Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hazard Drug Dealer Sentenced

  • {Kentucky}...Gordon Napier, 73, a Hazard man who violated his probation after being charged with drug trafficking, was sentenced Thursday to spend the next 10 years in prison. Napier was sentenced in two cases dating back to 2006 in which he was convicted for selling drugs in Perry County. Charges included multiple counts of drug trafficking and trafficking within 1,000 yards of a school. Napier had originally been sentenced to serve probation in the cases, but when he picked up charges in May in a new trafficking case his probation was revoked. Defense attorney Michael Roper discussed an alternative sentencing plan for Napier, who Roper said is a veteran dealing with medical complications. The alternative plan would have had Napier serve out his sentence at the veterans center in Hazard if he was accepted to the facility. Commonwealth’s Attorney Teresa Reed opposed the plan, noting that the veterans center is not a secure facility like a prison, and Napier should be able to receive adequate medical care while incarcerated. More time could potentially be added as an indictment against Napier, also alleging drug trafficking, was unsealed during his court appearance.

Breathitt County Man Sentenced On Manslaughter

  • {Kentucky}...Ira Hall III, of Jackson, in Breathitt County, has been sentenced to eight years in prison after being convicted in a drunk driving accident in the Krypton community of Perry County in October 2010 that resulted in the death of his 12 year old son, Ira Hall IV. Hall, who was originally charged with murder, entered an Alford plea to one count of second-degree manslaughter, a class C felony, as well as two counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, one count of tampering with physical evidence and several traffic offenses.

Murder Trial Set For Perry County Men

  • {Kentucky}...Lester Keith Hurt, 46, of Bonnyman, was in Perry Circuit Court Thursday after being arrested on October 3rd and indicted by the grand jury the following month on a charge of murder. Hurt is accused of using his truck to run down and kill 45 year old Julius Williams during a gathering on an abandoned strip mine near Montgomery Creek in October 2010. He was also accused of ramming another vehicle several times and assaulting another man. A second man in the case, 50 year old Bruce Hurt, also of Bonnyman, was indicted on a count of tampering with physical evidence for allegedly helping Lester Hurt hide the truck police say was involved in the murder. Both men are set for a jury trial in Perry Circuit Court on August 22nd. Commonwealth’s Attorney Teresa Reed announced that no agreement for a guilty plea had been reached at a prior pretrial conference for Lester Keith Hurt.

Fatal Motorcycle Accidents...One In Letcher County

{Kentucky}...Three men died in separate motorcycle accidents over the weekend. At 2:40 A.M. Saturday morning, a Lexmark employee found Kevin G. Allen dead in a line of bushes on the Lexmark property near the plant's Russell Cave Road entrance in Lexington. The motorcycle had left the road, hit a small tree and then hit a utility pole. Mark Fish, 42, of Mount Vernon, died Friday night at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital after a motorcycle wreck in Pulaski County. Officials say Fish died of blunt force trauma after hitting another vehicle that was stopped at a traffic light in Ferguson. Friday morning, Jimmy Travis Walker, 40, from Clintwood, Virginia, died in a motorcycle crash in Jenkins. Police say Walker was riding a 2006 Suzuki motorcycle on U.S. 23 in Letcher County about 6:41 A.M. when he tried to pass another motorist and hit the rear tire of a coal truck that had pulled onto the road. Walker, who was wearing a helmet, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Traffic Delay In Pike County

{Kentucky}...Traffic delays up to 45 minutes start today (Monday, August 1) at 8 a.m. at mile point 8.2 on US 460 above Daniel's  Creek/Winston Branch in Pike County. Delays will continue through Wednesday, August 3, from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily while Hayes Drilling repairs an embankment failure. Due to the width of the roadway, traffic will be unable to pass the rig while it is in drilling mode. To avoid lengthy delays, motorists should take an alternate route during this time.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Possible Death Penalty In Pike County Murder

  • {Kentucky}...A pre-trial date is set for August 12th for 22 year old Shannon Turner who was arraigned Thursday in the  murder of 65 year old Millard Thornhill whose body was found in a burned trailer near the Nolan bridge in Hatfield on May 19th. Forty-one year old Jeffery Michael Lowe, 44 year old Randy Thomas of Turkey Creek, 45 year old Cynthia Ryan of Chatterory and 22 year old Shannon Turner of Williamson were indicted for murder and first degree robbery. Pike County Commonwealth's Attorney Rick Bartley says he is in contact with all four defense attorneys, and the death penalty could be on the table.

Program Helps Floyd, Knott, Martin And Pike County Farmers

  • {Kentucky}...Floyd, Knott, Martin and Pike counties are among 16 statewide that will benefit from a new program offered by the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board. Under the program, the counties will receive state funding to assist in developing shared-use equipment programs where farmers are able to lease certain types of expensive equipment rather than purchasing it. Lease fees will then be used to cover maintenance of the equipment. Combined with other state funding, the program will raise the amount of money available to $15,000. The Application and Guidelines for the Shared-Use Equipment program, which includes a list of eligible equipment, are available at or by calling (502) 564-4627.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Letcher County Accident Kills Virginia Man

  • {Kentucky}...Just after 6:40 A.M. Friday morning, a crash involving a tractor trailer and a motorcycle occurred in the Jenkins community of Letcher County near the intersection of U.S. 23 and U.S. 119. Police say 40 year old Jimmy Travis Walker from Clintwood, Virginia was passing another driver when he hit the tractor trailer. Walker was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the truck was not hurt. Officers say Walker was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

Corps of Engineers Budgets Martin Redevelopment Project

  • {Kentucky}...The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has budgeted nearly one and one half million dollars for the city of Martin redevelopment project to begin. The Floyd County Fiscal court has agreed to match five percent of the funds to add to the budget. The project includes relocating the city to higher ground to get it out of the flood plain and then elevating the current city after redevelopment is finished. Phase one will include five or six buildings that are essential to the city, with the fire department being the first building to go up. Floyd County Judge Executive R. D. "Doc" Marshall says the project will take many, many years to complete.

E Coli Found In Perry County Streams

  • {Kentucky}...Officials with the Kentucky River District Health Department say you need to have your sewer system pumped once every three to five years. Cynthia Cole with Pathfinders in Perry County, a group dedicated to promoting physical activity using local resources, including rivers, says high levels of E coli have been found in several streams, including one near the Perry County Park boat dock. E coli, a bacteria found in fecal matter, means waterways are not safe for recreational use. Hazard city officials say there are no issues with the drinking water, and it is safe to use. Volunteers across Kentucky will be testing streams this weekend. Of the 124 that were tested at the beginning of the month, 102 had high levels of E coli.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pikeville Police Locate Abducted Indiana Boy

{Kentucky}...Terre Haute Police and the FBI say Pikeville Police located 4 year old John Johnson-Christian Thursday, two days after he was taken from his Indiana home. FBI spokesman Drew Northern says federal, state and local officers arrested the two suspects who police believe abducted the boy Tuesday. Police say the boy's mother let her ex-boyfriend, 24 year old Nicholas Runyon, and 28 year old April Bell take the boy Tuesday morning for a trip to a birthday party but they didn't return him. Terre Haute police Detective Jimmy Richardson told a judge Wednesday that Runyon claims he is the child's father, but a court has ruled another man is the father. 

