Do Not Get Into A White Chester Van, Ladies

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A federal appeals court is set to hear arguments from Coventry Cares over a ruling requiring continuation of its contract with Appalachian Regional Healthcare so Medicaid patients in eastern Kentucky would have time to decide whether to change their managed care organization. [H-L]

It’s one of the most fundamental political questions of our time: What’s driving the growth in government spending? And it has a relatively straightforward answer: first and foremost, spending on health care through Medicare and Medicaid, and other major social insurance and entitlement programs. [NY Times]

Kentucky hasn’t had a school shooting since 1997 but lawmakers know parents are the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., has school safety on everyone’s mind. [Ronnie Ellis]

About three-quarters of Americans surveyed support proposals to ban the sale of automatic weapons, ban high-capacity ammunition clips and expand background checks on all gun buyers, according to an online Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Thursday. [Reuters]

In his final weeks as Senate president last fall, David Williams approved special pay raises ranging from 2 percent to 14 percent for eight members of the state Senate staff. [C-J/AKN]

Toyota has settled a wrongful death lawsuit following a fatal crash in Utah in 2010 involving sudden, unintended acceleration, the company has said. [BBC]

A family member of three people killed in a shooting on a Perry County college campus is speaking out. Fifty-three-year-old Jackie Douglas Cornett, 20-year-old Caitlin Cornett, and 12-year-old Taylor Cornett were all shot Tuesday night in a parking lot of Hazard Community & Technical College. [WKYT]

Modern scientists trying to understand climate change are engaged in an unlikely collaboration — with two beloved but long-dead nature writers: Henry David Thoreau and Aldo Leopold. [NPR]

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and the city’s police and fire unions have agreed on a plan to cut the unfunded liability of Lexington’s police and fire pension plan by 45 percent. [H-L]

Here’s one thing President Barack Obama and Republicans actually agree on: Mental health has to be a big part of the gun violence debate in Obama’s second term — because people with serious mental illness shouldn’t have guns. [Politico]

Some weirdos in a white Chester Chester Child Molester van are terrorizing Louisville and the metro area. [C-J/AKN]