Throwing Water On The Comer Gremlin

Programs allowing intravenous drug users to exchange dirty syringes for clean ones are spreading in Kentucky as communities confront growing heroin abuse and concerns over the potential for disease outbreaks caused by addicts sharing needles. [H-L]

Nice to see media finally start covering what we’ve been reporting about Jamie Comer’s hemp mess for a year. Also nice to see Ryan Quarles squirm because he and his partner in Republican spin, Tres Watson, are in the hot seat and can’t find their way out of it. But it’s not as fun as knowing they’re in bed with Jonathan Miller, who has his hand YET AGAIN in something you’ll roll your eyes at. If he’s not taking advantage of West Liberty, he’s grifting on something else. [BG Daily News]

Watching the Republican Party of Kentucky stand behind racist bigot Donald Trump is entertaining and terrifying at the same time. Of course Kelly Knight supports a bigot and it’s hilarious to watch Nate Haney hitch his wagon to racism and xenophobia. His backward, true colors are shining through. [C-J/AKN]

Earlier this year, scientists were puzzled by a widespread die-off that seemed to plague over 17,000 acres of mangroves along Australia’s northeastern and northern coastlines. Now, a scientist from James Cook University has confirmed that the die-off is likely a product of unusually dry weather and climate change. [ThinkProgress]

The city of Edmonton will be adopting ordinances regarding the regulation of packaged alcohol sales, the setting of alcohol license fees, as well as permit fees. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Back in January, as the Supreme Court was preparing for its most important abortion case in a generation, some four dozen social scientists submitted a brief explaining why they believed key portions of Texas law HB2 should be struck down. [ProPublica]

After more than a year-long investigation and an indictment by a Rowan County Grand Jury, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Department says they have shut down a potentially statewide pill operation. [The Morehead News]

President Obama on Wednesday vented his frustration over persistent tensions between law enforcement and minority communities following a nearly four-hour meeting with representatives from both groups. [The Hill]

The panel to screen police chief candidates has two finalists from a field of nine, and city commissioners will shortly receive information about them, Richmond City Manager Richard Thomas said Tuesday. [Richmond Register]

As he has prepared to be named the Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump has not read any biographies of presidents. Trump has no shortage of strong opinions even about books he has not read. [WaPo]

Four of the eight candidates vying for seats on the Ashland Board of City Commissioners spoke to potential voters Tuesday at Boyd County Republican Party headquarters. [Ashland Independent]

Remember Republican Brandon DUI Smith? Looks like the appeals court just choked one of his latest schemes with a biomass plant in Eastern Kentucky. Smith is another one who relies on Tres Watson’s spin but isn’t getting much of it this week due to the RNC Racist Circle You-Know-What. [WFPL]

A week after a secularist foundation warned public school officials against taking kids to the newly opened Noah’s Ark, the attraction’s creator offered a new incentive: $1 admission for every public school student on a school-sponsored field trip and free admission for their teachers. [H-L]

Valarie Honeycutt Spears spent more time on this story about Rowan County being a hot mess of awful than she did on the entire three years of the Montgomery County nightmare. Bonus points: She relied heavily on commentary from Ed Massey, the guy who ditched Joshua Powell. And I told you Marvin Moore was a disaster. [More H-L]

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Everybody Has Donald Trump Regret

Students’ posting of a Black Lives Matter sign in Bryan Station High School fits with the Fayette County Public Schools’ values, officials said on Wednesday. [H-L]

As the saying goes, birds of a feather flock together. So it’s only fitting that within hours of being named Donald Trump’s vice presidential pick, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) pulled one of his running mate’s favorite moves. [HuffPo]

What’s your risk of avoidable hospital death? Thousands of lives could be saved if more hospitals were as safe as those that received an A grade in a recent round of grading by a watchdog group that found no top scorers in Louisville. [C-J/AKN]

Centrist Democrats appear reluctant to join their party’s embrace of a public option for ObamaCare. [The Hill]

Kentucky Power Co. is moving its corporate headquarters back to Ashland after more than a decade in the capital city. [Ashland Independent]

