Bevin: Too Dumb To Walk & Chew Gum?

The Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents violated the state open meetings act when it met behind behind closed doors for more than five hours, Attorney General Andy Beshear said. [H-L]

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators have questioned a Russian oligarch about hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments his company’s US affiliate made to Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, after the election, according to a source familiar with the matter. [CNN]

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith sharply criticized Donald Trump on Friday for headlining the National Rifle Association convention mere months after he vowed to take action on gun control in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in which 17 people died. [HuffPo]

Jefferson County Public Schools could fight a state takeover in court by arguing that the state board of education cannot issue a fair decision because its new members are biased, a lawyer says. Louisville attorney David Tachau, whose practice includes constitutional litigation, said the circumstances leading up to interim Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis’ recommendation for a takeover seem suspect. [C-J/AKN]

Cambridge Analytica used its own database and voter information collected from Facebook and news publishers in its effort to help elect Donald Trump, despite a claim by a top campaign official who has downplayed the company’s role in the election. [The Guardian]

Presidents facing re-election often employ what’s euphemistically called “the Rose Garden Strategy” — events outside the White House which make them look presidential. Congressmen don’t have that luxury, but Kentucky’s Republican Congressman from the 6th District, Andy Barr, gets pretty close. [Ronnie Ellis]

The lobbyist and his wife who rented a condominium to Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt for $50 a night last summer paid a $2,034 fine on Friday for renting the property without the proper license. [The Hill]

Four Democrats and two Republicans are vying to fill the role of Greenup County Sheriff, an office that has been occupied by Democrat Keith Cooper since 1999. Cooper has opted against running for a sixth term. [Ashland Independent]

The U.S. National Security Agency collected 534 million records of phone calls and text messages of Americans last year, more than triple gathered in 2016, a U.S. intelligence agency report released on Friday said. [Reuters]

Harold “Hal” Rogers, U.S. representative for Kentucky’s 5th congressional district, attended a special meeting of the Gateway Area Development District (ADD) Wednesday to provide an update about ongoing work in Washington, DC and across southern and eastern Kentucky. [The Morehead News]

When the United States sought to punish Russia last month for its election interference and other aggressions, it targeted some of Russia’s wealthiest men, imposing sanctions on those viewed as enriching themselves off President Vladimir V. Putin’s government. Now it turns out that one of the men, Viktor F. Vekselberg, was also singled out in another of the efforts to confront Russia’s election interference: the investigation led by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. Federal agents working with Mr. Mueller stopped Mr. Vekselberg, a billionaire businessman, at a New York-area airport this year and sought to search his electronic devices and question him, according to people familiar with the matter. [NY Times]

While law enforcement agencies and other organizations around the nation may be increasing their gun bring-back programs, so far, that idea is not taking off in the Barren County area. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Beijing’s International Security Defense College, which boasts of becoming “the largest private security training school in China,” sits behind a 45-foot-high exterior wall and a barricade. Inside the compound, trainers with police and military experience teach classes on tackling detainees, handling hostage situations and thwarting terrorist attacks. [WaPo]

Faced with the need to cut nearly $1 million from its budget, Kentucky Educational Television is eliminating its online campus offerings, long known as “distance learning.” [H-L]

A high-ranking political appointee at the Department of the Interior told colleagues their job is ultimately to protect their boss, Secretary Ryan Zinke, internal emails reveal ― in particular from matters that could trigger an ethics probe or negative media attention. [HuffPo]

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Reggie Thomas Is Absolutely Correct

Reggie Thomas is absolutely right. Amy McGrath is a carpetbagger and Jim Gray has been a self-hater for so long that he doesn’t have the guts to do or say anything of substance. Look who they both have hired to run their campaigns. Just the worst of Kentucky politics. [H-L]

Donald Trump’s address to the National Rifle Association convention on Friday drew fierce criticism from a survivor of February’s deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin appears to have sold considerable real estate holdings in 2017, according to the annual personal financial disclosure statement he filed late Monday. [C-J/AKN]

The Justice Department deleted language about press freedom and racial gerrymandering from its internal manual. [BuzzFart]

As the opioid epidemic rages across Appalachia, one grim consequence has played out in Kentucky’s medical examiner’s office: A staggering increase in autopsy requests. [Richmond Register]

