Friday, September 30, 2011

Motorcycle Accident In Letcher County

  • {Kentucky}...A  man and woman were airlifted to Holston Valley Hospital in Tennessee Friday after a motorcycle accident on KY 1148 in the Isom community of Letcher County. Police say the driver of the motorcycle lost control, flipped, and hit an embankment. Officials say the man and woman both have broken bones and possible concussions.

Pike County Man Pleads Guilty

  • {Kentucky}...Jeffrey Mullins, 27, of Pike County, pleaded guilty this week  to one count of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of second-degree assault, avoiding a trial. Police say, last December, Mullins was driving on U.S. Route 460 in the Regina area when his vehicle crossed the center line and hit an on-coming car containing three women. The accident killed 76 year old Marie Stiltner. Janice Baker and Linda Walker were taken to a local hospital. Mullins will be sentenced November 18th.

Floyd County Toddler Found Dead

  • {Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police are investigating the death of 2 year old Watson Adkins who was found Thursday afternoon in a home on Town Branch Road in the Prestonsburg community of Floyd County. The body has been sent to the medical examiner for an autopsy.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Let Us Pray" Shirts For Bell County Game

{Kentucky}...Friday night will mark Bell County High School's first home football game since the district was forced to do away with the pre-game prayer after the district received a complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation in August, and state attorneys advised them to discontinue the prayer. A group of students came to Ideal Print Shop in Middlesboro wanting to get a few shirts printed that said "Let Us Pray." The store owners decided to print the shirts for free and give them to anyone who wants one. Shawn Collins, the owner of Ideal Print Shop, says they have printed a little over 2,300 shirts. Supporters of the prayer plan to wear the shirts at Friday night's game and say the Lord's Prayer aloud during the moment of silence.

Liquor Petition Circulating In London

{Kentucky}...A petition to start selling packaged liquor is being circulated in London. The businessmen organizing the campaign are calling it Y.E.S. Yes for Economic Success London 2011. Hunter Payne says the city is losing millions of dollars of revenue a year by this business going out of town, but the London businessmen that have started the Y.E.S. Campaign say it’s not all about money. A similar petition failed in London last December. Packaged alcohol sales petitions are also circulating in Corbin and Mount Vernon.

Morgan County Opposes Post Office Closure

{Kentucky}...The U.S. Postal Service is considering closing 3,700 offices across the country. The Mize Post Office located inside of J.A. Oldfield's General Store in Morgan County has been in operation since 1882 and the store has been there even longer. As part of the cutbacks, it may be closed by next year. Mize residents gathered at a town meeting Thursday to let USPS officials hear their concerns. The fate of the nearly 140 year old post office has not yet been decided, but Pat Wooten, a representative from Hal Rogers' office, said that he and the Congressman will do what they can to ensure the people’s voices are heard.

Purdue Pharma Lawsuit Returned To Pike County

{Kentucky}...U.S. District Judge Sidney H. Stein, a federal court judge in New York, ruled this week that a lawsuit filed in 2007 against Purdue Pharma, the company that makes OxyContin, should be heard in Pike County Circuit Court in Pikeville. The ruling granted Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway's motion to remand the suit back to where it was originally filed. Not long after the suit was filed, Purdue Pharma had pushed successfully to move the case to the Southern District of New York, where it has been stayed for nearly four years. Conway alleges that Purdue Pharma misled health care providers, consumers and government officials regarding the risk of addiction associated with OxyContin. Conway is seeking reimbursement of money spent on law enforcement, drug treatment programs and Medicaid prescriptions.  Conway says, "OxyContin is one of the most powerful and addictive substances on the planet."

Floyd County Deputies Conduct Meth Bust

{Kentucky}...Floyd County Deputies were serving a warrant on Audrianna Smith for an indictment on meth charges in Johnson County when they discovered a meth lab in the home on Weddington Lane in Emma. Deputies arrested Smith and Ricky Crider, who was also in the home, and charged both with manufacturing meth. Their bond is each set at $50,000 cash. Officials say Smith will face the Floyd County charges before going to Johnson County for the indictment.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Former Whitley County Sheriff Sentenced

{Kentucky}...U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove on Wednesday sentenced former Whitley County Sheriff Lawrence Hodge to 15½ years in prison and ordered him to forfeit $50,000 and pay $64,897 restitution for being involved in conspiracies to commit extortion, distribute drugs and launder money. Hodge pleaded guilty to the charges in May, admitting he conspired with defense lawyer Ron Reynolds to extort money from people charged with drug crimes, that he conspired with drug dealers to distribute prescription pills and conspired with a former bookkeeper to embezzle and launder tens of thousands of dollars belonging to the department. Hodge has already started serving his sentence. Van Tatenhove ordered him jailed the day he pleaded guilty in May. Reynolds was sentenced to 27 months in prison in July, while former bookkeeper, Abby Vicky Paul, was sentenced to six months in prison.

Man Sues St. Joseph-London Hospital

{Kentucky}...Edward Marshall of Laurel County is suing his doctors and St. Joseph-London Hospital, saying he underwent unnecessary heart procedures. Marshall says he's undergone 19 heart catheterizations and a pacemaker operation at the London hospital. He sued after two other cardiologists told him his latest heart procedures, including his pacemaker and a stent operation, weren't necessary.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Jackson County Teens Charged With Arson

  • {Kentucky}...State Police said Tuesday that they have arrested Nicholas Bryant, 18, and Robert L. Johnson, 18, and charged them with second-degree arson, first-degree wanton endangerment, and unlawful transaction with a minor. The fire happened August 31st at a home on Old Country Road in McGee in Jackson County. Anyone with information concerning the fire is encouraged to contact the Kentucky State Police at 888-222-5555.

Knox County Man Charged With Murder

  • {Kentucky}...Robert Burnett has been charged with murder after Knox County Deputies say he shot 64 year old Charles Pyle multiple times while Pyle was sitting in a chair in the home of Burnett off Moore Creek Road Monday night. Deputies say Pyle, a distant relative, had been living with Burnett until just a few days ago, but Pyle stole one of Burnett's guns, and Burnett kicked him out. Knox County Deputies got a call just before 11:00 P.M. Monday night, and Burnett told them he was the victim of a home invasion. Burnett is being held on $250,000 cash bond. He faces a number of other charges in addition to murder.

Conway Files Lawsuit Against National College

  • {Kentucky}...Attorney General Jack Conway filed a lawsuit Tuesday against National College of Kentucky Inc., a for-profit college which has about 5,000 students at campuses in Louisville, Lexington, Danville, Florence, Richmond and Pikeville. At a Capitol news conference, Conway said National College lied about its success in placing graduates in jobs and thus put its bottom line before the hopes and dreams of its students who are trying to better their lives. Conway said the reality is that more and more students are leaving for-profit schools with high debt loads and without the high-paying jobs they were promised, and this type of deception must stop. Conway’s suit alleges that National College represented on its Website that its students achieved “success” in obtaining employment at rates far higher than it reported to its accrediting agency, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. National College issued a statement saying that it’s proud of its long history of providing career-focused education, and each individual student’s success is its main focus and it remains committed to that. It is the third suit Conway has filed as part of a continuing investigation of for-profit colleges.

Inez Man Critically Injured

  • {Kentucky}...Johnson County Sheriff's Deputies say Bradley Stafford, 20, of Inez, was taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington in critical condition after an on-the-job accident along US 460 on Monday. Stafford, who worked for a company that was weed eating the right-of-way, and other employees were moving locations, when Stafford got into the back of a pickup truck. As the truck started moving, the driver began to shift gears. The clutch jumped, causing Stafford to fall out of the back of the truck and hit his head on the highway.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Floyd County Double Murder Trial Postponed

  • {Kentucky}...A judge has postponed the double murder trial of 47 year old Berry Hall, a Floyd County man charged with the March 2008 murders of 30 year old Lisa Tackett and her husband, 47 year old Allen Tackett. Hall faces two counts of murder and four counts of wanton endangerment. The trial was supposed to start Monday in Floyd County Circuit Court, but it was continued, and a new trial date has not been set. Kentucky State Police say the shootings happened outside the Tackett’s home on Sunflower Lane in Prestonsburg. Police say Hall, who was Lisa's uncle, and the next door couple had been engaged in an ongoing dispute.

