Thursday, January 03, 2008


Kentucky State Police Working Serious Car Accident in Pike County.

According to the Kentucky State Police there has been a serious two vehicle accident about 5 miles on Route 195 near Lookout. Motorists need to stay away from this area.


Two Mingo County High Schools Ranked in Top 20 in WV

All 122 of West Virginia’s public high schools were ranked in a recent study conducted by the West Virginia Education Commission.

Two Mingo County Schools ranked in the top 20, while another ranked near the bottom.

The following equations were tabulated to form the annual report. Dropout rate, percentage of classes taught by highly qualified teachers , how many students are properly counseled to enter the college of there choice and how many of its students enroll in a college or university upon graduation.

Matewan High’s score of 83 % ranked it 13th. Williamson High’s score of 80% ranked 20th.

Here is how some other schools in our area fared:

Chapmanville ranked 43rd with a score 68%, Tug Valley 53rd with a score of 65%, Logan 60th with a score of 62%, Burch 87th with a score of 53% , Man 96th with a score of 52% and Gilbert 118th with a score of 32 %.

In category of having the best qualified staff Matewan tied for first.

The best school in the survey was Bridgeport. The worst Montcalm in Mercer County.


Governor Beshear To Release Budget Plan

Governor Steve Beshear is scheduled to brief legislative leaders tomorrow morning (Friday). This will be done before unveiling his budget reduction plan to the public later in the day.

The state is facing a budget crisis and is running hundreds of millions of dollars behind expected revenue.

He has indicated he will likely spare primary and secondary education, and is deciding whether to institute a state hiring freeze.


Frigid Temps, Snow Across Kentucky

Parts of Kentucky reported wind chill readings plunging below zero as a blast of wintry weather hit the Commonwealth.

Ice on many roads would not melt from the use of salt, so, road crews in some areas turned to the use of calcium chloride. And, as the snow continued yesterday, many schools remained slosed, or, on delay.

A warming trend is expected, with highs forecast in the forties on Friday.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Pike County's First Fatal Accident of 2008.

A Mingo County man died in a Wednesday morning automobile accident that occurred on U.S. Route 119 at Zebulon.

According to the Kentucky State Police, Marvin Mayhorn, 46, of Edgarton, West Virginia died when he lost control of a vehicle while rounding a curve . The vehicle overturned into a creek.
A passenger was injured, 47 year-old Sheila G. Hurley of Freeburn was transported to Pikeville Medical Center


Weather Forcing School Closures And Delays for Thursday

The following schools are closed for Thursday:

Buchanan Co, VA
Pikeville Independent
Mingo Co., WV
Mt Christian Academy
Sacred Heart (W'mson)

The following school system will be operating on a two hour delay :

Mingo County Head Start


Roads Expected to Become Slick Overnight

Motorists in eastern Kentucky are expected to have a treacherous drive home this evening and tonight as temperatures are expected to dip into single digits.

The main roads are wet, however roads will freeze over during the evening and nighttime hours.

The area is recovering from its first accumulating snow . Pike County received anywhere from 1.5 inches in the valleys to over four inches in the higher elevations.

Generally anywhere from 1-3 inches of the white powder fell in Floyd, Magoffin, and Martin counties.


One Guard Remains in Hospital Following Prison Attack.

One guard remains hospitalized after being assaulted by an inmate this past Sunday.

Robert Ranum spokesperson with the Big Sandy Federal Prison says that the guard that remains in the hospital has been upgraded to stable condition.

Three other staffers have been dismissed from the hospital.

The FBI is still investigating the situation

The high security prison is located in Martin County. The facility houses 1,600 inmates.


Traffic Fatalities Decrease in Kentucky in 2007.

According to the Kentucky State Police traffic fatalities hit a six year low in 2007.

According to statistics 852 people died in traffic accidents. The death count is down by 61 from the previous year.

State police officials say that the decline in traffic deaths are attributed to tougher seat belt laws.


Logan Co Father And Son Arrested After Stealing Four- Wheeler.

The Mingo County Sheriff’s Department arrested a father and son from Logan County for allegedly stealing an ATV.

Authorities arrested Dave and Christopher Bumgardner for allegedly stealing an ATV in the Gilbert area.

Authorities recovered the all terrain vehicle. The Bumgardner’s were charged with conspiracy, grand larceny, fleeing and obstructing.


Census Data Indicated that Kentucky's Population Increased in 2007.

The latest census shows that Kentucky’s population in 2007 increased by more than 37,000.

Kentucky’s population rose to 4,241,474 from 4,204,444.


