Sunday, September 30, 2012

ASPCA Proposal On Hold

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...ASPCA official Cindy May Johnson says the Applachian Society for The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals offered in July to take over the Pike County Animal Shelter. In May, Pike County Attorney Roland Case said several county administrators, dating back to Karen Gibson, have asked the Pike County Humane Society to take over the shelter. Friday, Pike County Deputy Judge-Executive John Doug Hayes said the offer has been placed on hold. Hayes has issued a letter to all local animal welfare organizations suggesting members for a shelter advisory board, including officials from each city in Pike County, along with public health officials and representatives of the welfare organizations. Hayes and Johnson met Thursday to dicuss the proposal. Johnson says the ASPCA expected a quicker response, and the letter seems to be a slowing down of the process. Johnson says, when it takes so long to get things done, animals continue to suffer needlessly. Hayes says he's concerned that, even with the ASPCA takeover, the county would still be responsible for the shelter.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pike County Student Killed

{Robinson Creek, Kentucky}...Shelby Valley High School junior Kaitlyn Kiser was killed in a crash in the Robinson Creek Road area in Pike County Friday night. Police say wet roads could have been a factor in the crash. The school postponed Saturday night's homecoming dance in respect for the family.

Sodomy Case Sent To Grand Jury

{Hazard, Kentucky}...The cases against Susan K. Jamison, 37, and Thomas E. Colwell, 20, both of Bonnyman, have been sent to the Perry County grand jury. Both appeared in Perry District Court this past week for their preliminary hearings charged with first-degree sodomy after being accused of sodomizing a minor in Jamison’s home between May and August of this year.

Friday, September 28, 2012

EPA Files Notice Of Intent To Appeal

Thursday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency filed notice of intent to appeal the July ruling by Judge Reggie Walton in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Last year, the EPA revised 2010 standards by tightening guidelines on the practice of dumping waste from surface mine blasting into valley waterway. The National Mining Association sued, and West Virginia and Kentucky joined the lawsuit. Walton found the EPA overreached its authority by setting up water-quality criteria for mountaintop removal mining operations in several Appalachia states and infringed on state regulators' authority to permit mines using federal clean-water and surface-mining laws.

Man Charged With Criminal Mischief

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Pikeville Police have arrested 26 year old Brandon Kennard and charged him with criminal mischief following an incident that occurred about 2:30 A.M. Wednesday at the Family Drug Center on Town Mountain Road. Police say Kennard used a landscape stone to break a window of the pharmacy, causing the building’s alarm to activate, then fled on foot to a nearby residence. Police say Kennard admitted he was attempting to gain entry into the pharmacy.

Search For Missing Couple

{Oil Springs, Kentucky}...Johnson County Sheriff Dwayne Price says authorities are going to have four cadaver dogs search a farm for Larry and Sandara Blanton, who vanished almost a month ago. The dogs will search the Blantons' 50-acre farm in Oil Springs on Sunday.

County Judge Executives Attend Fall Retreat

The 13th annual county judge executive fall retreat started Thursday at the Jenny Wiley State Park in Floyd County before moving into Pike County, where 42 judge executives toured the mountains, including spots of the Hatfield and McCoy feud. Pike County Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford said the judges got a look at how you can responsibly mine coal and then have development. Tucker Daniel, President of the County Judge Executive Association, says the judges were blown away by the beauty of the StoneCrest Country Club in Prestonsburg.

Police Dog Visits Floyd County Schools

{Prestonsburg, Kentucky}...The Prestonsburg Police Department and Floyd County Schools are working together to fight drug abuse. Lieutenant Storm, a dog trained to sniff out narcotics, is taken into the schools five times a month. Storm's handler Aaron Blevins says he finds marijuana, heroine and meth. However, no drugs were found during Thursday's search. Storm has been a member of the Prestonsburg Police force for more than two years. School officials say it is not a tactic used to scare students but rather to help them learn about the dangers of using drugs.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Woman Charged With Robbery, Attempted Murder

{Grapevine, Kentucky}...Twenty year old Lilli Nicole Hurt of Bonnyman has been charged with armed robbery and three counts of attempted murder after she allegedly tried to rob the Willie Miller BP Super Mart in Grapevine in Perry County, while brandishing a knife, around 1:00 A.M. Thursday morning. Hurt is accused of stabbing a clerk and another woman and attempting to stab another clerk. One of the victims was taken to the Hazard ARH and has been released, while the other was flown to the University of Kentucky Medical Center. Hurt was taken to the Kentucky River Regional Detention Center in Hazard.

Majestic Sewer Project Moving Forward

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...A new sewer project in the Majestic area is moving forward after Mountain Water District spokesman Roy Sawyers was given permission to begin the process by the Mountain Water Board of Directors at their September meeting on Tuesday. At last month's board meeting, board member Ancie Casey expressed frustration that the project had been on the agenda for a long period of time and that it should no longer be considered if they did not intend to act on it.

Letcher County Cemeteries Vandalized

{Whitesburg, Kentucky}...Police say they have arrested Harley Slone on 12 counts of violating graves and 12 counts of receiving stolen property after military grave markers were stolen from three different cemeteries in Letcher County earlier this month. The Letcher County Sheriff expects at least two more arrests. Other markers have been vandalized in the past two weeks.

Perry County Superintendent Resigns

{Hazard, Kentucky}...In a letter to Perry County School Board Chairman John C. Combs Thursday morning, Perry County Schools Superintendent John Paul Amis announced his retirement, effective November 1st. Had he not opted to retire or resign, the board could have moved to terminate his contract, which was not set to expire until 2016. Last year, Amis was named the state’s top superintendent by the Kentucky School Board Association, but he had come under some scrutiny from the board following an investigating into cheating at Perry Central in 2010 that just concluded earlier this year, and the school’s listing in December 2011 as a Persistently Low-Achieving school based upon the past few years of academic achievement. A memo dated June 18th from the Office of Education Accountability found that Amis had previously acted in violation of three separate state statutes regarding personnel within the district.

City Approves Major Pikeville Project

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Monday, the Pikeville City Commission approved a real estate agreement with the US Postal Service on Thompson Road and a contingent assignment agreement with RealtyLink Investments on a proposed development to be located on property surrounding the Texas Roadhouse. Pikeville City Manager Donovan Blackburn says the city plans to purchase the US Post Office for $1 million, build a new post office and lease the property for 20 years. The US Postal Service Committee will meet within the next 10 to 14 days to approve the contract. The project is expected to create 18 to 19 national stores and between 400 to 600 new jobs. The developer is to invest an estimated $30 million. Construction is expected to begin in early spring and take one and one-half to two years to complete.