Clean Water Needed In Pike County Community

{Kentucky}...Families along Big Branch in Pike County rely on well water for their drinking supply, but, for the last two months, methane in the water has residents buying water to drink and cook with. Some suspect nearby Excel Number Two Mine is to blame for their problem, and families want a new water source. They say they will pay to have Martin County's water run to their house, a connection only several thousand feet away. Mountain Water District officials say that could cost between $125,000 and $150,000. Roy Sawyers with Mountain Water District says the company is looking at going through Martin County. Sawyer says, from the day the agreement is made to purchase water from Martin County, it will still take at least three months for the water to be connected.

National College Hosts Free Health Fair

  • {Kentucky}...An estimated 1,000 people received free medical services Thursday in Pike County as local health care providers offered free health care on the National College campus in Pikeville. Medical volunteers checked blood pressure, cholesterol, vision, diabetes, while also providing a dental clinic and other exams.

Man Charged With Grandmother's Murder

  • {Kentucky}...Officials in Laurel County said Thursday that preliminary autopsy results on Bernice Champlin, a woman allegedly murdered by her grandson Wednesday, indicate she died of a gunshot wound to the head but was also severely beaten in the face and stabbed in her body. Deputies responded to Champlin's home on Queen Road in Lily after receiving a 911 dispatch report of a disturbance, but, as deputies responded to the scene, dispatch upgraded the call to a shooting. A man at the home told deputies his brother, Jeremy Owens, was still inside his 74 year old grandmother's house armed with a pistol and that Jeremy Owens had shot Champlin. Owens barricaded himself in his grandmother's residence and refused to come out for several minutes. Champlin was pronounced dead at the scene, and Owens was charged with murder.

Greenup County Toddler Drowns

  • {Kentucky}...The Greenup County Coroner has identified the 13 year old who drowned in the Little Sandy River as Joseph Maybee of Greenup. Maybee’s body was recovered at 10:05 P.M. Wednesday. Crews on the scene Wednesday night said Maybee had been swimming with a girl who made it safely across the river.  A team including the Little Sandy Volunteer Fire Department, four boats and two dive teams searched for and recovered the boy's body.

KSP Investigating Harlan County Murder

  • {Kentucky}...A body found at an abandoned strip mine site in eastern Kentucky has been identified as 23 year old James Feltner of Lynch, in Harlan County, who was last seen alive July 15th. The body was found by ATV riders Monday in the Blair community. Kentucky State Police Trooper Shane Jacobs says Feltner had been shot, and the case is being investigated as a murder. Kentucky State Police are requesting information pertaining to the murder weapon, a black AR-15 with a stainless-steel barrel, of which Feltner had earlier possession. Police say it may be somewhere in the Cumberland area and was likely sold/traded or disposed of on or after July 15th. Anyone with information regarding the death of James Feltner is asked to call Kentucky State Police in Harlan at (606) 573-3131.

Johnson County Authorities Conduct Meth Bust

  • {Kentucky}...Ryan Selvage, Antonio Farris, Steven Salyers, and Dena Melvin were arrested after police in Johnson County found two active meth labs Tuesday night at the Southside Apartment Building, one lab inside an apartment and one in a car in the parking lot. Johnson County Sheriff Dwayne Price says police believe the meth was being manufactured to sell.

Whitley County Man Charged With Contempt Of Court

  • {Kentucky}...Forty year old James Fields, a Whitley County man charged with attempting to kill two people with a machete was charged with contempt of court Wednesday after he began yelling at a judge after a motion was denied to dismiss attempted murder charges and his girlfriend was asked to leave the Whitley County District Courtroom. Fields is now being held in contempt of court for 150 days, and his case is being sent to a grand jury.

Pikeville Court Convicts Salyersville Man

  • {Kentucky}...Tuesday, a U.S. District Court jury in Pikeville convicted 54 year old Randall Salyer of Salyersville on two counts of vote buying and acquitted him on two other counts. Prosecutors say Salyer paid $100 to each voter who brought him their absentee ballot during the 2010 general election in Magoffin County. The general election was held in part to select a candidate for the office of the United States Senate which made the case eligible for federal prosecution. Salyer, who is scheduled to be sentenced in November, faces up to five years in prison.

Pike County Man Denied Retrial

Harold Scott, a Pike County man convicted earlier this month of reckless homicide in the death of Sonny Charles and sentenced to 10 years in prison, was back in court Wednesday. His motion for a re-trial was heard and dismissed by Pike County Judge Eddy Coleman. Scott was also convicted on an illegal weapons charge.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Economic Development Meeting Set For Pikeville

{Kentucky}...Senator Ray S. Jones II, D-Pikeville, is encouraging community and business leaders and other concerned citizens to attend an economic development meeting on Wednesday, August 3rd, in Pikeville.
“This meeting is part of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development’s statewide economic development strategic plan -- Kentucky’s Unbridled Future -- to recruit new business and industry to the state. A series of ‘visioning’ meetings are scheduled across the state as part of the state’s plan to recruit new business and industry,” said Senator Jones. The meeting will be held from 9:00 A.M. to 12;00 P.M. ET at the East Kentucky Expo Center (Ballroom A and B). Boyette Strategic Advisors will lead and facilitate the meeting and will include participation from a broad cross-section of stakeholders from the area. The participants will be given the opportunity to share their thoughts and vision for the future of economic development in Kentucky. They also will have the opportunity to gain perspectives on a variety of issues affecting preparation for the statewide economic development plan. Senator Jones represents the 31st district, which includes Johnson, Martin and Pike counties.

Mining Officials Investigating Perry County Rockslide

{Kentucky}...Mining officials are investigating after a large rock crashed through a mobile home in Perry County Tuesday morning, damaging the home of Orby Dean Campbell. Campbell says his daughter, her husband and their two children were inside the structure when the incident happened and were lucky to escape injury. The Division Of Mine Reclamation Enforcement, the Mine Safety and Health Administration and the Office of Surface Mining are investigating to determine the cause, but Campbell says he believes blasting at a nearby mine could be to blame.

Preliminary Set For Whitley County Man

  • {Kentucky}...A preliminary hearing is set to continue Wednesday for 40 year old James Fields, a Whitley County man facing charges after police say he tried to kill his brother or his brother's girlfriend with a machete. Fields says it was just an accident, but Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell disagrees and says the attack was enough to merit an attempted murder charge. Fields is being held in the Whitley County Detention Center without bond.