Last week, two lawmakers introduced a bill to put new limits on what debt collectors can take from debtors’ paychecks and bank accounts. It is the first legislation to address the issue in decades and follows a series of ProPublica stories about the widespread practice of garnishment. [ProPublica]

A year later, Smith and his wife Serena, who was also deeply involved in Davis-support rallies, are working the “third shift” at Walmart. Smith said he quit his job last year in order to more fully devote himself to the cause of supporting Davis. [Richmond Register]

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy (D) and Ohio Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D) introduced a bill this week that aims to help public schools become more racially diverse by providing grants for school districts to create voluntary school desegregation plans. [ThinkProgress]

A brief hearing in Barren Circuit Court on Tuesday settled a scheduling conflict in the lawsuit Glasgow police Lt. Col. Guy Turcotte has against the city and James Duff, former interim chief. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The last year has shined a harsh light on two distressing realities of American life. Mass shootings are becoming more common. And more Americans are killing themselves. These disturbing trends share something in common, obvious in the first case and less so in the second: guns. [WaPo]

Officials in Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration did not directly answer whether they plan to notify users of a problem-plagued state benefits system that they should reapply for services such as Medicaid and food assistance. [WFPL]

“The Art of the Deal” made America see Trump as a charmer with an unfailing knack for business. Tony Schwartz helped create that myth – and regrets it. [The New Yorker]

Curiosity finally got the best of me. I had to drive up I-75 and see Noah’s Ark. I found the ark to be an impressive piece of woodcraft, which made me feel better about paying $40 to see it. (It cost an additional $10 to park in the 4,000-space parking lot, which was only a fraction full.) [H-L]

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R-Gay Panicked), Donald Trump’s vice presidential pick, opposed a successful effort in 2007 to raise the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour over two years. [HuffPo]

No One Believes Bevin Was Unaware

Kinda like that time he claimed he didn’t attend a cockfighting rally and then video footage of him speaking at the rally emerged. Matt Bevin distanced himself Wednesday from the removal of former first lady Jane Beshear’s name from the Capitol Education Center on the grounds of the Capitol. [H-L]

Former Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) returned to the spotlight this week with an unusual definition of “religious liberty.” Apparently, it’s a land where people of all faiths can come together and say “Merry Christmas.” [HuffPo]

Matt Bevin said Wednesday that Donald Trump is “absolutely” qualified to serve as president of the United States. [C-J/AKN]

Republicans crafting a party platform in Cleveland quietly voted Monday in favor of building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, ratifying one of presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump’s most controversial proposals. [The Hill]

Saying Kentucky badly needs a well-trained work force, Gov. Matt Bevin announced Wednesday the state is accepting applications from educational institutions, businesses and industry and community leaders for innovative work force development projects. [Ronnie Ellis]

CIA Director John Brennan said on Wednesday he would resign if the next president ordered his agency to resume waterboarding suspected militants, an apparent reference to comments by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump embracing the banned interrogation method. [Reuters]

Recent intense rain storms and flooding events — like the deadly flooding last month that killed more than 20 in West Virginia and left hundreds more homeless — may not have a direct link to climate change, but the heating of the planet’s surface and ocean temperatures is a factor, according to Dr. Eungul Lee, assistant professor of geography at West Virginia University. [Richmond Register]

The Houston cases shed light on a disturbing possibility: that wrongful convictions are most often not isolated acts of misconduct by the authorities but systemic breakdowns — among judges and prosecutors, defense lawyers and crime labs. [ProPublica]

After 26 years of service in law enforcement, Morehead Police Chief Dave Sexton is hanging up his hat and badge at the end of this month. [The Morehead News]

U.S. coal production is expected to take a major hit through 2040. This will happen whether the court-embattled Clean Power Plan — which would reduce carbon emissions from energy plants — is implemented or not, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). [ThinkProgress]

Kentucky law says that for the Glasgow Electric Plant Board to be sold, that board of directors would have to initiate the process and send a resolution to the city council. If the council then approved it, it would be posed as a specific question on the ballot in the next general election for voters to decide. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Alton Sterling, the black man whose point-blank shooting by white police set off a fresh round of national protest against police aggression against black people, was born and raised in this impoverished and racially divided Louisiana state capital and barely knew a life without police in it. [WaPo]

