Friday, March 09, 2007


Murder; Other Charges Dropped Against Ashcamp Man

Charges against an alleged murderer in the Pike County Detention Center were dropped this morning, to allow the defendant to stand trial on federal charges. Murder, robbery, tampering with physical evidence and possession of a fire arm by a convicted felon were the charges that Ashcamp Resident Arthur Adkins was facing in Pike Circuit Court, however Commonwealth Attorney Rick Bartley decided not to pursue the charges; allowing the 36 year old Adkins to be handed over to the Federal Court System where he is facing two separate firearm charges. Adkins had been indicted with his former co-defendant, 19 year old Corey Chaney, for the murder of Gregory Fleming in 2005, but Chaney was found not guilty and Federal Charges have since been filed against Adkins. Commonwealth's Attorney Rick Bartley was not available for comment this afternoon, but had told EKB news previously that due to the verdict in the Chaney trial; it would’ve been difficult to convict Adkins on the murder charge. Adkins has been arraigned in US District Court and remains in custody awaiting trial.


WV Man Sentenced To 20 Years For Murder

A Newton West Virginia man who admitted to murdering a Pike County Man appeared in Pike County Circuit Court today for sentencing after pleading guilty last month. 30 year old Johnny Levi Prater received 20 years in prison this morning after pleading guilty to the murder of 35 year old Shane Hurley of Stopover. Police stated that they believed Prater shot Hurley, allegedly with his own gun back in August of 2006. An ATV rider in the Woodman Creek Area found Hurley’s body in the Tug Fork River in the days after the shooting. Shortly after Hurley’s truck was recovered police searched for Prater, locating him at a residence in the McVeigh area of Pike County. Police never released a possible motive for the killing and since a Prater was able to reach a deal with prosecutors, the details will now never come out in court.


Speed Limit Bill Heads To Governor

A bill allowing the state to raise its speed limit to 70 mph on rural interstate highways and most parkways won Senate approval on a 35-2 vote Friday.
The measure, which earlier passed the House on a 69-27 vote, now heads to Gov. Ernie Fletcher, who remained noncommittal about whether he'll sign it into law, though he supported a previous attempt to raise the speed limit from the current 65 mph. Truck driver Mike Tucker of Charlotte, N.C., who travels Interstate 75 as part of his route, thought the higher speed limit was a good idea.
In a phone interview while stopping for fuel in Williamsburg, Tucker told the Senate this morning "It would be better for getting up the hills, "You can drive 70 and still drive safe. You just have to watch what's going on." Before taking effect, the higher speed limit would need approval from the state transportation secretary following an engineering study looking at safety factors. That review would probably take one or two months for each eligible highway, said state Highways Commissioner Marc Williams. If the bill becomes law, it likely wouldn't be until late this year that the speed limit might go up on those highways, he said. Fletcher spokeswoman Jodi Whitaker said Friday that the governor would reserve comment until he reviews the bill with advisers.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Sign Company Sues Mayor For Non Payment

A Prestonsburg sign company is suing Mayor Jerry Fannin, saying he didn't pay them for making his campaign signs last year.
The suit filed by "T and K Signs and More" says Mayor Fannin owes them almost 14-thousand dollars.
The suit asks for the payments along with money for the court costs.
Court records say Fannin was a part owner of the company before the election in November.


Internet Pharmacy Bill Clears Committee

A Senate-passed bill meant to tighten restrictions on Internet pharmacies cleared the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
The bill would require proof from Internet pharmacies that a patient had seen a doctor before dispensing any medication.
Deputy Attorney General Pierce Whites said that would help crack down on a "phantom process" in which medications are obtained without a doctor's prescription.
Internet pharmacies would be required to have national certification as a "verified Internet pharmacy practice site." Also under the bill, Kentucky pharmacies would be allowed to track ephedrine and psuedoephedrine purchases as they happen. The measure heads to the full House for consideration.


Internet Pharmacy Bill Clears Committee

A Senate-passed bill meant to tighten restrictions on Internet pharmacies cleared the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
The bill would require proof from Internet pharmacies that a patient had seen a doctor before dispensing any medication.
Deputy Attorney General Pierce Whites said that would help crack down on a "phantom process" in which medications are obtained without a doctor's prescription.
Internet pharmacies would be required to have national certification as a "verified Internet pharmacy practice site." Also under the bill, Kentucky pharmacies would be allowed to track ephedrine and psuedoephedrine purchases as they happen. The measure heads to the full House for consideration.


