Yesterday Was A Flustercuck For Kentucky

Tim Longmeyer, a former secretary of the state Personnel Cabinet under former Gov. Steve Beshear, pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to bribery. [H-L]

If you run a business, are employed by one, care about the stability of the financial system, or would prefer that the U.S. economy not be needlessly thrown into disarray — a group that seems like a pretty broad coalition of voters — Cruz’s economic policy is not OK. [HuffPo]

The Independent Pilots Association, the collective bargaining unit for UPS pilots, is turning up the heat on the shipping giant by opening a strike operations center in Louisville. [C-J/AKN]

Pope Francis says a brief meeting with Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders just “good manners” and not political interference. [BBC]

Five hours after the Ashland Police Department posted a Facebook status about a recent spike in theft and burglary, officers were on the hunt for a robber downtown. [Ashland Independent]

Mitch McConnell is “increasingly optimistic that there actually may be a second ballot” at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this summer, the Senate majority leader told a Kentucky ABC affiliate over the weekend. [Politico]

People in rural areas of Appalachia are more likely to die early deaths than in other parts of the country. A big reason, researchers say, is that people in places such as Leslie County, Kentucky, or Boone County, West Virginia – both part of coalfield regions – die from drug overdoses at greater rates than the rest of the country. [Glasgow Daily Times]

If you’re a gay person surprised by the reality that most Republicans, and many Democrats, are ignoring you or politicizing you? You’re screwed up. [ThinkProgress]

Fried mushrooms, mushroom soup, mushroom hunting, and a Fungus 5K, will be just a few of the mushroom-themed items and activities sporing downtown at the City of Irvine’s 26th annual Mountain Mushroom Festival. [Richmond Register]

The Associated Press won the Pulitzer Prize for public service for reporting on abuse in the seafood industry that helped free 2,000 slave laborers, and Reuters and The New York Times shared the breaking news photography award for images of the European refugee crisis. [Reuters]

A Morehead woman was shot by accident by her son on Wednesday. [The Morehead News]

The Obama administration has made a concerted effort to improve its relationship with Mexico following Donald Trump’s call for a massive border wall and his criticism of undocumented immigrants in the United States. [The Hill]

They cover this sort of crap but ignore Montgomery County. Clark County Superintendent Paul Christy, and George Rogers Clark High School baseball coach Matt Ginter and principal David Bolen all have to take three hours of training from the Kentucky Department of Education on accounting procedures for school activity funds, according to a final report from the Kentucky Office of Education Accountability dated March 30. [H-L]

An eight-member Supreme Court appeared skeptical on Monday that President Barack Obama’s decision to defer deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants could be subject to a multi-state legal challenge in a court of law. [HuffPo]

Oh, NOW The Paper Cares About Standards

For the first time, the Kentucky Revenue Department this year is asking taxpayers to wait. Kentucky and other states are becoming more forthright, telling taxpayers they’ll have to be patient and allow time for verification before refunds are sent. [H-L]

The leaked remarks of International Monetary Fund officials suggesting the lender may threaten to pull out of Greece’s bailout are eliciting anger in Athens and could jeopardize debt negotiations. [HuffPo]

Without a national search and after considering only two internal candidates, a search committee made its recommendation for University of Louisville’s next provost, the school’s second highest-ranking officer. [C-J/AKN]

Shandra Woworuntu arrived in the US hoping to start a new career in the hotel industry. Instead, she found she had been trafficked into a world of prostitution and sexual slavery, forced drug-taking and violence. It was months before she was able to turn the tables on her persecutors. Some readers may find her account of the ordeal upsetting. [BBC]

At its regular meeting in March, Rowan Fiscal Court approved a motion to purchase a drone for emergency medical purposes. [The Morehead News]

The U.S. Supreme Court said Wednesday that the federal government cannot, before trial, seize the assets of the accused if those assets are unrelated to the crime and are needed to pay a defense attorney. [NPR]

Glasgow Water Co.’s water treatment plant at Lucas has been recognized as the top water treatment facility in Kentucky by the Kentucky Water and Wastewater Operators Association. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The wall of Republican opposition to the nomination of Judge Merrick B. Garland to the Supreme Court has been shored up by two Republican senators revoking their support for holding confirmation hearings. [NY Times]

How did Eastern Kentucky University’s “worst” student become an award-winning war reporter and a senior producer for a provocative documentary series on HBO? [Richmond Register]

President Obama is facing the very real possibility of a deadlock at the Supreme Court that guarantees his immigration actions won’t take effect before he leaves office. [The Hill]

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has apologized to Democratic state Rep. Johnny Bell of Glasgow who was prohibited from entering a Bevin news conference Thursday. [Ronnie Ellis]

