Thursday, June 14, 2007


Renovation Work to Martin County Courthouse.

Work began Wednesday in replacing the roof on top of the Martin County Courthouse. Christi Kirk, Martin County Economic Director told EKB that the project will cost $150,000. Severe leaks have caused major damage in the upstairs courtroom. The work should be completed within two weeks.


Martin County Pool Closed.

The Martin County Pool at Inez is closed for the summer. The Martin County Health Department closed the pool earlier this week. The pool was closed due to an out of date filtration system and lack of drains. County officials told us that the cost to upgrade the facility will run roughly $300,000. The funding will come from coal severance money.


Pike County Man Electrocuted While Attempting to Steal Copper.

Gregory Blankenship, 27, of Majestic was killed Wednesday evening in the small Mingo County community of Vulcan. According to the West Virginia State Police, Blankenship climbed a telephone pole in an attempt to steal copper. The Pike Countian slipped and fell on an active line. That is when Blankenship was zapped with 74,000 volts of electric current. Blankenship was pronounced dead by the Mingo County Coroner.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Fatal ATV Accident in Knott County.

Another fatal ATV crash occurred in eastern Kentucky, this time in Knott County. State Police say 21 year old Kyle Slone of Pippa Passes was attempting to pass a coal truck. The all terrain vehicle left the road and crashed. The report indicated that Slone was not wearing a helmet. The accident took place in the small community of Topmost.


Pike County Man to Stand Trial for Drug Trafficking.

The trial of Larry Phillips will begin next Wednesday in Pike County Circuit Court. Phillips is charged with second degree controlled substance. The Steele resident is accused of selling drugs to an undercover Unite Pike Agent, if found guilty, Phillips faces 1 to 5 years of prison time


Co- Defendants to Stand Trial of Copper Theft

The trial of two Elkhorn City men has been re-scheduled for June 25 in Pike County Circuit Court. Robert Stewart and Nicholas Coleman will stand trial of receiving stolen property and having possession of burglary tools. If convicted Stewart and Coleman face a total of 1 to 6 years in prison.


Update on Fatal Car Crash in Floyd County

An automobile accident claimed the lives of two people earlier today in Floyd County. Jami Whitaker 24, of Hazard and Neil T. Fugate 25, of Hazard were killed when their vehicle collided into the back of a tractor trailer driven by Kenneth Whitaker of Paintsville. The accident occurred on Kentucky 80 at Martin. The mishap occurred at 7am.


Automobile Accident in Floyd County Claims Two Lives.

An automobile accident that occurred on Route 80 at Martin has killed two people. The Kentucky State Police confirmed the accident to EKB. Details of the accident have not been released to the media.


Settlement Reached in Multimillion Dollar Lawsuit.

Ten students from Tug Valley High School that were injured when the school bus that they were riding on was slammed into by a tree trimming truck have settled there multimillion -dollar lawsuit against the driver Bruce Wayne Collins and his employer Asplundh.

Attorney Ben Salango would not announce the terms of the settlement. The lawsuit had sought $10 million in punitive damages and unspecified compensatory damages.

18 people in all were injured on April 4, 2006, when Collins crossed the center line and hit the bus. The accident occurred on Route 65 near Lenore.

Collins pled guilty to wreckless driving. He was sentenced to 90 days of home confinement on March 20th. Two other charges, improper lane change and DUI causing bodily injury were dismissed.


Johnson County Man Charged with Murder.

A Johnson County case involving a head on crash of a car into a motorcycle, has been waived to the grand jury. 52 year old, Cecil Curtis was killed recently when his motorcycle, was hit by a vehicle driven byDale Wells Jr, Wells had crossed the center line , and after the collision, fled the scene.


Preece Wins Re-Election.

John W. Preece was re-elected to another four year term as the mayor of Delbarton. Preece defeated long time councilman John Ramey 166 to 99.

