Friday, April 04, 2008


Former President Speaks In Pikeville

For the first time since Jimmy Carter's visit in 1997, the city of Pikeville was visited Thursday evening by a former President. Bill Clinton, in an effort to win votes for his wife, Democratic Presidential Candidate, Hillary Clinton, spoke to a crowd of thousands at the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center.

He was more than an hour late, but the crowd seemed to tolerate the situation well. He asked voters to remember when he was President and to bring those times back. He mentioned coal as a part of his wife's plans for the future. He also spoke on her plans for national insurance coverage.

Pike County officials indicated they've invited Hillary Clinton to come sometime in May.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


West Virginia State Supreme Court Votes Massey Energy Does Not Have To Pay $ 76.3 Million Dollar Verdict.

For a second time the West Virginia State Supreme Court upheld a decision that relieved Massey Energy of paying at least $ 76.3 million in a coal contract dispute.

Thursday’s 3-2 vote represents the second time the court has voted on the case.


Kentucky Drug Recognition Officers On Patrol

Driving impaired not only endangers your life, it endangers the lives of everyone around you. Kentucky has specially-trained officers in place on the highways to detect those operating vehicles who are driving under the influence of alcohol and illegal drug.These officers, also known as Drug Recognition Experts, have specialized training above their academy training that gives them an advantage to detect persons who are under the influence of medications.This is not a unique program to Kentucky State Troopers, but one that is used by other agencies across Kentucky too.
Presently there are 80 certified DREs in Kentucky. Of those, 20 are KSP Troopers, 33 are Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement officers and the remaining number are members of local city and county agencies across the state. Only a select number of troopers are chosen for this program. Trooper Derek Sturgill of KSP Pikeville Post 9 is just one of those certified.On Saturday Night, Sturgill allowed the Williamson Daily News to accompany him on a shift. At 4 p.m. his shift began, and before 5 he had already made a traffic stop and had a suspect he believed to be under the influence of drugs in custody. During a routine search for weapons, Sturgill was told by the suspect, “Don’t put your hand in my back pocket, there is a needle in there.”Sturgill carefully removed the needle that was uncapped. Officers face these dangers everyday in the course of their job. “I have gotten several arrests using DRE skills that I might have missed if it hadn’t been for the training,” said Sturgill.The suspect told Sturgill during the course of the interview at the jail that he had been using illegal drugs for about eight years.The suspect explained that he had gone to rehab and had stayed clean for about a year, but had started abusing Oxycontins again several months ago. While being booked Sturgill noted the needle marks on his arms.Officers who are selected for this program undergo rigorous training in a three-phase plan. The DRE Pre-school is 16 hours, DRE School 56 hours and then the 40-hour file certification section of the course.Sturgill went through the training at the Department of Criminal Justice, located in Richmond, Ky., then spent time in Arizona at the Maricopa County Jail, evaluating prisoners who were brought in under the influence of various drugs.The program, which began in the 1970s in Los Angeles, Cal., was such a success in identifying drivers who were under the influence that it eventually expanded and is in 45 states and other countries.The program is managed and coordinated by the International Association of Chiefs of Police with support from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation.The training relies heavily upon the standardized field sobriety tests, which provide the foundation for the DRE program. Once trained and certified, DREs become highly effective officers skilled in the detection and identification of persons impaired or affected by alcohol as well as drugs. DREs are trained to conduct a standardized and systematic 12-step evaluation consisting of physical, mental and medical components.DREs conduct their evaluations in a controlled environment, typically at a police precinct, intake center, troop headquarters or other location where impaired drivers are transported after arrest. The drug evaluation is not normally done at roadside and is typically a post-arrest procedure.In most cases, the person evaluated is the driver of the vehicle and is someone the officer has personally arrested. In other cases, the officers may be called upon to evaluate someone who is suspected of being under the influence, and has been arrested by another officer. Specialized training pays off for everyone. The DRE Officer is asked to evaluate and assist in the arrest simply because of their expertise.A complete DRE evaluation takes approximately one hour.

Courtesy : Tony Christian Staff Writer Williamson Daily News.


Mingo County Authorities Say Chattaroy Man Is Behind Breaking Into Cars.

Scott Helmick of Chattaroy was released from the Southwestern Regional Jail after posting a $ 4,000 bond.

Helmick was arrested by Mingo County Sheriff Deputies. Authorities say the Mingo County resident is behind breaking into several vehicles in the Chattaroy area.

Helmick is charged with several counts of auto tampering and grand larceny.


WV Senate Majority Leader Attempting To Stop Planned Closure of Williamson Job Service..

On Thursday, April 03, 2008, I sent a request to the office of Governor Joe Manchin III, asking that he reconsider his administration’s decision to close the office of the Williamson Job Service and Unemployment Compensation scheduled to take place this month, on April 15th.
I feel strongly that this service should remain readily available to the citizens of Mingo County, without the added strain of traveling to neighboring Logan County. This service has been extremely beneficial in the past, assisting many local residents with acquiring gainful employment.
I have spoke at length with Albert Totten, former manager of the Williamson Job Service, about the effect he feels this closing will implement on Mingo County.
Mr. Totten commented that the loss of this office will certainly mean a lower level of services for the citizens of Mingo County. He mentioned the fact that residents seeking services would have to travel to either the Logan County office, or the Pikeville and Prestonsburg office in Kentucky.
"Please know that I fully realize that there are less federal dollars available for the various services being provided by the federal and state agencies," stated Totten. "However; once this office is moved to Logan, it would be very difficult if not impossible, to ever open one in Mingo County again."
Delegate Steve Kominar and I have scheduled a meeting here at the Capitol for Friday afternoon, April 4, in an attempt to speak with state officials to halt the plans to close the Williamson office. Scheduled to be present at the meeting are Jim Pitrolo, Legislative Liaison to the Governor, and Ron Radcliffe, Executive Director of Work Force for West Virginia. Several Mingo County officials have also been invited to attend.


