Remember That Fun UofL Sex Scandal?

University of Kentucky officials have accused a former employee of defrauding the school of more than $220,000 since 2011. [H-L]

Scientists recently discovered three planets that they say have the right conditions to sustain life — and those planets are pretty close, by astronomical terms. [HuffPo]

As many legal experts had expected, a lawsuit has been dismissed in which University of Louisville students claimed Katina Powell’s book, “Breaking Cardinal Rules,” diminished the value of their education. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump faces an uphill climb to win a general election battle against Hillary Clinton, but there is a path for him to beat the former secretary of State. [The Hill]

Despite the overcast skies and unseasonable chill in the air, Gov. Matt Bevin was in a sunny mood Thursday. [Ronnie Ellis]

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Tuesday said the United States must move toward a cleaner energy future but not forget those who work in the coal industry. [Reuters]

Kentucky State Police has charged an Owsley County woman with murder Friday after two Owsley County residents were found deceased this morning at their residence. [Richmond Register]

A study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine says medical errors should rank as the third-leading cause of death in the United States — and highlights how shortcomings in tracking vital statistics may hinder research and keep the problem out of the public eye. [ProPublica]

Rowan County Attorney Cecil Watkins said Thursday that Rowan Fiscal Court may need to change the way it writes its next check to support the Rowan County Fair. [The Morehead News]

While conversations surrounding decryption dominate the tech news cycle, the FBI is on the cusp of drastically increasing its hacking powers. [ThinkProgress]

Despite Gov. Matt Bevin’s 2 percent budget cuts to higher education’s current year of funding, Western Kentucky University’s Glasgow campus is safe from this round of cuts, according to Regional Chancellor Sally Ray. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Nestle extracted 36 million gallons of water from a national forest in California last year to sell as bottled water, even as Californians were ordered to cut their water use because of a historic drought in the state. [BBC]

Roger Brill, a Harrison County Tea Party activist, supported Republican Andy Barr’s first election to the U.S. House in 2012. He believed Barr was a young conservative who could remake Congress. [H-L]

Remember the House Select Committee on Benghazi? The ninth official probe into what really happened in the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. consulate in eastern Libya? [HuffPo]

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Everyone’s In Awe Of The Conn Indictment

Scheduling problems, divided lawmakers and a social media tiff apparently torpedoed legislation to reform area development districts statewide. [H-L]

U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged Congress to take action to stop U.S. companies from taking advantage of tax loopholes that allow them to avoid paying taxes. [HuffPo]

After fending off claims for years that he built one of the nation’s largest disability practices through manufactured evidence and doctors on the take, the law has finally caught up with “Mr. Social Security.” [C-J/AKN]

On Monday, the Supreme Court took on a case that could shake up rules about juror secrecy and force a conversation about racial bias in trials. [ThinkProgress]

Berea Municipal Utilities has received approval and funding from the federal Natural Resource Conservation Service to raise the height of the dam on its Owsley Fork Reservoir to expand its capacity by about 35 percent. [Richmond Register]

The Obama administration on Monday locked in a small payment increase for Medicare Advantage plans, though at a slightly lower rate than previously proposed. [The Hill]

Answer a simple question and you can potentially save a life — maybe several lives. [Ashland Independent]

The Obama administration on Monday unveiled new labels for broadband and mobile Internet service, aimed at helping the nation’s web users make price and service comparisons. [Reuters]

One Metcalfe County volunteer fire department is interested in securing grant funds for the purpose of building a new fire station. That is why officials with the Summer Shade Volunteer Fire Department are looking into applying for a Community Development Block Grant. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Last month The Atavist Magazine launched The Mastermind, a weekly series on a programmer turned crime kingpin. [ProPublica]

Western Kentucky University President Gary Ransdell will recommend using university reserve funds to make up for a cut in state funding, after an executive order by Gov. Matt Bevin cutting all public universities’ funding by 4.5 percent. [BGDN]

House Speaker Paul Ryan pushed back forcefully Monday on the notion that he would be a unity pick for the Republican Party at its convention. [Politico]

You get what you vote for, Kentucky. And you can thank the Democrats for giving you a horrible nominee. Matt Bevin is continuing his legal fight to close a Lexington abortion clinic. [H-L]

Ocean waves just might be the new frontier of renewable energy. Australia-based Carnegie Wave Energy Limited has created patented technology that converts the ocean’s energy into power and is able to remove minerals from the water. [HuffPo]

Need cheap mobile phone service? Maybe even for a backup cell phone? I’m talking $6/mo cheap? Use our Ting referral code and we’ll all get a sweet credit. You get $25 — enough for a couple months of service to determine whether you like it. Both CDMA and GSM options. For worriers: no, you don’t get identified to us if you use our link… so please consider letting us know if you do! [Ting]

