Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Beshear Calls EPA Ruling A Victory For Miners

{Washington, D.C.}...In response to a lawsuit filed by the National Mining Association against the EPA and Administrator Lisa Jackson, U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton in Washington, D.C. ruled Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its powers by setting up water-quality criteria for coal mining operations in Appalachia. Last year, the EPA tightened guidelines on the practice of dumping waste into Appalachian valley waterways from surface mine blasting. Walton said the EPA infringed on the authority given to state regulators by federal clean water and surface mining acts. Governor Steve Beshear voiced his support of Walton's decision, saying the action is a victory for coal miners who have seen mines close and their jobs put in jeopardy. Beshear said the regulations had essentially halted three dozen pending coal permits in Kentucky.

Layoffs In Pike County

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Kentucky Fuel Corporation has announced it will have three facilities affected by nearly 100 layoffs in Pike County. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification filed on July 16th shows 37 workers will be laid off in Pikeville and 62 in Varney. Mike Elswick, district office supervisor of the Pikeville Office of Mine Safety and Licensing, says the company, which has three mines licensed in Pike County, has two mines that weren't producing coal. The layoffs come after Alpha Natural Resources laid off 436 employees in Pike and Martin areas and Arch Coal who laid off 500 employees in eastern Kentucky in June.

Salyersville Considering UMG Contract

{Salyersville, Kentucky}...Utility Management Group has been running Salyersville Water District for several months trying to fix budget problems and prevent a state takeover. UMG's contract ends August 7th, and some say they are wasting more money and do not need outsiders to run the plant. The board accepted two bids for new management, one from UMG and one from a local group, but Tuesday, the water board made a motion to extend UMG's contract temporarily, but some people say UMG should not be there at all and that they have not accomplished anything in the time they have been there. The board plans to call a working session next week to extend UMG's contract, but one Salyersville resident says quit giving them $4,500 a month and let that go towards bills the water district owes.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Meth Found In Johnson County Cemetery

{Keaton, Kentucky}...Johnson County Sheriff's Deputies are investigating after meth was found Sunday at a cemetery in the Keaton area. Deputies responded to a call that someone had been making meth in the cemetery. Deputies say it looks like this is not the first time someone has been in the cemetery making meth. Anyone with information should call the Johnson County Sheriff's Department.

Perry County Attempted Murder Trial Continues

{Hazard, Kentucky}...The defense began presenting its case Monday in the trial of Tracy Napier of Bonnyman. The Perry County man is charged with attempted murder. Police say, in September 2010, Napier had gone to confront Holbrook at his home where a verbal altercation occurred. After Napier left, Holbrook and another man identified as Paul Wooton drove to Napier’s home on Napier Cemetery Road where a second verbal altercation broke out. Napier alleged pointed a gun at Holbrook’s head before he lowered the gun and shot Holbrook in the ankle. Napier's first trial ended in a mistrial in August 2011.

Floyd County Man Charged With Animal Abuse

{Prestonsburg,  Kentucky}...Duane Conley, a Floyd County man charged with abusing a dog named Moo is expected to be in court on August 15th after being charged with second degree cruelty to animals. Conley, 45, was arrested Friday. Moo the Great Dane was found in the German Bridge area of Floyd County badly neglected and severely malnourished, but Conley says someone else dropped the dog off and he was trying to help it. Police discovered  Conley had been caring for the dog since at least June 19th. Moo is currently being cared for at Highland Veterinary Clinic in Johnson County, where Dr. Joel Salyer says his prognosis for recovery is really very good .

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Knott County Officials Appealing Conviction

Knott County Judge Executive Randy Thompson and three others were in court Friday appealing a 2008 vote buying conviction. John Mac Combs, Phillip Champion, Ronnie Adams and Thompson allegedly allowed county blacktop and gravel be applied to private drives in exchange for votes leading up to the 2006 general election. An attorney for Thompson says a ruling could take between two weeks to three months. 

Escapee Turns Himself In

{Hazard, Kentucky}...James Herald, 33, of Combs, turned himself in to Kentucky State Police in Hazard Friday after escaping from custody of the Kentucky River Regional Jail while on work detail in the Perry County Park on July 3rd. Herald was 33 days into a one-year sentence for shoplifting and public intoxication, dating from 2011 and 2012. However, with his new charge of second degree-escape he could be facing up to an additional five years in jail.

Drowning Victim's Body Recovered

{Sassafras, Kentucky}...The search for a Knott County man who drowned at Carr Creek Lake on Thursday ended Friday when the body of 20 year old Terry Combs, Jr., of Carrie, was recovered around noon. Emergency responders were called to the lake’s dam near the Sassafras community at approximately 3:45 P.M. Thursday following a report that a man had possibly drowned while swimming at the lake. Agencies that responded include the Floyd County Rescue Squad, the Knott County rescue team, Pike County rescue and the Neon Fire Department dive team.

Frank and Nancy Phillips Cemetery Dedication

{Phelps, Kentucky}...Friday, Hatfield and McCoy relatives, Pike County officials and officials from the city and county Tourism Commissions joined others at the Frank Phillips Cemetery in Phelps for the Frank and Nancy Phillips Cemetery Dedication. The event shared the birthday of Franklin “Bad Frank” Phillips. Phillips, a deputy sheriff at the time of the infamous Hatfield McCoy fued, with the help of his supporters, were able to capture the Hatfields. According to Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford, the cemetery was located on a reclaimed strip mining site and unavailable for the community to visit. The County Government helped make the cemetery accessible by building stairs and handrails, clearing off the cemetery and repairing the road that leads to it.

