Woo, Another School District Scandal

A woman who worked as payroll manager in a Kentucky school district says officials want to get rid of her because she’s a whistleblower who complained about employees abusing a new time-clock system. [H-L]

Over 4,600 people died in Puerto Rico during the aftermath of Hurricane Maria ― more than 70 times the official death toll ― according to a new Harvard study released Tuesday. [HuffPo]

Two Kentucky district court judges illegally refused to let motorists participate in the Jefferson County attorney’s traffic school, the Kentucky Court of Appeals said in affirming a lower court ruling. The court in a 3-0 ruling Friday upheld an opinion by Jefferson Circuit Judge McKay Chauvin that District Judges Sean Delahanty and Stephanie Pearce Burke improperly blocked alleged traffic scofflaws from Drive Safe Louisville. [C-J/AKN]

How does one “lose” almost 1,500 children? Last month, Steven Wagner, the acting assistant secretary of the administration for children and families (ACF), announced at a Senate hearing that the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement — which is to say, an office he oversees — was “unable to determine with certainty the whereabouts of 1,475 children between October and December.” [ThinkProgress]

Almost all of northeast Kentucky’s top school officials earn six-figure salaries, but for almost all of them their salaries are lower than the state average. [Ashland Independent]

After the landmark nuclear agreement of 2015, hundreds of European, Asian and even American companies rushed to enter Iran’s largely untapped market of 80 million people, assured by the United States and the other signatories that their investments would be safe for at least a decade. [ NY Times]

A former Morehead State University recreation center may just be Rowan County’s “newest” if Morehead City Council has its way and it’s not too much of a burden on taxpayers. [The Morehead News]

The gun-control group Giffords has released a short documentary on students affected by shootings — two students from Parkland, Fla., and a Chicago teenager whose brother was killed. [WaPo]

This, like all things Matt Bevin touches, will be a disaster. Derrick Ramsey will be calling the signals for the Kentucky Cabinet for Education and Workforce Development. [Ronnie Ellis]

A new study published Tuesday estimates that Hurricane Maria killed over 5,000 people after striking Puerto Rico last September. That’s more than 75 times higher than the island’s previous official count, and if widely accepted would cement the storm as one of the most deadly natural disasters to ever affect US citizens. [Mother Jones]

The Jefferson County School board will appeal the state education department’s recommendation for a takeover of the district. [WFPL]

At a White House meeting last winter, leaders of the F.B.I. and the Justice Department made an urgent appeal to John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, to side with them against Republicans in Congress who were pressing for information about the Russia investigation that would compromise confidential sources. [More NY Times]

A Kentucky truck stop was evacuated Sunday after what was apparently a pipe bomb was found in a trash can, according to Kentucky State Police. [H-L]

Anti-trust nerds, consumer advocates and open internet campaigners and have been fighting to break up Facebook for years. But in their crusade against the social network’s online monopoly, the usual suspects have enlisted a growing coalition of allies: artists and progressive Muslim and Jewish activists. [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]

Gentrification Is Bad For All Kentuckians

What can Lexington do about gentrification? Literally the opposite of everything Louisville is doing. Don’t let AirB&B take over. Don’t let wealthy people buy up neighborhoods like Portland and Butchertown. Just don’t. Yes, I’m talking about my own friends. Don’t do it. It’s not necessary. [H-L]

Amanda Painter sat at the kitchen table in an unfamiliar apartment with an absurd dilemma: She had nothing to wear to a vigil for her three dead children. Her clothes were at home, but her home was now a crime scene. [HuffPo]

Metro Council Democrats elbowed through a measure on Thursday that supporters says will help lower Louisville’s obesity rate by giving youngest restaurant patrons healthier options. [C-J/AKN]

A former Marine says he alerted the Corps to a white supremacist in its ranks last October. Six months later, he wonders how seriously the Corps is investigating. [ProPublica]

Many pension funds for public workers already owe far more in retirement benefits than they have in the bank, and the problem will only grow worse if the economy slows down, according to a report released Thursday. [Richmond Register]