Elkhorn City Walking Bridge Permanently Closed

The historic walking bridge in Elkhorn City will remain permanently closed after Elkhorn City Mayor Mike Taylor said a state inspector ruled it was not safe and could collapse, and it woulr cost an estimated $2-million to repair the ninety-nine year old bridge. Taylor said officials must consider safety of the city's residents.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Knox County Man Foils Robbery

{Kentucky}...Jeffrey Allen Vaughn, 38, of Bimble, has been arrested and charged with attempted burglary after police say he broke into a home on Baker Road in the Boone Height community of Knox County. According to police, the victim was awakened from sleep when Vaughn broke into his home through a bedroom window just after midnight Tuesday. The victim was able to gain control of  Vaughn and hold him down until troopers responded at the scene.

Knott County Lane Closures

Concrete patching started yesterday on KY 80 in Knott County,
from Perry County line, both east and westbound lanes. One lane
closed at a time with signs, cones, and arrows. Work expected to last about two
weeks, 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Kentucky Declared A Major Disaster

  • [Kentucky}...Monday, President Barack Obama declared seven eastern Kentucky counties a major disaster and ordered federal assistance for areas hit by severe storms, tornadoes and flooding in June. Bell, Breathitt, Knott, Knox, Lee, Magoffin and Perry counties will be eligible for federal aid. The declaration opened the way for local governments and some nonprofit groups to get federal funding on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and for repairing damaged infrastructure. Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator W. Craig Fugate appointed a federal coordinating officer for the affected area. The declaration is for areas damaged from June 19th to the 23rd.

Letcher County Accident Kills Whitesburg Man

  • {Kentucky}...Police say Benjamin P. Fisher, 21, of Whitesburg was driving near the intersection of Highway 15 & 1148 in the Isom community of Letcher County about 12:30 A.M. Saturday morning when he ran off the roadway, over-corrected, lost control of his vehicle, crossed the center line and collided with a street sweeper truck operated by Robert J. Beaver, II of Mallie. Fisher was transported by ambulance to the Whitesburg ARH Hospital and was later transferred to Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tennessee, where he died of his injures Sunday afternoon. Beaver was transported to Whitesburg ARH Hospital and later transferred to UK Hospital. Alcohol is suspected as a contributing factor in the collision.

Knox County Man Found In Norris Lake

  • {Kentucky}...The body of 43 year old Tim Ward, a Knox County man who disappeared in Norris Lake over two weeks ago, was located Monday afternoon. Rescue crews say the body was found near the Highway 33 bridge near Union County, Tennessee. Rescue crews were attempting to recover Ward's body earlier this month, but it disappeared again. Family members say he fell into the lake while working on his boat's engine.

KSP Searching For Lynch Man

  • {Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police are searching for 22 year old James Feltner of Lynch, in Harlan County, who has not been seen in ten days. Family members say Feltner was last seen in the Tri-Cities area two Fridays ago by a clerk at the Marathon station in Cumberland. Friday, state police searched near the Little Shepherd Trail in Harlan County because they had reason to believe Feltner might be there, but the search turned up empty.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Magoffin County Vote Fraud Trial Begins

{Kentucky}...A federal trial began Monday for Randall Salyer, a Magoffin County man accused of vote fraud in the November general election last year. An investigator testified that several people in Magoffin County sold their votes.

Perry County Man Indicted

{Kentucky}...Christopher Ryan York of Perry County has been indicted after police say he tried to run over Emanual Jones twice outside the Brown Derby Bar in the Lothair area of Hazard in June. Police say York and Jones got into an argument outside the bar, and, after the argument, York got in his truck and ran over Jones two times. York was on probation for a previous felony conviction. York is being held on a $50,000 bond.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Gasoline Prices

(Kentucky) While the statewide average for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline is 3-62 per gallon, the average price in the Pikeville area is somewhat higher.  A gallon of unleaded regular gasoline in Pikeville is 3.74.  As we move deeper into the summer season experts are predicting they will go even higher.  Connecticut has the highest average at 4.05 per gallon.

Sookey's Creek Interchange Adds Night Shift

(Pike Co.) Beginning today (Monday),  a night shift will be added
on the US 23/US 460 interchange at Sookey's Creek on US 23 South in Pike
County. The reduced speed limit of 45 miles per hour will be enforced during the
night shift, which will run from 7 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. until further notice. The
area will be well lit and motorists should be alert for workers and construction
equipment frequently crossing the four-lane highway.

Trials Set In Floyd County Beating

{Kentucky}...In 2008, Terry Fisher, then 44, pleaded guilty to third-degree unlawful transaction with a minor and third-degree sexual abuse after being accused of giving a cigarette to a 12-year-old and grabbing the minor between the legs. An amended complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Pikeville in January states, while at the  Floyd County Detention Center, Fisher was beaten by several other inmates, suffered broken ribs, a broken back, fractures of his skull and facial bones. The complaint also says, on the third day of the mistreatment, an inmate led Fisher around the cell on a leash. Fisher was removed from the cell and provided medical attention when inmates were afraid they might have fatally beaten Fisher. Fisher was left in a near vegetative state, had a shoeprint on the side of his head and needed to be placed on a ventilator to keep breathing. A criminal trial involving charges of first-degree assault is scheduled for February 6th in Floyd Circuit Court for then-inmates Ivan Gunnels, Matthew Ritchie, Stephen Jervis, Kevin Woods, Larry Adkins and Christopher Newsome, a former social worker in Floyd County. They have all pleaded not guilty. Michael Rowland has died since the charge was filed. Kenneth J. Paige, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 12 months in jail. A September hearing is scheduled for David Johnson and Ronald Spurlock.

Animal Cruelty Incident

(Kentucky)  A former Kentucky sheriff's deputy and a state highway worker accused of beating a dog and unknowingly burying it alive are now facing animal cruelty charges.  Former Kentucky State Highway Worker Adam Decker found a dog that had been hit by a car on Highway 69 in Ohio County in June and called for a deputy. Former Ohio County Sheriff's Deputy Randy Taylor showed up and road workers say Taylor hit the dog on the head with a garden hoe. The workers buried the dog, thinking it was dead, but another road worker later found the dog alive after it struggled out of the grave.

Floyd County Postal Worker Pleads Guilty

(Kentucky) A former worker at the Grethel Post Office pleaded guilty Monday to misappropriation of postal funds and theft of mail matter in U.S. District Court. Selena Blankenship pleaded guilty to one count of misappropriation and two counts of theft in a plea agreement with prosecutors. According to the plea agreement, Blankenship sold postal customers money orders on five occasions, then voided the sales after the customers left. Blankenship would then pocket the money from the sales. The total amount stolen from money order sales was reported to be $2,088.83. Blankenship was caught after several customers questioned the postmaster about missing mail and missing money orders. The postmaster then contacted the Office of the Inspector General to conduct an investigation.

Kentucky Jobless Rate Falls...Slightly

(Kentucky)  Kentucky's jobless rate has fallen slightly in the latest accounting from the Office of Employment and Training, the state agency that monitors employment trends. A labor market analyst  said the jobless rate fell to 9.6 percent in June, down from 9.8 percent a month ago. It's  attributed to the decline partially to economic recovery and partially to discouraged workers who have given up on the search for jobs. Five of Kentucky's major job sectors reported employment increases. Five reported decreases. Kentucky's manufacturing sector led the gains, adding some 1,200 jobs between May and June. The leisure and hospitality sector added 1,100 jobs. The trade, transportation and utilities sector added 1,000 positions. The construction sector added 400 jobs. And mining and logging added 100 jobs.