Kentucky Attorney General Conway Announces Indictments For Three Letcher County Therapists

Attorney General Jack Conway today announced that three Kentucky therapists from Letcher County have been indicted for Medicaid fraud.
Vanessa Rouse, a 35-year-old speech pathologist from Deane; Janice Fields, a 48-year-old developmental interventionist from Happy; and Tiffany Bentley, a 27-year-old physical therapist from Cromona, were indicted on Thursday, April 3.
According to the indictment, Rouse, Fields and Bentley fraudulently billed the Kentucky Medicaid Program for services provided to children in First Steps, a statewide early-intervention program for infants and toddlers with developmental disabilities. During 2006 and 2007, the therapists allegedly billed the state for services that were not provided to children. Rouse and Fields face up to 20 years in prison if convicted. Bentley faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
“I appreciate the hard work and dedication of our investigators that resulted in these indictments,” General Conway said. “Providers across the Commonwealth must understand that if they try to cheat the system and steal from taxpayers, they will be prosecuted.”
Rouse is charged with eight counts of Medicaid fraud; Fields is charged with four counts of Medicaid fraud and Bentley is charged with two counts of Medicaid fraud. The three are scheduled to be arraigned on Monday, April 7 in Jefferson Circuit Court Division. The therapists were indicted in Jefferson County because that is where the Medicaid billing was submitted for review and payment.
The indictment was sought by Attorney General Conway’s Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control. Citizens are urged to report suspected fraud or elder abuse by calling the Attorney General’s tip line at 1-877-ABUSE TIP (1-877-228-7384).


Two Fayette County Residents Charged In Case of 14 Year Old Girl Caught Stripping At Club

Police in Lexington arrested two people Wednesday in the case of a 14 year old girl who worked two days last month at a Lexington strip club.

Tina G. Hobbs and her boyfriend Jimmy R. Kiger were charged with third degree unlawful transaction with a minor.

Police say that the girl told them Hobbs gave her prescription pills before taking her to the club. Hobbs denied the accusation.

Authorities also allege that Hobbs admitted driving the girl to the club and receiving cash from her after the girl worked there.

Police say that the girl worked two days at the club before her parents caught her there.


Lunsford Receives Surprising Endorsement

Bruce Lunsford a candidate on the Democratic ticket for Unites States Senate received an endorsement from Andrew Horne a former longtime political rival and a Iraq war veteran.

The announcement came in Frankfort. Horne dropped out of the crowded Democrat race several weeks ago. Lunsford, along with seven other candidates is seeking the party’s nomination to unseat Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell.

Other Democratic candidates seeking the nomination are Greg Fisher and Michael Cassaro of Louisville, David Wylie of Harrodsburg, David L. Williams of Glasgow, James Rice of Campbellsville and Kenneth Stepp of Manchester.


Man Falls From Bridge

MATEWAN – A freak fall late Tuesday night has left an unidentified man in critical condition.
Just minutes before midnight the 40-years-old victim fell from the Delorme Bridge, which spans the Tug River between Edgarton and Freeburn, Ky., and landed in shallow water and a bed of rocks below.
The victim suffered multiple trauma and head injuries, said members of the Matewan Volunteer Fire Department who responded to the scene.
The MVFD was dispatched to the scene to help STAT Ambulance Service crews get the victim out of the water and up the embankment to the waiting ambulance.
Paramedic Richard Petticrew said the information he had gathered while on scene with the patient was that he had fallen approximately 45 to 50 feet from the bridge above.
A landing zone was set up near the Matewan City Hall, and HealthNet Aeromedical Services was brought in to airlift the patient to a trauma center in Huntington.
“The mechanism of injury and the distance of the fall were two of the main indicators for flying this patient to a trauma center,” said Petticrew.
The flight crew and Petticrew refused to give any information about specific injuries.
Petticrew did say the victim's condition "was critical" at the time of the transfer.
The patient was flown to Cabell Huntington Hospital’s trauma unit, where he was evaluated and treated for his injuries and remains a patient in the intensive care unit.
Nursing supervisors at the hospital refused to give any information concerning the patient’s condition, citing the HIPPA regulations.
Mingo County Sheriff’s Deputies Phillip Muncy and Eric Sherrill are investing the accident. Anyone with any information, or who can make a positive identification of the victim is asked to contact Chief Field Deputy James Smith at the sheriff’s office by calling (304) 235-0300.

Courtesy : Tony Christian Staff Writer From The Williamson Daily News


Johnson County Woman Arrested At Hotel

The Johnson County Sheriffs Deputies arrested a Johnson County woman at a Paintsville hotel room.

Jackie Maynard was apprehended at the Days Inn.

She is accused of having medication, marijuana, cash and other drug paraphernalia in the room.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


General Assembly Approves Bare Bones Budget. Operation UNITE Funded. Pike and Surrounding Counties To Receive Coal Money.

Lawmakers in Frankfort approved a two year spending plan late Wednesday night.

The Senate approved the budget 35-3 and the House 74-21.

Pike , Floyd, Martin, Johnson and Letcher Counties will receive their full allotment of coal severance money which goes toward projects such as water and sewer.

Senator Ray S. Jones II and House Representative Keith Hall says that although this might not be the best budget, it does address the basic necessities for residents in eastern Kentucky.

