Friday, February 16, 2007


Civil Suit Alleges Abuse By Officer

A civil suit filed yesterday in Floyd County Court alleges that a Martin City police officer sexually and physically assaulted three young women while responding to a noise complaint earlier this month. The women listed as 19, 20 and 22 years old in court documents allege that they were with friend on the evening of February 1st when officer Jeremy Shepard and another deputy came to the residence allegedly responding to a noise complaint. The three women say that officers ask the males at the party to leave and later officer Shepard returned alone which is when the alleged assault took place. Shepard had only been an officer for three weeks when this alleged incident took place. The Kentucky state police are investigating however charges have yet to be filed.


Bring On The Clowns!

The Circus Comes To Town!

Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey's Greatest Show On Earth debuted in Pikeville last night to a roaring ovation. Tickets are still available for Friday and Saturdays Shows at the Expo Center Box Office, Online at or charge by phone at (606) 433-1793. Shows start at 7:00 pm with fans getting a chance to meet performers one hour before show time.


Gubenatorial Pardon Amendment To Be Voted On

Voters in Kentucky would decide whether future governors can pardon people before they're charged with a crime under a proposed constitutional amendment approved by the House on Thursday. State Rep. Rob Wilkey, D-Scottsville, said the issue arose after Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher decided to pardon his entire administration, including anyone who might later be charged, once some officials were indicted during a state hiring investigation. The amendment would prevent future governors from granting the same kind of pardon Fletcher did. The measure passed 71-26 with 12 Republican lawmakers voting in favor.


Minimum Wage Bill Clears House Panel

Kentucky's lowest-wage workers would get a pay raise under a bill approved by a House panel on Thursday that would raise the state minimum wage.
The version that cleared the Labor and Industry Committee on a 14-2 vote was stripped of a couple of provisions backed by labor advocates.
Under the revised bill, Kentucky's minimum wage would increase from $5.15 an hour to $5.85 at the time the legislation took effect. The minimum wage would go to $6.55 an hour beginning July 1, 2008, and to $7.25 an hour the following July 1.
Committee chairman J.R. Gray, D-Benton, said that version mirrors the federal minimum-wage boost currently being considered in Congress.
Gray said he favored the original proposal, but accepted the stripped-down version to try to improve its chances of passing the General Assembly.
Kentucky's minimum wage has been at $5.15 an hour since 1997.


Fatal Fire Claims Two Lives In Breathitt County

Two people were killed when a fire swept through a home in Breathitt County yesterday morning according to state police.
48 year old Kenny Stamper, of Dry Ridge, and 56 year old Alfred Combs Jr., of Jackson, were killed when the fire broke out around 3 a.m. in the Canoe community of Breathitt County, about 11 miles from Jackson. Two others escaped the flames.
A neighbor, Donald Turner, was able to pull a third person, 33 year old Debbie Bach, from the house. Dexter Howard, who was also in the house at the time of the fire, was able to walk away, said Stephen Bowling with the Jackson Fire Department.
Police and the Kentucky State Fire Marshal's Office are investigating the cause of the fire. Bowling said officials believe the fire was accidental.


Jury Recommends Maximum Sentence

A jury has recommended the maximum penalty for a Martin County woman after finding her guilty of drug trafficking. 35 year old Judy Jude Runyon of Inez was found guilty of second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance following a one-day trial in Martin Circuit Court on Tuesday. Jury members have recommended Runyon receive the maximum sentence of five years in prison when she is formally sentenced in front of Circuit Judge John D. Preston on March 15. The case was the result of an approximately three-month undercover investigation by Operation UNITE. Detectives purchased seven Lorcet pills from Runyon in September of 2004. She was subsequently indicted and arrested.
Tuesday’s trial rested solely upon the testimony of the investigating officers.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Rep. Hall Signs On To Energy Bill

A bill aimed at promoting the use of alternative fuels and renewable energy sailed through committee yesterday and could be a very important piece of legislation for the people of Eastern Kentucky, according to one of the bills co-sponsors, Representative Keith Hall (D –Phelps).
“When you look at what this will do for the state, we’re talking about prevailing wage jobs that are 20, 25 or 30 dollars an hour and it echoes the needs of math and science.” Hall said before noting how the bill will help keep young people in the state and county.
“If Keith Hall does nothing else; just by being a co-sponsor of this legislation I’ll do more good for my people stopping the brain drain leaving Pike County: Creating jobs for our families, sons, daughters and grand children that can stay in Kentucky.”
The bills is said to have broad bipartisan support and is expected to pass the house by the end of the week.


