Friday, May 30, 2014

Toyota's Georgetown plant produces 10 millionth car

26 years after the first Camry rolled off the line, the ten millionth vehicle, also a Camry, has been produced and is on display inside the Toyota visitors center in Georgetown.

Numbers one and ten million sat next to each other while government leaders and Toyota employees talked about the level of achievement they both represent.

"It was a fantastic company, it's still a fantastic company. And we went into it as partners, and that's important. Both sides had to do what they needed to do," said former Kentucky Governor Martha Layne Collins, who was instrumental in bringing Toyota to the Commonwealth.

Since starting production, nearly 6 billion dollars have been invested in the plant and employment has grown to 7000 employees.

A Recount of Votes in Magoffin County Judge Executive Race

The Magoffin County Board of Elections met to recanvass the democratic primary for Judge Executive as requested by incumbent, Charles "Doc" Hardin after he lost by 3 votes. Quickly after the totals were added up, folks learned this was not the end of this race.

The recanvass revealed no change in the outcome, showing once again a very tight race; with H.B. Arnett receiving 2,022 votes, "Doc" Hardin with 2,019 ... losing his bid for re-election by 3 votes.

However, immediately following the recanvass, Hardin filed a petition for recount through Magoffin County Circuit Court.

A recount consists of going back and counting each vote that was cast in this primary election. Opposed to just adding up precinct totals like is done in a recanvass.

A date for the recount proceedings in Magoffin Circuit Court has not been set.

FTC could investigate Kentucky's high gas prices

Many Kentucky drivers are feeling some pain at the pump. Gas prices are close to $4 per gallon in some cases.

But just to our south in Tennessee, drivers are filling up for less than $3.50 per gallon. Now, Kentucky's higher gas prices could be getting the attention of federal investigators.

It adds up, and it's been adding up fast in many areas in the Commonwealth, especially in the last 24 hours.

According to reports, just north of London, it goes from $3.49 and in one exit it's $3.79 everywhere and then it's $3.89 in Lexington.

The attorney general's office launched an investigation into gouging years ago, and they are picking it back up, urging the Federal Trade Commission to take another look. An investigation found Marathon to be the main reason for the pricey gas because it's the area's only supplier.

"It doesn't matter if you're at Chevron. It doesn't matter if you're at Thorntons or Shell or Speedway. It is all Marathon Oil," said Allison Martin, a spokesperson for the attorney general's office.

If the FTC chooses to act, then it could break up Marathon's dominance in Kentucky.

The attorney general's office believes the FTC will decide fairly soon whether to launch its own investigation.

19,000 Cited in 6-State Seat Belt Project

State Police in the tri-state just wrapped up a seat-belt enforcement sweep, cited thousands of drivers.

West Virginia State Police, Kentucky State Police and the Ohio Highway Patrol all took part in the initiative that ran May 19th-26th.

During that time, the agencies cited 19,610 for not wearing seat belts. They also gave out 54 citations for child safety seat violations.

Seat Belt: 9,029 citations
Child Safety: 182 citations

Seat Belt: 2,815 citations
Child Safety: 146 citations

West Virginia
Seat Belt: 1,851 citations
Child Safety: 54 citations

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Recount of Votes in Magoffin County Judge Executive Race

There will be a recount of votes in the Judge Executive race in Magoffin County.

The official request was made by current Judge Executive Doc Hardin.

The recount will cover the Democratic Primary of May 20th in which Hardin lost by 3 votes.  A recanvass of the votes still showed Hardin lost by 3 votes.

No word yet when the recount will take place.

King’s Daughters Medical Center Agrees to Pay Settlement

King's Daughters Medical Center in Ashland has agreed to pay the U.S. Government $40.9 million to settle allegations of fraudulent billing.

The hospital was accused of making millions of dollars by falsely billing federal health care programs for heart procedures that
were performed on patients who didn't medically need them.

The government claimed between 2006 and 2011, KDMC maximized
reimbursements from Medicare and Kentucky Medicaid by billing for numerous unnecessary coronary stents and diagnostic catheterizations. The government also alleged that the physicians falsified medical records in order to justify the unnecessary procedures.