Budget Boogeyman Is Coming In 3, 2…

Is anyone surprised? A year after state officials created a nationally recognized public-private partnership to build America’s best statewide broadband network, opponents are trying to kill it. Some telecom and cable companies that now provide Internet service around the state, along with several right-wing advocacy groups, are pushing legislators and Gov. Matt Bevin to rethink the project, called KentuckyWired. [H-L]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday issued the first decision in a series of class action cases this term that are widely viewed as attempts by business interests to shut the courthouse door to consumers and everyday plaintiffs. [HuffPo]

This is fascinating coming from the newspaper that asked its arts reporter to prove her position mattered. Arts leaders and advocates are hearing reports that the state budget Gov. Matt Bevin is planning to reveal on Tuesday would eliminate the Kentucky Arts Council, which has a budget of $3.3 million. [C-J/AKN]

Water authorities across the US are systematically distorting water tests to downplay the amount of lead in samples, risking a dangerous spread of the toxic water crisis that has gripped Flint, documents seen by the Guardian show. [The Guardian]

On Thursday, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin announced his administration would seek an extension to comply with upcoming federal carbon dioxide regulations from power plans. [WFPL]

A Democratic presidential forum scheduled at the 11th hour will give Hillary Clinton one last chance to make her case to the Iowa voters as some polls show rival Bernie Sanders overtaking her in the first-in-the-nation caucus state. [The Hill]

The snow didn’t keep U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Sixth District, from visiting Madison County on Wednesday. He addressed the Richmond Rotary Club and then toured the Hyster-Yale manufacturing plant in Berea. [Richmond Register]

Facing mounting bills and nervous creditors, U.S. farmers are beginning to sell off their crop stockpile – sometimes at a loss – and easing a months-long logjam prompted by the lowest grains prices in at least five years. [Reuters]

It’s become custom for Kentucky lawmakers to move at a near-glacial pace in the early days of a session until the filing deadline passes for legislative elections. [Ronnie Ellis]

A ProPublica analysis of political fundraising shows conservative House Republicans have less and less in common with their party’s leaders, whose donors sometimes more closely resemble those of Democrats. [ProPublica]

More than 7,000 Rowan Water Inc. customers received notice about a violation of a drinking water standard this week [The Morehead News]

Kentucky received $290 million in federal grants to build Kynect, of which $57 million has not yet been spent. Federal officials have suggested that the state should repay the $57 million. But surely a state that is willfully destroying an exchange that was working well should be forced to return the whole $290 million. [NY Times]

Preliminary estimates from a consulting firm hired by the city show the cost will be $175 to $200 million to build a fiber-optic network to increase sluggish Internet speeds and expand Internet access in Fayette County. [H-L]

President Vladimir Putin probably approved a plan by Russia’s FSB security service to kill former agent Alexander Litvinenko, who died three weeks after drinking tea laced with poison at a London hotel, a British judge said Thursday. [HuffPo]

KDP Needs To Clean House In Worst Way

Whatever Republican Matt Bevin has in mind for Kentucky’s health insurance reform efforts after he’s sworn in as governor Dec. 8, there are unlikely to be changes this winter while people enroll for their 2016 coverage. [H-L]

Ben Carson is truly crazier than anyone thought. Way crazier than Donald Trump. [HuffPo]

A daughter of “Breaking Cardinal Rules” author Katina Powell was cited for misdemeanor prostitution stemming from a 2014 incident, online court documents show. [C-J/AKN]

Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) has introduced legislation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act introduced Wednesday by Sanders would end the long-time federal prohibition on marijuana. This is the first Senate bill to propose legalizing recreational pot, according to marijuana advocates. [The Hill]

Kentucky Republicans didn’t settle for Matt Bevin’s win in the governor’s race; the GOP scored a major upset with Mike Harmon defeating Democratic incumbent auditor Adam Edelen. [Ronnie Ellis]

ProPublica and Frontline reopen the investigation into a death squad run by former South Vietnamese military men that killed journalists, torched businesses and intimidated those who challenged its dream of re-starting the Vietnam War — all on American soil. [ProPublica]

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 5:45 p.m. Tuesday that Phillip Jent of Cold Springs Hollow Road off Christy Creek Road had been shot in the chest by his brother, Robert Jent. [The Morehead News]

After years of denying that American troops will deploy to Syria, President Obama has changed course and decided to send troops to help in the fight against ISIS, also known as ISIL or the Islamic State. [ThinkProgress]