The uninsured rate among working-age people — that is, those who are between 19 and 64 — is at 15.5 percent, up from 12.7 percent in 2016, meaning an estimated 4 million people lost coverage. Rates were up significantly compared with 2016 among adults with lower incomes — those living in households earning less than 250 percent of poverty (about $30,000 for an individual. [Commonwealth Fund]

Court proceedings in a case against Boyd Jailer Joe Burchett accusing him of malfeasance continued Friday morning. [Ashland Independent]

On July 15, 2016, General Michael Flynn, Trump’s former National Security Adviser who is now cooperating with Special Counsel Mueller, sent an email predicting “a number of things…will happen…via cyber operations…by both hacktivists [and] nation-states.” A week later, Wikileaks began releasing hacked emails from the DNC. [ThinkProgress]

Three candidates for Rowan County Clerk participated in the Primary Candidate Forum held last Tuesday at the Morehead Conference Center. [The Morehead News]

Imagine if women could murder straight men when they hit on them or flirt and be protected by law. You can kill a gay person in all but two states and claim gay panic and get away with it. This guy did. [WaPo]

More than a dozen candidates showed up for the Barren River Rod & Gun Club’s second forum Thursday, this one highlighting different races than the one last month. [Glasgow Daily Times]

In the United States, Paul J. Manafort is facing prosecution on charges of money laundering and financial fraud stemming from his decade of work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine. But in Ukraine, where officials are wary of offending Donald Trump, not so much. There, four meandering cases that involve Mr. Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, have been effectively frozen by Ukraine’s chief prosecutor. [NY Times]

Republicans in heavily Republican districts don’t decide to drop out of their re-election bid because they think politics are too vicious. Pro-tip: There’s a research book floating around out there. [H-L]

Donald Trump has postponed the imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, the European Union and Mexico until June 1, and has reached agreements for permanent exemptions for Argentina, Australia and Brazil, the White House said on Monday. [HuffPo]

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Another Kentucky Newspaper Is Dying

Lexington deserves what it gets if it elects Teresa Isaac again. What a total buffoon. [H-L]

Albert Kelly, a top aide to Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt in charge of overhauling the organization’s cleanup of America’s most contaminated sites, has resigned. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin’s mansion and the 10 acres it sits on are now valued at $2.9 million under a new round of local property valuation updates — $1.3 million higher than what a company owned by Bevin paid for it slightly more than a year ago. The 81 percent difference follows questions from last year over the home’s true value and whether Bevin got a sweetheart deal when he bought the seven-bedroom, 9,100-square-foot estate from friend and donor Neil Ramsey in March 2017. [C-J/AKN]

Fearing they could lose access to federal student loans and grants, colleges and universities hire consultants to keep student loan defaults in check. But these advisers too often encourage borrowers to temporarily postpone payments, rather than enroll in plans that would manage their debt long-term — a strategy that skews the default data and threatens the financial health of borrowers, according to a study released Thursday by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. [WaPo]

Jim Gray found a modest sized crowd but a warm reception here Monday as he opened a local campaign office, telling about 35 people he’ll “get things done” in Washington if he’s elected U.S. Congressman from Kentucky’s 6th District. [Ronnie Ellis]

The Russian lawyer who met with Trump campaign officials in Trump Tower in June 2016 on the premise that she would deliver damaging information about Hillary Clinton has long insisted she is a private attorney, not a Kremlin operative trying to meddle in the presidential election. But newly released emails show that in at least one instance two years earlier, the lawyer, Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, worked hand in glove with Russia’s chief legal office to thwart a Justice Department civil fraud case against a well-connected Russian firm. Ms. Veselnitskaya also appears to have recanted her earlier denials of Russian government ties. [NY Times]

A hepatitis A outbreak growing in the Louisville area since last summer reached a new peak recently with a travel advisory from Indiana health officials. They told Hoosiers heading to Kentucky to get a hepatitis A vaccine. [WFPL]

The Trump administration is likely to propose freezing fuel economy standards from 2020 through 2026, according to three people briefed on the matter, a move likely to spark a fight with California and other states backing tougher vehicle emissions rules. [Reuters]

A single Boyd Democrat sheriff candidate will be selected this month to face the lone Republican candidate November. [Ashland Independent]

In February 2017, a top White House aide who was Trump’s longtime personal bodyguard, along with the top lawyer at the Trump Organization and a third man, showed up at the office of Trump’s New York doctor without notice and took all the president’s medical records. The incident, which Dr. Harold Bornstein described as a “raid,” took place two days after Bornstein told a newspaper that he had prescribed a hair growth medicine for the president for years. [NBC News]

