Thursday, August 23, 2007


Pike County Judge-Executive Released from Hospital Will Return To Work Next Week.

Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford was discharged from an area hospital. Rutherford was admitted to Pikeville Medical Center on Tuesday for an undisclosed illness.

Rutherford is expected to return to work next week.


Pike County Couple Admits in Being Part of Drug Ring.

A Pike County couple pleaded guilty this week in federal court in London on drug charges.

Loicilla and Steve Tackett admitted that they bought cocaine from Langley resident Pamela Justice.

Louicilla Tackett admitted that she bought cocaine from Justice for several years, her husband admitted to also selling Justice marijuana.

Justice and 11 known co-defendants were indicted in March by a federal jury for operating a multi-million dollar, multi state drug cartel in Pike, Floyd, Johnson and Knott counties.

Steve Tackett is facing up to eight years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. Louicilla Tackett faces four years of prison time and a maximum fine of $250,000

The Tackett's have agreed to testify against other defendants if the case goes to trial.


Federal Jury Deliberation Continue This Hour in Pikeville.

A federal jury is deliberating this hour in Pikeville to decide the fate of Johnson County resident Shelby Jean Coleman.

Coleman a former payroll assistant of the Johnson County School System is accused of embezzling $500,000. Authorities say that Coleman illegally gave herself pay raises, unearned sick days and writing Michael Vanhoose paychecks while he was in jail.

The jury has been deliberating since noon.

A co-defendant Peggy Vanhoose was found guilty on similar charges on Aug 10.


Peggy Vanhoose Files Motion to Have Guilty Verdict Overturned or Grant Her New Trial.

Peggy Vanhoose, former finance director of the Johnson County School System filed a motion in federal court in Pikeville has asked Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove to reconsider a jury’s verdict. Vanhoose is asking the judge of a judgement of acquittal or grant a new trial.

Vanhoose was convicted two weeks ago of illegally increasing her salary, writing her son paychecks while he was in jail, and awarding herself unearned sick days.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Nov 27. Vanhoose faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $ 250,000.
The trial of co-defendant , Shelby Jean Coleman began this week in Pikeville

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher Hands Out Grant Money During a Visit to Pikeville.

Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher paid a visit to Pikeville as he gave out over half of a million dollars in funding to the Pike County Health Department and the City of Pikeville.

The Health Department was awarded $250,000 from the Appalachian Regional Commission. The money will be used to purchase a mobile medical unit.

Paul Hopkins , Public Health Director says that the unit should be operating within the next eight months. Hopkins says that the department will be able to go out into different communities in Pike County to reach people that can’t come out to the health department due to transportation problems. A recent showed that 48 percent of residents don’t keep their appointments due to transportation problems.

Fletcher also awarded $300,000 to the City of Pikeville. The money will go toward paving the city streets. The funding comes from the state road fund.

City Manager Donovan Blackburn says that the city should be able to begin paving projects within the next two months.

The governor made the announcement at the Pike County Health Department.


PRIDE Envi Awards Scheduled for Next Tuesday Morning in Hazard.

The 10th Annual Pride Celebration and Envi Awards will take place Tuesday, August 28th, at the Hal Rogers Centers, located at 101 Bulldog Lane in Hazard.

The celebration will feature special awards for outstanding contributions to the region’s environment since 1997. Special guests will be U.S. Representative Hal Rogers, who co-founded PRIDE, and Governor Ernie Fletcher.

