Surprise! The Beshears Hate Transparency & Accountability In Kentucky

A longtime champion of Kentucky’s government transparency laws retired Wednesday from Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office after she was reprimanded for speaking with a journalist. [John Cheves]

The 10,000th Syrian refugee to resettle in the U.S. this fiscal year arrived on Monday, the White House announced, following through on an ambitious plan by President Barack Obama to welcome more people from the country. [HuffPo]

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, are calling for the federal government to help deal with the burgeoning heroin epidemic. And they’re blaming U.S. Sen. Rand Paul for supporting a drug treatment bill that included no money to pay for it. [C-J/AKN]

The State Department said Monday it is concerned about Iran state media reports that the country has deployed an advanced missile defense system around its Fordow underground uranium facility. [The Hill]

This has got to be one of the dumbest moves yet from someone with the surname Beshear! Assistant Attorney General Amye Bensenhaver has retired “under considerable duress” after being reprimanded for speaking to a journalist without permission, creating yet another public relations issue for a government agency that has had more than its share in recent months. [Roger Alford]

Last year 35,092 people died in traffic crashes in the United States, a 7.2 percent year-on-year increase that runs counter to a five-decade trend of declining fatalities, the U.S. Transportation Department said. [Reuters]

Coal-producing states are preparing for arguments next month in the federal appeals court case known as West Virginia v. EPA, challenging the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. [WFPL]

Despite yet more evidence of trouble with the Red Cross’ disaster response — this time to floods in Louisiana — Apple, Amazon, T-Mobile, and many others have made the venerable charity the exclusive conduit for helping victims. [ProPublica]

Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo said if Republican Gov. Matt Bevin threatened a Democratic lawmaker for refusing to switch parties he could be guilty of criminal behavior or an impeachable offense. [Ronnie Ellis]

Way to go, Appalachia. New analysis from the Clean Air Task Force shows that by 2025 America’s children will experience 750,000 asthma attacks each summer that will be directly attributable to the oil and gas industry. [ThinkProgress]

The battle for the last legislative chamber in the South still controlled by Democrats escalated over the weekend as Republicans announced they would boycott a special meeting this week, while the House Speaker publicly threatened to impeach the state’s Republican governor. [Richmond Register]

In 1988, a small-time drug dealer became the first man charged under a new, harsh drug law signed by then-President Ronald Reagan. Almost 30 years later, President Barack Obama granted a sentence commutation to Richard Van Winrow, a literal posterboy for the history of America’s drug war. [BBC]

A state environmental response team began taking more extensive soil samples Tuesday to test for higher-than-normal arsenic levels along a rural Montgomery County road. [H-L]

Taco trucks on every corner!? SIGN US UP! [HuffPo]

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Heroin Hell Has Hit The Commonwealth

House Speaker Greg Stumbo raised the possibility of impeaching Gov. Matt Bevin Saturday after CNHI News Service reported that a Democratic state lawmaker said he was threatened by Bevin’s chief of staff for refusing to switch political parties. If true, the governor’s actions “are criminal in nature and in my judgment rise to the level of an impeachable offense.” [H-L]

Donald J. Trump is causing some high anxiety inside the military. He has suggested carpet-bombing Syrian cities, assassinating the families of Islamic State fighters and torturing detainees, all illegal under international or U.S. law. He has proposed withdrawing troops from South Korea (a similar troop withdrawal helped ignite the 1950 Korean War), advocated disengaging from NATO, and declared that Japan would be “better off” with its own nuclear weapons. And he has famously bragged, “I know more about ISIS than the generals!” [HuffPo]

Authorities have reported more than 200 overdoses in the region over the past two weeks. [C-J/AKN]

Three Congressional leaders on Monday asked top federal environmental and safety officials to extend by 60 days the public comment period on new vehicle emissions and fuel economy standards. [Reuters]

Two of the wilder caves at Carter Caves State Resort Park have been reopened to limited public use, a park official said. [Ashland Independent]

