Thursday, July 26, 2007


Floyd County's Supt. of Schools Resigning Sept 1st.

Floyd County Superintendent of Schools, Paul Fanning announced that he will be leaving his post effective Sept 1st. Fanning’s contract expires June 2008.

Fanning said that he is excited about another school year which opens next month. Fanning although regrets that he won’t be around to see the opening of the new Prestonsburg Elementary.

Fanning wouldn’t elaborate, but he did announce that he was moving to a southern state to take on a new job.

Fanning has been Floyd County’s Supt. Of Schools for the last eight years.


Registered Nurses at One Local Hospital Are Wearing White.

Patients at South Williamson ARH have seen a change over the last two weeks. Registered nurses have gone back to wear the traditional white uniforms. Community CEO, Tim Hatfield told us that sometimes it was difficult for the patient to identify who the nurse was since so many people go in an out of a patient’s room on a daily basis. Hatfield said that both the staff and the patients have welcomed the change.


Elkhorn Housing Authority Receives County Funding.

Recently, The Pike County Fiscal awarded the Elkhorn City Housing Authority $50,000. Housing Authority Manager Vickie Reid says that they are excited about receiving the much nedded funding. Reid says that this is the first funding that they have received since the 32 unit apartment complex opened in 1973. The bulk of the money will go toward replacing the windows of all 32 units, the cost is estimated at $44,000.


Eight Churches in Eastern Kentucky Victims of Burglaries.

There appears to be a disturbing trend developing in eastern Kentucky. At least eight chuch burglaries has occurred in three different counties recently Letcher, Perry and Jackson. Five arrests have been made , including Christopher D. Grubb of Clay County who was charged with receiving stolen property. Police officials are not ruling out the possibility that all the burglaries are connected.


Autopsy Results of Alabama Man Released.

An Alabama man who disappeared in January and was not found for nearly a month, continues to be a mystery. Recent autopsy results have revealed little about the disappearance and death of Matthew Dobbs, whose body was recovered a month after he went missing. The family of Dobbs plans to offer a reward for information.


Former Pike County Funeral Director Arraigned.

Richard Justice, former owner and operator of Justice Funeral Home in Pikeville, was arraigned Wednesday in Pike County Court. The 53 year-old was indicted last month. Justice is accused of fraud and stealing more than $80,000 in pre-paid funeral expenses. According to court documents, there are 12 victims, most over 70 years of age. Justice is also accused of operating a funeral home without a proper license.


Former Letcher Solid Waste Coordinater Arraigned.

Letcher County's former solid waste coordinator is set to be arraigned on August 22nd. Accused of stealing more thab $17,000 in state funds. 30 year-old Josh Wampler Junior will face nearly 40 counts of theft and possession of forged checks. The money was intended for road side liter clean up. Wampler's family has paid back the money.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Detour for Barrenshee Creek Residents as Road Work Begins Friday.

An existing culvert that runs underneath the pavement on KY 194 near Barrenshee Creek in Pike County is being replaced.

Horne and Trammel, contractors, will begin work about 6:30 am Friday morning. The project is expected to take until August 6th to finish, weather permitting.

" What this means for drivers," explained Paxton Weddington, Resident Engineer for Highway District 12, " is that you can't come from Majestic and go up Barrenshee. People who live at Barrenshee will be able to get in and out, but when they come out they will have to turn left toward McCarr and Freeburn. All Majestic traffic will have to go through Phelps.


First Computer upgrade for Pike County Clerks' Office in 25 Years.

New computers and printers were installed this week at all locations of the Pike County Clerk’s office- in the downtown courthouse as well as at branch offices at Belfry, Phelps and Elkhorn City.

This is the first computer upgrade since the original system was installed in 1983, according to Lillian Pearl Elliott, Pike County Clerk. “ We are really grateful to get these new computers and printers. It’s long overdue. Eventually, once we get used to them, this should make vehicle registration faster and easier,” Elliott’s office processes almost 60,000 registrations each year, including boats, motorcycles, cars, trucks, RV’s and commercial vehicles. Bill Neighbert, Transportation Secretary said that the county clerks desperately need new equipment so they can do their jobs efficiently. The state has set aside $750,000 over the next two years to replace old terminals, printers and networks in county clerks’ offices in all 120 counties.

Caleb Young and Greg Thomas from the Commonwealth Office of Technology spent three days in Pike County replacing 23 computers and nine printers in the main office at the courthouse as well as two computers and one printer at each branch office


150 Jobs Coming to Eastern Kentucky.

Halliburton is opening a facility in eastern Kentucky. Starting salaries average between 30 and 50-thousand dollars annually. The Texas based company will work to improve natural gas wells for drillers. Preliminary plans call for the facility to be located between Pikeville and Paintsville. An August start-up date is planned. Halliburton will be taking applications in the Pikeville employment on Monday, July 30th, from 1:00-5:00pm, and in Prestonsburg on Tuesday, July 31, from 1:00-5:00pm.


