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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Andy Beshear’s Big Conflict Remains Hot

The University of Kentucky will lose $12.6 million next year thanks to a 4.5 percent cut in state funding. At the same time, student financial aid and scholarships will increase by more than $20 million, and fixed costs for things such as utilities and employee health insurance are on the rise. [H-L]

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has not been shy about his disdain for the mainstream media. But the Democratic presidential hopeful has rarely, if ever, articulated it as bluntly as he did in an interview that aired on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” on Friday night. Sanders called out the network for its corporate character in a novel exchange with host Rachel Maddow. [HuffPo]

It symbolizes how cavalier we were in 20th century America – a hole dug next to a drinking water source where businesses sent hazardous waste to be buried out of sight and out of mind. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump says he thinks he can win the general election, even if the Republican Party does not unify to support his candidacy. [ABC News]

Andy Beshear says he has no reason to recuse himself from the Longmeyer case so let us break it down for him. Here are the conflicts: LONGMEYER WAS HIS DEPUTY! He’s a longtime friend of Longmeyer’s. Longmeyer worked directly for his daddy. Longmeyer raised/laundered cash for him. Longmeyer is going to prison. Jesus H at the stupid. Someone file a bar complaint against the man posthaste! [Ronnie Ellis]

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, the presidency of George W. Bush changed instantly. In a new collection of never-before-seen photographs from that day, the president can be seen responding to the worst terrorist attack in United States history — an event that would redefine his time in office and propel the nation into two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. [PBS]

When it came down to it, John Bland was unhappy and growing desperate. He was 65 years old, had led a life of watching in awe as his grandmother and aunt tried on dresses, mourned the realization that he would never bear a child and spent each day hating the body he had been given. [The News-Enterprise]

President Obama can’t wait to take on Donald Trump. Obama has been largely sidelined in the presidential contest, a last-year officeholder with high approval ratings who has repeatedly shown he likes to spar with political foes. [The Hill]

We think what Greg Stumbo really means is he wants a forensic accounting because an audit is way too random and easy to manipulate. Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo is asking Auditor Mike Harmon if the General Assembly can authorize an audit of another branch of government. [WKMS]

FBI requests for customer records under a secretive surveillance order increased by nearly 50 percent in 2015, according to a U.S. government transparency report published this week. [Reuters]

Supt. Marvin Moore said the relocation of the Rowan County Board of Education’s central office from East Second Street to the old middle school on West Sun Street went better than anticipated. [The Morehead News]

Including a Kentuckian from Henderson. President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 58 more federal prisoners Thursday, seeking to add momentum to his drive to allow earlier releases of men and women serving lengthy terms for drug offenses. [Politico & Press Release]

Lexington’s push to increase internet speeds will be delayed a few months as the city studies the cost of providing ultra high-speed internet access to Fayette County’s rural areas. [H-L]

Bernie Sanders has said that Hillary Clinton is not a “true progressive” and many of his supporters seem to agree. It’s one reason that Sanders keeps performing well in primaries and caucuses, prolonging the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. [HuffPo]

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Andy Beshear’s Conflict Is Front & Center

With the Ohio River as a backdrop, Democratic presidential hopeful and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders told a crowd in Louisville on Tuesday night that they don’t need to worry about Donald Trump. [H-L]

As schools have taken steps to beef up their security measures, violence in schools has taken a dive. [HuffPo]

How on earth can Little Andy Beshear conduct an unbiased and impartial investigation into Tim Longmeyer? Spoiler alert: he can’t. [C-J/AKN]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Obstructionist Retirement Home) is under increasing pressure to bring up a revised criminal justice bill despite staunch opposition from conservatives in his own caucus. [The Hill]

Oh, how convenient! Greg Stumbo all the sudden cares about higher education. In all of my years serving in the General Assembly, I cannot recall a more depressing time for higher education than last week. [Floyd County Times]

After sweating through the second straight year that earned the title of hottest year on record, new research from the Center for American Progress Action Fund finds that 24 governors and attorneys general publicly deny the reality of climate change. [ThinkProgress]

Matt Bevin’s attorney argued in Franklin Circuit Court on Wednesday that Bevin did not reduce appropriations to state universities when he cut their current year funding by 2 percent. [Ronnie Ellis]

A recently disclosed document shows the FBI telling a local police department that the bureau’s covert cell-phone tracking equipment is so secret that any evidence acquired through its use needs to be recreated in some other way before being introduced at trial. [The Intercept]

‘The Bern’ briefly stopped in Elizabethtown, apparently. Self-proclaimed die-hard Democrat Julie Smith’s heart pounded with adrenaline as she met Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders on Wednesday afternoon. [The News-Enterprise]

