Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pike County Man Killed In ATV Accident

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police say Brian Slone, 35, was riding an ATV on Adams Branch Road near Elkhorn City in Pike County Tuesday when he was killed. A preliminary investigation shows Slone was traveling south, when his ATV left the roadway, entered a creek and overturned. Slone was pronounced dead at the scene. Kentucky State Police are continuing to investigate the wreck.

Car Collides With CSX Train

{Barbourville, Kentucky}...Police say 83 year old Delmer Bright was traveling away from Barbourville, in Knox County, when his car collided with a CSX train at a railroad crossing on Cumberland Avenue. Bright was pronounced dead at Knox County Hospital.

Johnson County Pain Clinic Permanently Closed

{Paintsville, Kentucky}...Paintsville city officials have revoked the business license for Caremore Medical Management at Teays Branch in Johnson County, and the doctor working there has surrendered his Kentucky medical license. Federal and local officials raided the office and seized records last week. Officials with the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure say the doctor, Dr. Rano S. Bofill, M.D., surrendered his medical license on January 19th, just a few days before the raid. Paintsville Mayor Bob Porter revoked its city business license with an order calling it a public nuisance. Paintsville Police expect to present the case to a grand jury.

Counterfeit Found In Perry County

{Hazard, Kentucky}...Police in Perry County are investigating after workers at Drew's Mini-Mart received two counterfeit twenty dollar bills that were undetected by a counterfeit pen. The store owner said she did not realize until she went to the bank that the money was fake. If you have any information about the counterfeit money, you can call the Perry County Sheriff's Office.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Not Guilty Plea In Deputy's Death

  • {Pikeville, Kentucky}...A not guilty plea was entered Monday morning in Pike County District Court during an arraignment for 47 year old David Childers of Ashcamp. Investigators say Childers was driving a SUV along U.S 460 in Pike County last Monday night when his vehicle crossed the center line and hit head-on with a Pike County Sheriff’s cruiser, killing Deputy James I. Thacker of Elkhorn City. Childers was arrested and charged with murder a short time after Thacker’s funeral Friday afternoon. Childers remains in the Pike County Detention Center without bond. His preliminary hearing is set for Thursday morning.

Indictment In Knox County Robbery

  • {Hindman, Kentucky}...Nineteen year old Dustin Hubbard of Corbin has been indicted for first degree robbery. Officials say Hubbard robbed the Dream World Adult Store in the Gray community of Knox County at gunpoint on January 4th.

Pike County Man Sentenced

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Jeffrey Michael Lowe of Turkey Creek has been sentenced to 20 years in prison on murder charges. Police say Lowe, Cynthia Ryan, of Chatterory, Randy Thomas, of Turkey Creek, and Shannon Turner, of Williamson, murdered and robbed 65 year old Millard Thornhill last May and burned his home in Hatfield. Ryan pleaded guilty earlier this month to robbery charges, and murder charges against her were dismissed. Thomas and Turner are awaiting trial.

Knott County Educator Dies

{Hindman, Kentucky}...Vesper Singleton, a respected educator in Knott County, died Saturday at St. Joseph Hospital in Lexington. Singleton spent many years as a teacher and principal and was a former chairman of the WYMT Wayne Supply Mountain Basketball Classic Committee. Singleton played basketball for Carr Creek in the late 1940's and was a principal at four different schools during his career.

Clay County Gets Tough On Child Support Violators

{Manchester, Kentucky}... It's like the Old West.  Persons who are behind in Child Support payments in Clay County will be featured all over the County on WANTED posters.  Clay County Attorney Clay Bishop says there are some persons who are $60,000 behind and he wants to draw attention to those violators.  He makes the point that the electric company can't put you in jail if you're behind, neither can a landlord...but...he can, and will.  He said if the person will come into his office and sign a pay agreement and make timely payments for three months he will then remove the WANTED posters from public view.  Until then, they will be stigmatized and shamed in the public eye.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

UPike Football Players Stabbed At Williamson Night Club

{Williamson, West Virginia}...Two University of Pikeville football players were taken to hospitals after a huge fight at a night club early Sunday morning. University of Pikeville student Brandon Teasley was flown to St. Mary's Medical Center in Huntington after he was stabbed during a fight at Yesterday's Night Club in Williamson. Police say Teasley was dancing with a girl who had a boyfriend, but Teasley didn't know she had a boyfriend. Police say her boyfriend approached Teasley to fight and Teasley walked away, but, when he turned around, the boyfriend stabbed him in the back, cutting him all the way around his side. Police say the situation escalated into a huge fight that continued outside the bar, where Demetri Travis, received a concussion. Travis was taken to Williamson Appalachian Regional Hospital. Williamson Police Sergeant Grady Dotson says the fight involved about 60 people.

Rate Study Authorized By Mountain Water District

{Pikeville, Kentucky}... An eastern Kentucky water district has authorized a rate study which could end in customers paying more each month. The Mountain Water District Board in Pikeville authorized the first rate study since 1997. Officials say the study will take about three months to complete and will cost more than $19,000.

Friday, January 27, 2012

KSP Investigate Knott County Shooting

{Hazard, Kentucky}... Kentucky State Police Post 13 in Hazard received a 911 call from Tim Hays reporting that shots had been fired on Hwy. 550 in the Garner community of Knott County. Hays reported that an unknown male had shot the tire on his vehicle and wounded the passenger, Timothy Hall, before fleeing the scene. Preliminary investigation indicated Hall was struck in the hand. During the investigation, it was determined that Ivan Gibson was the alleged perpetrator. Gibson was located at his residence at Larkslane and arrested without incident. He was charged with first-degree assault and  first-degree wanton endangerment. Timothy Hall was transported to the Hazard Appalachian Regional Medical Center and later transported to UK Medical Center for treatment. All of the individuals involved in the incident were residents of Knott County. The investigation is continuing by Det. Gary Sandlin.

