Wednesday, July 30, 2014

US mine agency proposes change in criteria for civil penalties for health, safety violations

Federal mine regulators are proposing a change in the criteria for civil penalties for health and safety violations.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration said Tuesday it will publish a proposed rule that would increase attention on more serious safety and health conditions.

The proposal is structured to encourage mine operators to be more accountable. Minimum penalties for violations that constitute more than just ordinary negligence would increase.

Total penalties proposed by MSHA and the distribution of the penalty amount by mine size would remain generally the same, while the penalty amount for small metal and nonmetal mines would decrease. The existing minimum and maximum penalties for non-flagrant violations won't change.

MSHA says the proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register on Friday.

Noah's Ark tax incentive passes first hurdle; consultant to study feasibility

Noah's Ark could get some help from Kentucky taxpayers.

A state tourism board gave preliminary approval on Tuesday for up to $18 million in tax rebates for a proposed full-sized replica of Noah's Ark as described in the book of Genesis. An independent consultant will now study the feasibility of the project and make a recommendation for the board to consider.

If approved, organizers could receive up to 25 percent of the $73 million anticipated cost of the project. Organizers would receive the money over 10 years only after the ark is built and open to the public.

Organizers say they have enough money to begin building the Ark, which will be 510 feet long and 85 feet high. The ark is scheduled to open by the summer of 2016.

Senate panel to hold hearing for Kentucky nominees

Two attorneys from Kentucky nominated for positions on the federal bench are set for a hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.

U.S. Attorney David J. Hale and Bowling Green lawyer Greg N. Stivers have been tapped to fill two vacancies in the U.S. District Court.

Hale has been U.S. attorney for the Western District of Kentucky since 2010. He previously practiced law in Louisville and was an assistant U.S. attorney.

Stivers has practiced in Bowling Green since 1985.

The American Bar Association has given both men a rating of "unanimously qualified."

Church Burns to Ground in Pike County

The community of Little Creek in Pike County is on edge following a fire at a more than century old church over the weekend.

Investigators are trying to piece together what caused the flames that burnt Yeager Church of Christ to the ground around 7 am Saturday.

A representative from the State Fire Marshal's Office and a Kentucky State Police Arson Investigator are looking into the cause of the fire.

If you have any information that could help police in their investigation of the fire, you are asked to call the KSP post in Pikeville at 606-433-7711.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Treasurer says suspicious mail claims to have information about unclaimed property

Kentucky Treasurer Todd Hollenbach says some people may be receiving mail or other contacts regarding unclaimed property that aren't coming from his office.
Hollenbach says most of the mailings are postcards with a Denver postmark. His office was notified of the mailings recently by the National Unclaimed Property Association.

Hollenbach's office says the cards are usually green, blue, yellow or orange.

Hollenbach says the postcards aren't related to the state treasury or his office's unclaimed property program called Treasure Finders and advises not giving out any information or responding.

For questions or issues involving anyone claiming to be with the treasurer's office or unclaimed property, contact NAUPA at 244-8150 or the treasurer's office at (800) 465-4722.

Two Men Plead Guilty in Floyd County Cockfighting Ring

A Floyd County father and son have pleaded guilty to participating in an enterprise that authorities believe was one of the largest cockfighting pits in the country.

A U.S. Agriculture Department investigator said the business at McDowell in Floyd County had arena-style seating, multiple fighting pits and a restaurant.

Pleading guilty were 51-year-old Walter Dale Stumbo and 25-year-old Joshua Dale Stumbo.

The pair admitted to conspiring to sponsor or exhibit an animal in a fighting venture and conducting an illegal gambling business.

They also pleaded guilty to involvement in possessing and transporting roosters across the state line from Virginia to the Big Blue club and transporting gaffs, or sharp knives that are attached to roosters' legs, across state lines.

Each faces up to 55 years in prison when they are sentenced in October.

The case against 51-year-old Sonya Stumbo is ongoing.

Authorities also say 57-year-old Wesley Dean Robinson and 33-year-old Jonathan Robinson of Wise County, Virginia have also pleaded guilty to their involvement in the cockfighting ring.

The report says the government wants to more than $900,000 from those involved in the case.

No Indictment in Lawrence County Shooting

A recent grand jury has found insufficient evidence to issue an indictment in a deadly shooting in Lawrence County, Kentucky, back in May.

Ricky Baisden, 49, of Cedgap died in the shooting on May 30.

The shooting happened in the Woodland Drive area.

Sheriff Garrett Roberts said that Basiden came out of wooded area, armed with a 20-gauge shotgun and threatened to shoot two men working on a rental cabin.

Roberts says the two men told investigators there was a struggle over the gun and one shot was fired into the porch ceiling. The men said that Basiden regained control of the gun, reloaded, and fired at them.

As Basiden was reloading, the man who was shot at pulled out a handgun and shot Basiden in what he said was self defense.

Roberts says alcohol was believed to be a factor in Baisden’s behavior.