Wednesday, December 31, 2014

EPA: Making Your Fire Cleaner Helps

There are ways to burn a more efficient fire to help reduce wood smoke, which is harmful to human health and can be a major source of air pollution.

Burning a cleaner fire in that wood stove or fireplace helps the health of Kentuckians and also benefits the state's climate, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Alison Davis with the E.P.A. says a good way to burn the hottest and most efficient fire possible is to use only dry, seasoned wood. She says, "The reason that this is important is that dry wood burns more completely, and that benefits you in two ways; one, you get more energy out of the firewood because it burns more of the actual wood itself, and the other is the fire then produces less smoke."

Davis adds that you can easily tell if wood is dry by knocking two pieces together, which should produce a hollow sound. She says that a moisture meter can determine wood's moisture level, which should be at 20% moisture or less. She says smoke coming from the chimney is a key sign that you're no burning an efficient fire.

6 flu deaths reported in Kentucky

The Kentucky Department of Public Health has reported six flu related deaths this flu season.

Five adults and one child have died.

Public health officials say the very young and the very old are the most vulnerable to the flu.

Health officials say this year is different than most, because the flu in Kentucky is considered widespread, and it's been widespread for four weeks.

On average, the flu runs its course in seven to ten days.

Prosecutor seeking longer sentence in Morgan case

(AP) - An eastern Kentucky judge-executive has a sentencing date this month in a corruption case, and the prosecutor is asking that he be sent to prison for more time than federal guidelines suggest.

Morgan County Judge-Executive Tim Conley pleaded guilty in August to fraud. Court records indicate he received at least $130,000 in kickbacks from a contractor between 2009 and 2013.

Prosecutors said the scheme continued as the town struggled to rebuild from a deadly March 2012 tornado.

According to reports, Conley's top sentence would be seven years and three months under advisory guidelines. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew T. Boone's motion urges a sentence of 11 years and four months.

Defense lawyer R. Michael Murphy said the defense team will vigorously oppose the motion.

Trial Date Postponed

(AP) - A federal judge has moved the trial date of an outgoing Kentucky lawmaker and a retired state mine inspector who are facing bribery charges.

The Associated Press cites court documents in reporting that the trial date of state Rep. W. Keith Hall and retired inspector Kelly Shortridge is now set to begin on April 13 in Pikeville instead of Jan. 5. U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell set aside five days for the trial.

Prosecutors accuse Hall of paying Shortridge more than $46,000 to ignore repeated violations at Hall's Pike County coal mines. Shortridge is also accused of trying to extort more money from Hall.

Both men have pleaded not guilty.

Hall, a Democrat who represented Pike County for 14 years, lost in the May primary.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

TECO Energy and TECO Coal

        TECO Energy amends and extends agreement to sell TECO Coal.

        TECO Energy Incorporation announced that it has entered into an agreement with Cambrian Coal Corporation to modify the terms of the Securities Purchase Agreement dated on October 17th, 2014, related to the sale of TECO Coal.

        Under this amendment, the S.P.A. is subject to the termination of either party that is specified and closing conditions are not met by February 20th, 2015, rather than December 31st, 2014, as originally specified.

        The specifics of the amendment were filed with the S.E.C. in the form of a Current Report.

Floyd County Fatality

(Mcdowell, KY) -- The Kentucky State Police, Pikeville Post is investigating a fatal collision that occurred in Floyd County, in the afternoon hours on December 28, 2014.


The initial investigation indicates that Jane Gross, 67 years old of Hi Hat, was driving on KY-122 in the Mcdowell community, when an oncoming vehicle traveling west, lost control on wet roadways, striking the vehicle operated by Gross.  Gross was transported from the accident scene by Left Beaver Ambulance Service to Mcdowell ARH, where she was pronounced deceased by Deputy Coroner Chuck Hall.  Information obtained at the scene indicates that Gross was not wearing her seatbelt at the time of the collision, and alcohol does not appear to be a factor. 


The ongoing investigation is being conducted by Trooper Jake Roberts.  He was assisted at the scene by Left Beaver Fire Department.

Robbery in Virgie

(Virgie, Ky.)-- On Saturday, December 27, 2014, Post 9 Pikeville received a 911 call of an armed robbery at the Virgie Double Kwik.  Troopers responded to the scene and determined that three unknown males entered the convenience store demanding money.  The clerk retrieved an undisclosed amount of money, giving it to the males, before the three fled the scene on foot in an unknown direction.