The annual Envi Awards will be presented to schools, volunteers, and community leaders who distinguished themselves in PRIDE cleanup and education activities in 2006-2007. The Envi Award finalists are:

· Elementary School Campus of the Year: Manchester Elementary ( Clay Co ), St. Camillus Academy ( Corbin ), Southside Elementary ( Lee Co )
· Middle School Campus of the Year : North Laurel Middle School ( Laurel Co ), Lee County Middle School ( Corbin Middle School
· College/Community Project of the Year: Somerset Community College
· Tony Turner Volunteer of the Year Award: Ken Kinder ( Pike Co), Alisha and Shauna Turner ( Breathitt Co ), Bond Pentecostal Holiness Church ( Jackson Co )
· Rogers-Bickford Environmental Leadership Award: Jeffrey Thomas, posthumously ( Casey Co ), Rodney Potter, posthumously ( Pike Co), Cindy Ham ( Somerset ), Greg and Suszie Ramus ( Corbin )
· Kentucky PRIDE Award: Henry Hinkle, Hinkle Contracting Corporation

PRIDE serves 38 counties of southern and eastern Kentucky.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Pike County Judge-Executive Admitted to Pikeville Medical Center.

Pike County Judge Executive, Wayne T. Rutherford, was admitted at around 2pm Tuesday afternoon to Pikeville Medical Center for an undisclosed illness.

According to a press release, Rutherford is undergoing a series of tests and evaluations. Rutherford presided over the Fiscal Court Meeting earlier in the day. Rutherford told us that he has been sick for a couple of days.

His office will update his condition sometime Wednesday.


Delbarton Homecoming Celebration Set for Aug 31- Sept 2nd

The 12 Annual Delbarton Homecoming Celebration will be held next week over a four day period. The event will feature plenty of food, activities, parade, food, entertainment and fun for all.

The Delbarton VFD will celebrate their 50th anniversary.

Here is a schedule of events:

Thursday, August 30th

Pet Show 6pm : Town Square
Beauty Pageant 6pm : Opry House

Friday, August 31st

Pig Roast with brown beans & cornbread 6pm : Town Square
Block party 7pm : Town Square
Norfolk / Southern Lawmen Concert 7pm : Opry House

Saturday, Sept 1

8am Car Show: Town Square
8am Arts/Crafts/Food Booths : New City hall
9am Kids Celebrity Breakfast : Opry House
9am Health Screening : Connolly Memorial Church
10am Quilting Show: Connolly Memorial Church
10am Fire Competition : Fire Dept
11am Kids Fire Safety Class: Fire Dpt
Noon Chili cook-off : Town Square
Noon Parade
12:30pm Kids Games : New City Hall
1pm Foundation Builders : New City Hall
1pm Kids Run : New City Hall
6pm Bluegrass Music: Town Square
7pm Chili Chips& Cheese: Town Square

Sunday, Sept 2nd

1pm King of Kings Skate Board Ministry : Town Square
4pm Ice Cream Social & Feast : Town Square
6pm Drive In Theater : Fire Dept
5pm Gospel Sing : Town Square


Mingo county Sheriff Lonnie Hannah's Ouster Suit Begins Wednesday.

The ouster suit filed against Mingo County Sheriff Lonnie Hannah is scheduled to begin Wednesday in Mingo County Circuit Court. The hearing will be conducted by a special three judge panel.

The panel consists of Fred L. Fox II of Fairmont, Lewis Marks Jr of Clarksburg and Thomas Keadle of Buchannon.

The suit was filed by Larry Hamrick and former Mingo County Commissioner Halcy Hatfield. The two men accuse Hannah of abusing his powers

Ouster suits have been common this year in Mingo County. Earlier this year Hannah along with Commissioner David L Baisden filed a similar suit against Commissioner Greg Hootie Smith. However Baisden wrote a letter to the three judge panel stating that he was wanting to remove his name from the suit. The panel hasn’t ruled in that case.


Pike County Fiscal Court Conducts Meeting.

The Pike County Fiscal Court conducted their regular scheduled meeting Tuesday. The governing body took the following action.:

Awarded grant money to the following Volunteer Fire Departments.

Coal Run VFD = $50,000, Hatfield VFD $25,000, Sycamore VFD $50,000

Hope of Pikeville was awarded a grant of $50,000

Acknowledged the commissary report from the county jail.

