When Will The Bevin-Beshear Fight End?

The president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has expressed concern about “the potential for undue political influence” in Gov. Matt Bevin’s overhaul of the University of Louisville’s governing board. SACS President Belle S. Wheelan said in an Aug. 18 letter to acting University of Louisville President Neville G. Pinto that “there is evidence of significant accreditation-related issues” involving Bevin’s changes at U of L that are being challenged in court by state Attorney General Andy Beshear. [H-L]

Donald Trump’s new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, found herself in the unenviable position Sunday morning of having to defend one of the candidate’s most despicable tweets ever. [HuffPo]

Judicial candidates in Kentucky can make misleading statements but they can’t tell outright lies. [C-J/AKN]

The prescriptions you have in your medicine cabinet might not be as private as you believe they are. Thirty-one states grant law enforcement warrantless access to databases containing drug histories, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is pushing hard to search records even in states that have privacy safeguards. [WCPO]

I suspect most people are paying only passing attention to the multiple court battles between Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear. But the stakes are high and, depending upon how the courts rule in the various suits and Bevin’s potential reactions, these cases are likely to make history and set precedents that will affect Kentucky state government for years. [Ronnie Ellis]

Now for some startling opinions about race relations and the current leader of the Republican Party, Donald Trump. [The Hill]

Louisville-based GE Appliances, part of the Haier Group, plans to close a water heater manufacturing line that it launched in 2012 at Appliance Park. [Business First]

Nearly a third of U.S. counties will likely be served by only one insurer that participates in an Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace in 2017, according to an analysis published Sunday by the Kaiser Family Foundation. [Reuters]

Brenda Stamm will face a familiar challenger this fall as she seeks another term on the Rowan County Board of Education. [The Morehead News]

The U.S. Department of Justice announced that it would phase out its use of private prisons. While significant, the move will not put an end to the booming immigrant detention industry. Private prison companies will continue to receive millions in government contracts to detain unauthorized immigrants. [ProPublica]

Officials in several states are scrambling to deal with a series of heroin overdose outbreaks affecting dozens of people and involving at least six deaths. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump made a direct pitch to Iowa’s farmers in a speech here Saturday — and then pivoted back to his appeal for support from African-Americans, even though there were virtually none in the audience. [Politico]

How do you document Kentucky history that has been mostly hidden and, until 1992, was technically illegal? [Tom Eblen]

Someone using an email address connected to Harold Bornstein, Donald Trump’s doctor, apparently doesn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to cash in on the GOP presidential nominee’s campaign. [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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Does Frankfort Care About Homeless Kids? Or Will What’s Happened In Lexington Continue To Occur?

The number of homeless students in Lexington schools has nearly doubled in the past three years, according to a new report that recommends more money and attention to schools with the highest percentage of homeless students. [H-L]

Two prominent scholars are calling B.S. on a popular conservative argument about poverty. [HuffPo]

Lawyers for Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear disagreed in court Monday on whether the governor could make new appointments to the University of Louisville board of trustees to fix a political representation issue. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump appeared to question Hillary Clinton’s mental fitness for the presidency on Saturday, calling her “unstable” and saying she had suffered a “short-circuit in the brain.” [The Hill]

George Griffiths remembers a different Louisville. Originally from Kingston, Jamaica, Griffiths moved to the city from New York after his job transferred him 28 years ago. He’s lived in the United States since 1970. [WFPL]

The United States has taken in 8,000 Syrian refugees since October and is on track to meet President Barack Obama’s goal of resettling 10,000 by the end of the fiscal year, a U.S. State Department official told reporters on Friday. [Reuters]

For someone who a year ago said the raucous, rowdy tradition of Fancy Farm Picnic political speaking is “literally celebrating the very worst elements of the political process,” Republican Gov. Matt Bevin embraced his time on the stage Saturday. [Ronnie Ellis]

Hillary Clinton’s surge in the polls over the past week has widened her path to victory in November and put Donald Trump in a deeper hole than recent losers Mitt Romney, John McCain or John Kerry faced at this phase of the campaign. [Politico]

Construction is on schedule for the $10 million rebuild of KY 519 between Clack Mountain and the Morgan County line. [The Morehead News]

Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson is suing the police and city of Baton Rouge over mass arrests during protests against police killings. [BBC]

