Thursday, July 31, 2014

Relinquishment of responsibility ceremony set for 101st Airborne's senior enlisted leader

Fort Campbell is holding a relinquishment of responsibility ceremony for the 101st Airborne Division's command sergeant major.
The ceremony is Friday at the sprawling post on the Kentucky-Tennessee line.

During the ceremony, Command Sgt. Maj. Alonzo J. Smith will relinquish responsibility as the division's senior enlisted leader.

Smith has been command sergeant major of the 101st since June 2012. He was previously command sergeant major of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne.

Kentucky State Fair starting to hire variety of temporary workers on Monday

The Kentucky State Fair is hiring more than 750 temporary employees starting Monday.
The Kentucky State Fair Board says jobs include ticket sellers, gate attendants, maintenance, grounds, housekeeping and tram drivers.

Applicants have to be at least 18 years old, with proper identification, such as a photo ID and a Social Security card.

Wages start at $7.25 per hour. Applications must be given in person.

The 2014 Kentucky State Fair runs from Aug. 14 to 24.

Plans underway for a new high school in Floyd County

Floyd County Schools Superintendent, Henry Webb, says the board recently approved plans for a brand new high school in the district and the new facility will allow them to be more efficient...creating improvement and more opportunities throughout the district.

The initial planning stages are underway for the new high school.

Superintendent Webb says they have been discussing the new school for years and it is now becoming a reality, "We are currently in negotiations with finalizing the property."

Property on Rt.680 that he says thanks to the hard work of the school board will be home to a world class facility ... by far the largest in the district, equipped to house 750 students.

Under the current plans, Allen Central High School and South Floyd High School would be combined into one high school. Then plans show merging McDowell and Osborne with South Floyd Middle School into the existing South Floyd facility.

Officials say the new high school will include things like 21st century technology and design throughout the building, a large media center, auditorium, and cafeteria. The 3-story building will feature 'career clusters' as the school focuses on college-career readiness. Also, all athletic facilities and fields will be on the new campus.

If everything goes as planned officials expect work at the site to begin within the next few months.

Since it is such a large project, estimated at 140,000 square feet (not including athletic facilities), officials are looking at about 28-months of groundwork and construction.

They hope to begin classes at the new school in Fall of 2017.

School officials say they plan to move their vocational school to the current Allen Central High School.

Kentucky speaker: Local option sales tax is focus

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo says House Democrats' top priority for the 2015 legislative session could be letting local governments temporarily raise taxes to pay for large construction projects.

Stumbo had previously said the House would focus on legalizing casino style gambling in Kentucky, an issue pushed by the state's formidable horse racing industry and its popular Democratic governor.

But that changed when Churchill Downs, Louisville's iconic horse racing track, donated money to a political action committee dedicated to electing Republicans to the state legislature. 

Democrats have an eight-seat majority in the House, one of the last Democratic-controlled state legislative bodies in the south.

The local option sales tax would let local governments impose a temporary 1 percent sales tax to pay for large projects. Voters would have to approve the tax first.

Push to ban indoor smoking statewide

The smoke-free coalition is made up of supporters like State Representative Susan Westrom, health organizations and community and business groups.

They're canvassing the state to get their message across that a smoke-free workplace is a healthy workplace.

Supporters prefer a wide-ranging, rather than patchwork assortment, of city smoking bans.

The chamber says in addition to a healthier workforce, the move would attract and retain businesses.

"It really does get confusing when different counties have different aspects of the law," said Ashli Watts, with the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. "For example, here in Lexington, it's an all-encompassing smoking ban that says "You can smoke, you just need to step outside. That's all we're asking for with this law."

Four times they've tried to pass a smoking ban that blankets the entire state of Kentucky and it has failed.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

US mine agency proposes change in criteria for civil penalties for health, safety violations

Federal mine regulators are proposing a change in the criteria for civil penalties for health and safety violations.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration said Tuesday it will publish a proposed rule that would increase attention on more serious safety and health conditions.

The proposal is structured to encourage mine operators to be more accountable. Minimum penalties for violations that constitute more than just ordinary negligence would increase.

