Friday, February 22, 2008


Community Action Program Seeks Emergency Heating Funds

Many families in eastern Kentucky are on a fixed income, and many of them rely on assistance from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Apparently, the program has run out of money.

Case managers and other community action officials are in Frankfort talking with legislators about House Bill 153, which would provide the program with $10-million dollars in emergency benefits.


Governor Beshear Plans To Overhaul Retirement System

Kentucky's retirement system covers more than 445,000 people, and to prevent it from going broke, Governor Beshear says he has a plan to overhaul it.

The Governor said Thursday he wants to take action now to ensure benefits for future public school teachers and state and county government employees. Essentially, the plan calls for making employees work longer before retirement, and reduces annual cost of living increases for retirees.


Five Former Knott County Employees File Suit

Although Knott County Judge-Executive Randy Thompson has denied terminating workers for political reasons, three more former employees have joined in a lawsuit against him.

In January, two former employees filed a lawsuit claiming a violation of their rights after they claimed Thompson's associates told them not to support his opponent, Mike Hall, in the November, 2006 elections.

The five former employees are seeking unspecified damages and reinstatement.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Manager of Jenny Wiley State Park Placed On Administrative Leave.

The Kentucky Commerce Cabinet has confirmed that Scott Ringham, manager of Jenny Wiley State Park, has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of an investigation.

The spokesperson for the Commerce Cabinet failed to reveal the nature of the investigation.
Ty Lindon is serving as interim manager


No One Injured In Vehicle Accident. Mishap Investigated As Possible Hit And Run.

A spokesperson with the Kimper Volunteer Fire Department informed EKB that no one was injured in a single vehicle accident that happened at around 7:22a.m. Thursday morning on Route 194 at Kimper.

The spokesperson said the accident is under investigation and is being treated as a possible hit and run.


11 Fire Departments From Two Counties Responded To Structure Fire In Logan County.

Eight families in Logan County are homeless after a fire engulfed the three story Briarwood Suites Apartment Complex in Logan County.

The fire began Thursday morning around 9:50 a.m. Firefighters from 11 fire departments, including one out of nearby Boone County, responded.

Two firefighters and three residents were treated and released at Logan Regional Hospital.

A spokesperson from the Logan Fire Department told us that residents heard several blasts. The origin of the fire remains unknown .


Turkey Creek Volunteer Fire Department Responds To Truck Fire.

Members of the Turkey Creek Volunteer Fire Department responded to a truck fire at around 9:15 p.m. Thursday night on Route 292. No one was injured.


Casino Proposals Now Number Three

A proposal to legalize casinos in Kentucky has been slowed down stemming for discord among House lawmakers. A House committee is faced with three casino proposals.

The proposal presented by Governor Beshear would change the Constitution to allow 12 casinos across the state. It would allow seven to be built at horse tracks.

Another proposal guarantees no casinos at horse tracks, and a proposal presented by Representative Joni Jenkins would guarantee up to five casinos at horse tracks.

One issue dividing legislators centers around whether voters should have the right to turn them away, or, whether the decision should be made by locally elected officials.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Bill That would Abolish Kentucky Treasury Office Advances Out Of Committee.

Kentuckians would vote for one less statewide officer under legislation approved by the Senate State and Local Government Committee.

Senate Bill 14, sponsored by Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, would put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot. If approved by a statewide majority, the Treasurer's office would be eliminated and its duties divided among other executive branch agencies. "The duties of the state Treasurer can be fulfilled by the Finance and Administration Cabinet," Thayer said.

Committee changes to SB 14 would also move the state Auditor and Attorney General elections to non-partisan ballots. Senate President David Williams, who authored the changes, noted those offices' oversight and watchdog roles as reasons for the switch. Under the plan, the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, and Commissioner of Agriculture would remain as partisan elected state officers.

The bill, which passed on a 6-4 vote, now moves to the Senate floor

Courtesy : General Assembly Website.


Cervical Cancer Vaccine For School-Age Girls

A cervical cancer vaccine would be added to the list of immunizations required for school-age girls under legislation that the House passed 56-37 today.

House Bill 396 as passed would allow parents or guardians to opt their children out of the vaccinations for any reason.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. David Watkins, D-Henderson, would also require the state to provide the public with education materials on the vaccine, cervical cancer and human papillomaviruses (HPV), the group of sexually transmitted viruses associated with the development of cervical cancer.

