Friday, August 31, 2012

Actor Faces Drug Charge

{Bowling Green, Kentucky}...Sixty-nine year old Paul Michael Glaser of Venice, California, the actor who played David Starsky in the 1970s police drama "Starsky & Hutch," is fighting a drug charge in Kentucky. Bowling Green Police charged Glaser with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia on May 10th, hours after he read an excerpt of his young adult novel, "Chrystallia and the Source of Light," to students at a middle school. Glaser said he had medical marijuana prescribed to him in California. His attorney has entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hatfield McCoy Geocaching Trail To Open

A Hatfield McCoy geocaching trail opens Saturday and encompasses the mountains of Kentucky and West Virginia. Kelly Moore, a trail organizer from Pike County, says the Hatfield McCoy Geo Trail will allow people to explore 15 historic locations around Pike County in Kentucky and Mingo and Logan counties in West Virginia, and retrace the steps of those who took part in the Hatfield and McCoy feud in the 1800s. At 10:00 A.M. Saturday, a kickoff event will take place at the Williamson Coal House on Second Avenue in Williamson, West Virginia. Friday night, a reservation-only pig roast will be at the Linkous House Bed and Breakfast in Williamson. Saturday, each geocache will contain a stamp that participants may collect and enter on a brochure available at the Coal House. Finders who log the completion of all 15 caches Saturday will receive a special-edition Hatfield and McCoy GeoTrail coin. Geocaching is simply "a high-tech treasure-hunting game using" a handheld GPS or a GPS-enabled smartphone. People must have one of the devices to participate.

KSP Prepare For Labor Day Weekend

{Frankfort, Kentucky}...This year, Kentucky State Police say 471 people have died in crashes. That’s 5 more than during the same time last year. Kentucky State Police expect to see a lot of vehicles on the roads this Labor Day weekend. I-75 will be targeted because of its heavy traffic volume but police also say they’ll look at areas where there’s been a lot of DUI crashes. Despite the higher number of deadly crashes this year, the 2012 death toll is actually less than previous years. State police statistics show that in 2008, 2009, and 2010, more than 500 people had been killed in accidents.

Operation UNITE Planning Prayer Rally

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...In an effort to try and help the drug problem in eastern Kentucky, Operation UNITE is planning a prayer rally to be held at the East Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville on November 18th. Marionette Little, a substance abuse counselor with Pike County Schools, says they've tried everything else. For more information you can email Carl Varney at Another planning meeting will be held September 17th.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Gas Prices Up

Kentucky's average price for a gallon of regular gas is up to $3.81, but, in some areas, it's closer to $4.00 a gallon. Experts say Tropical Storm Isaac and the upcoming holiday weekend could be to blame for the sudden rise in prices. Some say, no matter how high the prices go, it's not going to stop them from hitting the road, but Triple A officials say prices should drop next week. 

Retired Kentucky State Police Trooper Dies

Forty-nine year old Rick Conn, a retired Kentucky State Police Trooper who once lived in the Ivel community of Floyd County, died Tuesday in South Carolina, where he now lives. In November 2004, a pipeline ruptured and burst into flames in Conn's neighborhood near the Floyd-Pike County line. Flames poured into Conn's SUV and set him on fire, leaving him with severe burns. Conn heard a neighbor and her 2 year old daughter screaming for help from inside their collapsing home and rushed into the house and got them to safety, before collapsing from his injuries. Conn suffered second and third degree burns on his hands, neck and face and spent about a month in the hospital. Conn received several honors following the explosion which leveled four houses and burned for an entire day.

Plans For New Letcher County Federal Prison

{Whitesburg, Kentucky}...Letcher County officials are in the process of narrowing down possible locations for the construction of a federal prison. Judge Executive Jim Ward says it looks like two choices remain; the communities of Van and Roxana. Ward said around 400 federal jobs would be created. An environmental impact study has to be completed before ground is broken for the prison. Ward says, once that's done, construction could begin in 2014 and be completed in 2018.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Earthquake Hits Eastern Kentucky

{Evarts, Kentucky}...US Geological Survey reports a 2.4 magnitude earthquake 5 miles southeast of Evarts just before 9:30 A.M. Tuesday. This is the second earthquake in eastern Kentucky in two days. Just after 4:00 A.M. Sunday, August 26th, there was a magnitude 2 earthquake 10 miles west of Hyden.

Gas Station Robbed At Gunpoint

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police are investigating an armed robbery that happened Tuesday morning at the Shell gas station at the intersection of US 23 and Cowpen Road in the Pikeville area of Pike County. Police say the suspect had on a camo mask and gloves, when he entered the store, showed a gun and demanded money before fleeing.

Groundbreaking For New Horse Trail

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Monday, Pike County officials held a groundbreaking ceremony at Bob Amos Park in Pikeville for a new horse trail they hope will draw more people seeking adventure tourism. City Manager and Tourism Chairman Donovan Blackburn said the nearly 2.5 mile trail is being funded with federal grant money that the city matched. The trail, which has been in the works for three years, is expected to open by spring of next year and will be free to use. Pikeville City Commissioner Barry Chaney says the city is looking into the possibility of having a vendor provide horse rides at the park for a fee.

Letcher County Father Charged With Manslaughter

{Jenkins, Kentucky}...Robert Sturgill is charged with manslaughter, wanton endangerment and DUI after police say he took three juveniles, two of them toddlers, on an ATV that flipped backwards while going up a steep hill in Jenkins Sunday night, resulting in the death of 2 year old Alicia Sturgill. Police suspect Sturgill was drunk. He pleaded not guilty Monday and is being held at the Letcher County Detention Center on a $500,000 bond. Police say Sturgill previously had his license suspended for DUI.

Fatal Floyd County Accident

{Hueysville, Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police say 63 year old Larrel Duncan of Hueysville was traveling on Kentucky 7 in the Hueysville community of Floyd County Monday when she lost control of her vehicle and hit a rock embankment. Duncan was pronounced dead at the scene.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Riverside Office Complex Burns

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Around 4:30 P.M. Monday afternoon, fire destroyed an office building in downtown Pikeville and sent two firefighters to the hospital with minor injuries. Officials say the Riverside Office Complex on Hambley Boulevard was empty when flames tore through the building quickly, causing severe damage.

Questcare Resumes Operations

Questcare's services in Pike, Floyd, Johnson, and Magoffin Counties have been reinstated, just weeks after the Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services suspended all of Questcare's licenses, citing mechanical issues in ambulances and a failed audit of continuing education by four employees. The Attorney General's office recently reviewed the suspension and decided KBEMS was wrong, saying "no substantial evidence was presented that Questcare could not meet its obligations." Martin County is the only county still under an order of suspension.