UK vs. UL Game Time Set

(Kentucky) University of Kentucky's  Sept. 17 football game athome  has been selected for live national telecast on ESPNU. Game time has been set for 7:00 p.m. in Commonwealth Stadium. This will be the 10th consecutive season that the game will be shown on an ESPN affiliate. The game has been on live national or regional television 14 out of 18 times since the renewal of the series in 1994.

Multiple Traffic Fatalities In Knott County


Motorcycle Fatality In Leslie County

(Leslie Co.) Emergency Operations Center contacted the Kentucky State Police in Hazard reporting an accident involving a motorcycle in the Cutshin community of Leslie County.  20 year old Nathan Baker of Yeaddiss was headed North on Kentucky Highway 699. Preliminary investigation reveals that Baker had lost control of the motorcycle and hit a guardrail. Baker suffered multiple injuries as a result and was pronounced deceased on arrival at Mary Breckinridge Hospital in Hyden.

Deadly Week In Pike County

(Pike Co.) Fires, apparent drowing and an unsolved murder have taken their toll in Pike County the past week.  An elderly woman in the Kimper area died from a fire believed to have started from a cigarette...a young man from the Elkhorn City area was the victim of an apparent drowning, although investigators are awaiting a report from the State Medical Examiner's Office for an official determination...and, the discovery of a deceased woman in the McCarr area made this a deadly week in Pike County.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

KY612 Faces Two Weeks Closure

KY 612 at Cold Fork (mile point 6.2) will be closed to all traffic from Friday, July 29, through Monday, August 8, for construction of a culvert underneath the road.  This is the road that runs from Turkey Creek to Big Creek (KY 468) in northern Pike County. Motorists should note that this is almost a
two-week road closure. Traffic will be able to travel KY 612 on either side up to the work site, but no through traffic will be allowed. Motorists will have to take an alternate route, day and night.

KY1426 At Zebulon To Close Temporarily

 KY 1426 at Rick's Lawnmower Service at Zebulon will be closed to all traffic on Monday, July 25, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. according to Phillip Potter, construction inspector with Highway District 12 of the Kentucky
Transportation Cabinet. A cross drain will be installed underneath the pavement and no through traffic will be allowed until the work is finished. Motorists will have to take an alternate route on Monday. We want to thank people for their understanding and patience, Potter said.  We know even a temporary inconvenience is frustrating, but this work will result in much better drainage along this section of highway.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Pike County Remains Identified

  • {Kentucky}...The human remains found on an old strip mine in the McCarr area of Pike County have been positively identified as 33 year old Brandi Fields, a woman who disappeared last Friday after she was last seen getting into a jeep on Blue Springs Road in Ransom. The cause of death has still not been determined. The visitation for Fields will be Saturday from 6:00 P.M. until 9:00 P.M. at the Rogers Funeral Home Chapel in Belfry. The funeral will be Sunday at 1:00 P.M.

Elderly Woman Found Dead In Pike County

  • {Kentucky}...An elderly woman was found dead after a house fire in the Johns Creek community near Kimper in Pike County Friday. Fire officials say the woman was alone in the house at the time of the fire, and they believe a cigarette may have started the blaze.

Former Golden Years Administrator Indicted

  • {Kentucky}...Jonah Tackett, 25, a former administrator of the Golden Years Rest Home, was indicted Thursday by a Letcher County grand jury on two counts of bribing a witness, two counts of tampering with a witness and three counts of theft by failure to make required dispositions, all Class D felonies. At the request of Attorney General Jack Conway's office, a Letcher Circuit Court judge ordered in June that a receiver be appointed to oversee day-to-day operations of the home which houses more than 34 people. The order also banned the Tackett family or any board members of Golden Years from having contact with the facility. All the charges carry penalties of one to five years in prison. Tackett's grandfather James "Chum" Tackett faces charges in federal and state court for allegedly taking money from residents at the facility. His trial was slated to begin Monday but has been postponed until October 24th.

Pike County Deputies Conduct Drug Bust

  • {Kentucky}...Pike County Sheriff Deputies say people from two trailers on Wall Street in Nelse Bottom of Millard were arrested Friday on charges of drug trafficking. Lee Grey Moore, Rebecca A. Coleman, Brian Norman, Misty D. Norman, Angela D. Polley, Dick Pugh, Justin Bryant, Rebecca Bryant, Martha M. Justice, Steve Tackett and Damian Trusty were arrested in the drug round-up.

Missing Woman's Remains Found

(McCarr, Ky) - Officials believe the human remains found Wednesday night on an old strip mine in Pike County are that of a missing Pike County woman. State Police officials worked through the night to recover the remains from a very mountainous and secluded area. The body was sent to Frankfort for an autopsy and identification. A group of people searchng for missing 33 year old Brandi Fields made the discovery just after 8:30pm Wednesday night on an old strip mine in McCarr, less than five miles from where she was last seen. Because of the condition of the remains, a positive identification will have to be made through the state medical examiner's office in Frankfort.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Man Charged With Floyd County Robberies

{Kentucky}...Police in Floyd County have arrested 23 year old Joshua Blanton and charged him with robbing the Prestonsburg Tiger Mart last Thursday and a BP gas station in Minnie. State police are still investigating a third robbery last week in Grethel.

Floyd County Man Sentenced

  • {Kentucky}...Last week, a U. S. District Court Judge in Pikeville signed a plea deal for Jonathan Hall, 49, of David, in Floyd County and then sentenced him to three years in prison. Hall pleaded guilty to attempting to commit bank robbery and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence after police say, in  May 2010, he tried to rob the Prestonsburg BB&T Bank at Glynnview Plaza while dressed as a woman, carrying a .22 caliber handgun and purse containing explosives without a detonation device and a metal box containing a demand note and more explosives, but no detonator. Hall asked about opening a safety deposit box, but left when the bank informed him they did not have safety deposit boxes. A short time later, Hall re-entered the bank and asked about opening a checking account. Bank employees called police who arrived a short time later. At that point, Hall took off, but was quickly apprehended. Hall told police he needed money because his wife had cancer.

Men Sentenced In Martin County Murder

  • {Kentucky}...Two of three men involved in a Martin County murder were sentenced Thursday. On June 23, 2002, Patrick Calvin Blackburn's car was found over a hill on Trace Fork, and Blackburn was in the back seat covered in blood. Last year, police indicted Jerry Stepp, David Jude, and Jimmy Cornette, Jr. on murder charges. Police say  Blackburn was beaten and then his car was staged to look like a wreck. Last month, Stepp pleaded guilty to manslaughter, and Thursday he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Cornette, who was convicted by a jury last month was sentenced Thursday to life in prison. Jude pleaded guilty to manslaughter in exchange for his testimony against Cornette, Jr. following his plea last month and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Accused Knox County Shooter Awaiting Extradition

  • {Kentucky}...Police in Tennessee arrested 68 year old Gillis Smith following his release from the University of Tennessee hospital. He is charged with murder in the Monday night shooting death of 46 year old Christine Engle in Knox County. Fifty-six year old Alice Taylor, who was also shot, is still in the hospital recovering. Smith is charged with assault in connection with her shooting. He is being held in Tennessee pending extradition back to Kentucky.