"There is no treatment for this once you get it, but there is prevention. And an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," Watkins said, adding that the vaccine prevents up to 70 percent of cervical cancer cases caused by HPV.

The target population for the vaccine--which is delivered in three doses at a total cost of $290 per person--is 9 to 26 year old females, although the bill would specifically target sixth-graders, Watkins said. Girls who are underinsured or uninsured would receive the vaccine from their local health departments.

Courtesy : General Assembly Website.


First Bill Lands On Kentucky Governor's Desk

A bill dealing with driver's licenses for active-duty military service members will be the first to reach Gov. Steve Beshear's desk.

House Bill 168, sponsored by Rep. Tommy Thompson, D-Owensboro, was approved unanimously by the Senate this afternoon. The bill would allow those serving outside the state up to 90 days to renew their driver's licenses after returning to Kentucky. They could not be cited for driving without a license during that period.

The Senate also approved a bill aimed at saving the state money on purchasing contracts. Under Senate Bill 100, sponsored by Sen. Gary Tapp, R-Shelbyville, contracts that call for particular items could substitute equivalents if they provide a better value. The bill, Tapp said, is directed at "sole source" contracts, where a particular item is described in the contract, allowing the price of that specified object to be driven up and costing taxpayers more money.

Courtesy : General Assembly Website


WV Auditor Lists Salaries of State Employees.

For the second consecutive year West Virginia Auditor Glen Gainer has posted the 2007 salaries for 66,075 state employees on his website.

The salaries listed are pre-tax.


WV DOH Announced Dingess Tunnel To Be Closed Sunday.

A spokesperson for the West Virginia Department of Highways announced that the Dingess Tunnel will be closed Sunday to vehicular traffic from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Road crews will be cleaning ditches.

Emergency vehicles will be permitted to travel through the tunnel.


Williamson Fire Department Receives Grant.

The Williamson Fire Department was recently awarded a federal grant in the amount of

The money will be used to assist with updating operations and safety equipment.

A portion of the money will be used to purchase a exhaust removal system for the fire engines.

Fire Chief Jerry Mounts says that a safe level for carbon monoxide is 9ppm. The unit will reduce the level of carbon monoxide after they start up the fire trucks.

Mounts says with the doors shut that level climbs to 1,326ppm.


Johnson County Circuit Judge Denies Shock Probation Request.

A Johnson County Circuit Court Judge sided with Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Tony Skeans’ recommendation of denying Brent Cantrell shock probation.

Cantrell is currently serving a 50 year prison sentence after being convicted on numerous drug charges.


Inez City Clerk Resigns After One Week

The City of Inez is looking for another clerk. City Commissioners named Candy Crum as temporary clerk after the resignation of Brianna Hinkle. Hinkle quit after only one week on the job citing personal reasons.

The commission is hoping to fill the position within the next month


Mingo County Man Acquitted.

Mingo County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Sparks told us that a jury found Phillip Scott Vance not guilty that he conspired with his wife to break into his ex – wife’s home and steal jewelry. Vance testified that he had knowledge of his wife’s actions


Martin County Couple Found Not Guilty Of Child Abuse.

A Martin County couple was acquitted by a jury Wednesday afternoon.
Helen Bowen and her boyfriend Charge Wolfe, Jr. stood trial on charges of criminal child abuse.

The couple was accused of breaking their 14 month old child’s arm and leg.


Pike County Health Department Urging People To Get Flu Vaccination.

118 cases of the flu were reported last week to the Pike County Health Department.

Paul Hopkins spokesperson for the PCHD told us that number is not as high this week.

Hopkins added that if you have not received a flu vaccination it is still not too late.

Hopkins said that last year our flu season didn’t peak out until the first week of April.


Pike County School District Received Small Amount Of Recalled Beef

Add Pike County to the list of school districts across the commonwealth that received a portion of contaminated beef. School officials said food workers were busy Wednesday pulling the beef from school kitchens.

None of the beef was served to students . USDA officials said that nearly 37 million pounds of the recalled beef went to the National School Lunch Program. 17 school districts across Kentucky received a small portion of the beef. The products were sent to wholesale distributors nationwide and bear the establishment number EST 336 inside the USDA mark of inspection.


Gasoline Prices In West Virginia Rise Dramatically

Gasoline prices in West Virginia have risen an average of seven cents a gallon in a 24-hour period.

The rise is based on a gallon of regular gasoline. The price is currently $3.15...Monday's average was $3.08.