“Defies reason” is how a circuit judge described the Bevin administration’s claim that Planned Parenthood was illegally providing abortions in Louisville. [H-L]

A man in a full-body mosquito costume trolled Senate Republicans on Wednesday by distributing insect repellent outside of their hearing on the Zika virus. [HuffPo]

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It Seems Everyone But Matt Bevin Understands Medicaid Expansion

A secular foundation has contacted hundreds of public schools in Kentucky to warn them against taking field trips to the Ark Encounter, the new amusement park featuring a 500-foot replica of Noah’s Ark and a belief that the world is only 6,000 years old. [H-L]

The GOP on Tuesday successfully drafted a platform ― a statement of its core values and principles ― but not before some last-minute drama played out behind the scenes over its refusal to moderate its tone toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. [HuffPo]

Our favorite thing about Matt Bevin is just how straight up stupid the man is. Ernie Fletcher on his worst day, despite his corrupt staffers, was 100 times more intelligent than Bevin. So watching this train wreck is exciting. Next thing you know, you’re gonna hear that the Lt. Governor is being driven around in a luxury vehicle that was seized as part of a civil asset forfeiture or something because she and her boss are straight out of the movie Idiocracy. [C-J/AKN]

Following reporting by ProPublica and NPR and an investigation by his staff, Sen. Charles Grassley introduces the American Red Cross Transparency Act. [ProPublica]

Nat Maysey, who had his arm severed in a workplace accident on June 6, was visited by Michael Eatmon and Greg Wheeler on Thursday night in his room at the University of Louisville Hospital. After Maysey’s arm was severed, Eatmon used a belt to make a tourniquet and Wheeler searched the factory to find ice for Maysey’s severed arm. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A January study published in the journal Health Affairs showed that one year after Medicaid expansion, the number of Kentuckians who reported trouble paying medical bills declined by nearly 13 percentage points. Those skipping prescribed medications because it cost too much decreased by almost 11 points. And people receiving ongoing care for a chronic illness rose by more than 10 points. [Politico]

The highly successful Hazard Community and Technical College’s offering, “Electrical Lineman/Utility Operator Program,” received the Outstanding Workforce Development Award from the Community Colleges of Appalachia. [Hazard Herald]

The chant erupts in a college auditorium in Washington, as admirers of a conservative internet personality shout down a black protester. It echoes around the gym of a central Iowa high school, as white students taunt the Hispanic fans and players of a rival team. It is hollered by a lone motorcyclist, as he tears out of a Kansas gas station after an argument with a Hispanic man and his Muslim friend. [NY Times]

Some surgeons at University Hospital say a staff shortage is “putting patients in danger.” [WDRB]

For a party that pretentiously parades around with pocket Constitutions, it was funny seeing the Republican standard-bearer betray his ignorance of the most foundational of American documents: “Not only will I stand up for Article I, I’ll stand up for Article II, Article 12 [sic], you name it, of the Constitution.” You name it! Because Donald Trump certainly can’t. [The Hill]

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is planning a second public forum on the state’s plan to protect pollinators such as honey bees. [WLKY]

They stood in a line, clasping hands as a choir sang, Democrat and Republican, black and white, politician and cop. Led by President Barack Obama and his predecessor George W. Bush, they honored the five Dallas policemen slain last week and urged Americans to rise above racial divides and reject despair. [Reuters]

If you worry the Creation Museum and its new Noah’s Ark theme park will cause outsiders to think Kentuckians are a bunch of anti-science rubes, at least take comfort in this: Lexington was home to perhaps America’s greatest evolutionary biologist. [H-L]

The U.S. government is on track to approve nearly $40billion in foreign military sales in the 2016 fiscal year that ends October 1, down from $46.6 billion last year, a top Pentagon official said on Wednesday. [HuffPo]

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Funtimes At The New Ark Park?