States that voted against President Obama twice are more dependent on the federal government, according to an analysis of new data released by the Pew Charitable Trusts on Monday. [The Hill]

The Rowan County Board of Education voted unanimously Aug. 24 to set the tax rates for real and personal property. [The Morehead News]

The National Labor Relations Board decided in two separate cases last week that — as far as federal labor law is concerned — charter schools are not public schools but private corporations. [WaPo]

Kentucky public high school graduates held steady in meeting the state’s college-readiness benchmarks on the ACT college-entrance exam in reading and English, but lost ground in meeting the state mathematics benchmark. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The planet is warming at a pace not experienced within the past 1,000 years, at least, making it “very unlikely” that the world will stay within a crucial temperature limit agreed by nations just last year, according to Nasa’s top climate scientist. [The Guardian]

Even with the assistance of detoxification and rehabilitation programs, 80 percent of people attempting recovery from opioid addiction will relapse. [Richmond Register]

The United States admitted its 10,000th Syrian refugee this week in a resettlement program announced by President Obama last fall, according to The White House. [NY Times]

After giving a speech critical of the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said politics in Washington aren’t as polarizing as they seem. [H-L]

The producers of EpiPen will offer a generic version of the emergency allergy treatment following outrage last week over price increases, the company announced Monday. [HuffPo]

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Bevin Still Stiffs The Working Poor

The city of Lexington must pay federal environmental regulators $16,800 for failing to keep paperwork of employee training and other safety records at the West Hickman Wastewater Treatment Plant. [H-L]

For all that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has talked about immigration, the specifics of his deportation policies can be difficult to parse. The biggest question: Trump has said he wants to “round up” and deport all undocumented immigrants, but how, exactly, would he do it, if at all? [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin’s administration unveiled its long-awaited plan to reshape the state’s Medicaid program Wednesday, and while it restores some benefits Bevin proposed be cut two months ago, it retains the most controversial components of the governor’s approach to overhauling the federal-state health plan for low-income and disabled Kentuckians. [C-J/AKN]

Middle- and lower-income children don’t visit eye doctors as often as wealthier kids, and as a result, thousands of them may have undiagnosed sight-threatening conditions, U.S. researchers say. [Reuters]

Several changes could be coming to Grayson’s rules regarding sale of alcoholic beverages. During last Tuesday’s meeting, the City Council heard proposals from ABC Coordinator Willis Johnson on behalf of the alcohol retailers in the city. [Ashland Independent]

Republican racists – which is most of them in Frankfort these days – are freaking out that the Obama Administration is actually trying to help Eastern Kentucky. [White House]

The future of a road leading to one of Rowan County’s most popular recreation hangouts is up in the air. [The Morehead News]

Yet more embarrassing homophobic/transphobic news that’s gone national, courtesy Matt Bevin. Way to go, Republicans, for spreading hate. [NBC News]

What now? That is a question that can apply in several instances in relation to the closing of the Monroe County Jail. [Glasgow Daily Times]

High school graduates from Northeastern states score highest on a key standardized test for college admissions, while students in Southern and Western states struggle most to meet educational benchmarks. [The Hill]

Greg Stumbo had his LRC staffers come up with a column about special education teachers. Maybe he could learn something by digging into the Montgomery County mess we’ve uncovered the past few years. [Floyd County Times]

Donald Trump may be “softening” his incendiary language on immigration, but those versed in the complexities of immigration law say his plan has gone from unrealistic to downright incomprehensible. [Politico]

Federal labor officials have sided with the Bluegrass Area Development District in an ongoing dispute with the state over a multimillion-dollar federal workforce training program that serves 12,000 out-of-work or underemployed people in Central Kentucky. [H-L]

I started working at the county jail in 1995 as a correctional officer ― just your basic entry level position. I became sergeant there, where I supervised staff and an entire shift. And then I took a position called a ‘Correction Specialist One,’ which dealt with mental health issues within the facility. [HuffPo]

