Another Frustrating Eastern Kentucky Pipe Dream

We love Eastern Kentucky more than anything but it’s never going to be like Gatlinburg. Eastern Kentucky has the potential to develop into a bigger regional tourism destination, helping boost an economy sapped by the loss of coal jobs, according to a study commissioned by an arm of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. [H-L]

Frustrated at the lack of enthusiasm for his vice presidential pick Mike Pence, Donald Trump is now telling those close to him that he wants a do-over of sorts, which he aims to get by rolling out the names of potential cabinet members. [HuffPo]

Despite his pledge to immediately offer his resignation to University of Louisville’s new Board of Trustees once it was legally constituted, President James Ramsey declined to do so at its first meeting Wednesday. [C-J/AKN]

Donald Trump’s family members, close political associates and several celebrities will be among those speaking at next week’s GOP convention in Cleveland. [The Hill]

The Carter County Public Library Board of Trustees officially withdrew its tax proposal at Monday night’s meeting of Carter Fiscal Court. [Ashland Independent]

The U.S. missile defense system to counter attacks from rogue states like North Korea has no proven capability to protect the United States and is not on a credible path to achieve that goal, a science advocacy group said on Thursday. [Reuters]

How a man with children of color – immigrants – could support a bigot like this is beyond telling. People can get upset all they want for mentioning Matt Bevin’s children but it’s alarming that this man doesn’t have his shit together enough to speak out against Trump’s extreme racism. [Ronnie Ellis]

In 2009, Abu Zubaydah’s lawyers interviewed their client and prepared a handwritten, first-person account of the torture their client suffered at the hands of the U.S. government. [ProPublica]

Kentuckians with certain Class D felony convictions are now eligible to apply to clear their criminal records as long as they have stayed out of trouble for five years. [WFPL]

A federal judge dismissed evidence gathered by a warrantless cellphone-tracking device that locks onto a phone’s location by pretending to be a cell tower for the first time Tuesday. [ThinkProgress]

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Department is at it again. This time, they’ve arrested five they believe have been trafficking heroin throughout the county. [The Morehead News]

Last month, in a California speech advertised as a major foreign policy address, Hillary Clinton zeroed in on an enemy at home — Donald Trump, whom she described as “temperamentally unfit” to lead the most powerful nation in the world. [WaPo]

The tallest building in Frankfort is for sale. The Bevin administration has labeled the 25-story Capital Plaza Tower as surplus property and put it on the auction block. [H-L]

Donald Trump introduced Mike Pence as his running mate at a rambling press conference on Saturday that seemed to focus more on Trump himself than his vice-presidential nominee. [HuffPo]

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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Adam Edelen’s The New Jonathan Miller

No wonder Valarie Honeycutt Spears’ reporting on Montgomery County is permitted and excused – with me personally attacked – for daring to criticize her glaring, ahem, errors. It’s because the paper still has no clue how the educational system works, no clue that accrued leave and vacation days are always paid out, that many administration folks end up as borderline millionaires in a short period of time. Even in small town school districts. This is just a juicy, quick-hit scandal for them to grab onto and it’ll be forgotten in a matter of days. If they ever once – truly – cared about this issue? You’d have read about the horrors in education that I’ve reported for the past decade in the papers of that paper. [H-L]

Donald Trump’s policy agenda would quickly push the national debt to its highest level in history, according to a new report. [HuffPo]

PEE ALERT! Carly Fiorina is campaigning for Rand Paul in Kentucky, reuniting the two one-time presidential candidates as part of the Kentucky senator’s slow but steady re-election campaign. [C-J/AKN]

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Monday called on the Senate to take immediate action this week to address Puerto Rico’s $70 billion debt crisis before the critical July 1 deadline for the island territory’s next debt payments. [Reuters]

More than two years of work by Cave City officials and others culminated Thursday in a groundbreaking for the Chapatcha Industrial Park off of Mammoth Cave Street within the city’s limits. [Glasgow Daily Times]

Last June, a gunman opened fire at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church – a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina. [ProPublica]

A second reading of the City of Wurtland’s 2016-17 budget for the new fiscal year was approved at a special meeting held by the city commission Thursday afternoon. The voting was followed by a discussion about raising water rates. [Ashland Independent]

Many avoided mentioning that LGBT people were the victims — at least until a few days later, when they began reminding everybody what they truly think about gay people. [ThinkProgress]

A $5,000 budget amendment to support a project of Downtown Morehead Inc., triggered comments from Rowan County Fiscal Court members about how such changes should be handled in the future. [The Morehead News]