The settlement amount roughly doubles the amount of money
KDMC received as a result of the alleged fraudulent billing for the unnecessary services.

The Commonwealth of Kentucky will receive $1,018,380 which for the
state's share of the recovered Medicaid funds. The Medicaid program is funded jointly by the federal and state governments.

Federal regulators want to make mines safer

In the wake of 20 U.S. mining fatalities since October, federal regulators are stepping up safety discussions with the nation's mine coordinators.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration says it will conduct visits to coal, metal, and nonmetal mines.

MSHA says the discussion topics will include task training, mine examinations, the causes of fatal mine accidents and the best practices to avoid accidents.

Memorial Service planned for former Kentucky First Lady

A Memorial Service will be held this weekend for former First Lady of Kentucky, Martha Wilkinson.

The wife of late Governor Wallace Wilkinson died earlier this month in Florida at the age of 72.

The visitation is set for 10 Saturday morning, followed by a service at Southland Christian Church on Harrodsburg Road in Lexington.

Pikeville principal spends the night on top of the school

Pushing our youth to excellence. That is the message a Pike County principal wanted to send his students. Robert Jones cut a deal with sixth graders. Meet a goal, and he would go beyond being an educator.

Last year he danced in the cafeteria. This year, Principal Jones had to top he slept on the roof of Pikeville Elementary.

Tuesday afternoon Jones got settled on the roof. On Wednesday morning, still on the roof, Principal Jones greeted his students from on top of their school

It is all because of a deal made with the more than 90 sixth graders, challenging them to read 1,200 books as a class and pass tests on them for the Accelerated Reader program.

While spending the night on the roof provided some much deserved fun at Pikeville Elementary, Jones says he also hopes it sends a message to all of his students that they will keep with them for many years.

"Well I hope that they don't remember that he is crazy....I hope they remember that he cares about them and wants them to succeed in everything that they do," says Jones.

Students say this is something they will remember and will motivate them to always strive for the top.

Highway litter pickup effort planned for next week

Volunteers will be out in force next week to pick up litter along Kentucky's highways.

The state Transportation Cabinet says its Adopt-a-Highway Summer Scrub Week is set for the week of June 2.

Nearly 700 groups participate in Kentucky's Adopt-a-Highway program, which began in 1988. The cabinet says volunteers clean about 4,800 miles of roadside annually, setting an example of responsible environmental stewardship.

Volunteers adopt two-mile sections of highway under a two-year, renewable contract with the Transportation Cabinet.

The cabinet says that each year, it spends about $5 million and 200,000 worker hours to remove 96,000 bags of highway litter. It says Adopt-a-Highway volunteers help save thousands of taxpayer dollars and demonstrate that a clean environment is a shared responsibility.

Former Martin police chief dies

By: Tanner Hesterberg Email
A former Eastern Kentucky police chief is dead.

Jim Slone, 64, died Wednesday morning, one day after being released from the hospital, where he was treated for heart problems.

Slone, a native of Wheelwright, spent nearly 30 years as a law enforcement officer in the city of Martin, where he served as police chief from 2002 to 2011.

In his younger days, Slone was a military police officer in the Air Force.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Pikeville receives millions for new wastewater treatment plant

Officials in Pikeville say their wastewater treatment plant is currently running at about 92 percent capacity. With many other projects on the horizon like a new shopping center and optometry school  they say expanding their service is necessary.

The city is one step closer to having the funding for the multi-million dollar project.
Pikeville is receiving millions in loan and grant money for the new plant, which officials say will allow the area to continue growing.

The new plant will serve more than 3,000 homes and businesses in Pikeville and Coal Run.

The city is receiving 10.5 million dollars from a low interest rural development loan and a 4.5 million grant.

The new plant will be located where the current plant is on Thompson Road. Officials say they will use the current footprint but will have all new equipment and a 'membrane system' that will be the first of its kind in Kentucky.

Officials say Pikeville has some of the lowest utility rates in the state and this new plant will allow that to continue.

As officials say this is economic development project with it being key to their efforts to keep moving forward and expanding.