Letcher County Man Sentenced

  • {Kentucky}...Monday, Letcher County Circuit Judge Samuel T. Wright sentenced Jonathan Anderson to 20 years in prison, 10 years for manslaughter second degree, 5 years for criminal mischief first degree and 5 years for leaving the scene of an accident, to run consecutively. Anderson will be eligible for parole in three to four years. On November 21, 2010 KSP Post 13 in Hazard responded to a 3 vehicle collision along the Whitesburg by-pass at Stone Avenue. Police say a pick-up operated by Jonathon Anderson of Whitesburg was traveling north, attempting to pass another vehicle, when he rear-ended a vehicle driven by 48 year old  Gwendolyn H. Whitaker of Roxanna, causing it to collide with a car operated by Mitchum Whitaker of Roxanna. Gwendolyn Whitaker was extricated from her vehicle and later airlifted to Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tennessee where she died.

FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers Closing

  • {Kentucky}...Those affected by June’s storms have until 7:00 P.M. this Wednesday, October 28th, to vist the FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers in Knox and Bell counties. The recovery center in Bell County is located at the Home Health building in Middlesboro. The recovery center in Knox County is located at the Artemus Baptist Church in Artemus. For more information, visit or call 800-621-FEMA.

Martin Moving To Higher Ground

  • {Kentucky}...The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project to move the city of Martin out of the flood plain started nearly a decade ago, and moving the entire city to higher ground is now underway. Monday morning, Congressman Hal Rogers and city and county leaders broke ground on the new fire department, the first public building for the site. Rogers said six floods in the past three decades have wiped out the city, washing away homes and flooding churches and businesses. The new fire station should be finished within a year. Then crews will start moving City Hall and the Post Office. Rogers says he doesn't know of anywhere else in the country where they're relocating an entire town.

Knox County Man Arrested

  • {Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police in Knox County have arrested Jackie Boles, one of the two men suspected of stealing scrap metal from a house in Artemus more than a week ago. When the men were confronted by the landowner, police say Boles drove away and the other suspect ran into the woods. The landowner then fired shots at Boles' car which was later found abandoned in a ditch.

Life Sentence Recommended For Perry County Man

  • {Kentucky}...Lester Keith Hurt was arrested in October 2010 and charged with killing Julius Williams. Police say Hurt ran over Williams with his pickup on an abandoned strip mine near Vicco. A Perry County jury took less than an hour to find Hurt guilty of wanton murder, three counts of wanton endangerment and two misdemeanors. Hurt will be sentenced November 3rd. The jury recommended a life sentence on the wanton murder charge.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Stonecrest Hosts Event For Autism

  • {Kentucky}...Golfers from all across Kentucky gathered at Stonecrest Golf Course Friday to raise money for the Highlands Center for Autism in Floyd County. The money raised from the event, organized by House Speaker Greg Stumbo and his wife, Mary Karen, will go towards scholarships for students. Golfers at Stonecrest included Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart and Former Basketball Player Kenny "Sky" Walker.

Former Martin County Sheriff Laid To Rest

  • {Kentucky}...The community of Martin County gathered Sunday to honor former Sheriff Howard Ray Fields, 74 of Tomahawk, who died Thursday at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital in Ashland after battling pancreatic cancer for more than a year. Fields served as sheriff from 1970 to 1974 and again from 1982 to 1993. He was the county judge executive from 1974 to 1978.

Whitley County Plans New Fire Department

  • {Kentucky}...The Three Point Volunteer Fire Department in Whitley County closed last month after state officials said its members did not have adequate training. Assistant Fire Chief Brandon Woods says the county is preparing to open a new volunteer fire department after being approved by the fiscal court and receiving a  letter from the state fire commission granting them permission to operate. The board will decide on the location of the new fire department when it meets Monday night.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

UPike Participates In Mentoring Program

{Kentucky}...University of Pikeville President Paul Patton says at-risk students with unstable home lives often carry their domestic problems into the classroom. The UPike Champion Scholars program will select 20 students from the university to work weekly with at-risk seventh-grade students in five Pike County schools. Patton says the program may encourage more area students to seek education locally and remain in the area after graduation. The program is being run in conjunction with the Center for Rural Development's Forward in the Fifth program, which refers to students in the fifth congressional district made up of eastern and southern Kentucky.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bell County Audit Sent To Attorney General

{Kentucky}...An audit shows Bell County Clerk Becky Blevins owes thousands of dollars to taxpayers. State Auditor Crit Luallen says the main problem found in the audit was that when car dealers were estimated the usage tax on a vehicle, and it turned out to be an overpayment, the funds were not refunded to taxpayers, resulting in a total of $23,600 that Blevins is responsible for. The audit is now in possession of Attorney General Jack Conway's office.

Pike County Accident Kills One...Injures Two

{Kentucky}...A three-vehicle accident happened Friday on KY 194 near Kimper in Pike County. Kentucky State Police say a semi heading east crossed the center line and hit an oncoming truck driven by Shannon Rogers, 32, of Prestonsburg. Another pickup then slammed into Rogers' truck. Rogers was pronounced dead at the scene, while a passenger in Rogers' truck and the other driver involved in the accident were taken to the hospital. The crash is under investigation.

Knox County Meth Bust

  • {Kentucky}...The Knox County Sheriff’s Department responded Tuesday to a call of a possible meth lab on Blue Grass Drive. Deputies arrested Faith Mills, 25, of Bimble, on charges of manufacturing meth, controlled substance endangerment to a child and possession of meth, oxycodone and hydrocodone. Police also issued an arrest warrant for John Stewart, the man who owns the home. Arrested on unrelated charges were Travis Mills, 27, of Bimble and Joshua Cox, 25, of Woodbine, who were stopped by police as they were seen running from the home when deputies arrived.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Floyd County Library Director Dies

{Kentucky}...Homer Hall, 78 of Hueysville, the Director of the Floyd County Library in Prestonsburg, died Tuesday at the Pikeville Medical Center following a battle with cancer. Before becoming director of the Floyd County Library, Hall served the Big Sandy Region for more than 20 years as its regional librarian through the Kentucky Department of Libraries. While director of the library for more than two decades, Hall ushered the library into the technological age by adding Internet service. In 2003, he instituted a remodeling project that included new children’s and technology areas, and, in 2009, Hall expanded library services to the southern part of Floyd County by opening a branch at Minnie. Hall began his 51 years of library service as a bookmobile librarian for the Floyd County Board of Education. Last year, the library purchased a new mobile library complete with an Internet ready computer lab.

Prestonsburg Fatality Victim Identified

{Kentucky}...Prestonsburg Police have released the name of the woman killed in a crash near the Tiger Mart on U.S. 23 in Prestonsburg just before 4:00 P.M. Wednesday. Police say Amanda Smith, 24, of Prestonsburg, lost control of her car, crossed the center line and hit an on-coming tractor trailer.

Powell County Explosion Injures Two...Kills One

{Kentucky}...Jerry Roberts and his sister, Karen Knox, remain in critical condition at UK Hospital after a house on Upper Paint Creek Road in the Stanton community of Powell County exploded about 10:30 A.M. Thursday morning, killing their father, Jack Roberts. Jack Roberts' body was inside the house for several hours as firefighters fought a blaze that broke out after the explosion. Officials say the house was destroyed, and the roof collapsed into the basement. Family members say Jerry Roberts was injured when he went into the home in an attempt to save his sister. Both of them have third and fourth degree burns. State Police are investigating and have not released an official cause for the explosion, but family members say it may have been caused by a faulty propane gas line.

London Couple And Daughter Indicted

{Kentucky}...Hazel Middleton, 64, and her husband Angelo Middleton, 64, were indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury in London. Hazel Middleton was indicted for theft of government property and two counts of Social Security fraud. The grand jury indicted Angelo Middleton for Social Security fraud and making false statements to representatives of the Social Security Administration. The couple's daughter, 44 year old Laponza Gross, was indicted for making false statements to representatives from the Social Security Administration. The Middletons reported to the Social Security Administration that they separated in 1985. From 1985 until September 2010, Hazel Middleton received $124, 618.75 worth of social security income benefits to which she was not entitled. The indictment alleges that both Hazel and Angelo Middleton filled out SSI documents stating that they had separated when in fact they lived together for the duration that Hazel received SSI payments. If convicted, the defendants face up to five years in prison.