Pikeville Man Charged With Arson

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...John Rus Hall, 50, of Hurricane Road in Pikeville, was arrested around 4:00 A.M. Friday after allegedly being spotted by Charlie Bryant setting a home on Hurricane Road on fire. Hall told police he was there to see his girlfriend, April Akers. Hall pleaded not guilt Friday to a charge of arson and faces a preliminary hearing on August 2nd. He was ordered held at the Pike County Detention Center on a $50,000 full cash bond.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Highway Safety Team Meeting

According to Randy Peppers of the Kentucky Department of Insurance there are things Pike Countians can do to lower their insurance rates.  Peppers' remarks were delivered during a recent meeting of the Pike County Highway Safety Team held at Highway District 12 in Pikeville.  Collisions and violations of traffic laws are two areas that impact insurance rates.

During East Kentucky Broadcasting's "Drive Down" initiative there has been a reduction in crashes, injuries and fatalities in Pike County.  Also speaking at the meeting was Pike County Attorney Howard Keith Hall explaining a motion he recently filed with the Pike District Court that could alter the way traffic violations are handled.  He was especially concerned with the rate of dismissal of violations in Pike County.  He is seeking approval of his Office before disposition of traffic cases are accomplished.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Woman Sentenced For Threat Against Senator McConnell

{Lexington, Kentucky}...Fifty year old Susan Mary Collins of Lexington  has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for threatening to kill U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell. Collins previously pleaded guilty to sending a letter on September 2nd threatening to kill McConnell. McConnell perceived the letter as a genuine threat that could cause him harm. Collins will have to serve 85 percent of her prison sentence.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Students Inducted Into Hall Of Fame

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...The 12th annual Hall of Fame banquet/induction ceremony was held Tuesday evening at Belfry High School, where two students from Belfry High School and one from Shelby Valley High School, along with the 2011 AAA state runner-up Belfry football team, became the newest members to be selected to the 2012 Pike County Academic/Athletic Hall of Fame. Newly honored inductees were Belfry student athlete, Keegan Dale Fields, who received first team All-State honors by the Associated Press for his football talent, Shelby Valley High School student Trent Morgan Tackett, who attained a composite score of 34 on the ACT and currently has a 4.0 grade point average and Belfry High School student Damon Keith Wallace, who attained a composite score of 32 on the ACT and who also has a 4.0 grade point average. Also recognized was former inductee (2011) James Andrew Burke of Pike County Central High School, who attained a composite score of 34 on the ACT and held a 4.0 grade point average. Special recognition was given to Burke due to his recent achievement of twice scoring a perfect 36 on the ACT.
  

Police Chase Leads To Arrest

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Pikeville Police Officer Scotty Hamilton observed 22 year old Joshua S. Harris, of Kewanee Road, Pikeville, exceeding the speed limit on U.S. 23 near Stone Coal Road just after 3:30 A.M. Thursday while operating his motorcycle. Hamilton turned to pursue Harris who then accelerated, made a sudden U-turn at Ratliffs Creek to drive northbound, refusing to stop and continued through Coal Run at speeds over 100 mph, while running a red light at the intersection of U.S. 23 and Mossy Bottom Road, and then drove up a dead end road on Old Wagoner Station, where he was arrested. He was charged with second-degree fleeing or evading police, reckless driving and disregarding a traffic control device and lodged in the Pike County Detention Center.

Hate Crimes Statute Challenged

The attorney for 20 year old Anthony Ray Jenkins of Partridge is challenging the law that protects people against attacks motivated by sexual orientation, saying the law "arbitrarily" creates a protected class of people and that's not what Congress intended in passing the legislation in 2009. Anthony Jenkins and his cousin, 37 year old David Jason Jenkins of Cumberland, have pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, assault and violating the hate crime law. Prosecutors say they assaulted Kevin Pennington at Kingdom Come State Park on April 4, 2011 because he was gay. Prosecutors say the men are the first to be charged under the hate crimes statute. If convicted, they face life in prison.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Floyd County Businessman Faces Assault Charge

Malcolm Layne, the owner of Layne's Motor Company in Floyd County, is facing assault charges. Wade Conway says he was renting from Layne and Layne pulled into the yard of a home and threatened to shoot him and to run him over. After that, Conway says Layne backed into him with a truck. Layne faces up to ten years in prison if convicted.

Letcher County Man Pleads Guilty

{Whitesburg, Kentucky}...Stevie Wynn, a man facing several charges in Letcher County, including assault and driving on a suspended license, has pleaded guilty. Wynn was involved in a wreck in 2010 that injured someone and then he left the scene. Wynn was re-arrested earlier this year following a nearly eight month search after he escaped from custody in Knott County and allegedly assaulted a Perry County Deputy Jailer. Wynn will be sentenced September 12th.

Perry County Coal Companies Face Lawsuit

{London, Kentucky}...Attorneys Cheryl U. Lewis of Hyden and McKinnley Morgan of London filed a federal lawsuit Friday on behalf of 139 former employees at Frasure Creek Mining LLC and Trinity Coal Corporation in Perry County. The lawsuit says that, on March 19th, Trinity Coal said in a separate federal lawsuit that because a large customer had stopped taking coal, it had idled operations, laid off 260 people in Perry County and expected more layoffs. The lawsuit claims that, after seeing media reports on that claim, Trinity and Frasure Creek employees asked company managers if they needed to look for other work, and the managers told them their jobs were safe. On March 28th, the employees got a letter with their paychecks from Doug Blackburn, president of Trinity Creek, that did not indicate they were about to be laid off. The two companies laid off 29 employees on April 2nd and more than 100 additional workers less than two weeks later. Under federal law, the workers were entitled to 60 days' notice. The complaint seeks 60 days' pay and benefits for the former company employees, as well as punitive damages and attorney fees.