United For Coal Prayer Chain Set

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...United for Coal, a group co-founded by Jesse Salyer, Jr. and Allen Gibson, is planning an event to help raise awareness for the coal industry. Organizers are asking people to line U.S. 23 on October 13th to show support for the industry they say feeds the entire region. Organizers say they hope to see 50,000 people within Pikeville and at least 200,000 people across the entire event. The center will be in Pikeville and extend North and South along U.S. 23. It will also extend North along U.S. 119. Gibson says it is going to be the longest prayer chain ever known in the history of Kentucky.

Pikeville Pike-County Airport Receives Grant

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...The Pikeville Pike-County Airport has received a nearly $3.4 million grant to complete a parallel taxiway along its primary runway. Construction is expected to begin this fall and be completed by April 2013. Airport Board Chairman Bill Hickman says the grant is one of several the airport has received recently.

Man Faces Drug Charge

{Elkhorn City, Kentucky}...Forty-three year old Jeffery Williams of Richmond was arrested early this week after he attempted to obtain drugs at Nichols Apothecary in Elkhorn City. Employees contacted the doctor's office which was alleged to have called in a prescription and discovered it was fake. Elkhorn City Police also found Williams had an ink pen tube that contained pill residue. He was lodged in the Pike County Detention Center charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud. 

Mountain Parkway Accident Kills Woman

{Morehead, Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police in Morehead say 68 year old Mabel Swafford of Lexington was traveling eastbound on the Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway near the Morgan/Magoffin County line Tuesday afternoon when, while  approaching a construction zone, she lost control of her vehicle in a curve, going into the westbound lane where her vehicle was hit by a pickup truck driven by 21 year old Tyler Shepherd of Salyersville. Both vehicles then went into the eastbound lanes. Morgan County Coroner Raymond Vancleve pronounced Swafford dead at the scene. Shepherd was transported to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Drug Take-Back Initiative Set

{Frankfort, Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police say every post around the state will participate in a drug take-back initiative set for 10:00 A.M. until 2:00 P.M. Saturday, September 29th. All drop locations are at Kentucky State Police posts except in London, where it will be at the Laurel County Health Department, and in Morehead, where it will be at the Carl Perkins Community Center. The initiative is in collaboration with the federal Drug Enforcement Agency.

MSHA Issues Citations

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration said Tuesday its regulators issued 255 citations, 13 orders and two safeguards during inspections at 11 coal mines and four other mines in August. MSHA said it issued 10 citations and six orders following an impact inspection at D & C Mining Corp. in Harlan County, Kentucky. Among the violations, inspectors cited an accumulation of combustible materials, a failure to comply with the roof control plan and failure to perform a daily calibration test of multi-gas detectors.

Martin Woman Dies During Hunting Trip

{Owenton, Kentucky}...Police say 59 year old Yvetta Reffitt of Martin was hunting Sunday morning on a farm in Owen County when she apparently accidently shot herself with a crossbow. Police say members of her hunting party began looking for her and found her dead after she failed to meet up with them for lunch. A preliminary investigation found the cause of death to be the crossbow shot coupled with pre-existing medical conditions.

Board To Discuss Superintendent's Contract

{Hazard, Kentucky}...The Perry County Board of Education has scheduled a special meeting for 10:00 A.M. Thursday morning to consider the acceptance of Superintendent John Paul Amis's resignation, retirement, or to consider terminating his contract. Amis has been superintendent of Perry County Schools since the 1990s

Monday, September 24, 2012

AT&T Contributes To Floyd County Schools

{Prestonsburg, Kentucky}...At South Floyd High School Monday morning, AT&T officials announced a $100,000 contribution to Floyd County Schools, as part of their “It’s all about Success” initiative, for new programs targeted at improving graduation rates. The programs will provide summer remediation opportunities for incoming high school freshman and expand the advisor/advisee program in high schools across the district. The program will also expand the districts “WhyTry” curriculum, increasing opportunities for students to engage in credit recovery and remediation during evening hours. House Speaker Greg Stumbo told students that this program was about creating winners, both academically, and later in life. “Winners never quit, and quitters never win. Be winners.” The “Its all about Success” initiative was named as one of 47 recipients nationwide that will share in nearly $10 million from AT&T during this phase of the AT&T Aspire program. Since the program began in 2008, AT&T has impacted more than 1 million students with its Aspire program. Floyd County becomes the most recent, and the first in Appalachia to benefit.

Johnson County Couple Missing

{Oil Springs, Kentucky}...Police in Johnson County are investigating the disappearance of Larry and Sandara Blanton. Family members say they have not been heard from in two weeks, and their son, William Blanton, says it's not like them to leave their farm and animals for more than two or three days at a time. Blanton says his parents left eight days ago saying they were going to Florida. Police say that is not the story they have heard from other family members, and they have reason to believe something bad happened to them. Police are investigating by checking bank and cell phone records. They say the Blantons' cell phones have not been used since the fifth of this month. Anyone with information about the Blantons should contact the Johnson County Sheriff's Office.

ATV Accident Kills Perry County Man

{Hazard, Kentucky}...Thirty-six year old Rexford Noble Jr. of Big Creek was found dead after his all-terrain vehicle ran off a road and traveled 25 feet down a steep embankment into a creek. A neighbor discovered Noble lying face-down in the stream Saturday.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fatal Shooting In Powell County

{Stanton, Kentucky}...Sixty-six year old Ralph Allyn was arrested Sunday morning and charged with murder after Kentucky State Police in Morehead say he fatally shot his girlfriend, 64 year old Barbara Martin. Martin was found about 6:00 A.M. with two gunshot wounds from a large caliber handgun at her home on Lower Cane Creek Road in Stanton. Allyn, who was at the home when police arrived, was arrested without incident and taken to the Montgomery County Detention Center, where he was held without bond.

Fatal Stabbing In Powell County

{Clay City, Kentucky}...Saturday afternoon, Kentucky State Police in Morehead were called to the scene of a stabbing at the residence of 67 year old Terrance Wagner in Clay City, in Powell County. When troopers arrived, they found Wagner's neighbor, 50 year old Kelly D. McCoy, inside the residence unresponsive. Police say McCoy was visiting Wagner and the two began arguing, and Wagner grabbed a knife and fatally stabbed McCoy. Wagner was arrested and charged with first degree murder. Police say those who knew the two men told them the two neighbors previously had been friendly with each other.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Doctor Seeks Dismissal Of Federal Charges

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Pikeville Dr. Thad Manning is seeking to have federal charges that he conspired to supply prescription drug samples to former Pike County pharmacist James Ronald Huffman and Beverly Lockhart dismissed. Manning maintains his constutional rights are being violated by an indictment that charges him with multiple crimes for a single incident. Dr. Manning argues the prosecution failed to allege he engaged in an overt act in the alleged conspiracy. Prosecutors say the conspiracy between Manning and Huffman occurred between June 2007 and February 2012. The filing states the conspiracy involving Manning occurred in August 2011. Dr. Manning pleaded not guilty when arraigned in August. Lockhart pleaded not guilty on August 28th. Manning and Lockhart are scheduled for trial on October 15th. Huffman, who owned the Marrowbone Hometown Family Practice and Pharmacy, was found dead in a room at the Best Western Motel in Chapmanville, West Virginia.

