Friday, December 07, 2007


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Judge Orders ARH To Pay Millions In Back Pay

A federal appeals court judge has ruled that Appalachian Regional Healthcare will have to pay more than three and a half million dollars in back pay to nurses of the Kentucky Nurses' Association.

The dispute began in 2005, and nurses say this is the third time they've won this decision. The ruling upholds the opinions of an arbitrator and a federal district judge who say ARH breached an old contract by cutting nurses' hourly wages.

A spokesperson for ARH says they are evaluating their options.


Environmental Groups Challenge Ky Mountaintop Removel Permit

The Sierra Club and Kentucky Waterway Alliance sued the federal government in federal court in Louisville. At issue is a permit allowing International Coal Group to expand a mountaintop removal operation in Eastern Kentucky.

The groups say the expansion would bury streams and creeks leading into the Kentucky River...a water source for more than a million people.


Eastern Kentucky Highway Completion Delayed

Originally, the new section of U. S.119 in Pike County was expected to be finished before Christmas, but officials with the State Transportation Department now say the final section won't be completed until early next year.

The delay is caused by extra improvements that are supposed to keep the road in better condition for a longer time.


KSP Trooper Acquitted Of Reckless Homicide

A Casy County jury needed less than 90 minutes to return a verdict which acquitted Kentucky State Police Trooper B. J. Burton. The jury ruled Burton did not use excessive force when he caused the death of Billy Phillips at the Adair County Regional Jail.

Trooper Burton was booking Phillips for DUI. Burton had been charged with reckless homicide and said he was only acting in self defense, and, did not intend for Phillips to die.


Woman Charged With Murder In Auto Accident

Patricia Dotson of Pike County was driving on KY194, when she crossed the center line and hit another vehicle head-on. Allegedly, the impact caused the death of Helen Smith, a passenger in the other vehicle. Dotson claimed it was only an accident, but prosecutors said she was on high drugs, and was responsible for Smith's death.

No bond was set for Dotson, but a hearing is scheduled to determine if a bond would be appropriate.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Leslie County Man Faces Five Counts Of Murder

Clayton Jackson, after four years of investigation by police in Leslie County, was arrested and arraigned. Jackson is accused of killing Amanda and Chris Sturgill and their three young children.

Jackson appeared in court in Hyden on Wednesday. He faces capital murder charges. If convicted, he could receive the death penalty. He is being held in the Clay County Detention Center and is scheduled to be back in court February 6.


Girl Takes First Steps Since Feet Severed

Fourteen year old Kaitlyn Lasitter began walking last week with the help of a prosthetic leg. Her feet were severed in June at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom. She was riding the Superman Tower of Power when a cable apparently broke.

The Lasitter's sued Kentucky Kingdom in July, and a judge ruled last week that the ride can be dismantled while the suit works its way through the courts. Another hearing is scheduled for December 14.


Elkhorn City To Get New Police Cruisers

Thnaks to a Department of Agriculture grant, Elkhorn City will now be able to better serve over 1000 city residents, as well as surrounding areas of Pike County.. The $27,500 grant was announced by U.S. Rep. "Hal" Rogers for the purchase of two police cruisers.

The grant supplements local contributrions of $22,500.


Floyd County Man Pleads Guilty To Murder

Billy Joe Johnson admitted to killing Michael Slone in 2003. Slone's body was found at an abandoned strip mine in Knott County. It appears to be a retalitaion killing, as Johnson's daughter was found dead in a ditch near her home, shortly before Slone was killed.

Johnson was sentenced to 22 years in prison without the possibility of parole.

Johnson's girlfriend, Carrie Moore, will serve 16 years for her role in the crime.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Turner Will Seek Re-Election

Senator Johnny Ray Turner, D-Drift, announced he plans to run for re-elction. Turner, who represents Floyd, Breathitt, Letcher and Knott Counties, has been a member of the Kentucky State Senate since 2001.

Turner...57...taught and coached in Floyd, Johnson and Magoffin Counties for 28 years.


Officials Meet To Discuss Coal's Future

Officials from Kentucky and ten other states met Tuesday to discuss America's energy future. Although coal is accused of being the chief culprit in the greenhouse gas debate, Governor Dave Fruedenthal of Wyoming says, as long as coal remains this country's most abundant fossil fuel, it must play a central role in U.S. policy.

The summit was hosted by Governor Joe Manchin of West Virginia, the West Virginia Department of Commerce, and, the Southern States Energy Board.


Kentucky Roadways Claim Thirteen Last Week

The Kentucky State Police report thirteen traffic fatalities during the period between November 26 and December 2. One of the fatalities was a result of a motorcycle crash and the driver was not wearing a helmet. Two of fatalities were pedestrians. Alcohol played a part in four of the deaths.