Operation UNITE will receive two million a year in funding. $ 1.3 million will go to the drug task force and $ 750,000 for the two Westcare facilities.

Public school teachers and employees and state workers will receive an annual one percent pay raise.

Public university funding will be cut three percent.

Six million dollars has been set aside for mine safety.

$ 405 million authorized for university projects through bonding.

The commonwealth will save $31 million through a home incarceration program for nonviolent , nonsexual felony offenders with less than six months to serve.

Authorizes $ 200 million for Kentucky Infrastructure Authority bond pool for municipalities to apply for low interest loans.

The budget does not include any new taxes.

State leaders say that the next two years are going to be tough.


Kentucky Public Service Commission Has Ordered Martin County Water District To Improve Deficiencies In Several Areas.

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has ordered the Martin County Water District to take specific steps to improve long-standing deficiencies in customer service and financial performance. In an order issued today, the PSC set deadlines for Martin County Water to implement the findings of a comprehensive independent audit that was concluded last year. All of the measures are to be completed by June 30, 2009. Among the steps ordered by the PSC are a further rate adjustment, elimination of the backlog of connection requests, improvement of system maintenance and reduction of water loss, and improvement of billing and financial practices. Martin County Water will have to report its progress to the PSC every six months, beginning this July 1, and continuing through Jan.1, 2011. The district, headquartered in Inez, serves about 3,400 customers in Martin County. Martin County Water has been the subject of PSC concern since 1997, when PSC reviews and inspections found problems with recordkeeping, maintenance and system reliability. In 2002, consumer complaints about water quality and poor service prompted a PSC investigation that ultimately led to the audit of the district’s management and operations. The audit was performed by the Barrington-Wellesley Group Inc., an independent consulting firm. Martin County Water paid for the audit with help from the Kentucky Division of Water. State law allows the PSC to hire an independent auditor at company expense. Previous PSC reviews of Martin County Water have found poor recordkeeping, substandard budget and financial controls, excessive water loss in the system, inadequate meter reading and testing programs, poor equipment and plant maintenance practices, and persistent problems complying with regulatory requirements. The independent audit found that Martin County Water has made significant progress in recent years, but still requires substantial improvements in a number of key areas, including operational reliability, financial stability and customer service. Martin County Water did not contest the audit findings or object to their implementation. The audit recommended specific steps to correct many of the remaining deficiencies. Recommendations that the PSC ordered Martin County Water to implement include:* Apply for a rate adjustment beyond the increase granted in 2007 – by Oct. 31, 2008* Eliminate the backlog of requests for connections to existing lines in order to permit connection within three days of a request – by June 30, 2008* Improve collection of past-due accounts – by June 30, 2008* Develop a comprehensive water loss reduction program and prioritize water loss reduction over system expansion until water loss is reduced to 15 percent – by Dec. 31, 2008* Improve procedures to identify theft of service – by Dec. 31, 2008* Take several steps to improve meter reading and timely billing – by June 30, 2009* Study increased regionalization to achieve economies of scale and reduce vulnerability to supply interruptions – by June 30, 2009 Today’s order, including the complete list of remedial actions, as well as the audit report and other documents in the case, are available on the PSC Web site, The case number is 2006-00303. The PSC is an independent agency attached for administrative purposes to the Department of Public Protection in the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet. It regulates more than 1,500 gas, water, sewer, electric and telecommunication utilities operating in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and has approximately 110 employees.


Booster Seat Bill Passes General Assembly

A bill that will require children under the age of seven to ride in booster seats is now heading to the desk of Governor Steve Beshear.

The legislation passed the House 88-8 .

The bill would require children under seven years-old and between 40 and 50 inches tall to be secured in child booster seats. Violators will be issued a warning until July 1, 2009. After that the offense would carry a $ 30 fine, violators could avoid the penalty by purchasing a booster seat.


Kentucky Governor Expected To sign Billl That Would Bar Polygraphs For Victims of Sex Crimes.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is expected to sign a bill into law that would bar police and prosecutors from submitting alleged victims of sex crimes to lie detector tests before pressing charges..

The measure passed the Senate 33-0 and the House by a vote of 91-3.


Logan County Woman Dies From Self Inflicted Gun Shot Wound.

Police out of Logan County say that a woman is dead after she suffered a self inflicted gun shot wound.

Authorities say that 44 year-old Doreen Donahue of Greenville was found inside the home by her mother after she heard a shot being fired.

The incident occurred Tuesday.


Man Seriously Injured After Tumbling 55 Feet Off Of Bridge. Emergency Personnel Trying To Learn Identity Of Victim

A man suffered massive head injuries after he fell 55 feet off of the Delorme Bridge and landed face first into shallow water of the Tug Fork River. The accident happened shortly after midnight Wednesday. The bridge connects Edgarton, WV and Freeburn, KY

Authorities and hospital personnel at Cabell Huntington Hospital say that they do not know the identity of the man because he was not carrying any i.d. plus no friends or family has called to inquire on him.

Police say that the man that is estimated to be in his 40’s could have possibly been assaulted before he tumbled off the bridge because he had a large laceration to the back of the head.

Chief Field Deputy James Smith with the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department says that if anyone can provide any information about the victim contact there office at 235-0300.


South Williamson Business Suffers Smoke and Water Damage

The Big Lots Store located at the Appalachian Plaza in South Williamson is open today two days after the business suffered water and smoke damage from a fire that broke out Tuesday.

Fire Chief Nee Jackson with the Belfry Volunteer Fire Department told us that crews extinguished the small blaze in less than five minutes. Jackson added that the water damage came from the building’s water sprinklers.