Trial Set For Jackson County Couple

  • {Kentucky}...An August 1st court date has been set for Hazel Jackson, 47, and Dennis Rumberger, 50, the Jackson County grandmother and her boyfriend charged with attempted murder and criminal abuse, accused of starving Jackson's five year old grandson. The couple claims the boy had behavioral problems, only spent short periods of time in his room and always had regular meals. He was treated for malnutrition at UK Hospital, where he spent close to a month recovering, after a complaint was called in to police on June 27th.

Layoffs For Knott County Employees

  • {Kentucky}...By next Friday, more than 40 Knott County employees are expected to be laid off. Knott County Judge Executive Randy Thompson says a one percent occupational tax is the only solution he could find to keep the county from shutting down after coal and gas are not paying for the services, but the tax needed two votes, and only one magistrate voted yes. Thompson says county employees will receive a letter announcing the layoffs effective July 29th. Thompson says 40 to 45 full-time employees are losing their jobs, and several more part-time employees.

Body Discovered in Pike County

(McCarr, Ky) - Kentucky State Police have confirmed the discovery of a body last night in the McCarr community of Pike County. At just before 9pm last night, Kentucky State Police Post 9 received a call saying someone had found human remains. Detectives responded to the scene, and then transported the body to the state medical examiner's office in Frankfort for an autopsy and identification. Not many details are being released except that the body was that of a female.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pike County Joins e-Warrant Project

  • (Kentucky)  Serving, disseminating and clearing warrants is about to get much easier in Pike County. Gene Kiser, Acting Executive Director of the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security, sent a letter to Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford outlining the project and terms of a $4,800 grant for equipment in support of the Kentucky e-Warrants Project. The grant will provide equipment to the Pike County Attorney’s Office, the Pike County Detention Center, the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office and the Pike County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office that is compatible with the e-Warrants system. The office of homeland security is also providing training of county staff at no cost. “Any advance in technology is welcome,” Pike County Attorney Howard Keith Hall said. “This program will protect people from being falsely arrested. This program aims to eliminate mistakes made through plain old miscommunication.” Hall added that another advantage the e-Warrants system provides is keeping someone from getting arrested when the arrest is not warranted and, in contrast, letting people go who should be arrested.

Estate Of Big Sandy Inmate Files Lawsuit

  • {Kentucky}...A federal lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Pikeville alleges James Sours, an inmate at the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center, died last year after his diabetes was left untreated, and jail employees watched him lie unresponsive for an hour before calling an ambulance. The estate of Sours filed the complaint against the regional jail in Johnson County, which was the target of a grand jury investigation last year after another inmate died in 2009. The complaint says, after Sours entered the jail on July 13, 2010, he told a jail employee he was diabetic, had liver problems and had been in the hospital the month before for complications of his diabetes. There was no record of corrections officers recording Sours' blood sugar, as a physician ordered on July 14th and no record that Sours received insulin for two days.

Couple Charged With Attempted Murder

  • {Kentucky}...Forty-seven year old Hazel Jackson, and her boyfriend, 50 year old Dennis Rumberger, of Jackson County were arrested Wednesday and charged with attempted murder and criminal abuse. Police say the couple kept Jackson's 5 year old grandson locked in a room without any food or water. Several weeks ago, the boy was admitted to UK Hospital and treated for severe malnutrition. Investigators waited to make the arrests because they were waiting to receive a medical report from the child's doctors. The report showed the boy had been intentionally malnourished over a period of weeks. Kentucky State Police say the boy's 6 year-old stepbrother was also in the house, but the 6 year old was fed.

Knott County Man Shot

  • {Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police in Hazard received a call stating a man had been shot on Trace Caney Road in the Pippa Passes community of Knott County. Preliminary investigation indicates that Jerry Caudill age 33 of Pippa Passes went to the residence of Stella and Paul Maggard also of Pippa Passes making threats. Paul Maggard confronted Caudill and told him not to enter his property. Jerry Caudill continued to advance toward them and Paul Maggard fired a shot striking Caudill in the abdomen. Mr. Caudill was transported to the Hazard ARH where he is being treated for his injury. No charges have been filed at this time on either party and the investigation is continuing by Det. Clayton Stamper.

Missing Swimmer Still Not Found

(Elkhorn City) - Search and rescue crews from multiple agencies looking for a 19 year old Pike County man presumed drowned in the Russell Fork river near Elkhorn City ended a second day of searching last night without finding anything. Officials with the Elkhorn City Fire Department, Millard East Shelbiana dive team, Pike County Sheriff's Department dive team and Pike County Emergency Management were manning three boats in the water and searching the shoreline. Special SONAR equipment was also used which gave the searchers a much clearer picture of the river than divers were able to see due to the murky conditions in the water. Rescue teams will meet today and decide what the next step will be. Kentucky State Police detectives are continuing to investigate.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

FEMA Hotline Available

  • {Kentucky}...At the close of the registration period July 18 for Individual Assistance, more than 2,000 Kentuckians had registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for possible assistance in recovering from the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that struck the Commonwealth between April 12 and May 20. And even though the registration deadline has come and gone with 2,014 registrations recorded in 22 designated Commonwealth counties, Kentuckians can still turn to FEMA for advice on disaster-related recovery or to have questions answered about their applications. FEMA's toll free Helpline allows Kentucky residents to talk one-to-one with knowledgeable recovery specialists about disaster-related needs, inquire about the status of their application or get help understanding correspondence they receive from FEMA. Kentuckians can call FEMA at 800-621-FEMA (3362) to check the status of their application or to ask questions. In addition to the Helpline, survivors also can go online at Those with speech or hearing disabilities can call (TTY) 800-462-7585. Help is available in most languages. No matter what option one chooses to use to keep in touch, officials from FEMA and the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management stress recovery is a long-term process both for individuals and for communities and staying informed is an important part of that process.

Police Searching For Pike County Woman

  • {Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police are searching for 33 year old Brandi Fields, a Pike County woman who has been missing since around 9:00 P.M. Friday when she left her mother’s home in Ransom, Kentucky. Her mother says she saw Brandi get into a purple Jeep Cherokee with a person she believed had recently stolen from her, but the driver of the Jeep denies having her in his car that night. Family members say it is very out of character for Brandi to go missing. There is a $3,000 reward being offered. Brandi weighs about 115 pounds and has brown hair and green eyes.  She was last seen wearing jeans and a blue t-shirt.