So far, 790 people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways...that is 60 fewer than reported for this time period in 2006.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Strike Will Continue For ARH Nurses.

Members of the Kentucky/West Virginia Nurses Association overwhelmingly rejected the latest contract offer from Appalachian Regional Healthcare.

Union officials say they aren’t sure what’s next, but they hope that a federal mediator will call the two sides back together soon. No new talks are scheduled for the near future.

ARH says that they are disappointed the nurses did not ratify the contract.

The strike is two and a half months and is effecting 65 workers at the South Williamson ARH.


Floyd County Sheriff's Department Makes Biggest Drug Bust Ever.

The Floyd County Sheriff’s Department made its largest drug bust ever.

Authorities confiscated nearly 300 oxycontin pills, 50 hydrcodone pills and several thousand dollars in cash at the home of Julian Irick Jr. Authorities believe that Irick was selling the pills. The pills have a street value of $20,000.

Deputies didn’t arrest or charge the 45 year-old from Toler Creek. Irick wasn’t home at the time of the bust. Authorities say that they will present the evidence to a grand jury for indictment later this week.


Inauguration Preparations Underway

December 11th is the day for the inauguration of Governor-Elect Steve Beshear and Lt. Governor-Elect Daniel Mongiardo. Beshear says it's a dream come true after losing the bid for Governor twenty years ago.


Bell County Sheriff's Deputies Arrest 4

A home in Bell County was raided Monday and four arrests were made. Individuals at the residence, located on KY72, were taken into custody and police confiscated pills, cash and moonshine.


DUI Checkpoint In Johnson County Nets 5

Complaints from neighbors along Kentucky 1107 in Johnson County spurred the Sheriff's Department to set up DUI checkpoints. The result was five unanticipated arrests for drug trafficking and resisting arrest. An unusual amount of traffic on the lightly traveled road caused the neighbors in Thelma to become suspicious.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


Williamson Branch of NAACP Turns 60

The Williamson branch of the NAACP celebrated the 60th birthday of the local branch with a ceremony held Saturday at Williamson High School.

Keynote speaker was Charlestown resident James Tolbert. Tolbert served as President of the WV NAACP for 21 years. He retired a few months ago.

The local branch started Dec, 8th, 1947 led by the late Bishop D.R. Perkins. He served as president for nearly a decade.

Johnny Fullen serves as the current president.


Mingo County Teen Acquitted.

A Mingo County Circuit Court Jury acquitted a 19 year-old Delbarton teenager. Chris Bailey was found not guilty of felony breaking and entering, grand larceny and destruction of property of a Delbarton mobile home


Logan County Man Charged With DUI Causing Death.

A Logan County man was arrested Friday night and is charged with DUI causing death. Authorities allege that 24 year-old Johnny Lee Woody was driving drunk two weeks ago, when his car slammed into a house, a seven year-old girl riding with Woody was killed.


Buser Named Dean of Pikeville College ( PCSOM )

Pikeville College, President Hal Smith, announced the appointment of Boyd R. Buser , D.O., as vice president and dean of the Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine .
Buser has been serving as the interim dean since September.

Buser previously served as the associate dean for Clinical Affairs at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford , Maine, where he was also vice president for health services.


Drug Roundup in Pike County

Twelve people were arrested during a drug round – up late last week in Pike County.

Two big players in the drug industry were apprehended at separate homes in the Draffin area after a four month investigation.

Authorities arrested 48 year – old Billy Joe Anderson, police discovered 10 firearms, a small quantity of marijuana and drug paraphernalia .

Anderson who has prior felony convictions was charged with second – degree trafficking in a controlled substance, trafficking in marijuana, enhanced trafficking in marijuana ( due to the weapons being present ), and persistent felony offender.

Authorities also took into custody Anderson’s step-daughter, 41 year-old Debra Ann Ratliff. She was charged with two counts of trafficking in a controlled substance.

Here is a list of other individuals arrested.

Amanda Derossett, 53, Hellier, one count third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

Curtis Jones, 24, Rockhouse, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

Sandra Mullins, 56, Mouthcard, one count second – degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

Kerby Senter, 48, Draffin, one count second – degree trafficking in a controlled substance and one count trafficking in marijuana less than eight ounces.

David Stewart, 49, Belcher, one count second degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

Dennis Stewart, 48, Elkhorn City, one count second – degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

Rhonda Sykes, 55, Pikeville, one count second – degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

Lena Thacker, 33, Regina, two counts second – degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

James Robert Williams, 61, Hellier, one count second – degree trafficking in a controlled

Tommy D. Williams, 37, Hellier, one count third degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

The roundup was conducted by Operation Unite and the Pike County Sheriff’s Department.

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