Total penalties proposed by MSHA and the distribution of the penalty amount by mine size would remain generally the same, while the penalty amount for small metal and nonmetal mines would decrease. The existing minimum and maximum penalties for non-flagrant violations won't change.

MSHA says the proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register on Friday.

Noah's Ark tax incentive passes first hurdle; consultant to study feasibility

Noah's Ark could get some help from Kentucky taxpayers.

A state tourism board gave preliminary approval on Tuesday for up to $18 million in tax rebates for a proposed full-sized replica of Noah's Ark as described in the book of Genesis. An independent consultant will now study the feasibility of the project and make a recommendation for the board to consider.

If approved, organizers could receive up to 25 percent of the $73 million anticipated cost of the project. Organizers would receive the money over 10 years only after the ark is built and open to the public.

Organizers say they have enough money to begin building the Ark, which will be 510 feet long and 85 feet high. The ark is scheduled to open by the summer of 2016.

Senate panel to hold hearing for Kentucky nominees

Two attorneys from Kentucky nominated for positions on the federal bench are set for a hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.

U.S. Attorney David J. Hale and Bowling Green lawyer Greg N. Stivers have been tapped to fill two vacancies in the U.S. District Court.

Hale has been U.S. attorney for the Western District of Kentucky since 2010. He previously practiced law in Louisville and was an assistant U.S. attorney.

Stivers has practiced in Bowling Green since 1985.

The American Bar Association has given both men a rating of "unanimously qualified."

Church Burns to Ground in Pike County

The community of Little Creek in Pike County is on edge following a fire at a more than century old church over the weekend.

Investigators are trying to piece together what caused the flames that burnt Yeager Church of Christ to the ground around 7 am Saturday.

A representative from the State Fire Marshal's Office and a Kentucky State Police Arson Investigator are looking into the cause of the fire.

If you have any information that could help police in their investigation of the fire, you are asked to call the KSP post in Pikeville at 606-433-7711.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Treasurer says suspicious mail claims to have information about unclaimed property

Kentucky Treasurer Todd Hollenbach says some people may be receiving mail or other contacts regarding unclaimed property that aren't coming from his office.
Hollenbach says most of the mailings are postcards with a Denver postmark. His office was notified of the mailings recently by the National Unclaimed Property Association.

Hollenbach's office says the cards are usually green, blue, yellow or orange.

Hollenbach says the postcards aren't related to the state treasury or his office's unclaimed property program called Treasure Finders and advises not giving out any information or responding.

For questions or issues involving anyone claiming to be with the treasurer's office or unclaimed property, contact NAUPA at 244-8150 or the treasurer's office at (800) 465-4722.

Two Men Plead Guilty in Floyd County Cockfighting Ring

A Floyd County father and son have pleaded guilty to participating in an enterprise that authorities believe was one of the largest cockfighting pits in the country.

A U.S. Agriculture Department investigator said the business at McDowell in Floyd County had arena-style seating, multiple fighting pits and a restaurant.

Pleading guilty were 51-year-old Walter Dale Stumbo and 25-year-old Joshua Dale Stumbo.

The pair admitted to conspiring to sponsor or exhibit an animal in a fighting venture and conducting an illegal gambling business.

They also pleaded guilty to involvement in possessing and transporting roosters across the state line from Virginia to the Big Blue club and transporting gaffs, or sharp knives that are attached to roosters' legs, across state lines.

Each faces up to 55 years in prison when they are sentenced in October.

The case against 51-year-old Sonya Stumbo is ongoing.

Authorities also say 57-year-old Wesley Dean Robinson and 33-year-old Jonathan Robinson of Wise County, Virginia have also pleaded guilty to their involvement in the cockfighting ring.

The report says the government wants to more than $900,000 from those involved in the case.

No Indictment in Lawrence County Shooting

A recent grand jury has found insufficient evidence to issue an indictment in a deadly shooting in Lawrence County, Kentucky, back in May.

Ricky Baisden, 49, of Cedgap died in the shooting on May 30.

The shooting happened in the Woodland Drive area.

Sheriff Garrett Roberts said that Basiden came out of wooded area, armed with a 20-gauge shotgun and threatened to shoot two men working on a rental cabin.

