Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Kermit Town Council Lays Off Police Officer.

A Kermit police officer who is accused of pulling his gun on five teenagers in Logan County on May 12th was let go at a recent Kermit Town Council Meeting. However it was not due to the alleged incident. Stanley Andrew Messer failed to submit his application to the State Police Academy within the mandatory 90 days after being hired. Messer is charged with four misdemeanors: public intoxication, four counts of brandishing a weapon and obstructing an officer. Messer was placed on administrative leave after he was arrested.


Operation Unite Drug Round-Up Results in 16 Arrests.

Operation Unite teamed up with different police agencies Tuesday as they made 16 arrests during a drug round-up operation in Floyd County. Authorities are accusing the Floyd County residents of participating in illegal drug activities. Iain Dalrymple, Task Force Manager told us that many that were arrested today are repeat offenders. Operation Unite offers those that they arrest an opportunity to beat the addiction of drugs. Operation Unite offers rehab programs and drug court. However the addict must make the initiative, drug treatment isn’t mandatory. Dalrymple added that eastern Kentucky is in an epidemic when it comes to drug abuse. Dalrmple added that prescription pills are the biggest problem. However the trafficking of marijuana and cocaine remains high.

Here is a list of the 16 people that were arrested in Today’s drug bust.
· Mary Jane Hoover of Hueysville.
· Bobby J. Slone of Prestonsburg.
· Denny C. Bentley of Eastern
· Willis Sparks Jr. of Prestonsburg
· Elmer Blankenship of Prestonsburg
· Millard Ray Conn of Martin.
· James Bradley of Martin
· Hubert D. Clifton of Prestonsburg
· David Paul Ousley of Allen
· Corey Fraley of Prestonsburg
· Carol Rose Boyd of McDowell
· Cecil Hunter, of Prestonsburg
· Brent Boyd of Prestonsburg
· Ashley Gallimore of Auxier
· Vernon Hall Jr of Wheelwright
* Jason Lee Boyd of Prestonsburg

The Kentucky State Police, Floyd County Sheriff’s Department and the Prestonsburg Police Department assisted Operation Unite Task Force Agents.


Pike County Resident Back at Home.

Pike County resident, Nell Hatfield, says simply going to church has brought a miracle into her life. Hatfield's home was destroyed by a mudslide in April. Through the generosity of a Lexington church and its paishoner volunteers, Hatfield's home has been rebuilt. Ten volunteers from the Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church came to the mountains and in a week's time the dwelling was rebuilt. Hatfield had been staying in an apartment donated by someone from her church.


Kentucky Coal Miners Reluctant to Undergo Black Lung Screening.

It appears Kentucky coal miners are reluctant to undergo black lung screening, for fear of losing their jobs. Sixteen percent of Kentucky miners get the screening, about half the national average. Apparently, if screened and determined to have black lung, miners are afraid employers will find a reason to let them go.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Funding Available for Old Hellier Courthouse.

The Old Hellier Courthouse Community Center is undergoing a facelift. $18,463 was appropriated from Pike County’s Coal severance funds. According to a press release from the office of Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford, The improvements to the center will benefit all community residents including the veterans’ groups who use the facility, and also senior citizens and church groups. The facility is an historic building constructed by the Works Progress Administration during the presidential term of Franklin D. Roosevelt.


Final Segment of US 119 to Be Completed by Christmas.

The construction of US 119 from Pikeville to Charleston has taken three decades. The final 1.7 mile stretch from Bent Branch to Scott Fork will be completed with in the next few months. Sarah George, spokesperson for Highway District 12 told us that the final segment of 119 will open by Christmas. A construction cost for the final segment is estimated at $44.5 million. The cost of the 27.5 mile stretch of 119 from Pikeville to Williamson is estimated at $400 million. George says that there is a lot of work to be done. The deck of the bridge and the erection of guard rails are some examples of work to be completed. The work is being done by Bizzack/Bush and Burchett.


Pike County Board of Education to Conduct Special Meeting Tuesday.

The Pike County Board of Education will conduct a special meeting Tuesday evening at 5:30pm at the C.H. Farley Administration Building in Pikeville. The following items will be considered.

· Approve an Application for Domestic Gas Service and a contract between the Board of Education and Equitable Production.
· Approve the lowest/best bid for all insurances for FY 2007-2008.
· Approve retiring into executive session to discuss a personnel matter.


Re-Surfacing Project Continues on Town Mountain Road.

Motorists driving Town Mountain Road in Pikeville, are noticing that their drive is just a little bit smoother. Construction workers have been working the last two weeks on resurfacing that stretch of roadway. The cost of the project is $532,000. Besides the re-surfacing, the project called for the construction of shoulders and upgrade work to drains.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Dean of Pikeville College's School of Osteopathic Medicine Passes Away, Memorial Service to Be Held in July.