Federal jurors have returned guilty verdicts in a host of public corruption charges brought against three former Ron Paul presidential campaign aides accused of a secret plot to pay an Iowa state senator $73,000 for his endorsement. [Des Moines Register]

Gotta give Bevin credit for not coming out and endorsing Trump. “At this point, weighing in on who I’m going to vote for, I think is a mistake for me or any other person,” said Gov. Matt Bevin. [WDRB]

Alan Eller has spent more than a decade trying to convince the Department of Veterans Affairs that his bladder cancer was the result of exposure to Agent Orange almost 50 years ago in Vietnam. [ProPublica]

Kentucky basketball legend Richie Farmer, whose promising political career was derailed by accusations of misusing state money while he was agriculture commissioner, filed for bankruptcy this week as he tries to rebuild his life after serving time in prison. [H-L]

Economies across large swathes of the globe could shrink dramatically by mid-century as fresh water grows scarce due to climate change, the World Bank reported. [HuffPo]

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Surprise! Teenagers Sometimes Use Drugs

Oh man, the FBI is dropping the hammer on Kentucky Democrats! [H-L]

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz talks about the future of coal during a meeting with the Herald-Leader editorial board on Thursday, April 21, 2016. [More H-L]

Two suicide car bombs claimed by Islamic State killed at least 32 people and wounded 75 others in the center of the southern Iraqi city of Samawa on Sunday, police and medics said. [HuffPo]

Wanna see a racist turd burglar white about the removal of a confederate statute? Here you go. It’s a full-on white guy circle jerk of awful. [C-J/AKN]

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton won’t give any clues about who she is considering as her running mate, though she said there are many qualified people for the job. [The Hill]

The Richmond Planning and Zoning chose to table three of four items on its agenda for the October Glory at Golden Leaf development property at Pavilion Way until the next work session per the request of Planning and Zoning director Jason Hart. [Richmond Register]

The U.S. military will announce on Friday that has it taken disciplinary action against 16 service members over a deadly Oct. 3 air strike in Afghanistan that destroyed a hospital run by the international medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres, U.S. officials told Reuters. [Reuters]

Two Boyd County teachers want to transform a bare patch of land and a pond adjacent to Boyd County High School into an outdoor learning center. [Ashland Independent]

Two days after U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, filed legislation seeking to expedite a hurricane protection plan for Texas, U.S. Rep. Randy Weber, R-Texas, said he expects to introduce a companion bill in the U.S. House in the coming weeks. [ProPublica]

A random drug search at Rowan County Senior High School on Wednesday morning has forced school resource officers and officials to begin investigating at least four separate instances in which canine units picked up an illicit scent. [The Morehead News]

House Republicans threw a temper tantrum over a rule that bans financial advisers from scamming retirees. [ThinkProgress]

Smiths Grove City Commissioners approved on first reading Monday night an ordinance setting the city’s budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year. [Glasgow Daily Times]

They arrived by the busload, four coaches in all, from around the state. Laborers, thousands of them, flooded the south side of the Indiana Statehouse, covering the green lawn with their blue and yellow United Steelworkers signs and t-shirts. [Politico]

House Speaker Greg Stumbo raised concerns Thursday about how Gov. Matt Bevin handled vetoes of several bills approved by the state legislature and indicated he may ask a court to determine if the governor acted properly. [H-L]

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) vowed to take his fight for the Democratic presidential nomination all the way to the party’s convention in July, promising not to give up even if he continues to trail Hillary Clinton in pledged delegates. [HuffPo]

Loss Of The Spoonbread Festival Stings

A federal judge has ruled that Kentucky cannot bar a corporation from contributing to political campaigns while no such restrictions apply to other organizations such as labor unions. [H-L]

Stagnant pay for many Americans is already a defining issue of this year’s populism-filled presidential election. But add in the rising cost of living, and the picture is even bleaker. [HuffPo]

If anyone is claiming that they’re surprised Tim Longmeyer took part in this alleged bribery corruption scheme, consider everything they say with a grain of salt. Being nice doesn’t mean you’re not corrupt. Just like being an asshole doesn’t mean you’re a terrible person. Bill Ryan is hardly the posterboy for integrity. And at least two of the people commenting in this story didn’t have nice things to say about Tim when they spoke to me. [C-J/AKN]

The court’s 4-to-4 tie on an important labor case gave Democrats a rare double victory. Not only did they get to celebrate the union win made possible by the result, they also got a fresh opportunity to remind Americans that the stalemate over the vacancy will limit the court’s ability to act. [NY Times]

