Not A Great School-Related Statistic…

Longtime Democratic activist and political consultant Larry O’Bryan, of Louisville, was charged Wednesday with federal crimes alleging that he played a role in the political bribery and kickback scheme arranged by Tim Longmeyer while Longmeyer was secretary of the Kentucky Personnel Cabinet. [C-J/AKN]

About 6 p.m. Tuesday, Attorney General Andy Beshear received what he called an unsolicited text message from Gov. Matt Bevin. It said: “I would strongly suggest that you get your house in order. Your office is becoming an increasing embarrassment to the Commonwealth.” [H-L]

The number of students charged with assaults in the third degree at Kentucky schools rose significantly in one year by 51.3 percent, according to an annual school safety report released Thursday. [More H-L]

I’ve been traveling to presidential debates since 1988, and the one I just saw here at Hofstra University was historic. Republican nominee Donald Trump turned in the worst ― and I mean worst ― debate performance in modern times. It was so bad that in a normal year, it would disqualify him from getting anywhere near the White House. [HuffPo]

They piled into the minivan, all seven of them, and drove slowly on a darkened Louisville interstate toward the exit marked for the airport. Hustling up escalators with five boys in the half-empty, late-night terminal, Ahmad Al Tybawi and his wife, Ahlam Al Swedan, found themselves back where they had arrived almost a year before — when they were gaunt and exhausted from fleeing Syria’s bloody civil war. [C-J/AKN]

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 37 states now offer voters some way to cast ballots early and avoid lining up at the polls on Election Day. [ProPublica]

Louisville has been chosen for a federal pilot program aimed at attacking the city’s heroin and prescription opioid problem. [WFPL]

Turns out that when it comes to fighting climate change, most Americans are willing to pay a little more to get the job done. [ThinkProgress]

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate for August fell to 4.9 percent, down from a revised 5 percent in July, the state Office of Employment and Training announced Monday. [Richmond Register]

Kentucky sure is good at proving stereotypes correct. This clown panic is just the latest incident. [BBC]

The Kentucky Supreme Court ruling against Gov. Matt Bevin’s higher education funding reductions was welcome news at Ashland Community and Technical College. [Ashland Independent]

Mrs. Clinton seems to have bested Mr. Trump in the debate largely thanks to her mastery of three subjects that have defined her general election campaign: race, gender and national security. [NY Times]

The Rowan County Board of Education has approved a partnership with Morehead State for the use of some of the district’s kitchen facilities. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump on Tuesday insisted that Hillary Clinton did not get under his skin during their first debate and suggested he may “hit her harder” in their next encounter by raising the subject of former President Bill Clinton’s infidelities. [WaPo]

A judge has upheld a state ethics code violation against a woman linked with former state Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer. [H-L]

Donald Trump accused NBC News’ Lester Holt of favoring Hillary Clinton in Monday night’s presidential debate. [HuffPo]

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Judges Need More Pay? Let’s Start With Teachers And Work Up From There

Kentucky judges need to be paid more, Supreme Court Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. told state lawmakers Friday. [H-L]

President Barack Obama fired back at Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for his claim earlier this week that black people in America are worse off than ever before. [HuffPo]

Just when it appeared the fight between the University of Louisville Foundation and the school’s board of trustees was subsiding, both sides Thursday hurled angry charges and countercharges at each other. [C-J/AKN]

Britain’s HSBC (HSBA.L) is seeking to release billions of dollars of capital tied up in the United States without upsetting the country’s politicians and regulators, senior sources at the bank said. [Reuters]

The Madison County Board of Education approved its working budget of $15,110,486.74 for the 2016-2017 fiscal year Thursday afternoon during a special work session. [Richmond Register]

The Education Department announced [last week] that it is stripping the powers of one of the nation’s largest accreditors of for-profit schools. [ProPublica]

Members of the Flatwoods Police Department huddled in the back of the council chambers Thursday evening filled with excitement after the council approved leasing new police vehicles for the department. [Ashland Independent]

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has already talked at length about his plans to reform U.S. trade relations and released a tax plan. But on Thursday, he put out an update to the latter and packaged many of his past plans into what he calls an “economic policy package.” [ThinkProgress]

The Morehead Utility Plant Board has officially begun discussions on building a new water treatment plant. [The Morehead News]

When Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were found this month in New York and New Jersey, they gave detectives a wealth of information central to the ongoing investigation. [BBC]

With the sun beating down on their faces and fresh air filling their lungs, Barren County Detention Center inmates Melissa House and Andrea Borgemenke shoveled dirt into a wheelbarrow. [Glasgow Daily Times]

If you missed the presidential debate Monday evening, go read the transcript and check out the video. [NY Times]

Woah, Valarie Honeycutt Spears finally noticed Menifee County Schools are a mess! [H-L]

Back in the comparatively innocent days of 2015, before Donald Trump completed his hostile takeover of the Republican Party, before the Bernie Sanders juggernaut really got going, Hillary Clinton’s campaign thought it could get ahead through well-crafted policy proposals. [HuffPo]

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Let’s Relive Bevin’s High Court Loss

A Fayette district judge’s ruling on a 2016 amendment to the drunken-driving law has prosecutors and defense attorneys battling in court. [H-L]

Shutting down for-profit detention facilities would hurt Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s ability to do its job, agency director Sarah Saldaña said Thursday amid a review over whether the government should do just that. [HuffPo]

In a ruling that has as much impact on state politics as the state purse, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Gov. Matt Bevin violated his power last spring in unilaterally ordering funding cuts to state universities. [C-J/AKN]

Warplanes launched some of the heaviest air strikes yet on rebel-held areas of Aleppo on Friday after the Russian-backed Syrian army declared an offensive to fully capture Syria’s biggest city, killing off any hope of reviving a ceasefire. [Reuters]

The four-year graduation rate at Eastern Kentucky University has nearly doubled in the past seven years. [Richmond Register]

If you notice the news and/or aren’t that guy in Plato’s favorite cave, you’ve probably already suffered rage-induced anaphylaxis while reading about the cool 600 percent price increase for EpiPens in recent years. [ProPublica]

Thursday’s Kentucky Supreme Court ruling that Gov. Matt Bevin can’t reduce university funding on his own didn’t surprise many who listened to oral arguments before the court last month. [Ronnie Ellis]

On Wednesday, Donald Trump Jr. told Pittsburgh Tribune-Review he doesn’t think the Trump Organization’s international operations would be problematic if his dad were elected president. [ThinkProgress]

Barren Circuit Judge John T. Alexander has upheld the city’s January decision to fire Michael Burton, who was a Glasgow Police Department sergeant at the time. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Our team that’s been travelling across the northern US hearing from voters is now at the halfway stage – crossing the states of North Dakota and Montana. There, our North America correspondent, Aleem Maqbool has been looking at the thorny issues surrounding the oil industry and climate change, in a place that’s directly affected by both. [BBC]

On Wednesday, Kentucky legislators listened to a presentation about the benefits of medical cannabis from Don Stacy, a cancer doctor and medical liaison for pro-legalization group Alliance for Innovative Medicine. [WFPL]

Ruling on a lawsuit filed by a state’s Democratic attorney general against its Republican governor, the Kentucky Supreme Court says Gov. Matt Bevin doesn’t have the authority to unilaterally slice money out of a state university’s budget. [NPR]

In the summer of 1969, a man picking flowers along the secluded Little Shepherd Trail in Harlan County saw a body on the side of a hill, so decomposed it was hard to tell if it was a man or woman. [H-L]

Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence on Thursday said Americans should refrain from speaking about racial bias within law enforcement immediately after police shootings to help bring unity to communities like Charlotte, North Carolina, where violent protests raged this week over the police shooting of a black man. [HuffPo]

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Matt Bevin Sure Had A Rough Weekend

The Kentucky Supreme Court dealt a decisive blow to Gov. Matt Bevin’s executive power Thursday, finding that he exceeded his statutory authority by cutting state universities’ budgets by 2 percent last spring, after the General Assembly had already appropriated their funding. [H-L]

Donald Trump said Wednesday he finally gave up pushing conspiracy theories about President Barack Obama’s birthplace because it was politically convenient to do so. [HuffPo]

A group will host a series of eight public forums statewide to alert people about possible changes to the state Medicaid program and seek comments, with the first one scheduled Sept. 26 in Morehead. [C-J/AKN]