Police Identify Human Remains

{Hazard, Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police confirmed Wednesday that human remains found in a burned vehicle at an abandoned mine belonged to 26 year old David E. Sparkman and 18 year old Keisha M. Sexton, both of Topmost. Troopers at the Hazard post were alerted last week to the possible remains. Police continue to investigate. Anyone who may have information regarding the deaths of David Sparkman and Keisha Sexton are urged to contact Det. Chris Collins of the Kentucky State Police at 606-435-6069.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pikeville Renews Expo Center Lease

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...During a regular meeting Monday, the Pikeville City Commission renewed its lease of the Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center. City Manager Donovan Blackburn says the terms of the lease did not change, and the city retains all the rights and privileges to operate the Expo Center as they see fit. The city will control the grounds, management and contracts, but the state still owns the Expo Center. Blackburn says the existing lease is for 99 years, and each year the commission would have to pay one dollar to lease the Expo Center. During the meeting, the commission approved a $99 upfront payment. Blackburn says the cost of operating the Expo Center remained flat from last year to this year at a $650,000 loss which was predicted by the commission and by a feasibility study that was conducted.
However, the Expo Center had a 10 percent increase in it’s customer base last year. Blackburn says, last
year, the Expo Center was used 280 days out of the 365. The commission also approved to open up bids for the beverage rights for the Expo Center. Bids are due in next week.

Woman Resists Arrest

{Coal Run, Kentucky}...Police Officer Josh Little responded to an incident at the Kentucky Fried Chicken in Coal Run Sunday after two females passed out at a table. Little says, when he arrived, the women attempted to leave. Little says 24 year old Alicia L. Johnson of Robinson Creek Road told him she had snorted Tylenol. As Little attempted to make an arrest, Johnson refused to get into his cruiser, but instead, began cursing at Little. Once inside the cruiser, Johnson kicked out the back windows on both sides then climbed out a window. Little used pepper spray, but Johnson resisted before being arrested and taken to the Pike County Detention Center. Johnson pleaded not guilty, and a pretrial hearing was set for Thursday.

Diner Struck By Vehicle

{Elkhorn City, Kentucky}...The Snack Shack Diner just outside Elkhorn City received heavy damage when a vehicle believed to be driven by Gary Hodge crashed into it around 1:15 P.M. Monday. Police say the vehicle was passing over a bridge near the diner when it struck a large truck which was passing in the opposite lane, causing it to careen through a fence before crashing into the diner. Hodge was transported to Pikeville Medical Center.

Marijuana Related Charges

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Last Thursday, police cited 33 year old Gregory L. Byrd after aerial surveillance spotted marijuana growing at his residence at Little Robinson Creek. Police say Byrd admitted to cultivating the four plants. An arraignment is set for August 15th. Sunday, KSP Trooper Craig Hulsey was dispatched to Lookout to meet with Trooper Jamie Rose who said he had observed 40 year old Jason O. Bentley of Hellier driving an ATV to the location where Trooper Rose was and then leaving with area with what appeared to be two marijuana plants. Rose says he had to use force to arrest Bentley. Bentley pleaded guilty Monday before Pike District Judge Kelsey E. Friend Jr., who ordered Bentley to serve 30 days in jail, probated for one year, and to pay $450 in fines and court costs.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Health Insurance Forum Set

{Prestonsburg, Kentucky}...Representatives of the state Department of Insurance and Cabinet for Health and Family Services will hold a public forum at 1:00 P.M. Friday at Big Sandy Community and Technical College in Prestonsburg to explain the details of the new Kentucky health insurance exchange which is 
 part of the state’s effort to comply with the Affordable Care Act. Under the act, states are required to establish the exchanges where people making up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level can purchase health insurance at a discount through government subsidies. Under one example provided by the government, a family of four making $35,000 a year could obtain health insurance for roughly $100 a month. Similar meetings will be held in Erlanger on Wednesday, Louisville on Thursday, Somerset on August 1st, Paducah on August 16th and Owensboro on August 17th.

Magoffin County Ambulance Service Faces Suspension

{Salyersville, Kentucky}...Questcare Ambulance Service in Magoffin County has until August 2nd to correct deficiencies with documentation, training, and physical equipment. Questcare is the only ambulance service in the county, and the company's possible suspension is more than an inconvenience. Questcare officials say they are doing what they can to correct their mistakes. Trans-Star Ambulance Service in Floyd County has filed a letter of intent for a certificate of need, and  the state license would grant Trans-Star the right to serve the people of Magoffin County.

Jail Administrator Seeking To Retire

{Paintsville, Kentucky}...The board that oversees the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center voted in June to select Randy Bowen as the new administrator after the current jail administrator, Randy Madan, announced his retirement. During a special called meeting when Bowen was supposed to sign his contract, some board members decided they wanted a new vote in favor of Pete Fitzpatrick. Board member Jim Kelly says they brought up some new items to go on the agenda which was an illegal act. The board's original requirements say each candidate must have at least 10 years of law enforcement experience which Fitzpatrick does not have.  Madan says he just wants to retire and leave the jail in good hands. The board's next regularly scheduled meeting will be the third week in August.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Human Remains Found In Knott County

{Topmost, Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police in Hazard are investigating after human remains were found in a burned vehicle at an abandoned mine on Mullins Branch Road in the Topmost community of Knott County. After receiving a report late Friday of possible remains inside the vehicle, troopers responded to the scene and found the remains of two people were burned beyond recognition. The vehicle and the remains were taken to the state Medical Examiner’s office for further examination. State police continue to investigate and say anyone with information about the case should call the post in Hazard at 606-435-6069. Family members say the remains found are those of David Sparkman and Keisha Sexton of Dry Creek.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

PMC Conducts Emergency Mock Drill

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Crews at Pikeville Medical Center performed an emergency mock drill Friday. Hospital spokeswoman Patty Thompson says Friday's drill was specifically a mock-disaster involving a chemical leak and spill. It's the first time the hospital also incorporated a decontamination drill at the same time.