Roberts says the two men told investigators there was a struggle over the gun and one shot was fired into the porch ceiling. The men said that Basiden regained control of the gun, reloaded, and fired at them.

As Basiden was reloading, the man who was shot at pulled out a handgun and shot Basiden in what he said was self defense.

Roberts says alcohol was believed to be a factor in Baisden’s behavior.

Dollar Tree buying Family Dollar for $8.5 billion

Dollar Tree is buying rival discount store Family Dollar in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $8.5 billion.

Stockholders of Family Dollar Stores will receive $59.60 in cash and the equivalent of $14.90 in shares of Dollar Tree for each share they own. The companies put the value of the transaction at $74.50 per share.

The boards of both companies have unanimously approved the deal, which is expected to close by early next year.

Shares of Family Dollar Stores Inc., based in Charlotte, North Carolina, spiked 20 percent before the opening bell Monday. Shares of Dollar Tree Inc., based in Chesapeake, Virginia, are up almost 4 percent.

Pike Co. man charged with murder in triple shooting


Kentucky State Police are investigating after a shooting early Sunday morning left two people injured and one man dead.

Troopers say they received a call about a shooting off of Pond Creek Road on Straight Hollow.

Once at the scene, officials say they found three people with gunshot wounds. "The three gunshot victims were at a motorcycle club meeting at the time of the incident," says Trooper Shaun Little. He adds, "We don't typically have a lot of dealings with motorcycle clubs and this type of incident, but there are several clubs that travel through the state."

Two people were taken to the hospital and 29-year-old, Bradley Coleman, was pronounced dead at the scene.

State police say evidence at the scene indicates, Daniel Ward, shot and killed Coleman and injured the two others.

Trooper Little says, "He was arrested away from the scene actually on a traffic stop on traffic related charges. He was lodged in jail on those charges and then charged with murder."

The arrest citation by the Pike County Sheriff's Office says Ward attempted to flee on his motorcycle on US 119. Once stopped, he admitted to drinking and officials found a pair of brass knuckles in his vest pocket...which is considered a concealed deadly weapon in Kentucky.

Ward is facing several charges in addition to murder including DUI, fleeing and evading, and carrying a concealed weapon.

The shooting remains under investigation and Troopers say they expect more charges to be filed.

Ward entered a not guilty plea. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on August 6th.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Kentucky education chief recognized for leadership

Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday is being honored by the National Association of State Boards of Education as Policy Leader of the Year.

The award will be presented this fall in Denver at the association's national conference.

The association's executive director, Kristen Amundson, says in a release from the state Education Department that Holliday's achievements and work to improve public education are known around the country. Amundson says work by Holliday along with the state Board of Education have made Kentucky a national leader.

The Policy Leader of the Year Award has gone in the past to Gen. Colin Powell, former North Carolina Gov. James B. Hunt and former first lady Barbara Bush.

Postal Service issues hot rod envelope

The U.S. Postal Service is offering a commemorative envelope this week in Louisville in honor of the 45th annual Street Rod Nationals.

The vintage cars and trucks are returning to Louisville, where the convention runs Thursday through Sunday.

The limited edition envelope features flames, polished chrome and classic details of a traditional hot rod and has the 2014 Hot Rods Forever stamp with one of two 1932 Ford Deuce roadsters.

The envelope and pictorial postmark will be available after the Street Rod parade on Wednesday, then at the Kentucky Exposition Center throughout the convention. The envelopes cost $10.

One Dead in Shooting at Motorcycle Club Meeting

Kentucky State Police are investigating a murder at a motorcycle club meeting.

Investigators say they responded to a call Sunday about three people being shot in Stone, Kentucky.

Troopers say Daniel Ward shot and killed Bradley Coleman, 29, and also shot two others, who were taken to the hospital to be treated for their injuries.

Coleman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators arrested Ward as he was leaving the scene.

He is charged with one count of murder. More charges could be filed.

No other information is being released at this time.

Kentucky has received 237 of unaccompanied children crossing into US

Kentucky has received less than 1 percent of the unaccompanied children crossing into the United States.

New federal data published Thursday by the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families showed Kentucky received 237 of the more than 30,000 children who have been released to sponsors this year through July 7.

