Friday, April 18, 2014

Pikeville Doctor Pleads Guilty to Drug Conspiracy

One Pikeville doctor admitted he allowed a pharmacy access to prescription drug samples.

Thad Manning pleaded guilty to conspiracy to misbranding drugs.

Manning agreed to pay $250,000, which represents the proceeds he received as a result of the conspiracy.

He also agreed to enter into a drug rehab center for an addiction of hydrocodone.

Manning will be sentenced in July. He faces one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Ky. Court disbars attorney serving probation

The Kentucky Supreme Court has permanently disbarred a Lexington attorney who is serving probation for theft of his clients' money.

The justices on Thursday granted 37-year-old Clifford Alan Branham's request to resign from the Kentucky Bar Association under the terms of permanent disbarment.

Branham previously pleaded guilty to four counts of theft by failure to make required disposition of property. He admitted to taking money, but not doing work for four of his clients. The court also ordered him to pay $241,000 in restitution.

A judge sentenced Branham to eight years in prison, but he was released on shock probation. Branham will remain on probation through March 2019.

Religious Jobs Exempt from some labor laws

The Kentucky Supreme Court has ruled that religious institutions may hire and fire people from strictly religious jobs as they see fit but could face legal action if an employment contract is involved.

In two decisions handed down Thursday, the justices reinstated lawsuits brought by two former staff members at the Lexington Theological Seminary. In both cases, Chief Justice John D. Minton concluded that the staff members had employment contracts with the school and should be able to pursue litigation over their dismissals.

Minton concluded that without the contracts, the seminary would be allowed to dismiss former professors Laurence H. Kant and Jimmy Kirby under what is known as the "ministerial exception" to labor laws.

The exception allows religious institutions to make employment decisions based on the institution's beliefs.

Jury Selection begins in Johnson County case

A woman facing a manslaughter charge will appear in court next week in Johnson County.

Jury selection begins in the case against Myra Castle on Monday.

Castle is charged with DUI and second degree manslaughter in an August crash that killed Johnson county teenager, CJ Mollett, on Route 201.

If a jury is selected, the case will continue throughout the week.

Ky. Unemployment Rate Rose in March

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate rose slightly to 7.9 percent in March 2014 from a revised 7.8 percent in February 2014, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

The preliminary March 2014 jobless rate was .4 percentage points below the 8.3 percent rate recorded for the state in March 2013.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate remained unchanged at 6.7 percent in March 2014 compared to a month ago, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UPike Joins Kentucky Innovation Network

An announcement made yesterday at the University of Pikeville was all about innovation and moving forward.

Last year, the Kentucky Innovation Network supported more than 400 companies...creating more than 1,000 jobs.

On Wednesday, officials announced the network's newest office will be in Pikeville.

The Pikeville office will work to support entrepreneurs in nine Eastern Kentucky counties including Pike, Johnson, Martin, Floyd, Magoffin, Knott, Perry, Letcher, and Breathitt.

The Cabinet of Economic Development is providing $175,000 to start the office. An amount the university is pledging to match, creating the Appalachian Business Opportunity Endowment.

Officials say having the network in Pikeville creates a firm foundation for individuals as well as the entire region to move forward.

Students get course in distracted driving

Students from Pikeville High School participated in a crash course on distracted driving on Wednesday.

The Pikeville Police Department, with the help of a few other agencies, took the students through various scenarios.

Simulations included drunk driving and texting while driving, all as they drove a golf cart through a course inside the expo center.

Officers say this is always an important lesson for teens but especially this time of year with upcoming proms and graduations.