In 2010, the New York City affiliate of Habitat for Humanity received a $21 million federal grant to work on a city neighborhood hit particularly hard by the foreclosure crisis and help stabilize it. [ProPublica]

Surprise! Now the Herald-Leader cares about education professional standards! [H-L]

President Barack Obama on Friday questioned Donald Trump’s qualifications for the presidency, arguing that the businessman’s recent comments on foreign policy suggest he “doesn’t know much” about global politics. [HuffPo]

UofL’s Jim Ramsey Still Ruins Everything

A bill that would allow Kentuckians to erase from their records certain non-violent felonies and another one to create a one-form marriage license to resolve a controversy involving same-sex marriage are now headed to Gov. Matt Bevin’s desk. [H-L]

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Saturday questioned the United States’ protective relationship with Saudi Arabia and again accused U.S. allies of not pulling their weight in the NATO military alliance despite mounting bipartisan pressure on Trump to soften his tone. [HuffPo]

The University of Louisville’s Faculty Senate is set to discuss its views on the fate of embattled President James Ramsey behind closed doors. [C-J/AKN]

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton on Wednesday slammed Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump over his comments on abortion. [The Hill]

This guy seems really nice. A Barren County grand jury earlier this week indicted Kevin Scott Gentry, 49, of Edmonton on a charge of criminal solicitation to murder in relation to his alleged attempt to hire someone to kill another person for $5,000. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden thought he was doing the world a public service by exposing the government’s indiscriminate mass surveillance programs. Public knowledge of these programs, however, may have a disconcerting side effect — those most likely to be put under surveillance refuse to criticize the government online. [ThinkProgress]

Morehead’s Main Street Program has been reaccredited by the Kentucky Main Street Program for the third consecutive year. Downtown Morehead Inc., received the notice earlier this month that the Kentucky Heritage Council completed its evaluation of the operation and accomplishments of Morehead’s downtown development efforts. [The Morehead News]

Arlington cemetery is considered the greatest military burial site in the US, with presidents, honoured military personnel and national heroes resting there. The Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPs, took to the skies for their country during WW2. One such WASP, Elaine Harmon, was a pioneer for female pilots and hoped to be buried in Arlington. [BBC]

Public college and university officials in Northeast Kentucky are unhappy but not surprised at Gov. Matt Bevin’s order cutting their budgets 4.5 percent. [Ashland Independent]

The FDA has updated the labeling for the abortion-inducing drug Mifeprex, allowing it to be taken at a lower dose and with fewer visits to the doctor’s office. [NPR]

The Richmond Planning Commission voted 5-0 Thursday evening to recommend the city commission authorize its newly re-constituted Codes Enforcement Board to levy fines of $100 to $500 for owners who operate a boarding house or group home in a neighborhood zoned for R-1 (Single Family Residences). [Richmond Register]

Some of the country’s best-known corporations are nervously grappling with what role they should play at the Republican National Convention, given the likely nomination of Donald J. Trump, whose divisive candidacy has alienated many women, blacks and Hispanics. [NY Times]

Matt Bevin and Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones traded barbs Thursday night on Twitter over Bevin’s order to cut university funding. [H-L]

The sources of this story never asked for money. What they wanted was for some of the wealthiest and most powerful figures in governments and companies across the globe to be exposed for acting corruptly, and with impunity, for years. [HuffPo]

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Bullying & Budgeting Ruled The Week

A bill aimed at establishing a statewide definition of bullying in Kentucky’s public schools is headed to Gov. Matt Bevin after clearing the state General Assembly. [H-L]

What is wrong with North Carolina? The same thing that’s wrong with Kentucky. [HuffPo]

Wasn’t it fun watching the Republicans hem and haw over the budget this week? [C-J/AKN]

The chief of the independent government agency tasked with evaluating the risk that federal counterterrorism programs present to Americans’ constitutional rights is stepping down unexpectedly. [The Intercept]

The Blue Grass Army Depot has announced that seasonal destruction of dated and/or obsolete conventional (non-chemical) munitions and energetics via detonation will begin on Monday following the customary shut down of operations during the late Fall and Winter seasons. [Richmond Register]

In which liberals wring their hands and inadvertently get caught up in furthering police secrecy. [NPR]

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul spoke about government spending to a room packed full of students at a Town Hall meeting at Morehead State University on Monday. [Ashland Independent]

The FBI has managed to unlock the iPhone of the San Bernardino gunman without Apple’s help, ending a court case, the US justice department says. [BBC]

Both chambers of the Kentucky legislature have passed budgets that would settle the nearly $1 million lawsuit between Rowan Fiscal Court and the Kentucky Department of Corrections (DOC). [The Morehead News]

Spend enough time among Senate Republicans, and you’ll start to think that Miguel Estrada died for our sins. [ThinkProgress]

