Thursday, August 16, 2007


Update on Power Outage

County breakdown of customers of Kentucky Power that is currently out of service.

Pike: 2,674
Martin: 2112
Floyd : 551
Johnson: 113


National Weather Service Ruled Out Tornado.

The National Weather Service out of Jackson told EKB that winds were clocked at 60mph throughout eastern Kentucky. Wind damage has been reported throughout our listening area. The NWS based out of Jackson says that no tornado touched down. The wind that caused the damage came from an outflow boundary. Terminolgy for an outflow, is when a burst of wind pushes ahead of a strong thunderstorm. our area received the winds from the storm not the rain.

Widespread damage has been reported throughout Pike. Martin, Floyd and Johnson Counties.
Downed power lines and trees have been reported. The Pikeville YMCA was forced to shut down an hour early. A piece of metal roofing from a section of the building blew off. A small section bent over and crashed through the roof. No one was injured. The business will be open tomorrow. The high winds hit the area shortly before 9pm.


AEP Reports Over 18,000 Customers Without Power.

AEP told us that 18,000 southern West Virginians are currently without the juice. Here is a breakdown county by county in our listening area.


Wyoming : 1376

Mingo : 714

Boone : 181

Logan: 121

A AEP spokesperson says that power should be restored to everyone by morning.


Kentucky Power Reports Over 15,000 Customers Without Service

Kentucky power is reporting that 15,516 residents are currently without power. Here is the breakdown by county is the listening area.

Martin : 2112

Pike : 1824

Johnson 113

a spokesperson says that it could be Friday night before service is restored to all areas.


Wind Damage Across Area.

High winds that hit Pike and Mingo Counties within the past hour has caused widespread damage.

According to the Pikeville City Police Department they are receiving complaints of downed trees and power lines. The Pikeville YMCA had was forced to close an hour early as a portion of metal roofing was blown off. A section of the metal roof bent down and collapsed through the ceiling. No one was injured. The YMCA is expected to re-open in the morning. Power outages are common throughout the city.

The story is the same throughout Pike County, downed trees, power lines and power outages. EKB has learned that Phelps was hit hard.

In Mingo County, 911 is reporting sporadic power outages and downed trees in the Gilbert Creek, Delbarton and Matewan areas.

We will give updates as they become available.


Superintendent of Paintsville School System Receives Contract Extension.

The Paintsville Board of Education has extended the contract of Superintendent Coy Samons . The four year contract extension will keep Samons in his position until 2012. No other details of the detail were made available.


Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia Experiencing Severe Drought.

Temperatures have soared into triple digits for the second consecutive day across the coalfields of eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia.

The National Weather service has now upgraded our drought conditions from moderate to severe.

The NWS told us that our region has a rainfall deficit of between 12 to 15 inches and that Pike, Mingo and surrounding counties would have to average four inches of rainfall for the next four months to end the drought.

A low pressure system is expected to move across the area for the weekend. Temperatures are expected to range from the upper 80’s to low 90’s. The forecasters say that there is a slight chance of rain during the time period. However prolonged precipitation is not expected until next week.


Former Inmate of Big Sandy Prison Pleads Not Guilty to Murder.

A former prisoner at the Big Sandy Penitentiary located in Martin County recently pleaded not guilty in connection to the October 2006 murder of another inmate. Terrell Lamar Johnson entered the plea in federal court in London.

A jury trial is scheduled for Oct 2,at 9:00am. Johnson has been incarcerated in McCreary County since the incident.

The indictment alleges that the defendant stabbed fellow inmate Calvin Speight during an altercation.

Johnson was currently serving an 84 month prison sentence for bank robbery and use of a firearm during the commission of a robbery. If convicted, Johnson faces up to life in prison.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Portion of Building That Was Being Demolished Collapses and Severely Damages Abandoned Building.

Demolition crews have completed the razing of the Old Pioneer Hotel Building in Logan. The former five floor building closed down over 30 years ago. The building had become an eyesore. However another abandoned building also located on Main Street is now structurally unsafe. Officials told us that on Tuesday evening before the Pioneer was completely demolished, the north side of the structure collapsed , the remains of the building fell across the street striking the abandoned building that formerly housed a florist business. No one was injured. Logan Police Chief David White says that a portion of Main Street is closed and that traffic is being diverted through Stratton Street.


