Thursday, August 30, 2007


Regional Youth Drug Summit Held Today in Prestonsburg.

The Second Annual UNITE Youth Drug Summit was held earlier today at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg. Nearly 1,000 students from numerous counties in eastern Kentucky came together and took a stand that they are drug free.

The event included games, classes and an awards ceremony.

Karen Engle, director of UNITE told us that the summit teaches kids that you can still be cool and stay away from drugs.

Congressman Hal Rogers along with his wife Cynthia were in attendance presenting awards .

They are currently 98 UNITE clubs that are operating in public schools. UNITE serves 29 counties in eastern and southern Kentucky.

The following schools were awarded regional awards:

· At large School Division : Estill Springs Elementary/ Estill County.
· Elementary School Division : Clearfield Elementary / Rowan County, Paintsville Elementary / Johnson County.
· Middle School Division : Rowan Middle School / Rowan County, Roy G. Eversole / Perry County, Whitesburg Middle / Letcher.
· High School Division : Shelby Valley High School / Pike County

Regional Substance abuse Counselors of the Year:
Tara Robinson / Pike County , Cindy Kerns / Rowan County.

Congressman Rogers says that educating our youth about the danger of drugs is one crucial key on how to win the war on drugs. Rogers added that the drug problem is an epidemic, but there is a cure.

Since UNITE was established by Rogers four years ago, UNITE agents have confiscated nearly 54,000 prescription pain killers, 203 pounds of marijuana, 19 pounds of cocaine and 11 pounds of methamphetamines. Nearly 2,200 individuals have been arrested.

On hr drug treatment front:

874 people have participated in UNITE drug court programs.

UNITE agents along with other law enforcement agencies arrested 20 more drug dealers earlier today in Lawrence County.


Pike County Civic Group Recives ENVI Award.

The Friend’s Of Fish Trap Lake organization was honored with an Unsung Hero Award during the PRIDE 10th Anniversary Celebration and Envi Awards. Darlene Thacker , who is the group’s chairman, accepted the award.

The one-time Unsung Hero Award was presented for dedicated service over the past decade to fulfilling the PRIDE mission of Personal Responsibility IN a Desirable Environment.

The Friends of Fishtrap Lake have taken care of the lake in Shelbiana for the past 11 years. The group’s annual lake cleanup event has been responsible for over1,200 volunteers and removal of 120 plus tons of driftwood and debris. The Corps of Engineers manages the lake.

The awards ceremony was held in Hazard.


The Late Rodney Potter Honored at Envi Awards Ceremony.

The late Rodney Potter was honored at the PRIDE 10th Anniversary Celebration and Envi Awards. His family received the 2007 Rogers-Bickford Environmental Leadership on his behalf.

Until his death in October 2006, Mr. Potter was the PRIDE Coordinator for the nonprofit Appalachian Rural Cultural Heritage Education Initiative. He was actively involved in environmental education cleanups with ARCHEI, as well as Stone Heritage and Elkhorn City Area Heritage Council. Potter was instrumental in having 51 illegal dumps eliminated, over 3,000 bags of trash and 1,400 tires were collected and nearly 1,500 volunteers participated in cleanup or environmental education-oriented activities in the Shelby Valley area.

The Rogers-Bickford Environmental Leadership Award is presented to an individual, civic group or business that has demonstrated environmental stewardship for others to follow. The award is named in honor of PRIDE’s co-founders, Congressman Hal Rogers and the late James E. Bickford, former Secretary of Kentucky’s Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet.


Pike County Man Receives Tony Turner Award.

Pike County resident Ken Kinder received the Tony Turner Volunteer of the Year Award during the PRIDE 10Pike County resident Ken Kinder received the Tony Turner Volunteer of the Year Award during the PRIDE 10th Anniversary Celebration and Envi Awards that were held in Hazard.

The Chloe Creek resident has been involved in cleaning up Upper Chloe Creek since 1980. The retired educator picks up litter during his daily walks and organizes community cleanups twice each year. The first community cleanup took over six weeks to complete and resulted in the removal of over 200 tons of garbage and 144 vehicles.

The Tony Turner Volunteer of the Year Award is given annually to a volunteer or volunteer group that went above and beyond the ordinary to improve the environment. The award is named for the late Tony Turner, who was Vice President and Station Manager for WYMT-TV and a leader in the PRIDE initiative.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Sandy Valley Habitat for Humanity Held Groundbreaking Ceremony.

The Prestonsburg District of the United Methodist Church, Sandy Valley Habitat for Humanity, and the Hurd Family broke ground at SVHFh's new site.

The 51 churches that consist of the Prestonsburg District of the United Methodist Church have pledge to raise $45,000 for this project which will buy all of the materials for the home. Volunteers from the area Methodist churches will begin blitz building with Habitat at 8am on Saturday, Sept 15th and they will complete the project in seven days.

The home will be the 44th home that Sandy Valley Habitat for Humanity has completed in eastern Kentucky.


Floyd County Bridge Ruled Unsafe.

A 30 year old bridge in Floyd County has been closed. The bridge, located on Highway 1101 did not pass inspection by transportation officials. Residents in the Drift area now must use an alternate route while officials decide what course of action should be taken to correct the dangerous situation.


Sandy Valley Transportation Shuttle Services Returning to Pikeville.

The vital link many elderly and disabled individuals in Pikeville have with the outside world will be returning.

Monday night the Pikeville City Commission approved an agreement with Sandy Valley Transportation . Sandy Valley will once again provide shuttle services for city residents. Sandy Valley discontinued the service over a year ago.

