Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tiny Centre College in Kentucky lands $250M donation


A tiny liberal arts school in Kentucky that hosted vice presidential debates in recent years has landed one of the largest donations ever to a U.S. college or university.

Centre College announced the gift of stocks worth $250 million Tuesday from the A. Eugene Brockman Charitable Trust. The total value puts it among the 20 biggest such gifts of all time, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The school best known for hosting vice presidential debates in 2000 and 2012 says it will use the money to set up scholarships in science, computer science and economics.

Centre College President John A. Roush said the gift represents a "fundamental transformation" in the school's ability to support students demonstrating leadership potential.

Helicopter Crash Under Investigation


Federal officials are trying to piece together what caused a helicopter crash Monday morning in Breathitt County.

Burned boots and melted metal, that is almost all that is left in the wreckage of a Drug Enforcement Agency helicopter.

Two men were inside the chopper when it went down.

One works for the DEA and the other is a Kentucky State Trooper.

Their names are not being released at this time to protect their identities when they return to work.


Now, officials from the DEA and the Federal Aviation Administration are on site investigating the cause of the crash.

Sheriff Department Layoffs



More than one dozen Perry County sheriff's Department employees will likely be headed to the unemployment line by the end of the week.

Sheriff Les Burgett says the layoffs are unfortunate, but necessary to make sure the department can pay its bills.

He says his department has suffered a "direct hit" from declines in the coal industry.

Fifteen sheriff's department employees are to be laid off, including road deputies, office staff, and security workers at the Perry County Hall of Justice.

The sheriff says a number of factors are contributing to the financial pinch, including waning delinquent tax commissions.

"This time last year, we had collected $120,000. At this time we've collected about $20,000, and that has really put a burden on our office," Burgett said.

All this, county officials contend, is due to a downturn in coal production in the region.

As coal receipts across the region continue to evaporate, Sheriff Burgett says he wonders why counties that don't produce coal should benefit from the coal severance tax. Counties like Fayette, which has $2.5 million earmarked for the renovation of Rupp Arena.

Hopefully, the sheriff says, some of those employees will be able to come back to work when the department resumes tax collection in October.


In the meantime, those that remain will have to figure out how to do more with more than half their current staff gone.

Johnson County Law Enforcement Helping Students


The Johnson County Sheriff's Office is collecting school supplies for elementary students.

Girl Scout troops will be helping them pack the notebooks, binders, and paper into backpacks and deliver them to each of the schools in the county. They are asking for any items elementary students can use.


They plan to deliver them later this week and anyone can donate to the cause.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Eleven Die On Kentucky Roadways Last Week (July 22 through July 28)


(Frankfort, KY) -- Preliminary statistics* indicate that 11 people died in 11 separate crashes on Kentucky's roadways from Monday, July 22 through Sunday, July 28, 2013.

Through July 28, preliminary statistics* indicate that 359 people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways during 2013. This is 76 less than reported for this time period in 2012.


As of July 28, Kentucky has had 47 days with zero highway fatalities reported during 2013.

State Providing Grants to Deal with Waste Tires


FRANKFORT, Ky. - The state is making $3,000 grants available for counties to help with the cost of recycling or disposing of waste tires.

The money would come from the Division of Waste Management's Waste Tire Trust Fund.

Gary Logsdon, who oversees the program for the state agency, said the grants are for costs other than labor and equipment. Applications have to be submitted by Aug. 30.


Kentucky has made strides over the decades to dispose of waste tires. The grant offering shows that work remains on that front.

Letcher County Facing School Nurse Cutbacks


Students in Letcher County with asthma, diabetes or other health concerns may notice a change when returning to school.

Budget restraints are forcing the district to cut five school nurses, affecting nine schools in the county.

Nurses at the Letcher County Health Department and Superintendent Tony Sergent said student health is their main concern.


Sergent said budget cuts are forcing the district to go from eight to three school nurses.

More State Parks Storm Ready


Three more Kentucky State Parks are now certified as Storm Ready. The parks are Paintsville Lake, Carr Creek and Yatesville Lake

This means the parks are better prepared and have safety measures in place in case there is any severe weather near the area.

To be Storm Ready there needs to be a specific safety plan put in place for each park.