Fatal Accident In Floyd County

  • {Kentucky}...A fatal accident occurred on U.S. 23 near the Tiger Mart in Prestonsburg just before 4:00 P.M. Wednesday afternoon, shutting down both northbound and southbound lanes. Prestonsburg Police say a car was in a southbound lane and went into to a northbound lane, hitting a tractor-trailer. Prestonsburg Police Chief Mike Ormerod says the female driver was killed, but the truck driver did not have any serious injuries. The wreck shut down the highway for hours. Police believe rain may have caused the car to hydroplane across the median and into the path of the tractor-trailer.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Splash In The Park" Coming To The Breaks

{Kentucky}...The Breaks Interstate Park Board awarded a construction contract Wednesday for the $3 million water park to be constructed on the Kentucky-Virginia line. The "Splash in the Park" will be built where the swimming pool is. Construction will start in a few weeks and it should be open by next summer. Park officials say studies done the past two years show the water park will have an even larger economic impact on the state park, and Pike County, along with Dickenson and Buchanan counties in Virginia. Now, the park has $1.68 million dollars for construction of phase one. Dickenson and Buchanan Counties in Virginia each gave $500,000 in coal severance funds. The Virginia Tobacco Commission also gave money for phase one, which is expected to open for business on Memorial Day weekend next year.

Letcher County Pharmacy Robbed

{Kentucky}...A Letcher County pharmacy was robbed at gunpoint around 11:00 A.M. Wednesday morning. Kentucky State Police Trooper Brandon Thomas says a male subject, wearing a pair of khaki colored pants, a plaid shirt, black toboggan covering his hair and a white bandana covering his face, entered the Family Drug in Neon and told the workers inside to fill a bag with an undisclosed amount of prescription medication. The suspect then ran out the back door and across the street to a parking lot where witnesses say he fled in a green Ford Taurus.

Memorial For Knott County Plane Crash Victims

{Kentucky}...A memorial service has been set for three Knott County plane crash victims. The service will start at 7:00 P.M. Thursday at the Estelle Campbell Center for the Arts located at Alice Lloyd College for Tiffany Maggard, Miranda Morgan and Kassie Robinson, three Knott County women who died in May when their plane went down in North Carolina. Lexington native and pilot Matt Shuey also died in the crash.

Knott County Holds Occupational Tax Reading

{Kentucky}...The Knott County Fiscal Court held a meeting Wednesday for a first reading of a proposed one percent occupational tax. Knott County Judge Executive Randy Thompson says the one percent tax is the only way the county can avoid a government shutdown. Fiscal Court members also held a first reading for an ordinance to redistrict the county.

Pike Fiscal Court Honors Herbie Deskins

(Pikeville, Ky) - On Tuesday, the Pike County Fiscal Court honored Herbie Deskins as "Public Servant of the Past Half Century." Throughout his long career in public service, he has accomplished many things for the people of eastern Kentucky. Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford says he was proud to make the presentation to Herbie, saying not many people ever accomplish as much as he did during his 22 years as a state legislator. In addition, Greg Stumbo, Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives proclaimed September 20th "Herbert Deskins, Jr. Day" in Pike County.

Road Closure

(Pikeville)  Highway District 12 will close KY 1426 at mile point 9.1 on Town Mountain Road this coming Saturday, September 24, to install a 24-inch culvert pipe under the pavement.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Business Grows In Pikeville

{Kentucky}...Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Director Brad Hall says a lot of new businesses are looking to locate in Pike County. The new Texas Roadhouse restaurant opened its doors in Pikeville with 183 new employees. Pikeville Medical Center is adding more than 117 new jobs due to record breaking patient volume. The hospital is offering a $25,000 signing bonus and free housing for operating room nurses just to get the jobs filled. Cindy May Johnson says PMC is working as hard as it can to meet the growth. Hall says, "for every person that is hired, when they're making money, that dollar turns over four to five times in a community, so it stimulates the economy. It's giving people more spending money."

Knott County Occupational Tax Still On Table

  • {Kentucky}...Knott County Judge Executive Randy Thompson announced Monday night to a packed courtroom that the one percent occupational tax passed, but Knott County Attorney Tim Bates says there has to be a majority in order for the ordinance to pass and in this case the vote was tied two to two, with one magistrate abstaining. Bates says the fiscal court still has time to approve an occupational tax before the next regularly called meeting in October. Thompson said that there is a first reading for the same one percent occupational tax scheduled for Wednesday night, but there will be no vote then. Thompson says, without the new tax, the county would have to lay off additional workers, and the county government would shut down on November 1, 2011.

Former Whitley County Sheriff Sentencing Postponed

  • {Kentucky}...A hearing in the case of former Whitley County Sheriff Lawrence Hodge was postponed again Tuesday for unknown reasons that are under seal. Hodge had been scheduled for sentencing in August after pleading guilty in May to using his office to take kickbacks, distribute drugs and pay for personal expenses. His plea agreement called for a 15 1/2 year prison sentence. That hearing was also postponed. Hodge’s next hearing is scheduled for October.

Knox County Man Fatally Struck

  • {Kentucky}...Police in Knox County say 53 year old Roger Woodard of Evarts was pronounced dead at Knox County Hospital after being hit by a truck as he walked along Highway 25E in Knox County, just outside Barbourville. Police say the driver of the truck stopped to render aid and no charges will be filed.

Harlan Circuit Judge Steps Down

  • {Kentucky}...Harlan Circuit Judge Russell Alred agreed Tuesday not to hear cases during his appeal to the state Supreme Court after being convicted on nine ethics charges, including abusing the authority of his office, and the Judicial Conduct Commission ordered him removed.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Breathitt County Murder Trial Set

  • {Kentucky}...The murder trial of Jeffrey Noble, a Breathitt County man accused of killing 20 month old Destiny Tincher, is expected to begin next Monday. Tincher was found unresponsive in May 2010. She later died at UK Medical Center. Noble was the boyfriend of Destiny's mother Ashley Tincher.

Knott County Approves Occupational Tax

  • {Kentucky}...The Knott County Fiscal Court met Monday afternoon and voted to pass the occupational tax. Knott County Judge Executive Randy Thompson says the tax was the only solution to save the county's budget. With $1.5 million in lost revenue, if they did not find new sources of revenue, the county was facing a shut down on November 1, 2011. Thompson said, if the county shut down, only offices mandated by the state would remain open.

AEP Kentucky Power Discusses Increase

  • {Kentucky}...AEP Kentucky Power officials held a luncheon in Perry County Monday to discuss a new rate increase. Greg Pauley, the President and COO of Kentucky Power, says making their customers pay 30% more is not what Kentucky Power wants to do. He said it looks like it could be anywhere from a 4.5 year period of time before that takes place, and nothing would happen before that time, but the cost of the product is not going to go down.

Commission Orders Harlan County Judge Removed

{Kentucky}...The Judicial Conduct Commission issued an order Monday removing Harlan County Judge Russell Alred from office. Judge Alred was accused of abusing his office for political and personal gain by taking actions that included appointing a special grand jury to investigate Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop right before the 2010 primary election. Alred, who represented himself during the removal hearing, said politics were the root of the complaints against him, and he has already appealed the decision to the Kentucky Supreme Court.

McCreary And Whitley Counties Judge Reprimanded

{Kentucky}...Monday, the Judicial Conduct Commission publicly reprimanded Circuit Judge Daniel Ballou, who serves in McCreary and Whitley counties, for distributing campaign material via email on behalf of U.S. Senator Rand Paul during his race last year. Ballou had acknowledged he sent the email to more than 50 other judges across the state. The commission determined that to be a violation of judicial rules that prohibit judges from endorsing political candidates and engaging in political activity. The commission dismissed two other charges, including that he had once made a financial contribution to Senator John McCain's presidential campaign.

Body Found In Tug Fork River

{Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police are investigating after a body was found in the Tug Fork River, a river that borders West Virginia and Kentucky, at 3:00 P.M. Saturday in McCarr, Kentucky. The body has been taken to the state Medical Examiner's Officer for an autopsy and positive identification.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Man Killed By Train

{Kentucky}...Twenty-one year old Steven Gabriel Disney died after being hit by a CSX train near the Main Street crossing in Williamsburg in Whitley County about 5:00 P.M. Saturday. Officials are investigating to find out why Disney was on the tracks.