Arrest Made In Deputy's Highway Fatality

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police arrested David  W. Childers of Ashcamp Friday afternoon and charged him with murder in connection with the January 23, 2012 motor vehicle accident that killed Pike County Sheriff's Deputy James I. Thacker, 53, of Elkhorn City. KSP Post 9 Detective Jimmy Anderson obtained a warrant for the arrest of Childers, who was located and arrested by Tpr. Jason McClellan. Childers was lodged in the Pike County Detention Center. Police say Deputy Thacker was serving papers Monday night when a SUV driven by Childers crossed the center line on U.S. 460 and hit Thacker's cruiser head on. Pike County Sheriff Charles “Fuzzy” Keesee said Thacker came to his department a year ago, after a four-year term as constable. Hundreds gathered at East Ridge High School Friday to honor a fallen deputy who gave his life to serve his community.

Knott County Highway Fatality

(Hazard, Ky.) On January 25, 2012 at approximately 12:05 P.M., Kentucky State Police in Hazard received a call of a single vehicle collision on Hwy. 550 in the Lackey community of Knott County. Preliminary investigation indicates that a vehicle operated by Jerry M. Moore, age 51 of Lackey, was traveling East on Hwy. 550 when he lost control of his vehicle. Mr. Moore crossed over the center line, ran over an embankment and struck a tree before coming to rest partially submerged in the creek. Rescue workers freed Moore after approximately two and one half hours. He was transported to the St. Joseph Hospital in Martin where he was pronounced deceased at 3:50 P.M. The investigation is continuing by Tpr. Jody Sims.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

EQT Headquarters To Open

  • {Pikeville, Kentucky}...Despite EQT's drilling suspension in eastern Kentucky, Pike County officials say the construction on the new EQT headquarters at Scott Fork is on schedule and EQT will still have 200 new jobs at the plant. Pike County Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford says they're moving in by the first of February. Rutherford says, although their personnel will be brought from other areas, EQT has to hire new people at the headquarters to get two and a half million dollars in state tax breaks.

UPike Feasibility Contract Awarded

  • {Pikeville, Kentucky}...The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems will be paid $84,400 to complete a feasibility study ordered by Governor Steve Beshear last month after former Governor Paul Patton, now the president of UPike, and House Speaker Greg Stumbo introduced the idea of making the University of Pikeville a state school. According to the contract, NCHEMS must complete the study by March 15th, which doesn't leave much time to get House Bill 260 through the legislative process. Democratic state Representative Carl Rollins of Midway, chairman of the House Education Committee, said earlier this week that he would not call the bill until the study is complete. The Center helped former Governor Patton design the 1997 Higher Education Reform Act.

Fire Kills Young Girl

  • {Sandgap, Kentucky}...Fire investigators say it could be next week before they know what started a morning house fire off Amos Baker Road in the Sandgap community of Jackson County. Seven year old Dora Brewer, who had autism, died when she hid from the flames in her bedroom. Dora Brewer was a student at Sandgap Elementary School. Dora's mother, sister and infant niece, who were also inside when the fire started, are recovering from some burns and smoke inhalation at UK Hospital.

MSHA Cites Floyd County Mine

{Washington, D.C.}...The Mine Safety and Health Administration announced Wednesday it issued 32 citations and 12 orders against Coal Creek Mining LLC's No. 2 Mine in Floyd County in December after inspectors found a 5- by 10-foot coal pile on fire about 23 feet from two cases of explosives outside the mine. MSHA issued an imminent danger order. Inspectors say they also found a 5-gallon oil bucket full of burning coal and other materials near a portal in the mine and loose coal up to 30 inches deep under conveyor belts and near ignition sources. The mine was inadequately dusted with pulverized limestone to prevent explosions, and the operator also failed to use the approved ventilation plans. MSHA officials say explosive coal dust was 2 to 4 inches deep in places. After the December inspection, MSHA issued two more orders against Coal Creek for failing to fully correct the problems. MSHA also issued 53 citations and five orders in December against Clark Mining Inc.'s No. 3 mine and 25 citations and two orders against Bell County Coal Corp's Jellico No. 1, both in Kentucky.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Police Escort Fallen Pike County Deputy

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Pike County Deputy James Thacker was killed Monday night when a sport utility vehicle crossed the center line of a highway and struck Thacker's cruiser head-on. Deputy Robert Marble went with Thacker's body as it was taken to Frankfort for an autopsy. On the way back to Pikeville Tuesday, there was a county-by-county police escort as several police agencies showed their respect for a fallen fellow officer. Thacker's funeral is scheduled for Friday afternoon at East Ridge High School. Wednesday, Kentucky State Police investigators were back on the scene of the accident trying to figure out exactly what happened.

Johnson County Pain Clinic Raided

{Paintsville, Kentucky}...Federal, state and local law enforcement raided a pain clinic in the Paintsville area of Johnson County Wednesday morning as search warrants were served at Care More Pain Management on Tays Branch Road. Attorney General Jack Conway's office says nine people were arrested in the parking lot during the raid on charges including public intoxication, DUI and for outstanding warrants. The clinic was also raided in February. Richard Albert, a former doctor at the clinic, was indicted last year and pleaded guilty in December to a federal charge of conspiring to illegally prescribe approximately 50,000 tablets of the painkiller Percocet. The DEA, Kentucky Attorney General's Office, Johnson County Sheriff's Department and Paintsville Police Department took part in the raid.