The ceremony was held yesterday at the Jenny Wiley State Park. There are now 16 Kentucky State Parks that have the certification.


Martin County High School facing possible closure


Less than two weeks before the first day of school the Martin County School Board is considering shutting down Sheldon Clark High School because of safety concerns.

Some feel the walls could cave in anytime.

With the first day of school set for August 7, many folks in Martin County are wondering if they will even have a high school to go to.

Board members say what worries them are cracks in the walls of the school and some in the floors that they believe are getting worse because of road construction and blasting nearby.

The blasting is going on just on the other side of a mountain beside the school, and some school board members say if it continues the school is not structurally sound enough to be in.

Based on an engineering report done on the school, some board members believe it is a safety hazard at any time.


Board members say they will hold a meeting Thursday night to discuss the school's future.

Helicopter Crash


A pilot for the DEA and a state trooper are recovering after surviving a fiery helicopter crash in Eastern Kentucky.

It happened around 11 a.m. yesterday morning in a rural area in Breathitt County near the Magoffin County line.

The DEA helicopter was flying a mission as part of the Kentucky State Police marijuana eradication team. The helicopter was up in the air looking for marijuana plants.

Both men were air lifted to a Huntington, West Virginia hospital. Both have injuries including burns, but the injuries are non-life threatening.


The NTSB is expected to arrive on scene this morning to begin its investigation.

Gov. Beshear Announces Nearly $1.3 Million Grant to Help Unemployed Return to Work


FRANKFORT, Ky. Governor Steve Beshear today announced a U.S. Department of Labor grant of nearly $1.3 million for Kentucky Career Centers (KCC) to continue the Re-employment and Eligibility Assessment (REA) initiative for Kentuckians receiving Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits.

The $1,282,591 grant will be used to conduct in-person assessments in local career centers and help people get back in the workforce.

“These grants will help individuals facing unemployment get back to work quicker by giving them individualized services,” said Gov. Beshear. 

“Studies have found that when efforts are increased to assist claimants in finding employment through individual services, they have shorter claim durations and fewer erroneous payments are made.”
Providing re-employment services takes on even greater importance during recessionary periods that include high unemployment, said Gov. Beshear.

As a result, the Kentucky Career Centers are focusing attention and resources on better integrating and connecting unemployment compensation services with those services delivered through the system.

“The goal is to ensure that these claimants have access to the full array of employment and training services through the career center while also ensuring that they comply with the state’s requirements to actively engage in seeking work as a condition of receiving benefits,” said Beth Brinly, commissioner of the Department of Workforce Investment.

Each REA must include the development of a re-employment plan for the claimant, labor market information that is appropriate to the claimant’s location and employment prospects, a complete review of the claimant’s eligibility for UI benefits, and a referral to re-employment services and training that are outside of the UI program and delivered by the career centers.

According to recent evaluations of existing programs, the use of Re-employment and Eligibility Assessments is shown to expedite the re-employment of the UI claimants.

The program will also allow for a complete review of the claimants eligibility for UI benefits to help reduce incidences of improper payments.


The Kentucky Career Center helps individuals prepare for, secure and maintain employment; assists employers in locating and selecting the best qualified workers for their job openings; and provides income maintenance to ease the financial burden on individuals who are out of work through no fault of their own

Monday, July 29, 2013

Helicopter Crash in Breathitt County


Kentucky State Police officials have confirmed that there has been a helicopter crash in Breathitt County.

Police say that the crash involved a DEA helicopter, part of the KSP's drug eradication team, and multiple injuries are expected at this time. The spotter and pilot have non-life threatening injuries.

The caused the crash is still under investigation.

The crash happened near the intersection of Big Lovely Road and Highway 542.


US Gasoline Prices Up 8 Cents Over Past 2 Weeks

The average U.S. price of a gallon of gasoline has jumped eight cents over the past two weeks.

The Lundberg Survey of fuel prices released Sunday says the price of a gallon of regular is $3.67. 
Midgrade costs an average of $3.85 a gallon, and premium is $3.99.


Diesel was up four cents at $3.93 gallon.

Floyd County Firefights Installing Free Smoke Detectors


The Floyd County Firefighters Association held a special meeting on Sunday to receive a generous donation from one company. Fire officials say they hope this donation will save lives.