Former Letcher County Teacher, Football Coach Charged

{Fleming-Neon, Kentucky}...Former Fleming-Neon football coach and teacher Stephen Holbrook is charged with assault after he allegedly used a piece of glass to stab his sister. He is also charged with fleeing and evading because police say he put up a fight during the arrest and had to be tased.

Body Found Atop Abandoned Building

{Cumberland, Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police were called to an abandoned Big Lots store building by Cumberland Police Friday after 20 year old Brandon O'Neil Hall was found dead on the roof of the building. Police believe Hall was trying to steal the copper wiring that supplied electricity to the building. Hall was pronounced dead at the scene by Deputy Harlan County Coroner Jim Bush. The body was sent to the State Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy.

Accident Kills Corbin Man

{Corbin, Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police say 21 year old Nathaniel Roberts of Corbin was killed Friday afternoon when a car driven by a 17 year old girl collided with the motorcycle he was driving on State Highway 1232 in Knox County. Drugs and alcohol are not suspected factors in the crash.

State Police Targeting Coal Trucks

{Pineville, Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police are stepping up traffic patrols after receiving multiple complaints about speeding coal trucks on U.S. 119 between Harlan and Pineville. Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officer Mark Scott says people are terrified about coal trucks tailgating them, and, while not all drivers are at fault, those who are need to practice safer driving skills.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Rain Slows Pike County Schools' Construction

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Pike County School officials have been told that construction on Shelby Valley Elementary and Phleps Elementary have fallen behind, but contractors have plans to get back on schedule. During a regular meeting Tuesday, Bill Richardson, who is working on the Shelby Valley Elementary School, told the Pike County Board of Education that the second story of the school is ready for trusses, and the cafeteria already has trusses placed on the building, but progress on the site has been slowed down by rain. According to Assistant Superintendent Roger Johnson, the Shelby Valley Elementary construction project has suffered some delays, but the current prediction for the school’s opening is April 2013.

Pikeville McDonald’s Demolished

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Pikeville City Manager Donovan Blackburn says the demolition on Thursday of the downtown Pikeville McDonald’s occurred with the intent to rebuild a bigger and more modern facility. Blackburn says owners Tom and Bob Hutchinson saw a need to expand, but Blackburn says he is unaware of when the establishment will be reopened.

Letcher County Jail Escapee Captured

Letcher County jail escapee Byron Bentley has been captured. The Letcher County Sheriff's Department received an anonymous call saying Bentley was leaving Virginia and was on his way into Kentucky in a maroon Grand Am. The Jenkins Police Chief spotted the vehicle and pulled him over. Bentley escaped more than a week ago after an elevator stopped in the wrong place in the courthouse.

Marijuana Bust In Perry County

{Maces Creek, Kentucky}...Thursday, Perry County Sheriff’s Deputies seized 32 marijuana plants with an estimated street value of  $32,000. Members of a contracting crew working at the head of Big Wooton Fork on the Right Fork of Maces Creek contacted the sheriff’s office after they encountered people acting suspicious on a haul road, blocking the path with ATVs. Thursday’s seizure made the second for deputies this week. They also seized four marijuana plants on Wednesday while responding to a welfare complaint in the county.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Flooding Hits Kentucky

Pike County Emergency Management Director Doug Tackett says flooding caused minor damage to roads and bridges Wednesday. Heavy rains threatened residents of Harless Creek when water from creeks threatened their homes. Knott County Judge-Executive Randy Thompson says about 50 people were evacuated from Breedings Creek after torrential rains caused a holding pond at a surface coal mine to overflow. Water from the holding pond, called a silt pond, flowed into a pay fishing lake downhill. Officials pumped water from the lake Wednesday afternoon. Thompson says flooding also damaged roads and bridges. The damage was concentrated in the Carr Creek and Red Fox area.

Highway Dedicated To Fallen Soldier

{Robinson Creek, Kentucky}...During a ceremony Wednesday in Pike County, Kentucky Highway 122 in the Robinson Creek community was dedicated to Sergeant Chester Gene Hall who was leading his troops into Cambodia when he received fatal wounds in 1970. The VFW Post in Pound, Virginia presented full military honors at the event.

Coal Severance Shortfall Expected

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...An expected shortfall in the coal severance fund for the next two years could leave the Pike County Fiscal Court with a change in its priority list. Pike Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford said, during Tuesday’s meeting, that his office was recommending putting together a priority list of all projects each year. Pike County Attorney Roland Case says the figure he was given is that there will likely be at least a $600,000 shortfall for the projects approved in the first year. Rutherford said the total expected shortfall he has been told could be $1.7 million. The court will take the matter up in its next meeting, set for 10:00 A.M. August 7th.

Brothers Charged With Animal Cruelty

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Twenty-seven year old Zack Damron of Harless Creek, Regina, was arrested Saturday on seven counts of seconddegree cruelty to animals. The arrest was in relation to the June arrest of Damron’s brother, Ivan Damron, also known as Eyvind Damron. The brothers are accused of abusing six cats and a dog, most of which were found dead. A pretrial hearing for both brothers is set for September 12th.