Floyd County Man Pleads Guilty

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Friday, 51 year old Barry Cates, Jr. of Ivel, in Floyd County, pleaded guilty before Pike Circuit Judge Eddy Coleman to a two count charge of first-degree wanton endangerment and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Cates was arrested in June after police say he went to the Lowe's Improvement Center in Pikeville on June 7th with intentions of shooting co-worker Ronald Burke, whom Cates alleges had been bullying him for some time. When Cates discovered Burke was not there, he threatened to take hostages and take his own life. Police say Cates then shot two rounds into the air. Pike Commonwealth's Attorney Rick Bartley is recommending Cates serve five years on each count, to be run concurrently. Final sentencing is set for October 19th.

Man Charged With Assault

{McCarr, Kentucky}...Thirty-six year old David Boyd of McCarr was arrested Thursday night and lodged in the Pike County Detention Center charged with first-degree assault following a fight in the parking lot of the Dollar General Store in McCarr. Witnesses say Boyd stabbed two people. Boyd pleaded not guilty Friday before Pike District Judge Kelsey E. Friend, Jr., who ordered him held on a $50,000 bond.

Friday, September 21, 2012

House Passes "Stop the War on Coal Act"

{Washington, D.C.}...Congress left Washington Friday until after the General Election, but, before they adjourned, House Republicans voted in favor of the "Stop the War on Coal Act," a bill that would bar the Environmental Protection Agency from restricting greenhouse gases, quash stricter fuel efficiency standards for cars and give states control over disposal of harmful coal byproducts. New fuel economy standards that cut tailpipe emissions, set for model years 2017-2025, would be gutted by the act. So would the EPA's ability to regulate gases blamed for global warming. A 2007 Supreme Court ruling cleared the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases under its authority to control air pollutants, but the legislation amends the Clean Air Act to preclude any taxes or regulations on greenhouse gases. Nineteen Democrats, mostly from coal-producing and conservative-leaning states, broke ranks to join Republicans in the 233-175 vote. The legislation is dead on arrival in the Democratic-led Senate, and Obama has already threatened a veto should it ever reach his desk.

Kids' Day Celebration Set

{Grapevine, Kentucky}...The Grapevine Volunteer Fire Department will be hosting its annual Kids' Day in the Park October 13th. Kids will have the opportunity to see what it's like to be a firefighter through a simulator that demonstrates fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, and other disasters. Two years ago, the department building was filled with mold, there was no organization, and there was only one truck that barely ran. Combined with no money, the state was ready to shut them down, but some members of the community went into action to save it. They reorganized, got a new board of directors and new firefighters. Today, the department is up and running and ready to serve those who saved it.

Escapees Captured

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...After two weeks on the run, 23 year old Chadrick Gibson of Island Creek and 23 year old Patrick Adkins of Kimper were arrested Thursday at a residence on Island Creek after escaping from the Pike County Detention Center on September 8th. Adkins and Chadrick Gibson were indicted last week on a charge of second-degree escape. Gibson had two indictments against him for receiving stolen property, theft, burglary and being a persistent felony offender. He was arrested earlier in the summer after he allegedly burglarized vehicles and a residence on Chloe Ridge in Pikeville. Adkins was serving a 5-year jail sentence for a November 2010 conviction on a charge of receiving stolen property. He was released on probation following the conviction but his probation was revoked in April. Adkins was convicted for receiving stolen property in 2008.

Elderly Man Killed

Kentucky}...Police say 89 year old William Howard Mason of Virgie died Thursday at Pikeville Medical Center of injuries suffered when he was struck by his vehicle at the Virgie IGA grocery store. Witnesses say Mason stopped his vehicle at the store after having problems with the vehicle’s battery. He walked in front of the vehicle and was struck by it.

Martin County Man Arrested

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Fifty year old Jimmy D. Rushing of Inez, was in Pike District Judge Kelsey Friend’s courtroom Thursday falling asleep. Rushing failed field sobriety tests and had pill residue in his left nostril. Rushing was charged with public intoxication and was lodged in the Pike County Detention Center.

ICG Agrees To Higher Fine

{Frankfort, Kentucky}...A document filed Monday in Franklin County says International Coal Group will pay $335,000 to a program that eliminates straight pipe sewers in eastern Kentucky and another $240,000 to help fund water quality studies for Clean Water Act violations at its eastern Kentucky mines. The $575,000 settlement has not been finalized. The total amount is an increase from the $350,000 settlement ICG reached with Kentucky in 2010. Environmental groups Appalachian Voices of Boone, North Carolina, New York-based Waterkeeper Alliance and Kentucky Riverkeepers were allowed to intervene in the case after challenging the 2010 settlement in court, saying it was too low. Bruce Scott, commissioner of Kentucky's Department of Environmental Protection, said Thursday the proposed settlement is higher because regulators added violations that occurred between 2010 and this year. Another mining company, Frasure Creek, has not yet reached an agreement.

Murder Conviction Sent Back To Martin County

{Louisville, Kentucky}...The Kentucky Supreme Court has ordered the case of 28 year old Ross Brandon Sluss be sent back to Martin County. Sluss was convicted of murder in Martin County in 2010. Jurors found Sluss guilty of killing 11 year old Destiny Renee Brewer in a truck crash in June 2010. The case received wide publicity in Martin County as well as online, where Brewer's mother posted it on her Facebook page. Justice Mary Noble has ordered Martin County Circuit Judge John David Preston to hold a hearing on whether jurors were truthful in pretrial questioning and to what, if any, extent exposure to the Facebook page created a miscarriage of justice in Sluss' conviction. He is serving life in prison after being convicted of murder, assault and tampering with physical evidence.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Johnson County Woman Robbed

{Paintsville, Kentucky}...Cathy Meadows of Johnson County says she let 31 year old Daniel Branham stay with her to get back on his feet, and he stole thousands of dollars worth of items and pawned them. Meadows says she was attempting to help Branham get off drugs and stay off drugs, but he stole nearly $2,000 worth of items. The case will be presented to a grand jury.

New Leads In Cold Case

{Rowdy, Kentucky}...There are some new leads in a cold case in Perry County. The family of Juanita Ritchie has been searching since Ritchie went missing in the Rowdy community in 1966. Ritchie's brother Scott Oliver, says an anonymous phone call from a female said your sister is at the bottom of a well and told him where the well was located. The well is in the same area where Ritchie was last seen. The well has been pumped, but nothing has turned up.