The initial investigation at the scene indicates that the three males entered the business wearing hooded sweatshirts, gloves, with their faces covered.  No injuries occurred as a result of the robbery. 

The Kentucky State Police is asking the public for any information relating to this case, and can call the Kentucky State Police Post 09 at (606) 433-7711.  Callers can remain anonymous.

This incident remains under investigation by KSP Detective Gary Sykes.

Child Advocates Want to Ensure Training of Educators to Spot Child Abuse

        Kentucky requires training for child-care workers and medical professionals on how to spot and deal with child abuse, but not educators.

        Educators in Kentucky are required to report child abuse, but unlike other professionals who regularly interact with kids, state law does not ensure that teachers are trained on how to spot the problem.

          State lawmakers, who return to Frankfort next week, will be asked to change that.
          Terry Brooks with Kentucky Youth Advocates says educators are "sensitive" to child abuse and "want to do the right things." Brooks adds, "We really see this effort as a way to support educators so that they have more skill, more knowledge, more capacity to fulfill that legal obligation."

          State law already requires that child-care workers and medical professionals receive training. But, teachers make up the largest percentage of people who report suspected child abuse.

Kentucky Census

By adding an average of 38 new residents each day between July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014, Kentucky's population topped 4.4 million for the first time, according to new U.S. Census Bureau state population estimates.

Kentucky's precise Census tally for 2014 is 4,413,457 making it the 26th most populated state.
California remained the nation's most populous state in 2014, with 38.8 million residents followed by Texas at 27 million.

Although the list of the 10 most populous states overall was unchanged, Florida passed New York to become the nation's third most populous states as North Carolina moved past Michigan to take the ninth spot.

Another milestone took place in Georgia (ranked 8th), which saw its population surpass 10 million for the first time.

The United States as a whole saw its population increase by 2.4 million to 318.9 million, or 0.75 percent.

The Census Bureau produces population estimates each year, allowing the public to gauge the growth and demographic composition of the nation, states and communities.

Sheriff Honored

The year was 1962 when Charles "Fuzzy" Keesee started his first term as the Sheriff of Pike County.

Fast forward to 2014 and he is now the longest serving Sheriff in Kentucky.

With so many years of experience Sheriff Keesee became a part of the community.

So yesterday, friends and co-workers gathered to honor those many years of service with a celebration in the Pike County Courthouse.

Sheriff Keesee said during the celebration that he is thankful the community allowed him to serve for more than four decades.

Justice Will T. Scott Resigning from Ky. Supreme Court

(AP) - Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott says he is resigning from the high court later this week.

Scott said in a statement Monday that serving on the Supreme Court has been a "great honor," but says the job "restrains" the court's members from helping find solutions to Kentucky's problems.

Scott declined comment on his reasons for stepping down. The 67-year-old Republican has been considering a run for governor in 2015. He said last month that if he decided to run, he would immediately resign his seat on the court.

Scott's statement says he will step down from the court effective midnight Friday. The eastern Kentuckian has served on the court for 10 years.

Two Republicans are already in next year's governor's race - James Comer and Hal Heiner.

Tim Bostic, former coach and mayor, dies

Tim Bostic, a community leader who was well-known in Magoffin County and Pike County, died Sunday after suffering a heart attack. He was 69.

Bostic was from the Belfry community of Pike County but spent much of his life in Salyersville, serving two terms as mayor and running the town's newspaper, the Salyersville Independent.

Bostic is survived by his wife, Carol, nine children and a host of grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Magoffin County Funeral Home is handling the arrangements, which are incomplete at this time.

Lower gas prices mean less money for road projects

Gas prices have been plummeting over the past few weeks. Drivers are thrilled.

Kentucky's gasoline motor fuel tax rate is based on the wholesale price of gas. That money is used for things like road projects.

Those taxes lag behind by a quarter. The January 1 number was calculated in October. The tax rate for the quarter starting in April will be based on gas prices in January, which will likely go even lower.

According to, the average price for a gallon of gas in Kentucky is $2.08. The national average is $2.26.

Monday, December 29, 2014

'In God We Trust' signs now hang in Capitol meeting rooms

State lawmakers will debate legislation in committees next year beneath "In God We Trust" signs.