Representatives from 16 fire departments in Floyd County met at the Martin Community Center to receive smoke detectors to install in homes throughout their communities.

Officials say it is a fact that smoke detectors save lives, and that is why the association applied to receive smoke detectors from the Kidde Company.

Vice President of the firefighters association, James Billiter says, "We have seen here recently a lot of fatalities in the state. By doing this, this is one step towards the safety of our fellow citizens in Floyd County."

Development Director Solomon Kilburn says, "We've received 250 smoke detectors, approximately valued at $1500."

Firefighters say there is an alarming amount of homes without smoke detectors."So many times when we are out on fires we see homes without alarms, and many injuries and even casualties are because of that," says association president Grady Allen.
Fire officials say each department will take names and schedule times to go out and install what they say is a life saver, all you have to do is contact your local fire department.

Officials do believe the free smoke detectors will go quickly. Once all 250 are installed, the association will apply for more grants and donations.


If you know of a business or organization interested in donating to this initiative, contact Solomon Kilburn at 606-424-3522 or email ka.grant@live.com 

Kentucky cuts number of juveniles it sends to jail for non-criminal offenses


Judges in Kentucky have cut by half the number of children they are sending to jail for non-criminal offenses such as skipping school and running away from home.

Recently released data from Kentucky Youth Advocates shows that the number of juveniles jailed has steadily fallen to 1,090 last year from 2,270 in 2007.

One state representative predicts a push by the General Assembly to prohibit jailing juveniles for non-criminal offenses that don't apply to adults.

Still, Kentucky ranked fourth in the country for the number of status offenders it sent to jail in the past year, using contempt-of-court violations to sidestep federal and state laws.

Gov. Beshear launches the Kentucky Career Center


FRANKFORT, Ky.– Setting the stage for new opportunities for Kentucky’s businesses and workforce, Governor Steve Beshear today unveiled the Kentucky Career Center, the newly overhauled workforce development system in the Commonwealth.

The change signifies the importance of moving away from the perception of the “unemployment office” to a focus on career services for both job seekers and job providers.

“We are putting a system in place that will better equip Kentucky’s workforce with the skills required to be relevant in the new economy and will provide our businesses with the top-notch workforce they need,” said Gov. Beshear.

The re-branding of the unemployment office to the Kentucky Career Center is part of a larger strategy to modernize the workforce development system. In 2009, Gov. Beshear directed the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board (KWIB) to develop a plan to make the system more globally competitive.

The result was WorkSmart Kentucky, the KWIB’s strategic plan to streamline the system to simplify it and build consistency among offices; improve services to the client customers; align education and training to meet the needs of employers; and make adjustments to reflect the state’s education objectives and economic development strategies and goals.

Inside the new external name is an internal culture shift, developed with input from business and industry, which reflects a new workforce development system whose services are demand-driven, business-led and solutions-based.

Internal changes are occurring by promoting better collaboration among system partners, training for staff across the state and streamlined services in local offices. In addition, a new user-friendly point-of-entry website has been created so that a customer can easily and simply navigate to services offered statewide. Social media has been incorporated to reach more customers.

The launch of the Kentucky Career Center is the culmination of more than three years of preparation and work by the KWIB, the Kentucky Department of Workforce Investment and numerous stakeholders and partner agencies in education, workforce and economic development.

“To be effective and transformational a brand cannot be just a logo or new name. A brand tells our customers who we are and what we stand for,” said KWIB Chair Ed Holmes. “That’s why we have taken steps through 25 strategic initiatives to assure our system can fulfill the brand promise to provide employers with a qualified, skilled workforce and the people of Kentucky with career, job training and educational opportunities.”

Other initiatives such as the state’s commitment to investing public workforce dollars based on sector strategies, tying into industry partnerships as the drivers for curriculum and training priorities, and certifying the quality of a community’s workforce through the WorkReady Communities framework are driving change and interest in talent development at every level of government.

These workforce investment improvements have been recognized nationally as a model for other states to better equip workers and serve employers.

The launch was held at the new Kentucky Career Center location in Shelbyville. It is one of 75 Kentucky Career Centers located across the state. Each center offers varying degrees of services for both job seekers and job providers.