Officials say this loan and grant money puts the city within about $5 million of the needed $22 million total for the project.

Hemp seeds finally planted in Kentucky

Hemp is back in Kentucky for the first-time since the 1970's.

State Lawmakers cleared the way for hemp last year, followed by the federal lawmakers who made room for it in this year's farm bill.

A battle with U.S. Customs over seeds delayed the planning for a few weeks.

With all the obstacles in the past, UK put seeds in the ground at Spindletop Farm yesterday as part of a pilot project.

Researchers will keep an eye on which variety grows best here and the different fibers it produces.

They expect to harvest the hemp in October.

New EPA climate proposal could spark fight over coal

New battle lines could be drawn next week in the fight over coal and carbon missions as the Obama administration and EPA will unveil their new climate proposal.

It will set benchmarks for states to reduce carbon emissions as opposed to requirements on individual power plants, according to The Wall Street Journal. States would then be responsible for determining how to meet those goals.

The biggest impact could be for state's -- like Kentucky -- that rely heavily on coal-fired power plants.

In 2012, Kentucky remained the third-highest coal producer in the United States. The Kentucky Coal Association estimates that coal mines employed nearly 14,100 individuals on-site at the end of 2012.

The association also says in 2012 the average price of electricity across economic sectors in Kentucky was 7.19¢ per kilowatt-hour making Kentucky the fifth lowest in the country.

Before the EPA's climate proposal is even unveiled, critics say the plan would lead to higher electricity rates which would mean higher costs for manufacturers.

Series of mining job fairs begins in Pikeville

Dozens of laid off miners attended a job fair in Pikeville on yesterday.

'Hiring Our Miners Everyday' along with the Kentucky Coal Association hosted the event for White Oak Resources.

Representatives from White Oak were on hand to take applications for underground jobs available in Illinois.

Officials say while the coal economy is struggling in Eastern Kentucky, they want to help those unemployed find work ... even if it means relocating.

There will be another fair with White Oak on today at the Harlan Center. A third fair will be held on Thursday at the Kentucky Career Center in Hazard. All events start at 10 a.m.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Number of gun permits issued nearly quadruples

The number of gun permits issued in Kentucky quadrupled in the last ten years.

According to reports, State Police issued more than 59,000 concealed carry licenses last year.

That is a 447 percent increase from 2004, when nearly 11,000 were issued.

Meanwhile, the state legislature passed at least one dozen measures within the last decade to speed up the application process and gradually give permit-holders more flexibility.

Home Improvement Scam in Eastern Kentucky

Kentucky State Police troopers in eastern Kentucky say several people are operating a home improvement scam that's getting expensive for people who pay.

Troopers say that the people involved are altering checks, inflating prices for little or no work and in some cases stealing checks from homeowners.

State Police also say that one case has been confirmed in Breathitt County and one pending complaint.

Troopers have received similar calls coming from Knott, Letcher, and Perry County.

Troopers said always use discretion before allowing anyone to do work at your home.

Investigators are encouraging homeowners to be on alert as they work hard to find whoever is responsible.

They also say the scam possibly involves two men and one woman, but there could be more people.

Virginia jury awards $5M in coal contract dispute

A Southwest Virginia jury has awarded $5 million to a defunct coal company and its owner in their long-running legal battle with Massey Energy over a coal supply contract. A Buchanan County jury awarded $4 million in damages to Harman Mining and two related companies. The jury also awarded $1 million to the companies' owner, Hugh Caperton, for personal financial damages, media outlets reported.

The jury issued its verdict Friday afternoon following a five-week trial in Grundy.

Caperton had claimed his companies were financially damaged when Massey slashed the amount of coal it had agreed to buy from the companies. Harman Mining ceased operations1998. Alpha Natural Resources bought Massey in 2011 and assumed many of Massey's liabilities, includthe Capertonrton lawsuit.

One of the West Virginia appeals attracted national attention when it reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in 2009 that West Virginia Justice Brent Benjamin should have recused himself because then-Massey CEO Don Blankenship had spent $3 million to help Benjamin win elcourt. Ato the court.