Fugitive Arrested In Pike County

{Turkey Creek, Kentucky}...Pike County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested accused cocaine dealer 37 year old Jerome A. “Oatmeal” Smith of Cleveland. Smith was arrested at a Turkey Creek residence on Tuesday. He was wanted in West Virginia in relation to his alleged dealing of cocaine and was the last remaining fugitive on Mingo County’s most wanted fugitives list.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

MSHA Cites Letcher County Mine

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has cited the Hubble Mining Company LLC Mine No. 9 in Letcher County after mine foreman, 47 year old Jerry E. Britton, died of injuries from an accident on November 7th. Britton suffered severe head injuries when a personnel carrier lurched forward and pinned him against the side of the mine. According to MSHA's report on Friday, the carrier is made to transport miners, but workers were using it to haul wooden blocks at the time of the accident. In addition, the report said a safety feature on the device had been modified.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Man Plans Run To Help Family

{Prestonsburg, Kentucky}...Shane Lawson, director of Highlands Physical Therapy, will be competing in the Burning River 100, a 100-mile foot race from Willoughby to Cuyahoga Falls, in Ohio, July 28th and 29th. Lawson, who works with Anna Angus of Harold, says he's looking for a way to help the Angus family with medical bills, as well as other bills. The day after giving birth to a son, Jace, on Valentine’s Day, Angus and her husband, Sheldon, learned the child had a heart murmur and a ventricular septal defect. The child was later diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart defect. Jace underwent open-heart surgery June 6th and requires additional surgeries every 3-to-5 years. Lawson has already completed two 50-mile races this year. Lawson is accepting donations in conjunction with his race. Those wishing to donate money can either pledge an amount per mile that he finishes or a flat amount.

Donations may be sent to:
Run For Jace, c/o Highlands Physical Therapy, 83 Dewey St., Prestonsburg, KY 41653

Please make any checks payable to Anna Angus

Donations may also be dropped off at any of the Highlands Physical Therapy locations — Harold Primary Care, Archer Physical Therapy, HRMC or at Paintsville Medical Building.

Female Perry County Inmates Escape

{Viper, Kentucky}...Perry County Jail officials say Fallon Hall and Karen Bailey were on work detail at Lewis Cemetery along Maces Creek in the Viper community early Monday morning when they escaped from the custody of the Kentucky River Regional Jail. Hall, 29, of Happy, was being held on an indictment alleging first-degree drug trafficking and second-degree persistent felony offender. She was alleged to have possessed 18 Methadone tablets with the intent to distribute on September 28, 2011. Bailey, of Viper, who is also known as Karen Caudill, is facing charges of second-degree burglary and theft by unlawful taking. She was indicted in September 2011 after she allegedly burglarized a residence and stole more than $10,000 in cash in June 2011. This makes the second escape from work release in Perry County this month. On July 3rd, 33 year old James Herald of Combs escaped and has still not been found.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pike County Beauty Brings Home The Crown

{Lexington, Kentucky}...During a ceremony at the University of Kentucky Singletary Center for the Arts Saturday night, 31 young women anxiously competed for the title of Miss Kentucky 2012. One of Pike Counties own beauties, 19 year old Georgetown College student Jessica Danielle Casebolt of Pikeville, walked away with the coveted crown. Casebolt says this was her second time competing in the Miss Kentucky pageant, the most amazing experience in her life, and she knows it's only going to get better. Casebolt qualified to compete in the Miss Kentucky pageant by winning Miss Goldenrod. She will once again show her sparkling talent and beauty when she represents Kentucky in the Miss America pageant in Las Vegas in January. For her talent, Casebolt sang Superstar. Her biography says she is teaching herself to play guitar and hosts her own radio show. Casebolt competed on a platform of heart health awareness. Her mother, Carol Casebolt, says Jessica chose that platform because there is a history of heart disease in their family and because she has enjoyed working with heart patients as a volunteer at Pikeville Medical Center. She is considered the state's official hostess, representing the Kentucky Proud marketing program, providing motivational programs for students and appearing at conventions, parades and other events. Casebolt is a political science major who plans to pursue a law degree. She was scheduled to study at Oxford University next year, but, with her upcoming schedule, those plans will have to wait. As Miss Kentucky, she receives prizes that include thousands of dollars in scholarships, more than $5,000 in wardrobe certificates, personal fitness training, dental care, dry cleaning services, jewelry, and hair and skin care.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Judge Rules Shooting Not Self Defense

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Pike Circuit Judge Eddy Coleman has ruled that, when 39 year old Everett Paul Norman of Pond Creek Road, Belcher fatally shot 30 year old Jesse W. Church of Harold on June 13th, it was not an act of self-defense. The ruling was in response to a motion filed July 2nd  by Norman’s attorney, Sid Trivette, to dismiss the case based on the "Castle Doctrine." Coleman’s decision came just days after Norman was released from the Pike County Detention Center after posting bond on July 2nd. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for October 5th.

Pike County Man Charged With Burglary

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Forty-seven year old George David Williams was this past week after police say he broke into a residence near his home on Varney Branch Road in Kimper. Williams served eight years in prison after a fatal 2003 crash that killed Carolyn Adkins, Larry Smallwood and Dudley Williams. A Pike County jury found Williams guilty in 2004 of three counts of reckless homicide. Williams was lodged in the Pike County Detention Center on a charge of second-degree burglary. A preliminary hearing is set for Thursday.

Accident Leads To Drug Arrest

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Twenty-six year old Leslie Younce of Canada was arrested Friday and charged with DUI and possession of a controlled substance after police responded to the scene where she crashed her Jeep Cherokee SUV on Meta Highway. Police say Younce was traveling eastbound when her vehicle left the roadway and crashed into a utility pole. Kentucky State Police Trooper First Class Shannon Jones says Younce said she was on a generic form of the muscle relaxer Flexeril and that she had not taken any other medication. However, when Jones searched Younce’s possessions, he found a number of pills, including Hydrocodone, wrapped in a paper towel. Younce claimed she was taking them to a friend but then changed her story, saying a friend gave them to her. Younce was lodged in the Pike County Detention Center.

Charity Thrift Store Vandalized

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Charles “Monk” Sanders, who operates the H.O.P.E. Charity Thrift Store along Collins Highway, says he's 90 percent sure former inmate workers are responsible for multiple windows being busted out of his vehicles. Sanders says every week he has to run some of them off the property. He says he thinks the problem is drug related. The break-in was reported around 7:30 A.M. Friday after his employee, who had picked up some inmates, noticed it while walking alongside another passenger van on their way to open the building.