Services for job seekers include career coaching, access to local job openings, job leads and referrals, professional resume services, job search resource centers with free Wi-Fi and Internet access, unemployment insurance claim filing assistance, employment services for military veterans and individuals with special needs, and education and training opportunities.


Services for businesses include talent recruitment assistance, candidate pre-screening and assessment, free use of onsite conference space to conduct interviews, coordination of job fairs and hiring events, tax credit incentive programs, free access to Focus Talent, Kentucky’s online job posting portal, and business services representatives available to provide personalized support.

Overdose deaths in Kentucky decline for first time in a decade, report find


FRANKFORT, Ky. – For the first time in a decade, Kentucky overdose deaths declined in 2012, according to a report issued today by the Office of Drug Control Policy.  Even with the overall drop, autopsied overdose deaths attributed to the use of heroin increased 550 percent over the previous year, to 143 cases, up from 22 in 2011.

Of the 1,004 overdose fatalities in 2012, 888 were found to be unintentional, 59 were suicides and 57 remain undetermined, according to the report.  In 2011, there were 1023 overdose deaths in Kentucky.

The data, contained in the 2012 Overdose Fatality Report, was compiled from the Kentucky Medical Examiners Office, the Kentucky Injury Prevention & Research Council, and the Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics.  The report was mandated under a provision in HB 1 from the 2012 Special Session.
“Obviously, we’re pleased to see that we’ve broken the trend of steadily increasing drug overdose numbers,” said Van Ingram, executive director of the Office of Drug Control Policy. 
The report also reveals that overdose deaths attributed to the use of heroin accounted for nearly one-fifth -- 19.56 percent -- of all Kentucky Medical Examiner drug overdose cases in 2012.  In 2011, that percentage was 3.22 percent. 

Ingram added that while the increase in heroin deaths is troubling, it was not completely unexpected.  Kentucky first started seeing an increase in heroin use and deaths when the formulation for Oxycontin was changed in 2010 and for Opana in 2011 to make those drugs more difficult for intravenous drug use.
“As House Bill 1 has taken effect, opiates available through illicit means – doctor shopping and street sales – have become less available, requiring drug users to seek out cheaper and more available alternatives,” Ingram said.  “Unfortunately, that’s heroin.”
Other significant findings include:
• Jefferson County had the most overdose deaths of any county, with 167.

• The largest increase in overdose fatalities occurred in Campbell County, with 54 in 2012 compared to 25 deaths in 2011.

• The largest decrease occurred in Floyd County, with 23 fewer fatalities in 2012 than 2011 (14 versus 37, respectively).  Other counties with significant declines in 2012 include Clay (17 fewer), Knox (12 fewer), and Johnson (11 fewer).

• Overdose deaths in many Eastern Kentucky counties, when compared by 100,000 population, combined 2011 and 2012 data, showed high rates.  The top 10 counties by overdose deaths per 100,000 people for 2011 and 2012 combined are:

Leslie County              85 per 100,000
Clinton County            78 per 100,000
Clay County                76 per 100,000
Estill County                65 per 100,000
Floyd County               65 per 100,000
Nicholas County          64 per 100,000
Perry County               63 per 100,000
Whitley County           56 per 100,000
Monroe County           53 per 100,000
Magoffin County         53 per 100,000

Of the overdose deaths autopsied by the Kentucky Medical Examiner’s Office  in 2012:

• Alprazolam remained the most detected controlled substance in overdose deaths, present in 41.44 percent of all autopsied cases.

• Morphine was next at 32.01 percent, followed by hydrocodone 25.99 percent, Oxycodone 24.21 percent, Heroin at 19.56 percent, and Oxymorphone at 17.51 percent.  The report notes many of the cases with morphine detected may in fact involve heroin, as morphine is the major pharmaceutical substance detected in the blood after injection of heroin. 

• The youngest overdose fatality was 16 years old and the oldest was 72 years old.  The average age of an overdose victim was 40, and the majority – 58 percent – were male.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Phone Call Scams Reported in Pike County


PIKE COUNTY, Ky. - Officials in Pike County are warning of another phone scam.

They say several people have reported getting phone calls from someone claiming they have won millions of dollars, but when they are recognized as a scam the caller hangs up and calls again insisting it is a different call and that it is real.

The caller asks to get a prepaid card sent to them so they can send the winnings.