Arson Attempt In Leslie County

(Thousandsticks)  About 4:00 A.M. Saturday morning, Kentucky State Police responded to the residence of Kermit D. Davidson on  Davidson Fork Road in the Thousandsticks Community of Leslie County after the homeowner reported glass being broken out of his residence by a rock which was followed by a Molotov cocktail bomb being thrown through the broken window. The bomb failed to explode but did result in a small  fire which was extinguished by the homeowner. The residence had two occupants  which were unharmed during the incident. The homeowner reported seeing a male  subject fleeing his residence on an ATV, however; no clothing or physical description  could be determined due to darkness. Troopers from Kentucky State Police Post 13  in Hazard responded to the residence and were assisted by the Leslie County  Sheriff's Department. Det. Gary Sandlin with KSP Post 13 in Hazard is in charge of the investigation.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Attorney General Says UMG Must Turn Over Records

{Kentucky}...The Kentucky Attorney General's Office says the records of Utility Management Group, based in Pikeville, must turn over records requested by the Pike County Fiscal Court. Deputy Attorney General Patrick Hughes says the records are subject to the state's open records laws because two public agencies supply at least 25 percent of the funds it expends in the state. Hughes found that two public agencies pay the company more than $11 million annually. The company and various agencies have been locked in a records fight after officials became concerned because of an audit. UMG chief Greg May says the company will not turn over its records, and it plans to challenge the law.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sara Lee Explosion Sends Man To UK Hospital

{ Kentucky}...James Sullivan and another man were cleaning a flour silo at the Sara Lee Bakery plant in London Thursday night when something ignited. Sullivan, who was bent over the silo at the time, received third degree burns on his face and shoulders. He was flown to UK Hospital for treatment.

Man Attempts Robbery In Letcher County

{Kentucky}...Roger Alan Miles, 19, of Isom, in Letcher County, was arrested Thursday night and charged with first-degree robbery after unsuccessfully trying to steal money from Maggard's Grocery Store in Little Colley. Police say Miles entered the store armed with a small pistol and demanded money from the cash register. However, he fled on foot when an employee confronted him.

Pike County Jury Convicts Knott County Man

  • {Kentucky}...Wednesday, a Pike County jury convicted Mack Tackett in the shooting death of his wife Heather. The shooting occurred at their Topmost home in Knott County in September 2009. On September 5, 2009, Kentucky State Police, Post 13 in Hazard received a call that Mack Tackett, 26, had shot himself. Upon the arrival of Troopers Joel Abner and Chad Easterling, they discovered Mack Tackett with a facial injury from a gunshot wound. The Troopers then located Heather Tackett, deceased inside their residence. Heather Tackett, 29, suffered a single gunshot wound. Mr Tackett was transported to Holston Valley Medical Center in Tennessee where he recovered. The sentencing phase of the trial started Thursday.

Letcher County Man Faces Drug Charges

  • {Kentucky}...Police say 36 year old Jeremy Cornett traveled to at least four states to fill prescriptions for pain pills in order to sell them in Letcher County. Cornett now faces several drug charges after officers say they found several different types of pills, more than a thousand dollars and guns when they searched his home.

Breathitt County Shooting Goes To Grand Jury

  • {Kentucky}...Roger Spencer of Breathitt County appeared in court Thursday on assault charges. On September 1, 2011, Post 13 in Hazard received a call of an abandoned house fire on Wolf Creek Road. Initial investigation determined Ray Brown, of Rousseau, allegedly set fire to three abandoned houses as well as an old bus. Several residents in the neighborhood confronted Brown, with one man brandishing a firearm. Witnesses told police Brown got into a vehicle and fled in the direction of Roger Spencer, who reportedly had to move out of the way to avoid being struck. Spencer apparently fired several shots at the car, with a .22 rifle, which continued away from the scene. As Ray Brown continued on in the car, he struck two parked vehicles belonging to firefighters, before colliding with a tree and going over an embankment. The case has been sent to a grand jury.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pike County School District Decreases Property Tax Rates

{Kentucky}...During a special Pike County School Board meeting this week, Board members unanimously approved lowering the tax rate by nearly two cents for those living in the Pike County School District. The lowered rate will apply to real estate and personal property.

Belfry's Southside Elementary...National Blue Ribbon School

{Kentucky}...Southside Elementary in Belfry has been named a 2011 National Blue Ribbon School. The Pike County school is one of six in the state of Kentucky, 305 across the nation and the only school in eastern Kentucky to earn the honor. To qualify, public schools must have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds dramatically improve student performance on state tests or have students, regardless of background, achieve in the top 10 percent of their state on state tests. Private schools must achieve in the top 10 percent in the nation on national tests to qualify. More than 6,500 schools have been honored as National Blue Ribbon Schools since the program’s inception in 1982.

Jenkins Independent Holds Special Board Meeting

{Kentucky}...The Jenkins Independent School District held a special called board meeting Thursday afternoon to discuss pending litigation against the school, school superintendent Debbie Watts and football coach Larry Maggard. An arraignment is scheduled for next Thursday. School officials have been charged with failing to report a hazing incident that allegedly happened last fall.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pike County To Recognize National Senior Center Month

{Kentucky}...There are eight senior centers located in Pike County. In recognition of National Senior Center Month, Pike County’s eight senior centers will be hosting open houses on Wednesday, September 21, 2011, from 10:30 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. The main purpose of the open houses is to encourage seniors over the age of 60 to visit their local senior center. Pike County Community Services Director Carol Napier says it's an opportunity to showcase the senior centers and market the valuable programs, activities and services they offer. Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford says, “Our seniors and children are
our most cherished residents.” This year’s national celebration theme is “It Happens at My Senior Center. My Life, My Time. My Way!”

Whitley County Accident Injures Teen

{Kentucky}... Police say 18 year old Shawna Barnett was headed to Williamsburg from her home in Stearns Wednesday morning when something caused her to veer into the opposite lane of Highway 92 near Williamsburg, in Whitley County, and collide head on with a commercial truck driven by 35 year old Merle Watkins of London. Barnett was airlifted to a Tennessee hospital. Watkins was treated and released from a Corbin hospital. Danny Moses with Whitley Co. Emergency Management says Ky. 92 west of Williamsburg was shut down for about 4 hours while police investigated and emergency crews cleaned up about 50 gallons of diesel fuel, motor oil, transmission fluid and antifreeze.

Magoffin County Fiscal Court To Help Pay AEP

{Kentucky}... The city of Salyersville owes more than $86,000 in overdue electric bills for the Salyersville City Water Treatment plant. Salyersville city officials received word last week that, if they did not pay the electric bill by this Friday, AEP would cut off the electricity. Wednesday night, the Magoffin County Fiscal Court held a special called meeting to pass giving the city money so the water will stay on. The Magoffin County Fiscal Court is giving the city of Salyersville $50,000. Judge-Executive Charles "Doc" Hardin says the debt already existed when Salyersville Mayor Pete Shepherd took office three months ago, and they are looking into to how it got so large.

Alice Lloyd College Gets Donation And Honors

{Kentucky}...AEP Kentucky Power has donated a quarter million dollars to Alice Lloyd College's, Caney Cottage Scholarship Program, a program that financially supports students who choose to attend graduate school. The Caney Scholarship Program is the only one of its type in America. The US News and World Report's recent college ranking came out on Tuesday, naming Alice Lloyd as the top college in the nation when it comes to graduating students with the lowest amount of debt and number two in the nation when it comes to student selectivity and in the top thirty for alumni giving.

Commonwealth's Attorney Supports Pseudoephedrine Bill

{Kentucky}...Jackie Steele, the commonwealth's attorney for Laurel and Knox counties, presented a program Tuesday night in London aimed at building support for a law that would require a prescription for medicine containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in meth. Supporters say it was the first of several programs that will be presented in forums across the state. Steele said Laurel County was chosen to host the first one because it leads the state in meth labs, which are increasing all over the state. Kentucky State Police say, as of August 31st, 809 meth lab incidents had been reported this year in Kentucky. That's 20 percent more than the 607 reported last year during the same time period. Supporters say they think a law requiring a prescription for pseudoephedrine would lead to a sharp decrease in the number of meth labs in Kentucky.
The Consumer Healthcare Products Association fought a proposal to require prescriptions during the last legislative session and said in a statement Tuesday that its position on the matter hasn't changed.

22nd Annual Pikeville/Pike County Regional Fire & Rescue School

(Pikeville, Ky) - This weekend, fire department vehicles from all across the eastern half of Kentucky will be seen in Pikeville, as the PIkeville Fire Department hosts the 22nd annual Pikeville/Pike County regional fire and rescue school. Randy Courtney with the Pikeville Fire Department said they are expecting about 300 registered attendees throughout the weekend who will be receiving valuable training. Courtney stressed that there is much more than just classes for firemen. In fact, there are several classes for EMS professionals, some of which guarantee their yearly certification from the state. Classes range from four hour classes all the way up to 16 hour classes, and are for the beginner all the way up to classes just for the fire chiefs. It all kicks off Friday night with the Combat Challenge at the Pikeville Fire Department at the mouth of Chloe Creek, a popular event that is open to the public.