A subsequent West Virginia Supreme Court ruling suggested the case should have been filed in Buchanan County, site of a related lawsuit that resulted in a $6 million judgment for the plaintiffs. Caperton followed that suggestion with a new filing in November 2010 alleging tortious interference and fraudulent misrepresentation.

Buchanan County Circuit Court Judge Henry A. Vanover tossed that lawsuit, finding that the issues had already been hashed out in previous cases. The Virginia Supreme Court disagreed, ruling that the issues in the Virginia filing were different, and sent the case back to Buchanan County for further proceedings.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Gov. Beshear Directs Flags to Half-staff for Memorial Day

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Steve Beshear has directed that flags at all state office buildings be displayed at half-staff from sunrise until noon on Monday, May 26, 2014, in observance of Memorial Day.
“Memorial Day is a time for Kentuckians and all Americans to honor the servicemen and women who sacrificed their lives for our freedoms,” said Gov. Beshear. “On Monday, I encourage you to take a moment to give thanks for our military members who made the ultimate sacrifice and also recognize those who are still serving our country both at home and abroad.”

Gov. Beshear encourages individuals, businesses, organizations and government agencies to join in this flag-lowering tribute.

Feds release hemp seeds to Kentucky officials

A nearly 300-pound shipment of hemp seeds detained by federal officials for two weeks has been delivered to Kentucky's Agriculture Department.

The seeds that spurred a legal fight are expected to be planted in Kentucky soil in the coming days for research projects.

The seed from Italy arrived on a UPS truck Friday at the department's office in Frankfort.

The seeds were sprung from confinement after federal drug officials approved a permit Thursday, ending the standoff. The state agriculture department sued the federal government after the shipment was stopped by U.S. Customs in Louisville earlier this month.

"I think Kentucky is leading the nation right now in hemp production and so we look forward to maintaining that lead and developing the research that our producers need," said Industrial Hemp Coordinator Adam Watson. "We have been contacted by other states that are interested in how we're doing it so we have taken the lead on this."

The University of Kentucky will plant their seeds Tuesday afternoon.

Kentucky doesn't regulate zip lines

The growing zip line industry isn't regulated by any government authority in Kentucky.

According to reports, no federal or state agency is charged with keeping track of the safety of the attractions that allow people to "zip" over an area high above the ground.

State lawmakers decided in 2012 to exempt the Kentucky Agriculture Department from overseeing zip lines. The department says it doesn't have the manpower to adequately monitor the growing activity.

That leaves the zip line industry to self-regulate. Several zip line operators in central and eastern Kentucky say they conduct several in-house inspections each year and have certified outside inspections annually.

Most states consider zip lines a "sport" and do not regulate them, but Tennessee began inspections after several accidents happened there.

Click It or Ticket Continues

Memorial Day weekend means thousands of drivers will hit Kentucky's roadways and so will police.

Kentucky State Police are out enforcing their "Click It or Ticket" campaign. Over a two week span, troopers will aggressively target drivers who choose not to wear seat belts or use child safety restraints.

Getting caught will leave you with a $25 dollar fine, but not getting caught could cost even more. 

Last year during the four day holiday weekend, seven people were killed on Kentucky roads.

The "Click It or Ticket" enforcement campaign runs through June 1st.

Two Eastern Kentucky Schools Receive Lowe’s Grants

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky State Parks will be the beneficiary of grants awarded to two eastern Kentucky  career and technical education centers by the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation.

Kentucky Tech-Floyd County Area Technology Center received a $25,000 grant, and the Kentucky Tech-Millard Area Technology Center received $17,310. The “SkillsUSA Schools in Need” grants will be used for tools and supplies that students will use to make benches and tables for state parks in the region.

The focus for SkillsUSA Lowe’s grants is to provide schools assistance for a variety of needs, such as the necessary equipment to assist in specific educational endeavors including community service projects.

“We appreciate the support from Lowe’s, the SkillsUSA program, these schools and most importantly, the students who are doing the work,” said Parks Commissioner Elaine Walker. “This is a great example of young people providing a community service that will serve local residents as well as our guests.”

Walker, school district officials and Lowe’s representatives made the announcement today at Lowe’s stores in Pikeville and Paintsville.