Historic Church Being Rebuilt

{Wurtland, Kentucky}...Crews are working to rebuild a historic church in eastern Kentucky. New wooden siding was being installed last week at the 160 year old Wurtland Union Church and Meeting House. Workers are putting the facility back together piece by piece in an effort to retain its original appearance. The structure was disassembled in 2009 after officials decided that the roof, walls and foundation couldn't be saved. Other items, including the door, original handmade wooden pews, a lectern, an altar rail, a bell and some hymnals, were saved and will be used in the rebuilt structure. Dr. Kim Harris, who has been instrumental in the rebuild, called the church a "treasure" that embodies the town's history and the cultural heritage of the region. The project is slated for completion later this year.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Chamber Of Commerce Hosts Awards Banquet

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...The Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce held its 55th Annual Awards Banquet at the East Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville Thursday, with area business receiving recognition for their contributions to eastern Kentucky. Jared Arnet, President and CEO of of the Chamber, said the Chamber has added 127 new members in the past year, and laid groundwork for more growth. The keynote speaker for the banquet was Bill Graham, President of Graham Corporate Communications. Graham spent 15 years as a theater director and producer and served as Director of Creative Affairs for Proctor and Gamble, creating teams that produced Emmy Award winning soap operas. An $82,000 check was presented to the Shriners Childrens Hospitals to Hillbilly Clan #1, Outhouse #2 and designated city and county officials.

Awards given by the Chamber include:

Outstanding Contributions toward Community Service by an Organization, given to Community Trust Bank, which was represented by Jean Hale.
Service Organization of the Year, given to Relay for Life, represented by Bridgette Brashear, Community Representative with the American Cancer Society.
Chamber Volunteer of the Year, given to Sandy Johnson of The Benefits Firm.
Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Executives Award, given to Jean Hale, with Community Trust Bank.
Business Person of the Year was awarded to Dwayne Moore.
Small Business of the Year Award was given to Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken, accepted by E – Doug Mortimer and staff.
Business of the Year, given to Kellogg’s, accepted by John Heilman, Plant Manager.
Junior Williamson Ambassador Award, given to Speaker Greg Stumbo, accepted by Leslie Combs. The Junior Williamson Memorial Ambassador Award has been given since 1991 in honor of the late Junior Williamson.
Lon B. Rogers Lifetime Achievement Award, given to Jack Sykes.
Athena Award, given to Lynette Schindler, CPA. The Athena Award is new this year.

Pikeville High Students Score Well On ACT

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Recently released ACT scores from the Kentucky Department of Education show Pikeville High School students ranked fourth in the state, while Pike County ranked 146th in the state. There were 75 juniors at Pikeville High School who scored an average composite score of 21.7. The Pikeville High School students also scored an average 22.5 in English, 20.4 in Mathematics, 21.9 in Reading and 21.1 in Science. Pike County schools tested 665 juniors who scored an average of 17.6 on the composite score on the ACT. Pike County students scored an average of 17.2 in English, 17.2 in Mathematics, 17.9 in Reading and 17.8 in Science. There were slight increases in the overall composite score statewide along with improvements in all the subject areas.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

ASPCA Seeks Control Of Pike County Animal Shelter

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...The Appalachian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has submitted a proposal to take over management of the Pike County Animal Shelter. The ASPCA issued a contract asking the Pike County Fiscal Court to let them take the shelter over. The group says they can help reduce the number of animals that are euthanized by studying other shelters run by ASPCA groups. ASPCA says they also plan to implement a more aggressive spay and neuter program to reduce the number of animals being brought in.

Eastern Kentucky Residents Face Fraud Charges

A federal grand jury has indicted 14 eastern Kentucky residents with defrauding Social Security and Medicaid out of more than $1 million. Patty Justice, Sasha DeHart and Alice Cole, all of Pike County, are among those indicted. Cole is charged with fraudulent acts, health care fraud and public money property or records, all felony charges. Justice has been indicted on charges of theft of government property and Social Security fraud and is accused of claiming disability benefits in the amount of $65,088 from July 2002 through April 2011. DeHart  is charged with fraudulent acts, health care fraud and public money property or records, all felony charges. When Dehart applied for SSI benefits in April 2007, she failed to disclose income, assets and living expenses she shared with her husband. The indictment states that
Dehart concealed the financial support she received from her husband. She was over paid $37,872.57.

Prosecutors believe Francis Terry, of McCreary County, concealed the fact she lived with her husband while improperly receiving more than $200,000 in Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid payments. Albert Terry was indicted with his wife. Henrietta Winchester, also of McCreary County, was charged with illegally receiving more than $120,000 in benefits by failing to disclose that she lived with, and received support from, her husband Denver. The two also were charged with lying to federal employees. Others charged by the grand jury are Novella Lawson, and Earl and Rebecca Johnson, of Whitley County, Lula Lewis, of Leslie County, Herman Caldwell, of Bell County, Frank Holland, of Perry County, and Sarah Binder, of Laurel County. The Johnsons allegedly received more than $73,000 in survivor benefits for a grandchild in their care but spent the money on themselves. Caldwell was charged with receiving more than $104,000 in federal disability payments even though he had a job. The health care fraud and theft charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Social Security fraud and lying charges carry a top sentence of five years.

University of Pikeville Sets Record

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...As the Fall Semester got underway the University of Pikeville reported the term began with a school record 1,246 fulltime students on campus, with nearly 400 of them being freshmen. UPike Admissions Director Gary Justice said there are also about 400 students enrolled in a dual credit program in which high school students get college credit for passing specific classes. Records were also set for returning students and masters degree students. Justice said the university is working to expand its Masters Degree offerings and open new extension campuses.

Hatfield and McCoy Geo Trail

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Interest in the Hatfield and McCoy feud has surged recently thanks to the popular History Channel miniseries detailing the accounts of the bloody feud. Now, history buffs, adventure seekers and those who are just plain curious can retrace the footsteps of these famous mountain families with the  new Hatfield and McCoy GeoTrail.

Geocaching is akin to modern-day treasure hunting, with caches placed all over the world. This Hatfield and McCoy GeoTrail includes 15 caches, placed in historic locations relating to the families and their fighting. These caches can be found in Kentucky's Pike County and in
Mingo and Logan counties in West Virginia. 

On Saturday, September 1st, a kickoff event will be held to introduce this new GeoTrail. The event will begin at 10:00 A.M. at the Williamson Coal House. Brochures will be provided that morning to collect the stamps located at each of the caches. The first 400 finders to log their completion of all caches will receive the special edition Hatfield and McCoy GeoTrail Coin.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky's second confirmed case this year of West Nile virus comes from Jefferson County. The first case was reported in Henry County. Federal health officials say there is four times the usual number of cases in a West Nile outbreak nationwide.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The mother of a western Kentucky woman who vanished in the mid-1990s while sunbathing on an Ohio River beach hasn't given up hope of solving the mystery. Sarah Teague thinks her daughter Heather's abductor is still on the loose. Sunday marks the 17th anniversary of her disappearance.

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) - Indiana residents who could pay the bulk of new tolls on Ohio River bridges leading to Kentucky say they want a voice on the agency setting those rates. None of the 15 members of the two groups that will have seats on the panel are from southern Indiana, and only 3 are from the Louisville, Ky., area.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The race between Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler and Republican challenger Andy Barr has gone negative with recent attack ads. Republicans have been trying to connect Chandler to what they consider an anti-coal agenda by the White House. Chandler has countered with an ad attacking proposed tax for millionaires.

