U.S. Justice Department prosecutors are joining the criminal investigation into secret audio recordings made inside Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell’s Louisville campaign headquarters.
In February, a liberal activist named Curtis Morrison secretly recorded McConnell and re-election campaign staffers talking about tactics they would use against actress Ashley Judd, should she challenge McConnell in next year’s election. Judd later said she wouldn’t run for Senate, but Morrison gave the recordings to Mother Jones, a liberal political magazine that published the audio and transcripts at its website.
McConnell has demanded anyone involved in the secret recordings be prosecuted.
Politico reports that any attempts to subpoena evidence from Morrison would probably need the approval of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who has to sign off on any such subpoenas for journalists. Morrison has worked as a paid freelancer for a Louisville-based online news outlet, in addition to his work with political groups that have said their goal is to defeat McConnell in 2014.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear just announced a proclamation calling lawmakers back to Frankfort Aug. 19 for a special session dealing with legislative and judicial redistricting.
The Democratic-led House passed redistricting maps during this year's General Assembly, but they were voted down by Senate Republicans. Beshear has said he wants lawmakers to have an agreement in place before the start of the special session, so that it lasts the minimum of five days.
"Leaders in both chambers have indicated to me a willingness to utilize the same census numbers for legislative and judicial redistricting as were used for Congressional redistricting in 2012," Beshear said in a news release. "This will make all redistricting plans consistent and avoid having to address Congressional redistricting again. I have therefore not included Congressional redistricting on the agenda for the upcoming special session."
Kentucky’s junior U.S. Senator says a growing number of young people agree with his stance that the federal government is infringing on the privacy rights of Americans.
Bowling Green Republican Rand Paul told CNN a recent poll conducted by the cable network proves his point. The CNN poll showed a 17 percentage point drop in support for Obama among those between the ages of 18 and 20.
Paul has been outspoken in recent months about the Republican Party’s need to reach out to groups that have been supporting Democratic candidates and causes, like young voters.
Paul has also been outspoken on his criticism of the National Security Agency, following new revelations surrounding data-surveillance programs that collect phone-call records from million of Americans and use U.S. internet companies to capture foreign communications.
Paul, who is thought to be preparing for a possible 2016 White House bid, told CNN the GOP should “do everything we can to protect our country, consistent with our Constitution.”
New laws passed by this year’s Kentucky General Assembly go into effect next week. Legislation concerning child safety protection, DNA testing, and school dropouts are among the measures that go into effect Tuesday, June 25.
One of the new laws allows Kentucky school districts to raise their dropout age to 18 beginning in the 2015-16 school year. If, after four years, 55 percent of districts adopt the new rules, the new dropout age will go into effect for all districts.
Another new law will allow some felony offenders in prison or under state supervision to request testing and analysis of their DNA as case evidence.
A measure intended to strengthen child protection will also become law. The bill creates an independent review panel to investigate case of child deaths and near-fatal injuries in the commonwealth. That panel will also be given access to complete records of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, as well as information from law enforcement and other agencies.
A bill strengthening Kentucky’s human trafficking laws is also designed to protect victims from prosecution for crimes they were forced to commit. The legislation passed during this year’s General Assembly will offer help to agencies responsible for helping human trafficking victims by creating a victim’s fund supported by penalties paid by those convicted of human trafficking.
Another law going into effect next Tuesday will require the Kentucky Board of Education to create a statewide evaluation system for all certified personnel.
Tennessee’s junior U.S. Senator is asking the White House to provide arms to certain groups within the Syrian opposition.
Republican Bob Corker wrote a letter to President Obama this week, urging him to allow lethal aid to vetted elements within the opposition who aren’t hardline Islamists.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Corker, the ranking member of the GOP on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, argued in his letter that providing arms to secular elements in the Syrian opposition would “shift momentum away from radical Islamist groups, the Assad regime and its militias toward more moderate elements and could help alter the balance of power on the ground at a time when negotiations over a political settlement have stalled.”
Some senior U.S. officials told the Journal that Corker’s proposal would have little more than symbolic value at this point, given that arms are already widely available inside Syria.
The George Patton Museum and Center for Leadership at Fort Knox is set to be rededicated Friday after a three-year renovation. The museum will open its doors with a new focus following a $5 million overhaul.
Gone are the days when the facility was dedicated to a collection of tank artifacts, something that was appropriate when Ft. Knox was home to the Army’s Armor School.
Instead, the Patton Museum will now focus on interactive features teaching lessons in military leadership from 1775 to the present. The museum will also soon be home to a fire truck that was used in the response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the Pentagon.
The museum’s focus on leadership dovetails with the presence of the U.S. Army Cadet Command at Ft. Knox. That organization is responsible for commissioning the Army’s future officer leaders.
Gov. Steve Beshear and Ft. Knox Commanding General Jeff Smith will speak at Friday's rededication ceremony, which begins at 10 a.m. eastern.
The annual showdown between the best boy’s and girl’s high school basketball players in Kentucky and Indiana is set for this Friday night.
Both games are at Freedom Hall in Louisville, with the girl’s game starting at 5:30 p.m. eastern, and the boy’s following at 7:30. The four teams then play again the following night in Indianapolis.
The Kentucky boy’s team is led by the state’s Mr. Basketball winner, Dominique Hawkins of Madison Central. Members of the team from our listening area include Devonte Grundy from Bardstown and Jordan Majors of Hopkinsville.
University of Kentucky signee Derek Willis of Bullitt East is also on the team.
The Kentucky girl’s team is filled with players from our listening area, including this year’s Miss Basketball, Makayla Epps of Marion County. Her Marion County teammates Kyvin Goodin-Rogers and Logan Powell are also on the squad, along with Becca Greenwell of Owensboro Catholic, Jessica Hardin of Wayne County, and Michaela Hunter of Rockcastle County.
The Indiana boys are led by Mr. Basketball Zak Irvin, and Indiana University recruit. He's joined by fellow future Hoosiers Devin Davis and Collin Hartman. The Indiana girls feature Miss Basketball Stephanie Mavunga.
Governor Steve Beshear sent a letter to President Obama this week asking for help in identifying economic opportunities for industrial hemp production.
In the letter, Beshear asked the U.S. Attorney General, Agriculture Secretary, D.E.A., and others to look for ways hemp could eventually be grown and marketed that don’t negatively impact Kentucky’s drug eradication efforts.
In April, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer led a bipartisan delegation to Washington to lobby lawmakers and White House officials to legalize industrial hemp. Kentucky lawmakers this year passed a bill that would set up the regulatory framework for growing and marketing hemp if the crop is removed from the federal government’s list of banned substances.
Update at 12:28am: According to preliminary reports from the National Weather Service, the path width of damage is 300 yards, with maximum winds of 135 mph, making it an EF2 tornado. One home was completely demolished, three houses and numerous outbuildings were severely damaged, and several livestock were killed.
Original Post: A tornado touched down in southern Kentucky Monday afternoon, damaging farm structures and some homes.
The twister hit in Logan and Simpson counties. It was visible for miles.
Michael Cook, who took this photo, was working on a farm just west of Franklin when the tornado hit. It destroyed several grain bins and damaged some homes.