Synthetic Cannabinoids Ban Sought

{Hazard, Kentucky}...Perry County officials are supporting an ordinance to ban synthetic cannabinoids. The fiscal court has taken the first step in the process to get rid of the substances, and Judge Executive Denny Ray Noble is supporting the ordinance. The next reading of the ordinance will be on February 21st. If it passes, it would go into effect immediately, and the minimum punishment would be up to 90 days in jail and up to a $250 fine. Possession of any of the forms would be a Class B misdemeanor. Anyone caught to be trafficking in the drug could face up to a year in prison with a $500 fine. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Knox County Man Arrested

  • {Kay Jay, Kentucky}...Sheriff's deputies in Knox County got a call Monday about a possible shooting on Blue Hole Branch Road in the Kay Jay community. When deputies got to the scene, they found Arvil Lake with a weapon in his car. Lake has been charged with two counts of wanton endangerment and several other charges after being accused of firing shots at at his brothers car. It all started when Arvil Lake and his brother were talking outside Lake's brother's home. Arvil Lake says his brother started cursing him, jumped out of his truck and smacked him, so he got fed up, grabbed a pistol and started shooting, but he wasn't trying to kill his brother.

Pike County Deputy Fatally Injured

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...At 9:04 P.M. Monday, Post 9 Pikeville received a 911 call of a three vehicle accident on US 460 in the Belcher community of Pike County. KSP units and Pike County Deputies responded to the scene, where it was determined that a Pike County Deputy had been fatally injured. Preliminary investigation indicates 47 year old David Childers of Ashcamp was traveling West on US 460 in a Nissan Pathfinder when he lost control of his vehicle and crossed the centerline into the eastbound lane, striking a 2001 Pike County Sheriffs Department cruiser operated by 53 year old Deputy James Thacker of Elkhorn City. Deputy Thacker was pronounced dead at the scene by Pike County Deputy Coroner Zeb Hampton. A third vehicle involved in the accident was a 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix which was traveling East on US 460 operated by 38 year old Brenda Robinette of Pikeville. The incident remains under investigation By KSP Master Trooper Eddie Crum.

Crash Kills Pike County Deputy

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Emergency crews were on the scene of a serious three vehicle crash on U.S. 460 near Marrowbone in Pike County Monday night. Pike County Sheriff Charles "Fuzzy" Keesee has confirmed that one of his deputies was killed in the crash. Keesee is not releasing the deputy's name at this time.

Monday, January 23, 2012

One Injured In Floyd County Crash

{Ivel, Kentucky}... Philip Heffington was taken to Pikeville Medical Center after being injured in a wreck with a tractor trailer truck on US-23 in the Ivel community of Floyd County Monday morning. CVE officers say a tractor trailer truck, driven by Alvis R. Hawkins, allegedly turned left onto US-23 southbound in front of a car driven by Heffington.

Accidents Cause Traffic Problems In Pike County

  • {Pikeville, Kentucky}...Separate accidents involving two overturned tanker trucks and a coal truck caused traffic problems for some drivers in Pike County Monday. A semi carrying 8,500 gallons of diesel and gasoline overturned about 2:30 P.M. along Ky. Route 195 at Dead Man’s Curve, about one-half mile from US 460, just before you get to Wolfpit. Another tanker was brought in to offload the fuel, before the semi could be up-righted and towed from the scene. There was no spill in the crash. Kentucky Route 194 at mile marker 46, on top of Big Creek Mountain, was also closed to all traffic after two 18-wheeler trucks overturned, in separate accidents, within yards of each other about 3:00 P.M. Highway officials say one was a coal truck, and one was a tanker truck.

Education Chairman Concerned About UPike Bill

  • {Frankfort, Kentucky}...House Education Committee Chairman Carl Rollins, D-Midway, said Monday he would not call the bill filed last week to make the private University of Pikeville a state-supported school until a study ordered by Governor Steve Beshear is concluded. Rollins called the bill interesting but said he was concerned that a new public university had never been part of any strategic plan by higher education's governing agency, the Council on Postsecondary Education. House Speaker Greg Stumbo, a Prestonsburg Democrat, a co-sponsor on HB 260, has said making UPike a state school would require $6 million the first year from the multicounty fund, then $13 million a year over the next decade. The plan would use only tax money derived from mining and processing coal in 12 counties that would become UPike's service area: Bell, Breathitt, Floyd, Harlan, Johnson, Knott, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Perry and Pike. Several county administrators say they don't oppose making Pikeville a state school, but they don't want that move to take money from the multicounty coal-severance tax fund their counties have used for projects such as expanding waterlines and constructing buildings for manufacturing prospects. Co-sponsor, Representative Leslie Combs, says supporters hope to win over the county officials.

Deputy Jailer Charged With Assault

{Hazard, Kentucky}... At approximately 9:40 A.M. Friday, Kentucky State Police in Hazard received a call that a female inmate at the Kentucky River Regional Detention Center had been assaulted by a Deputy
Jailer. Preliminary investigation indicated that an assault involving 28 year old Edna J. Chapman had occurred, and an arrest warrant was issued for 40 year old Deputy Jailer Roy Lawson of Hazard, who was charged with fourth-degree assault. Lawson was lodged in the Kentucky River Regional Detention Center. The investigation is continuing by Detective Randy Combs.