LEXINGTON, Ky.  - All 12 members of the 1972 Olympic basketball team are planning to reunite in central Kentucky this weekend. The team's loss of the gold medal to the Soviet Union has been a source of controversy and debate for decades. The team never accepted the silver medal and remains firm in its stance that it was robbed of the gold.

LOUISVILLE, Ky.  - The 25th-ranked Louisville Cardinals begin the season with 4 of 5 starters back on their offensive line. The unit should help the Cardinals and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who threw for 2,129 yards and 14 touchdowns last season, but also had 12 interceptions. Louisville plays Kentucky on Sept. 2.

FRANKFORT, Ky.  - The Kentucky Horse Park is doing better financially and may not need support from state government in eight more years. The park's executive director told lawmakers that current income is exceeding expectations. A faltering economy in 2008 hit the horse park hard.

BRISTOL, Tenn. - Rain has washed out qualifying at Bristol Motor Speedway, which means Casey Mears will start from the pole Saturday night. Brad Keselowski will start second, followed by series points leader Greg Biffle, Joey Logano and Aric Almirola.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Benefits Fairs Scheduled

More than 2,000 people laid off from coal mines and factories in eastern Kentucky will have a chance to find out about job training and benefits at two events.  The benefits fairs are scheduled for Tuesday from 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg, and September 10th from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. at the East Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville. The fairs were organized by the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program which covers 23 eastern Kentucky counties.

Virginia Man Charged With Pike County Robbery

{Phelps, Kentucky}...Nineteen year old Christopher T. Casey of Hurley, Virginia was arrested this week after police say he robbed the Phelps Double-Kwik gas station. Kentucky State Police say Casey stole two packs of cigarettes and gas from the store early Sunday morning and returned an hour later and attempted to rob it. Casey demanded that an employee give him $100, saying the did not want to see what he had in his pocket. When the employee refused, Casey demanded $200, but the employee continued to refuse. Police say he then used his four-wheeler to bust through the front doors of the store. Once arrested, Casey escaped from a police cruiser and fled on foot. He later called police and turned himself in at the Phelps Double-Kwik. He is due in court August 30th.

Pike County Store Robbed

{Zebulon, Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police are searching for a man who robbed the Velocity Market at Zebulon Wednesday. Police say a male entered the store, brandished a weapon and demanded money, before fleeing with an undisclosed amount of cash. The man was described as being approximately 6 feet, 2 inches tall, weighing  about 280 to 300 pounds, wearing jeans, a black sweatshirt, camouflage gloves and a camouflage mask over his face.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pikeville Pathologist Suspended

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure issued an emergency suspension of Pikeville pathologist Dr. James A. Dennis on August 17th after he allegedly prescribed pain pills and other medications for people he had never seen. An investigation began in April after a patient's family member said they found 53 empty pill bottles in her possession with prescriptions for controlled substances written by Dennis in the names of five different people. Dennis said in the order that he was on the staff of the Pikeville Medical Center, but Walter May, President and CEO of the Pikeville Medical Center, says Dennis was not employed by the hospital, but had privileges to work on the medical staff. PMC attorney Pam May says those privileges ended when the board of medical licensure issued the suspension. A hearing is scheduled for December 4th.

Appeals Panel Overturns Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

{Washington, D.C.}...Tuesday, an appeals panel in Washington, D.C., in a  2-1 decision, overturned what was known as the cross-state air pollution rule, stricking down an environmental rule that would have required coal-fired power plants in Kentucky and 27 other states to cut pollution that drifts downwind and contributes to air-quality problems elsewhere. When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the rule last year, utility companies said their costs to comply would drive up electricity rates in Kentucky and other states. The rule was scheduled to go into effect in January, but several states, large power companies and others sued to stop it. The EPA estimated cleaning up the air would prevent 13,000 to 34,000 premature deaths annually, 15,000 non-fatal heart attacks, hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks and 1.8 million lost school and work days. The appeals panel said the rule exceeded EPA's authority.

Doctor's Office Closed

{Bowling Green, Kentucky}...Dr. James Bridges, a Tennessee-licensed physician working in Kentucky has been ordered to close his practice because the state Board of Medical Licensure found he was dispensing "large quantities of narcotics" to customers from all around the state. Board investigators went to Bridges' Bowling Green office Wednesday and delivered paperwork revoking his temporary permit to practice in Kentucky. Board of Medical Licensure Medical Investigator Doug Wilson says the clinic, Advanced Therapeutics, drew the attention of law enforcement when it began taking customers from as far away as Pikeville. Wilson says Bridges dispensed "large quantities" of the addictive pain reliever Oxycodone, as well as Xanax.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bank Robbery In Pike County

{South Williamson, Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police are searching for two men who robbed the US Bank at Goody in the South Williamson community of Pike County around 10:20 A.M. Tuesday morning. Police say the men walked into the bank armed with guns and demanded money before leaving on a green ATV with an undisclosed amount of cash. One male was dressed in dark clothing, the other in light clothing. Both had coverings on their faces. The robbery is being investigated by Kentucky State Police. Anyone with information is being asked to call 606-433-7711 or 800-222-5555.

Doctor Restricted From Prescribing Controlled Substances

{Elkhorn City, Kentucky}...According to a filing by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure, Dr. Kermit D. Gibson, an Elkhorn City physician, has been restricted from prescribing, dispensing or professionally utilizing controlled substances, effective August 15th. Documents say the decision came following a December 2011 tip to the Medicaid Fraud Hotline which alleged Gibson was running a “pill mill.” A board investigation found concerns about patient age, early refills and addictive drug combinations. There has been a string of disciplinary actions involving probations against Dr. Gibson since the mid-1980s.

UPike Football Player Arrested

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...A University of Pikeville football player was arrested early Saturday morning on a marijuana trafficking charge after Pikeville Police Officer Brian McQuire responded to UPike’s Wickham Hall and found items, including jars containing 4.1 ounces of marijuana, a pair of digital scales, a marijuana pipe and $1,589 in a box. Travon Oneal Hutchinson, 23, of Rancho Cucamonga, California was arrested and charged with trafficking in marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. He is due back in court on September 11th. University of Pikeville officials said Tuesday that Hutchinson is no longer with the team.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Bank Robbery In Floyd County

{Allen, Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police are searching for a man who robbed the Citizens National Bank in the Allen area of Floyd County at knife point Monday afternoon. Police say the man walked in armed with a knife, demanded cash, and got away on foot. The suspect is described as being approximately 5'6" tall and thin build. He was wearing a white thermal shirt, blue jeans, gloves and a black hood covering his face and head. Anyone with information is asked to contact Kentucky State Police Post 9 Pikeville at (606)433-7711 or 1-800-222-5555.