Way to go, Montgomery County. Maybe your corrupted sheriff’s department can some day work to help addicts instead of just cleaning up after them when they’re dead. Twelve heroin overdoses were reported Wednesday in Mount Sterling and surrounding Montgomery County, police and the sheriff’s department said. [More H-L]

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King Coal Is Still In Severe Denial

You already know Friends of Coal and the Kentucky Coal Association exist only to make a handful of people wealthy. They use far-right Republican extremists as spokespeople (like the Coal Association used RPK’s Tres Watson for years). They decimate Appalachia, take from the poor and ignore Kentucky. It’s all bullshit hype and panicked, worried people fall for it without fail. [H-L]

Donald Trump restructured his campaign leadership Tuesday in a desperate attempt to turn around his flagging presidential bid. [HuffPo]

Of the 87 who died in an accident involving motorcycles, 57 were not wearing a helmet, and neither were any of 19 who died while on an ATV. [Floyd County Times]

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign appears to be soliciting foreign donations despite multiple warnings and a criminal complaint filed with the Department of Justice. [The Hill]

Two of the victims at the heart of a sexual assault and harassment case against an associate professor are angry and say UK is protecting the professor at the expense of his victims, other students and the public. [Kentucky Kernel]

When it comes to the substance of Donald Trump’s speech proposing “extreme vetting” of immigrants to the United States, retired Navy Adm. James Stavridis on Tuesday indicated that the Republican nominee lacked specifics. [Politico]

Hal Rogers joined members of the Chamber of Commerce in touring the Somerset coworking center — billed as being a space for small businesses or those striking out on their own to “connect, create and collaborate.” [Commonwealth Journal]

With hopes of landing the U.S. Senate candidates and high-profile surrogates to represent the presidential candidates, plans are in place for the sixth annual Brushy Fork Forum in Vine Grove. [News-Enterprise]

Facing allegations from former city firefighter Jeffrey Queen that he was subjected to a hostile work environment during his five years in the Bowling Green Fire Department, the city of Bowling Green on Friday acknowledged the existence of a video showing a firefighter burning the Quran, one of many accusations of misconduct in a lawsuit filed by Queen earlier this week. [BGDN]

Over the past decade, the news about Kentucky’s coal industry has been reliably bad. The latest numbers show the state is mining the smallest amount of coal since about 1934, and there are fewer coal miners employed here than anytime in the 20th century. [WFPL]

Those following the Powell Scandal(s) will likely want to keep an eye on this. A school district is hoping voters will help replace what might be the most out-of-shape high and middle schools in Kentucky. [WAVE3]

This is what happens when an illegally-hired former superintendent’s wife heads south. We hear it’s motivating the OAG to seek restitution on behalf of the Montgomery County Board of Education. [Page One]

On Thursday, a Northern Kentucky woman was sentenced to almost 19 years in prison for providing illegal drugs to her daughter in prison; her daughter subsequently died of an overdose. [H-L]

Donald Trump is doing a great job of making the case against his own presidential candidacy, President Barack Obama said at a fundraiser for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Monday. [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin Is Still Ruining Everything

The Affrilachian Poets, a diverse Lexington-based collective of writers directly or indirectly connected to Appalachia, has rejected its 2016 Governor’s Award in the Arts, citing Gov. Matt Bevin’s positions on education, the humanities and other issues. [H-L]

This past Monday was supposed to be a turning point for Donald Trump. That was the day many Republicans hoped their presidential nominee, who was giving a speech at the Detroit Economic Club, would make his long-awaited pivot to the general election. More teleprompter, less Trump. [HuffPo]

The NCAA has not finished interviewing people in its investigation of the University of Louisville’s men’s basketball program. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump is in danger of losing his grip on the Republican Party as fears grow that he’s headed for a landslide defeat in November that will wipe out GOP majorities in Congress. [The Hill]