Truck Driver Escapes Injury After Rig Crashes in Creek.

A truck driver escaped injury when the 18 wheeler that he was driving lost control and crashed into a nearby creek. The accident happened just off Route 194 at Phelps. The truck was hauling a excavator. About 50 gallons diesel spilled into the water after the fuel tank ruptured. Authorities say that the leak was contained. No wildlife was harmed and no drinking water was effected. The driver said that something malfunctioned on the rig and that he lost control. The KSP says that they don’t plan to issue any citations


Johnson County Judge Executive Upset Over Possible Expansion of Jail.

The Johnson County Fiscal Court is considering legal action to stop an expansion project at the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center. Judge – Executive Tucker Daniel suggested filing a declaration of rights petition against the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center, stating that he didn’t feel the board had power, without county approval, to expand its building to house state prisoners.

The facility serves Johnson, Magoffin, Martin and Lawrence Counties. Tucker says that the four fiscal courts need to be involved in the decision making whether to expand or not. Tucker says that currently reserve funds are being used to cover the $168,000 deficit that the facility has tallied. Tucker added that there is no guarantee that the state would send prisoners if the jail did expand.


Governor Ernie Fletcher Appoints Johnson County Resident to Board.

Governor Ernie Fletcher has named a Johnson County resident to serve on the State Advisory Council on Libraries.

Shauna L. Patton. Of Stambaugh, is an instructional supervisor for the Johnson County School District. Patton holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Kentucky and a master’s degree in elementary education with an emphasis in reading and Rank I certificate in instructional supervision from Morehead State.

The State Advisory Council on Libraries is a legally mandated body that represents library entities and users across Kentucky by providing advisory and evaluative services to the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives. Members are appointed by the governor for four –year terms and represent public, school, special and institutional libraries, disadvantaged and disabled library users and the Kentucky Library association.


Logan Police Chief Releases ID of Body, Death Ruled As Homicide.

Logan City Police Chief David White informed EKB of the identity of a Logan woman that was found dead in her Main Street Apartment. The woman has been identified as 64 year-old Jimolee Workman. Chief White says that his department is now treating the case as a homicide. The chief added that he has called in the Mobile Crime Unit from the WVSP. White says that they are currently working several leads. Workman was found Monday morning by officers. A neighbor called police after she had not seen Workman for a few days and that a foul odor was coming from the apartment.


Former Floyd County Jailer and Two other Men plead Not Guilty in Federal Court on Drug Charges.

A former Floyd County deputy jailer and candidate for sheriff along with two other Floyd County men pleaded not guilty to drug charges in federal court in Pikeville.

Former chief deputy jailer, Damon Newsome, 60, of Mud Creek, along with Mark and Alfred King of Mud Creek entered the plea before Judge Edward Adkins.

The trio are charged with conspiring to distribute quantities of Schedule II controlled substances and to knowingly and intentionally distribute quantities of Schedule II controlled substances from October 2006 to June 18 of this year.

Adkins set an Oct 9 trial date in federal court in London.

Newsome was released on his own personal recognizance with restrictions that he receive drug treatment if recommended by pretrial services. Both Alfred and Mark king were remanded back to the Pike County Detention Center.

Newsome retired from his job as chief deputy jailer over two years ago. Ironically Newsome ran an unsuccessful bid to unseat Democratic incumbent Sheriff John K. Blackburn last year. Newsome’s platform was to fight the county’s drug problem.


Fentress Named Interim Superintendent of Floyd County School System.

Ronald “ Sonny “ Fentress will serve as interim superintendent of Floyd County’s School System. Fentress will serve as superintendent from Sept 1st to Dec 31st. Fentress is a retired superintendent of the Anderson County School System. Fentress has worked in education for 42 years. During his term as superintendent, the school district consistently performed in the top 15 to 20 percent in test scores among other districts statewide. Fentress was named Superintendent of the Year in 2005. Fentress will take the place of Dr. Paul Fanning. Fanning has accepted a new job in Georgia. Fanning has served as superintendent for the past eight years. Earlier this year the Floyd County Board of Education renewed Fanning's contract for four more years.