The incident remains under investigation.


Pike County Teen Injured In Car Accident

A Forest Hills teenager suffered non-life threatening head injuries that was sustained in a single vehicle accident that occurred early Wednesday morning at Forest Hills.

Nee Jackson fire chief with the Belfry Volunteer Fire Department told us that 19 year-old Shawn Sheppard was transported via helicopter to Holstein Valley Hospital located in Virginia. The parking lot of Wal – Mart was used as a landing pad. Jackson says that the teen lost control of his vehicle and hit a bridge. Speed was a contributing factor in the crash.


The Kentucky Court of Appeals To Hear Oral Arguments Thursday and Friday In Pikeville

The Kentucky Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in Pikeville in four cases between Thursday, April 3, and Friday, April 4. The proceedings will be open to the public.
A three-judge panel consisting of Court of Appeals Judges Michelle M. Keller, Kelly Thompson and Thomas B. Wine will hear arguments beginning at 1:30 p.m. Thursday and starting at 9:30 a.m. Friday in the Division II Circuit Courtroom on the fourth floor of the Pike County Hall of Justice, 172 Division St.
Summaries of the cases the panel will hear are below.
Pikeville DocketThursday, April 3, 2008

Summary: Civil. This appeal arises from litigation regarding an accident between a coal truck, tractor-trailer and van. At the conclusion of the plaintiff’s case, the trial court directed verdict in favor of two defendants.
Pike County judge who ruled in the case – Judge Steven D. CombsAppellant’s attorneys: Della M. Justice and Joseph W. JusticeAppellees’ attorney: Neal Smith

Summary: Civil. Appeal from trial court’s ruling that voided a restrictive covenant in a deed. There are also contract issues between the parties.
Carter County judge who ruled in the case – Judge Samuel C. LongAppellant’s attorneys: Brian C. Baugh, William Craig Robertson III and Mickey Todd Webster Appellee’s attorney: Charles Ray Hughes 3:00 PM 2006CA001647 S.O. v COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY
Summary: Discretionary review from juvenile adjudication finding S.D.O. (juvenile’s initials) guilty of terroristic threatening. Sufficiency of evidence supporting findings; lack of evidence that S.D.O. delivered letter containing threats; admissibility of letter with subsequent alterations.
Adair County judge who ruled in the case – Judge James G. WeddleAppellant’s attorney: Timothy G. Arnold Appellee’s attorneys: Jennifer Hutchinson, Bryan D. Morrow and Ronald Brian Wright Friday, April 4, 2008