Findings of a city probe into revelations about a Frankfort police major appear to conflict with some witness testimony in a Franklin County Sheriff’s Office investigation and a resulting court case. The State Journal’s attempts for more than a month to review information used by the city to reach its conclusions also leave some remaining questions about how the internal investigation was launched and how it was conducted. [State Journal]

Here’s Matt Bevin wasting your taxpayer dollars in favor of discrimination. Texas and a dozen other states asked a U.S. judge on Friday to block Obama administration guidance to public schools that transgender students must be allowed to use bathrooms of their choice, saying it usurps the authority of school districts nationwide. [Reuters]

The Republican leader of the U.S. Senate, Sen. Mitch McConnell, said this past week that maintaining his party’s control over the chamber is looking “dicey.” That’s primarily the product of an unfriendly 2016 map: 24 Republican senators are on this year’s ballot while Democrats must defend only 10 seats. Donald Trump isn’t making it any easier for McConnell either. [Ronnie Ellis]

New polls released Friday show Hillary Clinton with significant leads over Donald Trump in three key battleground states. [Politico]

Environmental attorney Tom Fitzgerald, founder and director of the Kentucky Resources Council, will address the Madison County branch of the Women’s Network at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 16, at Gillum’s in the Richmond Mall. [Richmond Register]

Hillary Clinton has released her tax returns, adding to the pressure on her Republican rival for the White House, Donald Trump, to do the same. [BBC]

His English is a little slow for now, but his bashful-seeming smiles come quickly and easily. Kohichi Haneda, 14, arrived in the United States from Japan on July 21 as part of the Labo International Exchange program with which 4-H youth organizations across the country team. The Labo students who are visiting around Kentucky stayed together for the first day or so, with a trip to the grocery to introduce them to American foods and a Louisville Sluggers baseball game. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The first nationwide study to ask high school students about their sexuality found that gay, lesbian and bisexual teenagers were at far greater risk for depression, bullying and many types of violence than their straight peers. [NY Times]

Former Bardstown police officer Nick Houck was served a search warrant Thursday afternoon in connection with the case of a missing local woman, Crystal Rogers. [H-L]

A spokesperson for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has blamed President Barack Obama for invading Afghanistan ― a foreign policy decision he never made. [HuffPo]

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Fancy Farm 2016 Completely Sucked

Kentucky’s six U.S. House races look all but decided with three months remaining until Election Day. [John Cheves]

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager reignited the long-debunked “birther” conspiracy theory on Tuesday night. Corey Lewandowski, now a CNN analyst/in-house Trump surrogate, suggested that President Barack Obama hadn’t released his Harvard transcripts because they might show he wasn’t a citizen of the United States. [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin’s April vetoes must be overturned because they were not filed as required by law with the Secretary of State and were signed by autopen rather than Bevin’s own hand, the attorney for House Speaker Greg Stumbo argued Friday. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump is casting doubt on the prospect of fair elections come November, criticism that could prompt his supporters to reject the possibility of a Hillary Clinton victory in the fall as fraudulent. [The Hill]

Two different Clay County officials are facing charges after a grand jury indictment. Note: The Judge-Executive isn’t a member of the Democratic Party. [WKYT]

U.S. health regulators have cleared the way for a trial of genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida that can reduce mosquito populations, potentially offering a new tool to fight the local spread of Zika and other viruses. [Reuters]

Mitch McConnell’s new autobiography is entitled “The Long Game,” and Saturday he took time before the Graves County Republican Party breakfast to look back on that journey. [Ronnie Ellis]

Hillary Clinton has fueled a debate over whether her rival for the presidency, Donald J. Trump, is fit to command America’s atomic forces. “Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis,” she said in her address at the Democratic convention last week. “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.” [NY Times]