"It is purely a scam. If they get that call just hang up the phone. Don't give them any information," said Pike County Sheriff Charles "Fuzzy" Keesee.

Anyone in Pike County who gets one of these calls should contact the sheriff's office.


String of thefts Hits a Pike County Community


A Pike County community is on alert.

Police say a handful of reports have come in from the Hardy community about someone stealing out of cars and garages.

They do have a suspect, and one couple says they caught him stealing from their car.

They reported it and learned they were not the only ones hit.

Deputies say they do have a suspect who is being cooperative, and they are not releasing his name until charges are officially filed.

"We don't know how widespread it is because a lot of people don't realize anybody has been there because a lot of it is in the garages or in their vehicles and they're just now coming out and discovering a lot of it," said Deputy Billy McCoy.

Now the entire community is on guard, keeping watch and hoping they are not the next targets.

Deputies say they have recovered some of the stolen items.


If you think you have been a victim of the thefts, call the Pike County Sheriff's Office.

County jobless rates released for June 2012 to June 2013


June’s preliminary and May’s revised county unemployment rate charts are posted at  https://kylmi.ky.gov/gsipub/index.asp?docid=488.

 

 

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 25, 2013) – Unemployment rates increased in 88 Kentucky counties between June 2012 and June 2013, while 26 county rates fell and six stayed the same, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. 


Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 6.5 percent. It was followed by Boone and Oldham counties, 6.9 percent each; Fayette and Scott counties, 7.1 percent each; Anderson County, 7.3 percent; Kenton and Simpson counties, 7.4 percent each; and Campbell, Hancock, Larue, Shelby and Spencer counties, 7.5 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate — 18.5 percent. It was followed by Harlan County, 17.9 percent; Leslie County, 17.3 percent; Fulton County, 17 percent; Letcher County, 16.9 percent; Knott County, 15.9 percent; Bell County, 15.5 percent; Jackson County, 14.8 percent; Wolfe County, 14.6 percent; and McCreary County, 14.2 percent.

Unemployment statistics are based on estimates and are compiled to measure trends rather than actually to count people working. Civilian labor force statistics include non-military workers and unemployed Kentuckians who are actively seeking work. They do not include unemployed Kentuckians who have not looked for employment within the past four weeks. The statistics in this news release are not seasonally adjusted because of the small sample size for each county. The data should only be compared to the same month in previous years.

Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at www.kylmi.ky.gov.


One Year In, Landmark Prescription Drug Bill Shows Huge Impact


FRANKFORT, Ky. – One year after landmark legislation aimed at curbing prescription drug abuse took effect, Governor Steve Beshear credited the bill with closing non-compliant pain management clinics and reducing the number of prescriptions for heavily-abused controlled substances.
Plus, for the first time in a decade, the number of deaths blamed on prescription overdoses has declined.

House Bill 1 (HB1), signed into law by Gov. Beshear last spring, included multiple elements to prevent the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs and to enhance law enforcement’s tools to investigate illegal prescribing practices.

“A year ago, Kentucky was at a breaking point. Families and communities splintered by prescription drug abuse were crying for help, and HB1 provided key tools to drive out illegal pill mills, curb doctor shopping and decrease unnecessary prescribing,” said Gov. Beshear. “The impact of this bill can’t be measured just in the numbers of pills we’ve kept off the streets. This bill, I believe, has literally saved lives in Kentucky.”

“As I have said before, reducing drug abuse is an ever-changing battle, but it’s undeniable that House Bill 1 has saved lives as we look back over the last year,” said House Speaker Greg Stumbo. “I’m proud of the results, and the fact that other states are following our lead. Our goal now is to build on these gains and to improve access to treatment, so that abusers can truly escape this deadly cycle once and for all.”

“HB1 was remarkable on two fronts: it was good policy that was developed in a strongly bipartisan manner that significantly reduced drug diversion and improper and illegal use of prescription drugs,” said Senate President Robert Stivers.


“There is no doubt in my mind that the passage of House Bill 1 saved lives in Kentucky. It’s reversing the downward spiral of prescription drug addiction that’s afflicted this state for more than a decade. For the first time, according to the most recent report from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Kentucky is below the national average when it comes to prescription drug abuse. Now we need to work together across party lines to help increase funding for treatment,” said Attorney General Jack Conway.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Fundraiser for Fallen Officer’s Police Dog



A fundraiser is in the works for the dog of a central Kentucky police officer killed in the line of duty.

