University of Louisville Keeps It Real By Constantly Retaliating Against Anyone Pushing For Accountability

Black students in Kentucky were suspended four times more often than white students in 2015, according to a report released Thursday. [H-L]

The Obama administration has joined the fight against the American bail industry, telling a federal appeals court that bail practices that keep poor defendants locked up because they cannot afford to purchase their freedom are unconstitutional. [HuffPo]

This is the University of Louisville way – retaliate against those attempting to hold them accountable. And when that doesn’t work and people fight back? Try to destroy them in the press. [C-J/AKN]

Wild bees that forage from oilseed rape crops treated with insecticides known as neonicotinoids are more likely to undergo long-term population declines than bees that forage from other sources, according to the findings of an 18-year study. [Reuters]

Surprise! The cityfolk are shocked that vote-buying is still going on in rural Eastern Kentucky. [WFPL]

Two K Street firms caught up in the web of Paul Manafort’s influence have hired outside counsel to look into whether a former client he referred to them lied about its source of funding. [The Hill]

A new Morehead State University president should be able to work with lawmakers, get chummy with generous alumni, collaborate with community college officials and communicate well with the university’s students, staff and faculty. [Ashland Independent]

Matt Bevin is a bigot. Matt Bevin’s administration is suing the federal government to block a rule that says medical providers and insurance companies can’t discriminate against transgender patients. [WFPL]

Each school in the Rowan County School District, from preschool through high school, now is offering free breakfast and lunch to every student. [The Morehead News]

Donald Trump used his campaign funds to buy thousands of copies of his own book at retail cost, simultaneously diverting donor money back into his pockets while artificially boosting his sales figures. It’s a tactic that may be illegal, campaign finance experts say. [TDB]

Cave City Council members voted earlier in the week to enter into an inter-local agreement with the Barren River Drug Task Force. City officials cited a desire to help combat the ever growing drug problem as a reason for rejoining the drug task force. [Glasgow Daily Times]

The nation’s first “soda tax” on sugar-sweetened beverages, which went into effect in Berkeley, Calif., last year, appears to be working. According to a new study, consumption of sugary drinks — at least in some neighborhoods — is down by a whopping 20 percent. [NPR]

An attorney for Steven Edwards, who was fired this month as commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control just five months after Gov. Matt Bevin appointed him, said Edwards has not been given any reason for his dismissal. [John Cheves]

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton leads Republican rival Donald Trump by 12 percentage points among likely voters, her strongest showing this month, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday. [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. Or buy our silly magnets! [CLICK HERE]

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]

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]

Louisville Has A Big Pollution Problem

Fayette County Public Schools would start the school year almost a week later in 2017-18 under a proposal presented to the school board Monday night. [H-L]

Without significant policy reform in America, it would take 228 years for black families to amass the wealth that white families have today, according to a new study. [HuffPo]

Tighter federal clean-air rules could save the lives of at least 48 people a year in the Louisville metro area over a year, according to a new study released Wednesday morning by a medical association. [C-J/AKN]

Waste people. Rubbish. Clay-eaters. Hillbillies. Two new books that reckon with the long, bleak history of the country’s white poor suggest their plight shouldn’t have caught the rest of the country off guard. [ProPublica]

A western Kentucky man who spent several days in jail for posting violent song lyrics to Facebook has settled a lawsuit against the county where he was jailed. [WLKY]

One of Obamacare’s major provisions — which is bitterly opposed by most Republicans — has helped improve patients’ insurance coverage, financial situation, and overall quality of life, according to a new study. [ThinkProgress]

A study of drinking water systems found 6 million Americans, including people in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio, are living with drinking water containing chemicals linked to a host of health problems. [WFPL]

Remember this guy? A U.S. federal judge on Tuesday upheld the 14-year prison sentence for ex-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich despite his emotional plea for leniency after an appeals court set aside part of his public corruption conviction. [Reuters]

Surprise! The thing we’ve been writing about for a decade is still happening! The $14.9 billion Kentucky Retirement Systems lost money on its pension investments during the fiscal year that ended June 30. [John Cheves]

CNN media reporter Brian Stelter said that Fox News arranged for a young staffer to date him in order to collect information while he was in college. [The Hill]

LG&E is closing its coal ash ponds at its power plants in Louisville and Trimble County. [WDRB]

You can’t fix this kind of awful. Donald Trump has hinted at the assassination of Hillary Clinton by supporters of gun rights. [The Guardian]

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin is giving people more time to comment on his proposal to overhaul the state’s Medicaid program that insures more than 25 percent of the state’s population. [H-L]

Sinking precipitously in national polls, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Monday promoted a conspiracy tying Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to the state execution of an Iranian nuclear scientist. [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]

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]

Some Scott County Schools Legal Fun

A lawsuit brought by a Scott County public school bus driver against former school Superintendent Patricia Putty alleges malicious prosecution and defamation and names Georgetown Police Officer Ben Martin. [H-L]

Limestone and steel for our homes, wheat and vegetables for our dinner, fossil fuels for our industries: we rely heavily on our planet’s natural resources to survive. Yet we’re using up these resources at such an unsustainable pace that we may be “irreversibly” depleting some of them ― and critically damaging our Earth in the process, according to a new United Nations report. [HuffPo]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! Lexington Mayor Jim Gray took the slings and arrows of an entire party nearly alone on Saturday at St. Jerome’s Catholic Church as many of the key players in Kentucky Democratic politics took a pass at the biggest annual political event in state. [C-J/AKN]