Paintsville Shell Mart Robbed

{Paintsville, Kentucky}...Paintsville Police are investigating a robbery which happened around 10:30 P.M. Saturday night at the Shell Mart on South Mayo Trail. Police say a man approximately six feet tall walked into the gas station, wearing a green pull over, black hoodie, ball cap and a black mask, and demanded money. If you have any information about the robbery, you can contact the Paintsville Police at 606-789-2603.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Senator Jones To Seek Re-election to 31st Seat

(Pikeville)-Senator Ray S. Jones II, D-Pikeville, who has a strong record of
significant in roads, education, energy, mine safety, and water and sewer
infrastructure, filed for re-election to his 31st district seat in December with the
Kentucky Secretary of State.
Under the new redistricting plan signed by Governor Steve Beshear , the 31st
district will include Elliott, Lawrence, Martin, Morgan and Pike counties. Until the
General Assembly drafted the new district plans, Senator Jones represented Johnson,
Martin and Pike counties that made up the 31st district.
"I am honored to represent the people of the 31st district and I look forward to
getting to know and working with the people in the new counties of the 31st district
- Elliott, Lawrence and Morgan counties," said Senator Jones.
Senator Jones, who has served in the State Senate since 2001, is the grandson of a
union coal miner, he was co-author of the landmark mine safety legislation enacted
during the 2006 session and served as the point person for the Senate Democratic
Caucus during the drafting of the legislation.
Senator Jones also served as a member of the legislative working group that
developed Kentucky's comprehensive energy legislation -- passed during the 2007
special legislative session -- that is allowing the state to maximize the benefit of
the Commonwealth's natural resources and is helping lead the way to energy
independence.
                A key focus of Senator Jones' work is protecting Kentucky children
from child predators. During the 2007 legislative session, he
sponsored and passed Senate Bill 65, which was the first bill passed
in the country to require sex offenders to register their online
identities.  He has filed child endangerment legislation for the
2012 session (Caylee's Law) that would make failure to report a
missing child.
                Senator Jones also works hard to battle the prescription drug abuse
epidemic in Eastern Kentucky.  In 2005, he secured $750,000 to start
the first and only juvenile drug treatment program in Eastern
Kentucky.  He also helped acquire an additional $1.5 million for
juvenile drug treatment facilities in Pike and Clay counties, two
counties among the worst hit by the drug epidemic.
                During the 2007 legislative session, Senator Jones sponsored and
passed Senate Joint Resolution 48, which expanded the Kentucky All
Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting (KASPER) program that
allows the state to enter into reciprocal agreements with other
states nationwide to share prescription drug monitoring information.
This is an important tool to stop the practice of "doctor shopping."
                Senator Jones recognizes that prescription drug abuse is the most
serious problem facing central Appalachia and has vowed to continue
his efforts to stop this epidemic.
                During the 2012 legislative session, Senator Jones will sponsor
legislation to crackdown on "pill mills" and physicians who are
indiscriminately prescribing addictive drugs. In addition, he will
sponsor legislation to place restrictions of the sale of
pseudoephedrine to help stop the production of methamphetamine.
                Also during the 2012 session, the General Assembly will draft
Kentucky's budget for the next two years. Senator Jones, who sits on
the powerful Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee, will use
his position to protect funding for education. Senator Jones has
secured funding for the construction of new schools, such as Mullins
Elementary and Phelps Elementary, thereby bringing up the bonding
capacity to allow for the construction of new schools at Millard and
Virgie and the renovation and expansion of Southside Elementary.
Senator Jones has worked hard to help improve teachers and
classified employees' pay and to protect their health and pension
benefits.
Senator Jones also serves on the Senate Transportation Committee and the Budget
Review Subcommittee that writes the six-year road plan. He has worked to bring
hundreds of millions of dollars for road projects to Johnson, Martin and Pike
counties. He has secured the funds to complete US 119, to continue construction of
US 460, to relocate KY Rt. 40 in Martin County and to reconstruct KY 172 in Johnson
County as well as numerous other projects in the counties he represents.
Senator Jones has a close relationship with many of local officials in his district
and looks forward to building similar relationships with the officials in the new
counties in his district. He said he always welcomes input on projects from the
local officials and wants to hear their concerns and ideas.
Along with holding a seat on the Senate A&R and Transportation committees and Budget
Review Subcommittee on Transportation, Jones serves on the Natural Resources and
Energy, and Judiciary committees and the Budget Review Subcommittee on Economic
Development and Tourism, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, and the
Special Subcommittee on Energy.
"Never before has a senator from Eastern Kentucky been on all these key committees,"
he said. "I am in a better position than ever to deliver for the 31st district.
During my tenure in Frankfort, I have focused on bringing money home to Eastern
Kentucky for roads, bridges, water lines, sewer lines and new schools as well as for
other important projects. My work on these committees gives me a greater voice in
selecting projects and allocating funds.
"I have a seat at the table when the General Assembly is mapping out the state's
road plan; working on the state's spending plan; looking at legislation dealing with
the drug problem; crafting legislation that effects energy and natural resources,
and developing economic development strategies," Senator Jones added.
"I am honored by the confidence the citizens of the 31st District have placed in me.
We've had a lot of success, but there's more to do and I look forward to the
challenge. I also look forward to being an advocate for the citizens in my new
counties and helping them to move forward with needed-projects."
                Senator Jones, 42, grew up in Virgie and graduated from Virgie High
School. He is a former assistant Pike County attorney, past
president of the Pike County Bar Association and a managing partner
of Jones and Hickman PSC., a law firm in Pikeville.  He is a 1991
magna cum laude graduate of Eastern Kentucky University and a 1994
graduate of the University of Louisville School of Law.  Senator
Jones and his wife, Dr. Paula Jones, have a son, Grayson Nathaniel,
and a daughter, Lauren Elizabeth.  The Jones family resides in
Pikeville.
                Senator Jones encourages his constituents to stay in contact with
him. To leave a message the senator, call the General Assembly's
toll-free Message  Line at (800) 372-7181 or for people with hearing
difficulties, the TTY Message Line at (808) 896-0305. Senator Jones
can be contacted at his office at 502-564-8100 .