Jenkins Man Leads Police On Early Morning High Speed Chase

A Jenkins man landed himself in jail after allegedly leading officers with the Pikeville Police Department on a High speed chase early this morning. According to the arrest citation, officers spotted 22 year old Kevin Lester traveling on US 23 South bound, weaving side to side. The citation goes on to state that once officers attempted to stop the vehicle, Lester allegedly fled, reportedly reaching speeds of around 110 MPH and even running a car off the roadway. Officer Michael Riddle stated that Lester continued to flee until he spun out after hitting a guard rail near the US 460 ramp. But the pursuit didn’t end there as Lester also allegedly ran on foot until Riddle was able to catch him the river bank. Officer stated that a search of his person uncovered a cigarette pack full of marijuana and that Lester smelled strongly of an alcoholic beverage. Lester was charged with 2 counts of fleeing or evading, driving under the influence 2nd offense, wanton endangerment, driving on a DUI suspended license and possession of marijuana. He was lodged in the Pike County Detention Center on a $5,000 full cash bond after pleading not guilty this morning in front of Pike County District Judge Kelsey Friend and a preliminary hearing was set for March 15.


Woman Apprehended For Allegedly Passing Close To $10,000 In Forged Checks

A Raccoon woman is behind bars after allegedly trying to cash close to 10,000 dollars worth of forged checks. Detectives with the Kentucky State Police served warrants yesterday on 36 year old Melissa S. West of Raccoon creek after wrapping up a close to month long investigation into the alleged fraud. According to the arrest warrant West allegedly try to pass 12 checks valued at $500 each at the Coal Run US Bank leading to tellers alerting the KSP; at which time Detective Amos Adkins was assigned to the case. On Tuesday West allegedly attempted to once again pass a forged check, this time at the US Bank Branch at Meta, for a sum of $3,800. West was apprehended yesterday and lodged at the Pike County Detention Center on a $5,000 dollar full cash bond. A not guilty plea was entered this morning to 13 counts of Felony Criminal Possesion of a forged instrument and a preliminary hearing was set for March 15.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Floyd Man Enters Plea In Connection To 03 murder

A Floyd County man has entered a guilty plea to charges in connection to a 2003 murder. Chad Conn, one of four suspects in the 03 murder of Michael Slone, has pleaded guilty to kidnapping and assault charges in connection to the case according to court records. The body of Michael Slone was found on an abandoned strip mine road in Knott County. Conn will avoid more jail time in exchange for his plea, but as a condition of the deal he's agreed to testify against Billy Joe Johnson, who authorities believe was the primary culprit in Slone’s murder. Johnson's trial is set for September. Another person charged in the case, Mitzie Johnson, pleaded guilty in 2005 to complicity to commit assault and facilitation to kidnapping. A fourth suspect, Susan Moore, is expected to enter a guilty plea in April.


Former Prison Gaurd Asks Federal Court For New Trial

A former prison guard convicted last week of smuggling drugs into the Big Sandy Federal Penitentiary in Martin County has requested a new trial according to a motion filed in federal court this week. According to lawyers for Alice Stapleton, they believe that the judge in case should not have kept a witness off the stand. Kenneth Ray Bates reportedly pleaded the 5th when called to testify, but lawyers for Stapleton said Bates should not have been allowed to evoke that right, since charges against him had been dropped at the time. Stapleton says Bates threatened her life in order to get her to smuggle drugs into the prison. Attorneys say the judge will make a decision about the motion in about a week.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Fugate Relates Success In Frankfort To Local Roots

A rising star in Frankfort has just received another promotion but always manages to stay true to his eastern Kentucky Roots. Les Fugate, a Prestonsburg native was announced earlier today by Secretary of State Trey Grayson as the new Deputy assistant secretary of state. Fugate who began is career in Frankfort as spokesman for the Secretary’s office told EKB news that as part of his new duties, he will oversee the communication between the secretary’s office, legislators and constituents; a role he feels will allow him to help the people of the eastern part of the state have a louder voice in Frankfort.

“I think it’s important and I think Secretary Grayson realizes the importance of having someone from Eastern Kentucky be a major part of his leadership team” Fugate said speaking from Frankfort. “We certainly have a different view of Kentucky and what’s important to Kentuckians, especially from our part of the state, than some of our counterparts from larger cities.”
So I have an opportunity to make sure that a voice for eastern Kentuckians is right there in the Secretary’s ear.”
Fugate attributes his current success to his involvement in media through his schooling at Prestonsburg High School.
“I got my start working with a variety of media outlets back home. I competed in High school in radio broadcasting competitions and was honored with the WYMT Ralph Gabbard Broadcasting Scholarship which gave me a chance to get my foot in the door.”

Fugate continued, relating his schooling to his move into state politics “Then once I had the position in the secretary’s office it allowed me to showcase some of my talents and it eventually impressed secretary Grayson enough to move on up the totem poll.”
Secretary Grayson was quoted as saying that Fugate is one of the brightest young leaders in the state and that he is delighted to have him lead addition aspects of the Secretary’s office.


Spencer Speaks On Sexual Solicitation Legislation

Freshman State Representative James Brandon Spencer a (D-Prestonsburg) spoke today as the House of Representatives took up his bill which would stiffen penalties for adults who sexually solicit minors online.
“56 percent of the predators ask the child for a photo and 27 ask the child for a sexual photograph” said Spencer speaking on the House Floor.
Spencer continued “Studies show 31% of the sexual solicitations involve attempts to make offline contact and this is particularly scary seeing considering all 5 % of the incidents are reported to law enforcement.”
The measure passed unanimously in the house and now moves to the state Senate for consideration.