“We’re very proud of these two successful grant recipients and the students they serve,” said Dale Winkler, associate commissioner, Kentucky Department of Education. “Our partnership with Lowe’s, through SkillsUSA and the Kentucky State Parks, will serve the future of these young people and sets an example of the many good things that can happen through collaborative efforts.”

Winkler also noted the work of the schools’ principals, Lenville Martin at Floyd County ATC and Jim Bob Hamilton at Millard ATC, along with Floyd County ATC’s SkillsUSA advisor and SkillsUSA Beginning Advisor of the Year, Justin Trout.

 “These people are the ones on the front lines who are responsible for making sure these projects get done,” he said. “We just couldn’t do these types of ventures if not for them.” 
 The benches will be placed along the Dawkins Line Rail Trail, which covers 18 miles in Johnson and Magoffin counties, but will eventually cover 36 miles when completed. The trail opened in 2013 and serves hikers, cyclists and horseback riders. Tables and benches will also be placed at Kentucky State Parks in this region.

Boating Season Begins along with Safety

During this Memorial Day weekend the boating season begins for many.

At Jenny Wiley Resort ParkDewey Lake filled with pontoons, house boats and fishing boats days ahead of the holiday.

As the lake fills with boaters, officials say it's important that everybody has safety in mind.

State officials suggest passengers ages twelve and under wear a life jacket at all times.

They also recommend all passengers have a life vest available nearby.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Jenny Wiley Theatre opens second location in Pikeville

For 50 years now, the Jenny Wiley Theatre has presented live-stage performances at its outdoor location in Prestonsburg. Now officials are opening a second, indoor location in downtown Pikeville.

The first performance is still a few days away, but Thursday was an opportunity for the public to get acquainted with the new facility, to meet those who made it possible, and to sample the experience.
The first performance at the new theater will take place on May 29th called "A Second Helping: The Church Basement Ladies Sequel."

Kentucky gains permit for hemp seeds

A Kentucky Agriculture Department official says the state has received a federal permit to release an impounded shipment of hemp seeds for spring planting.

Kentucky Ag officials says the department anticipates getting the seeds today.

Kentucky's pilot hemp projects for research were put on hold after the 250-pound seed shipment was stopped by U.S. customs officials in Louisville earlier this month. The state's Agriculture Department sued the federal government in hopes of freeing the seeds.

Eight test projects are planned in Kentucky as part of a small-scale comeback for the long-banned crop.

Hemp's return was spurred by the new federal farm bill, which allows state agriculture departments to designate hemp pilot projects for research in states such as Kentucky that allow hemp growing.

Gas prices shoot up just in time for holiday weekend travel

It's going to cost you to travel this Memorial Day Weekend.

Gas prices shot up nearly 20 cents Thursday at many stations across the Commonwealth. A gallon of regular unleaded is now around $3.89 at most reporting stations.

Nationally, gas prices average $3.64 per gallon.

Two Wanted on Drug Charges in Louisa

Louisa Police are asking for help in finding two people wanted for trafficking drugs.

Police say Lindsey D. Davidson, 36, and James T. Schafer, 41, are wanted for trafficking heroin and theft by unlawful taking.

Police say they could be in the Huntington, West Virginia area.

If you know where these people are, call Louisa Police.

Pike County man dies in lawnmower accident

A Pike County man died after what officials call a freak accident.

Authorities say 67 year old Johnny Shumate was cutting grass along Gardner Fork near Shelbiana when the deck of his utility lawnmower hit a rock, causing him to overturn.

The tractor then rolled about 150 feet over an embankment according to officials.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Magoffin Co. Judge Executive primary decided by 3 votes, racanvass expected

To say it was a close race would be an understatement. The democratic primary election for Magoffin County Judge Executive was decided by just three votes and now a recanvass is expected.

Haden ‘HB’ Arnett defeated incumbent, Charles 'Doc' Hardin, by three votes on Tuesday.

The democratic primary winner previously served as county clerk for more than two decades and says he wants to get back into public office strictly for the people of Magoffin County.