Triple Shooting In Knox County

  • {Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police continue to investigate a triple shooting in Knox County that left two people in the hospital and one person dead. Police say shots were fired late Monday night at a home off Houston Broughton Road in the Stinking Creek community. Forty-six year old Christine Engle was pronounced dead at the scene, while 56 year old Alice Taylor and 68 year old Gillis Smith were flown to University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. Family members say the two women were sisters and say the shooting could have been out of jealousy. Engle’s body was sent to Frankfort for an autopsy.

Pike County Senior Citizens' Center Wins Grant

  • {Kentucky}...Toyota will aid the Pike County Senior Citizens Program in regard to its meal services, but the support has nothing to do with a car.  Pike County Community Services Director and senior citizens program supervisor Carol Napier submitted a grant application to Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK) in May requesting funds to help with the direct costs of the program’s meal services. “For fiscal year 2012 we have a projected operating budget of $268,279 for eight centers,” Napier wrote in the grant application. “We plan to serve 88,000 meals to 1,335 eligible senior citizens.”

 According to the application, direct operating cost include, but are not limited to, raw food and paper
products such as meal trays, utensils and napkins. Napier wrote in the application that although utilities and wages are part of the meal services’ costs, the donation will not be used to cover these costs. Nila Wells, TMMK Contributions Program Administrator, notified Napier on June 23 the contributions committee
had approved the application and was donating $5,000 to the senior citizens program for meal services.
“I am pleased with this large Kentucky manufacturing corporation,” Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T.
Rutherford said. “I drive a hybrid Toyota built in Georgetown, Ky. This is a very community-minded corporation.”

Permanent Injunction Issued Against CAM Mining

{Kentucky}...Friday, U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar issued a permanent injunction against CAM Mining's No. 28 mine in Pike County ordering the company not to warn underground workers in advance of safety inspections. The U.S. Department of Labor had requested the action after attempting an inspection at the mine in mid-June after federal inspectors had received reports that miners were smoking in the mine, which has a history of methane gas leaks. Inspectors said underground workers were tipped off to their presence when they arrived. Thapar's order says workers at the mine must be trained on the requirements of the order within 30 days.

KSP Investigating Floyd County Robberies

{Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police in Floyd County are trying to determine if three recent robberies are connected. Police say the first happened late Wednesday night at the Tiger Mart in Prestonsburg, and there were robberies at stores in Minnie and Grethel not long after that. Police say the suspect in the Tiger Mart robbery is in his 20's or 30's, has tattoos on both arms, and was wearing a camouflaged cap with a breast cancer awareness symbol on it.

Man Drowns In Cumberland River

{Kentucky}...Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell and Coroner Andy Croley have confirmed the body found in the Cumberland River near Maiden Bend Road just east of Williamsburg Thursday morning is 47 year old Bruce Carl Childress, originally from Dayton, Ohio. Harrell said Childress came to Whitley County during the first week of July, and had been staying at his brother's house, about four to five miles from where Childress' remains were discovered. Childress had been missing since July 7th. Dr. Christen Roth autopsied Childress' body Friday morning at the state medical examiner's office in Frankfort and ruled the cause of death as drowning.

Cousins Will Have An Elite Skills Basketball Camp

{Georgetown}...Former UK star DeMarcus Cousins will have an Elite Skills Basketball Camp. It was scheduled for Georgetown College on August 1-3rd. Due to what the Bluegrass Stallions are calling an "overwhelming response" it's been moved to the Kentucky Basketball Academy in Lexington. The camp will be for boys and girls ages 7-16 and will run from 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. each day. The camp fee is $149 and includes a personal photo taken with Cousins, an autographed 16x20 photo of DeMarcus, an Official Nike Camp Tee shirt, lunch provided by Papa Johns as well as an Official Certificate of Participation. Campers will also receive basketball instruction by DeMarcus as well as members of the Bluegrass Stallions including Stallions Head Coach and former Pitts standout Jaron Brown. For more information about the DeMarcus Cousins Elite Basketball Camp please call 502-863-6303 or email

Lexington Mayor Requests Reconsideration Of Nunn File

{Kentucky}...At Mayor Jim Gray's request, Lexington's Law Department is revisiting its decision not to release the criminal case file of former state lawmaker Steve Nunn until after Nunn has completed his life sentence in prison. The Herald-Leader had requested the case file under the Kentucky Open Records Act after Nunn pleaded guilty on June 28th. The newspaper could appeal the open records denial to the state attorney general's office, or by going directly to Fayette Circuit Court.

Wayne County Woman Pleads Not Guilty

{Wayne County}...Melissa Hardwick, a Wayne County woman caught on court cameras trying to attack a judge Thursday,  pleaded not guilty in the case Monday, waiving her case to the grand jury. Hardwick faces three new charges along with the contempt of court charge that prompted her to lunge at the the judge after she continued to talk after the judge told her to stop. Hartwick, who was in court after her husband filed a domestic violence order against her, lunged at the judge and continued to talk when the judge asked Hardwick's husband to explain the situation.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Bowling Green Woman Crowned Miss Kentucky

{Kentucky}...Twenty-one year old Ann-Blair Thornton of Bowling Green, a student at Western Kentucky University, has been crowned Miss Kentucky 2011. Thornton will represent Kentucky in the Miss America Pageant on January 14th in Las Vegas. Thornton's talent during the pageant Saturday night was a piano performance. She is majoring in English and economics at Western Kentucky and her platform is Alzheimer's awareness and research. As Miss Kentucky, Thornton will receive an $11,000 scholarship and more than $5,000 in clothing certificates, along with jewelry, use of a car for a year, dry cleaning, dental care, personal fitness training and other prizes and services.

Wayne County Woman To Be Arraigned

{Kentucky}...Melissa Hardwick of Wayne County will be arraigned in court Monday afternoon on charges of terroristic threatening, intimidating a participant in the legal process and resisting arrest. Initially, Hardwick was in court last week after her husband filed a domestic violence order against her. When the husband began explaining the situation, Hardwick kept interrupting, then tried to attack the judge. Hardwick has already been sentenced to 120 days in jail.

Dropout Facility To Open

{Kentucky}...A National Guard school program for at-risk teenagers that has been operating as the Bluegrass ChalleNGe Academy in Fort Knox since 1999 is opening a new facility in eastern Kentucky specifically for Appalachian youth. The Appalachian Youth ChalleNGe Academy is scheduled to open in 2012 in Harlan. The Harlan school will recruit in 23 eastern Kentucky counties, while any remaining spots would be open to teens from the Appalachian region of neighboring states. The new academy will be housed in a former elementary school and will serve 200 to 300 students a year who are either high school dropouts or at risk of dropping out.

Tiger Mart Robbed

{Kentucky}...Police in Prestonsburg are investigating after a man in his early to mid-20s robbed the Tiger Mart on U.S. 23 just before 11:00 P.M. Wednesday night. Detective Steve Little says the clerk told police the man walked into the store, went to the restroom for 10-15 seconds, returned to the parking lot, put a bandanna over his face and came back in and demanded all the money in the register and fled on foot toward the highway, where a vehicle was waiting for him, and went North on US 23.