Town Council top 5 vote getters won

(I) Joe Crum 194
Albert C. Totten 185
(I) Mark Sizemore 172
(I) Clifford Davis 150
Jeremy Davis 150

Town recorder incumbent Kim Totten defeated Ralph Maynard 176-114.

The votes will be canvassed next Monday. The winners will be sworn in July 1.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Blevins to Become New Mayor of Man

Jim Blevins captured the mayoral race in the Town of Man’s election. Blevins captured 73% of the vote. Incumbent Bill Weese garnered only 26%. The margin of victory was 135 votes.

Winning seats on council were incumbents, Mavis Toler, Roger Muncy, John Fekete and Jimmy Justice. The final council seat was landed by newcomer Tim Stacey.

A canvass will occur next week.


Study Favorable for Pike County Airport.

Randal Wiedemann , President of the Big Sandy Area Development District, announced that one phase of a study conducted by an aviation group from Georgetown, found that it is feasible that the Pike County Airport could be the home of a commercial airline. Next, where is the funding going to come from? Wiedemann says the Pikeville airport is a popular choice because the costs to upgrade it are about three million dollars less, than the Big Sandy Regional Airport. Officials say they only need a commitment from one airline . The popular choice is Delta, because Pikeville can become a hub for two round trip flights each day to Cincinnati.. Wiedemann says that it is going to be a challenge to land a commercial airline to Pike County due to decreasing population and lower than average income.


Chapmanville Mayor Wins Re-Election

Incumbent Jerry Price Jr, won another four year term Tuesday. The incumbent beat challenger Vince Mendez by 112 votes.

Town Council seats were won by; Phillip Meade, James Farley, Anita Hagerty, James Farley and James Robinson.

The resullts have to be certified before they become official.


Drought to Continue .

Lack of consistent rainfall across our area continues. Tony Edwards, forecaster with the National Weather Service in Jackson told us that eastern Kentucky is experiencing a moderate drought. This means that slight damage to crops has occurred; creeks and wells are running low. Edwards told us that since November, Pike and surrounding counties are seeing rainfall deficits of nine inches. Edwards says that the drought should continue for the next three months. The forecast calls for below average rainfall for the next two weeks.


Naomi Judd to Speak at Pike County Chamber Banquet

The Pike County Chamber of Commerce announced Tuesday, that Naomi Judd will be featured as the honored guest and keynote speaker at the Chamber’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Dinner and Dance, scheduled for July 20 at the Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center. The event is scheduled to get underway at 7pm. Judd will be speaking on growing up in eastern Kentucky. Judd is a native of Ashland. Judd was a member of country music’s most famous mother/daughter tandem. The Judd’s earned 20 top 10 hits, including 15 number one hits. Tickets for the event are $50 per person or $400 for a table of eight. This ticket includes Judd’s speech, entertainment from the Big Sandy Singers, dinner and the Chamber awards and honors. For people that would like to witness Judd’s speech, take in the entertainment and the award’s ceremony upper arena seating is available for $10. To purchase a ticket stop by the Chamber office in Pikeville or call (606) 432-5504.


Road Work on US 23.

Motorists that travel US 23 from Allen to the Pike/Floyd County line will experience delays over the next two weeks. Shawn Ray, Graduate Engineer with Highway District 12 says that motorists should use caution while traveling in this area. Workers will be sealing cracks. Signage will be posted.The work is scheduled from 6:30am to 5pm through June 22.


Prestonsburg Mayor Honored After Saving Man from Drowning.

Jerry Fannin, the mayor of Prestonsburg was honored Monday night by city and state officials. Fanning saved the life of 24 year old Chad Conley. Fannin performed CPR on Conley, after Fannin found him unresponsive following an accident on Dewey Lake that occurred on Memorial Day.


Williamson Man Accused of Domestic Assault

Magistrate Eugene Crum set bond at $30,000 for 25 year old Donnie Ray Smith. The Williamson resident was charged with malicious wounding, domestic assault and fleeing on foot after being accused of physically assaulting his girlfriend. The arrest was made by the Williamson Police Department


Man Accused of Selling Drugs to an Undercover Cop Arraigned.