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) took to the Sunday morning shows to push back on the Trump administration’s narrative that the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign was a political witch hunt. To the contrary, Rubio said, it was a totally appropriate investigation into suspicious individuals involved in the campaign. [ThinkProgress]

Becky Miller has officially filed a complaint against Ashland City Commissioner Marty Gute surrounding her recent claims that Gute no longer resides in the city. [Ashland Independent]

When Congress decided not to take significant action after a spate of mass shootings this year and last, some big banks opted to take matters into their own hands by restricting financing for gun sellers. Now, Republican lawmakers are pressing regulators to stop banks from doing so, over concerns they are veering too far into social activism. [NY Times]

Teachers flexed their political muscle Tuesday night, especially in Rockcastle County, spurring a surprise upset win by Travis Brenda over fellow Republican and incumbent state House Majority Leader Jonathan Shell. [Ronnie Ellis]

Ralph Stepney’s home on a quiet street in north Baltimore has a welcoming front porch and large rooms, with plenty of space for his comfortable recliner and vast collection of action movies. The house is owned by Joann West, a licensed caregiver who shares it with Stepney and his fellow Vietnam War veteran Frank Hundt. [WaPo]

The seemingly long-awaited analysis on surveys and other community input for a master plan for Glasgow Parks and Recreation was presented to the master plan steering committee this week. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, spent roughly $3.5 million in taxpayer funds on his personal security detail during his first year in office, 1.7 times what his predecessors spent each year on average, according to records made public Friday by the agency. Those figures included $2.7 million on salaries and overtime for security staff and more than $760,000 on travel for security agents. [More NY Times]

Al Dilley of Glasgow owns Goat Browsers, an “environmentally friendly land enhancement service.” Dilly and his 17 goats are under contract with the city to goatscape (clean up) an overgrown, two-acre area of the park. [H-L]

Katia Hills, a healthy 27-year-old married woman, said she was afraid to have another child after what happened the last time. [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]

More Koch Crap Comes To Kentucky

Americans for Prosperity, which is backed by the billioanaire(sic) Koch brothers, says it plans ads against Kentucky’s Hal Rogers over ‘wasteful’ spending. [H-L]

The government program meant to place unaccompanied children taken from the U.S.-Mexico border into the care of a parent or sponsor admitted last month it lost nearly 1,500 of them. And it said it isn’t responsible for finding them either. [HuffPo]

Simon Wallace is proud of his barbershop, where he knows the customers by name. Many are from the surrounding blocks and simply walk to his modest shop, just off the corner of 28th Street and Greenwood Avenue in Parkland. [C-J/AKN]

The FBI warned on Friday that Russian computer hackers had compromised hundreds of thousands of home and office routers and could collect user information or shut down network traffic. [Reuters]

When Amy McGrath stepped behind a microphone Tuesday night in Richmond after her eight-point win over Lexington Mayor Jim Gray in the Democratic primary for the Sixth Congressional District, she began her victory speech this way… [Ronnie Ellis]

Seizing on a longtime ambition of many Republicans, Donald Trump on Friday overhauled rules affecting at least two million federal workers, making it easier to fire them and rolling back the workplace role of their unions. [NY Times]

The city of Ashland is aggressively exploring new ways to grow jobs in the city. [Ashland Independent]

In the photo, Gigi Daniel-Zagorites grips the edge of a small bookcase, her tilted head peering over. The bookcase and a cabinet barricade the 13-year-old in one corner of a classroom. Two women sit, backs turned. [WaPo]

In a race decided by less than 200 votes (of 4,447 total) and 4 percent of total voters, Kim Barker-Tabor secured the seat of Rowan County Circuit Court Clerk during the Primary Election Tuesday evening. [The Morehead News]

When Donald Trump’s latest financial disclosure form was released last week, we dropped what we were doing and started digging. [ProPublica]

A majority of the board of directors for Barren-Metcalfe County Emergency Medical Services approved for the fiscal year beginning July 1 a $4.85 million budget – $1.11 million more than the one approved for this year – as it was proposed, with no amendments. [Glasgow Daily Times]

