No More Gun Cleanin’ In The Annex, Meemaws

We tweeted this out yesterday but go read all about it again. An area of southeast Kentucky struggling with chronic poverty and the loss of thousands of coal jobs will get priority when seeking federal money for job training, education, housing and other programs, the White House announced Wednesday. [H-L & Beshear PDF]

A common European and African cockroach may have gotten its evolutionary start in North America, according to new fossil findings. [HuffPo]

Rep. Leslie Combs accidentally fired her handgun while unloading it in her office in the Capitol Annex on Tuesday afternoon. “I’m a gun owner. It happens,” she said Wednesday, adding that she was following safety precautions as she unloaded her Ruger 380 semi-automatic handgun. No one was injured. [Tom Loftus]

Analysis: arctic chill exposes weakness of U.S. natural gas system. Brutally cold weather this week laid bare critical weaknesses in the Northeastern U.S. natural gas system, leaving some states paying vast sums for supplies as arctic weather enveloped the region. [Reuters]

As part of the focus on education dollars in the 2014 session, the governor and lawmaker should divert money to make sure teachers get a salary increase after three budget cycles of flat pay, said Republican Agriculture Commissioner James Comer. [Ryan Alessi]

For the last decade or so, Tracy Weitz has been one of the most prominent abortion researchers in the United States. [ProPublica]

The percentage of Americans who identify themselves as political independents is at an all-time high and the number who identify as Republicans is at an all-time low, according to new numbers by Gallup. [WLKY]

Now that Damaris Phillips is fancier than ever (she truly deserves it), she’s representing Louisville like a champ. She goes out of her way to make sure Louisville spots get national attention. [Food Network]

February 1 is the annual Shop & Share day in Kentucky. Here’s your chance to give back. [First Lady Jane Beshear & Press Releases]

Although the federal government is spending more than $22 billion to encourage hospitals and doctors to adopt electronic health records, it has failed to put safeguards in place to prevent the technology from being used for inflating costs and overbilling, according to a new report by a federal oversight agency. [NY Times]

Former Sen. Jim Bunning will manage the re-election campaign of Campbell County Sheriff Jeff Kidwell. []

Go read this from Maria Shriver. Let me state the obvious: I have never lived on the brink. I’ve never been in foreclosure, never applied for food stamps, never had to choose between feeding my children or paying the rent, and never feared I’d lose my paycheck when I had to take time off to care for a sick child or parent. [Maria Shriver]

Kentucky’s 2014 General Assembly opened Tuesday with squabbling in the House and history-making in the Senate. [H-L]

It is a mystery, really. Does anyone even know how guns work? Particularly some of the people who own them? [Wonkette]