Authorized a semi – annual payment $141,731.11 for the construction of the county jail

Authorized to pay Steve Thacker Construction $77,400 and Underground Electric Service $518.46 for work that they performed at the Long Fork Community Center.


Two Pike County Employees Retires

The Pike County Fiscal Court honored two employees that are retiring.

Donnie Johnson, Pike County Deputy Road Commissioner and Michael Robinson, heavy equipment operator for District Four were honored: both served the county for 27 years.

Pike County Judge –Executive Wayne T. Rutherford says that Johnson served the county well and that he was a dedicated employee. District Four Magistrate, Kenneth Robinson says that Robinson will be missed.

Both men were honored with a luncheon and presented with plaques.


Pike County Names Drug Control Policy Director.

The Pike County Fiscal Court named Roy G. Head , Director of the County’s Office of Drug Control Policy. The Office is designed to coordinate all of the county’s activities related to the reduction of drug abuse and its consequences. Head will work in partnership with UNITE, Westcare, Pike County Sheriff’s Office, Pike County Health Department , Pike County Board of Education Task Force and other agencies.

Head is a retired DEI agent with over 26 years of service.

Judge – Executive Wayne T. Rutherford says that drug use in our area is at a epidemic stage and that he is honored to have someone with an excellent resume to fill the position. Rutherford says that Head will venture into the county’s schools to educate students about drugs.


Governor Ernie Fletcher to Kickoff " No Casino Tour" in Pikeville Wednesday.

Governor Ernie Fletcher will kickoff his " No Casino Tour" Wednesday afternoon at 3:45pm. Fletcher will hold a town hall forum inside the Pikeville College Community Technology Center, Room 125.

The governor will be talking about the the harmful effects that casinos would have on the Commonwealth.


Ten killed on Kentucky Roadways Last Week.

Preliminary statistics indicate that 10 people died in eight seperate crashes on Kentuck'y roadways last week.

All 10 of the fatalities involved motr vehicles and seven of the victims were not wearing seat belts. The seat belt status of one of the victims is unknown at this time. Two of the fatalities were the result of crashes that involved the suspected use of alcohol.

Through Aug 19th preliminary stats indicate that 536 have died this year on Kentucky roads. This is 29 fewer than last year.

Of the 432 motor vehicle fatalities 43 percent were using safety belts.

Of the 69 motorcycle fatalities only 40 percent were using helmets


Jobs coming to Johnson County.

Celerity Automations will hire 600 people over the next five years. CEO Ron Ward says that the annuall wages will exceed $50,000. The company in the near future will be producing machines such as a linear transport vehicle. They will then sell them to consumer goods companies at $250,000 each.

The company says that they will need to hire between 40 to 50 employees within the next five months.


Kentucky's Medicaid Commissioner Stepping Down.

The head of the state's Medicaid program is stepping down at the end of the monthafter little more than a year on the job.

Glen Jennings will leave the post on Aug 31st. He will be replaced by Shawn Couch.

Jennings took the job in June 2006 after serving as executive director of the Kentucky Office of Insurance.

Jennings helped oversee the program's transition into a modern, computerized system that simplified the claim's process.

He also worked with advocacy groups to develop new measures of providing Medicaid services to elderly and disabled people in their homes.


Use of Prescription Painkillers Increases.

Purchases of prescription painkillers have soared in Kentucky in recent years, but experts say the trend is leveling off.

Purchases of five major painkillers increased 62 percent in Kentucky between 1997 and 2005, while the nation saw an 88 percent hike, according to an analysis by the Associated Press odf statistics from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The figures are based on purchases at retail stores.

Purchases of oxycodone- the main ingredient in brand name oxycontin- quadrupled in Kentucky in that timeperiod. Sales of hydrocodone , which has quietly outpaced other painkillers in recent years, has more than doubled.

