touch she is with reality. A shame the Kentucky Democratic Party can’t get itself together enough to oust her ignorant butt from office. [WFPL]

Gun-control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety said on Friday it will donate up to $2.5 million to support marches around the United States on March 24, the date of a planned March For Our Lives in Washington to demand an end to school shootings. [Reuters]

The Senate passed a measure yesterday to preserve the status quo in determining how many package liquor licenses are issued in individual cities and counties by a 32-4 vote. [The Morehead News]

The Census Bureau is exploring options about adding a citizenship question to the next census, amid a firestorm of protest about the controversial proposal. [ProPublica]

A year after handing out more than $180,000 to local nonprofit groups, Ashland commission members said they plan to take a closer look at annual tax dollar contributions as concerns swell over an increase in pension costs. [Ashland Independent]

Just a reminder that this happened last week. Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, has been stripped of his top-secret security clearance after months of delays in completing his background check, and will now be limited in his ability to view highly classified information. [NY Times]

As community members entered the Metcalfe County Middle School auditorium on Thursday evening for a discussion on school safety, they were handed a sheet of paper that outlined all of the school safety additions and improvements to Metcalfe County Schools since 2013. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Officials in at least four countries have privately discussed ways they can manipulate Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, by taking advantage of his complex business arrangements, financial difficulties and lack of foreign policy experience, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with intelligence reports on the matter. [WaPo]

For people between ages 15 and 24, homicide was the second most frequent cause of death behind unintentional injuries in Fayette County between 2013 and 2016. [H-L]

Many of America’s top trade partners bristled at the news that Donald Trump plans to impose tariffs of 10 percent on aluminum and 25 percent on steel imports next week. Canada called the tariffs “unacceptable” and “inappropriate.” Mexico is considering slapping tariffs of its own on the United States in retaliation. The European Union also plans to retaliate. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for mobile service and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. Or buy our silly magnets up! [CLICK HERE]