According to reports, state officials hung the new signs in 11 committee rooms in the Capitol and Capitol Annex, where legislators have offices and meeting rooms. Legislators approved the signs in March.

The ACLU of Kentucky and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State are not happy about the signs, but say there is little chance a judge would order them removed.

President Dwight Eisenhower established "In God We Trust" as the country's national motto in 1956. The slogan has appeared on U.S. currency since 1864. The motto is also displayed in the state House and Senate chambers.

Ky. Traffic Deaths Down

Kentucky State Police report traffic fatalities have decreased in recent years across the commonwealth.

Increased patrols and check points are continuing through the New Year holiday.

Motorists are reminded to buckle seatbelts, use appropriate child safety seats, don’t text and drive and don’t drive while impaired.

So far in 2014, there are 121 less traffic related deaths than there were in 2010.

Woman Struck and Killed in Letcher County

A woman was killed when she was hit by a car in Letcher County Saturday night.

According to Kentucky State Police, the woman was apparently lying on KY 7 in the Colson community when an oncoming car in the southbound lane hit her.

Authorities are not sure why 47 year old Connie Meade was lying in the roadway.

State police say impairment of the driver is not believed to have been a contributing factor in the crash but they are waiting for toxicology results.

The investigation continues into the crash.

Five cent gas tax likely to start January 1st in Virginia

Virginia drivers can expect to see a 5 cents-per-gallon increase in the cost of gas starting Jan. 1.
The increase on wholesale gas, which will likely be passed on to consumers at the pump, will help pay for a $6 billion transportation funding package passed under former Gov. Bob McDonnell last year.
The transportation package originally relied on passage of a federal bill that would allow Virginia to collect sales taxes from out-of-state online merchants.
But U.S. House Rep. Bob Goodlatte, who represents the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia's 6th Congressional District, opposes the sales tax legislation and has bottled up the bill in his House committee. Goodlatte said it was foolish of state lawmakers to count on revenues from a federal bill before it became law.

Copyright © 2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Former State Rep. Dies

A long time educator and former State Representative died yesterday.

N.Clayton Little died at his residence.

Little was a retired educator, social worker and served for 21 years as State Representative of the 93rd district.

Visitation will begin tonight at 6 pm at the Long Fork Old Regular Baptist Church and the funeral will be Sunday at 1 pm also at the church.

N. Clayton Little was 81 years old.

New information in Mingo County, WV murder case

New information has been released regarding a Mingo County, WV murder case.

According to police, Roland Stafford’s alleged killer might be in Pike County, KY.

Kentucky State Police troopers say they have received tips indicating Stafford’s truck was seen in the Stopover area.

West Virginia State Police troopers found Stafford dead inside his home Monday and his red Ford Ranger pickup was missing.

The truck has a West Virginia tag 4TK 331.

Anyone with information is asked to call WVSP at 304-235-6000 or KSP at 606-433-7711.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Faster Internet to Begin in Eastern Kentucky

A statewide initiative to bring faster, more reliable internet to Kentucky was announced Tuesday in Frankfort.

Kentucky’s Internet speed and accessibility have lagged behind the rest of the nation far too long. This partnership puts us on the path to propel the Commonwealth forward in education, economic development, health care, public safety and much more,” said Governor Steve Beshear Tuesday while he and U.S. Representative Hal Rogers announced the commonwealth's partnership with Macquarie Capital.

“We are on an aggressive timeline and believe that the Macquarie team’s technical capabilities and history of innovative solutions are the best fit for this important project,” Beshear added.

Fiber will be available in all 120 counties, and Eastern Kentucky will be the first priority area for the project.

When completed, more than 3,000 miles of fiber will be in place across the state.

Beshear says that the Eastern Kentucky portion of the project will be completed in less than two years.

Ky. lawmaker won't seek change in ballot law again

A Republican lawmaker says he won't sponsor another bill seeking to change the Kentucky's ballot law barring candidates from appearing for more than one office in the same election.

Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer sponsored a bill during the last legislative session aimed at ensuring U.S. Sen. Rand Paul can appear twice on Kentucky's ballot if he runs for president. Paul has already announced that he will seek another Senate term in 2016.

Thayer said Paul told him not to bother with the legislation after Democrats held onto the House in last month's election.

Paul adviser Doug Stafford says Paul is weighing his options.

