It’s Late September Montgomery County Update Time And This One’s A Doozy

First, a couple Montgomery County Schools housekeeping tidbits:

  • Jennifer Hall settled her case for chump change, according to school board members. The district refuses to provide details despite them being a government agency.
  • Amanda Reffitt is allegedly close to doing the same. She flew to Kentucky from Alabama, where she now teaches, a few weeks ago to get the process started.
  • Michelle Henry is apparently still in negotiation. Insurance attorneys recently tried to have portions of her case thrown out and the judge refused to do so.
  • Kelly Wallace refuses to settle, wants to go to trial
  • Gene Heffington, who did not file suit, sent the board a demand letter and they’ve paid him off in a settlement. The district refuses to provide details despite them being a government agency.
  • Jim Dusso refuses to settle, wants to go to trial
  • The board’s insurance-appointed attorneys are in way over their heads

The board gives the excuse that they have no control over what their attorneys do, what actions they take, how they attempt to rip apart the people who have suffered and ultimately sued. So it’s a lot of fun watching them play games.

Since board member Donna Wilson (surprise! wonder why?) chose not to run for re-election, a former district superintendent is running in her place. Remember Dr. Freeman? He has no opponent. Both Alice Anderson and Sharon Smith-Breiner are also up for re-election without opponents.

I hear there’s been another major complained filed with the Office of Education Accountability regarding a board member. More on that to come later.

Recently, a member of the Montgomery County Board of Education attempted to not only blackmail me but bribe me. Choosing not to identify them for the time being because legal action may be necessary.

They threatened harm (IN WRITING! Creating a massive paper trail) if I complied with demands to share details in court about what I’ve learned regarding the school district. When that didn’t work, they literally sent me money that I promptly returned.

That school board member has created yet another stupid Montgomery County-related mess.

And if you want to help me finish reporting everything on that district, I ask that you chip in. If you want the book to eventually be closed and for everything to be uncovered, your help is needed.

Click here to chip in. Keep this jalopy afloat. Help me finish up the investigation and pay for gazillions of outstanding open records requests. And, now, to help with the mess one ignorant board member has created.

We’ve come too far to give up now.

Matt Bevin Had Another Terrible Week

A year after it began, Lexington’s needle-exchange program has collected 20,199 used needles and has given out more than 21,693 clean ones.[H-L]

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a retired four-star general who served under three Republican presidents, slammed GOP nominee Donald Trump as a “a national disgrace” and an “international pariah,” according to his personal emails. [BuzzFeed]

The pros and cons of the Kentucky State Fair are getting a comprehensive review by a committee of the state agency that oversees the annual 11-day event in August. [C-J/AKN]

The truth behind the Kochs’ new fossil fuel PR campaign. Behind the latest Koch-funded effort to hide the impacts of fossil fuels. [ThinkProgress]

It’s fun watching the UofL Foundation cough up cash for McConnell-Bush-Trump advocates to spin the media. Facing growing scrutiny from donors and its own university, the University of Louisville Foundation is paying $11,500 a month in retainers alone for external public relations firms. [WFPL]

Donald Trump was in a tuxedo, standing next to his award: a statue of a palm tree, as tall as a toddler. It was 2010, and Trump was being honored by a charity — the Palm Beach Police Foundation — for his “selfless support” of its cause. His support did not include any of his own money. [WaPo]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! A group of Campbellsville residents protested outside City Hall on Monday, in response to a proposed ordinance that would regulate how citizens are allowed to address the City Council. [WAVE3]

Matt Bevin may be calling for a violent uprising if Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is elected in November. You can’t fix this kind of bigoted stupidity. [RawStory]

The Democratic candidate for Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District Tuesday called for the impeachment of Republican Gov. Matt Bevin for saying last week that bloodshed may be necessary to preserve American ideals and system of government. [Ronnie Ellis]

Speaking at the Values Voter Summit on Saturday, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin alluded to Thomas Jefferson’s famous aphorism about the need to periodically water the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots and tyrants. [Vox]

A yearlong and extensive investigation by the Boyd County Sheriff’s Department has culminated in the indictment of six for organized crime and multiple drug charges. [Ashland Independent]

His base wants few details and fewer facts; they just want to burn it down and blame their failures on the collective other. And Donald John Trump is their demonic messiah in Oompa Loompa’s clothing. [GQ]

Democratic candidates for federal office in Kentucky criticized Gov. Matt Bevin on Tuesday for suggesting last weekend that blood might someday need to be shed if Hillary Clinton wins the presidential election, going so far as to suggest impeachment. [H-L]

If Donald Trump is elected president, will he and his family permanently sever all connections to the Trump Organization, a sprawling business empire that has spread a secretive financial web across the world? Or will Trump instead choose to be the most conflicted president in American history, one whose business interests will constantly jeopardize the security of the United States? [Newsweek]