Friday, January 20, 2012

Harlan County Opposing UPike Proposal

{Harlan, Kentucky}...Officials in Harlan County are opposing a measure that would take millions in coal severance taxes to place the private University of Pikeville into the state system. Under the proposal, the University of Pikeville, which has about 1,100 full-time students in undergraduate and graduate programs, could reduce tuition from $17,000 to $7,000 a year, making a college education far more affordable for students in a 12-county service area that would extend from Middlesboro in the south to Inez in the north. Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop says the money should go to the community college system, which has benefited Harlan, Letcher and Bell counties. Harlan County Magistrate David Kennedy says the measure would draw money away from other worthwhile projects in eastern Kentucky, and the counties should be treated equally, and whatever Pike County receives, Harlan County should also get. Thursday, the Harlan County Fiscal Court unanimously passed a resolution opposing the bill.

EQT Suspends Drilling In Pike County

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...EQT spokeswoman Natalie Cox says 39 jobs in Pike County will be eliminated, but employees will be given a chance to move to the company's operations in the regions which encompass the Marcellus Shale area, where drilling operations continue. The company has suspended all new drilling operations in the county, saying falling prices for the commodity forced the move. Cox says the drilling suspension will not impact EQT's construction of a regional headquarters building at Scott Fork because the company will still have 200 employees overseeing its Kentucky operations.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Portion Of Coal Severance Tax Unallocated

  • {Frankfort, Kentucky}...When Governor Steve Beshear presented his two-year budget proposal to a joint session of the House and Senate Tuesday evening, he left revenue from a portion of the state's coal tax unallocated in case lawmakers choose to create a new state university in Pikeville. He reminded lawmakers that he will hire a consultant to review whether the private university should be made a part of the state's system of public universities.

Police Refocus Drug Investigations

  • {Prestonsburg, Kentucky}...Prestonsburg police say new laws in effect this year mean undercover officers have to buy more pills from alleged dealers, and it once cost them only a few hundred dollars to build a case to arrest one drug dealer and keep them in jail, but now it costs them a few thousand dollars to build a felony case to put one suspected dealer behind bars. Several police agencies met Wednesday in Prestonsburg to discuss the problem and look for solutions. The agencies are planning to pool resources and work together. They will no longer focus on individual investigations and will move to interdiction, looking for drugs in more safety checkpoints.

HPD Patrolman Injured

{Hazard, Kentucky}...Tuesday night, Kentucky State Police Post 13 in Hazard was contacted by the Hazard Police Department requesting assistance with an incident involving an officer discharging his firearm. Kentucky State Police officers and detectives responded to the scene and discovered that HPD Patrolman Adam Baker was investigating a stolen credit card complaint at America's Best Value Inn in Hazard. While obtaining information from employees at the motel, the alleged perpetrator, Scott Martin Kadik, 39 of Viper, entered the lobby then exited upon seeing Patrolman Baker. Patrolman Baker went outside and spoke with Kadik, requesting identification from Kadik, at which time Kadik got into his vehicle and started backing up toward Patrolman Baker, who attempted to get out of the way, and Baker fired one shot at the vehicle, striking it in the left rear tire. The car fled onto Morton Boulevard, before stalling a short distance away. Patrolman Baker pursued the car, and advised that Mr. Kadik fled the car on foot. Patrolman Baker caught Kadik, at which time an altercation ensued, and Patrolman Baker received minor injuries. Kadik was taken into custody and charged with wanton endangerment 1st degree, and one count of wanton endangerment 1st degree against a police officer. Amy Moore, 35 of Viper, was questioned and released with no charges.

Alpha Presents Check To Senior Citizens Program

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...The Pike County Government was notified last month that a grant request for $32,964 towards the purchase of two vans for the Pike County Senior Citizens Program had been approved. The grant is from Alpha Natural Resources Community Involvement Program Committee. Pike County Community Services Director and senior citizens program supervisor Carol Napier says she can’t express how grateful the senior citizens, the board and she are to Alpha for this much-needed contribution. One van has been purchased that will serve the Blackberry area, and another van will be purchased this month to serve the Phelps area, both of which are in Magistrate Hilman Dotson’s district. A large group of Pike County’s senior citizens were on hand Monday to witness Alpha Natural Resources employees present a check for nearly $33,000 to the Pike County Senior Citizens Program.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

UPike Legislation Filed

  • {Frankfort, Kentucky}...Tuesday, Democratic state Representative Leslie Combs filed legislation, co-sponsored by House Speaker Greg Stumbo, that calls for public funding for the University of Pikeville. Combs says the proposal is the legislature's best shot at raising the college-graduation rate in the Appalachian region. Stumbo says Kentucky would be getting a good deal by investing about $12 million a year and getting more than $170 million worth of facilities that the private university would turn over to the state. The funding would come from an existing coal severance tax.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Millions In Safety Improvements Coming To Pike County