Jury Selection Begins In Letcher Vehicular Homicide Case

Jury selection has begun in the trial of a Letcher County Man accused of causing the death of three passengers in his vehicle after a wreck more than a year ago. Police say in October of 2005, Jason Ison was driving along Highway 15 in Letcher County when his car skidded on wet pavement and into oncoming traffic. Three people inside Ison's car, died including his wife, Misty Ison, a friend, Jimmy Boggs, and 15 year old Buddy Bailey. Several days later, police arrested Jason Ison at his wife's memorial service saying he had drugs in his system when the accident occurred. Ison is now facing 11 charges including three counts of vehicular homicide, assault, and wanton endangerment. Ison has pleaded not guilty to those charges and as jury selection began Monday, lawyers on both sides say they plan on calling family members, as well as other officials, to the stand.


Sentencing For State Senator Pushed Back

Sentencing for a State senator has now been pushed back so officials say he can finish the current legislative session. Court officials say Senator Johnny Ray Turner will be sentenced on April 16th after a motion to continue the court appearance. The court date was originally scheduled for March 27th. The case stems from Turner's 2000 state senate bid.
Prosecutors agreed to drop a felony conspiracy charge in exchange for the guilty plea. Turner's Attorney says the agreement means Turner acknowledges that he didn't properly manage his campaign, but that he didn't do anything intentionally wrong.

Monday, March 05, 2007


Senator Turner Pushes Bill To Save Schools Money

State Senator Johnny Ray Turner, D-Drift, is pushing legislation that will save Floyd County public schools from paying bonding money on a $1.5 million dollar surety bond.
Senate Bill 203 will exempt public sector self-insured employers, such as schools, from costly bond payments. Sen. Turner was quoted as saying Schools can not afford these unnecessary and burdensome payments; this is money that should go towards adding teachers, raising salaries or putting computers in the classroom. Senate Bill 203 applies to public employers who have the authority to raise taxes or tuition, issue bonds, raise fees, or have other authority to generate funds. Representative Leslie Combs, D-Pikeville, has co-sponsored a companion bill in the House of Representatives. Upon passage in the Senate the bill will move to the House for approval.


Miller Says Health Care For KY By End Of First Term If Elected

Democratic candidate for Governor Jonathan Miller pledged to provide universal health care coverage for Kentuckians by 2011 -- the end of a first term as governor if he's elected.
Miller, speaking to reporters by teleconference, outlined several key provisions of his health care platform that he said he hopes to flesh out more after assembling advisers from "the economists, the doctors, the hospitals, the labor leaders and the citizens who have gone through health care crises. Among the key points of Millers plan was expanding the states Medicaid program and ensuring that all children have insurance through a federal and state partnership. Miller said he didn't yet know how much his plan would cost. But he said he expects that his administration could use proceeds from expanded gaming, which he plans to push if elected, to help pay for the plans.


Officer Spots Suspects; Takes Alleged Impaired Driver Off Streets

An officer with keen observation was able to take an alleged impaired driver off the street after spotting the subject over the weekend. Detective Phillip Reed of the Pikeville Police Department noticed 25 year old Suzanne Garrett operating a vehicle near Justice Court in Pikeville allegedly knowing that Garrett had a suspended license. Hunt then executed a traffic stop on the vehicle and also found 29 year old Jamie Garrett in the car, who officers stated had warrants for his arrest. Officer John Hunt stated that the two both appeared to be under the influence, at which time a search of the vehicle uncovered various prescription narcotics. Both were charged with 4 counts of possession of a controlled substance as well as other traffic related violations. The two were lodged at the Pike County Detention center and ordered to be held without bond this morning by District Judge Kelsey Friend. Both plead not guilty and both were scheduled for a bond hearing later this month.


Majestic Man Arrested On Assault Charges

A Majestic man is behind bars after officers were able to stop a domestic disturbance in progress. On Saturday two troopers with the Kentucky State Police were serving an arrest warrant in the Majestic area when they allegedly saw cloths being thrown from a residence and overheard a couple fighting. Officers entered the residence and allegedly found 34 year old Tommy Eldridge abusing a female subject. The officer stated that Eldridge had the woman pinned against a wall with his arm on her throat. The two officers then tried to restrain Eldridge at which time he allegedly became violent towards the officers, kicking and screaming. Once officers were able to take Eldridge in to custody, he was lodged at the Pike County Detention Center. An arraignment was held this morning where Eldridge pleaded not guilty to charges of resisting arrest, menacing and Assault 3rd and 4th degree. A bond of $5,000 full cash was set by Judge Kelsey Friend or Home Incarceration was recommended as a condition of his release. Eldridge is scheduled to appear again in court on March 15 for a preliminary hearing.

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