Some possibilities include a court challenge, asking the state GOP to change its rules and trying to move the primary date.

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell makes staff promotions

(AP) - U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell announced this week that he has promoted several staffers in his Washington, D.C. office.

He named Jennifer Kuskowski his next legislative director. Megan McCain was promoted to administrative assistant; Elizabeth Strimer was promoted to legislative assistant.

He previously announced Brian McGuire, his long-time chief speechwriter and senior advisor in his Capitol Leadership Office, will serve as chief of staff in his personal office.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

FDA going after sellers of pure caffeine powder

(AP) - The Food and Drug Administration is building a legal case against companies that sell pure powdered caffeine, which can be fatal even in small doses.

The FDA warned consumers to avoid pure powdered caffeine this summer after the death of an Ohio teen. Some major retailers have stopped selling it in bulk, but the substance is still widely available on the Internet and in some stores.

Even a teaspoon of the powder, which is equivalent to 25 cups of coffee, can be lethal. 

Eighteen-year-old Logan Stiner of LaGrange, Ohio, died in May after consuming it. It was also linked to the death of a Georgia man this year.

FDA Deputy Commissioner Michael Taylor says it is "inherently irresponsible" to market such a potentially dangerous product.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Robbery in South Williamson Kentucky

        The Kentucky State Police, Post 09 in Pikeville, is investigating a robbery.

        According to the Kentucky State Police, a robbery occurred at Fast-Lane Discount in South Williamson, Ky. on Monday night.

        An unknown white male waited for the cashier to open the register, then removed an undisclosed amount of cash from the drawer. He fled the area in an apparent blue Jeep Liberty.

        The subject did not banish a weapon, and no injuries were reported.
         The subject has been described as a white male, approximately 6'0" tall, 150 pounds, brown hooded jacket, and an orange toboggan.

        The Kentucky State Police says if you have any information regarding this case, please call Kentucky State Police Post 09 at (606) 433-7711. Callers can remain anonymous.

Pikeville City Commission Meeting

The City of Pikeville held its regular scheduled meeting on Monday night.


During the meeting, Jimmy Carter was sworn in as the new mayor and the adoption of a proclamation honoring City Commissioner Gene Davis was passed.


This was the last scheduled meeting of the year.

Judge denies W.Va. ex-coal baron travel home for holidays

A judge won't let a West Virginia ex-coal baron facing criminal charges head home for the holidays.

A docket entry on Monday shows U.S. District Judge Irene Berger in Beckley denied ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship's motion to travel home for the holidays.

During his case, Blankenship's travel is restricted to southern West Virginia, Pike County, Kentucky, and Washington, D.C. Other travel needs judicial approval.

Blankenship now has a home in Nevada, but it's unclear if that's where he wanted to travel.

The case's court filings are unavailable to the public under a gag order, which The Associated Press and other media are challenging.

Blankenship is charged with conspiring to violate safety and health standards at Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia. A 2010 explosion there killed 29 men.

Deputy’s Funeral Announced

The funeral arrangements for a Pike County Sheriff's Deputy who died unexpectedly last week have been announced.

Nightly service for Robert Marble is tonight at 7 p.m. at Community Funeral Home in Pikeville.

His funeral will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. also at the funeral home.

Marble will be buried at Smith Cemetery in Sydney.

He was only 42 years old.

Pike Judge Says No to Rate Increase

Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford spoke out Monday about a proposed 12 percent rate hike by Kentucky Power.

Kentucky Power, a subsidiary of American Electric Power, is seeking a rate adjustment to fund increasing operating costs and investments to meet EPA requirements.

Officials from Kentucky Power recently announced plans to seek nearly $70 million dollars, amounting to a 12.48 percent rate increase for customers. That averages out to about $22 a month per household.

"The leadership must think we are not intelligent people," Rutherford wrote in a news release. "They’re wanting rate payers to pay one-half for a power plant in West Virginia, closing the only coal-fired generating plant in coal rich Eastern Kentucky. Pike County coal production provides around 400,000 tons used in firing the Big Sandy Plant."

The rate increase would help complete Kentucky Power's commitment to purchase half of the coal fired Mitchell power plant in Moundsville, West Virginia.

The rate adjustment request is required to be filed no later than Dec. 29.