Powell County Mother Sentenced

{Stanton, Kentucky}...Jessica Charles of Powell County was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison in the 2010 death of her 22-month-old daughter, Danika Charles, who died of blunt force trauma to her head, chest, abdomen, legs and arms. Jessica Charles was initially charged with murder, but she pleaded guilty this month to reckless homicide. Charles received credit for the more than 800 days that she was either in jail or on home detention.

Courthouse To Cost $1.5 Million More

{West Liberty, Kentucky}...The rebuilding of a Morgan County courthouse that was between 65 to 70 percent constructed when it was largely destroyed by a March 2nd tornado in West Liberty could cost taxpayers an extra $1.5 million. The building was insured through the Kentucky Association of Counties, which agreed to pay about $8.2 million, but it will cost about $9.7 million to rebuild. The total cost of the new courthouse is projected to be $12.7 million. Much of the increase will pay for additional fees charged by Codell Construction. Representative Jim Wayne, D-Louisville, questioned why Codell Construction's "extended service" fees jumped from $40,000 to $912,000. Jeff VanHook, a representative of Codell Construction, says the larger fees stem from the fact that the project will take about 900 more days of work than was originally planned. Morgan County issued bonds to pay for the courthouse, but the state will pay off those bonds by making rent payments to the county. The state will have to come with an additional $118,000 a year to pay off the extra $1.5 million for the courthouse, which was originally scheduled to open this month.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"Hatfields & McCoys" Miniseries Receives Awards

The "Hatfields & McCoys" miniseries received three Creative Arts Emmys in awards handed out on Saturday in Los Angeles. "Hatfields & McCoys," which is based on the late 1800s feud between the West Virginia Hatfields and the Kentucky McCoys, received 16 nominations. The Creative Arts Emmys recognizes the technical aspects of production, reality programs and writing, while the Primetime Emmy Awards will recognize performances, direction and best overall programs. The Primetime Emmys air at 8:00 P.M. Sunday, September 23rd, on ABC. Saturday, the "Hatfield & McCoys" received awards for outstanding makeup for a miniseries or movie (non-prosthetic): Mario Michisanti and Francesca Tampieri; outstanding single-camera picture editing for a miniseries or movie: Don Cassidy for part two of the miniseries; and outstanding sound mixing for a miniseries or movie: Stanomir Dragos, Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern.

Sunday, the miniseries will be up for best miniseries or made-for-TV movie (which recognizes the producers, including Tri-State native Darrell Fetty), as well as nominations for Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton for outstanding lead actor in a miniseries or movie; Mare Winningham for outstanding supporting actress in a miniseries or movie; Tom Berenger for outstanding supporting actor in a miniseries or movie; and Kevin Reynolds for outstanding directing for a miniseries or movie. Also be on the lookout Sunday night for former Ashland resident Ashley Judd, who was also nominated for Best Actress in a miniseries for her work on "Missing."

Store Owner Shoots Would-Be Robber

Kentucky}...Gary Thornsbury, the owner of Meta Discount Mart in Pike County, says he shot a man attempting to rob his store early Tuesday morning. Thornsbury says he was completing paperwork when he heard a female store clerk faintly call his name. Thornsbury says he looked at a surveillance monitor in his office and saw two men in hooded sweatshirts, camouflage pants and their faces covered, one of them armed with a gun, standing in front of the clerk. Thornsbury says he then retrieved a .38 caliber handgun with a laser sights which he keeps in the store, walked to the doorway of his office, got a clear view of the alleged robber, then raised the gun and aimed at the man, whose gun was pointed in his direction. Thornsbury says the man moved in a position that appeared he was preparing to fire his weapon. Thornsbury then shot the man in his shoulder. The two men fled as Thornsbury fired about three more shots.

Pike County Tax Collection Down

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...At Tuesday’s meeting of the Pike County Fiscal Court, Tracy Kendrick, of Pikeville Accounting and Tax Associates, which performs accounting services for Pike County Sheriff Charles "Fuzzy" Keesee, said collections of unmined coal taxes and property taxes were down by about $2 million in 2011 from the previous year. Kendrick said about $30 million worth of real property taxes and unmined coal taxes were billed in 2011, compared to $27 million the previous year.

Paint Pikeville Pink

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...During the Paint Pikeville Pink event, walkers raised $11 million for breast cancer Saturday. Everyone wore pink for the walk/run that started on Main Street at BB&T Bank. Saving Grace Boutique owner Debbie Freeman says 653 walkers and runners registered, and she expects more donations, including another $7,000 from Jackson Smith Cline. A total of 36 sponsors helped Freeman make the event a success.

Hindman Settlement School Has New Director

{Hindman, Kentucky}...The Hindman Settlement School in Knott County has hired Lawrence County native Brent Hutchinson as its new director, to replace Mike Mullins, who served the school for 34 years before he died unexpectedly last year. Hutchinson, who has, for the past seven years, served as a pastor in Franklin, Tennessee, will take over in mid to late October.

Tow Truck Driver Arrested

{Morehead, Kentucky}...Police have arrested 27 year old Ronnie Cole Junior, a tow truck driver in Morehead. Police say, between August 10th and September 7th, Cole stole more than a dozen cars and then had them scrapped at Petitt Mountain Metals in Rowan County.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Attorneys Association Endorses Scott

{Frankfort, Kentucky}...Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott has picked up a campaign endorsement from the Kentucky Commonwealth Attorneys Association. Scott is being challenged in the November 6th election by Court of Appeals Judge Janet Stumbo. The race is a rematch between the two. Scott won the seat by defeating Stumbo in 2004. Stumbo won a seat on the Court of Appeals in 2006 to a term that expires in 2014.

Woman Pleads Guilty To Reckless Homicide

Thursday, 35 year old Heather Stambaugh of Hager Hill, in Johnson County, pleaded guilty to reckless homicide in the death of her infant son, five-month-old Draven, who died from an overdose of Benadryl and Soma in November 2010. Stambaugh was originally charged with second-degree manslaughter. Stambaugh will be sentenced October 5th in Johnson County Circuit Court. The recommended sentence is one year in jail. In January, a jury found Stambaugh's mother, 65 year old Alice Stambaugh, guilty of complicity to manslaughter. She was given a five year sentence.