Helicopter Flights Over Coal Mining Operations

{Frankfort, Kentucky}...The Kentucky Division of Mine Reclamation and Enforcement has spent more than $477,000 over the past four years for helicopter flight to watch over coal operators through aerial surveillance in central Appalachia, a region that's been the center of debate over mountaintop removal mining. The agency has been spending on average nearly $2,000 on each citation issued to mining companies for violations spotted from the air through an initiative started by the federal government's Office of Surface Mining. The flyovers came as a surprise to mining industry leaders, including Kentucky Coal Association President Bill Bissett, who not only complained about their "covert" nature but also questioned their effectiveness. Haven King, a political leader in Perry County and an outspoken critic of what he sees as regulatory overreach, says, "There is a war against coal in Appalachia. They're going to shut coal mining down, and they're doing it through policy, not law." Jim Waters, head of the government watchdog group Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy, says coal miners are losing their jobs, yet we're spending all of this money to further regulate the mining industry.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Flags Ordered Lowered To Half-Staff

{Frankfort, Kentucky}...Governor Steve Beshear has ordered that all flags at state office buildings are to be lowered to half-staff Sunday in honor of former state Representative Dewayne Bunch of Williamsburg, who died Wednesday. Bunch was injured in April 2011 when he intervened in a fight among two students at Whitley County High School, where he was a teacher. He was struck by a stray punch and his head hit the floor of the school cafeteria.

Former Doctor Seeks Lighter Sentence

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Richard Albert, a former Paintsville doctor who pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Pikeville in December to federal charges, sent a letter to U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar last month, asking for a lighter sentence later this month. In the letter, Albert said greed got the best of him, clouding his eyes, but he deeply regrets his actions. Prosecutors say, from January 2009 until February 2011, Albert illegally distributed 50,000 OxyCodone pills while he worked at Care More Pain Management.  Albert is set to be sentenced July 30th.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Johnson County Man Indicted

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...A Pike County Grand Jury has indicted year old Jeffery Holbrook of Van Lear on charged including first-degree robbery, receiving stolen property, theft and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Police say he approached Haylee Combs at the Pikeville Super Dollar Gas ‘N Go and attempted to rob her at gunpoint. When she told Holbrook she had no money, he left the scene. Police located his vehicle at the Pikeville Walmart, where police say he had shoplifted several pieces of fishing equipment. Police say the gun had also been reported stolen. Holbrook remains lodged in the Pike County Detention Center on a
$50,000 bond.

Pike County Detention Center Inmate Pleads Guilty

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Forty-nine year old Billie Lou Mosley of Auxier pleaded guilty this week in U.S. District Court in Pikeville to a charge of attempting to possess or obtain a prohibited object. Billie Mosley was an inmate at the Pike County Detention Center in April on a drug charge when her son, Justin  Mosley, allegedly supplied marijuana to 42 year old Clyde Glenn Kennedy II of Martin who, according to testimony from a federal drug task force agent, supplied the marijuana to a work release inmate working at the Pike County Animal Shelter who smuggled it into the jail. Billie Mosley faces a possible sentence of five years in federal prison. Also awaiting trial on a separate federal drug charge was Mosley’s son, 30 year old Arnold Mosley III of Auxier who pleaded guilty last month to the same charge as his mother and also faces a similar sentence. Kennedy has pleaded guilty to a charge of attempting to introduce a prohibited object. Billie Mosely’s husband, Arnold Mosley Jr., and their son, Justin Daniel Mosley, are still facing charges.

Muscle On Main

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Muscle on Main returns to the streets of Pikeville Friday and Saturday evening. Spectators can begin the weekend’s event with the block party beginning at 6:00 P.M. Friday in the rear parking lot of Applebee’s, where Jeff Branham Productions’ “Those Guys” will jam with special guest Caitlyn Good. City Events Director Jesse Bowling says the car show and cruise-in will begin at 3:00 P.M. with the burnout, beginning at 7:00 P.M.

Former State Representative Dies

Former state Representative 50 year old Dewayne Bunch has died more than a year after suffering a head injury while trying to break up a fight among two students at Whitley County High School where he was a teacher. When Bunch intervened in the fight in April 2011, he was struck by a stray punch, and his head hit the floor of the school cafeteria. Bunch resigned from the legislature last year. Voters in the 82nd District chose his wife, Regina Bunch, as his replacement.

ARH To Be In Court

Appalachian Regional Healthcare will be back in federal court Thursday asking the state to show cause for why they are not accepting Medicaid transfers after Coventry wanted to break its contract with ARH. Last month, a judge ruled that, without ARH, Coventry would not have a sufficient network and ordered that the contract stay intact until November 1st. 

Fatal Hit-And-Run Going To Grand Jury

{Prestonsburg, Kentucky}...The case of Floyd County man charged in a fatal hit-and-run accident is headed to a grand jury. Kentucky State Police say, on July 6th, Charles Hunter of Melvin was driving a SUV when he hit 18 year old Alex Mullins' motorcycle along KY 122 in Floyd County and fled the scene. Mullins was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Hunter was arrested on a long list of charges that included DUI and driving on a suspended license. Hunter could face additional charges when the grand jury meets. He is being held in the Floyd County Detention Center.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Floyd County Man Pleads Not Guilty

{Prestonsburg, Kentucky}...Christopher Salyers, a man who led police on a high speed chase earlier this month, has pleaded not guilty in Floyd County. Prestonsburg Police say Salyers was pulled over for reckless driving and gave false identification, and, when the officer confronted him about it, Salyers grabbed the officer by the arm and sped away, leading police on a chase on US 23 South, while reaching speeds of 125 miles per hour. Police followed him into Pikeville where he lost control of his car and hit a vehicle just north of Pikeville High School. Salyers' bond is set at $500,000 cash.