Transgender people are banned from serving in the US armed forces, yet an estimated 12,800 do, the vast majority in secret. Jane, a master sergeant in the Air Force, has hidden her gender identity from the military for 25 years. She hopes a policy review announced last year will allow her finally to be herself. [BBC]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! It’s tough to take Adam Edelen seriously because he wanted to be on the Foundation board. [WLKY]

As investigators probe the background of Omar Mateen, whose attack on Pulse nightclub in Orlando left 49 people dead, they say he bore few warning signs of radicalization. [NPR]

State lawmakers from across the South will be in Lexington July 9-13 for a conference that will include speeches by University of Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari and the dynamic political duo of Mary Matalin and James Carville. Reminder: When Stumbo & Stivers raise funds from private donors, those donors are going to expect something in return. [H-L]

At least seven people were injured in stabbings Sunday when neo-Nazi demonstrators and counter-protesters clashed outside the capitol building in Sacramento, California. [HuffPo]

A Long Moment Of Silence For The H-L

Welp, readers of the Herald-Leader can now look forward to a much poorer experience. The Lexington Herald-Leader announced on Monday that it will transfer its printing and packaging operations to Louisville starting in August, and that the company will put its downtown Lexington building on the market. [H-L]

Donald Trump appeared to shift his position on a blanket ban on all Muslims entering the United States, saying on Saturday he wouldn’t be bothered if a Muslim from Scotland or Great Britain entered, according to reporters from CBS and CNN. [HuffPo]

Because they haven’t been a disaster everywhere else? As Kentucky’s prison population rises and county jails become overcrowded, the state may reopen a pair of private prisons to temporarily take in more than 1,600 inmates. [C-J/AKN]

Democratic strategist James Carville said on Sunday that he doubts voters are flocking to the Libertarian Party because of their political views. [The Hill]

More than 350 couples have married after being issued licenses in Barren County since June 26, 2015. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The Pentagon plans to announce the repeal of its ban on openly serving transgender service members next month, U.S. defense officials said. [Reuters]

On Friday, June 17, the Kentucky State Police held their annual awards ceremony at the Lexington Convention Center. [Richmond Register]

Donald Trump said last week he hasn’t really started campaigning in the general election. It shows in his poll numbers. [Politico]

An Ashland man jailed for an alleged burglary now faces a felony assault charge after he was accused of biting the Boyd County jailer, according to Boyd Commonwealth’s Attorney David Justice. [Ashland Independent]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! What is white privilege – and do white Americans believe they benefit from it? [BBC]

New rules made by the Kentucky Department of Corrections earlier this year will force Rowan County to make some changes in its detention center currently under construction. [The Morehead News]

A short-handed Supreme Court on Monday struck down a Texas law that tightens abortion clinic requirements in a way that critics say unduly restricts women’s access. [McClatchy DC]

Kentucky is paying $190,000 in attorney fees to the Christian group that won a tourism tax benefit for a Noah’s ark attraction that will open soon in central Kentucky. [H-L]

Britain plunged deeper into political crisis on Sunday after its vote to leave the European Union last Thursday, leaving world officials and financial markets confused about how to handle the political and economic fallout. [HuffPo]

Coal Shills Hate The Jim Justice Story

Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt on Friday named Raymond A. Daniels to fill the vacant spot on the Fayette County Board of Education. [H-L]

House Speaker Paul Ryan’s endorsement of Donald Trump Thursday commits him to five months of supporting a Republican presidential candidate who he’s spent a great deal of time condemning. Not 24 hours had passed after Ryan finally said he’d vote for the businessman, following weeks of holding out, before he found himself in a position he’ll surely come to find familiar: Trump said something offensive — and Ryan had to find some way to distance himself from it without being seen to go against the candidate. [HuffPo]

Kentucky environmental regulators spent the weekend and Monday investigating a mudslide at a Pike County surface mine owned by West Virginia coal baron Jim Justice that they say contributed to local, damaging flooding last week. [C-J/AKN]

Democrats are preparing to use Donald Trump’s business career against him in the general election, following the playbook used against Mitt Romney in 2012. The complaints about Trump University could be used in similar ads, said Lis Smith, an Obama 2012 staffer who worked as Martin O’Malley’s deputy campaign manager in 2016. [The Hill]

A California-based organization’s findings in a south central Kentucky park could offer insight into the decline of one of nature’s revered music makers. [Richmond Register]

Regulators are wrangling with bankrupt coal companies to set aside enough money to clean up Appalachia’s polluted rivers and mountains so that taxpayers are not stuck with the $1 billion bill. The regulators worry that coal companies will use the bankruptcy courts to pay off their debts to banks and hedge funds, while leaving behind some of their environmental cleanup obligations. [NY Times]