Logan County Man Killed in Single Car Crash.

A Logan County man was killed Wednesday afternoon in a car crash on Route 119. The accident occurred in the south bound lane between Danville and Chapmanville. The victim was identified as 54 year-old Randall Meade of Chapmanville. Authorities say Meade was driving a pickup truck in the southbound lane when he ran off the road, when he attempted to get back on the road, Meade’s vehicle crashed into the median


Gov. Ernie Fletcher Secures Federal Funding to Reimburse State Expenses

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will receive $2.7 million in emergency relief aid from the Federal Highway Administration, following devastating flooding in eastern kentucky that damaged roads and infrastructure earlier this year.

Fletcher added that the the money will be returned to the road fund account.

The flooding occurred April 14-15, and ravaged area roads in Pike, Floyd and Martin counties. The most expensive mitigation was the repair and clearing of US Route 460 which cost $ 2 million.

Here is a breakdown of the incurred cost per county and facility:

Pike County

US 460: $2 million
KY 199 : $250,000
KY 1056 : $75,000
KY 122 : $75,000
KY 1499 : $60,000
KY 319 : $50,000

Floyd County

KY 122 : $50,000
KY 404 : $50,000
KY 979 : $30,000

Martin County
KY 1714 $50,000

The Transportation Department applied for the funding in May. The $ 2.7 million award is a part of a nationwide $638,035,565 federal allocation for fiscal year 2007.


Pikeville College Convocation Ceremony Scheduled for August 21.

Pikeville College will celebrate their 119th year of education excellence as the institution will hold its Convocation ceremony Tuesday, August 21 at 11:00am in Booth Auditorium. The convocation address will be delivered by Aaron Thompson, PHD associate vice president for academic affairs at Eastern Kentucky University. Professors will don their academic regalia for the formal ceremony, which will be led by a bagpiper and the bearer of the ceremonial mace. The public is invited to attend.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Pikeville Man to Spend 12 years in Prison, Brother Pleads Not Guilty.

Frankie Branham pled guilty to first degree drug trafficking and a persistent felony offender charge. A trial for 47 year-old Frankie Branham of Pikeville began Monday. The Pike County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office recommended a prison term of 10 years on the drug trafficking charge and 12 years on the (PFO) charge. Branham will serve 12 years because the (PFO) overrides the drug trafficking charge.

A co-defendant Branham’s brother., George is accused with first degree drug trafficking. He pleaded not guilty. His trial is scheduled for later in the year.


Trial of Pikeville man Accused of Rape Scheduled for October.

A trial will begin in October for a Pikeville man that is accused of rape. According to a criminal complaint, 27 year-old Keith Little is accused of having sexual relations with a minor under the age of 16. Little is charged with third degree rape, if convicted Little could face one to years in prison


Mouth Card Woman Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking.

Buffy Kender, 35 of Mouthcard pled guilty to two counts of first degree drug trafficking. The Pike County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office says that they are recommending five years of imprisonment on each count.
Circuit Court Judge Steve Combs will conduct the sentencing hearing


Sunshine Girl Celebrates 90th Birthday.

The Sunshine Girl Lucille Smith was honored Monday as she celebrated her 90th birthday. Smith has hosted the Personal Touch , the longest running show in America for the past 43 years. The call in show airs on 1240 AM WPKE- Pikeville, 1400 AM WBTH Williamson and 1460 AM WEKB Elkhorn City. The thirty minute program airs weekdays from 5:00 pm – 5:30 pm..

Walter May, owner of East Kentucky Broadcasting said that Smith is a fixture in the lives of many people in eastern Kentucky.

Smith said that she would like to think everyone that has helped her over the years especially May that gave her the opportunity over 40 years ago to host a show. Smith added that she can’t wait until she celebrates her 100th birthday.