Summary: Civil. KFB appeals from an order dismissing its subrogation claims against Elswick. KFB argues that there were issues of fact concerning whether Elswick was a “secured person” under KRS 304.39-070 and that the trial court erred in finding that KFB was required to file a claim against Elswick’s carrier before bringing the subrogation action.
Pike County judge who ruled in the case – Judge Steven D. CombsAppellant’s attorneys: Forrest Waylon Brock and A.C. Donahue Appellee’s attorney: Lee A. Smith
Judge Michelle M. KellerMichelle M. Keller was elected to the Kentucky Court of Appeals in November 2006 to serve as judge for Division 1 of the 6th Appellate District. She also serves as the Court of Appeals representative on the Judicial Conduct Commission.
The 6th Appellate District is comprised of Bath, Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Carroll, Fleming, Gallatin, Grant, Harrison, Henry, Kenton, Lewis, Mason, Nicholas, Oldham, Owen, Pendleton, Robertson, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble counties.
Prior to her election, Judge Keller practiced with Arnzen, Wentz, Molloy, Laber & Storm PSC in Covington. Her extensive legal experience includes representing clients in the area of criminal defense and serving as an assistant county prosecutor. Her work in litigation includes family law, personal injury and medical-negligence defense. She is experienced in administrative law and served the Kentucky Personnel Board as a hearing officer. She now serves as a board chairwoman emeritus. She is a member of the National Association of Administrative Law Judges and has represented numerous clients before state regulatory and licensure boards. She is also an adjunct professor at Xavier University, where she teaches medical/legal research, writing and forensics.
Judge Keller has been a licensed registered nurse in Kentucky since 1982. While working as an RN in critical care, Judge Keller earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1985 from Northern Kentucky University, where she received the Charlotte Schmidlapp Scholarship. Judge Keller attended the evening division of Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law while working full time. She was an Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts scholar during law school and received her juris doctor in 1990.
Judge Keller has served the Northern Kentucky Bar Association as chairwoman of the Women Lawyers Section and as a member of numerous committees. She represented the 16th Judicial Circuit on the Kentucky Bar Association’s former House of Delegates.
In addition to her professional service, Judge Keller has a strong commitment to public service. She is a former chairwoman and board member for the Diocesan Catholic Children’s Home. She is a founding and current member of the Northern Kentucky Children’s Advocacy Center Advisory Council and has served the interests of children in court as a guardian ad litem. Judge Keller also volunteers with the Women’s Crisis Center and her local church and is an academic team coach at her daughters’ school.
Judge Keller is a lifelong Kentuckian and the oldest of five children. She and her husband, Dr. James Keller, have two daughters, Brenna and Olivia.
Judge Kelly ThompsonKelly Thompson was elected to the Kentucky Court of Appeals in November 2006. He represents the 2nd Appellate District, Division 2, which is comprised of Barren, Breckinridge, Bullitt, Daviess, Grayson, Hancock, Hardin, Hart, Henderson, LaRue, Meade, Ohio, Union and Warren counties.
Judge Thompson practiced law in Bowling Green from 1974 until his election in 2006. He was the chief public advocate for the 8th Judicial District from 1976 to 1999, and he twice served on the board of directors for the Bowling Green-Warren County Bar Association. He was chief trial counsel for the Kentucky Department of Highways in Hardin County from 1972 to 1973 and served as law clerk for the Kentucky Court of Appeals from 1973 to 1974.
Judge Thompson graduated from Western Kentucky University in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate. He earned his juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1972.
Judge Thompson has been admitted to practice before the U.S. Board of Claims and the U.S. Supreme Court. He has successful appellate experience in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of Kentucky and the Kentucky Court of Appeals. He is a recipient of the Kentucky Bar Association’s Donated Legal Services Recognition Award. He has been certified as a civil trial specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, which is accredited by the American Bar Association to certify lawyers in civil, criminal and family law trial advocacy. Judge Thompson has also served as a board member for numerous civic organizations in Warren County.
Judge Thompson was born in 1948 and is a Warren County native. He is married to the former Victoria Golden. He has one daughter, Elizabeth, and three grandchildren.
Judge Thomas B. WineThomas B. Wine was appointed to the Kentucky Court of Appeals in August 2006 to serve Division 1 of the 4th Appellate District, which consists of Jefferson County. He was subsequently elected to the Court of Appeals in November 2006.
Judge Wine was elected to the Circuit Court bench in November 1991 and re-elected in 1999. He served as chief judge of Jefferson Circuit Court in 2000 and 2001 and as president of the Louis D. Brandeis American Inns of Court in 2002 and 2003. He was in private practice from 1990 until he assumed the duties of circuit judge.
Before embarking on his judicial career, Judge Wine worked in the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney in Jefferson County from 1979 to 1984 and from 1988 to 1990. He worked in the Office of the Attorney General in Frankfort from 1984 to 1988.
Judge Wine was born in Louisville. He graduated from the University of Louisville with a bachelor’s degree in 1977 and a juris doctor in 1980. He and his wife, Annie, have two children, Daniel Jacob and Matthew Joseph.
Kentucky Court of AppealsNearly all cases heard by the Kentucky Court of Appeals come to it on appeal from a lower court. If a case is tried in Circuit Court or District Court and the losing parties involved are not satisfied with the outcome, they may ask for a higher court to review the correctness of the trial court’s decision. Some cases, such as criminal-case acquittals and divorces, may not be appealed. In a divorce case, however, child custody and property rights decisions may be appealed. Cases are not retried in the Court of Appeals. Only the record of the original court trial is reviewed, with attorneys presenting the legal issues to the court for a decision.
Fourteen judges, two elected from seven appellate court districts, serve on the Court of Appeals. The judges are divided into panels of three to review and decide cases, with the majority determining the decision. The panels do not sit permanently in one location, but travel about the state to hear cases.
The Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort supports the activities of 4,000 Kentucky Court of Justice employees, including the elected offices of justices, judges and circuit court clerks. As the fiscal agent for the state court system, the AOC prepares a biennial budget draft and executes the Judicial Branch budget.


Pikeville Medical Center Goes Green

Tuesday, April 8th, Pikeville Medical Center and Pike County’s Department of Solid Waste will begin a recycling partnership to reduce unnecessary waste in the local landfill. A recycling container will allow PMC to recycle all cardboard, paper, plastic and aluminum cans. These recycling initiatives, as well as, the relationships that have been made with hospital vendors, will enable Pikeville Medical Center to reduce landfill waste by more than 108,400 pounds. PMC would like to especially recognize Mike Lyons, Pike County’s Solid Waste Deputy Commissioner, whose hard work and dedication has made this event possible.
Join us for the kickoff in the 2nd floor atrium of the medical center, beginning at 4pm. The public is encouraged to attend this exciting event, as PMC and Pike County Department of Solid Waste join


Lawmakers Scheduled To Vote On Budget Today

Lawmakers in Frankfort will vote on a two year $19 billion plan this evening.

Several lawmakers from the mountain counties have told us that at this current time they do not support the bill.

The main sticking issue is that coal severance money which is set aside for projects has been removed.

The plan also consists of :

------ Would cut public university funding by three percent.

----- Keeps proposed Louisville bridges project on track, allows for tolls

----- $ 60 million for Bucks for Brains program, which matches public money with private donations to attract top researches for Kentucky universities.

------- Authorizes $ 200 million for Kentucky Infrastructure Authority bond pool for municipalities to apply for low interest loans.

-------- Calls for several million in savings through a home incarceration program for nonviolent, nonsexual felony offenders with less than six months to serve.

-------- $ 1.5 million for a non flying plane at the Somerset Community College for airplane mechanic training.

-------- One percent raises for public school teachers and employees and state workers in each of next two fiscal years.

-------- Authorizes funding for reconstruction of Eastern State Hospital.

Lawmakers say that negotiations are being conducted at this time for items that they would like to be added.


Felon Voting Rights Measure Approved By Kentucky House

Currently, Kentucky and Virginia are the only states requiring convicted felons to appeal to the governors if they wish to restore their voting rights.

The House has overwhenlmingly approved by a vote of 80-14, a constitutional amendment to restore voting rights to non-violent convicted felons, once they've served their time.

The proposal requires the approval of at least 23 of the 38 state senators before it goes on the November, 2008 ballot for voter ratification. Those convicted of murder, rape, sodomy or sexual offenses against a minor would still be required to apply for the pardon.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Two New Coal Mines Will Create Jobs In Eastern Kentucky.

