Friday, February 23, 2007


Cub Scouts Celebrate 73 years of Scouts Organization

Yesterday evening cub scouts from across the county who comprise Pack 12 were in attendance for a celebration, held in the Pikeville elementary school cafeteria.
EKB news caught up with Cub Master Dr Tuam Pham who explained what the Scouts Program is all about.
“The Cub Scouts is an organization of the Boy Scouts of America and what we do is we aim to build character in all the young men and provide activities.”
We then ask Dr. Pham to describe how rewarding it is to be able to mentor the young scouts who received many awards last night in the form of patches for their uniforms.

“Just by seeing all the faces of the boys having fun and enjoying (the banquet) it’s really great” Pham said.
The Annual Blue and Gold Banquet is a chance for scout members to celebrate the anniversary of the Boy Scout organization which started 73 years ago.


Former Guard Takes Stand In Drug Smuggling Trial

A federal prison guard charged with smuggling drugs into the prison testified today that she did so because she feared that her life was in danger. 31 year old Alice Marie Stapleton said inmate Kenneth Bates threatened to hurt her and those close to her if she didn’t smuggle drugs into the U.S. Penitentiary Big Sandy in Martin County. Stapleton, who lives in Johnson County, was charged last year with possessing drugs and conspiring to smuggle heroin, marijuana and cell phones to inmate Personne Elrico McGhee. McGhee’s mother allegedly met Stapleton at a Paintsville Motel on several occasions to pick up packages. An alleged co-conspirator in the case, Grady Perry of Fort Wayne, Ind., was sentenced today to eight months for conspiracy to provide a federal inmate with contraband and conspiracy to distribute heroin.


Phelps Sixth Grader Has 'D-i-s-c-i-p-l-i-n-e'

Discipline D-I-S-C-I-P-l-I-N-E Discipline. A trait exhibited by a Phelps grade school student who took home first place at the Pike County Grade School Spelling Bee. Kennedy Hager, a sixth grader received her first place trophy during yesterday’s bee with the spelling of the word discipline and will now advance to the state competition at the Kentucky Derby Festival in Louisville on March 17. Sean Damron, an eighth grader from Virgie Middle School, took home the second place trophy and Caleb Harris, an eighth grader from Mullins Elementary captured third place. All three winners took home trophies as well for placing either first or second in their grade level.


Stumbo Asks Court To Overturn Ethics Ruling

The lawyer for Greg Stumbo yesterday asked the Floyd County Circuit Court to toss out the Executive Branch Ethics Commission's advisory opinion that says it's improper for Stumbo to run for governor. The commission decided last year that Stumbo, the state's attorney general, couldn't run for governor after his office led the investigation into Gov. Ernie Fletcher's administration for possible hiring violations. Stumbo is now running as a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor with Louisville businessman Bruce Lunsford. Mike Bowling, Stumbo's attorney was quoted as saying the commission's decision was absolutely stifling going on to say if this precedent is upheld there's not a prosecutor in this state who could do the job and run for higher office.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Robinson Sentenced To Life During Emotional Hearing

Emotions were running high in Pike County Circuit Court this afternoon as Judge Eddy Coleman imposed a sentence of life in prison for James Robinson. Robinson was convicted of Murder last week by a Pike County Jury after a week long trial ending with the jury finding the 22 Robinson of Sidney guilty of killing his 21 month old step-daughter Holly Grace Lockard.
Prosecutors argued that James and his wife Amber Robinson caused the death of Lockard, who medical examiners testified died of blunt force trauma to the head and suffered many bruises and lacerations during her final days.
As sentencing got underway this afternoon Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Elizabeth Burchett asked that Holly’s Grandmother Jeannie Guest read a letter written for Judge Coleman to consider before imposing the sentence.
“We were fortunate to share many firsts with her (Holly Lockard). Her first tooth, her first steps… what’s been taken away is her first day at school, her first dance, going away to college, her first job and her future” stated a teary Guest as she pleaded her case to Coleman. “Her last six weeks were filled with fear, abuse neglect and broken bones all the way up until her death because of James Robinson.”
Judge Coleman then asked if there were any objections to opposing sentencing to which the gallery stood quiet.
“Mr. Robinson I’ve reviewed the pre-sentence investigative report” Coleman said before continuing with the final phase of this murder trial. “I’m going to judge you as guilty of Murder and I’m going to impose the sentence recommended by the jury of life in a state penitentiary.”
Robinson has 30 days to file an appeal to his life sentence. He will be eligible for parole in 20 years.