Woman Found Dead in Apartment in Logan

The Logan City Police Department is investigating the death of a woman found earlier today in her apartment. Chief David White told us that they are working an unattended death. White would not release the victim’s name his office is attempting to notify family. The body was sent to the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Charleston for an autopsy. Chief White says that they are treating the case as suspicious. White says that he will release more information Wednesday


Pike County Coroner Releases Identity of Fire Victim.

Pike County Coroner has confirmed to EKB that the victim that died in a house fire this past weekend at McAndrews was the body of 54 year-old Sidney Gary Williamson. A neighbor told other media outlets that Williamson was the victim. EKB waited until official confirmation by authorities before speculating a name of the victim. Richard Peddicord, Assistant State Fire Marshal informed us that foul play is nit expected to be involved and that the cause of origin of the blaze is expected to be released Wednesday. Williamson’s body was taken to Frankfort where a autopsy was performed to determine identification and cause of death. The Chief Medical Examiner’s Office would not disclose cause of death.


City of Logan Stands to Lose $11,000 Per Month.

Last week we reported that Millinium Teleservices in Logan will officially close for good this Friday. 75 jobs isn’t the only thing that the City of Logan is expected to lose. According to City Clerk Amber Gore, the city is expected to lose $11,000 per month in revenues that was generated by B&O taxes and rent money that came from the company. Gore says that the city is working diligently to lure a business into the Holland Street location.

The telemarketers quit conducting calls last week. Officials with the company are cleaning out the offices, and will issue employees there final paycheck at the end of the week. Millinium says that they are closing there Logan office due to economic conditions.

Monday, August 13, 2007


16 People Killed Last Week on Kentucky Highways

Preliminary statistics indicate that 16 people died in 14 separate crashes on Kentucky’s roadways last week.

Twelve of the fatalities involved motor vehicles and six of the victims were not wearing safety belts. Three of the four motorcycle fatalities were not wearing a helmet. One of the fatalities involved alcohol.

Through Aug 12th, statistics indicate that 524 people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways. This is 27 fewer than last year.


Recent Poll Shows Governor Fletcher Trailing.

According to an independent poll conducted by Lexington firm Preston – Osbourne for the Lane Report magazine shows Democratic candidate for governor, Steve Beshear leading Governor Ernie Fletcher by 18pts. 49 percent favor Beshear, 31 percent support Fletcher and 16 percent undecided.

Fifty –one percent of residents say that they opposed expanded gambling, with forty-eight percent in favor of gambling

The poll found that 77 percent of respondents favor offering tax incentives to encourage alternative energy production and 73 percent said they support specific incentives aimed at attracting a coal to fuel plant.

49 percent surveyed said that the governor called the special session was a political ploy, Thirty-eight percent thought that Fletcher did the right thing and that the Democratic controlled House acted inappropriately by not participating.

In other statewide residents

Attorney General : ( D) Jack Conway 27
(R) Stan Lee 17
Undecided 53

Secretary of State : incumbent ® Trey Grayson 33
(D) Bruce Hendrickson 20
Undecided 46

State Auditor : incumbent (D) Crit Luallen 32
® Linda Grenwell 26
Undecided 40

State Treasurer (D) Todd Hollenbach 39
® Melinda Wheeler 19
Undecided 41

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.


Residents in the Southern Coalfields of WV Among Unhealthiest in the State and Nation

The WV Behavorial Risk Factors and Health Report for 2005 was recently released. Residents of all 55 counties are surveyed by phone on health issues.

Southern WV counties are reported to have the poorest health not just in the state, but in the nation.

Mingo County residents have the highest rate for hypertension, and asthma cases. The survey found that Mingo is the second unhealthiest county in the state.

Here are a list of categories, ranking, percentage, state avg, national avg.