The city of Berea had a very good financial year, according to the results of a recent financial audit. During a council session Tuesday evening, Jerry Hensley and Heather Cochran told officials the city increased its net value during fiscal year 2014-2015 by approximately $5 million. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump has spent much of his presidential campaign bashing his GOP rivals as beholden to major donors, and, in recent weeks, he’s expanded his attacks to include three major donors in particular ― Sheldon Adelson, Paul Singer and the Koch brothers. But POLITICO has learned that Trump or his surrogates have sought to build relationships ― if not support ― from all three, calling into question the billionaire real estate showman’s repeated assertions that, because of his wealth, he has no use for major donors. [Politico]

Democratic leaders met in Frankfort Wednesday morning to talk about how they lost the Governor’s race and three other statewide offices, only winning Attorney General and Secretary of State. [WKYT]

The Rosetta spacecraft discovers molecular oxygen in the cloud of gas surrounding Comet 67P prompting a rethink on the origins of the Solar System. [BBC]

Offering harsh words for fellow Democrats, Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones appeared to be of two minds Wednesday when discussing whether Tuesday’s enormous Republican victories in Kentucky will influence whether he runs for Congress. [H-L]

The U.S. electric sector is expected to hit its lowest carbon emissions since 1995 this year, partly due to the widespread closure of coal-powered power plants over the past five years, a Sierra Club report released Wednesday found. [HuffPo]

Interest In Matt Jones Grows By The Day

D.C. folks have reached out to ask about Matt Jones. Not once or twice but several times over the past few months.

If Jones decides to run against Candy Barr in the Sixth District, there’s going to be a lot of support for him. The kind of support Barr can’t afford to lose: voters aged 18-40ish. You know if he runs and does it right, no wussing out, no fears of mud slinging, stays honest about positions… you know he’ll clean up. Because a Democrat hasn’t run a straightforward race in that district in ages. I mean, who even ran against Barr in 2014?

Yes, yes, Elisabeth Jensen. But did you remember her name without struggling? Was it on the tip of your tongue? Did she have a team behind her that truly wanted to gut and skin Barr on the political battlefield? Nope. She was good but apparently not good enough to stick out in our minds.

“Oh, sure, it’s Democrats reaching out about radio boy!” You’re saying to yourself. But…. nope.

Republicans are also anxious over Matt Jones in a way that I haven’t seen since Ashley Judd contemplated running for office. That’s maybe a poor comparison because many of these Republicans would vote for Jones because they believe he’s genuine.

So… Could he do it? Could Jones beat Candy Barr? I think so. As long as he avoids the legacy Dems (the good old boys) in Frankfort. No Greg Stumbo, no Julian Carroll, none of the people worshipping at Wendell Ford’s grave. Those people need to be put out to pasture.

Pros:

  • He could raise a pretty penny. Anything he loses in the sixth he could make up for in the rest of the state.
  • Popular. Has that fancy radio program that all of the people who like sports things listen to.
  • Intelligent. He can spell, he knows the difference between Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Not a douche like Matt Bevin. Arrogant? Sure. When it comes to sports things. At least according to people turning a blind eye to everything Sexploitation University does (that’s UofL, if you haven’t been paying attention the last eight or so years). Just the kind of arrogance one needs to excel at politicking against a Washington mooch playing the role of faux countrified everyman wearing cowboy boots.
  • Brings in all the youngs and maybe some of the olds. The olds love people with conviction, people they feel like they can trust. Even though they love people who scare them waaaay more. Which is why I said SOME of the olds. Some of them.

Cons:

  • His radio show would probably die or suffer severely during a campaign and that would suck. For him and for listeners. If he wins, then what? People listen to the show to hear him. He could maybe do it in office but he’d also die from exhaustion.
  • He’d have to deal with Republicans coming for him. That’d be worse than UofL fans.
  • Jonathan Miller will probably try to hitch his wagon to him if he hasn’t already.
  • We’d have to hear about sports things for the duration of the campaign
  • It’s congress. What a horrible place. Running for re-election every two years is the devil.

Ugh. Never mind. Don’t do it, Matt. You’ll hate it and will probably die young from the stress.

Or do it. Because people like Candy Barr are so stupid and out-of-touch that they support folks Joshua Powell and still fear the gays. Just know that you’re gonna need to get a Xanax script.