Glasgow City Council has rejected an amendment to an interlocal agreement changing the composition of the governing board for the Barren Metcalfe Emergency Communications Center, which manages the 911 surcharges and fees collected through phone bills. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Earlier this month Chicago voters decisively ousted Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez. The prosecutor was at the center of controversy after the release of video showing the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald – a video that Alvarez tried to keep from public view for 13 months. Alvarez didn’t charge the officer until just before the video was released. [ProPublica]

Health officials say the number of cases of whooping cough in northern Kentucky has reached record levels recently. [H-L]

A coalition of state attorneys general announced Tuesday that they will be working together to investigate corporations who may have misled the public about climate change. [HuffPo]

Ashland Is Almost Kinda Progressive Maybe? Even More Steps Forward

The Georgetown-Scott County Planning Commission is being sued in federal court because on Jan. 14 it denied an application to build a cellphone tower. The suit alleges, among other things, that the planning commission’s denial “was not supported by substantial evidence contained in a written record.” The suit also alleges that the denial violated state and federal law. [H-L]

The federal agency that enforces civil rights in the workplace is pursuing its first lawsuits ever based upon a worker’s sexual orientation. [HuffPo]

A fierce debate is playing out in state capitals throughout the country over which bathrooms and locker rooms transgender students in public schools should use. In addition to South Dakota, “bathroom law” fights have been launched in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. [C-J/AKN]

President Obama’s top spokesman took a shot at Donald Trump on Monday for his initial refusal to disavow an endorsement from prominent white supremacist David Duke. [The Hill]

The City of Ashland staff gave an update about water violation notices, the status of the city’s new website launch and support for a needle-exchange program during an Ashland Board of City Commissioners meeting on Thursday. [Ashland Independent]

Donald Trump blamed a faulty television earpiece on Monday for his failure to disavow support from a white supremacist, swatting aside the latest controversy to shadow his unorthodox march toward the Republican presidential nomination. [Reuters]

Metcalfe County magistrates approved the county clerk’s 2015 final settlement on Tuesday. Metcalfe County Clerk Carol England Chaney’s final 2015 settlement reflected $1,824,456.22 in receipts, $1,763,681.70 in disbursements, leaving $60,774.52 in excess fees, which she presented to magistrates, said Vickie Stephens, county treasurer. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Unlike many films about reporters, “Spotlight” accurately depicts the frustrations and joys of breaking a big story, from the drudgery of spreadsheets to the electric thrill of revelatory interviews. [ProPublica]

After a $600 million repair of the Wolf Creek Dam that impounds Lake Cumberland, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says cities and businesses that have long drawn the water for free will have to start paying. And they will have to contribute toward any future repairs. [Harlan Daily Enterprise]

Astronomers have completed a detailed map of where dense, very cold gas – the stuff of which new stars are made – is found across the Milky Way. [BBC]

Sen-Ching (Samson) Cheung is an associate professor in the University of Kentucky College of Engineering’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and a faculty member within the UK Center for Visualization and Virtual Environments. Like most professors, he is deeply involved in engineering research. For most of his academic career, his research has been in the area of multimedia information analysis. [Richmond Register]

Bees and other pollinators are in trouble — so much so that many of them are facing extinction, according to a new report. [ThinkProgress]

The old courthouse, where statues of Confederate heroes now reside, was the site of so much pain — the brutal manifestation of our nation’s original sin. [H-L]

An Ohio farmer made his feelings about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump very clear last week, using cow manure to spell out the words “NO TRUMP” in letters large enough for planes overhead to see them. [HuffPo]

Another Oh Snap Moment For UofL

Matt Bevin’s new insurance commissioner this week dropped Kentucky’s legal defense of a 2012 consumer-protection law intended to help life insurance beneficiaries. [H-L]

You’ve likely heard of medical tourism — when individuals travel abroad to obtain health care they find too costly or delayed at home. What you might not realize is that this industry, fueled by inefficiencies in national health care systems and an increasingly interconnected world, is estimated to be worth tens of billions of dollars annually. [HuffPo]

A former NCAA enforcement staffer said the University of Louisville self-imposing a postseason ban on its men’s basketball team is a sign that “something serious is going to go down” once the NCAA completes its investigation and doles out punishment to the school. [C-J/AKN]

Chinese policymakers emerged from the Lunar New Year hiatus with one collective message for nervous investors at home and abroad – Beijing will put a floor under the slowing economy, keep its currency steady and ensure employment remains stable even as bloated industries undergo restructuring. [Reuters]