A new study that examines some major health care proposals from the presidential candidates finds that Donald Trump would cause about 20 million to lose coverage while Hillary Clinton would provide coverage for an additional 9 million people. [AP]

Matt Bevin exceeded his statutory authority when he unilaterally reduced funding to the state’s universities and colleges by 2 percent last spring, according to the Kentucky Supreme Court. [Ronnie Ellis]

As his two-term presidency draws to a close, Barack Obama is looking back—at the legacies of his predecessors, as well as his own—and forward, to the freedom of life after the White House. In a wide-ranging conversation with one of the nation’s foremost presidential historians, he talks about his ambitions, frustrations, and the decisions that still haunt him. [Vanity Fair]

Officials have discovered the presence of hydrilla, an invasive aquatic plant, in several areas of Cave Run Lake near Morehead. State and federal officials are asking boaters and anglers using Cave Run Lake to take precautions to help prevent the spread of this plant. [Ashland Independent]

You can thank people like Scott Jennings for abusing this good will. When Mylan NV recruited food allergy bloggers to learn about its campaign to get allergic shock antidotes into schools, many were eager to join the maker of the EpiPens they carry in purses and stash in book bags to protect their children against potentially lethal attacks. [Reuters]

Of course the Rowan County Fiscal Court gave the mother of Kim Davis an award. Remember Jean Bailey? She’s one of the people who helped her granddaughter cover up the theft of a dog and get away with it. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump says he has donated millions to charity. Earlier this year, Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold set out to prove him right. [ProPublica]

PEE ALERT! SMALL TOWN FREAKOUT PEE ALERT! The Glasgow Police Department has received several complaints from residents of Glasgow in reference to someone dressing up as a clown and walking or standing near public areas such as parks and city streets, according to a GPD press release. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Donald Trump’s campaign isn’t alone in patronizing his own businesses: taxpayers are indirectly doing so, too. Federal Election Commission records show that the U.S. Secret Service has paid the Trump campaign about $1.6 million to cover the cost of flying its agents with the candidate on a plane owned and operated by one of his companies. [Politico]

Surprise! Valarie Honeycutt Spears all the sudden cares about a corrupt board of education member. Samantha Rodarte, who is opposing Fayette County school board chairwoman Melissa Bacon in the November general election, is calling for Bacon to resign and withdraw from the race. [H-L]

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is here to show you what a Donald Trump presidency would feel like for young women. [HuffPo]

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Kentucky: Still Rewarding Homophobia

Remember when the group of homophobes running the Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex in my hometown got caught banning gay news publications like Out and The Advocate?

It was some mind-boggling stuff for outsiders but nothing new for people in the Commonwealth. When the ACLU stepped in, it got national attention and Kentucky once again had egg on its face.

So what happened? The Kentucky Department of Corrections decided to give one of EKCC’s deputy wardens its top award:

The Kentucky Department of Corrections honored employees across the state recently at its annual Corrections Awards Luncheon in Lexington.

-SNIP-

The agency’s top awards, called “Commissioner’s Awards,” were presented to: Stephen Boles, a sergeant at Northpoint Training Center (NTC); Keith Helton, deputy warden at Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex (EKCC) and Aaron Smith, warden of Kentucky State Reformatory (KSR).

Yep. One of the people who orchestrated the gay-panicked and discriminatory freakout received an award.

KRS Needs Something Much Tougher

On Tuesday, the Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing in Washington on the growing scandal at Wells Fargo, one of the nation’s top lenders, which illegally charged customers $1.5 million in fees after it secretly opened two million sham accounts in their names. Among those socking Wells Fargo with a total of $185 million in fines is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal regulatory watchdog. [John Cheves]

Hundreds of the world’s leading scientists, including famed physicist Stephen Hawking, warn in an open letter Tuesday that a Donald Trump win in November would prove disastrous to global efforts against climate change. [HuffPo]

Domonique Greene wasn’t keen on public speaking but ambled down a church aisle on a recent Mother’s Day weekend to stand before more than 400 congregants. He paused to catch his breath amid sobs before announcing: “I need y’all’s prayers. I’m addicted to heroin. I fear I’m going to die if I don’t get help.” [C-J/AKN]

Police in Florida and other states are building up private DNA databases, in part by collecting voluntary samples from people not charged with — or even suspected of — any particular crime. [ProPublica]