Texas, New York, Florida and California received the most, accounting for 46 percent of the children received during that time.

Unaccompanied children have been fleeing violence in Central America and crossing into the U.S. because they believe they will be allowed to stay.

Children are placed in government shelters and then released to sponsors while they go through deportation proceedings. In many cases, the sponsors are the children's parents, other relatives or a family friend.

Search dogs complete training to help out area rescue groups

By: Laura Beranek Email

Rescue groups from Johnson, Knott, Laurel, and Bath Counties, as well as a Wisconsin dog owner, spent this weekend taking their rescue skills to the next level.

Beauford, an 8 month old Bloodhound, is a first for the Johnson County Rescue Squad.
According to Assistant Chief Brian Benham, the squad now has a functioning team that they hope the county will rely on.

Beauford is one of eight dogs that now has a higher certification, thanks to training courses completed this weekend in Knott County.

The squads say they have had to use the search and rescue techniques in real life situations.

The groups believe the training from Carl Alexander from the National Search Dog Agency will be important in keeping their communities safe.

Kentucky's Wah Wah Jones passes away at the age of 88

One of Big Blue Nation’s all-time greatest athletes Wallace “Wah Wah” Jones has passed away at the age of 88.

Born in Harlan Co., Jones was an All-American under both Adolph Rupp and Bear Bryant and is the only Kentucky player to have his number retired in both basketball and football.

Jones was the last remaining member of UK's "Fabulous Five" that won the 1948 and 1949 National Championships.

He also went to four state tournaments as a Harlan Green Dragon, winning a state title in 1944.

Jones teamed up with Phillips Oilers to win the Gold Medal at 1948 Olympics.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Condemned Kentucky inmate seeks new trial, asks federal judge to toss out conviction, sentence

A death row inmate from eastern Kentucky has asked a federal judge to throw out is conviction and sentence, saying a judge erred in accepting his guilty plea.

In a petition filed in federal court in Lexington, 47-year-old Donald Herb Johnson says a judge in Floyd County didn't recount all the rights he'd be giving up by admitting to stabbing Helen Madden to death on Oct. 30, 1989. Johnson also claims he may not have been competent at the time to enter the plea.

Madden was attacked at the Bright and Clean Laundry in Hazard where she worked. Johnson entered the guilty plea on Oct. 1, 1997.

Kentucky is currently under a court order suspending all executions in the state.


Kentucky is pushing to digitize court records and eventually make them more accessible to the public.
State Supreme Court Justice Michelle Keller says the goal is to get all 120 Kentucky counties and all types of cases operating on a single system by the end of 2015. Keller, chair of the courts' Technology Governance Committee and leader of this effort, says e-filing simplifies work for court clerks, judges and attorneys.

Keller said all of these efficiencies will reduce the cost of doing business in the courts.

She does not believe it will cost court employees their jobs because most offices are already understaffed.

US regulators issue 186 citations during mining inspections in June

The Mine Safety and Health Administration says inspectors issued 186 citations at 13 U.S. mining operations in June.
Eleven of those mines were coal operations, while the others were metal and nonmetal.

MSHA cited as examples Thursday coal mines in Virginia and West Virginia.

Twenty-five citations were issued at the Dickenson-Russell Coal Co. LLC's Cherokee Mine in Dickenson County, Virginia.

The West Virginia inspection occurred at Rhino Eastern LLC's Eagle Mine 3 in Wyoming County. MSHA said it found dozens of violations.

The impact inspections began in 2010 after the Upper Big Branch mine explosion in West Virginia killed 29 coal miners.

Guilty pleas entered in Kentucky cockfighting operation

An eastern Kentucky father and son have pleaded guilty to participating in an enterprise that authorities believe was one of the largest cockfighting pits in the country.
A U.S. Agriculture Department investigator said the business at McDowell in Floyd County had arena-style seating, multiple fighting pits and a restaurant.

Pleading guilty Thursday were 51-year-old Walter Dale Stumbo and 25-year-old Joshua Dale Stumbo. Officials said they admitted conspiring to sponsor or exhibit an animal in a fighting venture and conducting an illegal gambling business. They also pleaded guilty to involvement in possessing and transporting roosters across the state line from Virginia to the Big Blue club and transporting gaffs, or sharp knives that are attached to roosters' legs, across state lines.

