Friday, November 30, 2007


Guilty Plea In Prison Riot Case

Christopher York, 33, has pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal with prosecutors for his part in attacking other inmates at the Big Sandy Federal Prison in Martin County. He is one of five prisoners on trial for the attack. He illegally possessed in prison a combination lock attached to a belt, which he said he intended to use as a deadly weapon. He will be sentenced on March 11, 2008.


Pikeville District Judge Serious About Truancies

Judge Kelsey Friend, Jr. says he isn't afraid to punish parents if their kids are truant from school. He says he's taking the subject very seriously. Eighty cases are pending since the beginning of school in August. Three unexcused absences are considered too many...and, school board directors are sending parents to court at the sixth unexcused absence.


ARH and Nurses' Strike Continues

Two months, and counting. and the nurses' strike continues against Appalalchian Regional Healthcare. Hospital officials are pessimistic about the progress being made toward resolution. Meanwhile, strikers have another $20,000 from the AFL-CIO, and have made a request of Governor-Elect Beshear to intervene in the situation. Contract talks resume today in Lexington.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


150th Unit Based Out of Williamson Put On Alert.

Mike Cadle, spokesman with the West Virginia National Guard told us that the 150th Armored Reconnaissance Squadron has been put on alert.

The 150th is based out of Williamson. Cadle means that an alert allows families to get their affairs in order and receive additional training. The alert also means that the unit could be deployed on a mission anywhere in the world.

The local unit was last deployed on a 16 month mission to Iraq that ended in Feb of 2005.

The 150th is a part of the 30th Combat Brigade that consists of 400 soldiers. The 30th is stationed in Clinton, North Carolina.


Stone Heritage to Host Festival of Trees Saturday.

Stone Heritage will host their 5th Annual Festival of Trees Celebration Saturday from 10 am to 8pm. It will be held inside the Red Robin Museum.

The event is free. Residents can tour the museum and view the 18 Christmas trees that will be on display. Businesses and civic groups decorated the trees.

There will be a chili cook-off, and bake-off from 6pm – 8pm inside the community room. Judging will begin at 5:30pm


CAM Mining Hands Out $ 20,000 in Donations Wednesday.

CAM Mining donated $ 10,000 a piece to the Pike County Domestic Violence Shelter Board and to the Pike County School System and Pike County Health Department’s joint partnership “ The Take Ten Program”.

Donna Dempsey Director for the Pike County Domestic Violence Shelter Center says that the money will be used for operating expenses. The center currently has enough money to operate for the next eight or nine months. The center’s expenses run on the average of $14,000 per month. CAM Mining CEO, Nick Glancy says that this is the second year the company has been able to help the center and that the facility assists several victims per year.

The other $ 10,000 donation will go to purchase the Take Ten Program for both private and public schools’ in Pike County.

Patrice Beverly with the Pike County Health Department says that a recent study conducted indicated that the obesity rate among children is high. The program will be implanted for children in grades K-5. It will establish ten minutes of physical activity in every class. Beverly says that $ 15,000 more dollars is needed to establish the program in every school.

Nick Glancy, CEO of CAM says that this program is about people learning healthier habits at a younger age.

The donation by CAM will allow the school system and health department to begin the program in January in a few schools.


Pike County Tax Collections Going High Tech.

Pike County property tax collections begin Monday. This year the bill will look different .

Lucy Mullins with the tax division says the bill will be a yellow postcard. Tax division employees will be using a computer system to scan the barcode on the bill. That’s why it is vital that the public mail or bring in the bill when making payment .

Mullins says several counties in the state are going to the new automated system. The automation is expected to eliminate most paper work, and make the process of collections move smoothly

The county generated $ 18 million dollars in property taxes last year.


City of Pikeville Makes Another Bid To Grow

Pikeville City Commissioners have voted to annex 164 acres of land north of Mossy Bottom. City officials identified the area as within the city's service area. The proposed annexation area includes four parcels of land...none of which have any structures on them.


Charges Against Two Former KSP Officers Are Dismissed

Charges have been dismissed against two former Kentucky State Police Officers who were indicted on misdemeanor charges of assault and official misconduct. James Phillip Moore and Mark Ridener were accused of assaulting Richard McCrystal of Laurel County. Defense attorneys argued they were immuned from prosecution. The argument worked. The prosecution appelaed and plans to attempt to have the charges reinstated.


Pikeville Christmas Parade Is Set

The Pikeville Christmas Parade will be held Saturday, December 1. The theme this year is "Rockin' Round The Christmas Tree". The event will begin at 5:30pm.


Clay County Man May Get New Trial

Ronnie Lee Bowling of Clay County could get a new trial. He was convicted of double murder 20 years ago, but now, the method used to convict him has been brought under criticism. The method was used to match bullet lead, and it is now determined by experts to be unreliable and deeply flawed. Bowling has used the new discovery to challenge his conviction in both state and federal courts.