While opinions on who to blame for this year’s Spoonbread Festival being canceled varied, locals were pretty unanimous on one thing — they are sad to see it go. [Richmond Register]

LaToya Fowlkes is standing outside rent court in Baltimore. A judge has just ruled that Fowlkes has to pay her landlord $4,900 in rent and fees despite her complaints that the house has leaky water pipes, chipped paint, rodents and a huge hole in the living room wall. But Fowlkes didn’t notify her landlord of the problems by certified mail — something the judge said she should have done to avoid eviction. [NPR]

There will be no competitive primary for the 98th District state representative race during this cycle. [Ashland Independent]

The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) spent $86m (£60m) on a spy plane to be flown in Afghanistan, but it was never used, a government report says. [BBC]

Morehead Utility Plant Board customers could see a slight increase in monthly water and sewer bills after July 1. [The Morehead News]

A lawsuit last week in Canada is seeking to halt a major $15 billion sale of light-armored vehicles to the government of Saudi Arabia, part of a growing international movement to stop arms sales to the Saudi government over its alleged war crimes in Yemen. [The Intercept]

Internal investigations into whether Glasgow Police Department Sgt. Terry Flatt and Officer Tammy Britt violated city policies related to a text-message exchange between them that came to light late last year ended with the same conclusion. [Glasgow Daily Times]

In these first years of the 21st century, we may be witnessing a new world being born inside the hollowed-out shell of the American system. [Bill Moyers]

Greg Stumbo is not happy with Matt Bevin at all. [H-L]

Donald Trump has defied the laws of political physics from the moment he rode down that gold-toned elevator in his own Manhattan tower to announce his candidacy last spring. [HuffPo]

WHAT?! NO MORE SPOONBREAD FESTIVAL?!

That line of pear trees in the Palomar neighborhood in south Lexington is gorgeous, fluffy and decked out like clouds descended to suburban earth. [H-L]

A new report nearly doubles previous predictions for sea level rise if global emissions continue unabated, portending a doomsday scenario for many of the world’s coastal cities. [HuffPo]

Responding to public concerns about lead in public drinking water supplies, the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet has created a work group to review existing government regulations or practices and potentially make recommendations for changes. But the agency that created the work group, which includes a variety of public officials, intends to exclude the general public – potentially violating the state open meetings law. [C-J/AKN]

Ted Cruz lashed out at Donald Trump on Wednesday for saying that women who get abortions illegally should be punished. [The Hill]

Sorry, Bowling Green Daily News, but there is absolutely evidence that Andy Beshear received some of that cash. You can find it yourselves at KREF. [BGDN]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday appeared likely to rule that property owners can challenge the federal government in court over the need for permits under a national water protection law in a case involving a company’s plans for a Minnesota peat mine. [Reuters]

Nope, the newspaper didn’t break that news – I did. Months before he was criminally charged with taking bribes for steering state business to a Lexington consulting firm, former Kentucky Personnel Cabinet Secretary Tim Longmeyer joined the long list of so-called “double-dippers” rejoining the state payroll while receiving retirement benefits. [WFPL]

Two years ago, President Obama unveiled an initiative to give early release to potentially thousands of federal prisoners serving long sentences for low-level drug crimes. The initiative has barely made a dent, and a resignation letter from the president’s recently departed Pardon Attorney lays out at least one reason why. [ProPublica]

This was one of the weirder things to happen with Johnny Bell that didn’t involving sexually harassing women. It didn’t seem possible for relations to get much worse between Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and House Democrats but they did Thursday when one of Bevin’s staff refused to allow Rep. Johnny Bell, D-Glasgow, to enter a news conference Bevin conducted on the troubles of his new healthcare website. [Ronnie Ellis]

A set of maps released Tuesday shows an incredible overlap between the critical habitats of several endangered and seafood species and the area that will be affected by seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean. [ThinkProgress]

This isn’t great for Kentucky tourism. The Berea Chamber of Commerce Board voted Thursday to cancel the 2016 Spoonbread Festival rather than agree to the city’s demands to ban festival vendors from selling Confederate symbols. [Richmond Register]

On her show Tuesday night, Rachel Maddow detailed the early-2000s case of Washington, D.C., madam Deborah Palfrey. [Salon]

Negotiations over a two-year, $21 billion state spending plan broke off Thursday after House and Senate leaders could not come to an agreement over cuts to higher education and how much money should go into a fund for pension payments. [H-L]

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said Wednesday that there “has to be some form of punishment” for abortion if it were banned in the U.S. — as he says it should be — and that punishment should fall on the woman. [HuffPo]