  • {Pikeville, Kentucky}... Lawmakers and officials with the Kentucky Transportation Department say $7 million worth of safety improvements are coming to a deadly curve in the Millard area on US-460 in Pike County. A project is in the works to remove the sharp curve, but new signs and other improvements will start on Tuesday. Officials say the Millard curve is one of the most dangerous pieces of roadway in eastern Kentucky. State Senator Ray Jones, (D) 31st District, says, "With the commercial vehicles and school buses, it's a recipe for disaster." Jones says, until construction starts, the Transportation Cabinet needs to take every possible step to make the roadway safe. Mary Westfall-Holbrook, Chief District Engineer for District 12, says the Transportation Cabinet is making new signs to put up this week on both sides of the road warning people of the upcoming curve. Transportation officials plan to start construction at the end of the year on the project to remove the sharp curve. Officials have to approve the design plans, acquire the right of way from private property owners and move utilities. Senator Jones is planning to meet this month with the state highway engineer to go over the project. He wants to see rumble strips added and treatment to make the road less slippery in rain.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Prestonsburg Boy Battling Cancer

{Prestonsburg, Kentucky}...Nine year old Trevor Wright of Prestonsburg has been battling cancer for eight months and has received many blood donations since being diagnosed with ALL, a form of leukemia and cancer of the white blood cells, on Mother's Day last year. Since his diagnosis, Trevor has used 39 units of blood and receives a chemo treatment at home every night. To find out how you can donate blood contact the Kentucky Blood Center nearest to you.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Man Pleads Guilty To Marijuana Charge

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar must approve a 10 year sentence between 43 year old John "Johnny Boy" Hall of Wheelwright and federal prosecutors after Hall entered a guilty plea Thursday in federal court in Pikeville, admitted that he received between 220 and 880 pounds of marijuana from January 2009 until December of 2010 and that he conspired to distribute at least 100 kilograms of marijuana in Pike and Floyd counties. Hall, who has a previous drug felony conviction, will be sentenced in May.

Pikeville Police Investigating Copper Thefts

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Police say they have worked at least five cases in the past month in which thousands of dollars worth of copper has been stolen from some construction sites in Pikeville. Police say sometime Thursday night thieves took six rolls of copper wire, at least five rolls of copper tubing and tools estimated at $5,000 from a site on the South Mayo Trail. Pikeville Public Safety Director Paul Maynard says officers and construction contractors are taking measures to increase security. Anyone with information on the copper thefts should contact the Pikeville Police Department.

Vicco Convenient Store Robbed

{Vicco, Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police say a cashier at Ramey's Qwik Mart on Highway 15 in Vicco near the Perry and Knott County line called Thursday, saying a man came in and demanded money from the register before leaving in an older model red Pontiac Grand Am. The suspect is described as a 5-and-a-half feet tall man with a thin build. He was last seen wearing a black hoodie and possibly had a mustache. Anyone with information is asked to call Kentucky State Police post 13 in Hazard at 606-435-6069.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pike County Budget Cuts

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...The Pike County Sheriff's Department and the County Clerk's office made budget cuts Thursday, each eliminating more than $30,000 for the 2012 budget. Due to last year's county budget deficit, the Sheriff had to cut 12% of his spending, adding up to $35,000. Sheriff Charles "Fuzzy" Keesee said, "It's belt tightening time for all of us."  Keesee told the Fiscal Court the cuts will be to the department's operating costs...cars, equipment and salaries. Sheriff's department employees will not get a raise for the third year in a row. The County Clerk's office cut the budget by $30,000 and also reduced expenditures across the board. The Fiscal Court approved both budgets. The Fiscal Court made its annual coal severance dollars request to legislators, asking for nearly 26 million dollars for economic projects.

Highlands Regional Medical Center Hires New Cardiologist

{Prestonsburg, Kentucky}...Highlands Regional Medical Center in Prestonsburg has hired Dr. Joel A. Shapiro as Highlands’ new cardiologist. Shapiro, a Brooklyn native, comes to eastern Kentucky with an extensive background. He received his PhD from Purdue University, his MD from the University of Miami and completed his residency at the University of San Diego. He has received multiple board certifications through the American Board of Internal Medicine, the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American College of Cardiology and has received numerous professional awards and honors from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the National Institutes of Health and the Division of Medical Genetics and others. Shapiro has 40 years of experience in the medical field.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Midway College/University Of Charleston Plan Pharmacy School

  • {Paintsville, Kentucky}...A new pharmacy school could be coming to eastern Kentucky as Midway College's Paintsville campus plans to join forces with the University of Charleston to open the school. Midway College President Dr. William Drake says the Paintsville campus announced plans two years ago to open its own pharmacy school to fill the shortage of pharmacists in eastern Kentucky, but now it's approached the University of Charleston because of it's reputation as an academic institution and it's reputation with their pharmacy school. The University of Charleston started a pharmacy school in 2004, currently has 290 students and is fully accredited. The schools have signed a letter of intent, and the final decision should be made by the end of February. If a final agreement is reached, the University of Charleston would operate the school as a branch campus and deliver its full four-year Pharm.D. program in Paintsville beginning in January 2013.