Martin County Coal officials announced Tuesday that two new coal mines will open within the next few months . The mines will be located at Lovely and are expected to create over 200 new jobs.


Kentucky Senate Majority Takes Coal Severance Money Out of Budget. Action Would Cost Pike County $ 15 Million .Governor Issues Statement On Budget

Lawmakers in Frankfort continue to disagree on a two year spending plan for Kentucky.

The big debate stems from the Republican controlled Senate wiping out all coal severance money that was set a side for projects. This would mean a loss of around $ 15 million dollars for Pike County.

State Representative Keith Hall a member of the Appropriations and Revenue Committee says that the House will vote down the current budget. Hall says that by the Senate’s actions of taking out the severance money would be devastating for all of eastern Kentucky .

Governor Steve Beshear issued a statement saying that with the Senate majority refusing to consider any new revenue options services such as education, health care, public safety and economic development would be dramatically effected.


Belfry Designated First Fire Wise Community In Eastern Kentucky

The Belfry Volunteer Fire Department was presented with a plaque by the Kentucky Fire Wise Program and the Division of Forestry during Tuesday’s Pike County Fiscal Court Program.

Members of the department visited 300 homes within their district and made assessments on what homes were at high risk of being effected by a forest fire.

The department with the grant money was also able to purchase uniforms, an ATV, and a ATV trailer.

Belfry becomes the first Fire Wise community in Eastern Kentucky and only the 23rd in Kentucky.


Sandy Valley Habitat For Humantiy Dedicates New Home

I just don’t really know how to express what I’m feeling right now.”

These were the words from Pam Newsome, Director of the Shelby Valley Senior Citizens Center, this past Saturday.

The reason for Newsome’s loss of words are uncomplicated – kindness and the blessings, she says.

That kindness came in the form of a new home built through the efforts of Habitat for Humanity and completed this past weekend for Newsome and her two sons, Garrett and Isaiah.

“It’s been a blessing to be chosen,” continued Newsome, who put herself through college and maintained full-time work as well. “It’s different having something of your own. It’s been a long struggle, and I could have just never imagined I would have this someday.”

Pike County Deputy Judge/Executive John Doug Hays was on hand for the dedication Saturday, attending in place of Pike County Judge/Executive Wayne T. Rutherford, who was out of town for a scheduled conference with the county’s magistrates.


Kentucky Campus To Host Delegation From Russia.

Kentucky Campus Compact is pleased to announce the visit of a delegation from Russia to Kentucky. The delegation is from the state of Bryansk, Russia and the Bryansk State Agricultural Academy (university). The visit is educational/economic development exploratory.
The visitors include: Dr. Nikolay Belous, Rector of the Bryansk State Agricultural Academy; Dr. Vladimir Torikov, Pro-Rector of Bryansk State Agricultural Academy; Dr. Boris Kvitoko, Pro-Rector of Bryansk State Agricultural Academy; Mr. Vladimir Tatarinov, Head of External Economy and Investment Department , Bryansk Region Administration, Russia; and Mr. Evgeny Kulyukin, Deputy Director at the Bryansk Bible College. They will arrive in Kentucky on April 4th and depart on April 12, 2008.
During the visit in Kentucky the delegation will visit Morehead State University, Berea College, Big Sandy Community and Technical College, the Kentucky State Capitol, ALLTEC Corp., Three Chimney’s Farm, Jif Peanut Butter Factory, Fish Hatchery at Cave Run Lake in Rowan County, and a local Rotary Club. They will be viewing the Veterinarian program and farm at MSU, several programs at Berea (especially the Labor Program), tour the Entrepreneur Center and Coal Academy at Big Sandy Community and Technical College, tour Three Chimney’s Farm Equine Program, ALLTEC’s facilities, and the manufacturing of peanut butter at the Jiff factory in Lexington, KY.
Kentucky Campus Compact (KyCC) sponsored a visit to Russia in May 2007. A delegation made up of Mike Phillips, MSU; Tracy Royce, Maysville Community and Technical College; David Aker, Mountain Missions Enterprises; and Eugene Blackburn, Program Director KyCC visited Bryask State Agricultural Academy. It was an exploratory trip for the possibility of professor/student exchange, service-learning possibilities, and other programs sponsored by KyCC. Eugene Blackburn signed a working agreement with the college and KyCC.
Kentucky Campus Compact will serve as a conduit for member institutions to participate in the KyCC/Bryansk State Agricultural Academy Projects. Possibilities include: global civic engagement; establish an international service-learning center at the Academy; service-learning projects centered on land use evaluation; soil and water sampling; machine repair; carpentry; vet technology; etc. There are possibilities for teaching English and tutoring in English and agritourism activities.
KyCC is very excited about the visit from our Russian frien


Possible Magazine Scam In Coal Run

According to Coal Run Police Chief Todd Akers, someone is going door-to-door trying to sell magazines for causes that apparently don't exist. The organizations they claim to be working for say they don't have anyone selling in this way.

The people selling use pitches like...they're raising money for tuition at Pikeville College...trying to win a National Communications Award...or, trying to raise money for families of soldiers killed in Iraq.

Akers says he's not sure if it's legit or a scam, but it would be best to ask the solicitors to return the next day, then research the companies on the internet.

Monday, March 31, 2008


Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center Will Now Host Bill Clinton Visit.

Former President Bill Clinton will be in Pikeville this Thursday evening campaigning on behalf of his wife Hilary. The venue of the monumental event has been changed.

According to a press release issued by Pike County Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford , Clinton will now speak at the Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center. The event is open to the public and is free of charge.

Clinton is expected to arrive at the Expo Center at 5:30 p.m.

