Friday, January 19, 2007


Digging Up Dirt On The Expo Center

Staff at the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center have spent the past couple of days 'getting dirty' as they have hauled in tons of dirt in preparation for this weekends Arena Cross Series event. For ticket information and show schedule log on to


Three People Arrested For Allegedly Stealing Copper

Three people are behind bars in Pike County this afternoon after getting caught allegedly stealing copper from CSX railroad. 27 year old Donald R. Adkins, 35 year old Clarence W. Adkins of Shelbiana and 29 year old Melissa Marie Little of High Point, North Carolina were all taken into custody yesterday afternoon and charged with theft by unlawful taking under $300, Criminal Trespassing 1st degree and Criminal Mischief 3rd degree after the three were caught by a Pike County Sheriff’s Deputy allegedly stealing copper wire from a rail road crossing in the Regina area. According to the arrest citation, Deputy Mathew Blanton stated that multiple pieces of wire as well as several tools were found in their vehicle. The suspects were taken to the Pike County Detention Center and are expected to be arraigned Monday morning by Pike District Judge Kelsey Friend. The three remain lodged on a $20,000 full cash bond each.


Body Of Letcher Man Found

The search for missing Letcher county man is over after police say they found his body not far from the rest home where he was staying. Police found the body of Larry "Bruce" Huff Thursday morning in Letcher County on the side of US 119 just a few miles from the Golden Years rest home in Jenkins. Huff, who family members say suffers from dementia, schizophrenia, and is bi-polar, walked out of the Golden Year's Rest Home in Jenkins on the afternoon of Monday the 8th. Officials believe that Huff died of natural causes and foul play is not suspected. Huff's body is being sent to Frankfort for a full autopsy.


Knott Man Sentenced On Drug Charges

A Knott County man was sentenced to five years incarceration after pleading guilty to a drug trafficking charge. 22 year old Mark Edward Hall of Pippa Passes entered a guilty plea to second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance in Knott Circuit Court. In accordance with a plea agreement reached with UNITE and Prosecutors, Knott Circuit Judge Kimberly Childers sentenced Hall to five years and ordered supervised probation upon his release. Hall was arrested in April of this past year as a result of an investigation by Operation UNITE. Hall is currently lodged in the Kentucky River Regional Detention Center.


Perry Man Charged With Possesion Of Cocain

A Perry County man already facing cocaine charges in two counties was arrested on new drug charges following a traffic stop in Clay County on Tuesday. 35 year old James L. Johnson, of Hazard, was charged by Operation UNITE with first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, second-degree possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, and reckless driving after a UNITE detective witnessed Johnson speeding on the Hal Rogers parkway in Clay County and notified the county sheriff’s office according to Dan Smoot, director of law enforcement for UNITE. Johnson currently has cases pending in Perry and Powell counties. A subsequent search of Johnsons vehicle uncovered more than 15 grams of suspected cocaine, approximately 3 grams of marijuana, a Hydrocodone pill and nearly $6,000 in cash. Johnson was lodged in the Clay County Detention Center in lieu of a $25,000 cash-only bond and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Monday in Clay County District Court. This is the third time in the past 16 months that Johnson has run afoul of the law according to UNITE.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Van Lear Woman Dies After House Fire

An elderly Van Lear resident is dead after a fire early this morning. Just past 6:00 o’clock Paintsville 911 received a call of a structure fire on KY RT 302 in West Van Lear. After crews responded they found that 68 year old Barbara Fraley had escaped the blaze, but was suffering from other medical complications. Fraley was transported to Paul B. Hall Medical Center where she was later pronounced dead. According to police no foul play is suspected and the incident is still under investigation by the Kentucky State Police.


Vicco Man Arrested On Drug Charges

Less than a year after being released from prison a Perry County man is once again facing jail time on drug trafficking charges. 52 year old Lonnie W. Standafer was arrested Tuesday at his home in the Vicco community following a two-week investigation by Operation UNITE. UNITE detectives, assisted by the Perry County Sheriff¹s Office and Hazard Police Department served a search warrant on Standafer’s house, which yielded 45 Methadone pills, 89 Xanax and $2,000 in cash, according to Mike Luttrell manager of UNITE’s Kentucky River Drug Task Force. Standafer was arrested on charges of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and being a persistent felony offender. According to officials Standafer was on three years supervised release after having served 41 months on a federal drug-trafficking conviction. While detectives were conducting the search they answered a telephone call from a man saying he had 50 Lorcet pills for sale and they arranged for him to come to the home. Police charged 50-year-old Michael W. Sumner, of Vicco, with second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance. Both men were lodged in the Kentucky River Regional Detention Center.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Pike County Hosts Energy Forum

This afternoon community and business leaders from around the county gathered at Booth Auditorium on the campus of Pikeville College for the first ever Pike County Energy Leadership Forum.

Roger Ford, Director of the Pike County Office of Energy and Technology with the Pike County Judge Executive’s office helped to co-ordinate the event, along with representatives from state government and other agencies that help to promote the use of renewable fuels according to Pike County Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford.
The Director of the division of renewable Energy and Energy efficiency from the Governor’s office of Energy Policy John Davies was also on hand for the forumn which lasted around four hours and featured a six person panel dedicated to educating the public about smart energy consumption.