Pikeville Police Identify Man Injured At Bob Amos Park

  • {Kentucky}...Pikeville Police say the man who drove his car over the overlook at Bob Amos Park Monday afternoon was Dennis Blackburn of Pikeville. Fire and Rescue officials had to pull Blackburn from his vehicle after they say it went through the fence and plummeted 350 feet downhill.

Rutherford And Tackett Win Prestigious Awards

  • {Kentucky}...At the 2011 annual Kentucky Emergency Services Conference at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Louisville, Director General John Heltzel recognized and presented both Pike County Judge/Executive Wayne T. Rutherford and Pike County Emergency Services Director Doug Tackett with prestigious awards. Rutherford was presented the challenge coin for “Judge of the Year” by the Kentucky Emergency Management Executive Council, which is made up of all KYEM regional vice presidents. He was nominated by McLean County Emergency Services Director David Sunn. Pike County Emergency Management’s assistance in the western Kentucky floods and the participation in the earthquake exercise were just two of the deciding factors in Rutherford garnering the award. Tackett, who is currently serving a term as the Kentucky Emergency Management Association President, won out over the other emergency management directors in the state and was announced by General Heltzel as the 2011 Emergency Services Director of the Year.

Survivors Reject Alcohol Sales In Radcliff

  • {Kentucky}...Two survivors of the nation's deadliest drunken driving crash made a rare public appearance Tuesday to urge residents in the Hardin County community of Radcliff to reject an attempt to ease restrictions on alcohol sales in the area. Ciaran (KEHR'-ehn) Madden, who survived the church bus crash near Carrollton on May 14, 1988, told about 75 people gathered at a granite memorial that she was the last person pulled off the burning bus before an explosion engulfed it in flames. The school bus was carrying a church group back to Radcliff from a day at an amusement park when it was hit head-on by Larry Mahoney, who was driving the wrong way on Interstate 71. Twenty-four children and three adults died. Mahoney, whose blood alcohol level was 0.24 and more than twice what was then the legal definition of drunken driving, served 11 years behind bars. Quinton Higgins, Jr., who was 15 when a stranger he never saw again pulled him from the burning bus, said there are still a lot of people affected by that accident. Higgins said alcohol abuse has been a constant reality in his life. Not only was he involved in the wreck, but his father is a recovering alcoholic. In an October 4th special election, local officials in Radcliff are hoping to expand sales of alcohol to package stores. Currently, it can only be bought by the drink in some restaurants.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Catlettsburg Man Sentenced

{Kentucky}...Anthony Salyer, 46, of Catlettsburg, was sentenced Tuesday to two years in prison after being arrested in April. Catlettsburg Police say Salyer led police on a foot chase. When he was caught, he spit in an officer's face. He also told officers he was going to kill them and their wives and children. Salyer pleaded guilty to a number of charges including fleeing and evading, wanton endangerment, and assault on a police officer. Boyd County officials say Salyer has a long history of fighting with police and alcohol abuse.

Kentucky Sex Offenders Arrested

{Kentucky}...More than a dozen people were arrested during a surprise check of sex offenders in southeastern Kentucky. "Operation Cumberland Valley" spanned seven counties on August 30th and 31st, checking in with more than 300 registered sex offenders, to make sure they were living where they were supposed to and were not violating any laws. Authorities say they were unable to locate four of the registered sex offenders they planned to check on.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Vehicle Driven Over Hill at Pikeville Overlook

(Pikeville, Ky) - Just after 2pm on Monday, the Pikeville Fire Department responded to a 9-1-1 call saying a vehicle had gone over the hill at the overlook at Bob Amos Park in Pikeville. When they arrived on the scene, witnesses said they saw a vehicle go through the fence and over the hill near the actual overlook cage. Members of the Pikeville Fire Department were able to extricate the victim from the vehicle, which had gone about 350 feet over the hill. They were then able to lift the victim back up to the awaiting ambulance, where he was transported to Pikeville Medical Center. The victim's name has not been released, and an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the accident.

Eastern Kentucky Hunter Found Dead

(Boyd County, Ky) - As deer hunting season is underway, hunter safety is a top concern for many, as an eastern Kentucky hunter was found dead in the woods on Saturday. Officials say Joseph Whitley of Boyd County left home at 2pm on Friday to go hunting, but never returned home. His wife reported him missing at 7:30am Saturday, and a search quickly began. His body was found around 9:30am, and officials say it appears Whitley died from injuries he received in an ATV accident. No foul play is suspected.

Eastern Kentucky Business Owner Suing Over Comments on Topix

(Grayson, Ky) - An eastern Kentucky business owner is taking legal action because of slanderous comments posted on Topix, a community forum website. Jeff Mills, a business owner in Grayson, says ugly rumors about him began surfacing about him two years ago, and have gotten progressively worse over time. Recently, Mills' attorney filed a lawsuit in Carter County Circuit Court, hitting back against four unnamed individuals behind the attacks. Mills says the goal is not only to make someone pay, but restore the reputation of a man whose livelihood relies on his good name in a small town.

UPIKE Celebrates Record Enrollment

(Pikeville, Ky) - The Fall semester is under way at the University of Pikeville, and officials there are celebrating a year of record enrollment. James Hurley, Executive Vice President of the University said the official enrollment number is 1,841 students, up from 1,327 in 2010. And, he says with the growth comes a more diverse campus population, giving local students who wish to pursue their education close to home the same experience they could have gotten elsewhere. In addition, UPIKE will be having the official opening convocation on Thursday. University officials say on September 15th at 11am, almost to the day the first students gathered for classes 123 years ago, the campus community will officially welcome the students. A recent study shows a private education like the one offered at the University of Pikeville will earn a graduate an average of $1.25 million dollars more than a high school graduate during a 25 year work period.

Jenkins High School Officials Face Charges

{Kentucky}...Jenkins High School officials are facing charges for allegedly failing to report a hazing incident that happened last fall. Jenkins Independent Schools, their Superintendent Debora Watts and football coach Larry Maggard are all charged with failure to report dependency, neglect or child abuse to the proper authorities. Kentucky law requires all school officials to report such incidents, and failure to report them is a Class D Misdemeanor. The case will be in court September 22nd.

Knox County Disaster Recovery Center Opens

{Kentucky}...Monday, a disaster recovery center opened at the Artemus Baptist Church in the Artemus community of Knox County to help Kentuckians in Bell, Knox and Perry Counties affected by severe storms, tornadoes and flooding from June 19th to 23rd. It's open Monday through Friday, 10:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M., on Saturday from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. and closed on Sunday.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL 800-6-2-1-FEMA. That's  800-621-3-3-6-2.

Work Zone On KY15

(Van)  Motorists should be alert to a change in
traffic pattern in the construction work zone along KY 15 at the junction of KY 160
near Van. Workers are moving to the westbound lanes and traffic will be routed onto
the eastbound lanes.  Watch for signs and merge
into the appropriate lane as soon as you can safely do so.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Floyd County Couple Charged

{Kentucky}...A Floyd County couple has been charged with abusing five children. Shawn and Amber Cordle were arrested last week after police found the children living in deplorable conditions at the couple's home in Prestonsburg. Police say the house was filled with human and animal feces, and two of the children, both with special needs, were found locked in a room. All five children were taken to Highlands Regional Medical Center where two children were confirmed to have severe infections from diaper rashes. Shawn and Amber Cordle
are charged with two counts of unlawful imprisonment, five counts of endangering the welfare of a minor, and five counts of first-degree criminal abuse of a child 12 and under.

Armed Robbery In Knott County

(Hindman)  Kentucky State Police Post 13 was notified of an armed robbery which occurred at 42 Holly Hills Mall Rd, Hindman, KY. TPR. Randall Riley and TPR. Joseph Dials responded to the scene, followed shortly after by SGT. Ryan Catron and DET. Clayton Stamper. Preliminary investigation revealed that a female entered the Dollar General store and after briefly walking around inside approached the register, produced a semi-automatic handgun and demanded the cashier fill her purse with money. The suspect then fled with an undetermined amount of money and was last seen heading toward the Mallie community on KY 899 in a silver SUV-type vehicle. No shots were fired, nor injuries sustained during this incident. A case has been opened for Robbery 1st degree and is still under investigation by DET. Clayton Stamper.