Troopers looking for victim’s truck in ‘brutal’ murder

A Mingo County man was found dead in his home Monday, the victim of what state police described as a “brutal” murder.

Troopers said Roland Stafford, 69, was found in his Taylorville residence. He hadn’t been seen since last Wednesday night at church.

Investigators believe Stafford’s truck may have been stolen as part of the crime. They released a photo of a his red 2003 extended cab Ford Ranger with West Virginia license plate 4TK-331. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Home of the Last of America's Chemical Weapons

When the United States finally disposes of all its chemical weapons, the last stockpile to go will be the 523 tons of chemical agent at the Blue Grass Army Depot in central Kentucky. A 1997 arms control agreement requires the 190 countries that signed treaty no longer use or produce chemical weapons and destroy their existing stockpiles.

The U.S. has destroyed 90% of its chemical weapons - but thousands of aging rockets, laced with deadly nerve agents, remain in storage in Richmond.

Craig Williams has been a citizens' watchdog in Kentucky since the early 1980's. He says, "Once we're done, the United States has fulfilled its international obligations. And so, obviously the spotlight is on us as to, 'When are you going to get done? Do you have the funding to complete it? Do you have the workforce to complete it?'"

Other than Kentucky, Colorado has the other remaining stockpile, which is scheduled to complete disposal by 2020. The job will take longer here in Kentucky.

Big Sandy Idol Winners - Paintsville

        Big Sandy Community and Technical College held it’s Big Sandy Idol Competition at Paintsville on Friday.

         Four students from Paintsville participated for spots for the annual Big Sandy Idol regional competition.

Caitlin Conley was crowned the winner, and Kynzie Gray finished as runner-up. Both will advance to the regional competition and have a chance to earn a spot on the Big Sandy Singers, and album recording and other prizes.

Big Sandy Idol will visit Shelby Valley High School on Tuesday.

Kentucky Company Awarded W.Va. Road Contract

A Kentucky company has won a contract to build a section of the Coalfields Expressway in southern West Virginia.

Bizzack Construction, LLC of Lexington, Kentucky bid about $45 million for the project. West Virginia officials announced the contract on Friday in a news release.

The new segment will link Mullens to sections of the expressway under construction. It's expected to be completed in the fall of 2018.

West Virginia Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox says in the release that the project will be the Division of Highway's first public-private partnership project under a 2013 state law.

The law allows the DOH commissioner to reach public-private road project deals without legislative approval.

When completed, the Coalfields Expressway will run from Raleigh County in West Virginia to Buchanan County in Virginia.

US coal mines nearing record low in worker deaths

Deaths and injuries at the nation's coal mines have been declining since a West Virginia underground mining disaster killed 29 workers less than five years ago.

Coal mines are on pace this year to set a new low mark in mining deaths. So far in 2014 there have been 15 coal mine-related deaths, and with less than a month left in the year, the number could stay below the record 18 set in 2009.

Federal mine safety officials say increased enforcement efforts since the Upper Big Branch mine explosion in 2010 have improved the safety at all the nation's mines. Assistant Labor Secretary Joe Main says officials focused on making coal mines safer after the West Virginia tragedy.

AAA says more drivers will hit the roads this holiday season

With Christmas this Thursday, the hustle and bustle of Holiday travel is in full swing. Especially for those trying to get a head start.

According to AAA, over 90 million drivers will hit the roads, which is a four percent increase from last year, and with gas close to 70 cents than this time last year, no wonder why more families are deciding to drive than fly.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Parental Coaching Program Seeks Stable Funding

When parents of young children struggle, the effects can have lifelong impacts on the child. That's the premise behind home visiting programs for families, which depend on funding through the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program.

The funding is set to expire in March, unless Congress takes action. A coalition of 750 organizations and elected leaders has sent a letter asking that the program continue as it has for decades.

Karen Howard at First Focus Campaign for Children explains the home visiting idea began about 40 years ago and research has shown that voluntary home visits, usually conducted by nurses or social workers, can prevent serious problems and learning deficits.

Howard says, "It is a real effective strategy for, particularly low-income families and women, building up their knowledge base and their self-esteem so that they can be capable parents."

There's also a pay-off. Howard points to a RAND Corporation report that found home visiting programs saved up to around six dollars for every dollar invested.

Ceremonial Signing for House Bill 2

        A Ceremonial Bill Signing for House Bill 2 was held at UPIKE on Thursday.