Magistrate Pam Newsome set bond for 25 yr old Scotty Marcum at $10,000 with home confinement after the Williamson man was charged with delivery of a controlled substance ( hydrocodone). According to a criminal complaint, Marcum sold the drugs from an undercover police officer inside of a Williamson nightclub. The arrest was made by the Mingo County Sheriff”s Department.


Pikeville City Commission to Hold Special Meeting.

The Pikeville City Commission will conduct a special meeting Wednesday at 4:30pm in the City Hall Public meeting Room. The Commissioners will read a second ordinance in their attempt to annex Lackens Branch. The city says they need to add Lackens Branch into city limits because of the need to construct middle income homes. 50 percent of signatures from property owners of Lackens Branch are needed to force the issue on a ballot for vote.


Relay for Life Held in Logan A Success.

The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life which was held in Logan County this past weekend was a success. The event brought in $45,000. The Relay was held on the football field located on Middleburg Island


Two Floyd County Schools Received Grants from First Lady

Two Floyd County Schools received a school library grant from First Lady, Laura Bush. Allen Central High School and McDowell Elementary each received $5,000 grants. The foundation was founded in 2002 as a fund of The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region. Since it’s beginning , The Laura Bush Foundation has awarded more than $4.3 million to 897 schools in all 50 states.


Elections Being Held for One Mingo County Town.

Today is decision 2007 for voters, of the Town of Delbarton. The offices of mayor, council and town recorder will be decided by today’s vote. The turnout as of 2pm was reported very light. The polls will be open until 7:30.


Popular Swimming Pool in Eastern Kentucky to Remain Closed

Thousands of children in Floyd County won’t be swimming at Jenny Wiley State Park Pool this summer. Park Manager Scott Ringham says that thieves stole all of the copper piping underneath the pool. Ringham also added that a leak and floodwaters and mechanical problems will keep the popular spot closed. Ringham says that the state is interested in assisting.


12 Sentenced in Mingo County Circuit Court.

It was a busy day Monday in Mingo County Circuit Court. Judge Mike Thornsbury conducted 12 sentencing hearings. The following is the list of defendants and there sentences.

· Kontania Horne ,40, Winton-Salem , N.C. 1- 5 years in prison. Fined $1,000.( drugs)
· Charles Waller, 27, Williamson. 1-5 years in prison. Pay restitution in the amount of $900. (grand larceny)
· Charla Hite, 49, North Matewan. 1-5 years in prison. Fined $1000. (drugs)
· JoAnna Vance, 18, Goodman Hollow. 1-5 years prison. Pay $900 in restitution. ( grand larceny)
· Kenneth Robert Lockhart, 23, Williamson. One to three years prison. Must pay restitution. (grand larceny)
· David Michael Cline, 31, Mallory. 1-3 years prison. (drugs)
· Jeremy Sparks, 19, Dingess. 6 months – 2 years in the Anthony Correctional Facility. (burglary)
· Dennis Aldon Oates, 50, NC. 1-15 years prison. Fined $1,000. (drugs)
· John Winsor McClive, 54, NC. 1-15 years prison. Fined $1,000. (drugs)
· Walter Jessie, 35, Delbarton. 1-5 years prison. Must pay restitution of $35,000 to victim. (unlawful assault)
· Jared Daniel Bowers, 29, Paintsville, KY. 1-3 years prison. (drugs)
· Michael Anthony Parker, 35, NC. 1-5 years in prison. Fined $1,000. (drugs)


Shelbiana Man Ordered to Pay $130,000.

Cleared of criminal charges, but, found guilty of violating state law and federal fair housing laws, a Shelbiana man is ordered to pay $130,000 to three men . Bobby Gibson Jr was found by Circuit Court Judge Steve Combs. Gibson set fire to an apartment occupied by three Pikeville College Students. The incident occurred March 12, 2005. The students discovered the fire and got it under control before it did greater damage.