There are fewer coal jobs in Kentucky than there have been in more than 115 years, a report said as politicians in the state look for other opportunities for their constituents. [Richmond Register]

During a 33-year career at the Central Intelligence Agency, I served presidents of both parties — three Republicans and three Democrats. I was at President George W. Bush’s side when we were attacked on Sept. 11; as deputy director of the agency, I was with President Obama when we killed Osama bin Laden in 2011. [NY Times]

Some leading Kentucky Republicans seem unconcerned that Donald Trump’s foibles will undermine their campaign to flip control of the Democratic-led state House. They see the GOP presidential nominee as an asset in their quest to complete their takeover of Kentucky government. [H-L]

A vastly underappreciated legacy of Barack Obama’s presidency is one that neither his conservative opponents nor his liberal allies like to mention: He’s presided over a historically unprecedented reduction in government employees. [HuffPo]

WANT TO HELP US? Use our Amazon links, sign up for Ting or Cricket and more. Check this page out to see how you can help us without ever giving us a dime of your own money. [CLICK HERE]

Kentucky’s Unemployment Stats: Meh

Saved this to run at the beginning of this week so it doesn’t get ignored.

According to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training in the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, unemployment rates fell in 64 counties between June 2015 and June 2016 but rose in 49 counties.

Rates remained the same in seven counties: Fleming, Henderson, Morgan, Simpson, Trigg, Trimble and Whitley.

Lowest Unemployment Rates

  • Woodford – 3.6%
  • Oldham – 3.7%
  • Shelby – 3.8%
  • Fayette – 3.9%
  • Spencer – 3.9%
  • Anderson – 4.1%
  • Campbell – 4.1%
  • Boone – 4.2%
  • Henry – 4.2%
  • Scott – 4.2%

Highest Unemployment Rates

  • Magoffin – 16.8%
  • Leslie – 13.7%
  • Harlan – 12.6%
  • Letcher – 12%
  • Elliott – 11.9%
  • Pike – 11.6%
  • Floyd – 11.4%
  • Knott – 11.3%
  • Wolfe – 11.2%
  • Clay – 11.1%

If you want to dig through all the numbers yourself, click here for the PDF release.

ICYMI: Comer Is Under Investigation

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is wrestling with an unenviable, arguably impossible task this election year: protecting Senate Republicans from the political upheaval caused by Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy. [H-L]

A graphic video shows a Baton Rouge police officer shooting and killing Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man who was selling CDs in front of a convenience store early Tuesday morning. [HuffPo]

SURPRISE! Bevin’s proposal to reshape the state’s Medicaid program ran into a buzzsaw of criticism at its first public hearing since the governor announced it last Wednesday. [C-J/AKN]

A regulatory effort by the Obama administration to crack down on tax deals is facing backlash from business groups and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. [The Hill]

Charles Gabbard, who is accused of stealing donations from volunteers meant for Kentucky River Regional Animal Shelter (KRRAS) and a volunteer’s cellphone was indicted this month on charges relating to the incident. [Hazard Herald]

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Tuesday fighting economic espionage was a priority for the Department of Justice. [Reuters]

Access Fund, the national advocacy organization that protects America’s climbing, is excited to announce that Breaks Interstate Park, which sits across the southwest Virginia/southeast Kentucky line, is now officially open to rock climbing. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

At a time when Democrats and Republicans in Congress can’t agree on just about anything, there is one issue that unites them: the urgent need for criminal justice reform. [ProPublica]

Bobby Paisley’s health insurance covers his vision and dental care. He knows, because he and his wife pay for it. “I don’t have to do community service, I don’t have to earn points and I don’t have to wait,” he said. But that’s exactly what some 400,000 Kentuckians would have to do if they need an eye exam or a tooth pulled under Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposal to overhaul the state’s Medicaid program. [Richmond Register]

In his final State of the Union address in January, President Obama made an ambitious pledge to overhaul the management of fossil fuels on America’s public lands in his final year, focusing, in particular, on the antiquated and little-known federal coal program. [ThinkProgress]

Beginning this fall, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) will offer a free dual credit class to Kentucky public high school juniors, allowing them to earn high school and college credit at the same time. [Ashland Independent]

If you missed it, Jamie Comer and his crew are under investigation by the Office of the Attorney General. [Page One]

Giant coal producer Murray Energy has issued notices that it could lay off up to 4,400 coal mine workers in six states come September. A news release from the St. Clairsville, Ohio, company says it issued the notices for its operations in Ohio, West Virginia, Illinois, Kentucky, Utah and Pennsylvania. [H-L]

A Texas man who sued the federal government because it wouldn’t approve his application to manufacture a machine gun doesn’t have a constitutional right to possess the automatic weapon, an appeals court ruled. [HuffPo]

Jobless Rates Allegedly Down In May

The Bevin Churchministration says Kentucky’s jobless rate fell in 91 counties during the month of May, rose in 24 and remained the same in five.