Friday, September 9, 2011

ARC Conference Wraps Up

  • {Kentucky}...At the Applachian Regional Conference Friday, leaders discussed healthcare issues. Some eastern Kentucky leaders say poor health in the region could lead to bigger financial problems. Kay Hammond, Director of the Appalachian Pregnancy Care Center in Pikeville, said it's important for mothers to take care of their health so that they can raise healthy children. Local health workers say they have seen a big difference towards reducing smoking and increasing cancer screenings.

Harlan County Uses Grant To Settle Lawsuit

{Kentucky}...The Benham Power Board of Harlan County has used a $100,000 grant from the Richard and Leslie Gilliam Foundation to settle an unpaid bill with Kentucky Utilities. Kentucky Utilities had sued for breach of contract over the unpaid bill. The grant came with the stipulation that it be used to retire debt. City officials hope the lawsuit will be dropped.

University Of The Cumberlands Student Arrested

{Kentucky}...Carlton Thompson Jr., 22, a University of the Cumberlands student, was taken to the Whitley County Detention Center on charges of sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment, and violating a protective order. Williamsburg Police say Thompson's girlfriend told them that last Friday night he forced her into her car in the parking lot outside her dorm, tied her up with TV cable, ripped off her clothes, and told her she would die. After about four hours, officers said she convinced him to let her go. The woman filed a protective order against Thompson, which police say he violated by calling her and text messaging her repeatedly.
A grand jury will hear the case in early October.

Cancer Awareness Event Held In Pikeville City Park

{Kentucky}...Statistics from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society indicate that eastern Kentucky is the worst region for blood related cancers. Thursday, dozens of people supported the “Night in the Park” event at the Pikeville City Park. The event raised money for the Light the Night Walk held in Lexington and Louisville every year for cancer research and patient services. Sponsors Bruce Walters, Scrapy Louis Barnes and Danny VanHoose got together with Lexington Campaign Manager Jacky Space to organize the event. Barnes says many people have either had cancer or lost a loved one to the disease. Bruce Walters says, when he was diagnosed in April of 2010, he didn't know anything about leukemia. Barnes' daughter, Rachel Catherine Barnes, was diagnosed at 19 and died at the age of 22 in July of 2005. Barnes says, in the past six years, there's things that weren't available in 2005. Belinda Robinette, one participant who lost her husband to leukemia, said she is adamant about spreading awareness for the exact same reasons. Organizers are planning a Light the Night Walk in October 2012. For more information on how to get involved with the Light the Night walk, visit For more information on the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, visit

Thursday, September 8, 2011

ARC Conference Continues

{Kentucky}...Bristol Myers-Squibb CEO Lamberto Andreotti says type 2 diabetes is one the nation's greatest health challenges. At the Appalachian Regional Commission's annual conference in Prestonsburg, Kentucky Thursday, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation director Patricia Doykos announced  Marshall University has received a $2.6 million grant to combat diabetes in 10 Appalachian communities. The five-year grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation will be used to support the efforts of diabetes coalitions in the communities.

Patton...Keynote Speaker At Education Forum

{Kentucky}...Former Governor and UPike president Paul Patton told an audience of education officials and educators at Eastern Kentucky University Thursday that education reform in Kentucky has come fast and furious in the past 20 years, but the state's public schools still have a long road as they embark on a new path. Patton, governor from 1995 to 2003, was instrumental in creating Kentucky's community college system. As keynote speaker, Patton heaped praise on the 1990 Kentucky Education Reform Act, which overhauled the state's school system, as the foundation for a new set of reforms that began this school year. Senate Bill 1, enacted in 2009, required educators to do away with some KERA mandates such as writing portfolios and certain assessments and focus instead on a new set of criteria designed to ensure passage of benchmarks for college and career success. Patton said the state's earliest education champions spent decades trying to initiate meaningful reforms, but their pleas fell on deaf ears, and that legacy haunts Kentucky today. Kevin Noland, former deputy commissioner of the state Department of Education, and others praised KERA's creation of school councils that make on-site hiring decisions, public preschool programs and Family Resource Centers, which assist low-income students with things like new shoes and school supplies. Terry Holliday, commissioner of the education department, reiterated his message that the state is entering a new era in public education, saying "The challenge for the next 20 years is the same challenge we had for the last 20 years." The EKU forum was organized around a new book, "A History of Education in Kentucky," by EKU history professor emeritus Bill Ellis.

Knox County Audit Referred To Attorney General

{Kentucky}...State Auditor Crit LuAllen has referred her findings of an audit of Knox County to the office of Attorney General Jack Conway. Knox County Judge-Executive J.M. Hall says some of the audit boils down to local politics. State auditors disagree, raising a number of issues on paper with the Fiscal Court's actions in 2010. Auditors advised the Fiscal Court they should offer bids for any projects that cost more than $20,000, referring to five vehicles the county purchased without advertising for bids. Hall says five vehicles were bought from local, tax-paying individuals who pay occupational and county tax in the county, and the county saved $3,175. Auditors also mentioned the county's annex project in Corbin and said, when funding circumstances changed, the project should have been offered for bids again.

Eastern Kentucky Launches Oral Health Initiative

  • {Kentucky}...Some of the most chronic oral health problems are in eastern Kentucky. A 2004 study found the state had the most people in the country over age 65 who were missing teeth, and slightly more than a quarter of all residents had lost six or more teeth to decay or gum disease. Toothlessness was among the string of problems highlighted in a 2009 report from ABC’s “20/20” on poverty and related issues in central Appalachia. "The statistics are horrible," Governor Steve Beshear said in announcing an education partnership during a stop Wednesday in Prestonsburg. The effort to boost the ranks of dentists in chronically underserved areas will link the University of Kentucky and its College of Dentistry with Morehead State University and the University of Pikeville. The three universities, with Appalachian ties, announced plans to work together on a long-term effort to fix more teeth in eastern Kentucky by filling gaps in dental care. The goal of the Appalachian Rural Dental Educational Partnership Plan is to encourage more home-grown students to pursue dentistry and then return to eastern Kentucky to tackle the region’s oral health problems. Planning will be backed by more than $650,000 in funding, including a $400,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission. UK will pitch in with $127,293, while the University of Pikeville will contribute $82,035 and Morehead State another $47,873.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Neon Fire Department To Hold Dedication

{Kentucky}...Sunday, September 11th, officials at the local fire station in Neon, Kentucky will hold a dedication at 2:00 P.M. The four million dollar facility will soon house the folks who work on a daily basis to keep their community safe and they have chosen the tenth anniversary of September 11th to dedicate the new building. The Neon Fire Department helps serve all of Letcher County.

ARH Acquires Mary Breckinridge Hospital

{Kentucky}...Appalachian Regional Healthcare has added a 10th hospital to its health-care network. ARH assumed ownership and operations of Mary Breckinridge Hospital in Hyden on Wednesday, along with its clinics and home health agency. The hospital, which employs more than 150 people, will now operate as Mary Breckinridge ARH Hospital. ARH President and CEO Jerry Haynes says the health system hopes to enhance health-care services in Leslie County. It will provide local specialty clinics offering care that residents previously had to leave the area to receive. ARH serves 350,000 residents across eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia. Besides its hospitals, ARH operates multi-specialty physician practices, home health agencies, HomeCare Stores and retail pharmacies.

UPike President Paul Patton Honored

  • {Kentucky}...Tuesday morning, former Governor and University of Pikeville President Paul Patton was honored when  Pikeville City Commissioners announced the basketball court at the East Kentucky Expo Center is now named "Paul Patton Court." Patton's name is displayed on both sides of the court. Then-Governor Paul Patton, a former Pike County judge-executive who retired back to Pikeville in 2003, pushed for the Expo Center during his administration. The center opened in October 2005.

Corbin Man Prints Fake Prescriptions

  • {Kentucky}...Laurel County Sheriff Deputies arrested 23 year old Ryan Lannen of Corbin after he printed fake prescription pads for area doctors and then forged them to get prescriptions for Hydrocodone. Police say Lannen told them he had been using ten Hydrocodone pills a day and had used the fake prescription pads to get more than 2,500 pills in the last six months. Lannen is charged with 42 counts of fraudulently obtaining prescriptions and forgery of prescriptions.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Kelly Wells Signature Edition UPike Ford Unveiled

{Kentucky}...Bruce Walters Ford unveiled the new Kelly Wells signature edition UPike Ford F-150 truck in honor of the basketball coach and the national championship season. Bruce Walters Ford, Appalachian Wireless, and East Kentucky Broadcasting are teaming up with UPike for a contest to give away the truck on January 26th at halftime of the Upike's men's basketball game. The game is designated "Appalachian Wireless Night." It is the goal to set a new NAIA attendance record. To enter the contest, from your Appalachian Wireless phone, text UPIKE to 3673.