Newspapers are continuing to die in Kentucky. The Morehead News will change its publication dates from Tuesday and Friday to once a week on Wednesdays, effective June 6, the newspaper has announced. [The Morehead News]

Peabody Energy, America’s biggest coalmining company, has funded at least two dozen groups that cast doubt on manmade climate change and oppose environment regulations, analysis by the Guardian reveals. [The Guardian]

More than 1,000 employees at the University of Kentucky will be able to continue working on degrees they’ve begun at other universities under a new program announced Tuesday. Those employees had been part of a statewide tuition waiver program that allowed them to take classes toward degrees at other public colleges and universities for free. [H-L]

At a roundtable with the nation’s top educators on Monday afternoon, at least one teacher told Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that her favored policies are having a negative effect on public schools, HuffPost has learned. [HuffPo]

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WTF Is Going On At WKU, Folks?

Authorities reportedly planned to remove dogs Tuesday from a controversial shelter in Elliott County that the owner describes as a sanctuary for discarded animals but critics deride as an overcrowded mess where dogs don’t receive adequate care. [H-L]

Hondurans, Guatemalans and Salvadorans who drew the wrath of Donald Trump in a month-long caravan to the U.S. border will make hard decisions on Sunday whether to risk being deported all the way home by trying to cross, or to build a life in Mexico. [Reuters]

It’s always been about politics. Taking over JCPS was about politics a legislative session or two ago when Republicans last tried to screw with the school district. [C-J/AKN]

The long-suffering population of the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk has been the flashpoint of the government’s fight with the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS) in recent days, with catastrophic consequences for defenseless residents. [ThinkProgress]

Candidates running for County Attorney and County PVA, to be narrowed during May’s primary, spoke directly to voters Monday during Richmond Chamber of Commerce’s Meet the Candidates Community Forum at hosted at Eastern Kentucky University. [Richmond Register]

With less than 200 days until the midterm elections, Democrats are generally thought to have a slight advantage in the fight for control of the House. That doesn’t mean they are going to prevail. [NY Times]

Matt Bevin’s office formally announced that Louisville-based Alliant Technologies plans to invest nearly $1.19 million in Glasgow to establish a 30-job electrical panel fabrication facility. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Jessica Morales gets to Prairie Queen Elementary before the bell rings. In class, she is a lifeline for recent immigrant students, translating lessons they cannot understand. Last year, when a teacher had to leave school unexpectedly, Morales filled in, decorating the classroom, teaching the class, holding parent-teacher conferences. [WaPo]

The Rowan County Board of Education voted unanimously to name John Maxey as the district’s next superintendent. [The Morehead News]

How Russian Facebook ads divided and targeted US voters before the 2016 election. [Wired]

Western Kentucky University’s student body president-elect and executive vice president say they want to curb a “toxic environment” within the Student Government Association that made current SGA President Andi Dahmer fear for her safety. [BGDN]

A Russian mixed martial arts fighter who has connections with Donald Trump, the president’s personal attorney Michael Cohen and Russian President Vladimir Putin was questioned this week by the FBI, his manager confirmed Saturday. [TPM]

This should fail spectacularly. An MTV reality show set in Eastern Kentucky is set to debut this summer, and the mayor of the rural town does not want his town shown in a bad light. [H-L]

Jill Stein ended months of silence and speculation about her role in the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, announcing this week that she would not be complying with a documents request put forth by the Senate intelligence committee. [ThinkProgress]

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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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How On Earth Is It Only Wednesday?

When Dr. Harold Bornstein described in hyperbolic prose then-candidate Donald Trump’s health in 2015, the language he used was eerily similar to the style preferred by his patient. It turns out the patient himself wrote it, according to Bornstein. [CNN]

About a month after a state audit recommended increased supervision over the Pike County treasurer, a report from the Appalachian News-Express revealed the treasurer has failed to deposit about $1 million in checks paid to the county over the last 6 months. [H-L]

Literally the only person who is going to be against this is somebody who wants to protect payday lender profits. [HuffPo]

On a cricket field on the outskirts of Maysville, Kentucky, a mob in 1899 burned to death a young black man accused of raping and murdering the wife of a white farmer. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump’s physician Ronny Jackson on Thursday withdrew from consideration to head the Veterans Affairs department after allegations that he had been lax with prescription drugs and drank alcohol on the job. [Reuters]