They are to be sentenced in October.

Boone has lowest county jobless rate in Kentucky in June at 5.5 percent

The state says Boone County had the lowest unemployment rate among Kentucky's 120 counties in June.

The rate in the northern Kentucky county was 5.5 percent. Kenton County, also in northern Kentucky, had the second-lowest rate at 5.8 percent.

Next were Campbell, Larue and Woodford counties at 6 percent. Caldwell and Shelby counties had rates of 6.1 percent.

Meanwhile, Jackson County had the state's highest unemployment rate at 16.5 percent in June. It was followed by Magoffin County at 15 percent, Harlan County at 14.5 percent, Leslie County at 13.6 percent and Letcher County at 13.1 percent.

The state says unemployment rates fell in 117 Kentucky counties between June 2013 and June 2014. The jobless rate went up in three counties.

Magoffin County Judge Race Decided

The Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Magoffin County Judge Executive Dr. Charles Hardin.

Dr. Hardin had appealed the recount proceedings of the judge executive's race.

He lost by three votes during the May primary election.

H.B. Arnett was declared the winner following the primary election results. He originally won by three votes.

The recount revealed that Hardin was the winner by three votes.

The Court of Appeals three-judge panel ruled in favor of Hardin on Thursday.

SEC Network to Carry UK

University of Kentucky fans with Time Warner Cable will get to watch the new SEC Network when it debuts.

The network's owner ESPN has been at odds with Time Warner over how much it should pay to carry the network.

Time Warner is the dominant cable company in Kentucky. Time Warner Cable spokesperson Mike Pedelty says there are around 700,000 customer relationships in Kentucky.

"It is great to have Time Warner Cable as a distribution partner for the SEC Network," said Mike Slive, Commissioner of the Southeastern Conference. "Time Warner Cable customers, particularly those in South Carolina and Texas, will have the opportunity to enjoy our football season opener exclusively on the SEC Network when Texas A&M visits South Carolina on August 28."

The SEC Network will launch Aug. 14.

The following three days will feature three UK Men's Basketball exhibition games in the Bahamas. Two of the first three UK Football games will also be exclusively featured on the network.

The SEC and ESPN have a 20-year agreement through 2034. The network will air SEC content 24/7 with more than 1,000 events in its first year. It will televise 45 SEC football games, more than 100 men's basketball games, 60 women's basketball games, 75 baseball games, and events from across the SEC's 21 sports annually.

Health Fun Fair a Success

The seventh annual 'Healthy Fun Fair' was held on Thursday at the National College campus in Pike County.

The event is centered around health and safety by providing various screenings, diagnostics, and information.

Law enforcement and first responders were on hand to demonstrate different scenarios and participate in a mock disaster.

The fair also included games and other activities for kids.

Tammy Riley says, "We are trying to create a fun environment for kids, teens, and adults to be educated about their health and safety."

About 1,000 people attended this year's even

New Jobs coming to Mount Sterling

A company plans to open a data processing center in Mount Sterling and create 100 new jobs in the eastern Kentucky town.

Gov. Steve Beshear said Wednesday that Data Dimensions Corp. plans to invest $3.2 million in the project in Montgomery County.

The document management company will process financial transactions at the Mount Sterling facility.

Hiring is expected to start this fall and grow to 100 employees over the next year.

To encourage the investment and job creation, the state has preliminarily approved tax incentives up to $1 million for the company.

The performance-based incentives allow a company to keep a portion of its investment through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

KSP Remains Optimistic on Solving the Jason Ellis Case

Although no arrests have been made in the murder of Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis in May, 2013, State Police remain optimistic the case will be solved.

While the public may think nothing's going on in the case, since there hasn't been much information released lately, Trooper Jeff Gregory of the Elizabethtown Post says they are continuing to work as hard as they did the first day.

He says the number of tips has dropped, but they are more interested in quality, rather than quantity, and are looking for that one tip that will allow them to make an arrest.