Paintsville Highway Renamed

{Paintsville, Kentucky}...Monday, community and state leaders gathered in Paintsville to present the family of Homer and Mary Short with a highway sign that will rename a section of KY 321 "Homer and Mary Short Memorial Drive." The Shorts were honored for their faithful investment in Paintsville and Johnson County which helped spark the local economy and the construction of the Mayo Plaza.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hazard HDA Wins Award

{Louisville, Kentucky}...During the Kentucky Affordable Housing Conference in Louisville last week, the Housing Development Alliance in Hazard won the 2012 Nonprofit Affordable Housing Builder Award. The award recognized the Alliance’s efforts in building affordable housing for residents in eastern Kentucky, as well as performing repairs on existing housing for low-income families. Last year, the organization built 20 new homes in Perry, Knott, Breathitt and Leslie counties, and completed $500,000 worth of repairs on 35 additional homes. Director Scott McReynolds says each house only takes about two weeks to build, and they plan on building 24 homes this year. He says HDA has helped more than 500 families since 1993.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Pike County Man Convicted

{Williamson, West Virginia}...After a little more than two hours of deliberation Thursday, a Mingo County jury convicted 26 year old Joshua Bly Miller of South Williamson on one count of reckless DUI causing death and one count of DUI causing bodily injury. Circuit Court Judge Michael Thornsbury ordered Miller’s bond and home confinement revoked and remanded him to the Southwestern Regional Jail where he was once employed as a corrections officer. Around October 13, 2011, wrecked his vehicle while traveling to a bar in Logan, West Virginia, causing the death of 22 year old Adam Ray York of Hardy, in Pike County, and injuring 21 year old Zachary V. Smith of Belfry and Paul David Howard Jr. of Chattaroy, West Virginia. The men were traveling southbound on U.S. 119 when the SUV crossed the center median and crashed into the northbound lane, slammed into the hillside, went airborne, rolled and then slammed into the embankment. Miller will be sentenced October 15th.

Pikeville Man Indicted

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...A Pike County Grand Jury has indicted 29 year old Joshua D. Habern of Redale Road, Pikeville on a charge of abusing his son. Habern is facing two counts of first-degree criminal abuse stemming from a pair of incidents in August. Habern allegedly abused his son who was less than 12 years old at the time. Habern was convicted in 2006 on a charge of assault under extreme emotional distress for assaulting his then-pregnant wife with a flashlight and on charges of violation of an EPO or DVO and first-degree stalking for an incident which involved the same child he is accused of abusing. Habern was arrested in April on a charge of fourth-degree assault.

Friday, September 14, 2012

UPike To Dedicate New Facility

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...At 4:00 P.M. Saturday, the University of Pikeville is dedicating a new facility for the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine. A dedication and ribbon cutting for The Coal Building on Hambley Boulevard in front of the university will be held, and tours of the building and a reception will follow. UPike officials say the $40 million facility is named to recognize the industry that has given significant support to it for years. A traditional White Coat Ceremony will be held for the Class of 2016 at 2:00 P.M.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Plans For Jenny Wiley Theatre Finalized

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...A building committee met Thursday with an architectural firm from New York to finish design plans for a new Jenny Wiley theatre on 2nd Street in Pikeville. A unanimous vote put months of planning into motion. Pikeville City Manager, Donovan Blackburn says one of the bids will be presented by the 15th of this month. The meeting showed that not only will the building come in $2,500 under budget, but it is expected to be finished ahead of time in December of next year. Board treasurer Bill Francis says Jenny Wiley productions have been outdoors for 48 years and it continue to be outdoors at the Jenny Wiley amphitheater in Prestonsburg, but they were looking for year round productions and needed an indoor facility. The board expected construction to start at the end of January and end in December 2013.

Man Sentenced After Posing As Mining Instructor

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Twenty-one year old Paul Jason Arnett of Salyersville was sentenced Wednesday to three years in federal prison for making false statements on a Mine Health Safety Administration form and making false statements to MSHA agents. In June 2011, Arnett falsely certified on MSHA forms that several individuals from Magoffin, Floyd, and Johnson Counties had completed new miner training under the direction of a certified instructor, and therefore were qualified for employment as miners. In some instances, Arnett met with the prospective coal miners in his truck and filled out their training forms without conducting any training. MSHA district managers approve coal mine instructors, giving them authority to train and certify individuals as coal miners, but Arnett was never approved by MSHA. When two MSHA agents questioned him during the investigation, Arnett falsely told them he was Paul Arnett’s brother and offered to help MSHA agents locate Paul Arnett and bring him to the MSHA office.

Drug Ring Sentenced

{London, Kentucky}...Forty-six year old Darmus J. Dalton and five of his co-defendants were sentenced earlier this week for conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone. Dalton, the leader of a prescription drug ring that brought more than a hundred thousand pills from Florida into eastern Kentucky for distribution was sentenced to 235 months in prison. All six were ordered to forfeit a combined $360,000 in proceeds they gained from the conspiracy. According to court records, from February 2011 until July 2011, Dalton and his co-defendants obtained Oxycodone pills without a legitimate medical purpose from pain clinics in Tampa and Miami.

Dalton made 20 trips to these clinics during that time, and financed the trips his co-defendants made to Florida.

The others sentenced for their roles in the conspiracy include:
Craig West, 50, of Florida - 115 months
William Padgett, 30, of Somerset - 78 months
Christi N. Combs, 27, of Somerset - 72 months
Andrea J. Ridner, 38, of Somerset - 57 months
Joseph E. Stripling, 37, of Somerset - 26 months

In May, a jury found Dalton, West and Combs guilty of the conspiracy charge. The other defendants pleaded guilty. Another member of the conspiracy, Blake Gumm, 25, received an 18 month prison sentence last month.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Appalachian Wireless To Offer iPhone 5

Wednesday afternoon, Appalachian Wireless announced it will offer iPhone 5, the thinnest and lightest iPhone ever, to customers in the US beginning Friday, September 28th. For more information please For more information on iPhone 5, please visit:

Knott County Judge-Executive Loses Appeal

{Cincinnati, Ohio}...The U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati has upheld the conviction of Knott County Judge-Executive Randy Thompson. Thompson was convicted in 2008 of misusing public funds and scheming to buy votes during the 2006 election. He was sentenced in 2009 to 40 months in prison, but the sentence was postponed while he appealed the conviction. Thompson was re-elected in 2010. The ruling also upheld the convictions of John Mac Combs and Phillip G. Champion, who were assistants to the judge-executive, and former magistrate Ronnie Adams. A jury convicted them of participating in the vote-buying scheme along with Thompson. Combs was sentenced to 36 months, Champion to 18 months and Adams to 32 months, but they were allowed to defer the sentences while the case was being appealed. Their sentences could be delayed further if the case is appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Thompson was appointed to the position in 2006 after the resignation of his predecessor, Donnie Newsome, who was convicted in a separate vote-buying case.

Singer Raising Awareness For Miners

Logan Hall of Virgie, this year's Country Music Highway Road to Fame winner, is walking one mile of highway in several counties to raise awareness for miners. Hall was in Greenup, Boyd, Lawrence, Johnson and Floyd Counties Wednesday and will be in Letcher and Pike Counties Thursday before ending his walks at the East Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville where he will open for Lynyrd Skynyrd. Hall, a former miner, who will be releasing his single, "Treasures from the Ground," will donate a portion of the proceeds to Coal Mining Our Future, an organization of coal companies in southeastern Kentucky.