Pike County Softball Coach Pleads Guilty

A Pike County man pled guilty Monday to having an inappropriate relationship with a 16 year – old girl. Forty –four year old Mark Kohari was given 30 days in jail, two years probation , and banned from coaching for life. Kohari was also ordered by District Court Judge Darrel Mullins to stay away from school property for the next two years. Kohari had served as a little league and softball coach in the Belfry area.


Deadly Week on Kentucky Highways.

It was a deadly week on Kentucky Highways. Kentucky State Police reported 17 deaths stemming from 17 separate crashes. So far 358 people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways this year. That is down 15 from last year.


Perry County Man Faces Murder Charges.

A deadly automobile accident in April, in Perry County, has resulted in several charges levied against James Barnes. Barnes’ vehicle hit another car head on. The accident occurred Kentucky route 476. Killed in the crash was 34 year old Marlene Shelton. Several other people were injured. Barnes is charged with murder, DUI, assault and wanton endangerment. A September 10, court date has been set.


Massey Energy To Stay Independant.

Massey Energy, an independent coal company , and the nation’s fourth largest producer, announced Monday there would be no sale of its operations. Chief Executive Officer, Don Blankenship said the company would now focus on increasing profit margins to stockholders and acquiring additional central Appalachian coal properties and reserves.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Can the Pike County Airport Be Converted Into a Regional Airport?

Leaders in Pike County are interested to see if the Pike County Airport can be converted into a commercial airport. The Big sandy Area Development District is conducting the research. T.J. Litafik, Pike County Judge Executive Assistants says the area needs commercial air service to have the kind of industry we want. Officials add that to attract new businesses to the region , companies need a faster way to get their products into the area.


Strong Support for 911 Strobe Light in Floyd County.

Last week we reported that the Floyd County Rescue Squad introduced the 911 Beacon Light. The response has been tremendous. The strobe light mounts onto the outside of a home. Its purpose is to direct emergency responders to the home in the event of a night time emergency. The cost is a $100 tax deductible donation. The squad has received over 100 orders. The rescue squad says that the Prestonsburg Rotary Club will help promote the project and also they will be accepting orders. The two organizations agreed that the Rotary Club will receive 25% for every check that they help bring in.


Martin County Man Dies in ATV Accident.

Ralph Moore, 21, of Inez was killed in an all terrain vehicle accident. According to the Kentucky State Police, Moore was traveling on route 1714 at Pilgrim. Moore lost control of his ATV, crossed the center line and struck another vehicle. The accident occurred Saturday evening. Since 2000, 132 people have died on ATV’s in Kentucky. The fatality is the third in Martin County this decade


Federal Grand Jury Indicts Pike Man.

Carlos Walker was indicted by a federal grand jury. Walker is accused of cocaine trafficking. If convicted, Walker faces up to 30 years in prison and a two million dollar fine.


Van Zant Honored

Saturday was an historic day at Lefty Hamilton Park. The baseball portion of the park was named Jim Van Zant Baseball Field. Van Zant is a fixture when it comes to athletics across the Tug Valley. The Williamson resident coached the Wolfpack to two baseball state titles. He has served as editor and sports editor of the Williamson Daily News, General Manager of the Pikeville Cubs, served on Williamson City Council, educator in the Mingo County School System for 13 years. The dedication ceremony was attended by local and state officials , and numerous friends from across the nation.


Unite Pike Seeking Volunteers

Bob Thompson, Case worker with the Pike County Juvenile Drug Court announced that beginning on July 1, Unite Pike will provide gas money for volunteers that want to transport teenagers that are in the program to attend the program’s classes. Thompson says many kids that qualify for the life changing program can’t attend because they don’t have transportation. The Pike County Juvenile Drug Court is one of only 16 across the commonwealth. Circuit Judge Darrel Mullins told us that each client must undergo drug tests, counseling and attend classes. Each teen must stay in the program for a minimum of six months. Recently two more juveniles graduated from the drug court. Juvenile drug court is for teenagers that have a problem with substance abuse. A teen must be between the ages of 13-17.

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