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You’re Probably A Trump Deplorable…

The University of Kentucky wants to stop using state procurement rules in hiring investment managers for its $1.2 billion endowment, a move that officials say will allow it to be more nimble and make more money. [H-L]

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Tuesday that his office has launched an ongoing “inquiry” into whether the nonprofit Donald J. Trump Foundation is “complying with the laws governing charities in New York.” [HuffPo]

Since she was installed as president of Spalding University in 2010, Tori Murden McClure has not accepted a raise or a bonus. She turned down a car allowance and she turned down a housing allowance. Her only perk as president is a campus parking space. [C-J/AKN]

Disability rights groups said on Thursday they have asked child protective services to intervene in the case of a severely disabled Wisconsin teenager who suffers chronic pain from her disease and wants to die. [Reuters]

With unemployment rates for Barren County still hovering around the 5 percent mark, local industries are having a harder time filling their need for skilled workers. [Glasgow Daily Times]

A Dubai real estate mogul had a prison sentence disappear. Manufacturing executives in El Salvador dodged having to clean up a case of dangerous lead contamination. Two global financiers embezzled $300 million from an Indonesian bank but got off light. [ProPublica]

The regional heroin epidemic seemingly has hit Rowan County with six suspected heroin overdoses reported Thursday in a 12-hour period. [The Morehead News]

Coal and electricity companies paid to meet with Republican state attorneys general just weeks before those top law enforcement officials joined in suing the federal government over the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, new documents show. [ThinkProgress]

Dogs will soon scamper in Ashland’s Central Park inside a fence that once wrapped around a seldom-used ice skating rink. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump has maintained he was always against the US invasion of Iraq, but he is on record as saying otherwise. [BBC]

As Eastern Kentucky University students shuffle from class to class this semester, they are surrounded by a cacophony of bulldozers, hammers and intermittent beeps as the campus undergoes an ambitious revitalization not seen since the Robert R. Martin era. [Richmond Register]

If you’ve ever wanted a look at just how badly Kentucky’s educational system is failing us, read this story about Kentuckians supporting Donald Trump. You’ll walk away understanding just how easily duped people are – especially in rural Appalachia. You’ll also get another look at just what a dishonest twat Bill Bissett, of the Kentucky Coal Association, is. You know, the man who opposes helping miners get their pensions back because he couldn’t give two shits about anyone but the wealthy (and sometimes imprisoned) coal barons who pay his salary. Oh! You’ll also get yet another glimpse at just how racist and afraid people are as you read yet another exploitative story about Eastern (with a capital E) Kentucky. [NY Times]

A second man has been convicted in connection with a scheme to steal $1.32 million from a contractor who believed he was leveling land for a recycling factory in Manchester. [H-L]

The Affordable Care Act has helped millions of Americans get health insurance. But it’s helping Americans in some parts of the country more than others. [HuffPo]

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Allegations Of Testing Fraud Still Plague Montgomery County Schools’ Previous Administration

Montgomery County Schools. Three words that make longtime readers of Page One cringe.

So get ready to cringe a bit because it’s time to yank another thread.

Sources within Montgomery County Schools and the Kentucky Department of Education allege that the district, while under Joshua Powell’s leadership, bused students to the Clay Community Center during regular instruction time in order to prepare for the ACT. In case you’re wondering, that’s in contradiction to Kentucky Department of Education guidelines.

Check out this note that was captured, along with a schedule for the test prep:


CLICK TO ENLARGE

KDE doesn’t permit ACT prep to take place outside of the classroom. Districts can’t just take kids out of the classroom solely to prepare for the ACT.

Check out this Powerpoint presentation from the KDE site:



Isn’t that fascinating?

Terry Holliday, while still Commissioner of Education, allegedly turned a blind eye.

The above is just a taste of what’s to come.

If anyone in Montgomery County has additional information, get in touch with me. You don’t have to use that form to send your message – but you’ll find the email address there.

The Kernel’s Lesson Was A Good One

A federal judge on Thursday dismissed three lawsuits pending against Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis over her refusal to issue marriage licenses in 2015, following the legalization of same-sex marriage by the U.S. Supreme Court. [John Cheves]

If July felt horrendously hot, that’s because it was. NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ― two leading global authorities on climate ― both say July 2016 was not only the hottest July on record, but the most sizzling month in the history of record-keeping. [HuffPo]

Student-run newspapers can be great experiences, giving students a taste of what they’ll face if they continue with a journalism career. They learn to chase important stories and dig for the facts. They learn to take on powerful institutions and hold officials accountable. [C-J/AKN]

The Department of Justice and the FBI are looking at Paul Manafort as part of a broad investigation into alleged corruption in Ukraine. [The Hill]

Eastern Kentucky University has 161 academic programs, but 47 of them have graduated an average of fewer than 10 in the past three years. [Richmond Register]