This is the FBI’s standard operating procedure in counterintelligence cases. Although Trump and his defenders have frequently stated that employing informants was illegal and scandalously inappropriate, that’s just one more Trumpian falsehood. [Observer]

A Kentucky school district that has seen four employees charged with child sex offenses in an 18-month span faces new allegations in court, but is trying to reassure parents that student safety is a top priority. [H-L]

It’s literally his policy. Donald Trump has bashed the Democrats for a hugely controversial policy created by his own administration: separating undocumented immigrant children from their parents. [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]

UK Must Envy All The UofL Drama

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

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]

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]

Surprise! Everybody Is Still Broke

Lexington is a polite city, and voters Nov. 6 will choose between two polite and genuinely nice people to be their next mayor. [Tom Eblen]

Of course the man who paid women off and paid for abortions is pushing this anti-woman horse shit. [HuffPo]

The Jefferson County school board can hire superintendents, sign off on new charter schools and manage district funds. But under the proposed state takeover of Jefferson County Public Schools, those powers would be swept away and sent to Kentucky’s schools chief — the man who recommended the takeover last month. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump’s personal lawyer helped a major donor to Mr. Trump’s inauguration pitch a nuclear-power investment to the Qatari sovereign wealth fund at a meeting in April, according to people familiar with the matter. [WSJ]

Artist and environmentalist Pat Banks of Madison County won the Democratic nomination Tuesday in the 73rd District for the Kentucky House of Representatives. [Richmond Register]

A company owned by Joel Zamel, an Israeli entrepreneur whose work has drawn the scrutiny of special counsel Robert Mueller, formed a strategic partnership with a data firm for Donald Trump’s campaign in a joint bid to win business from the U.S. government and other clients after the 2016 election, according to people familiar with the matter. [WSJ]

The Democratic primary race for Kentucky House of Representatives District 100 was incredibly close with unofficial results showing Terri Branham Clark winning by just 16 votes. [Ashland Independent]

Four in ten Americans can’t, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Board. Those who don’t have the cash on hand say they’d have to cover it by borrowing or selling something. [CNN]

Rowan County Fiscal Court met in regular session last week and unanimously approved a $13,867,722 operating budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year. [The Morehead News]

We’re looking at you, Matt Bevin. Donald Trump cannot block Twitter users for the political views they have expressed, a federal judge in Manhattan ruled on Wednesday. Blocking users from viewing his Twitter account — a feature offered by the social media platform — is unconstitutional and a violation of the First Amendment, Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald wrote in her ruling. [NBC News]

Hank Linderman won Tuesday’s Democratic primary for U.S. House of Representatives District 2. He will face incumbent U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky, in November’s general election. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, received a secret payment of at least $400,000 (£300,000) to fix talks between the Ukrainian president and Trump, according to sources in Kiev close to those involved. The payment was arranged by intermediaries acting for Ukraine’s leader, Petro Poroshenko, the sources said, though Mr Cohen was not registered as a representative of Ukraine as required by US law. [BBC]

Lexington voters will choose between Linda Gorton, a former vice mayor, and Ronnie Bastin, a former police chief, in the November general election for mayor. [H-L]

Top Democrats on Wednesday urged the Justice Department to scrap a classified briefing with top House Republicans regarding sensitive documents that the GOP lawmakers had requested about the Russia investigation, but said if the meeting was to go forward on Thursday, it ought to include lawmakers of both parties. [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]

Morgan Schadenfreude Is Out-Of-Control

State Rep. C. Wesley Morgan of Richmond, a controversial Kentucky lawmaker who lost to a challenger in the Republican primary on Tuesday, says he is quitting the GOP to throw his support behind the Democratic nominee for his seat in the Nov. 6 election. [John Cheves]

The NFL on Wednesday approved a new policy to intercept national anthem protests before they happen, according to the league. [HuffPo]

Only 12 educators won their races where they were challenged. Unfortunately, despite outsider claims, that means there was no teacher wave in Kentucky. That could come in November, maybe. But only maybe. [C-J/AKN]

Yes, Donald Trump can be indicted as the sitting president. [NY Times]

The 91st district House of Representatives race became one of the most watched races in 2016; in 2018 it’s shaping up to do the same. [Richmond Register]