Inmate's Family And Government Settle Lawsuit

{Louisville, Kentucky}...The family of deceased federal inmate 39 year old Timothy Bell and the government have settled a medical negligence lawsuit for $975,000. The settlement covers two lawsuits filed in federal court in Pikeville. The agreement covers all claims brought by Mary Bell of Dearborn Heights, Michigan related to the death of her son, a drug offender from Michigan who was serving time in prison in Inez. A doctor ordered a biopsy of a mass in his right arm pit, but the biopsy wasn't done for more than a year. By then, Bell had stage 3 or stage 4 cancer, which resulted in his death in December 2010.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New Kentucky Driver's License

New Kentucky driver's license in Pike County and Breathitt County have a different look. They have several improved layers of security and are made thicker for better durability. Bill Heise, the director of Kentucky's Division of Driver Licensing, says the camera automatically focuses to take a picture of your face through your bone structure. The cost of renewing your license will remain $20, as will the $12 fee for a duplicate. They're still good for four years. Heise says around 20 of the 144 license-issuing offices statewide now have the new technology. The Clay County Clerk's office is scheduled to have the equipment installed Wednesday.

Bankruptcy Court Set For Move

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...The federal judiciary says it is closing six federal courthouses, including one in Pikeville, but David Sellers, with the federal Administrative Office of the Courts, says the main facility on Main Street in Pikeville will remain open and fully functional, while the space the government leases in the BB&T Bank building, which is used for bankruptcy court hearings, will close when the lease ends at the end of this year. Starting next year, bankruptcy judges will be able to use the main courthouse for all of their needs. The move will save $145,000 annually. The Judicial Conference said Tuesday that the closings are due to inadequate funding from Congress and the prospect of more drastic cuts. The closures are expected to save $1 million a year in rent. The judiciary said it could see its budget cut by more than $500 million if Congress fails to reach a budget deal and automatic across-the-board spending cuts kick in next year. The Judicial Conference is a group of 27 judges led by Chief Justice John Roberts that sets policy for the federal courts. There are 674 federal courthouses across the country.

Woman Charged In Jail Escape

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Twenty-one year old Megan Adkins of Meathouse Fork Road, Kimper, was arrested Monday and charged with second-degree assault. Police say she aided her brother, 23 year old Patrick Adkins of Kimper, and 23 year old Chadrick Gibson of Island Creek, when they escaped from the Pike County Detention Center Saturday evening. Pike County Jailer Rodney Scott says Patrick Adkins and Gibson were working in the jail's kitchen area when they raised the bay door of the kitchen food preparation area, crawled under it, then exited through the door, ran to the back side of the building and escaped. Scott says it appears Megan Adkins was waiting for the men at the back of the building. Megan Adkins pleaded not guilty Tuesday before Pike District Judge Kelsey E. Friend, Jr. She is due back in court September 20th.

Accident Injures Several

{Inez, Kentucky}...K.C. Fitch, the Deputy Director with Martin County Emergency Management, says seven people were injured in a two vehicle accident on New Route 3 about three miles outside of Inez about 3:30 P.M. Tuesday when a 15 passenger van and an SUV collided. Five people had to be flown to local hospitals.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pike County Pedestrian Killed

{Caney, Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police say 49 year old Merl Adkins of Virgie was attempting to cross the cross the busy four-lane road on U.S. 23 in the Caney Creek area of Pike County around 9:00 P.M. Sunday night on foot when a car hit him in one of the southbound lanes. Adkins then walked into the northbound lanes and was hit by two more cars. Adkins was pronounced dead at the scene by Pike County Coroner Russell Roberts.

Perry County Man Indicted

{Hazard, Kentucky}...A Perry County grand jury has indicted Adrian Banks on murder in the August stabbing death of Jerry Combs. Prosecutors say Banks stabbed and killed Combs in the Allais community.

Board To Vote On Superintendent's Contract

{Hazard, Kentucky}...The Perry County Board of Education has called a special meeting for Wednesday, September 12th, to consider whether or not to terminate Superintendent John Paul Amis’s contract. Amis was hired by the board in the 1990s, and last year was named Superintendent of the Year by the Kentucky School Board Association. His current contract runs through 2016. The board must have at least a four vote majority to terminate the contract, along with approval by the Kentucky Commissioner of Education. If the board votes to terminate Amis’s contract, Education Commissioner Terry Holliday will have 30 days to issue a decision.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Accident Near Morehead

{Morehead, Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police were called to the scene of an accident along U.S. 60 near Morehead just before 8:30 P.M. Saturday night after William Young of Virginia, who was traveling on a motorcycle, attempted to make a left hand turn and was struck by a Jeep Cherokee being driven by Kevin Morgan of Grayson. Young was transported by helicopter to St. Claire Medical Center then to the University of Kentucky Medical Center.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Car Break-Ins In Martin County

{Inez, Kentucky}...The Martin County Sheriff's Office is investigating after around ten vehicles were broken into Friday morning in Inez. Sheriff Garmon Preece says he believes one person is responsible for all the break-ins. Preece says his department has some leads, but they are still asking for more information. He suggests people take all their valuable items out of their cars at night and parking your car in a well lit area.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Arrests In Pill Pipeline To Pike County

Operation UNITE officials say Dr. Anthony Choe, 45, of Chelsea, Michigan, was arrested at his office Wednesday on a federal indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone. Two of Choe’s patients, 47 year old Clarence D. Bentley and his wife, 46 year old Kelly Bentley, both from Albion, Michigan, were each arrested at their home Thursday on the same charge. Dan Smoot of Operation UNITE says the Bentleys, along with four other people who have not been identified, allegedly delivered thousands of Oxycodone pills to dealers in Pike County, Kentucky over the past two years. All are charged in federal indictments with conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone. They are free on bond.

Robbery In Floyd County

{Minnie, Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police are investigating a robbery which occurred at the Minnie Double Kwik in Floyd County about 3:45 A.M. Friday morning. Police say a man came in, wearing a black mask and black gloves, showed a weapon and demanded cash before fleeing the store on foot with cash.

British National Indicted

{Lexington, Kentucky}...A federal grand jury in Lexington has indicted 41 year old Solomon Blue Waters from England on charges that he traveled to the United States to have sex with a minor in Pikeville. Waters was charged with traveling in interstate or foreign commerce to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity and with traveling to the United States to engage in illicit sexual conduct. He is accused of using the Internet to induce a minor in sexual activity beginning in mid-June 2011 until July 6th. Waters was arrested August 28th after he arrived at Blue Grass Airport. Waters' next court appearance hasn't been set. Conviction on the charges could carry prison terms of at least 10 years.