Operation UNITE Raids Hazard Home

{Kentucky}...Payne Olinger Jr. has been charged with trafficking a controlled substance and Eugenia Boggs is charged with possession of a controlled substance after Operation UNITE and law enforcement raided a home on College Street in Hazard, just a few feet from Roy G. Eversole Middle School.

Three Plead Not Guilty In Jackson County

{Kentucky}...Hazel Jackson, 47, and her boyfriend, Dennis Rumberger, 50, of Jackson County, appeared in court Tuesday morning on attempted murder and criminal abuse charges after being accused of locking Jackson's 5-year-old grandson in his room for months with limited food and water. The boy's mother, Cassondra Jackson, charged with complicity to commit murder, was also in court. Police received a complaint on June 27th then found the child at a home on Williams Hollow Road in McKee. EMS immediately transported the child to UK Children's Hospital where he spent five weeks recovering from severe malnutrition. Hazel Jackson, Rumberger and Cassondra Jackson pleaded not guilty. Cassondra Jackson said her son kept losing weight, but her mother kept saying no he's just getting taller, and she had no reason to question whether her mother was feeding her child.

London Man Facing Manslaughter

{Kentucky}...Forty-seven year old Stanley Hubbard of London is facing second-degree manslaughter and operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Police say 47 year old Mary Lou Allen, also of London, died after a  four-wheeler being operated by Hubbard went out of control as it traveled down an embankment and turned over on Hubbard and Allen. Allen was pronounced dead at a London hospital after the crash early Sunday. Hubbard was treated and released.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Missing London Man Found Dead

{Kentucky}...Arthur William Bentley, 46, of London, was found at the base of a cliff in a wooded area outside of East Bernstadt, near his home, Monday morning. He went missing Wednesday night after a cookout with friends. It's believed Bentley died instantly after falling about 40-feet.

Leslie County Fatality

(Hyden)  Kentucky State Police Post 13 in Hazard received a call of a single vehicle fatal collision in Leslie County.  The crash occurred on KY 421 South, in Hyden. KSP along with Leslie County Sheriff's deputies responded to the scene, and determined that the driver of the vehicle involved lost control in a curve, and drove off of the roadway. After crossing a grassy field, the vehicle crashed through a guard rail and struck an earthen embankment. The driver, 22 year old Daniel Adams of Hyden, was pronounced deceased at the scene by Leslie County Coroner Greg Walker. The victim was not wearing a seat belt. This collision remains under investigation by Trooper Chris Frazier.     

Gasoline Prices

(Pikeville)  The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in Pikeville is $3.74.  Kentucky  average is $3.65.  The lowest price is in Shelbyville at $3.31...highest in Covington at $4.03.

Appalachian Regional Commission Conference

(Prestonsburg)  Governor Steve Beshear will welcome leaders from multiple Appalachian states to Prestonsburg this week to consider the best ways to improve health for the families and children of Appalachia.  The annual Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Conference will be held at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park Sept. 7-9. This year’s conference theme, “Healthy Families: Healthy Futures,” will focus on the unique health challenges of this region. Health experts and community leaders from across Appalachia will examine key health issues and highlight successful health-care programs throughout the multi-state area.

Floyd County Prison Escapee In Custody

(Wheelwright)  A man who escaped from an eastern Kentucky prison is back behind bars. Floyd County Sheriff John Blackburn said Larry Crump is in the Floyd County Detention Center after leading deputies on a lengthy chase Saturday morning.  Blackburn says deputies spotted a stolen vehicle and gave chase until the car crashed. He said that's when deputies realized Crump, who escaped Thursday from Otter Creek Correctional Center in Wheelwright, was behind the wheel. Blackburn says Crump got out of the vehicle and led deputies on a foot chase before being captured. Crump had been serving a 30-year sentence and now faces even more charges, including auto theft and escape. Otter Creek is run by CCA, a Nashville, Tenn., company that operates prisons across the country.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Tree Seedlings From Division of Forestry

(Pikeville)  With fall just around the corner, state
foresters are encouraging Kentuckians to plan their tree-planting
activities now by ordering tree seedlings through the Kentucky Division
of Forestry (KDF).  Nearly 50 species including white pine, baldcypress,
black walnut, white oak, yellow-poplar, dogwood, redbud and many more
are available by calling toll free 1-800-866-0555.  Order forms are also
available on-line at <> .

The trees are available as bare-root seedlings in bundles of 10 or 100
and range in price from $24 to $45 per bundle.  The seedlings are lifted
at two state tree nurseries in Marshall and Morgan counties and
delivered at your request from winter to early spring.   Seedlings are
available on a first-come, first-serve basis, therefore it is advised to
place orders as soon as possible.   

Trail Ride Coming To Pike County

(Pikeville)  Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford has signed a cooperative agreement with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the Pike County Government and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife to hold the South Lake Horse Trail Ride at Lick Creek. The scheduled date is October 15.
Pictured, from left, is Brent Salyers from the corps of engineers, Glenda Robinson from the corps of engineers, Judge Rutherford and Herbie Adams from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Virgie Student Wins Award

(Virgie)  Clay Johnson, a sixth-grade student at Virgie Middle School,
earned southern and eastern Kentucky's PRIDE Volunteer of the Month Award.

PRIDE honored Johnson for spearheading a cleanup project and organizing a
PRIDE Club while he was a fifth-grader at G. F. Johnson Elementary School
during the 2010-2011 school year.

Johnson recruited his classmates to adopt the Long Fork Community Park. The
students picked up litter in the park and baseball field twice weekly.

Johnson organized the group to form a PRIDE Club, which is a
service-oriented environmental club, at G.F. Johnson Elementary last year.
The students now plan to start a PRIDE Club at Virgie Middle School.

"I admire Clay and his classmates for their leadership, community spirit and
hard work," said PRIDE's Mark Davis, who presented the award at Virgie
Middle School on Wednesday. "Clay saw a way to serve the community, and his
classmates shared his vision. They pulled on gloves, grabbed their trash
bags and went to work."

"I understand that Clay got this idea while learning about civic duty in his
Social Studies," Davis added. "Isn't it encouraging to think about what
excellent leaders these young people will be? They are off to a great

"I think this will continue throughout their lives," said Betty Brown, who
nominated the students for the award. She is a retired educator and
secretary for the Pike County Clean Community Board.

"They are good role models," Brown said of Johnson and his classmates. "He
planned and initiated all of this all on his own."

The PRIDE Volunteer of the Month program recognizes hard work and dedication
to the PRIDE initiative, which promotes environmental education and cleanup
efforts in 38 counties of southern and eastern Kentucky. With corporate
sponsorship from TECO Coal, WYMT-TV airs commercials about each PRIDE
Volunteer of the Month.

"Volunteers are the backbone of PRIDE," said Congressman Hal Rogers, who
founded PRIDE in 1997. "We wouldn't be where we are without our volunteers.
More than 360,000 volunteers have helped with PRIDE cleanup and education
projects. We want to thank TECO Coal for helping PRIDE give these generous
people the recognition they deserve."

Jenny Wiley Theater To Be Built In Pikeville

(Pikeville)  Jenny Wiley Drama Association, which governs Jenny Wiley Theatre, and the City of
Pikeville have signed an agreement that allows the theatre to expand its year round
offerings and bring professional theatre to downtown Pikeville.  A new, designated
indoor theatre space will be constructed beginning in 2012 to provide Jenny Wiley
Theatre with a permanent indoor theatre and to continue the expansion of cultural
arts offerings in the City of Pikeville.  The intent is to begin construction in
January 2012 on a new facility located beside the old Dawahare Department Store,
intersecting 2nd St., Hambley Blvd. and Division St., with a proposed completion
date of December 2012.

For Pikeville, the focus is on promoting regionalism with a major emphasis on
tourism says Donovan Blackburn, Pikeville City Manager and Chairman of the newly
created Convention and Tourism Commission.  With 200 million dollars in new projects
in the area, including the new judicial center, a new hotel in the city and the
creation of Café on Main Plaza, outside the East Kentucky Expo Center, the natural
progression is to promote the arts, and offer an economic opportunity for the entire
region.   “Regional participation is very important, and having a recognized
established theatre group like Jenny Wiley Theatre downtown, offers the opportunity
to bring someone downtown year round, rather than depend only on summer months to
visit all areas, it all works hand in hand with each other.  This is a project and
partnership we are really excited about, and is a great opportunity for JWT to offer
year round theatre.”