Letcher Jury Renders Quick Verdict

A Letcher County jury needed only one hour yesterday, to find a Whitesburg man guilty of drug trafficking. The jury recommended that 39-year-old Larry Fields, of Sand Lick Road in Whitesburg, receive four years in prison on a charge of second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance. Fields was arrested by Operation UNITE in April of 06. During the day and a half trial before Circuit Judge Sam Wright, Assistant Commonwealth¹s Attorney Kevin Mullins presented evidence that Fields had had sold Hydrocodone to undercover detectives, leading to the guilty verdict. Fields still faces two additional charges of trafficking in marijuana within 1,000 yards of a school.


Pike Arts Recognized At Capital Ceremony

Arts leaders from across the Commonwealth were in Frankfort on February 13 to celebrate Arts Day and meet with their legislators. During this time, Senator Ray Jones and Representative W. Keith Hall presented a check to Stephanie Richards representing Artists Collaborative Theatre for their FY2007 General Operating Support Grant. Artists Collaborative Theatre was awarded $1,699 by the Kentucky Arts Council, a state agency in the Commerce Cabinet. Richards stayed overnight in Frankfort to be in attendance this morning as Governor Ernie Fletcher recognized the Pike Fine Arts program during the annual Governors Awards for the arts. Richards spoke with EKB news about the award during a recent appearance on our Issues for the New Millennium program.
“As a Kentuckian and as an artist I can say that this is the highest honor we could possibly imagine receiving” Richards said.
Pike Fine Arts received the Government Award recognizing the program as an exemplary use of Government funding.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Murder Trial Gets Underway In Pike County

Opening arguments got underway yesterday afternoon, in a case that sees a Sidney Man stand accused of causing the death of his close to two year old step daughter. 21 year old James Robinson of Dix Fork took his seat behind the defense table in Judge Eddy Coleman’s courtroom shortly after 2:30 yesterday, as Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Beth Burchett outlined the Murder case that she says, points to James Robinson as the Killer of 21 month old Holly Grace Lockard.
“You’re going to hear from Dr. Kristen Roth; she’ll tell you her medical opinion about what the cause of Holly’s death was” said Burchett who continued detailing the commonwealth’s assertion. “You’re going to hear about significant injuries to Holly’s arms; both her left and right arms. You’re going to hear about the absence of any medical treatment or intervention for those injuries and your going to hear about the age of those injuries”
However Defense Attorney Melissa Goodman argued that it was the young girls mother Amber Robinson who was responsible for death of Lockard, not her client.
“James had only gotten to know this child about two months before her death although he had expressed a desire to adopt her and he loved her.” Goodman said before taking aim at one of the Commonwealth’s key witnesses “Amber Robinson had been investigated by social services in South Carolina for the maltreatment of her treatment before she moved back to Pike County two months before Holly’s death.”
Amber Robinson, who was also charged with Murder after they were arrested in September of 2005, pleaded guilty to the charge in September of this past year, receiving a life sentence. The trial of James Robinson is expected to last through Thursday and EKB news will keep you updated on all the court proceedings all the way up until the verdict is read.


Runoff Law Could Change Before Primary

A never-before used runoff election law may end up staying that way according to a statement from lawmakers today. Leaders in both the state house and senate said they're considering a plan that would eliminate the possibility of a runoff election to decide the looming May 22 primary. Unless the current law is changed, there would be a runoff 35 days after the primary if a single candidate does not win 40 percent of the vote or more. Currently, there are seven Democrats and three Republicans seeking their respective parties' nominations. A runoff election stands a greater chance of being triggered when the vote is split between numerous candidates.


Freeburn Woman Facing Serious Charges

A Freeburn woman is facing some serious charges following a single vehicle wreck yesterday evening. 41 year old Darlene Sherpinskas was taken into custody this morning, after being treated for injuries sustained in a wreck that occurred around the 10 o’clock hour yesterday evening. According to the arrest citation Sherpinskas was traveling on KY 194 at Freeburn yesterday evening, when her vehicle was involved in a single vehicle wreck. The citation states that a passenger in the vehicle, Brian Layne sustained critical life threatening injuries as a result of the crash and was transported to a local hospital for treatment. Meanwhile officers say that they suspected that Sherpinskas was intoxicated as she smelled of a strong odor, had red glassy eyes and slurred speech. Sherpinskas was transported to South Williamson ARH where she was apprehended this morning and charged with Assault 1st degree, operating a motor vehicle under the influence and no operator’s license. A Not guilty plea was entered this morning in front of Pike County district Judge Darrell Mullins. Sherpinskas remains lodged at the Pike County Detention Center on a $50,000 full cash bond.

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