Aetna To Buy Coventry Health Care

Aetna, the third-biggest U.S. health plan, has agreed to buy Coventry Health Care for about $5.6 billion. The companies said Monday that Aetna will pay $42.08 a share for Bethesda, Maryland-based Coventry, including $27.30 in cash and 0.3885 Aetna share. That represents a 20 percent premium over Coventry's closing price of $34.94 on Friday, which gave the company a market value of $4.68 billion. Including debt, the deal is valued at $7.3 billion. Coventry is one of four companies hired by the state to manage care for the 560,000 Kentuckians enrolled in the state Medicaid program. Aetna expects to close the transaction in mid-2013, and it will then begin integrating the two companies in stages.

Fatal Shooting In Corbin

{Corbin, Kentucky}...Bill Cox, 56, of Corbin, was  charged Monday with murder after police say he fatally shot 21 year old Ryan M. Abner, his 15 year old daughter's boyfriend, who allegedly had been abusive to the girl. Corbin Police Chief David Campbell says there had been a history of tension between the two men because of the alleged abuse, and that Abner reportedly had threatened to kill Cox. Campbell says Abner and Cox's daughter had a child together and lived in a home that Cox was paying for, and, just after 11:00 A.M. Monday, Cox went to the house and there was a confrontation. Cox, who had borrowed a pistol, allegedly shot through the window of a vehicle Abner was in, hitting him twice in the head. Cox then called police to say he had shot Abner.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Four Charged With Unemployment Fraud

{Prestonsburg, Kentucky}...Patrick Lee Hall, 30, of Melvin, Brian L. Kidd, 40, of Banner, Ronnie Joe Endicott, 32, of Prestonsburg, and Donna J. Jewell are each charged with unemployment fraud. Prosecutors say each knowingly made false statements and withheld material facts in order to obtain unemployment insurance benefits to which they were not entitled. Jewell is accused of trying to obtain the largest sum of $2,707.54. Making false statements to obtain benefits is a class D felony, and, if found guilty, each face up to five years in prison.

Former UK Player Dies

{London, Kentucky}...G.J. Smith, a former University of Kentucky men's basketball player and longtime high school coach and athletics director in Laurel County, died Friday of a heart attack at the age of 59. As a forward for the Wildcats, Smith played in 49 games over three seasons from 1972 to 1975 and averaged 3 points a game. UK fans who remember Smith's tenure might also remember longtime UK announcer Cawood Ledford's call, "G.J. from the corner!," Ledford's description of where Smith took most of his shots. In 1997, Smith was inducted into the Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Several colleagues nominated him to the Dawahares/Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2009. Smith retired as athletics director at South Laurel High School in 2008.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Former Drug Director Accepts Plea Deal

{Prestonsburg, Kentucky}...Former Perry County Drug Court Director 54 year old Teresa Huff of Cornettsville accepted a plea deal during a court appearance on August 15th after being indicted in May. The Kentucky Attorney general’s office handled the case. Huff allegedly wrote personal checks from a fund belonging to the Perry County Unite Coalition, of which she was the treasurer. The indictment alleged she embezzled over $11,000 over two years. The money was from Operation UNITE funds that were set up to help addicts get into treatment. The plea reduces her possible sentence from 10 years to 5. According to the plea agreement Huff would be on supervised probation for five years as well as paying restitution. Her final sentencing is set for October 4th in Floyd County under special judge John Caudill.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Drug Indictments In Eastern Kentucky

By late Thursday afternoon, five indictments were unsealed charging 22 defendants, including five pain clinic owners and six doctors, with offenses related to prescription drugs, money laundering and health care fraud. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, nine indictments allege Houston, Texas doctor 46 year old Linda J. Roos conspired to unlawfully distribute pills to Pike County residents, prescribing more than 125,000 Oxycodone pills from September 2006 until July 2011. She allegedly faxed many of her prescriptions to Marrowbone Clinic Pharmacy and Marrowbone Hometown Pharmacy, and Roos often allowed patients to obtain a prescription by faxing her a form. The indictment says James Ronald Huffman was a pharmacist at Marrowbone Clinic Pharmacy until the owner found discrepancies, at which time Huffman opened the nearby Marrowbone Hometown Pharmacy. The indictment notes that audits by the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy found huge shortages of controlled substances at both pharmacies during Huffman’s tenure. Huffman was found dead in his bed inside a room at the Best Western Motel in Chapmanville, West Virginia around 11:00 A.M. Thursday. His body was sent to the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy. In another indictment, a Pikeville pharmacy manager, 58 year old Beverly Lockhart, allegedly conspired with Pikeville doctor Thad Manning, 46, to illegally sell prescription drug samples. Another indictment alleges Tammy Cantrell, 39, and Shelby Lackey, 50, co-owners of Caremore pain clinic in Johnson County, conspired with a doctor to distribute Hydrocodone to Johnson County residents, netting nearly $2 million in drug proceeds. Another indictment alleges Ray Douglas Stapleton, 34, and his wife Tina Marie Stapleton, 33, the co-owners of Auto Accident and Health Care in Auxier, conspired with two doctors in a scheme to unlawfully dispense Oxycodone, Hydrocodone and Xanax to Johnson County residents and made approximately $1.5 million from July 2010 through June 2012. In another indictment, Jody Robinson, 37, a pain clinic owner in Florida, conspired with a doctor to launder money and illegally dispense prescription drugs to patients from Boyd, Greenup, and Lawrence Counties. The clinic allegedly made approximately $2 million in just over a year.

UK Coach Helps With West Liberty Fundraiser

{West Liberty, Kentucky}...Hundreds came out Friday morning to see a live broadcast of Kentucky Sports Radio and to meet UK Wildcat Coach John Calipari during an event in West Liberty to raise money to help with recovery efforts from the March 2nd tornadoes. This was Coach Cal's first visit to West Liberty since the tornado hit. Calipari agreed to match up to $25,000 in donations during the hour he was on the air, and Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones said that took less than 45 minutes, for a total of $50.000.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pike County Murder Case Sent To Grand Jury

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...During a preliminary hearing Thursday, Pike District Judge Darrel Mullins found enough evidence to bound the murder case against 52 year old Bruce Dillon of Aflex over to a grand jury. Dillon is accused of killing his wife, Sherry Dillon, who went missing in early July, and burying her remains in a freezer on their property. Dillon has pleaded not guilty to murder and abuse of a corpse. He is being held without bond at the Pike County Detention Center. Dillon was arrested August 10th.

Jenkins, Kentucky Native Dies

Jenkins, Kentucky native 75 year old Burl Osborne, former chairman of the board of The Associated Press and long-time executive at Belo Corp., died Wednesday at a Dallas hospital after a sudden illness. Osborne, who lived in Dallas, was a member of the AP board for 14 years, serving as chairman from 2002 to 2007. He worked for 25 years at Belo, serving as editor and publisher of the Dallas Morning News, president of Belo's publishing division, and as a member of its board. He retired as publisher emeritus of the Morning News in 2007. Before joining Belo, Osborne worked for the AP for two decades, starting as a correspondent in Bluefield, West Virginia and rising to managing editor, a post he held from 1977 to 1980. Osborne began his career while still a college student with a part-time reporting job at Kentucky's Ashland Independent.