Construction of New Federal Prison in McDowell County Ahead of Schedule.

McDowell County officials say that the construction of a new federal prison is well ahead of schedule.

Officials say that the $ 223 million medium security facility is expected to be completed in 2009.

Once opened the prison will generate an economic boom into the area. The prison will employ over 300 workers and generate over $ 35 million each year into the local economy.


West Virginia Second In Coal Mining Deaths.

According to figures from the U.S. Department of Labor, despite West Virginia seeing a remarkable decrease in coal mining related deaths in 2007. The Mountain State ranked second in the country in coal mining related deaths.

Eight coal miners lost there lives while on the job, including two in Mingo County.

Utah led the nation with 10 coal mining deaths.


Kentucky Coal Mines Had Safe Year in 2007.

According to figures from the U.S. Department of Labor, Kentucky coal mines had its safest year in the past 12 years.

Federal figures indicate that Kentucky had two coal mining related deaths in 2006.

That is a sharp decline than the previous year in which 16 coal miners lost there lives while on the job.

Utah led the nation in coal mining deaths with 10.


First New Year Baby Born in Tug Valley Region.

The first newborn baby of the New Year in the Tug Valley Region was born New Year’s Day at 12:35pm at South Williamson Appalachian Regional Healthcare.

The parents are Katherine DeJesus and Jeremy Sparks from Dingess.

The name of the baby boy is Gavin Cole Sparks.
The baby weighed in at 7 pounds, 14 ounces and is 21 inches long


Snow And Ice Cause Problems For Drivers

Snow and ice on Kentucky roadways contributed to a rash of accident across the state. As snow fell throughout the afternoon and night, roads became slick and hazardous.

In some parts of the state, there were dozens of accidents reported. There were so many, police only had time to respond to the ones involving injuries. In some areas, people involved in less than serious accidents, were asked to exchange driver's license and insurance information, and contact police later for an accident report.

In some larger areas (Lexington, Louisville, Northern Kentucky) state crews called in contractors to help clear and salt roads.


Kentucky Lawmakers Facing Budget Challenge

The Kentucky General Assembly reconvenes on January 8th. The Governor and lawmakers are facing a budget shortfall of $364-million.

Governor Beshear is expected to announce spending cuts sometime this week.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


It's A Boy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pike County’s first baby of 2008 was born at Pikeville Medical Center.

The baby was born at 12:35pm. The parents areLeanna and Joseph Jablonski of Millard.

The baby weighed 6 pounds, 8 ounces and was 19 ½ inches long.

The baby’s name is Daniel Isaiah Jablonski.


Two Prison Guards Remain Hospitalized Following Attack

Update on the condition of four prison guards that were assaulted by an inmate at the Big Sandy Federal Prison located in Martin County . The incident happened Sunday evening.

Two guards remain in a local hospital. One guard has been upgraded from serious to fair condition. The other had been upgraded from stable to good condition. Two other staffers were treated and released.

The FBI is investigating the incident. The high security federal facility houses about 1,600 inmates.


Mingo County Man Arrested Following Altercation.

The Mingo County Sheriff’s Department made there first arrest of 2008.

Chief James Smith told us that they arrested Matthew Harris of North Matewan.

Harris was charged with malicious assault, battery on a police officer and obstructing.

According to the criminal complaint Harris allegedly got into an altercation at the Creekwood Apartments located at Newtown. After he left police pulled him over a short time later in which time he resisted arrest.


Two Kentucky Men Arrested for Selling Prescription Drugs

Chief James Smith with the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department says that they assisted in the arrest of two Kentucky men that are accused of selling prescription drugs outside of a Kermit Pharmacy.

James Stump of Phelps and William Bentley of McRoberts were both charged with delivery of a controlled substance.

According to the police complaint Kermit Police Chief Johnny Maynard observed the two men selling two Loracet 7.5 tablets on the parking lot of the Save- Rite Pharmacy.

Chief Maynard was assisted by Sgt. Joe Smith of the sheriff’s department.

Police seized the two pills that have a street value of $10 and a 1998 Dodge Durango.


No Baby Yet in Tug Valley Region

The Tug Valley Region is awaiting the birth of the New Year's baby. As soon as we have a birth we wll let you know.


Man Charged In Organized Crime Case

Harlan County police say they arrested another person in connection with the biggest drug roundup in the county's history.

Harlan Sheriff Marvin Lipfird arrested 33-year old Kevin Howard of Evarts. He is accused of engaging in organized crime. Police say Howard took and sold pictures of undercover vehicles used by the sheriff's department to drug dealers.