Comair Files Suit Against FAA

Comair filed a law suit today against the federal government, saying the Federal Aviation Administration was negligent in having only one air traffic controller on duty when a plane crashed last year in Lexington killing 49 people. The suit says the United States government breached its duty to control taxiing and departing aircraft at Lexington's Blue Grass Airport. The crash happened Aug. 27 after the plane mistakenly turned onto a 3,500-foot runway in the dark, struggled to get airborne and went down in a field. Co-pilot James Polehinke was the only survivor. A week before the crash, an airport repaving project changed the taxi route leading to the 7,000-foot main runway that Comair Flight 5191 should have used.


Mine Safety Legislation A Step Closer To Law

Coal mines would be inspected more often under a measure approved today by a House committee. Among other provisions, the legislation would require inspectors to visit each mine six times per year. A provision that would have required companies to provide methane detectors to each miner was deleted. Tony Oppegard, an attorney who represents coal miners, said the bill was gutted of several other provisions that would have made the underground workplace safer. Under the revisions, the additional inspections wouldn't be mandatory until 2009, after the Office of Mine Safety and Licensing has added the personnel necessary to carry them out. The legislation follows one of the deadliest years in recent history for coal miners in Kentucky. In all, 16 miners were killed on the job in 2006. Five of the deaths were from a single Harlan County underground mine explosion in May. State law now requires more oxygen supplies to be stored along underground escape routes in case of emergency, better communications between the surface and underground work areas, and a directional cord or lifeline to make it easier for miners to find their way to exits.


State Police Investigate Train Collision

The Kentucky state police are investigating a collision involving a passenger car and a train which left one person hospitalized. Late Tuesday evening Dennis Stewart was driving north on Pond Creek Road when a west bound train struck his vehicle. Officers have not said what the cause of the crash was or if Stewart’s vehicle stalled in the roadway. Stewart was transported to Pikeville Medical Center where he was listed in critical condition. The accident is still under investigation by officers with the Kentucky State Police.


Most Wanted List Leads To Arrest

A Website listing operation UNITE’s most wanted fugitive aided deputies in Garrard County in apprehending a suspected drug dealer. According to Officials with operation UNITE, Garrard County Deputy Willie Skeens a Pike County Native was surfing the net looking at UNITE’s most wanted list on their website when he noticed a person that looked familiar. 35 year old Victor Reed a resident of Lancaster known to Garrard County law enforcement agents as a person of interest in multiple cases. According to the web-site, Reed had outstanding warrants for his arrest in Letcher County on drug charges. Deputies contacted UNITE and obtained a warrant for Reed’s arrest, apprehending him Tuesday evening. Reed was lodged in the Lincoln County detention center pending transfer to Letcher County.


Miners' Widows Lobby Lawmakers

Widows of dead coal miners rallied Wednesday at the Capitol alongside miners and labor supporters to push legislation they claim would strengthen safety laws for those working underground. Proponents urged House lawmakers to have a swift committee vote that would get the mine safety legislation to the House floor. They say the legislation would save lives by imposing more stringent safety requirements on coal mine operators. With the 2007 General Assembly session half over, the legislation has not yet come up for a committee vote. It would, among other things, require more frequent mine inspections and require coal companies to supply miners with methane detectors. The proposal would also allow people to attend investigation interviews on behalf of any miners killed in on-the-job accidents.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Trial For Woman Accused of Smuggling Drugs Gets Underway

Jury selection began today in the trial of a federal prison guard accused of smuggling drugs to an inmate. 30 year old Alice Marie Stapleton of Johnson County is charged with conspiring to smuggle drugs into the federal prison at Martin County and possessing drugs with the intent to distribute them. Stapleton has claimed that she was coerced into breaking the law by an inmate who threatened to hurt her if she didn't smuggle heroin, marijuana and cell phones into the prison. Stapleton has been suspended from the prison since her arrest last year. If convicted, she could face penalties of up to as much as 20 to 30 years in prison. A co-defendant, Maria Mims, is also on trial, accused of smuggling drugs to an inmate's mother in Indianapolis. The trial is expected to last through Friday.