EPA’s McCarthy to Senate committee–coal still key

Federal Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy told members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Wednesday coal will still play a sizeable role in the nation’s power generation capacity even if newly proposed emission regulations for existing power plants are enacted.
McCarthy defended Obama Administration proposals aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. She insisted the only regulation set in stone is the lowering of the emission standard, any other part of the proposal was only suggested ways for states to achieve the new standards.  She claimed before the committee the plan offered broad flexibility to each state on how to achieve the goal of reducing emissions in power generation.
McCarthy suggested the rules would prompt more research and technology development for fossil fuels to burn more cleanly and more efficiently.
McCarthy’s remarks were warmly embraced by Democrat members of the panel, including Chair Barbara Boxer (D-CA). However, the Republicans were less inclined to buy the administrator’s defense. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) raised the argument recently leveled in a lawsuit by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey that the EPA cannot enforce the proposed rules since power plants are already regulated in another section of the EPA regulations.
“Does EPA impose regulations on existing coal fired power plants under section 112?” Wicker asked.
“We certainly do,” McCarthy responded.
“Based on that, the Attorney General of West Virginia says having been regulated under section 112, the EPA lacks the authority to further regulate these under EPA Section 1-d.” added Wicker.
“I don’t think the legal argument is properly framed,” McCarty said.
McCarthy suggested the agency went out of its way to include the comments and input of all stakeholders into the proposed rules. McCarthy told lawmakers the science on global warming is no longer debatable in the face of mounting evidence. In response to one question McCarthy said catastrophic storms are already the product of global warming.
“When people ask me about the polar vortex, some pose it as a reason not to take action,” McCarthy said. “It is exactly the reason we have to take action.”

Senators also raised issues with the cost benefit analysis of the proposed rules. McCarthy said the impact they studied were global and national analysis and there had been no state-by-state analysis done. She defended the lack of the state-by-state data and said the impact will depend greatly on what decisions individual states make to reach the emission reduction requirements by the deadline.

Consumer Alert: Fruit recall expanded to more stores

More stores have been added to a fruit recall. Trader Joe's first recalled peaches, nectarines and plums for possible listeria contamination. Now, peaches, nectarines and plums sold at Kroger, Walmart and Costco have been added to the list. The fruit came from a California company. So far, no illnesses have been reported. If you have any of the tainted fruit, take it back to the store for a full refund.

Collins bows out of Floyd Co. sheriff's race

Just months before the general election, one of the candidates for sheriff in Floyd County is bowing out.

Joey Collins says an accidental electrocution in 1997 cost him his left arm and left him with chronic health issues that made his original decision to run for Floyd County Sheriff difficult.

"I got into the race because I just wasn't comfortable with who was running at that time, and my opponent right now hadn't even registered to run," Collins said.

Following John Hunt's win in the Democratic primary, Collins announced Tuesday he's bowing out, leaving Hunt the presumed sheriff-elect.

Hunt released a statement Tuesday, praising Collins' "...willingness to put the county's welfare above any partisan politics..."

Collins says Hunt will bring big changes to the sheriff's office, and encourages everyone in the community to lend their support.

Barring a write-in candidate, John Hunt will replace John K. Blackburn, who chose not to seek another term as sheriff.

Soldiers deploying from Fort Campbell and Fort Bragg

Soldiers from two 101st Airborne Division brigades from Fort Campbell and from the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, will deploy to Afghanistan, involving about 3,600 soldiers.

The Defense Department said the deployment involves about 1,000 soldiers from the 1st Brigade and about 900 from the 3rd Brigade from Fort Campbell and about 1,725 from the 82nd Airborne Division.

The military said the deployments are to take place this fall.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Construction at Kentucky's Commonwealth Stadium to continue through football season

The  $110 million construction project at the University of Kentucky's Commonwealth Stadium will continue through the upcoming football season with the goal of finishing renovations before the 2015 kickoff.

UK Athletics project manager Russ Pear says construction crews will work until Thursday on game weeks before cleaning up the construction area and setting up temporary fencing by Saturday morning.

Kentucky spokesman Tony Neely said seating capacity will be down about 6,000 in 2014 compared with 2013 because of construction in the south upper deck.

The work will require some changes to the way fans enter Commonwealth Stadium on game days.

UK will kick off its 2014 season at home against Tennessee-Martin on Aug. 30.