Woman Turns 104 Years Old

{Phelps, Kentucky}...Della Dotson Griffey of Phelps turned 104 years old Thursday. Griffey was born in Pike County in 1908 and rode on horseback from Phelps to Pikeville where she attended Pikeville College. She and her husband of sixty two years operated Phelps Plumbing and Electric for forty years. She celebrated her birthday with family and friends at the Peter Creek Presbyterian Church.

Questcare Appealing Suspension

A hearing is set for Friday for Questcare officials to appeal an order of suspension after the Kentucky Board of EMS suspended all of Questcare's licenses after inspections showed mechanical issues on several ambulances earlier this month. Questcare serves Pike, Floyd, Johnson, Martin, and Magoffin Counties.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Beshear Announces Export Coal Deal

{Frankfort, Kentucky}...Wednesday, Governor Steve Beshear announced a 25-year, $7 billion agreement between India's Abhijeet Group and and New Jersey-based FJS Energy LLC to buy coal through Kentucky-based affiliates FJSE Marshall Inc. and FJSE River Coal from Kentucky-based Booth Energy Group and River Trading Co. The private-sector agreement could help India avert future power outages by importing 9 million tons of coal a year from Kentucky and West Virginia. Abhijeet Group has been buying coal from Indonesia and Australia. Booth credited state Representative Keith Hall, D-Phelps, for arranging the deal. The FJS Energy company's Web site lists Hall as a board director. India is a major coal producer, but it can't keep up with demand from steel mills and power plants without imports. Last week, power outages in India affected over 600 million people.

Man Indicted For Theft

{Jackson, Kentucky}...A little more than a week after he finished serving his prison sentence for vote buying, Michael Salyers, a former candidate for magistrate in Breathitt County has been indicted again for a theft and burglary at the Jackson Water Treatment Plant. Salyers says he started working at the water plant in October, but was let go after he was sentenced in a federal vote buying case in May. He says the allegations stem from a missing lawn mower and weed eater that apparently were found in his mother's basement. Salyers says he had forgotten about them being there.

“Livability Grant” To Revitalize Hindman

{Hindman, Kentucky}...Governor Steve Beshear has announced a grant for a public transit hub coming to Hindman. Beshear said the “Livability Grant” will revitalize downtown Hindman, by renovating the old Knott County Jail into a public transportation hub and parking structure for Leslie, Knott, Letcher and Perry counties. Community Action Council members say the just more than $5 million grant is something they applied for nearly two years ago.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Golden Years Rest Home Report Released

A report released this week by Kentucky Protection & Advocacy found a long list of problems at the Golden Years Rest Home in Letcher County. The rest home was closed by the state in September, and its former administrator, James F. Tackett, was convicted of theft, exploitation of an adult and tax fraud. Federal prosecutors say Tackett stole more than $92,000 out of nearly 400 federal checks between 2007 and 2009. He was sentenced in February to two years in prison for federal theft of social security funds and received 10 years probation for the state theft, exploitation and tax fraud charges. The report says residents lived in filthy conditions, suffered verbal abuse from staff and often lacked adequate food and hot water. The home's recent troubles included the 2007 death of Larry Bruce Huff, a resident who wandered away from the home and froze. The facility was originally built in 1915 to serve as a hospital. James Tackett's grandson, Jonah, who was administrator at the home when it shut down, was indicted in July 2011 on charges of bribing a witness and tampering with a witness. He was later placed in a diversion program.

Elkhorn City Man Arrested

{Elkhorn City, Kentucky}...Elkhorn City Police Officer Randall Hill was on patrol Sunday when he spotted 30 year old Nathaniel Ray “Tater” Tackett lying naked and rolling around in a yard near the Elkhorn City Elementary School. Tackett had a laceration to his head and foot. While emergency medical services were en route to the scene, Tackett’s wife, Johnda Owens, told Elkhorn City Police Officer Joey Rose that Tackett came after her with an axe saying he was going to kill her. Owens said Tackett told her he had shot Mackie Robinson and that she and Tackett had argued about all day before he came at her with an axe. Owens said she hit Tackett in the head with a shovel but intended to hit him in the shoulder to scare him away. Owens says the axe then fell out of his hand and struck him in the foot. Police say Tackett admitted he had been drinking and using bath salts. Tackett was lodged in the Pike County Detention Center on charges, including Indecent exposure, terroristic threatening and assault. A pretrial hearing is set for October 11th.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Pike County Business Robbed At Gunpoint

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Police in Pikeville are searching for a man who robbed Skyline Liquors at gunpoint Friday night. Police say a man dressed in camouflage and wearing a black mask walked up to the drive thru window, pushed a handgun in the window, and demanded cash before fleeing with an undetermined amount of cash. If you have any information, you should call Pikeville Police at 606-437-6236.

Man Pleads Not Guilty In Pike County Murder

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Bruce Dillon pleaded not guilty to a murder charge Monday after police say they found a body outside his home in the Aflex community of Pike County. The body was sent to the Medical Examiner's Office in Frankfort. Dillon's wife Sherry was reported missing last month. Dillon is being held without bond in the Pike County Detention Center.

Martin County Clerk's Office Undergoing Audit

{Inez, Kentucky}...An audit of Martin County Clerk Carol Sue Mills' office shows several thousand dollars missing. Mills, who has been clerk for 23 years, says her daughters, Tonya and Tammy, may be to blame. Mills says she does not know an exact amount that is missing, but it could be upwards of $20,000, and, once the audit is completed, a formal investigation will be opened. Mills says she expects the audit to take a couple more weeks.

Floyd County Pharmacy Robbed

{Prestonsburg, Kentucky}...Prestonsburg Police are investigating after surveillance video shows two men breaking into the Glyn View Plaza Rite Aid early Sunday morning and carrying out items from the pharmacy. Police say the men broke in through the roof and cut the power supply to the building in order to turn off the alarm system. Detective Adam Dixon says the theives got out of the store with not only the money safe, but the safe in the pharmacy that holds scheduled narcotics.

Perry County Woman Charged With Escape

{Hazard, Kentucky}...Sharon Hensley, 33, of Hazard, was one of four people who allegedly took part in staging a fake robbery in which they got away with $17,000 from UBet in Hazard in April. While out of jail on bond, Henlsey fled from home incarceration on May 14th and remained on the run until she was caught by troopers with the Kentucky State Police on August 2nd. Police say, on August 9th, she attempted another escape when she jumped from an inmate transport van in the parking lot outside the jail and ran to the Walmart parking lot nearby. Hensley is now also facing charges of second-degree escape and resisting arrest, and is currently lodged in the Kentucky River Regional Jail.

Another Arrest In Letcher County Murder

{Whitesburg, Kentucky}...Twenty-four year old Austin Ison of Pert Creek was arrested Friday night and charged with complicity to commit murder and several other charges in connection with the murder of 34 year old Drad Fleming in Letcher County. Ison is being held at the Letcher County Jail without bond. Stephanie Fleming and James Maggard have pleaded not guilty. Fleming's badly burned body was found June 23rd on Black Mountain near Eolia.