A memorial service will be held next month in Pikeville, to honor the life of Dr. John Strosnider. Strosnider, the founding dean of the Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine and President of the American Osteopathic Association succumbed to pancreatic cancer late Thursday evening at the Cleveland Clinic. Strosnider was 59. Since 2001 the School of Osteopathic Medicine has graduated 280 students. 80 percent of those physicians practice in medically- underserved areas. Strosnider came to Pikeville from Kansas City University in the mid 1990’s


Senator Chafin Secures Nearly $84,000 for Various Mingo Projects.

State Majority Leader Truman Chafin announced that he has help secure nearly $84,000 for various projects throughout Mingo County.

Mingo County Commission $10,000
Laurel Lake Wildlife Management Foundation $10,000
Living Water Child Education Center$7,100
City of Williamson $6,500
Concerned Citizens League $5,000
Town of Kermit $5,000
Town of Delbarton $5,000
Matewan High Baseball Field $5,000
Mingo Board of Education $3,000 ( Gilbert ball field improvements)
Lenore K-8 $3,000
Sheppard of the Hills Mission $2,500
Gilbert Public Library $1,600
Matewan Public Library $1,600
Kermit Public Library $1,600
Mingo County Public library $1,600
Williamson Public Library $1,600
Williamson Fire Department $1,500
Delbarton Volunteer Fire Department $1,500
Matewan Volunteer Fire Department $1,500
Gilbert Volunteer Fire Department $1,500
Kermit Volunteer Fire Department $1,500
Dingess Elementary School $1,000
Burch High School $1,000
Williamson high School $1,000
Tug Valley High School $1,000
Kermit K-8 $1,000


Thirteen New State Laws Go Into Effect Tuesday.

Several new laws that were approved by the General Assembly will go into effect Tuesday.

· Minimum Wage. HB 305 will increase the current minimum wage to $5.85. The minimum wage will go up to $6.55 on July 1, 2008: and $7.25 on July 1, 2009.
· Speed Limits. SB 83 allows the Transportation Cabinet to increase the speed limits interstates and parkways to 70 mph in areas where it’s determined that vehicles can travel safely.
· Sex Offender Registry. SB 65 will require registered sex offenders to include their e-mail, instant message and other internet identities on the state’s sex offender registry.
· Military Burial. HB 280 will require that a funeral director involved in arrangements for a deceased veteran provide a fact sheet stating military burial rights.
· School Bus Safety. HB 230 will prohibit school bus drivers from using cell phones while transporting students. Exceptions would be made for drivers without two-way radios who need to communicate with their dispatchers and in times of emergency.
· Methamphetamine lab cleanup. HB 94 will establish standards and procedures for authorities to follow to ensure proper cleanup of the toxic materials left behind by illegal meth labs.
· License plates. HB 390 will eliminate all fees for special Gold Star Mothers license plates that are available to mothers who lost a son or daughter in service.
· Jury duty. SB 111 will allow a mother who is breastfeeding a child to be excused from jury duty.
· Human trafficking. SB 43 makes it a felony to force someone into labor, domestic work or the sex trade.
· Deceptive business practices. HB 246 will prohibit flower shops from misrepresenting their business locations in telephone directories.
· Bluegrass music. HB 71 designates bluegrass music as the official state music of Kentucky.
· Assistance laws. SB 23 will prohibit the denial of emergency medical treatment to an assistance dog because of a handler’s inability to pay prior to treatment.
* Veterans' families. HB 128 will expand the eligibility for education benefits available to family members of deceased or disabled veterans.


Former Pike County Funeral Director Indicted.

A Pike County Grand Jury recently indicted Richard Justice, the former owner of Justice Funeral Home, on eight violations of the Fraudulent Insurance Act, twelve violations of the Kentucky Funeral Trust Act, one count of theft and one count of acting as a funeral director without a license. Officials allege that the Pikeville resident took more than $90,000 of life insurance burial policies from several area residents.


Five Inmates Indicted.

Federal indictments were handed down to five inmates at the Big Sandy federal Penitentiary. The charges are related to an accident in 2006, which resulted in several injuries to another inmate. The case will proceed after a court is set in Federal District Court in Ashland.


Elderly Woman Dies in House Fire.

An 82 year old woman was killed early Friday morning when a fire totally destroyed a mobile home. The fire occurred on Mud Creek , which is located in Wayne County near the Mingo County line. The Kermit Volunteer Fire Department responded. Five family members were able to get out unharmed. Authorities didn’t release a name. According to the Fire Marshal the fire appears to be an accident. The origin of the fire was pinpointed to the victim’s room. This has been a deadly year in West Virginia, 79 people have lost their lives due to fire related deaths.

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