What the KRS needs is not a piddly audit but a full-scale forensic accounting investigation. A Philadelphia-based consulting company has won a contract to review Kentucky’s struggling public pension systems. [Richmond Register]

If you’re a voter who cares about stopping climate change, you really need to read Donald Trump’s newest economic policy plan. [ThinkProgress]

The U.S. Department of Transportation on Tuesday awarded a $3,389,437 grant to the Ashland-Boyd County Airport Board in Worthington. The Airport Improvement Program, or AIP, funds will be used to construct a new taxiway at the Ashland Regional Airport. [Ashland Independent]

Former President George H.W. Bush is bucking his party’s presidential nominee and plans to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, according to a member of another famous political family, the Kennedys. [Politico]

A 4-2 passage of a municipal order sparked controversy during last Monday’s City Council meeting. The disagreement was about an order recommended by Mayor Jim Tom Trent to appoint Edna Schack to the Morehead-Rowan County-Lakeview Heights Joint Planning Commission. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump’s campaign is grappling with new allegations that the GOP nominee used his charitable foundation to pay personal expenses. [The Hil]

The two candidates vying to represent Barren County and one precinct in Warren County in the Kentucky House of Representatives were being measured Saturday by local farm families, as each answered the same set of five questions that had been provided to them a few weeks in advance. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Mylan NV faced new scrutiny over price hikes for its anti-allergy EpiPen on Tuesday, with U.S. lawmakers calling for a probe of oversight of the company’s rebates to government healthcare plans, while West Virginia said it was investigating whether Mylan defrauded its Medicaid department. [Reuters]

The League of Women Voters of Lexington has canceled more than half of the candidate forums it planned for early October because one person in each race — usually the incumbent — would not participate. [John Cheves]

Want to keep the government open? Want to fund the Zika response? The trucking industry and Republican allies in Congress say the price for that could be weakening rest rules for truck drivers, sources said. [HuffPo]

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Woah, There’s A Senate Race In KY?

Thus far, the U.S. Senate race in Kentucky has been more of a leisurely stroll. Less than eight weeks from Election Day, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Bowling Green, ran his first television ad of the campaign Wednesday in Louisville, a positive spot that focuses on Paul’s career as an eye surgeon. [H-L]

New national polls show the presidential race close, but Clinton remains consistently ahead. [HuffPo]

Members of the county’s teachers union have voted to approve a tentative two-year salary agreement with Jefferson County Public Schools that would give teachers additional raises in addition to their experience-based step raises. [C-J/AKN]

Of course Brown-Forman is fighting the legalization of marijuana – if not with dollars, then with ignorance like this. [The Intercept]

During a Madison County Fiscal Court meeting Tuesday morning, Judge/Executive Reagan Taylor and Deputy Judge/Executive Colleen Chaney announced the state has requested to take back control of the maintenance on certain state roads, previously maintained by the county. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump intends to rolls back food safety regulations if he wins the White House in November. [The Hill]

Mayor Chuck Charles and former Mayor Steve Gilmore on Tuesday pitched their campaign platforms to local Republicans. [Ashland Independent]

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday he believes Donald Trump should release his tax returns, gently suggesting that the GOP nominee ought to divulge his personal finances as Ryan did when he ran for vice president. [Politico]

Morehead City Council unanimously passed the first reading of an ordinance Monday to allow packaged alcohol sales within city limits on Sundays. [The Morehead News]

A congressional panel will hold a hearing on Sept. 22 to look at the fate of fuel efficiency rules through 2025 amid growing concerns from automakers. [Reuters]

Glasgow City Council delayed a vote Monday on what the 2016 tax rate for real property should be after one councilman proposed amending the ordinance to nullify an agreement the mayor had signed with the Glasgow Electric Plant Board regarding use of the funds it pays the city in lieu of taxes. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Trump recently proposed billions in spending to allow the nation’s poorest students to leave public schools and enroll elsewhere, including by using homeschooling. Except the plan won’t work for the poorest students. [ProPublica]

Montgomery County residents who live near an area of arsenic contamination have retained a Louisville law firm to represent their interests. [H-L]

Hip-hop artist and business mogul Jay Z narrates a new video that traces the history of the war on drugs and highlights the way that it has disproportionately targeted black Americans. [HuffPo]

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