Drug Center Opens in Paintsville.

Drug Screening is now available in Paintsville. In most places, the testing for the presence of drugs are required before being hired for employment. In the past it meant traveling outside the area for the test. Now, the testing can take place at the new Drug Center of the Bluegrass. Also available at the facility is testing for DNA and paternity responsibility.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Senator Jones Requests State Withold His Pay Check.

Senator Ray S. Jones II, D-Pikeville announced that he will not accept pay for days that the Senate does not convene in Frankfort during the 2007 Special Legislative Session.

“ Legislators are no different than coal miners, truck drivers or nurses. When you work , you should be paid. If you don’t work, you shouldn’t be paid,” Jones said. “ The House was in for one day and should be paid for one day. The Senate was in for five days and should be paid for five days.”

Senator Jones has sent a letter to the Legislative Research Commission instructing them to withhold his pay for the days in which the Senate was not convened during the Special Session.

“ I can not in good conscience accept legislative pay during the period that the General Assembly is adjourned,” Jones said. “ I encourage lawmakers to reject their pay as well. Accepting this pay would be an abuse to tax payers.”

Senator Jones represents the 31st Senatorial District which includes Johnson, Martin and Pike Counties.


County-Owned Campground Opens at Fishtrap Lake.

Visitor’s to Pike County’s Fishtrap Lake will now be able to enjoy overnight camping at the Friends of Fishtrap Lake Campground, operated by the Millard-East Shelbiana Volunteer Fire Department under contract from the Pike County Fiscal Court.

Eight overnight campsites for recreational vehicles and two picnic shelters are available for use. The sites rent for $20 per night ( $22 on holidays). Check-in is by 6:00pm. And check out is by 4:00pm. There is a maximum stay of fourteen days with a thirty-day interval between stays. The picnic shelter rental fees are $50 per half-day.

“ This is a positive step for the county and our tourism efforts to attract visitors to Fishtrap, “ said District Four Magistrate Kenneth Robinson.

For more information or to reserve a campsite, contact 606-432-5418.


Kentucky Attorney General Considering Bid for U.S. Senate.

Kentucky Attorney General Greg Stumbo is considering, if he is going to attempt to unseat U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell. Stumbo has formed an exploratory committee that will able him to raise money. Stumbo, a Democrat ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in the May primary election.

Senate minority leader McConnell said that he’s ready for all challengers. McConnell has raised over $7.6 million for next year’s election

Monday, July 23, 2007


Conley and Fuller Winners of Basketball Goals.

Samuel Todd Conley, 5, of Elkhorn City, and Kelsie Fuller, 11, of Feds Creek, were the winners of portable basketball goals during operation Unite’s Shoot Hoops Not Drugs basketball camp with Jeff Sheppard held last Thursday at East Ridge High School. 210 kids attended the one day free camp. All youth attending the camp received a t-shirt.


Pikeville's ByPass Road to Get Five New Traffic Signals.

Motorists traveling Pikeville’s Bypass Road Tuesday through Friday will experience brief delays.

Five intersections will get new traffic signals this week. They include : entrance to Pikeville Medical Center, Harold’s Branch, Chloe Road, Don Combs Avenue and Ferguson Creek ( KY 1460).

Today, video cameras were installed to coordinate with the traffic signals in front of PMC. All of the other intersections have underground detection loops which notify the signal box when there is traffic on side roads.

Each of the new signals will have five heads:

· The top will be a single red stop ball
· The middle row will have an yellow caution ball and an yellow left turn arrow.
· The bottom row will have a green go ball and a green left turn arrow.


Motorcyclists Traveling WV for $20,000 Prize.

Williamson is one of 19 stops statewide where riders can stop. Participants must visit 10 of the designated stops and they must get verification that they have been their.

Entrants must be at least eighteen years old and are required to travel at least 150 miles between the two most distant sponsor locations they visit.

The Coal House and Chief Logan State Park was chosen as stops for riders. According to Betty Carver, Director of the West Virginia Department of Tourism, anywhere between 5,000 to 15,000 people are expected to travel all corners of the state in an attempt to claim the $20,000 prize.

The U.S.D.A. Rural Development Program is now accepting applications in Pike County for federal home improvement loans for low-income families. Funds are available for a variety of uses including replacing leaking roofs, furnaces, plumbing, or to remove health or safety hazards.

Peggy Meade, an agent with U.S.D.A. Rural Development, will be at the following locations from 10:00am until noon for applications and to answer any questions about the program.

Tuesday, July 24th – Elkhorn City Senior Center

Wednesday, July 25th – Pikeville Senior Center

Friday, July 27th – Shelby Valley Senior Center
Monday, July 30 = Belfry Senior Center

Wednesday, August 1st - Blackberry Senior Center.