'Doc' Hardin says he congratulates his opponent but is filling for a recanvass of the votes.

Knott County voters keep Zach Weinberg in office

Last April democrat and Knott County businessman Zach Weinberg was appointed to his position as judge executive.

Tuesday night folks voted to keep him in office. Weinberg replaced Knott County Judge-Executive Randy Thompson.

Thompson was removed from office last April after going to prison on a federal vote-buying conviction.

Weinberg said he will continue working hard to make Knott County a better place.

Kentucky Ag officials upbeat about gaining hemp seeds

Kentucky Agriculture Department attorneys and the federal government have met with a judge to try to resolve a standoff over hemp seeds from Italy that customs officials have detained.

Afterward Wednesday, top Agriculture Department official Holly Harris VonLuehrte sounded upbeat about getting the seeds in Kentucky soil in coming days.

The 250-pound seed shipment was stopped by U.S. customs officials in Louisville.
One remaining sticking point is a permit for state agriculture officials to distribute seeds for research projects.

VonLuehrte says federal drug officials initially wanted to know precisely how much seed would go to each project. The two sides agreed Wednesday to language allowing the Agriculture Department to indicate that each shipment wouldn't exceed a certain amount.

Lawrence County Schools Name New Superintendent

A new superintendent has been chosen for the Lawrence County, Kentucky school district.

The board of education voted for Dr. Robbie Fletcher to fill the position.

He received the position with a 3-2 vote.

Fletcher is currently the principal at Sheldon Clark High School in Martin County.

Board Chairman Jim See says there were 31 applicants for the position and a screening committee narrowed it down to five. The board selected Fletcher from those five candidates.

Fletcher will start his new role on July 1.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

McConnell defeats tea party challenger Bevin

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has defeated millionaire businessman Matt Bevin in an expensive and bruising primary election in Kentucky. He'll face Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes in the fall as he pursues his sixth term.

McConnell has been one of President Barack Obama's fiercest critics, but Bevin accused the longtime senator of not being conservative enough.

Bevin spent $3.3 million in his bid as a political newcomer backed by various tea party groups. McConnell drowned him out with more than $9 million in spending. Outside groups spent millions more defending his conservative credentials.

McConnell had already shifted into fall campaign mode. He's been attacking Obama's health care law and coal regulations and trying to link Grimes to the president, who is deeply unpopular in Kentucky.

KSP boosts enforcement during nationwide "Click It or Ticket" campaign

Kentucky State Police warn if you drive without wearing your seat belt this Memorial Day Weekend, you will get a ticket.

The national "Click It or Ticket" campaign kicked off Monday, and officers were out in full force to make sure folks followed the law and stayed safe.

KSP officers from Post 9 in Pikeville and Post 13 in Hazard set up a traffic safety checkpoint along U.S. 23 on the Pike County and Letcher County border.

Officers say they want to improve the rate of Kentucky drivers who wear their seat belts on a consistent basis. Kentucky's rate is 85 percent, while the national average it 87 percent.

Officers say they'll be on the lookout for fake-outs: tricks people sometimes use to try to hide the fact that they aren't actually wearing their seat belt.

Last year, 638 people died in Kentucky roadway accidents. Of those, 278 were drivers or passengers who were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

Officers will also be checking for impaired driving, distracted driving and other violations, and if you are caught breaking the law, officers say they will not hesitate to take you to jail.

The "Click It or Ticket" enforcement campaign runs through June 1st.

Murder trial delayed for competency hearing

A delay in a Floyd County murder case has been announced.

Ronald and Loretta Wright's trial was expected to start yesterday.

However, the Commonwealth's Attorney says Ronald Wright's Attorney requested a competency hearing.

Police say Ronald shot and killed Famer Halbert and injured his wife Lorene when they were visiting the couple.

They also say seven children were in the home at the time of the shooting.

A court date has not yet been set.

Distillery and brewery planned in Pikeville

An animal nutrition company plans to begin operating a distillery and brewery in eastern Kentucky.

Alltech officials agreed to purchase a former funeral home in downtown Pikeville that will serve as the location.

The company already operates a brewery and distillery central Kentucky and a distillery in Ireland, where Alltech founder Pearse Lyons is from.