The Parkland, Florida, school massacre has had little lasting impact on U.S. views on gun control, three months after the shooting deaths of 17 people propelled a national movement by some student survivors, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Wednesday. [Reuters]

Bobby Jack Woods and Ryan Secord will go head to head in the fall for the job of Boyd County sheriff. [Ashland Independent]

We’re looking at you, Matt Bevin. A federal district court judge on Wednesday ruled that Donald Trump can’t block people from viewing his Twitter feed over their political views. [The Hill]

Elwood Caudill Jr. will face Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis this fall after winning the Democratic primary election. [The Morehead News]

As the largest employer in Adams County, Ohio, closes its coal-fired power plants there, politicians and companies have thrown up their hands. Families know that finding work means leaving the place they know. [ProPublica]

Barren County’s voter turnout rate for the 2018 primary was low by several precincts’ individual accounts from early in the day and the total numbers. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Paul Ryan’s last-ditch effort to stop Republican moderates from forcing votes on immigration proposals is running smack into a familiar roadblock: conservative opposition to a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers. [Politico]

As of Tuesday afternoon, 12 reports of vote buying or bribery were reported in Breathitt, Clay, Magoffin, Perry, Wayne and Wolfe counties. Those reports will be investigated by the office of Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear. [H-L]

Alex Jones may start to learn that his actions as the conspiracy-minded host of Infowars have consequences. [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]

Update: Lobbyists Still Own Frankfort

With the primary election just days away, Rowan County clerk candidate David Ermold walked through his campaign office and joked that the bags under his eyes have grown darker by the day. [H-L]

Two outside groups that successfully meddled in West Virginia’s Republican Senate primary this month by spending millions of dollars on advertising were funded entirely by donors from outside the state. [HuffPo]

Tobacco giant Altria spent a massive $379,760 to lobby the 2018 Kentucky General Assembly – more than twice as much as any of the 720 corporations and associations that are registered to lobby the legislature. [C-J/AKN]

Workers don’t matter and have never mattered to Republicans. The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a blow to the rights of workers on Monday by allowing companies to require them to sign away their ability to bring class-action claims against management, agreements already in place for about 25 million employees. [Reuters]

The Richmond City Commission met in executive session Friday to narrow down the list of candidates for city manager. The meeting took less than an hour and included Mayor Jim Barnes and commissioners Robert Blythe, Jim Newby and Morgan Eaves. [Richmond Register]

Last year, white supremacist Matthew Heimbach — one of the most prominent faces of the so-called “alt-right” — was riding high, and talking about potentially running for Indiana state legislature. Now, though, Heimbach has different plans in store. With his group and his marriage in tatters, Heimbach will be spending part of the summer in jail. [ThinkProgress]

Jackie Risden-Smith apologized repeatedly for overusing the word “excited” during a 45-minute phone interview, but she probably didn’t need to. [Ashland Independent]

The Justice Department and the F.B.I. are investigating Cambridge Analytica, the now-defunct political data firm, and have sought to question former employees and banks that handled its business, according to an American official and other people familiar with the inquiry. [NY Times]

Despite fears that the 2018-2019 budget would look radically different than in previous years due to changes in Frankfort, the budget for Rowan County Schools remains stable. [The Morehead News]

Former coal executive and ex-convict Don Blankenship on Monday announced plans to launch a third-party bid for a West Virginia Senate seat after losing the GOP primary to state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. [The Hill]

Kentucky Republicans like to say it’s a new day in the Bluegrass State after Republicans took complete control of Frankfort in the 2016 election by capturing the majority in the House of Representatives for the first time in nearly 100 years. [Ronnie Ellis]

Kentucky Derby winner Justify won the Preakness Stakes on Saturday and is on course to become the 13th horse to win US flat racing’s Triple Crown. [BBC]

One of the more popular chants from thousands of teachers at the Capitol this spring protesting a controversial pension bill was “We’ll remember in November.” [H-L]

Two U.S. citizens said they were detained last week by a Border Patrol agent in Montana after he overheard them speaking Spanish to each other in a convenience store. [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]