Bardstown police officer Jason Ellis was shot in May. His police dog, Figo, was then retired and now lives with Ellis' widow and the couple's two children.

Since then a Facebook page has been collecting donations for the dog's care and Bluegrass Barkery is now helping organize a fundraising walk called Footsteps for Figo.

The Footsteps for Figo" 5-K walk will be held Saturday, August third at Keeneland. It starts at 9 a.m. 

There will also be a silent auction.

You can make donations at the walk or at Bluegrass Barkery's locations.


Thieves Stealing Bikes


PAINTSVILLE, Ky. - Police in Paintsville are searching for someone who stole a pair of bicycles.

They say it happened on Washington Avenue.

Police say the thieves took the bikes and left behind the old ones they were riding.

The bikes taken were a black 29 inch Huffy and a blue and white 26 inch Huffy both described as vintage.


Anyone with information should call Paintsville Police.

Stinky in Floyd County


A stinky situation in Floyd County might soon be resolved.

Some folks say their trash has piled up for nearly one month without being picked up, but Floyd County Judge Executive R.D. “Doc” Marshall says he met with the waste company to come up with a solution.

County officials contract the garbage pickup out to Waste Connection, and they blame employee turnover and changing routes for the delays.

They met with Waste Connection officials Wednesday who say they are aware of the issues and are working to fix it as quickly as possible.

Officials say it could be up to one month before everybody's schedule is completely back to normal.


Anyone still having issues with their garbage pickup can contact Waste Connection's corporate office at 866-428-4208.

Gov. Steve Beshear, Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson won't attend Fancy Farm picnic this year


Gov. Steve Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson will skip next week's church picnic in the western Kentucky community of Fancy Farm.
Democratic Party Chairman Dan Logsdon said Wednesday they're unable to go.

The Fancy Farm picnic includes an afternoon of stump speeches involving the state's top Democrats and Republicans. Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell plans to attend, as does his chief Democratic challenger in next year's election, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. Several others have also committed to attend.

In a phone call to Republican voters this week, McConnell called the picnic "the summer event you won't want to miss."

The picnic, a fundraiser for St. Jerome Parish, draws some 10,000 people and generates about $250,000.

Logsdon said Beshear intends to be at next year's event.


Pine Mountain State Park putting Elvis, Sinatra and Marilyn together for August concert


An eastern Kentucky state park is putting on a show that imagines what it would be like if three performing legends shared the stage.
Pine Mountain State Resort Park is calling it "The Concert That Never Was" with Elvis, Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe.

The Aug. 23 production features performers Stuart Snow as Elvis, Matt Snow as Frank Sinatra and Patti Warner as Marilyn Monroe.

The show starts with a dinner buffet. Tickets are $50 per couple or $30 per person, and include the dinner and show.

Pine Mountain state park says the show recreates Elvis' 1972 Madison Square Garden concert and Sinatra's 1974 Main Event Concert at Madison Square Garden.


Public meeting about KY 40 set for Monday


MARTIN COUNTYA public information meeting to discuss the revised alignment of KY 40 from Inez to Warfield is set for Monday, July 29, from 6-8 p.m. at Warfield Middle School.


John Michael Johnson, Highway District 12 Project Manager, said that an overview will be presented at 6:15 p.m. and again at 7:15. An informal format for the meeting allows citizens to stop by any time between 6 and 8 p.m. to talk one-on-one with highway department officials and the project’s consulting engineers. Written and oral comments will be accepted during the meeting.

Resurfacing, drainpipe replacement affect traffic on two sections of US 460 in Pike County



Two different sections of US 460 in Pike County are scheduled for maintenance work starting this week/weekend. Both will affect traffic, one with possible long delays and one which actually closes a section of the road for a day.

On Saturday, July 27, the road will be completely closed to all traffic from the traffic signal at the intersection with KY 122 at Shelbiana to the signal at the intersection of KY 1460, Chloe Road. Portable message boards and signs will direct traffic to use US 23 north to KY 1460 at Exit 23 in Pikeville as a detour from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday. Traffic traveling from US 460 east of Chloe Road will have to detour to US 23 through Chloe Road. The purpose of closing the road is to replace a drain that runs underneath the pavement in the area of TJ’s Auto Sales.