The FBI and U.S. Justice Department are investigating possible U.S. ties to alleged corruption involving the former president of Ukraine, including the work of firms headed by political operatives Paul Manafort and Tony Podesta, CNN reported on Friday, citing multiple U.S. law enforcement officials. [Reuters]

Greenup County school officials are looking at new security camera systems for the district, and may choose the one they want next month. [Ashland Independent]

Earlier this month, Paul Manafort met with Donald Trump and suggested that they put in place a succession plan for the upper ranks of the Republican nominee’s flailing presidential campaign, according to three campaign sources with direct knowledge of the events that led to Manafort’s resignation on Friday morning as campaign chairman. [Politico]

When Corey Brewer passed a drug test required for his new job at Walmart in Richmond, his mother, Julie Robinson, felt relieved. [Ronnie Ellis]

Days of heavy rain have caused historic flooding in the US state of Louisiana, bringing as much as 31in (79cm) across a third of the state. [BCC]

The three finalists for the Glasgow Independent Schools’ superintendent position each spent a day this week getting familiar with the school district. [Glasgow Daily Times]

An article in The Atlantic on post-9/11 America makes a powerful case that the “never again” approach to homeland security is good politics but lousy policy. The turbulent months after the 9/11 attacks were notable for something that did not happen. [ProPublica]

Kentucky Supreme Court justices had plenty of questions for attorneys during oral arguments Thursday over the legality of midyear budget cuts that Gov. Matt Bevin made to universities last spring. [H-L]

While the coal lobby is often blamed for a lot of Washington’s foot-dragging on addressing climate change, two major coal industry groups may be losing some of their clout. A new report from the environmental group Climate Investigations Center looks at recent losses in the membership of two major coal lobbies: the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) and the National Mining Association. [HuffPo]

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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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Trump Chickens Come Home To Roost

The Lexington Humane Society is inundated with cats every summer, and this August it’s using its “Purrgressive Pricing” program to help them alleviate some of the overcrowding. [H-L]

Aetna Inc, the No. 3 U.S. health insurer, on Monday said that due to persistent financial losses on Obamacare plans, it will sell individual insurance on the government-run online marketplaces in only four states next year, down from the current 15 states. [HuffPo]

GLI is part of what’s wrong with Louisville and it’s beyond time for everyone to recognize it. An organization like that is not necessary in the modern era. Louisville’s first heat-management plan is flawed and should not be used as the basis for any new regulatory programs aimed at reducing temperatures, the city’s chamber of commerce said. [C-J/AKN]

Boeing Co’s KC-46A refueling plane has been approved for production, with work underway for the first two low-rate initial production lots to be awarded in the next 30 days, the U.S. Air Force said on Friday. [Reuters]

On Friday, Gov. Matt Bevin made several appointments to Kentucky’s Universities and College Boards including two to the Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents. [Richmond Register]

Federal health regulators have announced plans to crack down on nursing home employees who take demeaning photographs and videos of residents and post them on social media. [ProPublica]

Mayor Chuck Charles said the city of Ashland faces a “no-win” situation prior to the Aug. 23, county-wide election on alcohol sales. On Election Day, all registered voters in Boyd County, Ashland and Catlettsburg can vote to turn the county “wet.” The status would expand alcohol sales in convenience stores, gas stations, grocery stores and other businesses. [Ashland Independent]

More than 70 Republicans have signed a letter to the party’s National Committee head urging him to stop helping Donald Trump’s campaign. [BBC]

Watching AT&T buy favors from Rocky Adkins… AT&T Kentucky Tuesday donated $20,000 to the Rowan County Board of Education to be used for college and career readiness programs. [The Morehead News]

Republican strategists say time is running out on Donald Trump. Though there are more than 80 days to go before the election, GOP skeptics believe the party’s nominee has little time left to straighten out his campaign in order to defeat Hillary Clinton for the presidency. [The Hill]

The State Medical Examiner’s Office in Madisonville has determined that the cause of death for a Butler County couple found Tuesday in their home is homicide, according to a Kentucky State Police release. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Peter Greathouse, a Republican from Utah, says he’s not “comfortable” with Donald Trump as his party’s nominee. Jane Lynch, a GOP veteran from Arizona, says she’ll likely cast her personal vote for libertarian Gary Johnson or a write-in candidate. Loren Byers, a Texas Republican, calls Trump “a loose cannon.” [Politico]

If you’re the state’s most important newspaper, you could do a better job and have some common sense when covering suicide. At a bare minimum, provide links and numbers for resources. At a bare minimum. [H-L]

When Donald Trump unveiled his council of economic advisors earlier this month, observers were quick to note some of the team’s unorthodox attributes: all of its 13 members are men, six are named Steve and only one has an advanced degree in economics. [HuffPo]

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