JCPS Set Great Example For Rest Of KY

It wasn’t that long ago that U.S. Sen. Rand Paul declared that he had to win the early-voting state of New Hampshire to gain the momentum that would carry him to the Republican presidential nomination. [H-L]

Cat Kim, a recent graduate from Columbia Law School, had two missions this summer. One was studying for and taking the California bar exam. The other was preparing cases for immigrant women and children in Texas detention centers who, without the help of people like her, could be deported. [HuffPo]

Applause went up in the room Monday evening when the Jefferson County Board of Education approved expanding the policies of Kentucky’s largest school district to specifically protect students and employees regardless of gender expression and gender identity. [C-J/AKN]

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump blasted hedge fund managers on Sunday as mere “paper pushers” who he said were “getting away with murder” by not paying their fair share of taxes. [Reuters]

Big Blue fans of the University of Kentucky athletic teams had things to talk about besides asking “How about them ‘Cats?” Monday morning. [Ronnie Ellis]

The tip came in at about 7 p.m. on Monday, July 27. It was an email from a woman named Patricia Cronan, a banker who lived next door to a group home in Long Beach, California. She said the home, run by a nonprofit called Bayfront Youth & Family Services, seemed to be in a perpetual state of chaos. [ProPublica]

Rand Paul, even with the Kentucky GOP Executive Committee approving a March U.S. presidential caucus Saturday, maintained today that the U.S. Constitution provides him a way to run both for the presidency and a Kentucky Senate seat. [BGDN]

Earlier this year, social work student Coraly León arrived at her research assistant job at the University of Puerto Rico to find her salary abruptly cut in half due to budget cuts. [ThinkProgress]

Glasgow City Council took the final step at its regular meeting Monday evening in the selection of the city’s next police chief. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Confusion over the types of coal being burned in Chinese power stations has caused a significant overestimation of the country’s carbon emissions. [BBC]

Evarts City Council decided not to raise taxes saying “residents are struggling with a downturn in the economy and now is not the time to add to their burden.” [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Same-sex married couples who were living in states that did not recognize their unions and who previously filed claims for Social Security benefits will be able to collect those payments, the government said on Thursday. [NY Times]

The University of Kentucky is opening its first office devoted full-time to the concerns of the LGBTQ community on campus. Created by UK’s Office of Institutional Diversity, the Office of LGBTQ Resources is aimed at creating a more inclusive environment for UK’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer population. [H-L]

The issue is far from over, but a new report found that hunger in America has at least dropped below pre-recession levels. [HuffPo]

Turns Out Hating People Is Expensive

HELP PROTECT OUR SOURCES! Stop the Montgomery County-Joshua Powell-Phil Rison insanity! [CLICK HERE]

The private attorneys whom Beshear hired to handle the state’s appeals have a $260,000 contract, of which $231,348 had been paid by July 20, according to state records. Total cost to taxpayers: $2,351,297. [H-L]

Fears of a China-led global economic slowdown drove Wall Street to its steepest one-day drop in nearly four years on Friday and left the Dow industrials more than 10 percent below a May record. [HuffPo]

Dozens of anti-abortion protesters Saturday called for the defunding of Planned Parenthood, waving signs decrying the organization’s “atrocities” and praying for an end to abortive practices. [C-J/AKN]

If you’ve followed the saga involving Joshua Powell and Montgomery County Schools? This episode of This American Life will send chills down your spin. [This American Life]

The state Revenue Cabinet filed a brief Tuesday with the state Board of Tax Assessment Appeals saying the Madison County Property Valuation Administrator and the county assessment appeals board failed to follow its “direction and advice” in denying tax exemption to the Grand Campus residential property leased by Eastern Kentucky University. [Richmond Register]

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Granny) is not a turtle. Ian Ziering of “90210” was in the movie “Sharknado.” And Sapphire from the movie “Almost Famous” is a “Band Aid.” [The Hill]

Glasgow’s next police chief, pending city council approval, said he believes in having a very transparent department. [Glasgow Daily Times]

President Barack Obama has been briefed on developments in global financial markets, the White House said on Monday after world stock markets plunged. [Reuters]

After heavy criticism emerged late last school year about the cleanliness of Williamsburg Independent School’s building — steps were taken to remedy the problems. [Times-Tribune]

The White House has hired its first openly transgender full-time member of staff, officials have confirmed. Raffi Freedman-Gurspan started working as an outreach and recruitment director for presidential staff on Tuesday. [BBC]

For the third time, Judge-Executive Walter Blevins proposed a longevity pay benefit for county employees. And for the third time, the motion died for a lack of second on Tuesday in Rowan Fiscal Court. [The Morehead News]

Ah, back-to-school season in America: That means it’s time for the annoyingly aggressive marketing of clothes, and for the annual warnings of a national teacher shortage. [NPR]

Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones told his radio audience Monday morning that he is actively considering a run for the U.S. House of Representatives, and he will make a decision before the University of Kentucky’s basketball season starts. [H-L]

Rand Paul’s campaign is teetering on the edge, with the once-trendy presidential candidate telling fellow Kentucky Republicans that his chances of winning the 2016 GOP nomination are no better than “1 in 10.” [HuffPo]