Body Found In Ohio River

{Catlettsburg, Kentucky}...Catlettsburg Police say the body of a white male, about 40 years old, was found in the Ohio River just before noon Sunday. Police say the death does not seem suspicious at this time, but police are investigating. The body was taken to the Boyd County coroner.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Couple Allegedly Steal Former Officer's Vehicle

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...A Pike County Grand Jury has indicted 35 year old Denver Stewart III of Chloe Road, Pikeville and 39 year old Jennifer Hodges of Ashcamp on a charge of theft. Stewart faces an additional charge of being a persistent felony offender in the first degree. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison. Police say, on August 1st, they stole a vehicle belonging to retired Pikeville Police Officer Gordon Carter. Police say Stewart and Hodges were traveling northbound on U.S. 23 at the Buckleys Creek intersection in Pikeville when they collided with another vehicle. Carter, who witnessed the collision, exited his vehicle to check on the driver of that vehicle. Stewart and Hodges exited their vehicle and fled the scene in Carter's vehicle. Stewart was convicted in Pike County on a theft charge in 2004, a criminal mischief charge in 2007 and in 1997 for assaulting a police officer. Stewart was convicted in Floyd County in 2004 on a third-degree burglary charge. A pair of separate indictments, both from 2012, charging Stewart with theft are still pending in Pike Circuit Court. If anyone has any information on the whereabouts of Stewart and Hodges, they are asked to contact the Pikeville Police Department.

Pike County Man Charged With Murder

{Aflex, Kentucky}...Bruce Dillon has been lodged in the Pike County Detention Center charged with murder after the body of a woman was found in the Aflex community Friday night in the same area where Sherry Dillon was last seen more than a month ago. The body has been taken to Frankfort for an autopsy and positive identification.

Woman Charged With Assaulting Police Officer

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Veronica Caines, also known as Veronica L. Bowling Holbrooks, 29, of Fife Fork Road, Pikeville, has been charged with assaulting a police officer. Pikeville Police Officer David Adkins says he was attempting to arrest Caines on an indictment warrant outside the Pikeville Walmart Thursday evening when she identified herself as Jenna Bailey. Caines was placed under arrest, but she refused to be seated in the back seat of the officer's vehicle. Pikeville Police Officer Mike Riddle assisted Adkins in physically placing her inside the car. Caines began kicking the cruiser's windows and hitting them with her handcuffs, while screaming obscenities. Caines allegedly threatened the officers saying, “You pigs are dead. My father has a gun and a bullet with your name on it.” Police say they were forced to pepper spray Caines and place her ankles in shackles. When they arrived at the Pike County Detention Center, jail personnel assisted in removing her from the cruiser as she spat on the officers.

Man Dies After Being Struck By Vehicle

{Hazard, Kentucky}...State Police say 57 year old Thomas Wesley Hall of Hazard died at the Hazard ARH after being struck by a vehicle driven by Ricky J. Campbell of Bonnyman while trying to cross the road near the Daniel Boone Motor Inn around 9:40 P.M. Friday night. Campbell and his two passengers were not injured.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Floyd County Road Worker Arrested

Police say Floyd County road worker James Branham and Robert Skeens were pulled over Thursday night in a county dump truck after police received a call saying the driver appeared to be intoxicated. When police pulled them over, they searched the truck and found items used to make meth. Police say both of the men denied knowing the items were in the truck or how they got there. Both men were arrested and charged with possession of meth precursors.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pike County Man To Appear In Court

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Everett Paul Norman is scheduled to appear in court in Pikeville Friday. Police say, in June, he fatally shot Jesse Church of Harold at a home on Pond Creek Road in the Draffin community of Pike County. Norman has pleaded not guilty. Last month, Norman claimed self-defense under the "Castle Doctrine."

Coal Fees To Be Returned

{Frankfort, Kentucky}...Thirty-four counties will soon be sharing $580,000 collected from fees paid by coal companies. The refunds range from $62 for McCreary County to $111,948 for Pike County. Eleven counties will receive more than $23,000 each. The Department for Natural Resources collects mining permit fees and acreage fees and returns a portion to coal-producing counties to pay for community projects.

Coal Miners Appreciation Week Set

Beginning Sunday, August 12th, coal miners across Kentucky will celebrate the second annual Coal Miners Appreciation Week. The event, which is held during the third week of August, was established by the 2011 Kentucky General Assembly with the passage of House Bill 269, sponsored by State Representative Rick Nelson of Bell County. Based on state data from 2009, coal employs 23,340 people directly and indirectly providing three additional jobs for every miner employed in an average year, and the average weekly wage for coal miners in Kentucky was $1,214.

Perry County Murder Charge Dismissed

{Hazard, Kentucky}...The murder charges against 21 year old Cory Carroll of Busy were dismissed after the prosecution’s key piece of evidence was ruled inadmissible. Carroll was indicted on the charges in May, nine months after a head-on collision on Highway 15 in Bonnyman killed 28 year old Arizona Vires and injured Carroll and two others. He was allegedly driving under the influence at the time of the crash. During a hearing in Perry Circuit Court Thursday, Carroll’s attorney, Kevin Johnson, argued that the results of a urine test taken from Carroll following the crash should not be admissible as evidence. The sample was taken at the University of Kentucky Hospital, and the results in question showed that Carroll had marijuana in his system at the time of the collision. The original sample, however, was not preserved or sent to the state lab for certification before being discarded.

Letcher County Churches Vandalized

Police are investigating after the Premium Baptist Church and Colson Baptist Church, both in Letcher County, were vandalized Thursday. Around 5:00 A.M., someone called police to report that a window at the Premium Baptist Church had been broken. Later, police received a call that a door had been torn off its hinges at the Colson Baptist Church. Police say nothing appeared to be stolen from either church.

Food City Applies For Alcohol License

{Whitesburg, Kentucky}...The Food City grocery store in Whitesburg has become the first business to apply for a license to sell packaged alcohol after residents recently voted more than 2-1 to allow packaged alcohol sales in the city. The city is expected to qualify for two packaged stores that will be able to sell liquor, wine, and beer. 

Former Perry County Magistrate Gets Probation

{Hazard, Kentucky}...Former Perry County Magistrate 55 year old Pearl “Bubby” Combs was sentenced Thursday to probation after entering an Alford Plea to a misdemeanor charge for receiving stolen property. Police say Combs, the former owner of the Bubby Combs BP in Darfork, took possession of $10,000 worth of diesel fuel that he knew was stolen in 2008. Combs served one term as magistrate in Perry County’s second magisterial district from 2006 to 2010.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tuberculosis Confirmed In Letcher County

{Whitesburg, Kentucky}...Kentucky River District Health Department officials say there have recently been three active cases of tuberculosis in Letcher County. Officials say when they find out about a tuberculosis case, they contact the individual and find out where they have been and who they have been in contact with. Renee Neace, the health education director at the Kentucky River District Health Department, says all three cases are related, meaning they are the same strain of tuberculosis. A Letcher County Jail inmate has been taken to a hospital outside of Letcher County after contracting tuberculosis. Health department officials say they are taking all the necessary precautions at the Letcher County Jail to make sure that these cases do not spread. The inmates and staff have all been notified and tested, and they will be tested again in eight weeks. The other two have been on medication and are no longer contagious. Kentucky River District Health Department officials say in their seven county coverage area, they usually only see one tuberculosis case a year.