A life spent in Boyd or Greenup counties is expected to be longer than one spent in neighboring Kentucky counties. [Ashland Independent]

One leading pain advocacy group, the Pain Care Forum, is funded and largely controlled by Purdue Pharma, the makers of OxyContin. According to a report from the Associated Press, the Pain Care Forum organized a lobbying campaign last year to defeat the CDC guidelines. [The Intercept]

Tyler Blevins, 19, said it is time for Rowan Fiscal Court to intervene in the Rowan County Farmers’ Market. He presented his case to the court at a special meeting held Wednesday, May 18. [The Morehead News]

One of the most severely tortured men in the history of Guantánamo Bay presented his case for freedom on Thursday. [The Guardian]

The Glasgow Electric Plant Board discussed in concept, but took no official action at its Thursday meeting, a resolution from the Glasgow City Council asking it to make exceptions to the current electric power rate plan. [Glasgow Daily Times]

On the morning of May 29, 2014, an overcast Thursday in Washington, DC, the general counsel of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Robert Litt, wrote an email to high-level officials at the National Security Agency and the White House. [VICE]

The Kentucky Department of Corrections has dropped a policy that allowed prison wardens to ban incoming mail for inmates if they believed the items would “promote homosexuality.” Citing free speech and free press rights guaranteed by the First Amendment, the ACLU of Kentucky challenged the policy in March after it discovered that Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex — a medium-security prison in West Liberty — banned personal letters and magazines such as Out and The Advocate because they mentioned homosexuality, even if they did not contain sexually explicit images. [H-L]

A third veteran was dumped by Donald Trump because of his military service. [HuffPo]

People Are Probably Less Excited For The McConnell Book Than They Are About Louisville’s Murder Rate

The U.S Department of Labor has funded a grant worth $3.4 million to help retrain out-of-work coal miners in Kentucky. [H-L]

Donald Trump scorns traditional presidential candidate standards. The Donald doesn’t do what’s expected. And he certainly doesn’t do what he tells other candidates they must do. [HuffPo]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who learned an early lesson about the value of patience and persistence during a childhood bout with polio, has some advice for Republicans alarmed about the prospect of having presidential candidate Donald Trump at the top of the ticket and in the White House. [C-J/AKN]

After a rampage that left 14 people dead in San Bernardino, key U.S. lawmakers pledged to seek a law requiring technology companies to give law enforcement agencies a “back door” to encrypted communications and electronic devices, such as the iPhone used by one of the shooters. [Reuters]

The more than 400,000 people who received health insurance from Kentucky’s expanded Medicaid program will likely not have to pay monthly premiums under Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s reforms, but they could have reduced benefits, the state’s Medicaid commissioner said Friday. [Richmond Register]

It turns out that a big chunk of Trump’s speaking fees revolve around ACN, a controversial multilevel marketing company that’s been accused of bilking people out of millions of dollars. If presented in proper context by the press, Trump’s long-running and lucrative relationship with ACN would essentially eliminate questions about Clinton’s speeches. And if queries persisted, the press would have to demand Trump also release nearly a decade worth of transcripts. [MMFA]

Most schools in Kentucky have bully prevention programs, but not all top school administrators have received training in prevention of bullying, according to a study by the Kentucky Center for School Safety. [Ashland Independent]

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says Edward Snowden performed a “public service” by triggering a debate over surveillance techniques, but still must pay a penalty for illegally leaking a trove of classified intelligence documents. [CNN]

Jobs, jobs, jobs – listen to Kentucky politicians from either party and you quickly learn his or her “top priority is good jobs and more good jobs.” [Ronnie Ellis]

For years, Zofran was the most popular morning-sickness medication in the U.S. Now it’s being accused of causing birth defects. The larger issue is a drug-safety system that excludes women from clinical trials, potentially putting them and their babies at risk. [ProPublica]

Way to go, Morehead. A man is behind bars after police say he stabbed another during a confrontation at the Community Soup Kitchen. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump could have taken a victory lap last week. Instead, he went on a grudge tour. [WaPo]

Hotel and motel stays in Fayette County will cost more this fall. On Thursday, the Urban County Council voted unanimously to increase the Fayette County hotel and motel tax by 2.5 percentage points to pay for a nearly $250 million overhaul and expansion of the Lexington Convention Center. That means hotel taxes will rise to 9.5 percent. [H-L]

As the nation once again honors American war dead on Memorial Day, instead of spouting the usual nationalistic platitudes that that U.S. soldiers fought to keep the country “safe and free,” perhaps we should analyze whether that is really true. [HuffPo]