Residents considered in fair or poor health

1 McDowell 45
2 Mingo 37.5
3 Wyoming 37.4
4 Logan 34.0
5 Lincoln,Boone 11.6
9 Wayne 28.6
State 24.3
National 16.2

No Health Insurance Ages 18-64

1 McDowell 35.2
2 Mingo 32.4
5 Logan 30.3
7 Wyoming 29.8
21 Wayne 22.2
State 22.8
National 18.2

No Leisure Exercise
1 Mingo 46.9
2 Wyoming 37.6
3 McDowell 36.0
8 Logan 32.4
9 Wayne 32.0
State 28.2
National 24.6


1 Logan 40.4
2 Lincoln 34.1
2 Boone 34.1
3 Mingo 34.1
8 McDowell 30.4
State 27.7
National 22.8

Cigarette Smoking

1 Wyoming 39.7
2 Mingo 35.8
6 McDowell 32.5
State 27.5
National 22.2

1 McDowell 16.0
4 Mingo 11.9
5 Lincoln 11.6
5 Boone 11.6
10 Logan 11.0
State 10.0
National 7.5

1 Mingo 42.9
2 McDowell 41.1
3 Logan 38.4
4 Lincoln 38.1
4 Boone 38.1
6 Wyoming 36.2
State 32.6
National 25.8

High Cholesterol

1 McDowell 48.2
3 Logan 44.7
4 Lincoln 44.0
4 Boone 44.0
7 Wyoming 43.3
8 Wayne 43.2
19 Mingo 39.9
State 39.1
National 33.6

Heart Attack, Angina or Stroke

1 Wyoming 23.5
2 Mingo 17.6
2 Logan 17.6
2 McDowell 17.6
6 Boone 15.8
6 Lincoln 15.8
State 13.0

1 McDowell 12.7
1 Mingo 12.7
4 Logan 11.7
5 Lincoln 15.8
5 Boone 15.8
The study is conducted annually by the Bureau for Public Health. The results for 2006 should be released within the next six months

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Vanhoose Found Guilty on Three of Four Charges.

Peggy Vanhoose, former finance director for the Johnson County School System was found guilty by a jury in federal court in Pikeville Friday evening. The jury found guilty on three of four charges brought against her. She was found guilty of giving herself illegal salary raises and covering it up, giving herself extra sick days and writing her son paychecks while he was in jail and cashing them herself. Vanhoose was found not guilty of charging more than $6,000 of personal purchases on the school board credit card.

Vanhoose will be sentenced November 27th. Shelby Coleman, a former payroll assistant will stand trial on similar charges this week.


Governor Fletcher Announces Funding to Improve Bypass Road.

During a visit to Pikeville Saturday, Governor Ernie Fletcher announced funding in the amount of $250,000 to begin the project of making improvements to Bypass Road. The money will come out of the emergency road fund.

Also the governor announced that the project will be placed in the six year road plan. Bypass road has become dangerous over the past three years with rock that falls from the mountainside on the roadway. The stretch of roadway has become congested with motorists traveling to Pikeville Medical Center, elementary school and the Exposition center, city officials fear that someone might get hurt. It is estimated that nearly 10,000 vehicles travel Bypass Road daily.

The project is estimated to cost $15.7 million. Engineers plan to shift lanes away from the rock wall and add a fence to catch falling debris.


Pike County Resident Dies in House Fire.

A house fire claimed the life of a Pike County resident. According to the Kentucky State Police, the Upper Pond Creek Volunteer Fire Department responded to a house fire at McAndrews. The blaze occurred Saturday morning at 6:55am. The cause of the blaze is unknown and foul play is not expected to be involved. An autopsy will be performed Monday in Frankfort for positive identification and cause of death. The Kentucky State Police and the State Fire Marshal’s office is conducting the investigation


Two Logan County Men Rescued from Abandoned Mine Arrested.

Members of a mine rescue team found two Logan County men that were missing for a week in an abandoned underground mine at Buffalo Creek. Authorities say that Danny Maynard and Josh Ellis went into the mine to steal copper. Maynard and Ellis got lost while in the mine. Family members found their vehicle last Friday near the mine entrance.

Maynard and Ellis went to a local hospital to get checked out before they booked into the South Western Regional Jail.


75 Jobs Lost in Logan.

Last Friday was the final day on the job for 75 employees at Millinium Teleservices call center. The Logan office will close for good August 17th as employees will receive their final paychecks.

Employees only received four days notice that they wouldn’t have a job. The company cited economic conditions for the closure. Employees were not given an option to be transferred to another office within the company.
Mililinium had been in Logan since 1999

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