Elk and Hunting Show Set

{Prestonsburg, Kentucky}...The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Eastern Kentucky Elk and Hunting Show at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park in Prestonsburg is set for September 28th through the 30th. Hours are noon to 9:00 P.M. on the 28th, 9:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M. on the 29th and 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. on the 30th. A big game banquet is planned for 6:30 P.M. Saturday at a cost of $20 per person. The event will include seminars, demonstrations and vendor booths with hunting and fishing guides, taxidermists and outdoor sports. Admission is $5 per day.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Muscle On Main

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...According to Director of Tourism and Events Jesse Bowling, the Muscle on Main block party will begin Friday at 6:00 P.M. at Texas Roadhouse. During the block party, Texas Roadhouse will be providing specials on their food, and there will be a live music from Jeff Branham. According to Bowling, the cruise-in will begin at 3:00 P.M. and the burn outs will begin at 7:00 P.M. in the Riverfill parking lot on Saturday. There will be vendors available during the event on Saturday and a swap-meet and door prizes will be available.

Combs Gives Up Delegate Vote

Wednesday, 94th District state Representative Leslie Combs gave up her vote as a delegate to the
Democratic National Convention because her request to speak with the Obama administration about
coal was not fulfilled. Kentucky’s delegation to the Democratic National Convention cast a unanimous 73 votes to make President Barack Obama the party’s nominee. Last week, Combs stated in a letter to Obama that, without dialogue with his administration on coal issues, she would cast an “uncommitted” vote. Combs says Governor Steve Beshear wanted a unanimous 73 votes, but she did what she thought the people in her district wanted her to do. Combs says she took the action she took out of respect for
Beshear, a governor who has done a lot to support our coal industry.

Pikeville City Manager Explains Vote

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...During a fiscal court meeting last year, Pike County Magistrate Chris Harris announced he would be abstaining from voting on any issue related to the Kentucky Association of Counties while he was president of the association. Thursday, Pikeville City Manager Donavan Blackburn explained his connection as a voting member of the Kentucky League of Cities and his nonvoting status as city manager. KLC and KACo are state agencies that provide assistance to city and county governments, including legal aid and affordable insurance. While Blackburn is in charge of finding insurance for the city, he says he has no vote when it comes to choosing an insurance company. Blackburn is not an elected official, but he is appointed by city officials. He serves on various boards in the city, county and state. Blackburn says his positions on these boards gives the city a voice. He has a vote on other boards, but he does not have a vote on the Pikeville City Commission. The discussion is expected to air on Pike-TV.

KSP Investigating Accident

{Sharondale, Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police officers say they’re investigating a single-vehicle accident involving a log transporting truck which occurred on U.S. 119 at Sharondale around noon Thursday. Before police arrived on the scene, the truck’s driver, Jerry Polly, was transported to Williamson Appalachian Regional Hospital by Appalachian First Response and treated for minor injuries.

Blackwater Spill In Pike County

{Mouthcard, Kentucky}...Officials with the Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet are still examining an incident at a Virginia mine which caused the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy to run black for about 11 miles into Kentucky. Dick Brown, a spokesman for PPC, Kentucky Division of Mine Reclamation and Enforcement says officials received word about 8:45 A.M. Thursday that there was a black water incident in the Mouthcard/Feds Creek area of Pike County. It was determined that the source of the spill was a Jewell Smokeless Coal Corp. facility across the state line in Virginia.

Woman Charged With Stealing Electrical Service

{Dorton, Kentucky}...Forty year old Tuana L. Newsome was arrested Wednesday after Kentucky Power employees allegedly discovered she had been stealing electrical service at her home on Dorton-Jenkins Highway in Pike County. The service had been disconnected in November. Officials say the residents had reconnected the wires on the pole across the creek from the home and, using a metal ruler, reconnected the power inside the power box on the pole. They had also hooked up a quick disconnect.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pike County Man Allegedly Stabs Woman

{Freeburn, Kentucky}...Police say, just after 7:00 P.M. Friday, 31 year old Eric H. Wolford of Chapman Bottom in Freeburn shot Melinda Hurley one time in the lower stomach area, causing serious injury. Hurley was transported to Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tennessee, where she was treated and released. Wolford, a former convicted felon, was arrested early Wednesday morning and lodged in the Pike County Detention Center on a charge of first-degree assault and possession of a gun. Pike District Judge Kelsey E. Friend Jr. ordered Wolford held on a $200,000 full-cash bond.

Tiger Mart Robbed

{Prestonsburg, Kentucky}...Police are searching for a man who robbed the Exxon Tiger Mart on US-23 in Prestonsburg, with a knife, around 10:00 P.M. Tuesday night. Police say a  5'10" about 200 pound man, with wavy dark blonde hair, wearing a grey wool ski mask, hooded sweatshirt, and dark blue jeans, entered the store and grabbed cash from both registers. A clerk tried to call 911, but police say he took the phone and left with it too. The robber headed North on US-23. The store was last robbed a little over a year ago.

Man Incompetent To Stand Trial

{Prestonsburg, Kentucky}...Fifty-seven year old Ronnie Brock of Bonnyman, the man accused of trying to kill Perry County District Judge Leigh Anne Stephens, was ruled incompetent Wednesday to stand trial. Brock is accused of stabbing Stephens with a knife at the Circle T Restaurant in Airport Gardens in September 2010. Police say Brock stabbed Stephens several times before a bystander intervened and pushed Brock through a window in the front of the restaurant. Stephens was not seriously injured. Brock's trial was expected to start Wednesday. Floyd Commonwealth’s Attorney Brent Turner was appointed as the special prosecutor, and said even though Brock was initially found to be competent, Wednesday’s ruling was not a surprise as Brock’s mental state was an issue early on in the case. Turner expects to file necessary documents Thursday to have Brock hospitalized to undergo further mental evaluation.

Trial Set In Leslie County Murder

Police say, in October of 2010, Harold Pennington, Ricky Turner, Lonnie Callahan, Lonnie Ray Callahan, and Millard Miniard beat Norman Adams to death and threw his body down a hill in Leslie County to make it look like he was killed in an ATV accident. A pre-trial hearing is set for October 3rd. Their trial is set to being on November 13th.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Inmates Face Sexual Asssault Charges

{Prestonsburg, Kentucky}...Three former Floyd County Detention Center inmates have been charged with sexually asssaulting a fellow inmate  on June 2nd. Justin Lee and Lawrence Kimmel are charged with first-degree sexual abuse, while Richard Mullins is charged with complicity to sexual abuse, for allegedly standing lookout while the attack was carried out. Prestonsburg Police Detective Adam Dixon says Mullins stood lookout and blocked the window as Lee and Kimmel stripped the victim naked, and then disrobed themselves. Kimmel was served with his warrant while in jail last week, and Mullins was arrested last Thursday. Mullins and Lee could also be charged with persistent felony offender charges. Lee, who Dixon says appears to be the ringleader of the attack, remains at large.