Once known as a thoroughly Democratic affair, the political speaking stand at Saturday’s 136th annual Fancy Farm Picnic will be dominated by Republicans. [More Ronnie Ellis]

Donald Trump sounded like a supporter of Ukraine’s territorial integrity last September, when he spoke by video feed to a gathering of political and business elites in Kiev. [Politico]

Kentucky’s attorney general is asking three members of Kentucky’s congressional delegation to get involved with a dialogue between his office and the Tennessee Valley Authority, a federal agency, regarding the rate structure for electricity from the Glasgow Electric Plant Board. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The US economy added a stronger-than-expected 255,000 jobs in July, fuelling speculation that interest rates could rise before the end of the year. [BBC]

Jennings followed last year’s Democrat-leaning emcee Matt Jones, the Kentucky Sports Radio talk show host. Both were poor choices who diminished the Fancy Farm Picnic’s credibility. [Tom Eblen]

President Barack Obama on Tuesday said Donald Trump was “unfit to serve” as president of the country, asking top Republicans in Congress why they’re still endorsing the real estate mogul even as they need to condemn his comments on a near-daily basis. [HuffPo]

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KCTCS Freakout Now Well Under Way

It’s been reported for a couple years that McCall was receiving those funds (consulting $) – that is not new news. It’s also not news that educators get paid out for their vacation days, is it? If so, how on earth have these folks reported on education in Kentucky? Matt Bevin’s administration is publicly questioning the leadership of Kentucky Community and Technical College System President Jay Box and plans a comprehensive review of operations in the system’s central office. [H-L]

Senate Democrats tried and failed Wednesday to expedite emergency funds to combat the Zika virus, stymied by Republicans who objected and tried to extract cuts to Obamacare as a condition for their agreement. [HuffPo]

You can’t call Minton an asshole and be accused of being a racist but CAN (not this guy but others) be a straight-up racist asshole and be a cabinet secretary? Nice moves, Bevin Shitshow. [C-J/AKN]

When the ball dropped in Times Square on Jan. 1 of this year, more than half of the country disapproved of the job that President Obama was doing, according to Gallup. That boded poorly for the Democrats over the course of the year; presidential approval correlates to both how his party fares in the presidential race (even if he’s not on the ticket) but also to the results of Senate races. An unpopular Obama suggested a less popular whoever-was-about-to-win-the-Democratic-nomination. [WaPo]

There is never a bad time to visit the commonwealth, but when it comes to tourism, it’s hard to beat the month of May. Those few weeks between the Kentucky Derby and Memorial Day are arguably when we look our best. [Greg Stumbo]

Donald Trump has dominated polling among Republicans for the better part of a year, as he has delighted in reminding people. But there’s one poll that you probably haven’t heard about and that he doesn’t talk about. [NY Times]

Metcalfe County magistrates have awarded bids for various supplies for the 2016-17 fiscal year. [Glasgow Daily Times]

From the Department of Things Ken Ham wouldn’t understand… Stone tools and bones from a butchered mastodon, found at the bottom of a river in Florida, are shaking up the known history of humans in the region. [BBC]

Slinging mud, beautiful scenery and more than 100 miles of trails were just some of the words used to describe Rush Off Road at Rotary on Monday. [Ashland Independent]

Most urban lungs around the world are breathing harmful air, according to a new World Health Organization (WHO) report. [ThinkProgress]

Justin Schmidt grabbed some pizza and took a seat against the wall. It felt good to rest his legs. [WFPL]

Leading U.S. universities are pushing back against a proposed State Department rule that would bar foreign students from more research projects and classes involving information seen as vital to national security. [Reuters]

Matt Bevin had legal authority to make mid-year budget cuts to Kentucky’s public universities and colleges this spring, a judge has ruled. [H-L]

Truck driver Dana Logan tried on Wednesday to recount a crash that decapitated two fathers and two children, hoping to convince Congress to stop weakening rules that require truckers to get rest. [HuffPo]

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