A new report ranks Kentucky drivers among the 10 states with the most aggressive drivers. [Richmond Register]

Ilbouto Micheline began listing the countries represented by the little flags lined up on the mantelpiece of the former church rectory where she lives: Cameroon, Guatemala, Ethiopia. These are the places where Micheline’s current and former housemates fled from — immigrants who have won asylum from 42 countries over the past year. [ProPublica]

The incumbent representing Carter and Lawrence counties in the Kentucky House of Representatives is facing a Republican primary challenger in a race that will reflect some perennial issues and some that have been thrust into the political spotlight. [Ashland Independent]

Ann Jacks quit her job as a restaurant chef in North Carolina, started her own business and worked 80 hours a week for two years, before exhausting herself and her patience. [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]

It has faded into the background noise by now, as does anything in politics these days that’s older than about 12 hours. But it’s occasionally worth remembering that the president of the United States disparaged the news media as “the enemy of the American people” within his first month in office. [WaPo]

Preliminary set-up work for the construction of a swinging bridge to be built inside Hidden River Cave in downtown Horse Cave began Thursday. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump suggested during an interview on Fox & Friends Thursday that he might become involved in the work of in his Justice Department—a threat that could signal a desire by the commander in chief to interfere with investigations into his campaign and business associates, as well as investigations relating to his perceived political enemies. [Mother Jones]

A white nationalist group claimed credit for hanging a “patriot, hero, statesman” sign to replace a plaque removed from the statue of Confederate president Jefferson Davis in the Kentucky Capitol Rotunda. [H-L]

A memorial honoring thousands of black people who were lynched in the United States in the decades following the Civil War opened on Thursday in Montgomery, Alabama. [HuffPo]

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McConnell Loves Racist Homophobes

A former Georgetown doctor was sentenced Wednesday to five years in federal prison after he was convicted in October of illegally distributing oxycodone. [H-L]

When Tim Purdon became U.S. attorney for North Dakota in 2010, he had a priority: improving public safety on the state’s four Indian reservations. Prosecuting violent crimes on Indian reservations falls to the Justice Department, and Purdon himself had worked similar cases as a public defender before taking on the U.S. attorney job. [HuffPo]

Ford Motor Co.’s announcement this week that it will shift away from passenger cars in favor of more profitable trucks and SUVs raised questions right off about whether the automaker’s two Louisville assembly plants are in for even more investment and jobs. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt told lawmakers during a heated congressional hearing on Thursday that allegations of ethical missteps plaguing his tenure are untrue and are intended to derail Donald Trump’s agenda. [Reuters]

The day after Berean Joan Moore’s job ended, she received a providential phone call from a friend. Unaware of her employment situation, the friend asked if she would be interested in going to Najaf, Iraq, to teach English for a month. [Richmond Register]

Of course Mitch McConnell pushed through a racist homophobe. The US Senate has confirmed former CIA director Mike Pompeo as secretary of state, ending a tough confirmation battle. [BBC]

In January, a former law enforcement officer was arrested on public intoxication and lodged in the Boyd County Detention Center with no mugshot accompanying his booking information. [Ashland Independent]

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to approve a bipartisan bill to protect special counsel Robert Mueller from being fired, despite warnings from Senate leaders that the bill is unlikely to receive a vote in the full Senate. [NPR]

The race for the Democratic nomination for Congress in Kentucky’s 6th District is showing signs of tightening. [Ronnie Ellis]

Early in Scott Pruitt’s political career, as a state senator from Tulsa, he attended a gathering at the Oklahoma City home of an influential telecommunications lobbyist who was nearing retirement and about to move away. [NY Times]

Because the end of the fiscal year – when it would obtain an audit anyway – is drawing near on June 30, the board of directors for Barren and Metcalfe counties’ ambulance service decided to postpone having a special one done now. [Glasgow Daily Times]

When Donald Trump won the presidency, his longtime attorney Michael Cohen seemed in position for a coveted spot in the senior ranks of the White House. At one point, Cohen topped a list of five candidates for White House counsel, according to documents reviewed by The Washington Post. He suggested to some Trump allies that he might make a good chief of staff. [WaPo]

The saga of composer Stephen Foster, creator of Kentucky’s state song, “My Old Kentucky Home,” added another chapter Thursday related to America’s slave era. [H-L]

The most conservative Republicans in the House of Representatives initially thought the newest farm bill would kick too few people off of food stamps, but now they’re warming up to the legislation. [HuffPo]

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