Coal Layoffs Hurt Tax Revenues

{Inez, Kentucky}...Martin County Judge-Executive Kelly Callaham says going into month three of several county mine shutdowns and more than 100 layoffs, the county's coal severance tax revenues are already down $100,000. Callaham says a projected half million dollar annual shortfall calling for possible service cutbacks is not far down the road. The judge says local businesses are now feeling the ripple of the coal layoffs.

Letcher County Couple Plead Not Guilty

{Whitesburg, Kentucky}...Stephanie Fleming and James Maggard were in Letcher County circuit court Wednesday, where they each pleaded not guilty in the murder of Drad Fleming. Fleming was indicted on a complicity to commit murder charge and Maggard on a murder charge. Police say, in June, they killed Fleming and set his truck on fire. Fleming and Maggard will be back in court on January 11th.

Man Pleads Not Guilty To Magoffin County Murder

{Salyersville, Kentucky}...Investigators say Jonathan Watkins fatally shot his stepfather Magoffin County Deputy Jailer Albert Bloomfield Sunday. Watkins has pleaded not guilty to murder and will return to court Monday. Funeral services for Albert Franklin Bloomfield will be conducted Friday, August 10, 2012 at 11:00 A.M. at the Salyersville Funeral Home in Salyersville, Kentucky.

PRIDE Coordinator Honored

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Pike County is the largest and most rural county in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. One man has made it his mission to keep it clean. Pike County PRIDE Coordinator Jimmy Dale Sanders was honored by the Pike County Government on Tuesday, August 7th, for his tireless work in regard
to the beautification of Pike County. Sanders received the Gen. James E. Bickford Pike County Environmental Award for the many endeavors he takes on as PRIDE Coordinator. Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford said, “He does a lot to be commended for. His job is not easy and he does it very well.” Sanders also received a letter and signed photograph from Congressman Hal Rogers who, along with Bickford, started the PRIDE program in eastern Kentucky. “You raise the bar high,” Rogers stated in his letter to Sanders. “We can all be proud we have someone like you working for the betterment of our environment.” Pike County has earned either first or second-place in the last six roadside cleanup competitions. Sanders accepted the award on behalf of all the volunteers saying, “Without them, nothing I do could be possible.”

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pike County Fiscal Court Approves Commercial Air Service

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...By a 5-2 vote Tuesday, the Pike County Fiscal Court passed a resolution asking for $1 million in multi-county coal severance money for commercial air service at the Pikeville-Pike County Airport. Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President Jared Arnett says it's a sign of progressive vision that creates a positive business environment for local industry and new industry looking to locate in the area. However, some others were not so positive. District 6 Magistrate Chris Harris said the overall success rate for this program is thirty percent, and that's not the kind of investment he would make with his money.

Pike County Church Burglarized

{Shelbiana, Kentucky}...Pike County Sheriff's Deputy Donnie Hall, who is also the pastor at the Voice of Victory Church in  Shelbiana, says at least two burglars stole the church's air-conditioning unit either Friday or Saturday night. The unit is estimated to be worth about four thousand dollars. Hall says the church has been burglarized once before, and he's planning to increase security.

Hands Of Coal Rally Set

Joe Harris is organizing a Hands of Coal rally that would line 17 miles of highway from the Knox-Bell county line to the Cumberland Gap Tunnel. Harris says miners, businesses and churches have all signed up to be part of the event on Saturday, August 11th. He says he knows of church buses carrying miners from Pike, Knox, Letcher, Perry, Leslie, Bell and Harlan counties. He is hoping for 20,000 participants. Harris says the plan is for people to line U.S. 25E, then join hands at 2:30 P.M., when a prayer will be said for coal miners, the coal industry and eastern Kentucky communities.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Cabinet Seeks Contempt Order Dismissal

{Frankfort, Kentucky}...The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services has asked U.S. Senior Judge Karl Forester to dissolve the contempt order he entered against the state agency. Judge Forester held the cabinet in contempt July 16th after he ruled that it did not comply with a court order to process thousands of requests by patients of Appalachian Regional Healthcare to switch Medicaid managed-care companies. The contempt order stems from a lawsuit ARH filed against Coventry Cares. An attorney for the cabinet apologized to Forester in a motion filed Friday saying, "Counsel apologizes to the court for the cabinet's inadvertent failure to discern that the court wanted the cabinet to move members prior to an open enrollment period. The cabinet would never knowingly and intentionally violate a direct court order." Forester's contempt order did not require the cabinet to complete processing the transfers in July, but he ordered the cabinet to proceed with a planned open-enrollment period for all Kentucky Medicaid patients that is set to begin August 20th.

Perry County Stabbing Victim Dies

{Allias, Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police are investigating after 51 year old Jerry L. Combs was found stabbed inside his home on Walker Branch Road in the Allias Community of Perry County Saturday night. Combs was found lying on the living room floor by his live-in girlfriend when she came home from shopping. Combs was transported to the Appalachian Regional Medical Center in Hazard, where he was later pronounced dead.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Statewide Courthouse Closings

{Frankfort, Kentucky}...Courthouses will be closed statewide and all court services will be unavailable Monday, August 6th, as the Kentucky Judicial Branch shuts down for the first of three furlough days in 2012. This will be the first time since Kentucky’s modern court system was formed in 1976 that the Judicial Branch must close courthouse doors to balance its budget. The furloughs will affect only non-elected court personnel, who will be off work without pay as part of the Judicial Branch’s Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Reduction Plan. The entire court system will be closed Monday, August 6th, Tuesday, September 4th and Monday, October 15th. This includes the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Circuit Court, District Court, Offices of Circuit Court Clerk, the Administrative Office of the Courts and all court services, including Pretrial Services, Drug Court, the Court Designated Worker Program, Court Interpreting Services, the State Law Library and driver license branches.

Magoffin County Deputy Jailer Killed

{Salyersville, Kentucky}...Police are investigating after they say a man fatally shot a Magoffin County Deputy Jailer around 3:30 P.M. Sunday afternoon. The Magoffin County Sheriff's Office confirms 45 year old Albert Bloomfield was killed inside his home on Maple Street in Salyersville. Bloomfield was pronounced dead on the scene. The Sheriff's department arrested 31 year old Jonathan Watkins and charged him with murder of a police officer. Watkins is Bloomfield's stepson. The Magoffin County Coroner says it appears Bloomfield was shot several times. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Former Eastern Kentucky University President Dies

Former Eastern Kentucky University President Hanly Funderburk died Friday evening in  Alabama at the age of 81. Funderburk guided the University from 1985 until his retirement in 1998. Despite difficult budgetary circumstances, the Funderburk presidency was marked by enrollment growth, new academic programs and physical expansion of the campus.