Runoffs Could Be Funded According To Proposed Bill

Instead of eliminating the possibility of a runoff election after the May gubernatorial primary, the state might help local governments pay for the extra costs according to the bills sponsor in the House of Representatives. A proposal that would have eliminated the run-off was temporarily shelved today by a House elections panel. Now, lawmakers are considering a plan to keep the current law, which calls for a runoff 35 days after the May 22 primary if a single candidate does not get at least 40 percent of the vote. Under the plan, lawmakers would give local county governments the money to pay for administering a runoff according to Rep. Rick Nelson, D-Middlesboro the bill's sponsor.


KBI Bust In Floyd Nets 5

Five people were taken into custody yesterday after the Kentucky Bureau of Investigations conducted a round-up in Floyd County following a 6 month joint investigation with the Floyd County Sheriffs Office. The suspects, already indicted by a Grand Jury in Floyd County allegedly sold or assisted in the sale of Hydrocodone, Alprazolam (Xanax), Oxycodone and Methadone to undercover agents. Police say they are still looking for two other individuals wanted in connection to yesterday’s raid. Those arrested were charged with trafficking in a controlled substance a class D Felony punishable by one to five years in prison.

Names of Individuals Arrested in Round-Up:
·David Paul Ousley, age 41, of Paintsville, Kentucky, charged with one count of Trafficking in a Controlled Substance 2nd Degree and one count of Trafficking in a Controlled Substance within 1,000 yards of a school (Hydrocodone and Alprazolam);

Heather Castle, age 21, of Eastern, Kentucky, charged with one count of Trafficking in a Controlled Substance 1st Degree (Hydrocodone);

Larry Music, age 56, of Prestonsburg, Kentucky, charged with two counts of Trafficking in a Controlled Substance 1st and 2nd Degree (Oxycodone and Hydrocodone);

Stefan Jervis, age 45, of Prestonsburg, Kentucky, charged with one count of Trafficking in a Controlled Substance 1st Degree (Methadone);

Dannie Bentley, age 54, of Prestonsburg, Kentucky, charged with one count of Trafficking in a Controlled Substance 1st Degree (Hydrocodone).

Monday, February 19, 2007


Poll: Half Of Kentuckians Disapprove of McConnell's Lack Of Opposition

About half of Kentuckians think U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell should oppose a plan to send more American troops to Iraq, according to a new poll. Conducted by The Courier-Journal of Louisville, the Bluegrass Poll asked Kentuckians by phone whether they approve of the way McConnell is handling his job and whether they think McConnell should support or oppose President Bush's plan for a troop surge in Iraq. The poll found that 52 percent of Kentuckians questioned said that McConnell should oppose the troop surge, while 40 percent said he should support it. The rest were undecided. Meanwhile, 54 percent of respondents either strongly or somewhat approved of McConnell's job performance, while 23 percent strongly or somewhat disapproved. Another 23 percent had no opinion. McConnell told the newspaper he wasn't "terribly surprised" by the poll results about Iraq. McConnell, the minority leader in the Senate, has led the charge in the Senate to stop a vote on a resolution disapproving of Bush's plan to send 21,500 more troops to strengthen the American presence in Baghdad. McConnell faces voters in a re-election bid next year. So far, no Democrat has announced a run against McConnell. The vote on Iraq will likely be a consideration for voters, but it won't be the defining issue by November 2008 according to McConnell.


State Trial Lawyers Not Laughing At Cartoon

Some state trial lawyers aren't laughing at a cartoon published in the Kentucky Bar Association magazine. It shows a down-and-out lawyer sitting on a sidewalk next to a sign that says "Will Sue for Food." A woman walking by tells her companion: "It's just the effects of tort reform, I suppose." The reference is to a business-backed effort to limit the number of lawsuits and the amounts awarded, but trial lawyers don't see the humor. The cartoonist, Jim Herrick, an assistant attorney general, said his creation was meant to sympathize with such attorneys. Advocates say that a bar association magazine shouldn't publish lawyer jokes, the cartoon isn't funny and it depicts them as parasites willing to sue over anything. They also say the cartoon fails to present their view that tort reform reduces the rights of injured people by limiting compensation for their injuries. Kentucky Bar Association President Bob Ewald conceded that, given the reaction, it was a mistake to run the cartoon in the magazine of an organization that all Kentucky lawyers must join and support with their bar dues.

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