Pikeville Man Charged With Resisting Arrest/Wanton Endangerment

A Pikeville man remains in custody after a hit run lead to a high speed chase. Officer Scotty Hamilton of the Pikeville Police Department was sitting on Town Mountain road around 10:30 on Saturday night when a vehicle fitting the description of a hit and run earlier in the evening passed by at a high rate of speed. Officer Hamilton then attempted to initiate a traffic stop; at that time 36 year old John D. Parks allegedly attempted to run from the officer even turning off his headlights repeatedly. The pursuit then lead down a one lane road until Parks came to a dead end. According to the arrest citation Parks also resisted arrest and refused to obey officers. Officers allegedly found multiple beer bottles and marijuana inside the vehicle. Parks was charged with 2 counts of Wanton endangerment, fleeing or evading police, driving under the influence, resisting arrest, reckless driving, criminal mischief and possession of marijuana among other traffic related charges. Parks was scheduled to be arraigned this morning in front of Pike County district Judge Kelsey Friend.


Traffic Stop Leads To Long List Of Charges

A Routine Traffic stop by a Pike County Sheriffs Deputy has resulted in a long list of charges against a Johns Creek Man. 36 year old William D. Hitchcock plead not guilty yesterday morning to several charges including driving under the influence, reckless driving, possession of a controlled substance 3rd degree (2 counts) and promoting contraband. Hitchcock ended up in front of Pike County district Judge Kelsey Friend, after Deputy Robert Marble executed a traffic stop on Sunday as Hitchcock was traveling south bound on US 119 in the Meta area. According to the arrest citation, Hitchcock was driving erratically, weaving from side to side. Deputy Marble went on to state that the vehicle allegedly smelled of alcohol and that Hitchcock allegedly had red glassy eyes as well as a blue powder in his nostril. Once Hitchcock was taken to the Pike County Detention Center, a search allegedly uncovered a plastic bag with what officers believed to be Lortab and Xanax, leading to the felony charge of promoting contraband. Hitchcock remains lodged at the Pike County Detention Center and a preliminary hearing is set for January 25.

Monday, January 15, 2007


Pikeville College Holds Celebration of 'The Dream'

In honor of the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Pikeville College held a celebration of the life, the dream and the works of Martin Luther King. The program, held earlier this afternoon featured President Hal Smith reading passages detailing King's work and introduced guest speaker, Rev Lester D. Lattany pastor of the Mt Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Kingsport, Tennessee.

The program also featured a performance by Basil Clark and his speech and theatre students along with musical performances by the Pikeville College Choir.


Lawmakers Mull Weight Limit Bill

Some lawmakers are weary of a bill proposed in the first days of the current legislative session which would require the Transportation Cabinet to issue permits to coal trucks with extra axles to carry extra weight. Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement officers began cracking down on overweight trucks in Eastern Kentucky in 2004. Last year, however, trucking companies discovered that a subsection of a 1986 law allows coal trucks to receive permits to haul an extra 20,000 pounds above existing weight limits for each new axle added under a truck bed. Some truckers resumed hauling heavier loads and some traditional 22-wheel coal buckets were turned into 28-wheelers, but Transportation officials stopped issuing the permits in August. The bill, introduced Jan. 3 by two Eastern Kentucky legislators, Reps. W. Keith Hall, D-Pikeville, and Teddy Edmonds, D-Jackson, is an amendment to the state's unique extended-weight coal-haul law, which already allows coal carriers to haul 46,000 pounds more than other truckers. Among other things, the amendment apparently would force the Transportation Cabinet to resume issuing permits to haulers with extra axles. Hall said he would withdraw as a sponsor if the bill poses a deterrent to enforcement of truck weight laws. Rep. Hubert Collins, chairman of the House Transportation Committee said that things are going pretty well with weights right now and that he plans on not taking up the issue, a sentiment other lawmakers echoed saying that the bill might very well be dead in the water.


First Black Justice Calls For Reforms

Kentucky's first black Supreme Court justice says he would like to see reforms made in the selection process for appellate judges. William Eugene McAnulty Jr. said he would like to see the state's district, circuit and trial judges become part of the selection process for the Kentucky Court of Appeals. Justices currently are elected to that court. He said another idea for reform is to have appointment by the governor with the consent of the Senate. He made the comments during a banquet Saturday in Owensboro held in conjunction with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.


Shebliana Man Dies In ATV Crash

A Shelbina man lost his life over the weekend after an ATV crash in the Millard area on Sunday. 18 year old Todd Prater was riding an ATV with 17 year old David Blackburn as a passenger. The two were riding along US 460 close to 8 o’clock when they turned on to Fish Trap Road and collided with a guard rail. Todd Prater was pronounced dead later that evening by the Pike County coroner. David Blackburn suffered moderate injuries and is listed in stable condition at Pikeville Medical Center. Toxicology reports are pending at this time and neither rider was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash which remains under investigation by the Kentucky State Police.

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