Contract To Repair Landslide In Johnson County

A $75,748 contract to repair a landslide in Johnson County that resulted from a tornado outbreak in eastern Kentucky has been awarded to M&D General Contractors Inc. by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. The project involves repair of a slide on Hargis Road (KY 1409) near Conley Cemetery Road. A project to repair two other landslides on KY 1750 in Johnson County, also a result of the March storms, was awarded in July. That work is to be completed by November 30th. The latest project is scheduled to be completed by June 1, 2013. The repairs are funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Monday, September 3, 2012

Shooting In Pike County

{Freeburn, Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police have arrested Eric Wolford of Freeburn and lodged him in the Pike County Detention Center following a shooting in the Freeburn community Friday. Wolford has been charged with one count of first-degree assault and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Wolford is accused of shooting a woman in the abdoman. Kentucky State Police say the woman was transported to the hospital where she is in stable condition.

Trial Set For Indicted Physicians, Pain Clinic Owners

October 15th trial dates are set for several eastern Kentucky physicians and pain clinic owners recently indicted on federal drug crimes. The charges range from prescription drug offenses, to money laundering and health care fraud. The list includes co-owners Tammy Cantrell and Shelby Lackey of Caremore Pain Clinic in Paintsville and Doctor Thad Manning and manager Beverly Lockhart at Marrowbone Hometown Pharmacy in Pike County.

Four Indicted On Drug Trafficking Set For Trial

Four people indicted in an eastern Kentucky drug trafficking ring are set for jury trial later this year. Eugene Slone is set to go on trial September 24th, while Ruth Beckner, Angela Smith and Larry Smith are all scheduled for trial on October 29th. Prosecutors say a group of 12 people conspired to distribute Oxycodone pills in Clay, Knott, Letcher and Perry Counties.

Fire Departments Fear Coal Severance Decline

{Hazard, Kentucky}...Perry County, volunteer fire departments received a $10,000 check last week from coal severance funds, but they were cautioned that future payments could be in jeopardy. State Senator Robert Stivers says, if coal severance tax money declines, it will effect eastern Kentucky dramatically because of the different components it has in the tax base. Half of the coal severance money goes into the state's general fund to help with things like education, social services and state police. The other half goes back into the region where the coal came from. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Pike County Man Killed

{Freeburn, Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police say 40 year old Kip Stacy of Freeburn was driving an ATV on Staggerweed Fork Road in Pike County Friday when he lost control, overturned and went into the creek. Stacy was pronounced dead at the scene by Pike County Coroner Russell Roberts.

Rowan County Man Killed

{Morehead, Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police say, around 4:00 P.M. Friday, 69 year old Hubert Clark of Morehead lost control of his motorcycle, went off the road, and struck a rock embankment while traveling on Christy Creek Road in Rowan County. He died at the scene.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Man Pleads Guilty To Manslaughter

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...During a hearing in Pike Circuit Court Friday, 48 year old David Wayne Childers of Elkhorn City, pleaded guilty to amended charges of second-degree manslaughter and being a persistent felony offender in the second degree. On January 23rd, Childers crashed his vehicle head-on into a Pike County Deputy cruiser on US 460 at Road Creek, resulting in the death of Pike County Sheriff’s Deputy James I. Thacker. Police believe Childers was driving while under the influence of cocaine(benzodiazepines) and opiates. Pike Circuit Judge Steve Combs accepted a plea agreement in the case, amending the charges in exchange for Childers’ guilty plea. Pike Commonwealth’s Attorney Rick Bartley recommended that Childers be imprisoned for 20 years. Formal sentencing is set for November 9th. Childers was initially charged with murder and being a persistent felony offender in the first-degree, which, if convicted, could have resulted in him spending the rest of his life in prison.

Man Mentally Competent To Stand Trial

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Pike Circuit Judge Eddie Coleman has declared 51 year old Barry Cates, Jr. of Ivel mentally competent to stand trial on charges including wanton endangerment and possession of a firearm. He's accused of firing a gun inside the Pikeville Lowe's store on June 7th. Police say Cates went to the store to confront co-worker Ronald Burke, who had allegedly been bullying Cates during his employment at the store, but Burke was on vacation at the time. At a June 14th hearing, Pikeville Police Officer Russell Blankenship testified that Cates threatened to take hostages and eventually his own life, while he sought for Burke. The charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon results from Cates’ conviction after he threatened the life of former President Ronald Reagan. A pretrial hearing is set for September 21st.

Several Show Respect For Former KSP Trooper

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Family and friends gathered Saturday in Pikeville to pay their respects to former State Trooper Rick Conn who retired five years ago, after a 25 year career with the Prestonsburg Police and Kentucky State Police. Conn was labeled as a hero when he rescued Jeannie Newsome and her 3 year old daughter from their burning home after a pipeline explosion in the Ivel community of Floyd County in November 2004.

Sewer Projects Questioned

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...At a recent meeting, Mountain Water District board member Ancie Casey said progress needs to be made on sewer projects at Majestic and Belfry or the district needs to stop talking about them. Casey also expressed frustration with the perceived lack of progress on a proposed sewer system for the Pond Creek area, but he said he is aware that property is an issue. Grondall Potter, project manager for Utility Management Group at MWD, said the site selected at Pond Creek is the only suitable site that could be found because other sites are in the flood plain, tied up in litigation or do not meet regulations for distance from residences. Potter said the completion of a survey of how many people will connect to the Majestic project will determine what type of assistance can be secured from other agencies. MWD Board Chairperson Rhonda James said MWD representative Roy Sawyers has made progress in working to secure coal severance funding already allocated for the projects. At a recent meeting of the Pike County Fiscal Court, Dist. 6 Magistrate Chris Harris vowed to file a complaint with the Kentucky Public Service Commission if progress is not made on the Belfry sewer project for which he said millions of dollars in funding have been secured.

Accident Injures Three

{South Williamson, Kentucky}...Around 11:30 A.M. Friday morning, a vehicle driven by Verda Justice, 61, of McVeigh, collided with a vehicle driven by 88 year old Doris Bevins of Williamson at the South Williamson Walmart at the South Side Mall intersection at Goody. Police say Justice, who was traveling north on U.S. 119, apparently ran a red light and wasn’t aware of Bevins’ vehicle as it entered the highway from the mall exit. Bevins was transported to Williamson Appalachian Regional Hospital with back and neck injuries. Justice and his wife, Linda, 57, were also transported to Williamson Appalachian Regional Hospital with back and neck injuries.