Rep. Hal Rogers Announces $250K Award to Pikeville College

US representative Hal Rogers announces a $250,000 award for The US Department of Education to Pikeville College to administer the Upward Bound Program. The program teaches students math, science, literature and foreign languages. The funds will add 50 students to Pikeville College's Upward bound initiative.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Mountain Arts Center Art Gallery to Feature Art Work of Former Pike County Teacher

Janice Beeler Ford was an artist and also taught art for 41 years, five years at Johns Creek Elementary , 33 years for the Pikeville Independent School System and three years as a Associate Professor at Pikeville College.

Ford started painting during her teenage years. With her education, she grew as an artist … expanding her horizons from every medium between oils, colored pencil, watercolors and more. She enjoyed painting still life images the most.

The Mountain Arts Center Art Gallery is located in the left wing of the lobby and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and evenings when the MAC is featuring a show.


Pikeville Business Climate Improving

Pikeville continues to attract new businesses. Pikeville City Manager Donovan Blackburn announced that a Toyota dealership and a tractor supply company will locate in the area near Burger King within the city limits. In connection with this upsurge in the economy, Pikeville will construct a new road to front the new businesses, thanks to a grant from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. The road will be named Lee Avenue and is expected to be completed by Spring 2008.


Floyd County Schools System has a new Superintendent

Henry Webb has been named the new Superintendent of Floyd County Schools. He replaces Paul Fanning, who resigned earlier this year. Webb has been with the school district for more than ten a variety of positions. School officials say contract negotiations will begin with Webb in the next few days.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Mingo County Circuit Court Sentencing Hearings.

Mingo County Circuit Court Judge Mike Thornsbury conducted five sentencing hearings Tuesday.

Denver Joseph Messer, grand larceny , 1- 10 years, ordered to pay $ 1,000 in restitution, probation denied, credit given for 131 days.

Nathan Kenneth Estep, one count unlawful assault, one to five years, probation denied, credit given for 193 days served.

Glen Lee Blevins, grand larceny, one to 10 years. One count of conspiracy, one to 5 years, must pay restitution, probation denied.

Harley David King, grand larceny, one to 10 years. One count of conspiracy, one to five years, pay restitution in the amount of $ 7,200, probation denied.

Norma Pauline Musick, one count of forgery, one to 10 years, ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $ 6,824.00


Two Plead Guilty in Mingo County Circuit Court.

Two people pleaded guilty in Mingo County Circuit Court on drug charges.

Lisa Ailiff pleaded guilty to one count delivery of a controlled substance. Mingo County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Sparks is recommending a sentence of one to five years in prison.

Brenda Ball pleaded guilty to a single count of delivery of a controlled substance. Sparks is recommending a prison sentence of one to five years.

Mingo County Circuit Court Judge Mike Thornsbury will conduct the sentencing hearing in January.


Sentencing Hearing for George Lecco and Valerie Friend Postponed by Federal Judge.

U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver postponed the sentencing of Mingo County residents George Lecco and Valerie Friend until the constitutionality of lethal injection is decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Lecco and Friend were found guilty in the 2005 murder of drug informant Carla Collins.

A federal jury recommended death for the two defendants.

Since West Virginia doesn’t have capitol punishment federal prosecutors want the two moved to a Indiana prison where lethal injections are performed.


Charges Dismissed Against Martin County Man Accused of Stuffing Baby's Throat with Wipes.

Charges are dismissed in the case of a man arrested for allegedly shoving baby wipes down an infant’s throat.

The Johnson County Commonwealth’s Attorney says they expect to present the case at the Circuit Court level in mid December.

This after the 60 day limit to indict expired on the district level.

Jonathan Crum was charged with criminal abuse after police found two baby wipes lodged in eight month old Braden Childers’ throat in early September.

Police say Crum had been living with Braden’s mom , Shauna Childers, for several days before the incident occurred .


Chesapeake Energy Donates $ 10,000 to ABLE Families of Kermit, WV

Chesapeake Energy recently presented ABLE Families of Kermit with a check for the amount of $10,000. The money will be used to train the 19 employees in there different fields.

Affirming Believing Learning and Empowerment ( ABLE), offers the public several programs such as nutrition, after school, material infant outreach program, rest program, GED, literacy and computer training.

In 1999 Chesapeake Energy donated $ 20,000 to ABLE Families to go toward a computer lab.


Two New Businesses Coming to Pikeville. City Also Gets Funding to Construct New Road.

Pikeville’s economic upswing is continuing. City Manager Donovan Blackburn informed us that two new businesses have signed an agreement to locate inside city limits. Blackburn says that a tractor supply company and a new Toyota dealership will be located near Burger King and Lowes.