Public Forum Set

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...A News Express hosted public forum is set for 6:00 P.M. Monday in the ballroom at the East Kentucky Exposition Center. The focus of the forum is to discuss commercial air service at the Pikeville-Pike County Airport. The supporters of the project recently approached the Pike Fiscal Court to ask the agency to approve the resolution, but the project has been stalled. The resolution voiced support for the allocation of more than $1 million in multi-county coal severance funding, and it must be approved by at least two fiscal courts in the area before it can be allocated. The Floyd County Fiscal Court has already approved the resolution. City Commissioner Barry Chaney says the opportunity for a commercial air service may not come again for this area, and, if the Federal Aviation Administration reclassifies the Pikeville-Pike County Airport, it could force the facility to shorten its runway, as has occurred at Ashland’s airport. Chaney says that could cause the Kellogg’s Corporation to pull the company’s plant at Kimper out of the area and could also affect the 15 national brand stores that are to be developed on Thompson Road.

Former U-Bet Employee Violates Bond

{Hazard, Kentucky}...Christianne Clemons, a Breathitt County woman who was allegedly involved in a staged assault and robbery in Hazard, is back in jail for violating her bond agreement. Clemons admitted last Thursday to using drugs while out on bond. In April, Clemons, who was a U-Bet employee, and three others allegedly staged a carjacking where $17,000 from U-Bet was stolen. Just a few days later, police arrested Clemons and accused her of staging the robbery, and later arrested Hiram Noble, Jerry Hurt and Sharon Hensley. Noble pleaded not guilty on June 15th. Hurt is currently lodged in the Blackburn Correctional Facility in Lexington. Hensley was placed on home incarceration, but according to HPD Captain Jason Duff, is currently on the run.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Letcher County Jail Inmate Escapes

{Whitesburg, Kentucky}...Police are searching for Byron Bentley, a Letcher County Jail inmate who escaped around 5:30 P.M. Saturday night. Jailer Don McCall says Bentley went out through the courtroom on the district court floor of the courthouse after an elevator malfunctioned and stopped on the wrong floor while several inmates were heading to the roof for outdoor recreation. Bentley is described as 6’2” tall, 190 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.

Escapee Recaptured

{Pineville,  Kentucky}...Sammy Chilton could have been up for parole in February, but now he faces more time behind bars after he and Timothy Bowling escaped from the Bell County Forestry Camp last week. Chilton was caught on Saturday in the Wallins Creek area of Harlan County. The Marshall County native admits he hated the Bell County Forestry Camp but he never intended on leaving. Chilton says it all started out as a joke. Timothy Bowling is still missing, and Chilton says he does not know where he is.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

New Laws Going Into Effect

A long list of new laws are set to go into effect Thursday, including one that will allow Kentucky to offer beefed-up tax incentives to encourage automobile manufacturers and parts suppliers to expand production in the state. Governor Steve Beshear signed about 150 bills into law earlier this year. Some are aimed at cracking down on makers of methamphetamine, thieves who steal copper and the release of wild pigs. The newly enacted anti-meth initiative allows people to purchase no more than two packages per month of medications that contain ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. Under another law, sellers will have to leave their address at recycling centers so payments can be sent in the mail, giving police a way to find them if the materials are stolen. The law also requires that recycling center workers review reports on recently stolen scrap metal so that they can alert police to suspicious materials. Motorists also can begin watching and listening for "Blue Alerts" on the state's highways. Lawmakers created an emergency alert system to help catch people suspected in attacks on police officers. Modeled after the Amber Alert system, the Blue Alerts will be broadcast on radio and be displayed on electronic highway signs. A notable gun law also takes effect Thursday to allow people to carry concealed deadly weapons without a license on their own property, including their places of business. A highway safety law also goes into effect that will require people to wear seatbelts in 15-passenger vans.

Natural Gas Filling Station Planned For Pike County

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Friday, Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford’s office announced it is working toward establishing the region’s first natural gas filling station. The privately owned station will take advantage of gas transmission lines near the Scott Fork Industrial Park off U.S. 119. Rutherford recently announced the county was requesting funding for the project. In March, Ford Motor Company and General Motors announced they were investing in compressed natural gas, or CNG, technology.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Motion Focuses On Traffic Violations

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...In response to an ongoing campaign by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet named “Drive Down,” that has sought to bring awareness to traffic violations and their role in the high rate of vehicle crashes, Pike County Attorney Howard Keith Hall has filed a general motion in Pike District Court that objects to the dismissal, diversion and amendment of traffic charges unless agreed to by his office in open court. Statistics provided by the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts show that the way traffic tickets are dealt with in Pike County doesn’t match the way they are handled statewide. Hall says the court system is going to have to go back to being more rigid in fining people and enforcing the local driving charges.

Man In Hit And Run To Be In Court

{Martin, Kentucky}...A man is scheduled to be in court Monday following a hit and run involving a horse. Police say James Dove was driving his vehicle on Route 1210 in the Martin community of Floyd County last month when he hit a horse carrying James Chaffins and left the scene, leaving Chaffins and his horse severely injured. The horse suffered two broken legs and had to be euthanized.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Accident Kills Pike County Man

{South Williamson, Kentucky}...Police say Ronald Wolford from Turkey Creek was traveling along Kentucky 292 in South Williamson when he lost control of his vehicle and hit a tree. He was transported to the South Williamson ARH where he was pronounced dead.
 