The national average is $3.03. Hawaii has the highest average, $3.48, followed by New York at $3.23. Twenty-two states are below the $3 mark.


West Virginia University Generates Money For The Economy

West Virginia University says for every one-dollar in funding they generate $19 for the West Virginia economy. The University points out that for the 12 month period, July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2007, they received $203-million dollars in funding and generated nearly $4-billion dollars in business volume.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Commercial Air Service Could Become Reality in Eastern Kentucky

PIKEVILLE – Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford announced a proposal today from a Florida-based company that hopes to bring a commercial air service program to Pike County.

“This would be part of our overall energy development plan,” Rutherford explained Tuesday. “Having an expansion of travel alternatives for representatives and visitors to this area can only benefit our efforts.”

The 12-page proposal was presented on behalf of the service company Air Azul during the court’s regular meeting.

Unlike some air service providers, Air Azul has what is referred to as a three-pronged advantage. Rutherford says the company would be able to provide commercial, charter and freight flights.

In addition, Air Azul has its own stand alone reservation system to support direct bookings, connections for travel agents and online agencies.

The essentials of the plan would see the air service placed at the Pikeville/ Pike County Airport, where the company says it could place a temporary terminal facility adjacent to the existing facility.


Letcher County Wants To Utilize Pike County Landfill

The Pike County Fiscal Court approved a measure that would allow the judge executive to negotiate a tipper fee from the Letcher County Fiscal Court.

Letcher County wants to utilize the county landfill. Currently Letcher sends its solid waste to London.

Officials told us that Letcher would haul 40 tons of trash per day .


Groundbreaking Ceremony To Be Held Friday Morning At Bevins School.

Good news for eight – eight residents that live in the Big Creek area of Pike County. A groundbreaking ceremony will be held at 11: 00 a.m. Friday at the Bevins School.

Work will begin immediately to provide sewer service to residents that live near the school and Sydney Coal.


Kentucky Secretary of State Purchases 57 Paper Ballot Machines For Pike County.

The Pike County Fiscal Court voted to accept 57 paper ballot machines from the Secretary of State Office.

The cost of the machines is $4,500 a piece.

The new machines won't be utilized until 2010.

A spokesperson for the county clerk's office says that Congress wants a paper trail due to election night fiascos in Florida and Ohio.

A person will go into their precinct, get a paper ballot, circle in the candidate they would like to choose, and then go to the machine and place there ballot inside, the vote then goes to the bottom where it remains locked.

Handicap voters will continue to use the same machines.

To see a model of the voting machine, individuals can visit the Pike County Clerk Office in Pikeville.


Pike County Fiscal Court Increases Pay For Poll Workers.

The Pike County Fiscal Court has increased the pay for poll workers.

Pay for individuals that man the precincts will go from $ 85.00 to $ 150.00.

It remains unclear if the pay increase would go into effect in May.

Pike County Judge Executive Wayne T . Rutherford says that the pay increase might attract more people to work the precincts on election day.


Pike County Fiscal Court Requests Funding for Three Projects.

The Pike County Fiscal Court approved three requests for funding to develop three projects.

The projects include development of the Dorton and Hatfield - McCoy Parks and construction of a walking trail at Fishtrap.

The Hatfield - McCoy Park is located at Buskirk.


Attorneys Ethical Standards Under Discussion

Following criminal charges against three former Lexington attorneys, accused of stealing more than $65-million dollars in a diet drug settlement, a group of lawyers and judges are discussing if there's more Kentucky courts can do to prevent wrongdoing by attorneys.

Kentucky's Mass Tort and Class-Action Litigation Committee are looking at issues aimed at strengthening ethics rules for lawyers.


Anit-Gambling Coalition Headed For Frankfort

An anti-gambling coalition made up of women's organizations across Kentucky is headed for Frankfort today in opposition to Governor Beshear's plans for casino gambling.

They claim casino gambling will bring addiction, bankruptcy and destroy families.


Weather Conditions Blamed For Train Derailment

A train derailment which ocurred Monday morning, at the intersection of Route 7 and Route 899 on the Floyd/Knott Counties line, has been blamed on the weather.

Transportation officials say as a result of an extreme shift in temperatures, going from very warm Sunday to cold in a few short hours, the rails shifted. The six cars involved didn't fall over, but, their wheels came off the tracks.

Officials say other trains were either stopped or re-routed during the all day cleanup.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Prestonsburg Couple Found Guilty of Illegal Dumping.