City Manager Donovon Blackburn told us that an agreement will be signed within the next two weeks. Blackburn says that the service will more than like begin sometime in October.

Blackburn says that the transportation service will be provided to residents of Meyers Towers and the homeless shelter.

The annual cost for running the route will be $67,000.


Perry County Resident to Perform on Reality TV Show.

Hazard resident Mika Combs has been chosen to appear on " Nashville Star " on Sept 14th at 9pm. The show follows aspiring musicians trying to make it big in the music city.


United Staes Drug Czar to Visit Eastern Kentucky Thursday.

The United States Drug Czar will participate in a press conference Thursday morning at 9am on the steps of the Lawrence County Courthouse in Louisa.

John P. Walters, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy will be on hand along with :

· Fifth District Congressman Hal Rogers
· Bill Patrick, Executive Director of the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, Steven D. Davis, Kentucky Inspector General
· Karen Engle, President/CEO of Operation Unite

The press conference will include: local, state and national efforts to battle the prescription pain killer epidemic. Topics will include law enforcement, legislative and education incentives, along with an update on the KASPER ( Kentucky All-Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting ) system.


Regional Unite Youth Summit Scheduled for Thursday in Prestonsburg.

Several hundred students from Pike, Floyd, Johnson, Bath, Breathitt, Estill, Floyd, Harlan, Knott, Lawrence, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, Morgan and Perry Counties will come together Thursday at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg for the Regional Unite Youth Summit, Awards Luncheon.

The event gets underway at 9:30am. The awards presentation will begin at 12:15pm. Regional UNITE Club of the Year and Substance Abuse Counselor of the Year Winners will be presented.

Presenters are Congressman and Mrs. Hal Rogers


Jamboree Man to Serve Prison Time on Drug Trafficking Charge.

26 year old Hodge McClanahan of Jamboree recently pleaded guilty to second degree drug trafficking. McClanahan will spend 25 months behind bars in prison.


Betsy Layne Man Pleads Guilty to Burglary.

A Betsy Layne man will spend the next three years behind bars after pleading guilty to third degree burglary. Billy Joe Hall, 23, of Betsy Layne will also have to serve four years probation


Shelbiana Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking.

A Shelbiana man was sentenced by a jury after he pled guilty to two drug charges. Milford Hall Jr, 51 of Shelbiana pleaded guilty to one count each of second and third degree drug trafficking.

Hall was sentenced to 33 months in prison and fined $200.


Area Science Teachers Gather for Training.

Middle School Science teachers from the coalfield counties of eastern Kentucky and southwestern Virginia gathered Monday at Pike Central High school for training on how to use new digital microscopes.

Different coal companies purchased 200 of these new digital microscopes at a cost of $80 a piece. The microscopes will be distributed to science classes in middle schools in the coal producing counties of eastern Kentucky and southwestern Virginia.

Instructors from the University of Kentucky provided the training.

John Yopp, Director of the Appalachian Math and Science Partnership and Associate Provost at UK, told us that the scopes can go from 10 power to 200. it allows the students what they see under the scope on a computer screen.

Yopp says that several of the professors at UK have purchased these digital microscopes for their classes.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Re-Naming of Fieldhouse and Agreement with Big Sandy Transportation Highlight Pikeville City Commission Meeting.

The Pikeville City Commission conducted their regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday. The governing body approved the following measures.

Named the Fieldhouse at Hambley Field after former longtime Pikeville High School Athletic Director Ken Trivette.

Amended the environmental nuisance ordinance. The members of the Vacant Property Review Board will now conduct the hearings for individuals that violate the ordinance.

Promoted Keith Gillespie to position of Lieutenant for the Fire Department.

Approved improvements to be made to the multi-purpose trail at Bob Amos. The
improvements include widening the trail, improve drainage, and lay down gravel. The work will be done by H20 Construction at a cost of $101,984.00

Entered into an agreement with Sandy Valley Transportation to provide bus service for residents of Meyers Towers and the Homeless Shelter.

Authorized to advertise bids for the purchase of three new police cruisers.

Gave the city manager approval to attempt to acquire the former Ross Harris Property adjacent to the city park.

Had the first reading of an ordinance to annex 394 acres of property at Lackens Creek

Appointed Joe Thornsberry to serve on the Board of Zoning Adjustments

Appointed Tim Malone and Mark Batten to serve as members of the Technical Advisory Committee.


Inmate Found Dead at Otter Creek Correctional Facility.

A female inmate at the Otter Creek Correctional Facility was found dead by her cell mate. The inmate was identified as 25 year-old Latasha D. Glover. Foul play isn’t expected. Glover’s body has been sent to Frankfort for an autopsy

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Funeral Services Scheduled Monday Afternoon for Steve Phillips.

Funeral services will be held Monday afternoon for Steve Phillips, “ The Voice of the Pirates”. Phillips past away last Friday at the age of 54. Phillips was a retired teacher from Belfry High School. The Canada resident served as Belfry’s public address announcer for over two decades.

Throughout the years the Belfry faithful had grown a custom of hearing his strong and elegant voice belt out the favorite catch phrases, “ It’s tunnel time, there’s another Belfry touchdown .”

Belfry principal Rod Varney said, “ Steve is one of those guys that you can’t replace. Varney also added, in and around the school he did so much for the kids.”

Phillips touched the lives of many through his church work, as an educator or at a sporting event.

Services will be held at 2:30pm inside the Belfry High Gymnasium.

Al of the Belfry feeder schools will be dismissing at 12:30pm.

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