Some leaders in economically depressed eastern Kentucky are looking to tourism to help reinvigorate the region, and they are using the success of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, as a model.

One major draw to that area is the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery.

Law enforcement grants awarded to 27 agencies

More than $120,000 in grants has been awarded to 27 law enforcement agencies in Kentucky to buy body armor vests and other equipment.

The Law Enforcement Protection Program grants are administered by the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security and announced by Gov. Steve Beshear.

The agency uses funds from sales of confiscated weapons, in conjunction with the Kentucky State Police, which conducts periodic auctions to federally licensed firearms dealers.

Homeland Security prioritizes need and provides available funds for the acquisition of body armor, duty weapons, ammunition and Tasers.

Kentucky Labor Cabinet warns business owners of scam

Labor law posters are required to be displayed in every workplace. The posters are available for free through the Kentucky Labor Cabinet, but private companies are trying to profit off those posters. Cabinet officials want employers to save their money and get the posters through their office.

The companies are threatening $17,000 government fines if they are not purchased.

The state fine for not displaying a labor law poster ranges from $100 to $1,000.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Woman sentenced for causing deadly crash

An Eastern Kentucky woman will spend seven years behind bars.

53-year-old Myra Castle of Wittenville, Ky. was sentenced for second-degree manslaughter and DUI in the death of 18-year-old C. J. Mollett.

A jury in Johnson County convicted Castle on the two charges last month.

The head-on crash involving Mollett on his motorcycle, and Castle in her car, happened on Ky. 201 in Wittensville on August 16, 2013.

The judge then sentenced her to seven years for second degree manslaughter, and 30 days for operating a vehicle under the influence. The sentences will run concurrently.

Judge to review suit in hemp seed case

A federal judge is set to review a lawsuit by Kentucky's Agriculture Department that's aimed at forcing federal officials to release imported hemp seeds for use in pilot projects.

Customs officials in Louisville have detained a 250-pound shipment of seeds from Italy.

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer claims the action violates the intent of the new farm bill, which allows state agriculture departments to designate hemp pilot projects for research in states such as Kentucky that allow hemp growing.

Eight projects are planned across Kentucky as part of a limited reintroduction of hemp to determine the crop's potential.

Defendants in the suit include the Justice Department, Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Brewing troubles from coffee fungus

The U.S. government is stepping up efforts to help Central American farmers fight a devastating coffee disease - and hold down the price of your morning cup.

A fungus called coffee rust has caused more than $1 billion in damage across Latin American. The fungus is especially deadly to Arabica coffee - that's the bean that makes up most high-end, specialty coffees.

It's already affecting the price of some of those coffees in the United States.

The U.S. Agency for International Development is concerned about the economic security of small coffee farms abroad.

On Monday, agency head Raj Shah plans to announce a $5 million partnership with Texas A&M University's World Coffee Research center to try to eliminate the fungus.

Beshear offers advice to UPike graduates

The University of Pikeville held its commencement this weekend at the Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center in Pikeville.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear recognized more than 300 graduates from the class of 2014. Beshear says there is one piece of life advice every graduate should try their best to follow.

"Listen. Listen to what others say. It's easy to talk. It's a lot harder to listen and to learn and you've got to do both," Beshear says. "You've got to be able to express yourself, but you've also got to listen to what others think, that's the way you can actually bring people together and make good things happen."

As part of the commencement ceremony, Governor Beshear received an honorary degree from the University of Pikeville.

Nasal strip could threaten Chrome's Triple bid

Trainer Art Sherman says California Chrome might not pursue a Triple Crown bid in the Belmont Stakes if New York officials won't allow the colt to wear a nasal strip.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner has worn one during his current six-race winning streak after co-owner Perry Martin suggested it. Sherman said Sunday he will talk to New York racing officials and the horse's owners.

Some horses, like humans, wear nasal strips to assist breathing.

Two years ago, I'll Have Another won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness while wearing nasal strips. New York officials told his team the colt couldn't wear one in the Belmont. The issue became moot when I'll Have Another was scratched the day before the race because of a leg injury.