Luallen Considering Political Run

{Fancy Farm, Kentucky}...Former state Auditor Crit Luallen announced Saturday her intention as a likely candidate for governor in 2015 while at the same time ruling out speculation that she might run for the U.S. Senate. While making rounds at the Fancy Farm picnic, Luallen, who also served as executive cabinet secretary under former Governor Paul Patton, made it clear that she is considering a run to replace term-limited Governor Steve Beshear. In making the statement, Luallen quelled widespread speculation that she would challenge Republican U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell in his 2014 re-election bid.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Ambulance Services Respond To Questcare EMS Shutdown

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Elkhorn Ambulance Service and Tran-Star Ambulance Service, both in Pike County, say they're prepared to provide service to those who need it following the shutdown of Questcare EMS. Tran-Star Ambulance Service is in the process of applying for a permanent Certificate of Need for Magoffin County. Tran-Star is also offering employment to first responders, EMTs and paramedics who now may be out of work. The Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services announced Thursday that all of Questcare’s licenses had been suspended.

KSP Searching For Missing Woman

{Belfry, Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police are asking for the public’s help in locating the whereabouts of 44 year old Sherry “Sissy” Gauze Dillon. The family of Dillon contacted KSP July 16th to report her missing. She was last seen at her residence in Belfry the morning of July 7th. Dillon is described as having white/blonde hair and brown eyes, wearing eyeglasses and weighing 125 lbs. with a slim build. Anyone with information on Dillon’s whereabouts is asked to contact KSP Post 9, in Pikeville, at (800) 222-5555 or (606) 433-7711.

Attorney General Seeking To Drop Lawsuit

{David, Kentucky}...The Kentucky Attorney General's Office sued The David School in May over concerns it was being mismanaged. A statement released by the school on Friday says the AG's office will seek to dismiss the lawsuit and the office "acknowledges that the newly appointed board is properly running the school." The school was founded by New York native Daniel Greene. The Attorney General's office suspected that Greene may have used his position to misappropriate school assets for his own use. The David School is an eastern Kentucky high school for at-risk students.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Fatal Crash In Pike County

{Caney, Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police say 47 year old Barry Kent Johnson of Indian Creek was killed Thursday when the 12-wheel dump truck he was driving was struck by an 18-wheel coal truck driven by Shawn Keairns near the Double Kwik gas station on U.S. 23 in the Caney area of Pike County. The 12-wheel truck caught fire and overturned, coming to a rest on the southbound shoulder of the highway. Police say Johnson was attempting to avoid colliding with a vehicle that was turning left into the gas station. Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene. Keairns was taken to Pikeville Medical Center with minor injuries.

Board Suspends Qusetcare EMS License

{Frankfort, Kentucky}...The Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services has suspended the license of Qusetcare EMS. The ambulance company serves Floyd, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin and Pike counties. The KBEMS says the suspension was necessary to protect the public's health, safety and welfare. The suspensions will remain in place until any appeals are completed and the board determines to retract the order or take final disciplinary action. An investigation began after some of the ambulances were transporting patients with no air conditioning in a heat wave. Mike Poynter, director of Kentucky's Board of Emergency Medical Services, says they could have temporarily suspended the company's license after 13 Questcare units were pulled off the road in June for air conditioning or other mechanical issues.

Man Arrested On Pike County Drug Charge

{South Williamson, Kentucky}...Pike County Sheriff's Deputies say 31 year old Tyrone Davis of Williamson, West Virginia had been on the run for several weeks after being indicted on a drug trafficking charge in Pike County. He was taken into custody Tuesday in South Williamson. Pike County Sheriff's Deputy Billy McCoy says new charges of felony fleeing and wanton endangerment have been filed against Tyrone Davis, as well as his brother, 22 year old Justin Davis. McCoy says they attempted to run over him at the Southside Mall when they fled into West Virginia. Justin Davis has not been arrested.

Letcher County Inmates Indicted

{Whitesburg, Kentucky}...A Letcher County grand jury has indicted 42 year old Joni Rachelle Miracle on a charge of complicity to promote contraband in a jail. Miracle, a Whitesburg jail inmate, has been accused of swallowing a prescription bottle and later regurgitating it to take some of the pills. Cellmates, 24 year old Brittany Looney and 34 year old Erica Blair, were also indicted. Letcher County jailer Don McCall says a jail employee overheard the women talking about drugs and what sounded like someone snorting.

Parole Denied For Letcher County Man

The Kentucky Parole Board has denied parole for Samuel Collier, a Letcher County man convicted of manslaughter in the 2010 shooting death of Mark Sturgill in Jenkins. Collier was accused of shooting Sturgill, a field maintenance engineer for KET, in the head. Sturgill was taken to Whitesburg ARH Hospital, where he died. Collier would have been eligible for parole in September. He was sentenced to ten years in prison and will be up for parole again in two years.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Two Indicted For Copper Theft, Criminal Trespassing And Tampering

{Prestonsburg, Kentucky}...James Mace, 22, of Pikeville, and Johnathan Crider, 39, of Auxier, were indicted last month. Mace and Crider were allegedly stripping copper from stolen telephone lines at an abandoned strip mine on May 15th when they were spotted by a Floyd County sheriff’s deputy who began pursuing them after they fled in a vehicle driven by Mace. Mace ran head-on into a vehicle driven by Brenda Montgomery of Jackson. Montgomery later died at Highlands Regional Medical Center, and her passenger, Elsie Oakley, was airlifted to Cabell Huntington Hospital. Mace and Crider now face charges for the events leading up to the wreck. Both men face charges for receiving stolen property for being in possession of AT&T phone cable, second-degree criminal trespassing for being on property belonging to Blackhawk Mining, and tampering with physical evidence. Mace also faces a count of first-degree fleeing or evading police and two counts first-degree wanton endangerment.

Former Chamber Of Commerce Director Indicted

{Prestonsburg, Kentucky}...On July 18th, a Floyd County grand jury indicted Amanda Stumbo, 32, of McDowell, charging that, while she was serving as director of the Floyd County Chamber of Commerce, she committed two felony offenses of second-degree forgery and theft by unlawful taking. The indictment states that, from September 2010 though November 2011, Stumbo signed the names of board members of the Floyd County Chamber of Commerce to checks without their knowledge or consent and that she took property that belonged to the chamber valued at more than $500. Stumbo left her position as director in October 2011. If convicted, she could receive 1-to-5 years imprisonment for each charge and fines of $1,000 to $10,000.

Perry County Man Convicted

{Hazard, Kentucky}...Tuesday evening, a Perry County jury convicted 38 year old Tracy Napier of Bonnyman of first-degree assault and recommended he be sentenced to 10 years in prison. Napier was originally charged with attempted murder stemming from a September 2010 shooting that left Carl Holbrook seriously injured. According to testimony during the trial from Paul Wooton, who was with Holbrook at the time of the shooting, Holbrook was unarmed when Napier shot him first in the leg, and only returned fire after Wooton tossed him a pistol. Formal sentencing is scheduled for September 6th.