12 People Died on Kentucky's Highways Last Week.

Preliminary statistics indicate that 12 people died in 12 separate crashes on Kentucky’s roadways from Monday, July 16 through Sunday, July 22.

All 12 of the fatalities involved motor vehicles and five of the victims were not wearing safety belts. Five of the fatalities were the result of crashes that involved alcohol.

Jefferson County reported three single-fatality crashes. Single fatality crashes also occurred in Floyd, Henry, Jackson, Lewis, Lincoln, Marion, Mason and Ohio counties.

Thus far 466 people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways during 2007. This is 26 fewer than reported for this time period last year.


BSCTC Presents Children's Musical.

Big Sandy Community and Technical College will be presenting a Children’s Music and Drama Production of Stories and Songs, Friday, July 27, at 6:00pm, in Gearheart Auditorium in the Pike Building on the Prestonsburg Campus. Admission is $5.00.

The performance will be presented by children participating in BSCTC’s annual summer Children’s Music and Drama Camp under the direction of Laura Ford Hall, BSCTC Communication Faculty and Music and Drama Director, along with assistant directors Michelle Fields, BSCTC Faculty, Ashley Hall, Candance Preece, volunteers; and Louanna Calhoun, Music and Drama Workstudy, with Tim Cooley Technical Director and Clayton Case.

“ This group of children is very talented,” Hall said. “ They are good at both singing and acting.
Twenty-seven children participated in the program this summer where they learned basic concepts of drama, acting, and vocal music. They will apply all of the concepts they have learned during the live production that includes choral music “ Angels Among Us,” “Mountain Music,” “ Hair,” ansd more as well as monologues, duos and short plays performed by the students


Floyd County Man Gets 60 Months for Faking Auto Accidents.

An eastern Kentucky man, already facing murder and kidnapping charges in state court, has been sentenced to 60 months in federal prison after admitting that he staged several auto accidents and a home arson for insurance money.

Billy Joe Johnson, 48, of Bevinsville was sentenced after he pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy to commit mail fraud in connection with the arson and staged auto accidents. Johnson admitted on the witness stand in U.S. District Court at Pikeville that he orchestrated the schemes in 2002.

Johnson was among eight Floyd County residents indicted in 2006 for defrauding insurance companies from 2001 to 2004.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Pike County Chamber Hands Out Awards During Banquet.

The Pike County Chamber of Commerce held their Annual Dinner and Awards this past weekend at the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville.

Country music singer turned author, Naomi Judd was this year’s featured speaker. Judd spoke about family values and her experiences about growing up in eastern Kentucky. Judd told EKB news that the people from this region are a part of her family and that they are very special to her heart. Judd added that although it has been awhile since she has visited Pikeville she was impressed and blown away by the growth of the city. Judd said that if she had to go back into nursing she would go to work at the Pikeville Medical Center.

Randy Roberts was sworn in as chairman. Also the Chamber of Commerce presented a $56,000 check to the Hillbilly Clan. Jimmy Kinney accepted the contribution.

The following individuals, organizations and businesses were honored:

Pike County Ambassador : Kitty White Baird

Lon B. and Mary Evelyn Rogers Lifetime Achievement Award : Dr. John and Joann Strosnider.

Business of the Year: Community Trust Bank

Outstanding Contributions Toward Community Service By An Organization or Business: Pikeville Medical Center.
Business Person of the Year: Gerald Robinette from Appalachian Wireless

Pike County Citizens of the Year: Jerry Kanney and Dennis Rohrer, co-owners of Interstate Natural Gas

Pike County Community Service Award: Randy Courtney

Chamber Volunteer of the Year: Lynette Schindler

Service Organization of the Year: Sandy Valley Habitat for Humanity


Mingo County Has Sixth Highest Unemployment Rate in WV

The latest unemployment figures for the month of June have been released. All of the counties in our listening area have unemployment rates above the state average of 4.5 percent.

Mingo County’s rate of 6.4% is the sixth highest in West Virginia. That is an increase of four-tenths of a percent from the previous month.

McDowell County has the highest unemployment of 7.9%.

Other unemployment figures for counties in our listening area:

Logan 5.1% increase of one-tenth of a percent.

Wayne saw an increase of three-tenths of a percentage point to 4.6%.

Boone County saw an increase of one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.8%.

Monongalia has the lowest unemployment rate of 3.1%.


KSP Still Searching for Robbery Suspect.

The Kentucky State Police continues to search for a suspect that is accused of robbing the South Williamson Fast Lane. According to authorities, an armed man entered the business early Saturday morning. The bandit threatened to kill the clerk, if she didn't give him all of the money in the register. The suspect fled on foot with approximately $620.00 in cash. The individual was described as a white male in his mid 20's around 5'6, 120 pounds, with black hair and a black beard. If you can help the police out, call the KSP at 433-7711.

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