Weather permitting, on Friday, July 26, Mountain Enterprises will begin a resurfacing project from the mouth of Powell’s Creek (mile point 6.271) to the junction of KY 80 at Belcher (mile point 14.374). Milling several locations is set for the first two days of work, with paving scheduled to start on Monday, July 29. It is anticipated that the work will be completed by August 3, depending on weather. Long delays are possible throughout the week.

Attorney General Conway Asks Congress to Amend Federal Law to Fight Prostitution and Child Sex Trafficking


Attorney General Jack Conway today joined a bi-partisan national coalition of 49 Attorneys General calling on Congress to amend the Communications Decency Act to help fight prostitution and child sex trafficking. In a letter to key members of Congress, the Attorneys General advocated that Congress amend the Communications Decency Act to provide criminal jurisdiction to state and local prosecutors. The letter's lead sponsors were the Attorneys General from the states of Missouri, South Dakota and Washington.

According to General Conway, the Communications Decency Act of 1996 was drafted when the Internet was in its infancy. The original purpose of the Act was to protect children from accessing indecent material online, but courts have interpreted certain provisions of the Act to provide immunity from state prosecution to online classified ad sites, such as Backpage.com, which promote and profit from human trafficking.

Prostitution is a local crime. Absent interstate travel, federal property, or the involvement of a minor, prostitution is not a federal crime. While the Communications Decency Act provides criminal authority to the federal government, the Attorneys General believe that criminal jurisdiction needs to be extended to states to help combat these crimes.

"Federal law needs to be brought up to date with changes in technology to provide local prosecutors the tools they need to strike back against those who use technology to promote sexual exploitation of children," General Conway said.

Local prosecutors report that prostitution solicitations have largely moved online. Backpage.com, for example, generates an estimated $3 million to $4 million per month in revenue.


The NAAG letter can be found here: http://goo.gl/O0uSNv .

Attorney General Conway Asks United States Supreme Court to Review Decision In Case Involving Mirandizing Of Students


Attorney General Jack Conway and his Office of Criminal Appeals have asked the United States Supreme Court to review the Kentucky Supreme Court's decision in the case of N.C. A Child Under Eighteen v. Commonwealth. In the April 25, 2013 decision, the state Supreme Court held that students must be read their Miranda rights when questioned by a school administrator in the presence of a school resource officer when criminal activity might be discovered. The Attorney General's Office sent the Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court on July 23, 2013.

In 2009, after a Nelson County High School teacher found a prescription pill bottle for hydrocodone in the boys' bathroom belonging to a student, a juvenile referred to as "N.C.," the school's assistant principal questioned "N.C." about the incident in the presence of the school resource officer. "N.C" told the assistant principal he had given some of the hydrocodone to another student, which resulted in his expulsion from school and charges of possession and distribution of a controlled substance in Nelson County Juvenile Court.

On April 25, 2013, the Kentucky Supreme Court reversed two lower court rulings in Nelson District and Circuit Courts holding that N.C. was not in custody for Miranda purposes, and therefore, there was no requirement that he be read his rights. The Kentucky Court of Appeals denied discretionary review of the matter.

The Office of the Attorney General is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision for the following reasons:

• State appellate courts are divided over this issue. States that hold Miranda warnings are required include Georgia, North Carolina, and now Kentucky. States that hold Miranda warnings are not required include South Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Texas, Tennessee, New York, New Mexico, and Louisiana.

• The issue presented is recurring and important as the use of law enforcement officers as a resource in the school setting has become widespread over the last 20 years.


• The Attorney General's Office maintains that the Kentucky Supreme Court's decision was in error and that school administrators are not required to advise students of their Miranda rights, merely because a school resource officer may be present, when they are investigating school-related issues.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Coal Miner’s Petition Fires Back At President Obama’s Energy Policy



Some coal miners in Eastern Kentucky think President Obama has declared a war on coal and they want him to know they won't stand for it.

So they are signing a petition in hopes the President will hear them out.

Last month, President Obama delivered a speech, laying out his latest policy on climate change.