Originally the rally was scheduled for Pike County Central High School. However when secret service agents arrived in town they said that the Expo Center would be better suited to host the event citing security as a big reason.

The EKYEC seats approximately 7,000 people.


Former West Virginia Governor Says Study Shows Alarming Stats.

Former West Virginia Governor Bob Wise says that a recent study released shows that a third of students who enter the ninth grade in the United States do not graduate.

Wise now works with the Alliance for Excellence in Education.

The study also showed that seventy percent of eighth graders nationwide read below a proficient level.

In testing of 15 year-olds in 30 developed nations, students in the US finished 19th in science and 21st in math skills.


Pike County Central High School To Host Two Day RAM Expedition In June

Less than a month ago, RAM (Remote Area Medical) organizers were busy building up interest in volunteers for the upcoming expedition at Pike County Central High School.

Now the focus is on ensuring the dentistry needs of attending citizens will be met.

Pikeville dentist Dr. William Collins and Andy Keaton of the Mountain Dental Society, has been gathering forces toward that goal with significant help from Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC), as well as assistance from both the Kentucky Board of Dentistry and the Kentucky Dentistry Association.

“Area dentists are beginning to step up to the plate and take care of their own,” Collins said Friday, adding that support from BSCTC has been vital.

Likewise, Pike County Judge/Executive Wayne T. Rutherford has expressed a great deal of appreciation to those who have already answered the call to help out with this effort.

“We’re thankful for all the assistance and hard work that’s went into this,” Rutherford said, “and we’ll continue to seek out and encourage more people to volunteer for this good cause.”

As of Friday, one week after Collins started contacting local dentists and hygienists, organizers had 14 applications in hand from students in BSCTC’s hygiene program, in addition to another four applications from licensed hygienists.

“To me this is one of the best things that can be done for this area,” Collins said, adding that the target goal was to recruit at least 20 dentists and 5 hygienists for the RAM expedition. “A lot of people will be helped by this expedition. It will give them the opportunity to get the health care they need.”

There are also several other dentists, hygienists and students who have committed to fill out an application and take part, according to Collins.

To compliment the huge turnout from BSCTC students, support from Dr. David Narramore, president of the Kentucky Board of Dentistry, along with Dr. Fred Howard, president of the Kentucky Dental Association and Dr. Andy Elliott, delegate to the American Dental Association, have been key in seeing the dental needs of the RAM expedition met, Collins said.

The RAM expedition is scheduled for June 28 and June 29 at Pike County Central High School.

Medical professionals interested in volunteering can contact Sharon Turk, Director of Continuing Medical Education for Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine. Turk has worked RAM events in the past and can be reached by email at or by phone at (606) 218-5155.

For further information about the upcoming event, contact Carol Napier at (606) 432-6246.


Kentucky and WV Playing Crucial Roles In Race For Democratic Nomination.

The West Virginia Democratic Party has confirmed that Chelsea Clinton will speak in Charleston this Friday at 5 p.m. during the WV Young Democrats Convention which will be held a the Charleston Civic Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Residents in our region will be able to see her father Bill campaign on behalf of Hilary this Thursday evening. According to Pike County Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford Clinton's visit will take place at the East Kentucky Exposition Center in Pikeville, KY. Clinton is scheduled to speak at 5:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Both West Virginia and Kentucky are going to play pivotal roles in the race for the White House on the Democratic side.

West Virginia’s primary is May 13th . The Mountain State has 39 delegates including 10 super delegates. Three of the five supers have announced they will support Senator Clinton.

Kentucky has 60 delegates including eight supers. Thus far three super delegates have announced there endorsements two for Clinton and one for Senator Obama.


WVSP Bust Up Cockfight In McDowell County.

An anonymous tip led to forty-six people facing misdemeanor charges after State Police busted a cockfight in McDowell County.

Authorities say that more people will be charged as owners seek to reclaim vehicles left at the scene.

Authorities say that since no carcasses were found inside the barn located at Bartley the fights had not began.

Attending a cockfight in West Virginia carries a fine between $100 and $1,000


Boone County Sheriff Paints Clearer Picture Of Father, Son Electrocuted At AEP Substaion.

The Boone County Sheriff’s Office released the identity of the victims electrocuted at an AEP substation and also Sheriff Rodney Miller clarified what actually happened.

22 year-old Daniel Chapman of Seth and another person went to an AEP substation at Prenter in an attempt to steal copper.

The sheriff says that the two men cut a hole in the chain link fence around the substation and then attempted to cut and remove a series of grounding wire that protected the facility.

According to authorities both men came in contact with power from the substation. Chapman was electrocuted while the other man suffered a burn injury.

After being notified of the mishap Chapman’s father, 48 year old, Jack Chapman went to the substation after being unable to free his son he also came in contact with a live wire.

The incident remains under investigation.


Eleven Die On Kentucky Roadways.

Preliminary statistics* indicate that eleven people died in nine separate crashes on Kentucky’s roadways from Monday, March 24 through Sunday, March 30, 2008.

Ten of the fatalities were traveling in motor vehicles and eight of those victims were not wearing seat belts. One fatality involved a motorcycle and that victim was not wearing a helmet. One of the motor vehicle fatalities was a result of the suspected use of alcohol.

Single fatality crashes occurred in Christian, Hardin, Jefferson, Laurel, Rockcastle, Todd and Whitley counties. The Motorcycle fatality occurred in Butler county. A triple fatality collision occurred in Fayette county on Russell Cave road in Lexington.