Jenkins City Council Reads Alcohol Ordinance

{Kentucky}...Jenkins City Council members in Letcher County have heard a first reading for the city's drafted alcohol ordinance after voters approved sales by the drink two months ago. Under the proposed ordinance, seating requirement for a restaurant is 50, and catering sales will count for the business's food percentage. Mayor GC Kincer says people have already asked him about future sites for restaurants, but he says they probably will not go downtown. He says there is room along Highway 23, and he believes the area will attract hotels, restaurants, and maybe even a shopping center.

Prosecutors Focus On Fen-Phen Judgment

{Kentucky}...Lexington lawyer Angela Ford played a large role in the convictions of Kentucky lawyers Shirley Cunningham Jr. and William Gallion who received long prison terms for fraud, and a court order requiring them to pay restitution of $127 million to their former clients for the theft of tens of millions of dollars from Kentuckians injured by the diet drug fen-phen. Ford now represents most of those clients. But federal prosecutors have now turned their attention to Ford, in what they say is an effort to protect the fen-phen victims after a $42 million civil judgment that she won for her clients was reversed. The U.S. attorney's office in Lexington has won a court order requiring Ford to account for the money she's collected and hasn't passed on to clients, including $13.5 million she's been paid in legal fees. Ford says in court papers that the government intends to try to garnishee her fees, presumably to hold for safekeeping. Prosecutors say they fear Cunningham and Gallion will try to get their hands on the money after a Kentucky Court of Appeals ruling in February reversed the $42 million judgment.

Former UK Player Signs With Cincinnati Reds

{Kentucky}...Former UK football player 22 year old Matt Lentz is moving from being a retired football player and current Kentucky video assistant to a member of the Cincinnati Reds. Lentz signed a rookie-league contract with the Reds on Friday in Goodyear, Arizona, home of Cincinnati's spring training facility. Before concussions ended his career at UK, Lentz was on his way to a promising collegiate football career. He made 24 tackles and recorded an interception in 13 games and five starts in his redshirt freshman year, prior to a sophomore campaign that featured 22 tackles and one interception in 12 games.

Lexington Police Won't Release Nunn File

{Kentucky}...Lexington police say they will not publicly release the investigative file in the murder case against Steve Nunn until after Nunn has completed his life sentence in prison. Nunn pleaded guilty on June 28th to fatally shooting his ex-fiancée, 29 year old Amanda Ross. Police records custodian officer Aaron Kidd cited the 1992 Kentucky Supreme Court case Skaggs vs. Redford as reason for withholding the file. Jon Fleischaker, a noted First Amendment lawyer in Louisville who works on cases for the Kentucky Press Association, said waiting until a life sentence is served means "effectively they're never going to be open, that you have an indeterminate life to wait." He called the police department's refusal to release the records "ridiculous."

Former Boy Scout Leader Sentenced

{Kentucky}...U.S. District Judge Karl Forester has sentenced former Kentucky Boy Scout leader and volunteer teacher, 57 year old Robert G. Dundon of Lexington, to 19 1/2 years in prison and lifetime supervised release. A federal grand jury indicted Dundon in February, and he pleaded guilty in April to producing and possessing child pornography. Kentucky State Police were notified last year by a man who noticed nude minors being photographed on a beach at Fort Boonesborough State Park in Madison County.

Accident Kills Paintsville Man

{Kentucky}...State Police say John Hibbens, 50, of Paintsville was driving a pickup on KY 172 in Morgan County late Wednesday night when his vehicle crossed the center line. Hibbens applied the brakes and attempted to steer the vehicle back into the westbound lane, but the vehicle dropped off the left shoulder of the roadway, traveled down an embankment and struck a utility pole, overturned and ejected him. Hibbens was pronounced dead at the scene.

Floyd County Man Sentenced

{Kentucky}...Tony Ray Tackett, a Floyd County man who pleaded guilty to the March 2006 murder of Margaret Hall, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to murder charges. Tackett received credit for time already served. Police say Hall's body was found on an abandoned strip mine in Floyd County after she was raped and strangled.

BSCTC Industrial Maintenance Program

(Paintsville, KY) - It's not too late to kick-start your future. If you have been contemplating a new profession or vocation, then Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) is the place for you! Check out the Industrial Maintenance Technology Program (IMTP) at BSCTC. Big Sandy offers the IMT Program on its Pikeville and Mayo Campuses. The BSCTC IMT Program trains students to maintain equipment, buildings and industry structures. Graduates are proficient in a variety of areas that require maintenance of equipment and structures that meet industry standards. The Industrial Maintenance Technology Program is not new at Big Sandy CTC. It has been offered on the BSCTC Pikeville Campus for eleven years. However, with increasing enrollment numbers, Big Sandy CTC has expanded the Program to its Mayo Campus. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that industrial machinery mechanics,
machinery maintenance workers and millwrights held about 408,300 jobs in 2008. Of these, 45,200 jobs were held by millwrights with the largest concentration of workers in manufacturing and construction industries.

Knox County Fight Leads To Gunfire

{Kentucky}...Larry Harkins is recovering after undergoing surgery at the University of Tennessee Hospital after police say he was shot Tuesday night during a fight with his son in Knox County. The shooting happened at an apartment complex in Barbourville. Barbourville Police say 33 year old Nolan Dewayne Harkins got into a fight with his father, 55 year old Larry Harkins, and, as Larry Harkins attempted to leave, Nolan Harkins shot him in the lower part of his back. Police arrested Nolan Harkins and charged him with criminal attempt to commit murder. He was lodged in the Knox County Jail.

Pulaski County To Bury Unclaimed Body

{Kentucky}...Robert George, whose body has been in the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital morgue for more than three months, will be laid to rest, possibly on Thursday, in the Burnside Cemetery in Pulaski County. George, 72, of Burnside, died of complications from a cerebral vascular accident on March 27th at UK Hospital, but his body remained unclaimed until Fayette Circuit Court Judge Thomas Clark ordered last week the Pulaski County coroner take possession of the body. UK spokesman Jay Blanton said Wednesday that UK does not have a program for handling indigent death cases and is not authorized legally to bury or dispose of a body.

Pike County Mountaintop Development Funding Approved

{Kentucky}...Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne Rutherford received a call Monday afternoon that will bring a mountaintop development plan that has been in the works for years. With approved funding for mountain top development along U.S. 460, officials can proceed with a plan to create hundreds of acres of land for development. Rutherford says, after years of not having any place for the development, it looks like they're going to have over 2,000 acres. Former Kentucky Governor Paul Patton says it's a great development for all of eastern Kentucky and Appalachia. Officials say this project will attract businesses, create jobs and provide housing giving folks an opportunity to move out of the flood plain. The Beshear administration set aside 300,000 dollars for the project. The locations involved include Wolfpit, Jessie Branch, John Moore Branch, Stone Coal, and Wolfpen.

Martin County Mine Accident

{Kentucky}...The man killed in an accident at the Alpha Natural Resources’ Voyager Mine - No. 7 mine near Inez along the Martin/Floyd County line Monday night has been identified as Ryan K. Thatcher, 26, of Magoffin County. Thatcher died of internal head injuries. State investigators say it appears Thatcher was operating a track locomotive pulling two car loads of supplies when the accident happened. The mine is owned by Martin County Coal. This is the third mining fatality in Kentucky this year.

