Frankfort Will Ruin Your Wednesday

Median household income was flat or declined in all but four of Kentucky’s 120 counties in the years following the Great Recession, according to new Census Bureau data. [WDRB]

Kentucky State Reformatory was overcrowded and hazardous for inmates and staff before inmates’ federal lawsuit. [C-J/AKN]

Angela Newby Bouggess and her husband Jerry say Jan. 4 is never an easy one. Angela Newby Bouggess and her husband Jerry say Jan. 4 is never an easy one. [WHAS11]

John Yarmuth is right – Kentucky Democrats probably won’t have a viable senate candidate to run against Rand Paul. Half his staff is under federal indictment and KDP is handing him a re-election victory. [H-L]

A program that allows Lexington parking ticket recipients to cover their fines with canned goods for the hungry has collected 5 tons of food during the holidays. [WLKY]

The Obama administration on Monday defended its deportation tactics and confirmed it has begun raids on families, despite Democratic candidates and immigrant advocates saying officials could be sending mothers and children to their deaths. [HuffPo]

Twenty-eight bottles of the most sought-after bourbon will be available to the public, after it is released from the court. [WAVE3]

Or will they? Franklin County’s sheriff says the bourbon will be destroyed. [H-L]

Mega road fund cuts were initiated by Matt Bevin and almost no one noticed. But we did. [Page One]

A pair of community groups are hosting a forum next week that aims to discuss the state of race relations in Louisville. [WFPL]

U.S. manufacturing contracted further in December as lower oil prices undercut spending in the energy sector while construction spending fell in November for the first time in nearly 1-1/2 years, suggesting the economy ended 2015 with less momentum. [Reuters]

Springhurst Health and Rehab is undergoing a $5.2 million expansion project that should be done by mid-2016. [Business First]

Patti Hall saw a need in her Sellersburg community that wasn’t being fulfilled, so about two years ago, she decided to fill it. [News & Tribune]

You Keeping Up With SoIN Politics?

A dangerous intersection where three teens were killed by a train has new railroad crossing gates. [WDRB]

Acknowledging some furor and confusion over a budget plan that could increase class sizes at some Jefferson County Public Schools, JCPS’ chief business officer has released a statement saying the district’s budget process “will not reduce the number of classroom teaching positions.” [C-J/AKN]

There’s been a cry out to the mayor to abandon the methane plant that’s planned for the California neighborhood and it’s coming from people who do not live in West Louisville. [WHAS11]

The $1.1 trillion spending package passed by both houses of Congress on Friday includes $30 million for Kentucky’s coal producing regions to redevelop abandoned mine sites with an eye toward boosting the economy. [H-L]

Congressman John Yarmuth gave back to the homeless. But leave it to mouth-breathers to freak out like always. [WLKY]

Ohio Gov. John Kasich trolled Republican presidential rival Donald Trump on Saturday after the real estate mogul publicly traded compliments with Russian President Vladimir Putin. [HuffPo]

The man shot after dropping off his son at school on Friday has been identified as Aubrey Williams Jr. [WAVE3]

I grew up in rural Barren County collecting as many characters as I could find. Fortunately God blessed that place and time with an abundance of them. [Ronnie Ellis]

Louisville Metro Public Health can provide new syringes to people regardless of whether used syringes are exchanged, according to the state Attorney General’s Office. [WFPL]

Seems like only yesterday Mitch McConnell was touting these plans as the savior. Despite facing mounting evidence federal officials were overpaying some Medicare health plans by tens of millions of dollars a year, the government dialed back efforts to recover as much of the money as possible, newly released records show. [NPR]

The Louisville branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis announced a new board member, effective Jan. 1, 2016. That member is Ben Reno-Weber, CEO of Kentucky YMCA Youth Association in Frankfort and project director of the Greater Louisville Project. [Business First]

Heated opposition from landlords led to the tabling of a rental property ordinance at the last meeting of the year for the New Albany City Council. [News & Tribune]

Your support is crucial if you want to see us continue. While other media outlets ignore scandals like those in Montgomery County, we’re shining the bright lights of transparency on issues that directly impact you across the Commonwealth. Love us or hate us, we’re putting in the time and effort to spend years reporting on issues from the pension crisis to government-sanctioned animal cruelty to educational corruption and we get real results. [Help Us!]

John Yarmuth Stands Against Xenophobia

There’s at least one person from Kentucky in Washington who isn’t a first-rate bigot:

“As we saw in Paris, the threat of terrorist attacks and radicalization of European nationals is a global security threat. We must continue to work with our allies to combat ISIS and other jihadists who seek to harm and kill innocent civilians. Here at home, the federal government needs to ensure that everyone entering the United States poses no threat to the American people.

“Today, I opposed a misguided bill that uses bureaucratic delays to shut down our Syrian and Iraqi refugee programs, while failing to provide any security improvements to our vetting process. I supported an alternative proposal that improves our vetting process for refugees from all countries with active terrorist networks, not just Syria and Iraq, increases Congressional oversight of these programs, and continues to help families fleeing horrific violence.

“We all saw the heartbreaking and tragic photo of a dead three-year old Syrian boy who had washed ashore in Turkey this past September. His mother and sister also died as they desperately tried to find safety in Greece. More than 70 children have drowned since that photo was taken. The war in Syria has killed at least 250,000 people, including more than 12,000 children. This is a humanitarian crisis.

“As we work to strengthen our security, our answer cannot be to abandon the innocent victims of the same terror we strive to defeat. Our nation was founded with the idea that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are inalienable rights, endowed, not by Congress, but by our creator. We became the wealthiest, most powerful nation the world has ever known as we welcomed the tired, hungry, and poor. These are the values that made us great, and in the face of terror, we cannot turn from them. We must hold them close or risk losing them forever. I’m proud to represent a city that has embraced those ideals, a city that celebrates its rich history of welcoming refugees from around the world. Today, I stand with the people of Louisville in refusing to turn my back on those in need.”

Unfortunately, the rest of the bunch — literally every member of the house and senate from Kentucky — are losing their minds over brown people who are being slaughtered.

Yet you wonder why Kentucky can’t have nice things.