Rowan Fiscal Court may be getting some help from state lawmakers to settle a lawsuit against the Kentucky Department of Corrections (DOC). On Thursday, Jan. 28, Magistrates Ray White and Darrell Glover, Jailer Wes Coldiron, and County Treasurer Michele Jessee traveled to the Capitol Annex in Frankfort to meet with Rep. Rocky Adkins and Sen. Steve West to discuss the county’s lawsuit against the DOC for unpaid architectural fees. [The Morehead News]

When the blood-testing company Theranos opened to the public in 2013, founder Elizabeth Holmes made bold claims of having revolutionized the diagnostic-lab business. With just a few drops of blood pricked from a finger (as opposed to several vials drawn from a syringe in the arm), the company said it could not only run the full range of laboratory tests, but also turn around results within hours, all at a low cost. [ProPublica]

In remarks to the Berea Independent Board of Education, Superintendent Mike Hogg told officials to expect some tough choices ahead due to fiscal policies adopted in Frankfort. [Richmond Register]

In 2015, there were a record number of exonerations in the US and for the second year in a row, a huge number of those came from Harris County, Texas. [BBC]

After a few ebullient days in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling to temporarily block the Obama Administration’s carbon dioxide regulations, the plaintiff states and industry groups were dealt a blow with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia on Saturday. [WFPL]

Freshman GOP Sen. Thom Tillis warned Tuesday that his party risks being seen as “obstructionist” in a fight over Supreme Court nominations with President Obama. [The Hill]

A Frankfort police officer resigned after the department began investigating conversations he had with an inmate. [WKYT]

President Barack Obama couldn’t be more excited to have this fight. Who he’ll nominate, or how he can realistically expect to get that person the 14 Republican votes in the Senate he’d need to put a third Supreme Court justice on the bench — those are questions he still has to deal with, just 72 hours into a selection process the White House had always prepared for but didn’t expect to activate. [Politico]

The news of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death was barely an hour old when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared that President Barack Obama should not appoint anyone to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. [H-L]f

Bernie Sanders is the great hope for America’s economic future, according to French economist Thomas Piketty. [HuffPo]

KY *NEEDS* Educational Accountability

The U.S. Supreme Court has delivered a commodity that is hard to come by in coal country: hope. Hope that by blocking a new federal rule cutting power-plant emissions, the court has turned the tide after years of regulations and declining production. Hope that the jobs that once brought good wages to people who desperately needed them will come back. However, these hopes have been tempered by another, grimmer thought — that this development might be too little, too late. That it’s false hope. [H-L]

Bernie Sanders has been unfairly criticized for being a “Johnny One Note” on foreign policy because he continually reminds voters of his early opposition to the Iraq War. To explain why he continues to emphasize the importance of his decision to oppose that war, Sanders has pointed to the speech he gave back in October 2002 in which he laid out five important reasons why he feared the Bush Administration’s march to war. [HuffPo]

This is why educational standards enforced in Frankfort are NECESSARY! [C-J/AKN]

New York City’s police have made extensive use of covert devices to track cell phones without obtaining warrants since 2008, a civil liberties group said on Thursday, revealing how frequently law enforcement in the largest U.S. city has employed the technology. [Reuters]

Former city attorney Richard “Sonny” Martin was unanimously voted in by the Ashland commission as the interim city manager on Friday morning. [Ashland Independent]

On February 12, 1958, the American public saw the first televised warning about the dangers of carbon dioxide, global warming, and sea level rise. That warning came from The Bell Laboratory Science Series, which aired its fourth TV episode, “Unchained Goddess,” written and produced by three-time Oscar winner Frank Capra. [ThinkProgress]

Over the course of the last month, Morehead City Council has publicly discussed the possibility of locating a new police and fire station at the old middle school football field on West Sun Street. [The Morehead News]

The index of London’s leading shares has fallen 2.4%, while US and European markets have also posted sharp declines amid continued anxiety about the state of the global economy. [BBC]

For the second time since he was elected governor last November, Matt Bevin visited Hazard on Feb. 12 to engage citizens of the region. [Hazard Herald]

If you’ve ever seen what a Neanderthal is supposed to have looked like, it might be hard to imagine mating with one. But modern humans did. We know because, a few years ago, scientists found stretches of Neanderthal DNA in living humans. [NPR]

Concealed carry of firearms would be allowed in Kentucky’s public schools, universities and government buildings under legislation introduced in the state’s House of Representatives last month. [BGDN]

Gary Martin, the government and political editor for the San Antonio Express-News, was working the weekend shift this afternoon when he got a tip from a federal source bearing big news. [Poynter]

Rand Paul (R-Cookie Tree), fresh from exiting the race for president, will hold a series of “town hall” meetings across the state next week, including a breakfast in Lexington. [H-L]

Suddenly, heroin is the hottest political issue in Washington, but it doesn’t sound anything like your grandfather’s war on drugs. [HuffPo]

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