Perry County Murder Case Goes To Grand Jury

{Kentucky}...Sarah Melton appeared in court Tuesday, charged with the attempted murder of her brother, Bill Couch and murder of his girlfriend, Cindy Caudill, which occurred in the Brownsfork Community of Perry County. Melton was charged with murder and criminal attempt to commit murder. Kentucky State Police Detective Chris Collins took the stand, testifying about the interviews and information gathered the night of the June murder. Collins said it appeared a physical altercation between Couch and Melton led to Melton shooting at him and his girlfriend, with a pump-action 12-gauge shotgun. The case will go before a grand jury on July 22nd.

Kentucky Man Presumed Drowned

{Kentucky}...Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency spokesman Allen Ricks said Tuesday that 43 year old Robert T. Ward of Hinkle, in southeastern Kentucky, was working on an engine at the rear of a pontoon boat when he went overboard in Norris Lake near the Claiborne County-Union County line Sunday evening and did not resurface. Ricks said Ward wasn't wearing a life preserver when he went in. The body was located early Tuesday afternoon. Ward is presumed to have drowned.

Paintsville Doctor To Be Arraigned In Pikeville

(Kentucky) - A Paintsville doctor is set to be arraigned next week in Pikeville. An indictment filed Friday against Richard W. Albert, a doctor at a Paintsville pain clinic, alleges he conspired to illegally distribute drugs by writing prescriptions without a real medical need to do so. Investigators say Albert saw dozens of patients a day, issuing them prescriptions for pain pills and other narcotics, with little or no examination at times, while his "pill mill" operation generated a weekly pay of $17,000 to $21,000 in January 2011. The indictment includes a forfeiture count under which the government seeks to take more than $530,000 Albert had in various bank and investment accounts. That money resulted directly or indirectly from his illegal activities, the indictment charges. He could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Historic Elkhorn City Walking Bridge Closed

(Kentucky) - Elkhorn City Mayor Mike Taylor says the city's historic walking bridge built in 1912 has had little maintenance, rendering it unsafe, so it has been closed until further notice. Summit Engineering is working to get someone to evaluate the structure and see what can be done to save it, but, in the meantime, police will issue fines to anyone caught walking across the bridge while it is closed.

Famed Letcher County Bluegrass Musician Dies

(Kentucky) - Kenny Baker, 85, a Letcher County native who spent many years performing with legendary bluegrass musician Bill Monroe, penned 92 instrumentals and tutored many others, died Friday of complications from a stroke. Baker first picked up a fiddle when he was 5, according to his son, Kenneth Baker Jr. After joining the Navy during World War II, Baker was soon transferred off a destroyer escort ship to entertain troops in the South Pacific. After military service, he returned home to Letcher County, got married, worked in coal mines and played at barn dances on weekends. He started playing the fiddle professionally with country musician Don Gibson in 1953 then went from playing Western swing and dance-band tunes to bluegrass music, performing with Monroe, the father of bluegrass music, beginning in 1957, before returning to Letcher County. He returned to Monroe's Blue Grass Boys band in 1968 and left again in 1984, but he was reunited with the band in 1994 at Monroe's Bean Blossom bluegrass festival.

Williams Calls For NASCAR Investigation

(Kentucky) - Kentucky Senate President David Williams has called for hearings to investigate what he called a“horrendous traffic situation” that left thousands of fans unable to attend the inaugural Quaker State 400 race at the Kentucky Speedway Saturday. Williams says he is going to focus on finding a solution to the problem so Kentucky isn’t embarrassed nationally again. Kentucky Speedway offered a ticket exchange on Monday to fans who were trapped in traffic and missed the track's inaugural Sprint Cup race. State transportation officials quickly blamed the track's parking plan for the traffic tie-up. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesman Chuck Wolfe says Interstate 71 and its two exit ramps near Sparta were up to the job, but it appears the backups originated because vehicles could not get into the Speedway's parking lots quickly enough after exiting the Interstate.

Whitley County Deputies Find Growing Marijuana

(Whitley County) - Twenty-three year old Judith Douglas and 28 year old Timothy Randolph were charged with facilitation to cultivate marijuana over 5 plants Friday after officers with the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department discovered 17 marijuana plants growing on their front porch. Randolph was taken to the Whitley County Detention Center, but Douglas was not jailed because a child was present in the home.

KSP Investigating Pike County School Break-In

(Pike County) - Kentucky State Police are seeking help in finding the suspects who broke into the Blackberry Elementary School in Pike County late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning of last week. Police say the suspects entered into the school through a library window and stole a safe and two laptops.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Parents Arrested for Growing Marijuana in 2-Year Old's Bedroom

(Greenup Co.) - Deputies in one eastern Kentucky county arrested two people after finding a marijuana growing operation in a 2-year old child's bedroom. Earlier this week sheriff's deputies in Greenup County arrested 23 year old Ashley Walters and 32 year old Harold Forrest after they responded to a "child welfare" call at the couple's residence. Inside the home, deputies found a 2-year old and a 4-year old child. Inside the 2-year old's bedroom, they found a medium-size growing operation and large amounts of drug paraphernalia. Several marijuana plants were found growing near the children. Forrest and Walters were both charged with two counts of felony wanton endangerment along with several drug charges. Both children were removed from the home by social services.

Paintsville Doctor Indicted

(Paintsville, KY) - A Paintsville doctor accused of running a "pill mill" has been indicted by a federal court grand jury. The U.S. District Court grand jury in Pikeville charged Paintsville physician Richard Albert with one count of conspiracy to distribute and dispense controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the usual course of professional practice. If convicted, Albert faces up to 30 years in prison and a two million dollar fine. Prosecutors also want Albert to forfeit more than $20,000 in cash along with funds he had in 22 bank accounts and four investment accounts. Albert's office was raided in February after several complaints about excessive vehicle and foot traffic in and around the office.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pike County Receives $300,000 For Study on New 460

(Pikeville, KY) - Pike County officials are planning a new project that definitely turns Mountaintop Removal into Mountaintop Development. On Monday, Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford received a call from Frankfort saying they had been approved for $300,000 in multi-county coal severance tax for a comprehensive study on the new 460 which will run from Pikeville to the Breaks. The study will focus on 1,700 acres made available by road construction and strip mining…an area that Rutherford hopes will someday be an entirely new community called “Coal Mountain”. One end of the Coal Mountain area will be within 10 miles of the Breaks and the other side is just as close to Fishtrap Lake State Park. Rutherford’s vision includes nature trails, horse trails, subdivisions, grocery stores, banks and someday possible a school and its own post office. According to Rutherford, the Coal Mountain community will be easily accessed from either end. One point that was definitely stressed at Tuesday’s press conference was that because of mountaintop removal mining, Pike County and surrounding areas are no longer handicapped due to the lack of availability of land.