Details…

Remained the same in:

  • Letcher
  • Marshall
  • Menifee
  • Powell
  • Webster

Lowest jobless rates:

  • Woodford 3.3%
  • Oldham 3.4%
  • Fayette, Shelby, Spencer 3.6%
  • Boone 3.7%
  • Anderson, Campbell, Scott 3.8%
  • Franklin, Jessamine, Owen, Warren, Washington 3.9%

Highest jobless rates:

  • Magoffin 15.6%
  • Leslie 11.6%
  • Harlan 11.2%
  • Letcher 11.1%
  • Elliott 10.9%
  • Floyd 10.7%
  • Knott, Pike 10.5%
  • Clay 10.1%
  • Lawrence 10%

Want to dig through all the numbers? Here you go:


CLICK TO ENLARGE — PDF

Have fun.

Try not to think about Bevin appointing church loonies to every board position in the state, the RPK being homophobic and borderline (full-on?) racist, every poor person in the state getting stiffed on the health care front…

Bevin’s Still A Backward-Ass Buffoon

The University of Kentucky will lay off up to 75 people across several departments as part of an administrative reorganization, officials announced Thursday. [H-L]

Exaggerator took advantage of sloppy conditions and a “dream trip” to win the 141st running of the Preakness Stakes by 3-1/2 lengths in Baltimore on Saturday, ending Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist’s bid for the Triple Crown. And two horses died because of course they did. [HuffPo]

A lack of front door intercoms, a door propped open, overgrown shrubbery – these are some of the most common security vulnerabilities in schools, according to a Saturday panel about school safety during the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Louisville. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, promised on Thursday to roll back some of America’s most ambitious environmental policies, actions that he said would revive the ailing U.S. oil and coal industries and bolster national security. [Reuters]

Here’s the latest from your mouth-breathing, bigoted governor. Republican Gov. Matt Bevin announced Friday that his administration will join a suit filed in U.S. District Court challenging transgender bathroom guidelines for students issued by the Obama administration. [Ronnie Ellis]

Back in the late-housing-bubble period, in 2007, Countrywide Home Loans, which was then the largest mortgage provider in the country, rolled out a new lending program. [ProPublica]

The son of a former Ashland mayoral candidate advocated for the passage of an anti-discrimination ordinance Thursday in front of the Ashland Board of City Commissioners. [Ashland Independent]

In the hot and humid conditions of downtown Dallas, the #Exxonknew ice sculpture – erected by environmental campaigners to suggest the company had known about the science of climate change but had failed to act – did not last too long. [BBC]

A plan to apply artificial turf at the Rowan County Senior High School football field seems to have hit a dead end. [The Morehead News]

For the first time, researchers have found a person in the United States carrying bacteria resistant to antibiotics of last resort, an alarming development that the top U.S. public health official says could signal “the end of the road” for antibiotics. [WaPo]

Barren County Judge-Executive Micheal Hale essentially issued a challenge to his fellow members of the county’s governing body, the fiscal court, to come to the next meeting with specific suggestions for what should be cut from next fiscal year’s budget. [Glasgow Daily Times]

As a witness to the removal of fallen U.S. troops from Afghanistan, Army Chaplain Christopher John Antal can’t recall a time when that solemn ceremony wasn’t conducted without the presence of drones passing along the horizon. [ABC News]

Kentucky officials say unemployment rates fell in 83 of the state’s counties between April 2015 and April 2016. Jobless rates rose in 33 counties and stayed the same in four. [H-L & Press Release]

The presidential campaign of Donald Trump has largely been a policy-free, fact-free, detail-free event, based on emotion (especially fear), pandering to shallow slogans (“Make America Great”), and the aggressive personal and ad hominem abuse of his Republican and Democratic opponents. [HuffPo]

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