A Floyd County couple was sentenced to six months probation and ordered to pay a $ 500 fine plus court costs.

Adam and Sarah Little of Prestonsburg were found guilty of having an illegal dump.

The dump site was located at Bull Creek. Authorities found several pieces of trash that had their name on it.


WV Lawmaker Introduces Bill That Would Ban Cell Phone and Texting Use While Driving.

A Kanawha County House of Delegates member has introduced a bill that would make it a misdemeanor to text or talk on a cell phone while driving. The penalty would be a $25 fine.

Democrat Nancy Guthrie says passage of the bill would help highway safety..

The measure would limit cell phone use to hands-free devices.

The ban would exclude police, emergency personnel or other government officials.


High Profile Murder Trial Could Be Moved

A high profile triple murder case could be moved to eastern Kentucky.

Carter County resident Robert Drown is accused of killing Jennifer Ison and her two daughters. The trial could be moved to Johnson County.

Defense lawyers for Ison would like the trial to take place in either Lexington or Louisville while the prosecution requested Johnson or Floyd Counties.

Carter County Circuit Court Judge Rebecca Phillips says that Paintsville would be an ideal place because the couthouse has adequate security and also there is a jail next door.

Drown is facing the death penalty if convicted.


Kentucky Highway Fatality Report.

Preliminary statistics* indicate that thirteen people died in twelve separate crashes on Kentucky’s roadways from Monday, Feb. 11 through Sunday, Feb. 17, 2008.

All of the fatalities were traveling in motor vehicles and eight of those victims were not wearing seat belts. The seat belt status of one victim is not known. Two of the fatalities resulted from crashes involving alcohol.

One double-fatality crash occurred in Grayson County on the Western Kentucky Parkway. Single fatality crashes occurred in Bath, Calloway, Fayette, Hardin, Jefferson, Kenton, Lyon, Magoffin, McCracken, Perry, and Warren counties.

Through Feb. 17, preliminary statistics* indicate that 86 people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways during 2008. This is one more than reported for this time period in 2007. Of the 74 motor vehicle fatalities, 52 victims were not wearing seat belts. There have been 4 motorcycle fatalities and two of those were not wearing helmets. A total of 20 fatalities have resulted from crashes involving the suspected use of alcohol. Eight fatalities have been pedestrians.


Logan County Man Leads Authorities on High Speed Chase. Second Person Expected To Surrender .

George Smith Jr, of Chapmanville was apprehended in Williamson but not before he led authorities from the West Virginia State Police and Mingo County Sheriff’s Department on a chase that varied in speeds from 85 mph to 120 mph. Smith was charged with speeding, reckless driving, fleeing, driving without a license nor insurance.

A second person that was driving a motorcycle with Smith was also pursued, but he eluded authorities by traveling through Chattaroy. However, James Smith with the MCSD told us that driver is expected to turn himself in on Tuesday. Smith says he faces numerous charges.


Floyd County Road Plan Project.

The following is a list of road projects that are on the Kentucky Department of Transportation six year road plan through 2012 for Floyd County.

Majority of the list are bridge replacements.

The total amount is $ 6.2 million

Replace bridge at Bosco and approaches at Right Fork Beaver Creek $ 750,000

Replace bridge at Left Fork of Beaver Creek at Drift $ 1.4 million

Replace bridge at Cow Creek $ 1.075 million

Replace bridge over Brushy Creek at Floyd/ Pike Line $ 700,000

Replace bridge on KY 466 over Left Fork Beaver Creek $ 1.75 million

Replace bridge on KY 777 over Right Fork Beaver Creek $ 1.2 million

Reduce curve on at KY 680 intersection at McDowell

Reconstruct Holiday Hill on US 23 $ 500,000.


Former Director Of Funeral Home Pleads "Not Guilty"

Former Pike County funeral home director Richard Justice has been indicted by a grand jury on three new charges of operating a funeral home without a license and defrauding insurance companies.

Kentucky Office of Insurance officials say he pocketed more than $80,000 of pre-paid funeral arrangements. He pled "not guilty" to more than twenty counts of fraud and theft Friday...8 violations of the Fraudulent Insurance Act and 12 violations of the Kentucky Funeral Trust Act.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Jobs and New Businesses Coming to Logan

A groundbreaking ceremony was held last week as new businesses are heading to the Fountain Place Mall located at Logan.