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton leads Republican rival Donald Trump by 8 points nationally in a poll released early Sunday. [The Hill]

Morehead-Rowan County EMS added three new ambulances to the fleet [last] week. [The Morehead News]

Louisville police said on Thursday they were reviewing a request to reopen the 51-year-old unsolved murder of the city’s first female prosecutor, a civil rights pioneer who once represented boxer Muhammad Ali. [Reuters]

As Madison County students adjust to new locker assignments, new classrooms and new teachers this school year, four administrators will be learning the ropes right along with them as they take on new positions within the school system. [Richmond Register]

As algorithms control more aspects of our lives, we need to be able to challenge them. Algorithms are ubiquitous in our lives. They map out the best route to our destination and help us find new music based on what we listen to now. But they are also being employed to inform fundamental decisions about our lives. [ProPublica]

When it comes to regulating the sale of packaged alcoholic beverages in the city, there is one big question that still needs to be answered. Is Edmonton a qualified city? [Glasgow Daily Times]

Anytime the words “Donald Trump” and “nuclear weapons” appear in the same sentence, a mushroom cloud of anxiety rises over the world of politics and national security. [Politico]

Many a political dream has died in the heat, humidity and holler-fest that envelops the political speaking stand each year at the Fancy Farm Picnic. [Ronnie Ellis]

Let’s be thankful Matt Bevin isn’t an attorney. Despite the fact that citizens are guaranteed legal representation in criminal cases in the US, court-appointed lawyers’ offices are chronically underfunded. The fight between state-appointed lawyers and fiscally conservative politicians is playing out in a particularly bizarre way in Missouri. [BBC]

After only one of three scheduled public meetings, Scott County Superintendent Kevin Hub has tabled his efforts to finance construction of a second high school to alleviate crowding at Scott County High. [H-L]

Retiring Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) on Tuesday announced he will vote for Hillary Clinton in November because Donald Trump is “unfit to serve our party and cannot lead this country.” [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.

Don’t Forget About Bevin’s UofL Disaster

A judge in Louisville has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration seeking to fine Planned Parenthood for performing abortions at its Louisville facility. [H-L]

Donald Trump has spent the week pedaling backward and forward on his immigration positions, leaving immigration hawks — and some of his biggest boosters — worried about the strength of his support for mass deportations and a blanket ban on Muslim immigrants. [HuffPo]

He who doth protest too much! One of Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s new University of Louisville trustees regularly takes to Twitter to deny mainstream climate science and say that being gay isn’t compatible with Christianity, while also taking aim at U of L sports. [C-J/AKN]

Convicting an elected official on corruption charges just got a lot harder. Government watchdogs say the Supreme Court’s decision on Monday to toss out the conviction and two-year prison sentence of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) will create new hurdles for prosecutors. [The Hill]

Don’t worry, Doug Cobb, us gays and other educated thinking people won’t be backing down, either. We’ll win over your ignorant bigotry. [WDRB]

After a gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub in Florida this month, police dispatchers fielded calls from people inside who screamed of being shot, begged for help and spoke in hushed voices of the bloody scene around them. [Reuters]

Eastern Kentuckians can now apply for Interapt’s upcoming, new paid, work-based learning tech internships and job opportunities set to launch later this year in Paintsville following an announcement made at the Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) Innovation Summit on June 6. [Hazard Herald]

BIG TIME PEE ALERT! Vince Harris supports a white supremacist. Donald Trump has hired Vincent Harris, the former chief digital strategist for Sen. Rand Paul’s presidential campaign and for Sen. Mitch McConnell’s 2014 reelection bid, as the presumptive Republican nominee continues to ramp up his digital operations, according to multiple people familiar with the hiring. [Politico]

With one commissioner voting no and another reserving to right to vote against hires, purchases and tax increases unless a proposed police pay scale is addressed, the Richmond City Commission voted 4-1 Tuesday night to adopt the 2015-16 budget. [Richmond Register]

Who plans to show up and pay for the Trump hate circus at the RNC? Maker’s Mark, for one. While the legendary bourbon house tried to use the excuse that they’re also throwing money at the DNC, it doesn’t change the reality that their money – money you give them by buying their products – is being used to fund white supremacy, Islamophobia, racism in general, attacks on Asian people, attacks on the disabled, attacks on gay people, attacks on sense. [WaPo]

Local Congressman Thomas Massie is renewing a year-old call for the US to make its own “Amexit” from the United Nations not long after news of “Brexit” captivated the world. [Ashland Independent]

Though the United States is one of the richest countries in the world, it’s not necessarily one of the most successful. When you take a broad view of social progress—incorporating measures of health, happiness, the environment, and levels of security—we’re actually down the list of big hitters. Nations such as Sweden and the Netherlands have broader-based prosperity and better access to services like health care and housing. [FastCo]

Fun fact: the people advising Matt Bevin today are the very same people who took down Ernie Fletcher’s administration in a whirlwind of corruption. Legit – the same people. And now he has even more inexperienced, bigoted, greedy, delusional people in his ear. [H-L]

Meanwhile, Kentucky can’t get its head out of the sewage-infested creek bed sand long enough to get hemp right. Or medical marijuana right. [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]