Vigil Held In Pikeville

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...A vigil was held Thursday night at National College in Pikeville for Angel Miller, a mother of two and recent college graduate who died after a wreck in Floyd County. Miller was killed after Jodie Hall crossed the center line and hit her car head on along U.S. 23. No charges have been filed, and toxicology reports are pending.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Power Restored To Thousands

Power outages from Friday's and this week's storms altered planned celebrations in many ways and left powerless residents grumbling that America's birthday would hardly be a party. Cookouts were cancelled or moved to homes with power. Vacation plans were altered. Some residents without power said they weren't in a holiday mood. While the Fourth of July fireworks lit up several skies, thousands were thankful for another kind of lighting. As of 11:00 P.M. Wednesday night, just less than 700 people remained without power in Lawrence and Martin Counties, while power had been restored to customers in Pike and Floyd Counties.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Police Chase Ends In Pikeville

{Prestonsburg, Kentucky}...Prestonsburg police say they received complaints Tuesday afternoon of a reckless driver, and, when officers pulled over the car, the driver, Christopher Salyers, gave them false identification. When the officer questioned Salyers' identification, Salyers grabbed him by the arm and sped away, dragging the officer a few feet before the officer broke loose. Salyers continued onto US-23 southbound, with other officers close behind. Salyers was weaving through traffic, reaching speeds of 125 miles per hour. Police tried to stop him at the Floyd/Pike County line by using spike strips which he avoided by crossing into the northbound lanes of traffic. Just north of Pikeville High School, Salyers struck another vehicle. He then drove another quarter of a mile before he lost control of his car and crashed. Salyers and the people in the car he hit were taken to Pikeville Medical Center.

Perry County Inmate Escapes

{Hazard, Kentucky}...Hazard Police and the Perry County sheriff's deputies are searching for an escaped Kentucky River Regional Jail inmate. Tuesday, 33 year old James Herald of Combs was cutting grass with about one dozen other inmates at the Perry County Park when he fled. Herald was in jail for shoplifting and public intoxication and had about 150 days left on his sentence. Police say he faces an additional year behind bars on escape charges.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Fatal Shooting In Pike County

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police say 23 year old Joshua Pugh was shot Friday evening in the Island Creek community of Pike County. Pugh was taken to Pikeville Medical Center but did not survive. The shooting remains under investigation.

Accident Kills Salyersville Man

{Salyersville, Kentucky}...Kentucky State Police say 64 year old Lonnie Dillion of Salyersville was driving along KY-7 in the Fredsville community of Magoffin County Sunday when his pick-up truck ran off the road, went over an embankment and hit a tree. Dillion was pronounced dead at the scene.

Woman Sentenced In Letcher County Murder

{Jenkins, Kentucky}...Christina Collins will spend 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to tampering with physical evidence and the mishandling of a corpse in connection to the murder of 70 year old Ralph Marcum of Jenkins in Letcher County. Collins, 35, admitted to moving the body of Marcum after he was beaten to death with a hammer by John Pigg on April 12, 2008. Collins also admitted to driving Marcum’s car to an isolated road in Pike County where she helped John Pigg throw the body over an embankment. She admitted to going to Marcum’s apartment with John Pigg and removing non-narcotic prescription drugs and a telephone. Last year, Steven Pigg pleaded guilty to complicity to tampering with physical evidence, and John Pigg pleaded guilty to murder charges. Both testified against Collins and said she was not involved in the actual murder.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Castle Doctrine Claimed In Pike County Murder

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...A hearing is scheduled for 10:00 A.M. Monday morning before Pike Circuit Judge Eddy Coleman regarding a motion made Wednesday by Everett Norman's attorney, Sid Trivette, to invoke the Castle Doctrine in Norman's murder trial. Trivette asked for the case to be dismissed under the provisions of the doctrine. The Castle Doctrine addresses a person’s right to defend themselves or their home with deadly force. Pike County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rick Bartley says 39 year old Everett Norman of Belcher, who is charged with murder in the fatal shooting of 30 year old Jessie Church of Harold, is claiming self-defense under the Castle Doctrine. Bartley says he filed a response Friday to the motion, saying he doesn't think the circumstances addressed by the Castle Doctrine apply in this situation. The case against Norman stems from a June 13th shooting on Pond Creek Road at Draffin. Church was pronounced dead at the scene. Bartley says Norman is claiming that an argument between he and Church took place prior to the shooting, but a witness at the scene of the incident says no argument took place. Norman is being held on a $500,000 cash bond.

Pike County Man Charged With Animal Cruelty

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Ivan Damron, also known as Eyvind Darmon, 30, of Damron Ratliff Road, Regina, was arrested Thursday and charged with seven counts of animal cruelty. Pike County Animal Control officials said Friday a cat, now named "Lucky," was kept in a cage with five other cats for more than a week without food or water. Lucky, the only survivor, was forced to survive by feeding off of the dead carcasses of the other cats in the cage. Officials found the cats, along with a small black dog, under Damron’s residence. The dog, which was emaciated, and Lucky were seized by Pike County Animal Control Officer Rick Handshoe and are now being kept and treated at the animal shelter. Damron pleaded not guilty to the charges against him Friday before Pike District Judge Darrel Mullins. A pretrial hearing was scheduled for September 12th. Handshoe said animal control officers went to Damron's residence in 2009 after a report of Damron burning animals, but he refused to let officers inspect the area where items were burned, citing safety concerns. Just days later, Damron turned over a dog in poor health to the animal shelter. Handshoe says animal abuse is a growing problem in the county.

Meeting To Discuss Commercial Air Project

{Pikeville, Kentucky}...Brandon Roberts, Pike County public information director, said Friday that a private meeting is set for Monday in the conference room at Pike Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford’s office. An increasingly controversial proposal to allocate $1 million in multi-county coal severance funding to a commercial air project at the Pikeville-Pike County Airport will be the focus of the meeting. The meeting comes just a week after the Pike County Fiscal Court tabled the resolution after members expressed opposition to the plan to use $1 million in multi-county coal severance funding to help fund the commercial air service project. Pikeville City Manager Donovan Blackburn says representatives of the city are expected to attend the meeting, and Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Director Jared Arnett says he and a board member will be attending. Arnett says there has been misunderstanding on the proposed allocation, and he hopes the meeting will allow all parties to clear up the issues.