He is out of jail on a $100,00 bond.

Monday, December 31, 2007


Investigation Continues Into The Assault of Four Staff Members At Big Sandy Federal Prison.

Four staff members of the Big Sandy Federal Prison in Martin County were transported to a local hospital after being assaulted by an inmate Sunday evening. The facility was placed under lockdown status. No further details were released. The incident remains under investigation.


Pikeville Medical Center To Go Smoke Free Effective Tuesday

Beginning Tuesday (1-1-'08) all properties and facilities either owned or leased by Pikeville Medical Center will become smoke free.

Pikeville Medical Center, Chief Operating Officer Jerry Johnson says that the purpose of the decision is to set a healthy example for the community and to protect the employees, patients and visitors of Pikeville Medical Center.

Pikeville Medical Center will become the first healthcare provider in eastern Kentucky to have a smoke free campus.


Police Apprehend Suspect Connected With Robbery of Grocery Store.

The Kentucky State Police arrested a male suspect accused of robbing the Virgie IGA Saturday afternoon.

Trooper Darren Stapleton apprehended the individual Sunday afternoon. Authorities did not release his name.

Sunday, December 30, 2007


MSHA Levies Fine Against Eastern Kentucky Coal Operator.

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration says that they are proposing that an eastern Kentucky coal operator be levied a $220,000 fine, stemming from a mining accident that occurred in Perry County that left one miner burned.

MSHA says that the incident resulted from a flagrant violation of mine safety laws..

MSHA says that the incident happened last February at Perry County Coal’s E4-1 Mine in Hazard when a miner was attempting to reinstall a high voltage splice box.


ATV Related Accidents Are On The Rise In Kentucky.

ATV related injuries and deaths continue to be on the rise in Kentucky. Statistics though Nov 1st indicate that 260 people were injured and 30 had been killed.

In 2006, 241 people were injured and 21 perished .

One study showed that at least one safety guideline taught in a training course or printed on manufacturers’ label were violated in all ATV deaths this year. The mistakes included riding without a helmet, driving on public roads, us alcohol or drugs and carrying passengers.

Dr. Andrew Bernard, a university of Kentucky trauma surgeon , said many riders don’t think that they can be injured or killed if they don’t follow safety guidelines.

The Kentucky General Assembly passed a law in 2006 that requires all ATV riders age 16 and under to wear a helmet. People older than 16 years of age must wear a helmet when riding on public land.

Captain Tim Lucas with the Kentucky State Police said that education and enforcement of current laws are very important to lowering the state’s accident rate.


Pike County Family Suing Police .

John and Sharon Keene say that police used excessive force when they shot and killed there son John Michael Keene.

Keene and his girlfriend Misty Damron were being pursued by police after they were accused of holding up a Pikeville business.

Police ended the chase successfully on US 23 in Pikeville, by using a tire deflation device . Damron the driver of the vehicle surrendered. Then according to police Keene was trying to get out of the vehicle to escape, when authorities attempted to apprehend him, he then apparently reached for a weapon, at which time he was fatally shot.

Damron is currently serving five years in prison after she was convicted of two counts of first degree robbery, fleeing and evading and possession of a controlled substance.


Easten Kentucky Coalfields Produced Far Less Coal in 2007.

Last week we reported that coal production in Kentucky fell by 5.2 % in 2007.

The eastern Kentucky coalfields were hit even harder. Coal production in the eastern part of the state saw a nine percent drop.

Western Kentucky coal mines produced five percent more coal than in 2006.

Kentucky Coal Association President Bill Caylor says that coal companies mined less coal due to low coal prices, an increase in the cost of diesel and steel, cost of litigation and also higher cost of complying with new laws

Officials say that less coal means less coal severance tax dollars to go around to fund projects.


Eastern Kentucky Man Admitted to Helping Kill Constable.

Tommy Baldridge, one of the two men accused of killing a former Johnson County constable last year will spend 25 years behind bars and he also must testify against a co-defendant in the case.

Baldridge admitted that he participated in the murder of James Mollette.

Baldridge pleaded guilty to facilitation to commit murder, burglary , theft and tampering with physical evidence.

Baldridge will testify against Chris Fairchild.


Pike County Grocery Store Robbed.

The Kentucky State Police is continuing there search for a suspect that robbed the Virgie IGA Saturday afternoon.

Authorities say that a man wearing a ski mask armed with a small hand gun came into the store and demanded money.

The suspect fled with an undetermined amount of cash.

The assailant drove off in a blue dodge neon.

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