Morphine purchases in Kentucky showed an 88 percent increase, far below the national 154 percent jump. However, purchases of codeine, an opiate, dropped 50 percent and meperidine, commonly sold as demerol,dropped 12 percent.

Kentucky ranks 43rd in the nation in terms of increases in prescription painkiller purchases, according to the AP analysis. The seven staes that border Kentucky were ranked as follows :

Tennessee = 1st

Missouri = 7

West Virginia = 14

Ohio = 30

Virginia = 35

Indiana = 42

illinois= 50


Police Find Suspect Dead.

Police say the suspect, Larry Boyd, who kidnapped his estranged girlfriend, , in Buchanan County, Virginia and took her to the Mouthcard area and shot her was found dead Monday morning by Kentucky State Police. He died due to an apparent self inflicted injury and was found in the area of the incident. Shephard managed to go to a nearby house on Sunday following the assault and managed to call authorities. She was transported to a Virginia hospital.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Coalfield Visitors Bureau Loses Two Funding Sources.

It is a battle of tax dollars between the established Coalfield Convention and Visitors Bureau and the new Hatfield McCoy Convention Visitors Bureau.

The CVB is headed up by Cleeta Mullins. The Hatfield McCoy Bureau is headed by Glen Yost, Greg Wooten, Chad Akers and Debrina Williams.

Recently the CVB lost hotel occupancy tax dollars from Logan County and the Town of Man to the HMCVB. Now they are going for the support of the City of

The CVB has an annual budget of $100,000. In the past week it has lost nearly 30 percent of that revenue. The City of Logan currently pays $20,000 annually.

The CVB serves Mingo, Logan ,Lincoln, Boone and Wayne Counties the bureau promotes tourism for the five counties.

Last year the City of Williamson paid nearly $6,800.00 in taxes, Gilbert just over $1,200.

The CVB was established seven years ago. Mullins says that 40 percent of the budget is set aside for salaries, 40 percent for advertising and 20 percent for operating expenses.


Pikeville Elementary Searching For New Principal.

The two schools that consist the Pikeville Independent School System are now searching for a new principal.

Friday was the last day on the job for Dustin Combs as principal of Pikeville Elementary. The Knott County resident took the helm as Director of Federal Programs for Knott County Schools. Combs had been at Pikeville Elementary for two years.

Pikeville High School is continuing there search to replace former principal Jon Statton. Royce Mayo is serving as acting principal.


Delbarton Man Caught Growing Marijuana.

The West Virginia State Police along with the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department apprehended a Delbarton man after they were notified by a concerned citizen that someone was growing pot on their back porch.

42 year-old Terry Pauley remains in jail after he was charged with manufacturing a controlled substance and simple possession. Bond was set at $11,000.

According to authorities they found two marijuana plants estimated at $5,000.


Virginia Woman Allegedly Kidnapped and Assaulted by Estranged Boyfriend.

A Virginia woman was transporteed to an area hospital after she claims that she was beaten and kidnapped by her estranged boyfriend. The incident occurred Saturday.

The Dickinson County woman went to a residence in the Mouthcard area and told the occupant that she had been taken from a house in Virginia, forced into a vehicle, driven to Pike County and was assaulted.

According to the release from the KSP no arrests have been made. The Kentucky State Police, FBI, Dickenson and Buchanan Sheriff's Departments are investigating the case.


Ohio Man Arrested on Burglary Charges.

According to the Kentucky State Police, a suspect that is believed to be behind of two armed robberies at the Fast Lane convience store in South Williamson is behind bars. The Mingo County Sheriff’s Department arrested Glen Cook of Hamilton, Ohio. The arrest came after a routine traffic stop. The Mingo County Sheriff’s Department was notified to be on the look out for Cook’s vehicle.

Cook was charged with two counts of first degree robbery and two counts of theft over $300.

Cook is believed to be behind both robberies of the business. The incidents occurred Saturday morning and July 21st.

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