Pike County Man Arrested In Kanawha County

{Charleston, West Virginia}...Forty-two year old Neil Brian Jewell of Canada, in Pike County, Kentucky, was arrested Tuesday and charged with possession with the intent to deliver after Kanawha County Sheriff's Deputies seized 25 pounds of marijuana worth about $100,000, a small number of prescription pills and $1,700 in cash after stopping him for speeding on Chestnut Road in South Charleston. Chief Deputy Johnny Rutherford says Jewell's arrest comes in the midst of a multi-state investigation into drug activity, and the investigation does not stop with Jewell's arrest.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pikeville Homeless Shelter Receives Donation

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...The WestCare Homeless Shelter in Pikeville received a $2,500 donation Tuesday from Walters Toyota. In December, Walters Toyota held a community food and toy drive for the shelter. Walters Toyota has a dealer match program and is sending another $2,500 check to the shelter. Anyone wanting to make donations to the shelter can take them directly to the shelter or drop them off at any Walters Toyota dealership. 

Johnson County Grandmother Convicted

{Paintsville, Kentucky}...Alice Stambaugh of Johnson County, who was charged with manslaughter last year after police say her five month old grandson, Draven, died from an overdose of Benadryl and Soma was found guilty Tuesday afternoon. Stambaugh's attorney argued she did nothing wrong and blamed her daughter Heather, the baby's mother. Heather Stambaugh's trial is scheduled for April. The jury recommended a five year sentence for Alice Stambaugh.

Wrecker Service Investigated

  • {Hager Hill, Kentucky}...State police and the Johnson County Sheriff's Department are investigating alleged stolen cars seized last Thursday from Welch's Wrecker Service in Hager Hill. Sheriff Dwayne Price says an investigation began after two months ago after police received several anonymous tips that stolen cars were located where Marty Welch used a home on Middlefork Road for his wrecker service. Court documents say Welch gave the county attorney a fraudulent insurance card for one vehicle, and Welch's daughter was driving a 2005 Chevrolet Corvette that was not registered to them.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Fire Causes Explosion In Floyd County

{Wheelwright, Kentucky}...Officials in Wheelwright say a fire on the side of the mountain in Golf Course Hollow in Floyd County about 8:30 P.M. Friday night hit a gas line causing it to explode. Officials say the forest fire started on the other side of the mountain on Tackett Hollow in Melvin.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Johnson County Fire Kills One

Forty-six year old Jesse Ball was killed in a mobile home fire on Wiley Branch Road in Johnson County just before 9:00 A.M. Friday morning. Ball lived in the trailer with his daughter, Casey Meade, her husband and their child. Meade says her dad had throat cancer and had been living with them for about the last four months. Ball was the only person home when the fire started. His body was found in his bedroom. The deputy state fire marshal believes an electrical problem sparked the blaze.

UPike Makes Pitch For State Status

{Frankfort, Kentucky}...In a 28-page pitch released Friday by the office of House Speaker Greg Stumbo, University of Pikeville President Paul Patton, who was governor from 1995-2003, said the private university is committed to raising the higher education level of eastern Kentucky’s coal counties to the state average within 10 years if the General Assembly brings it into the state system. Stumbo and Patton say details of the bill are still being worked out, and they expect it will be filed next week. The information released Friday says funding for the university would come from an annual state appropriation of $13 million that would be taken from state coal severance tax revenues that now are returned to coal counties for multi-county economic development projects. The central argument for the plan is that 9.1 percent of adults in southeastern Kentucky have bachelor’s or higher degree compared to the state average of 17.1 percent and the national average of 24.4 percent. UPike proposes to have primary responsibility for serving 12 counties, eight of which are now in the service region of Morehead State University and four of which are in the region of Eastern Kentucky University.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Charge Dismissed In Pike County Murder

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Police say, on May 19th, four people shot Millard "Mitty" Thornhill and then set his trailer in Hatfield on fire. Jeffery Lowe pleaded guilty to manslaughter last month. Thursday, Judge Eddy Coleman dismissed murder charges against Cynthia Ryan who admitted she went to help rob Thornhill but said she did not kill him. Thursday, the Commonwealth's Attorney agreed Ryan was not responsible for the death and offered a plea deal to dismiss the murder charge in exchange for a guilty plea to robbery, and Ryan accepted. A ten year sentence was recommended for Ryan will be sentenced on February 3rd. Randy Thomas, was also in court on Thursday, and a trial date was set for February 13th. Shannon Turner is undergoing a mental evaluation to see if she is competent for trial.

Pike County Installs New Emergency System

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Pike County Emergency Services Director Doug Tackett says Pike County has installed a new quick-response emergency notification system that allows police, fire and emergency service departments to mobilize emergency personnel and communicate with the public via text messaging. The new system lets officials notify all citizens of any natural or manmade disasters. It connects to text-enabled mobile devices and allows for two-way communication. Users must sign up for the free service.

Pike County Man Charged With Arson

{Virgie, Kentucky}...Timothy Pryor is charged with arson and alcohol intoxication after a neighbor accused him of trying to burn down his house on High Street in the Virgie area of Pike County. Police say flames were contained to the back of the house, and no one was injured, but troopers found Pryor walking nearby with a gas can.

Pike County Stabbing Goes To Grand Jury

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...The case against 21 year old Daniel Gillispie has been sent to the Pike County grand jury. Gillispie is charged with assault and impersonating a police officer. Police say he confessed to stabbing 21 year old Tommy Bray at an apartment building on Poplar Street in Pikeville. Witnesses say he claimed to be a police officer to get Bray to open the door of his home. Gillispie remains on a $30,000 bond.