If you worry the Creation Museum and its new Noah’s Ark theme park will cause outsiders to think Kentuckians are a bunch of anti-science rubes, at least take comfort in this: Lexington was home to perhaps America’s greatest evolutionary biologist. [H-L]

Two separate attempts to recognize lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in the Republican Party platform ― a statement of its core ideas and principles ― were voted down by GOP delegates on Tuesday. [HuffPo]

Just wait til the gays wake up to the reality that Bevin has turned UofL into Six Flags Over Jesus University. The University of Louisville Faculty Senate approved a statement Wednesday saying that Gov. Matt Bevin’s recent orders abolishing the Board of Trustees and appointing his own in its place “compromise” the board’s independence and “may affect the institutional ideal of democratically-shared governance at the university.” [C-J/AKN]

The phone would ring almost every week with fundraising appeals from a super PAC called Voters for Hillary. Margo Marquess and her husband, Amitava Gupta, backed the presidential campaign of the former Secretary of State, so they were happy to write checks. In all, they gave $6,000. [ProPublica]

Metcalfe County magistrates opened bids for three bridge projects on Monday, and awarded contracts two companies. Judge-Executive Greg Wilson explained that the county had two bridges, one on Pine Hill Road and another on Jack Shaw Road, that were washed out in 2015 during heavy rainfalls. [Glasgow Daily Times]

It sure is easy for uptight white guys to minimize the African American experience because it makes them uncomfortable. [The Hill]

Doug Cobb, the Louisville businessman who drew recent attention for sharing political opinions on Twitter that are far outside the mainstream, has declined an appointment to the University of Louisville Board of Trustees, according to Gov. Matt Bevin’s office. By “outside the mainstream”? They mean jacked up, homophobic and backwater. [WFPL]

At the theme park Ark Encounter, which opened last week in Williamstown, Kentucky, thousands of visitors can step inside a recreation of Noah’s Ark—built to spec as detailed in the Bible. Inside, exhibits attempt to explain how two of each animal might have fit on the boat, while visitors can pick up souvenirs at the gift shop or eat at a 700-person restaurant on the ship. [FastCo]

Addia Wuchner loves to preach the bullshit of compassionate conservatism but she wouldn’t know what was right for Kentucky’s Medicaid program if it hit her square in her xenophobic face. She’s part of the reason so many Kentuckians remain impoverished, under educated and afraid. [HEAD-DESK]

How American politics went insane. It happened gradually – and until the U.S. figures out how to treat the problem, it will only get worse. [The Atlantic]

I participated in this program something like 20 years ago and think everyone in Eastern Kentucky should get involved. Each September, hundreds of Appalachian citizen leaders travel to Berea College to participate in the Brushy Fork Annual Institute. Widely recognized as one of the premier leadership and networking conferences in Appalachia, the Institute helps residents explore regional issues and develop skills to strengthen their organizations and communities. [Hazard Herald]

The violence in Dallas last week is intensifying worries in Cleveland about visitors and protesters taking firearms downtown during the Republican National Convention, where thousands of people plan to demonstrate. [NY Times]

Central Kentucky religious leaders and Democrats spoke against presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at Blue Grass Airport Monday afternoon, just hours before he landed in Lexington for a private fundraiser. [H-L]

A black doctor who treated shooting victims of a Dallas attack that left five police officers dead spoke out Monday on the fraught relationship between people of color and law enforcement. [HuffPo]

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Don’t Forget About Bevin’s Blunders

Almost 45 years after the former Old Taylor distillery stopped producing bourbon, it might be only about a month away from making spirits again. [Janet Patton]

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has endorsed presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for president. [HuffPo]

The 20 candidates who Gov. Matt Bevin passed over for the University of Louisville Board of Trustees include a Metro Council member, the CEO of Churchill Downs Inc., partners at two large law firms – both of them Republicans – and a retired veteran who touted his “traditional American values.” [C-J/AKN]

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson said Sunday that the shootings in Dallas that left five police officers dead are not reflective of movements like Black Lives Matter. [The Hill]

The first public hearing for the Medicaid transformation proposed by Gov. Matt Bevin was held on Tuesday at the Knicely Conference Center at Western Kentucky University. [Glasgow Daily Times]