Blackburn also told us that the city has been awarded a grant for $180,000 from the Kentucky Transportation Department. The city will construct a new road that will run parallel to the new businesses. Blackburn says that the new road is needed so the city can continue to enjoy economic growth.


Pikeville City Commission Names New City Clerk. Karen Harris Slated to Retire.

The City of Pikeville hired Serena Stiltner as new city clerk. The appointment takes effect next Monday. Stiltner replaces Karen Harris. Harris is retiring after 30 years on the job.

City manager Donovan Blackburn says that it is going to be very difficult to replace three decades of experience. Blackburn says that Harris will be best remembered on her tireless work on the Kentucky Avenue Project. That project relocated 104 families into better homes.

Stiltner has served as Director of the Main Street Program for the last three years. Blackburn says that Stiltner is a good fit for the job because she understands big projects and the day to day operations of city government.

Twenty – six people applied for the job.

Monday, November 26, 2007


Eight Die on Kentucky Highways During Thanksgiving

The Kentucky State Police reported eight people died on Kentucky roadways during the Thanksgiving Holiday period.
None of the fatal accidents occurred in our listening area.
Four of the victims were not wearing a safety belt. Three of the fatalities were the result of crashes involving alcohol


No School Tuesday for Matewan High , Matewan Middle and Matewan Grade School.

Mingo County Assistant Superintendent of Schools Randy Keathley informed us that there will be no school Tuesday for Matewan High, Matewan Middle and Matewan Elementary. Keathley says that American Electric Power has a planned power outage Tuesday from 7am to 5pm for the Matewan area.


Unemployment Figure for Pike and Surrounding Counties Drop.

Workforce Kentucky reports that the unemployment rate for the month of October rose in 94 of Kentucky’s 120 counties. However the jobless rate for Pike and surrounding counties dropped.

Here is a list of counties their
unemployment rate and the rate for the previous month.

Pike 5.4 % from 6.6 % = -1.2 %

Johnson 6.2 % from 7.1 % = - 0.9 %

Magoffin 8.7 % from 10.6 % = - 1.9 %

Martin 7.2 % from 8.2 % = 1.0 %

Magoffin County’s jobless figure is eighth highest in the commonwealth.

Jackson County has the highest jobless figure at 10.2 %.

Fayette and Warren Counties have the lowest at 3.7 %.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Santa Claus To Visit Archer Park.

Residents from around the region can now venture to Archer Park in Prestonsburg to check out the annual Christmas lights and decorations.

Park Director David Baldridge says that Santa Claus will stop by and hand out candy to the little boys and girls on Dec 7-8 and Dec 14-15th from 6:30 pm to 8:30pm.

The lights were turned on Thanksgiving night.


Lincoln County Man Killed In Two Vehicle Accident.

A two vehicle accident on Route 10 in Lincoln County claimed the life of one and injured two others.

The West Virginia State Police say that a passenger in one of the vehicles was killed at the scene. The victim was identified as 38 year – old Henry Lee Adkins of Harts.

State Police say that the damage in the crash was so severe , it was difficult to identify the two vehicles.

Troopers say it appears no one involved in the crash was wearing a seatbelt.


Logan City Council Names New Mayor.

Logan City Council named Serafino Nolletti as there new mayor. Former mayor Claude Ellis passed away last week

Nolletti says that he wants to continue to move the city forward. Nolletti says that he would like to find a new tenant to occupy the top facility of the Holland Lane parking building and for the city to apply for grants so they can raze several dilapidated buildings.


Pikeville Medical Center Ushers in Holiday Season.

Pikeville Medical Center ushered in the holiday season as the health care facility held their
annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Saturday evening.

A lot of children were present to talk to Santa Claus so they could tell him their last minute wish list. The Jenny Wiley singers entertained everyone with the singing of Christmas carols.

More than 100,000 lights will remain on until the end of the holiday season


Johnson County Man Pleads Guilty .

A Johnson County man accepted a plea deal from the Floyd County Commonwealth Attorney after he was found in being in possession of over 30 provocative pictures of a minor.

The Commonwealth is recommending a prison sentence of seven years Brian Gilbert of Staffordsville.

Authorities noticed the pictures in Gilbert’s vehicle after he was stopped on a routine traffic stop.
A formal sentencing hearing will be held December 27th


Pikeville Man Facing Several Charges.

The Pikeville Police Department apprehended a Pikeville man late last week after he is accused of breaking into Total Pharmacy Care and stealing several bottles of prescription drugs.

Toby D. Collins IV was arrested at a nearby residence after police identified the suspect after viewing the security video.

The 26 year – old was charged with third – degree burglary, first – degree criminal mischief, theft of a legend drug, theft by unlawful taking, disorderly conduct, assault on a police officer, resisting arrest and possession of burglars tools.

Collins gained entrance into the business by breaking out the window to the front door.

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