Jenny Wiley Theatre is thrilled to have the opportunity to develop a full offering
of year-round productions and performances for the region.  Jenny Wiley Theatre will
continue to offer summer musicals on the amphitheatre stage located within Jenny
Wiley State Resort Park,  as well as educational programming such as the Theatre on
Wheels Tour, in-school and afterschool workshops, and school matinees during the
year.  Beginning in 2013, the proposed 300-seat theatre will feature musicals,
comedies, children’s theatre and educational programing, as well as lunch/dinner
performances  throughout the fall, winter and spring.  The indoor facility will also
be available for area meetings and conferences.    The new facility will house a box
office, gift shop, rehearsal space, and the possibility of a café
Helen Wicker, President of Jenny Wiley Drama Association, says: “For several years
we have been working toward achieving our vision of being able to offer year-round
theatre.  The opportunity to partner with the City of Pikeville will now allow us to
achieve our mission.”   Executive Director Martin Childers added that this
opportunity to expand offerings and form new partnerships is unique in the current
economic climate when many theatres are having to reduce their scope of work and
even close their doors.  ”Jenny Wiley Theatre has been an important contributor to
the culture, tourism and economics of eastern Kentucky for almost fifty years.  We
want to ensure that we continue to adapt to the needs and circumstances so that we
are here for another fifty years.  The ability to produce shows all year long is an
important step in that direction,” said Childers. 

Jenny Wiley Theatre is a non-profit organization and receives funding from
individuals, corporations, Prestonsburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, Paintsville
Tourism, the Kentucky Arts Council, and the Kentucky Department of Travel.  The
Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, supports JWT with state tax dollars
and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Former Whitley County Bookkeeper Sentenced

{Kentucky}...Vicki Paul, 51, a bookkeeper for former Whitley County Sheriff Lawrence Hodge, was sentenced to 6 months in jail and 6 months home incarceration for her role in a scheme to embezzle hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department. Paul was also ordered to pay $25,000 in restitution to Whitley County. Paul pleaded guilty in May to helping Hodge embezzle and/or launder a total of $222,914 from the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department. Paul is expected to report to jail October 4th.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Man Indicted For Murder

{Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police say Trenton Tackett was under the influence of pills when he crossed the center line on U.S. 460 in Magoffin County in May and hit another car killing 38-year-old Anita Back and seriously injuring her five year old daughter. Tackett has pleaded not guilty and has been indicted after being charged with murder, assault, and DUI.

Association Pushing For Private Prison Cancellations

{Kentucky}...Members of the Kentucky Jailers Association are pushing the state to cancel contracts with a pair of private prisons next summer and transfer some of the inmates to county jails, a move that would redirect millions of state dollars to the jails. Department of Corrections spokesman Todd Henson said making such a move wouldn't go smoothly because of the laws governing which inmates may be housed at jails and which must remain in prisons. Henson says not all the inmates at the private prisons are eligible for transfers to county jails. Kentucky's contracts with Nashville, Tenn.-based CAA for two private prisons expire on June 30, 2012. CCA operates the Marion Adjustment Center in Marion County and Otter Creek Correctional Center in Floyd County. Kentucky pays $37.99 per day for minimum-security inmates and $47.98 for medium-security inmates for Marion Adjustment Center to house at least 794 inmates every day. The state pays roughly $21.6 million each year for Otter Creek to house at least 600 inmates every day, at a rate of $44.26 each.

Johnson County Ambulance Driver Charged With DUI

{Kentucky}...Sam Music of Paintsville, an ambulance driver, was arrested Friday and charged with DUI in Johnson County. Police say Music had taken prescription pills before his Questcare ambulance went into the ditch on Highway 172 near the highway garage. Questcare officials say no patients were on board during the crash, but Music was on his way to pick up a dialysis patient.

Magoffin County Man Competent To Stand Trial

  • {Kentucky}...A competency hearing was held Thursday in the case of 44 year old Colonel Bolen, a Magoffin County man accused of shooting three people in the parking lot of J & J General Store at Gunlock in February. Officials say Sharon Smith, the woman shot, was a cook at the Floyd County Detention Center. Smith's friends say Bolen was an inmate at the Floyd County Detention Center several times from 2004 to 2009, but they do not think Smith knew him very well. Lonnie Dillon was shot at least twice. Bolen was declared competent to stand trial. Bolen was indicted on attempted murder.

Letcher County Man Convicted

  • {Kentucky}...Thursday, jurors found Jonathan Anderson of Letcher County guilty of 2nd degree manslaughter, two counts of first degree criminal mischief and leaving the scene of an accident in the death of Gwendolyn Whitaker. Police say Anderson was driving drunk in Whitesburg last November when he hit Whitaker's vehicle from behind. The  jury recommended 20 years in prison. Anderson is set to be sentenced September 28th.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Floyd County Seeing Increase In Virus

{Kentucky}...Nurses in Floyd County are seeing an increase in hand, foot and mouth disease among children, causing sores on the mouth and rashes on feet and hands, but they say parents should not panic. The disease is a virus spread by contact with others, and it mostly affects children under the age of 10. Though the disease is contagious, school officials say there is no need for parents to keep well children at home from school. Any student with a fever though is being sent home.

Commissioner of Agriculture Candidate Tours Pike County

{Kentucky}...Thursday, State Representative James Comer, candidate for Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture, met with people in Pike County and toured the jail farm that provides extra food for the Pike County Detention Center. Comer talked to people about his ideas for eastern Kentucky, such as turning reclaimed surface mining sites into pastures, increasing the lumber industry to create jobs, and planting more crops. Comer says the potential of agriculture is nowhere near its capacity in eastern Kentucky. Comer's opponent is democrat Bob Farmer who earlier this year, Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford banned from Pike County after Farmer allegedly made fun of eastern Kentucky during a comedy routine in Indiana. Farmer apologized for the remarks.

Budget Cuts In Paintsville

{Kentucky}...Paintsville, city leaders began across the board budget cuts Thursday, but fiscal help is hopefully on the way. With an historic swinging bridge taking golfers to the back nine holes, they say the popular Paintsville country club is the second oldest city course in the Commonwealth. But, along with the recreation center, it's on the mayor's list of personnel and budget cuts. As city service and employee costs have continued to skyrocket and revenue heads further south, Mayor Bob Porter has a budget plan that includes workers hours cut - transferring police officers to the ambulance service - and layoffs for an already bare bones street department. The highly anticipated 2012 opening of Paintsville’s Midway College School of Pharmacy will bring a multimillion dollar staff payroll and 320 full time students to the city. Mayor Porter says there are no plans right now to raise any Paintsville city taxes.

New Fire Safety Tool in Pike County

(Pikeville, Ky) - A new tool that will potentially make Pike and surrounding counties safer was delivered Thursday morning to Pike County's Emergency Management office. The $229,000 dollar Fire Safety and Emergency Training Trailer was purchased with grant money recently awarded to the Pike County Emergency Management Office. The trailer will be used to provide fire, weather and industrial safety training to schools, businesses and communities in Pike and surrounding counties. Pike County Emergency Management director Doug Tackett said that the trailer has training scenerios that will be beneficial to both adults and children. Officials say the realism of this training tool is amazing, with doors that are heated, smoke and heat lamps that raise the temperature to simulate an actual fire emergency. For more information on scheduling the training trailer at your school or business, call 606-437-4126.

Knott County Faces Tough Budget

  • {Kentucky}...With $1.5 million in lost revenue, Knott County Judge Executive Randy Thompson says the county is in a dire situation, but he does not think the magistrates understand the severity of the problem. The Fiscal Court voted to relinquish control of the horse trail ride to an impartial committee. Thompson says, although the Knott County Fiscal Court made some decisions Wednesday, they did not do enough to save the county budget. Thompson told the Fiscal Court that, if they do not find new sources of revenue, the county will shut down November 1, 2011. If the county does shut down November 1st, only offices mandated by the state will remain open. Thompson says he is going to provide a 60 day notice to the Kentucky River Area Development District that they're probably going to have to cancel the contract with them, leaving no more funding for the senior citizens program. A fiscal court meeting is set for September 19th.