40 Kentucky firefighters sent to battle wildfires

Two fire crews from Kentucky are heading west to help battle wildfires there.

The Daniel Boone National Forest says the Kentucky Interagency Coordination Center mobilized two fire crews Sunday. The crews were joined in Knoxville, Tennessee, by three more crews from Virginia.

They will report for duty in Redmond, Oregon, and then be assigned to various wildfire locations.

Twenty firefighters were sent from the Kentucky Division of Forestry. Another 20 federal agency firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service make up the second crew.

Beshear: Health rulings won't affect Kentucky

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear says rulings Tuesday on President Barack Obama's health care law won't affect enrollees in Kentucky's state-run health exchange.

Beshear said in a statement released by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services that premium assistance that Kentucky enrollees have qualified for also won't be affected.

Within hours of each other Tuesday, two federal appeals courts issued contradictory rulings on the subsidies that help low- and middle-income people afford premiums.

Beshear said the confusion highlighted by the rulings just reiterates that Kentucky was in the right by creating a state-based exchange rather than going with the federal exchange.

One court said the federal government was right in issuing credits for consumers in all 50 states, but the other court said that aid was only available to people in states that set up their own exchanges.

Two plead guilty in Morgan County kickback scheme

Two eastern Kentucky construction firm owners accused in a kickback scheme have each entered a guilty plea in federal court. According to reports, Kenneth and Ruth Gambill pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. They'll be sentenced in November.

Investigators say the couple worked with Morgan County Judge-Executive Tim Conley to steer more than $1 million in county construction contracts their way. Conley will go on trial next month.

Project at Ky. Coal Plant to Catch Carbon Dioxide

Political leaders and researchers are touting a project to capture carbon dioxide at a central Kentucky power plant as a crucial step to continue burning coal for electricity amid tougher environmental regulations.

The $19.5 million facility under construction at the E.W. Brown Generating Station near Harrodsburg would capture and separate the carbon dioxide from the emission stream after the coal is burned.

The developing technology is seen as a fix to keep old coal-fired power plants operating under stricter government rules.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear called the project "a big step forward for solving one of the biggest challenges facing the Commonwealth today, and that challenge is carbon emissions."

The Kentucky project is one of about 15 around the country that is getting support from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fire Destroys Home, Injures One

An intense fire destroyed a home and injured one of two people inside early Monday morning.

Dispatchers say the fire started around 2:30 a.m. at a residence on Route 581 near the Ulysses area south of Louisa.

Two people were able to make it out of the home. One of them sustained minor injuries during 
the exit but they were not taken to the hospital.

Lowmansville, Cherryville, and Inez Fire Departments all helped in fighting the fire.

There is no word on what caused the fire at this time.

Wise RAM sees over 3,000 patients, more children than usual

Russell County Emergency and Hazardous Materials Coordinator Jess Powers released preliminary numbers for the Wise County Remote Area Medical free clinic on Monday morning.

Arch Coal idles mine complex in Virginia and Kentucky

Arch Coal says it is idling the Cumberland River Coal Company complex in Wise County, Virginia, and Letcher County, Kentucky.

Officials said Monday that more than 210 full-time positions are being eliminated by the move.

Arch Coal CEO John Eaves says the company is responding to market challenges for metallurgical coal used to make steel. Eaves said the company's strategy is to shift its portfolio toward higher-margin, lower-cost metallurgical coal operations. The mining complex had previously shuttered two contract mines during the second quarter of 2013.

Idling the operations will reduce the company's 2014 metallurgical coal sales volumes by about 200,000 tons. Arch Coal now expects to ship between 6.3 million and 6.9 million tons of metallurgical coal for 2014.

Trader Joe's recalls stone fruits nationwide over listeria scare

Trader Joe's is recalling fruit in its stores nationwide over a possible listeria contamination.
Trader Joe's announced on the 20th through their website that it was recalling many of their stone fruits over the possibility they could be contaminated with listeria.

Officials say they have not received reports of any illnesses, but they are destroying all the above fruits. They urge consumers to either throw away any fruits that fit the fruits listed above, or return them to Trader Joe's for a full refund.