A Gatti’s Pizza restaurant will open in the near future. The facility will be located beside Cinema 8. Gatti’s will occupy 8,400 square feet and will seat over 320 people It will bring approximately 70 jobs to the area.
The Oak Plaza which will be located adjacent to the restaurant will offer 22,000 square feet of new retail shopping space


Car Hits School Bus In Logan County

A two vehicle accident involving a school bus happened Friday evening at Accoville.

Thirty – five students were on board, however, no one was injured.

The driver of the other vehicle was cited for failure to maintain control.


Pike County Road Projects On Six Year Road Plan

The Kentucky Transportation Department unveiled its six year road project plan from fiscal year 2006 through 2012.

Pike County has several projects including US 460 expansion to four lane, I-66, and widening of Thompson Road.

Projects for Pike County tally over $ 392 million

Here is a list of projects and costs.

I-66 segment $ 3.6 million

Thompson Road widening project $ 4.4 million.

US 460 four lane project from Pikeville to Elkhorn City $ 322 million

Construction of bridge on Pond Creek Road over Russell Fork and CSX Railroad $ 8 million.

Bridge Construction at Potter Plants near Elkhorn City $ 150,000

Passing lanes on KY 194 near Deskins Branch $1,050,000

KY-199 Spot improvement , reconstruct culvert at Atkins Branch and improve site distance at Runyon School $ 600,000.

KY 199 Relocate a portion of roadway at Stone $7.45 million.

Bridge replacement at Blackberry $ 400,000

New Bridge on KY 199 over Pond Creek $ 850,000

Bridge replacement on KY 199 over Johns Creek $ 1.3 million

Bridge replacement on Long Branch Road over Island Creek $ 550,000

Correct embankment failure on US 460 from 1.4 miles west of KY 195 to Blair Adkins Street $ 2.3 million.

Bridge replacement at Smith Fork $ 900,000


Members of the Prestonsburg Fire Department Says Goodbye To One Of There Own.

Members of the Prestonsburg Fire Department said goodbye to one of there own this past weekend.

36 year-old Phillip Chaffins passed away last week after a brief illness.

The Prestonsburg High Graduate was an 18 year veteran with the PFD. He was an advanced fire inspector, EMT and a hazardous materials technician.


Fatal Vehicle Accident in Magoffin County. Three People Injured.

A Magoffin County woman was killed in a two vehicle accident Saturday afternoon.

59 year-old Brenda Howard was killed when the vehicle she was operating crossed the centerline and struck another vehicle head on.

The accident happened on Route 7 .

Three people that were in the other car were taken to a local hospital for injuries.


Weekly Newspaper Expands Coverage Into West Virginia.

PIKEVILLE — The Medical Leader is expanding its reach to the mountains of southern West Virginia. Walter E. May, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pikeville Medical Center, announced today that the Medical Leader, a weekly newspaper published by the hospital, will expand its coverage area to Mingo County, W.Va.“This is a great day for Pikeville Medical Center and the Medical Leader,” May said. “Pikeville Medical Center is the region’s medical leader, and the Medical Leader offers us a great platform to inform the public of our high-quality services and in doing that, we can offer beneficial news to the community on positive and progressive topics.”Established in 1999, the Medical Leader has evolved from its original 10- page tabloid into a vibrant and effective voice across eastern Kentucky.In 2003, the newspaper started to print weekly and was distributed to every home in Pike County. Two years later, it expanded to Floyd County, and in 2006, the Medical Leader announced its expansion into Letcher County.“The Medical Leader has grown into a viable part of our community’s conversation,” Keith Bridges, assistant vice president of public relations and marketing at PMC, said. “We are very excited about becoming a part of the communities that make up Mingo County.”The Medical Leader has gone through significant growth during this time of expansion. The newspaper is now 40-plus pages and features full color on every page.As the area’s most circulated newspaper, the Medical Leader offers sections for news, communities and sports.“Our positive approach to reporting the news has not only paved the way for unprecedented excellence in journalism, it has opened our mountains and valleys to a newspaper that is interested in sharing the stories that matter most — stories of courage, stories of perseverance, of faith and triumph and how we are all making our communities a better place to live, grow and raise our families,” Medical Leader Managing Editor Joshua Ball said.The region’s most widely circulated newspaper; the Medical Leader will expand its reach to more than 84,000 homes and businesses in Pike, Floyd, Letcher and Mingo (W.Va.) counties.“Our ability to print to a quality product and provide 100 percent market saturation in these areas offers businesses a great opportunity to expand their reach as well.

Courtesy: Medical Leader.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?