A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Bill Straub: Prisons are bursting at seams, nonviolent prisoners deserve pardons; devil is in the details

Let me put my cards on the table: I am one of those people who would rather see 100 guilty individuals go free than witness one innocent person go to prison. I believe it should be extremely difficult – emphasize, extremely difficult – to deprive anyone of his or her freedom. The death penalty is immoral, savage, and should immediately be abolished in all 50 states, DC and the federal government. There...

BBB study reveals business email compromise scams skyrocketing, costing businesses $3 billion

An in-depth investigative study by Better Business Bureau finds that business email compromise scams are skyrocketing in frequency and have cost businesses and other organizations nationwide more than $3 billion since 2016. Business email compromise fraud is an email phishing scam that typically targets people who pay bills in businesses, government and nonprofit organizations. It affects both big...

Constance Alexander: FBI historian to share family stories, great moments at annual Easley Lecture

At age four, when the rest of us were playing in the sandbox and learning to tie our shoes, Douglas Charles was paying attention to history in the making. He even remembers the 1976 bicentennial in detail, including a picnic, carnival games, and the blue plastic tri-cornered hat he wore as he watched the fireworks over the local elementary school. His appreciation for family stories developed at an...

University of Kentucky Police make arrest in safety threat aimed at White Hall Classroom Building

The University of Kentucky Police – working with FBI officials – arrested a 19-year-old woman early this morning in connection with safety threats Wednesday aimed at White Hall Classroom Building. Haily Loriane Duvall, 19, a sophomore from Glasgow, Kentucky, has been charged with terroristic threatening 2nd degree and filing a false police report. She is also a part-time employee at UK HealthCare. White...

Rick Pitino’s new book: Defending himself (again) against the scandals at UofL, telling ‘his story’

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today Rick Pitino’s new memoir, Pitino: My Story, hit the bookshelves and internet booksellers’ websites this week, and it’s sure to receive a lot of interest and conversation from college basketball fans and the media.   In many ways, the overriding thread of the book isn’t surprising. The former Louisville coach continues to play the role of victim,...

Bill Straub: The view from Trump’s DC hotel is ruined by an ‘ugly’ FBI building — and therein is a story

Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell has emerged in the past few months as such a snuggling lapdog for “President’’ Trump (Lord have mercy) that even the most adorable Pomeranian might sneer in contempt. The Louisville Republican who, history shows, regularly places the desires of his party above those of the nation he has taken an oath to serve, has been doing the...

Commentary: Tim Ortman: Goal of real fake news is to create distraction, disrupt election process

Today, the term ‘Fake News’ is firmly entrenched in our lexicon. It seems everyone from Trumpite retirees, to neo-political millennials, freely toss around the phrase. The term was even recognized as, “The Word of the Year” by UK-based Collins Dictionary. Ortman Candidate Trump didn’t actually invent the term. He copied it from political satirists who were using the term a decade prior to...

Calipari, Wildcats go about their business preparing for season amid college recruiting scandal

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari was pressed to delve into the FBI investigation into several college basketball programs, one which included instate rival Louisville, during Kentucky’s annual media day Thursday at Memorial Coliseum. Calipari didn’t dodge several questions and touched on a subject that led to Louisville coach Rick Pitino’s suspension and exposed other collegiate coaches...

UofL president Postel charges Pitino with pattern of bad behavior in letter outlining ouster

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today The University of Louisville took another step toward firing head basketball coach Rick Pitino this week with a letter from interim president Greg Postel informing the coach that two recent scandals show a pattern of “inappropriate behavior” and violations of his employment contact that would justify his dismissal for cause. Postel’s registered letter...

Louisville places Pitino, Jurich on administrative leave in wake of federal bribery allegations

University of Louisville head men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino and long-time athletics director Tom Jurich have been placed on administrative leave following allegations of bribery resulting from an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Southern District office in New York and the FBI. The announcement was made Wednesday afternoon during a news conference conducted by Louisville interim...

Louisville among college basketball programs accused of bribery in wake of FBI investigation

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today NEW YORK – The University of Louisville basketball program is apparently named in a federal criminal complaint, alleging a bribery scheme involving coaches, advisors and agents, along with a major sports apparel company. Four assistant college coaches are among 10 charged in the complaint, which was unveiled on Tuesday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern...

KyCIR: Fugitive Eastern Kentucky attorney Eric Conn’s latest trick: Turning flight risk into reality

By Eleanor Klibanoff Kentucky Center for Investiogative Reporting Eric Conn, eastern Kentucky’s infamous fraudster, has been running from the law for over a month now. Facing up to 12 years in prison, Conn sliced off his ankle bracelet, dumped it onto I-75 and — depending on who you believe — hightailed it to a country that’s difficult to extradite from, perhaps Cuba or Ecuador or Thailand. For...

Rural Blog: Eastern Kentucky lawyer convicted in disability-fraud case may have fled the U.S.

The Eastern Kentucky lawyer who pleaded guilty to defrauding taxpayers out of $550 million in Social Security disability benefits has disappeared. Eric Conn’s former employees “heard him say he would flee to Cuba or Ecuador to avoid criminal charges, and Conn had wired substantial sums of money out of the country at times, an FBI agent testified at one hearing,” report Bill Estep...

Bill Straub: Trump’s handling of Comey, Russian investigation no joke — it’s a developing tragedy

WASHINGTON – Rep. James Comer, quickly earning his lackey credentials as he soars toward the top of the Republican’s party-before-country charts, has a rather provocative theory about President Trump asking now former FBI Director James Comey to lay off the Russia investigation – The Donald was displaying his inner Henny Youngman. It’s possible, according to the Tompkinsville Republican, that...

Bill Straub: Given yet another chance to be a statesman, McConnell chooses party over country

WASHINGTON – A few months back, when word about the Trump administration’s all-too-close ties to the Kremlin started percolating, Sen. Rand Paul clearly stated what has come to pass as the Republican Party’s unofficial position on scrutinizing President Trump’s often disturbing activities. Fahgetaboutit. “I just don’t think it’s useful to be doing investigation after investigation,...

Department of Insurance Fraud Division recovers $3 million in court-ordered restitutions

The Fraud Division of the Kentucky Department of Insurance (DOI) said that it has increased the amount of court-ordered restitution payments this year by more than 800 percent. The increase—from $369,762 in 2015 to more than $3 million this year—accompanies 113 criminal convictions that have been secured through October. “This is great news for Kentucky’s citizens who have been squeezed by...

Massive police operation in Covington nets multiple arrests for suspected heroin dealing

Covington police arrested 10 of 60 suspected heroin dealers in yesterday’s operation. (Photo from RCN)   The River City News   Covington Police launched a massive operation on Thursday afternoon, March 27, in pursuit of 60 suspected drug traffickers mostly dealing in heroin.   In conjunction with the Kenton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Office, Kentucky Probation and Parole,...

Lexmark makes $30 million deal with the FBI replacing nearly 20,000 devices across nation

One of Lexmark’s monochrome laser printers (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)   Staff report   The FBI has chosen Lexmark as its exclusive printing device provider in an agreement worth $30 million to the company and an expected $10 billion in taxpayer savings by the year 2020.   The three-year deal to purchase printers and multifunction devices is expected to reduce unnecessary printing,...