They are recalling the following products, sold from June 2 through July 18:

--Organic White Nectarine
--Organic Yellow Nectarine
--White Nectarine
--Yellow Nectarine
--Organic Yellow Peach
--White Peach
--Yellow Peach
--Organic Dapple Dandy Plumcot

The store is also recalling four pound boxes, sold June 2 through July 19:

--Trader Joe's Peaches 4LB Box
--Trader Joe's Nectarines 4LB Box

Monday, July 21, 2014

Former Kentucky Governor undergoing chemotherapy

A former Kentucky Governor is undergoing chemotherapy for lung cancer.

Wendell Ford says his campaigning for Democratic candidates across the state is on indefinite hold.

Ford says his cancer started to spread.

He retired in 1998 following four terms in the United States Senate.

He was Governor of Kentucky from 1971-1974.

Ford will turn 90 in September.

Cracking Down on Distracted Drivers

A multi-state effort to crackdown on distracted drivers by state police begins this weekend.

Troopers in six states, including West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky, are going after drivers who aren't keeping their eyes on the road. This new push began yesterday and continues through next weekend.

Troopers say it's all about trying to save lives. They'll be doing extra patrols, especially in high-traffic areas. Police aren't just going after drivers on their cell phones. They say they'll be targeting any distracted drivers.

Kentucky firefighters to help in Oregon wildfire

Firefighters will be receiving some help from Kentucky as they try to put out a wildfire in Oregon.

Two Kentucky Division of Forestry firefighters left for Oregon yesterday.

The wildfire, near Warm Springs, has already burned 20,000 acres.
Investigators think lightning sparked it.

The Kentucky firefighters will help operate heavy equipment such as dozers or excavators.

NEA awards grants to 4 Kentucky projects

The National Endowment for the Arts is giving $300,000 to four community development projects in Kentucky.

The grants come from the federal agency's Our Town program, which awards funds to arts-based projects that contribute to the livability of communities nationwide.

In Cumberland, Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College is getting $100,000 for a conference that focuses on emerging artists in southeast Kentucky.

The Appalachian Artisan Center of Kentucky in Hindman is receiving $75,000 for a project celebrating the history and artisanship of the dulcimer.

In Lexington, the North Limestone Community Development Corporation is receiving $75,000 to support the development of a cultural plan and public art for the North Limestone Corridor.

In Louisville, $50,000 will go toward the development of a model for integrating artists into the corporate sector.

Jenny Wiley Theatre throws its 50th Anniversary Gala Celebration

By: Eric Eckstrom Email
Folks with Jenny Wiley Theatre held a “50th Anniversary Gala Celebration” in Prestonsburg Saturday. It was an evening of celebration, performance, and nostalgia.

How do you celebrate five decades of live theater in the mountains? For folks with Jenny Wiley Theatre, it was done with white cloths, formal attire, and an evening of activities.

And speaking of that past, one of the original cast members of the very first play performed at Jenny Wiley Theatre in 1964 was in attendance.

“Well we didn't have an orchestra pit. We didn't have the accompanying buildings that you see now. We just had the stage, the seats and the lighting in the back” says Anne Lemos, who performed in “South Pacific.”

But although the look of the theater may have changed since 1964, she says the opportunities it offers the area remain the same.

Organizers say they are proud of the many lives this theater has touched in only a few decades, and it is a trend they expect will continue for many years to come.

Hillbilly Christmas in July ride brings early holiday to kids in hospital

For the ninth year, a group of bikers took off toward Lexington to help young patients at the Shriner's Hospital.

Around 150 riders began Sunday morning from the Pikeville Harley-Davidson, and more riders joined in during the journey.

Organizers say they're never surprised at the amount of support the community gives.

If you'd like to help the group, visit

Friday, July 18, 2014

Man accused of exposing himself to two women in Floyd County

An Eastern Kentucky man is accused of exposing himself to two women in Floyd County.

Prestonsburg Police say 52 year old Larry Orosz was arrested.

A citation indicates two women say Orosz exposed himself to them in the Walmart parking lot.

Police say Orosz told them he was wearing a woman's thong that was too small.

He faces disorderly conduct and indecent exposure charges.

He pleaded not guilty to those charges in court.