"I'm directing the environmental protection agency to put an end to the limitless dumping of carbon pollution from our power plants," said Obama.

His words did not sit well with many coal miners in our region.

Officials with the West Virginia Coal Association started a petition to tell the President that coal is here to stay.

Many Eastern Kentuckians have signed on.

The petition must get 100,000 signatures within 30 days.

If organizers meet that goal, the White House has to respond to the petition.

For those interested in learning more about the petition, you can see it here:

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/end-his-assault-our-nation%E2%80%99s-coal-mining-families/8lygsMqp

Johnson County Students Get Free School Supplies


More than 400 students in Johnson County are going back to school with free supplies.

The Youth Services Center at Johnson Central High School gave out supplies to students.
The supplies were donated.

They gave out everything from pencils and paper to shampoo and soap.

The Youth Services Center also has the Angel's Closet where high school students can get clothes and shoes for school.

They say they served nearly 50 students.

Angel's Closet is open five days a week.

They are always accepting donations.


Baseball Tournament Spurs Economic Activity



One city in Eastern Kentucky is experiencing a financial windfall - from baseball.

Prestonsburg is hosting 24 teams as part of the Kentucky State Little League Tournament this week at StoneCrest Park.

The five hotels in Prestonsburg - not counting campgrounds or cabins - account for more than 400 rooms.

Those rooms are all booked solid for the tournament.

One of the teams in the 11/12-year-old division of the tournament will advance to the next round in Indiana.

From there, one team will qualify for the Little League World Series.


The games will wrap up in Prestonsburg on Friday night.

Missing Attorney Still Missing


Missing Martin City Attorney Clyde Johnson may have accessed the Internet the Friday before last. That is the only new information as the community still tries to find its attorney.

"The bad news is that we haven't heard from him," said Prestonsburg attorney Neil Pillersdorf, who has been appointed curator for Johnson and is handling some of his affairs.

Johnson took no credit cards and no cell phone, Pillersdorf said.

Pillersdorf also does not believe foul play to be involved. He has subpoenaed records relating to Johnson from Netflix and Microsoft, with which Johnson has accounts, to try to track him down. So far, he has had no luck, he said.


The last record of Johnson's whereabouts came from Kampgrounds of America records. 

Those records show he stayed in Bowling Green, Ky. and Little Rock, Ark.

High Speed Chase


INEZ, Ky. - A Lawrence County police chase ended in a crash near a Martin County business Monday afternoon.

The accident sent at least two people to the hospital including a child.

The man who led the chase faces felony charges but is still on the run.

Deputies tried to pull that car over in Lawrence County, but they say the driver, Nickolas Marcum, sped away starting a chase that spanned two counties and ending at the hardware store in Martin County.

Witnesses say the driver sped into the parking lot, slammed into a couple of parked cars, then took off running into the hills.

The surveillance video show the car crash and the driver run off leaving his girlfriend behind.

Police are still searching for Marcum and ask for anyone with information to contact them.

Police say Marcum would have been charged with just misdemeanors, but once caught he will now face several felony charges.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Nine Die On Kentucky Roadways Last Week (July 15 through July 21)


(Frankfort, KY) -- Preliminary statistics* indicate that nine people died in nine separate crashes on Kentucky's roadways from Monday, July 15 through Sunday, July 21, 2013.

Through July 21, preliminary statistics* indicate that 347 people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways during 2013. This is 82 less than reported for this time period in 2012.


As of July 21, Kentucky has had 46 days with zero highway fatalities reported during 2013.

Bridge Restrictions


BETSY LAYNE, Ky. --It is the only way in and out of their neighborhood, and now some folks in Floyd County say it is a cause for concern.

Folks living on one side of the Justell Bridge are worried they will be stranded in an emergency.
Crews reinforced that pier with steel beams and say it is safe for every day travelers, but they lowered weight and height restrictions to be safe.

The folks who live on the other side of the bridge say one of their main concerns is the nine foot clearance which they believe does not allow emergency vehicles to cross the bridge.

Betsy Layne Fire Department officials say they know about the restrictions and have smaller trucks that can meet them.

Highway District officials say they working quickly to award a contract to fix the pier so traffic can flow once again.

They are not sure how long it will take to award a contract, but they say it is listed as an emergency priority.