        House Bill 2 is an act relating to increasing bachelor’s degree attainment at postsecondary education institutions located in coal-producing counties.

        The Kentucky Coal County College Completion Program is a scholarship that will generate $2 million a year for two years, to help those trying to get an education in coal severed counties.

         Special guest speakers for the event were: Dr. James Hurley of UPIKE, Governor Steve Beshear, Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo and former governor Paul Patton.

Dental Scam

Authorities are looking for a dentist who is accused of allegedly scamming patients.

Dentist Kurt Childress is accused of not delivering dentures to patients who have already paid either partial or in full payments.

The alleged scam occurred at Quality Dentures in Elkhorn City.

Police say according to information they have gathered Childress apparently has left the state. 
Authorities also say they believe Childress has done this before.

Authorities say when located. Childress will face theft by deception charges.

If you have been a victim, you are asked to call the Elkhorn City Police at 606-424-1828.

Portion of New U.S. 460 Opens

Leaders from Eastern Kentucky and across the state Thursday celebrated the opening of a road in Pike County that could pave the way for economic expansion.

The first half of the new U.S. 460 is now open and transportation officials are hoping the improved highway not only helps with the flow of traffic, but steers new jobs to the area.

The new stretch of highway runs from U.S. 23 south of Pikeville to Marrowbone.

The ceremony to open the highway at Shelby Valley High School drew hundreds of people, including Governor Steve Beshear, who thinks it's a boost for all of Eastern Kentucky.

The highway is named after Pike County natives Jacob Brandon Rowe and Gary Brent Coleman, who served in the military and died while fighting in the Middle East.

Crews have completed eight miles of the road project. They expect to have the other roughly eight miles finished by 2020.

The cost for the entire project is expected to exceed $700 million. The state only paid for 20 percent of that with the rest of the funding coming from the federal government.

Conway calls for stiffer heroin penalties

Kentucky's top prosecutor joined other law enforcement officials on Thursday to call for higher penalties for heroin dealers and better treatment options for overdose victims.

Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway, who is running for governor in 2015, made the announcement a few weeks before state lawmakers return to Frankfort for the 2015 legislative session. Earlier this year, lawmakers were unable to pass a heroin bill despite widespread support from both political parties.

Conway said any heroin legislation in 2015 should allow first responders to give Naloxone to overdose victims without fear of civil liability. He also called for a Good Samaritan law that could allow people to avoid drug possession charges if they call for help during an overdose.

Kentucky's heroin overdose deaths increased 60 percent in 2013.

Health insurer receives $65 million federal loan

(AP) - A Kentucky nonprofit that is one of the largest insurance providers on the state's health exchange received a $65 million federal loan last month to keep it afloat just days before the second open enrollment period began.
The Kentucky Health Cooperative received the loan from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Nov. 10. The loan drew sharp criticism from Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, who said it raises serious questions about the stability of the program.
CEO Janie Miller said the cooperative needed the money because it enrolled twice as many people as it had predicted when the company started last year. The company has 15 years to repay the loan, with interest, to the federal government.
More than 9,200 people have purchased a private health insurance plan on the state exchange since Nov. 15.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

PMC 90th Anniversary

Yesterday the Pikeville Medical Center celebrated its 90th anniversary. Opening in 1924 the hospital started seeing patients with 11 doctors compared to the now over 300 doctors employed at PMC. 

Walter E May, President and CEO of Pikeville Medical Center said the near future of PMC holds a new cafeteria on the 11th floor of the hospital, and addition of one elevator on all of the hospital floors, and an uninterrupted power supply for the hospitals IT department.  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Blankenship will seek change of venue

Attorneys for former Massey Energy President and CEO Don Blankenship told a federal judge Wednesday they plan to seek a change of venue.
Blankenship is scheduled to go on trial next month on charges that he committed fraud by the way he operated the Upper Big Branch mine in Raleigh County in the months before the 2010 explosion there that claimed the lives of 29 coal miners.
His attorneys said they want U.S. District Judge Irene Berger to delay the trial and they plan to ask her to move it out of southern West Virginia. Judge Berger granted a motion Wednesday that will extend the deadline for filing motions in the case.
The trial is currently scheduled for Jan. 26.
Berger did not make a decision Wednesday on a motion from several media outlets calling for her to reverse her gag order in the case.