Woman Dies In Knott County Fire

{Kite, Kentucky}...The Knott County coroner says 39 year old Fay Short was found dead after fire destroyed her double-wide trailer in the Kite community Thursday morning. Officials say a wood-burning stove could be to blame.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Knox County Adult Store Robbed

{Gray, Kentucky}...Harlan Police are looking for a man who robbed the Dream World adult store in the Gray community of Knox County Wednesday afternoon. Police say a white man in his mid 20's came into the store with a gun and demanded cash and incense. The suspects jacket, mask and socks were later found nearby.

Pikeville Police Investigating Trailer Fires

  • {Pikeville, Kentucky}...Pikeville Police are investigating a trailer fire which occurred on Fife Fork Road early Saturday morning. Investigators say this is the fourth structure fire in the neighborhood of vacant trailers since April. Anyone who lives in the Fife Fork Road area is asked to report any suspicious activity in the neighborhood. You can report information by calling 606-437-5111.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Stumbo Promotes Coal Severance For UPike

  • {Frankfort, Kentucky}...House Speaker Greg Stumbo promoted a plan Tuesday that would direct about $14 million a year from coal severance tax to the University of Pikeville. Legislation is expected to be filed Wednesday that, if passed, would provide coal severance tax revenue that's been set aside for multi-county economic development projects in eastern Kentucky. University of Pikeville President Paul Patton says the whole state has a vested interest in bringing up the economic and social standing of Appalachia Kentucky, and the proposal is "the most important economic development" project that could be done in the region. The University of Pikeville is a private school that wants to be part of the state's system of public universities. If approved by the legislature, the University of Pikeville would be the state's only public university in Kentucky's eastern coalfields.

Deadly Accident In Perry County

  • {Hazard, Kentucky}...Shirley Watts of Breathitt County died after an accident Monday afternoon involving at least two vehicles on Highway 15 near Bonnyman in Perry County. Two children in Watts' car were taken to the UK Medical Center with serious injuries. Officials say the accident was due to slick roads.

Drug Roundup In Pike County

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Law enforcement officials attempted to arrest 18 Pike County individuals suspected of drug trafficking during a roundup conducted by Operation UNITE Tuesday. After a nine month undercover investigation centered around the Regina and Virgie communities, Operation UNITE, Kentucky State Police, and DEA agents started arresting suspected drug dealers early Tuesday morning.
 As of 3:00 P.M., 10 of the 18 individuals had been arrested and lodged in the Pike County Detention Center. They are:
 
Bobby Bowling, 26, Bowling Fork Road, Elkhorn City, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

William Bowling, 57, Bowling Fork Road, Elkhorn City, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

Kevin Hopkins, 46, Greasy Creek Road, Shelbiana, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and persistent felony offender.

Larry Kendrick, 34, Greasy Creek Road, Shelbiana, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and persistent felony offender.

Anthony John Puett, 27, Pikeville, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and persistent felony offender.

James "Jamie" Rowe, 31, First Street, Lookout, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, and persistent felony offender.

Garia Smith, 38, Virgie High Street, Virgie, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

Richard Starghill, 34, Chloe Court, Pikeville, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

Steve Tackett, 39, Pikeville, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

Vornele Tackett, 66, Dry Branch Road, Virgie, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

Beshear Discusses UPike Proposal

{Frankfort, Kentucky}...Governor Steve Beshear met for about an hour Tuesday with the presidents of most of the state universities to discuss the proposal to bring the University of Pikeville into the state university system. Northern Kentucky University President James Votruba and Robert King, president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, said Beshear did not seem during the meeting to have made up his mind on the proposal, but he made it quite clear that he is looking to a study for a serious analysis of the pros and cons of the proposal. House Speaker Greg Stumbo and former Governor Paul Patton, president of the University of Pikeville, were not at the meeting, but Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said Tuesday he expects to file a bill this week to bring the private university into the state system, and Patton said last week he plans to be in the Capitol this week promoting the bill. Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, said Tuesday he doesn’t think anyone doubts what the leaders in Pike County and what former  Governor Patton say that a state university would have a tremendously positive economic impact on Pike County and the surrounding counties, but Williams said cities such as Owensboro, Somerset or Hazard would get the same kind of boost from a state university. The Council on Postsecondary Education announced that former Lexington Mayor Pam Miller is its new chair, replacing Patton, who resigned last week because of his intention to continue pushing for the state system to include the University of Pikeville.

Man Found Dead In Bed

{Paintsville, Kentucky}...Smoking in bed is believed to have caused a fire that killed a man about 3:45 A.M. Tuesday morning on State Street in Paintsville. Fire Chief Bob Dixon says 59 year old Mark Girard was found dead in his bed. Dixon says the fire started in the bedroom. Chief Dixon says Girard was a paraplegic and lived alone. Dixon says Girard had been cautioned in the past by both family members and the fire departments about smoking in bed.

Hazard Independent Adopts New Hours

{Hazard, Kentucky}...The new year is bringing new changes for Hazard Independent as classes are beginning at 9:00 A.M. instead of 8:00 A.M. Hazard High School Principal Happy Mobelini says they're going to try it in January and see how it works. With school starting an hour later, Mobelini says students do have to stay an hour longer.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Pikeville Police Investigating Shooting

{Pikeville, Kentucky}... Police are investigating an alleged drive-by shooting that happened on New Year's Eve at Greg's Custom Audio and Video Store on Bypass Road in Pikeville. Officer Tony Conn says it looks like someone used a large caliber weapon to shoot holes in the windows. Conn says the bullets went through the window and travelled and lodged into the brick wall of the business. Police say the owner, Greg Tackett, told them there were no problems or threats before the shooting.