President Barack Obama pledged on Saturday to seek ways to calm racial tensions and reduce divisions between police and minorities during his final months in office, but he warned that easy access to guns nationwide exacerbated the problem. [Reuters]

Dr. Susan Harkema became the face of one of the University of Louisville’s splashiest research successes the moment one of her paralyzed patients wiggled his toe. Her name was in Time Magazine. She was interviewed on “Good Morning America” and CNN. The notoriety brought more funding and patients to U of L with hopes that revolutionary studies would help the paralyzed walk again. But in March, a federal agency took the unusual and drastic move of withdrawing its funding from one of her studies, citing concerns about the validity of the data and unresolved problems with oversight. Meanwhile, the federal Office for Human Research Protections is also conducting its own review, a spokeswoman confirmed. [WFPL]

Tens of thousands of people every year are sent to jail based on the results of a $2 roadside drug test. Widespread evidence shows that these tests routinely produce false positives. Why are police departments and prosecutors still using them? [ProPublica]

Twenty oral history projects will receive about $55,000 in grants to support work on topics ranging from the Kentucky Chili Bun Trail in eastern Kentucky to the African-American experience in Hopkinsville. [WKYT]

Global support for US President Barack Obama appears to have lasted through his two terms in office, a survey of 18,000 people for the BBC suggests. [BBC]

When Louisville restaurateur Ivor Chodkowski began looking for cheeses to be used in his Harvest Restaurant he looked to his friend Kenny Mattingly, owner of Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese in Austin. [BGDN]

Unless they have a book to sell, Supreme Court justices rarely give interviews. Even then, they diligently avoid political topics. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg takes a different approach. [NY Times]

During their working years, women tend to earn less than men, and when they retire, they’re more likely to live in poverty. [H-L]

The Republican Party nationally has decided that pornography is a greater threat to public health than guns. [HuffPo]

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Tuesday Morning Dept Of Nonsense

This is terrible news for Matt Bevin. For Kentucky workers who have health insurance through their employers, the number enrolled in high-deductible plans has risen sharply over the last eight years. [H-L]

A photo of an unnamed protester at a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has become a powerful image of the ongoing struggle between law enforcement and black Americans. [HuffPo]

Ethics? What ethics? Matt Bevin doesn’t know how to spell “ethics”, let alone what it means. [C-J/AKN]

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson said Sunday he has had “unpleasant” experiences with law enforcement in the past, but praised the work of police officers serving their communities. [The Hill]

Some may think the illegal dumping of about 2,000 tons of radioactive fracking sludge at Blue Ridge Landfill near Irvine as mainly Estill County’s problem. [Richmond Register]

Three countries have warned their citizens to stay on guard when visiting U.S. cities rocked by sometimes violent protests that erupted after a string of police shootings of black Americans. [Reuters]

A new program to encourage students interested in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) will launch in the fall at Lawrence County middle schools and high school. [Ashland Independent]

Evidence is mounting that doctors who receive as little as one meal from a drug company tend to prescribe more expensive, brand-name medications for common ailments than those who don’t. [ProPublica]

Members of the Cave City Tourism and Convention Commission voted in a special-called meeting Monday to replace an air handler that stopped cooling for the West Hall of the Cave City Convention Center. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump’s video statement at the end of a week of national turmoil was a good start, the Rev. Jesse Jackson indicated Sunday. But, he said, the presumptive Republican nominee bears some of the blame for his past rhetoric. [Politico]

Kentucky’s political leaders responded to Thursday’s shootings in Dallas, Texas with grief, sympathy and a hint of the debates to come on gun control and police-involved violence. [WFPL]

The US economy created 287,000 jobs in June, rebounding strongly from disappointing growth in May. [BBC]

Mary Love says she “got caught in the trap” a decade ago when she needed help to pay the rent on her apartment. [John Cheves]

According to presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump, former Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight will be a key figure at the upcoming Republican National Convention ― where he will presumably hurl Clint Eastwood’s 2012 convention chair at an underperforming point guard, or something. [HuffPo]

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