Blankenship, 64, appeared in person at Wednesday’s hearing. 

Police looking for Letcher County Subway robber

Police say a man with a rifle robbed the Subway in Letcher County late Tuesday night.

According to police, the man walked in and demanded cash.

Police describe the robber as being 5 feet, 5 inches tall, driving a black Toyota or Nissan pickup truck.

If you have any information you can call 606-435-6069.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Notice to All Pike County Department of Solid Waste Customers

The Pike County Department of Solid Waste will be closed for the Christmas holiday next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

All residential waste collection services will be interrupted during this time and will resume the following Monday.

To assist residents in disposing of holiday trash, dumpsters will be placed at various locations throughout the county beginning Tuesday, December 23, 2014.

Those locations are as follows: Meathouse Road, Kimper; Right Fork of Brushy Creek; Belfry Courthouse; Penny Road (near the Highway 610 Intersection); Dorton Elementary School Intersection; Grapevine Park; Stopover, Widows Branch Intersection; Powells Creek (across US 460); Marrowbone Fire Department; Upper Sycamore Park; Turkey Creek Solid Waste Transfer Station(Open Saturday); Robinson Creek Solid Waste lot (outside the entrance/gates); Phelps Road Lot(Open Friday & Saturday) and Belcher Solid Waste lot(Open Saturday).

Please no construction waste, furniture or appliances. All dumpsters will remain on site through Monday, December 29, 2014.

Kentucky Power Seeks Adjustment Rates

        Kentucky Power is seeking a rate adjustment to fund increasing operating costs and investments to meet E-P-A requirements.

        Kentucky Power, a subsidiary of American Electric Power, plans to ask the Kentucky Public Service Commission to adjust costumer rates, the next step in a cost-conscious plan to meet increasing E-P-A demands.

        The adjustment will also pay for expanded tree trimming to strengthen service reliability and cover growing costs of doing business.

        The request completes the recovery of Kentucky Power’s remaining commitment to purchase half of the coal-fired Mitchell power plant in Moundsville, West Virginia.

Fall Forest Fire Season Over

        The fall forest fire hazard season officially ended, but officials with the Kentucky Division of Forestry continue to urge caution.

        While conducting any kind of outdoor burning, the Kentucky Division of Forestry asks you to be cautious.
        Since January 1st, roughly 13-hundred fires have burned around 40-thousand acres across the state. While arson continues to be the leading cause of wildfires in Kentucky, many regions of the state have showed an increase in debris fires.
        For more information about fire hazards, contact the Kentucky Division of Forestry at 1-800-866-0555.

Mullins Elementary - STLP Program

        At a special meeting held by the Pike County Fiscal Court, an adoption of a resolution honoring the Mullins Elementary School’s S-T-L-P program was passed.

        Mullins Elementary was crowned the eighth annual S-T-L-P State Champions. The championship was held at the Lexington Convention Center and Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky.

Mullins Elementary houses over 650 students grades K through 8 and is a feeder of Pike County Central High School.

Rate Increase Possible

Kentucky Power wants the Kentucky Public Service Commission to approve a base rate increase of about 12 percent.

If approved, the utility says residential customers using an average of 1,362 kilowatt hours per month would see their monthly bill increase about 22 dollars.

Officials with the public service commission say the last time Kentucky Power increased its base rate was in 2010.

The rate change would not go into effect right a way. Officials with the PSC say the new rate would be suspended for a number of months while they conduct their review.

Kentucky Power officials say the rate increase would generate about 70 million dollars in revenue.

The company will formally submit their proposal next week.

Couple sentenced in Morgan kickback scheme

AP--A couple who pleaded guilty in a kickback scheme involving the top executive in an eastern Kentucky county that had to rebuild from a deadly 2012 tornado have been sentenced to home detention.

U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove in Frankfort on Tuesday sentenced 73-year-old Kenneth Lee Gambill to nine months of home detention and 57-year-old Ruth Gambill to four months of home detention with two years' probation for each.

The Gambills had a construction company and were involved in a scheme with Morgan County Judge-Executive Tim Conley to make sure the Gambills won contracts to build bridges in the county.

The Gambills pleaded guilty in July to conspiring to launder proceeds of the kickback scheme.

Conley pleaded guilty to fraud in August and is to be sentenced next month