Through March 30, preliminary statistics* indicate that 171 people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways during 2008. That is one less than reported for this time period in 2007. Of the 144 motor vehicle fatalities, 92 victims were not wearing seat belts. There have been 12 motorcycle fatalities and 7 of those were not wearing helmets. A total of 33 fatalities have resulted from crashes involving the suspected use of alcohol. Fifteen fatalities have been pedestrians.


Pike County Sex Abuse Case Ends In Hung Jury.

A jury deliberated for several hours Friday and came back with no verdict for a Phelps man on trial for allegedly committing first degree rape seven years ago.

Pike County Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Ron Burchett says that he will decide within the next couple of weeks to see if the Commonwealth is going to attempt to retry the case.

The Commonwealth believes that Jimmy Hamilton raped his then girlfriend’s six year old daughter in March of 2001. The mother disclosed the alleged crime the next month after she moved to Tennessee.


Pike County Based Company Captures PRIDE Volunteer of the Month Award.

SOMERSET, KY — Eastern Kentucky PRIDE announced today that SouthEast Telephone Company (SETel) won the April 2008 PRIDE Volunteer of the Month Award. The company, which is headquartered in Pikeville, supports PRIDE volunteers as they pick up litter across southern and eastern Kentucky

“We are grateful that SouthEast Telephone has selected PRIDE as a partner in the company’s remarkable community service efforts,” said Karen Engle, PRIDE President and Chief Executive Officer. “Since 2004, SETel has donated bottled water and hosted picnics for volunteers during the annual PRIDE Spring Cleanup. The company’s employees make sure volunteers feel appreciated and have an overall good experience, which makes it more likely they will continue volunteering to care for our environment.”

“SETel’s in-kind donations to this year’s Spring Cleanup are valued at more than $1,000, which makes the company a Bronze Sponsor of the region-wide cleanup campaign,” Engle continued. “At just two events this April, SETel will feed about 800 PRIDE volunteers.”

On April 5, SETel will host the picnic at the PRIDE Spring Cleanup Kickoff Celebration at Cumberland Falls State Park, which is expected to attract 300 volunteers. On April 19, the company plans to feed at least 500 volunteers at the Laurel River Lake Cleanup. When hosting picnics at PRIDE cleanup events, SETel donates the food, as well as the equipment and personnel to cook and serve it.

“SouthEast Telephone’s efforts have been a significant contribution to the overall success of the Laurel River Lake Cleanup,” said John T. Strojan, District Ranger for the Daniel Boone National Forest’s London district office. He nominated SETel for the PRIDE award.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Kentucky House Approves Extension Of Hepatitis Shot

Legislation that would both require sixth-graders to continue receiving hepatitis B vaccinations and set up a tracking system for pharmaceutical drugs passed the House recently.

Senate Bill 118, sponsored by Sen. Julie Denton, R-Louisville, passed the House 96-2 and now returns to the Senate for its approval of changes the House made to the bill.

The bill originally included only the vaccination extension, but was amended by the House Health and Welfare Committee to include the pharmaceutical provisions. Denton, who spoke on the bill before the committee last week, said drug tracking will prevent drugs from being tainted or substituted with placebos.

The vaccination extension removes provisions in current law that would end the vaccination requirement after the 2008-09 school year.


Motor Fuel Drive Off Bill Clears Kentucky House.

A bill that lawmakers hope will prevent fuel pump drive-offs by giving retailers a way to collect payment and fines for stolen fuel without going directly to court passed the Kentucky House 90-7 today.

House Majority Whip Rep. Rob Wilkey, who presented Senate Bill 136 on the House floor for sponsor Sen. Jack Westwood, R-Crescent Springs, said the bill will give retailers who would not ordinarily take a drive-off case to court an incentive to recoup unpaid fuel costs on their own.

SB 136 now returns to the Senate for consideration of House changes to the bill.

"From a practical standpoint, most retailers are not going to take the time and energy to go to court to collect $30, $40 or $50. That's the problem," said Wilkey. "This will give them some incentive to get people to pay for the fuel that they're stealing."

Under the bill, retailers would record the license number of the drive-off vehicle, send the vehicle owner a certified letter with photographic evidence of the drive-off and ask the person to pay the cost of the fuel and a $30 penalty, said Wilkey. If the person does not pay the price of the fuel and the $30 penalty within 30 days, then the case would go to court where the person would be liable for the price of the fuel and $30 penalty as well as a civil penalty in the amount of either the price of the fuel or $100, he said.


Legislation That Would Create Additional Funding For Expo Center Passes Senate.

Senate Bill 262 passed last week by a vote of 33-0

The piece of legislation would give a sales tax refund for the Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center in Pikeville. The bill would also create incentives to lure film productions to the commonwealth, rebate all state income tax paid by active duty military including National Guard and Military Reserve Troops.

The measure now heads back to the House.


Floyd County Fiscal Court Announces Budget For County Jail.

Floyd County Jailer Rodney Webb breathed a sigh of relief after the Floyd County Fiscal Court announced there would be no cut backs at the Floyd County Detention Center.
The jail would receive $ 2.3 million in funding for the next fiscal year $ 1.5 million will come from the county.

Floyd County has seen tough times this year as the fiscal court a few months ago had to lay off over 70 county employees. Some of those employees have been called back.


Lincoln County Man Indicted By Federal Grand Jury.

A Lincoln County man is in the Southcentral Regional Jail in Charleston after he allegedly threw a mokotov cocktail into a Lincoln County house.

The alleged incident happened in 2003.

If convicted, Drexel McCallister Jr, could spend 30 years in prison and a $ 500,000 fine.


WV Governor Vetoes Bills

West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin vetoed some bills Friday .

The governor struck down a bill that would reduce points on your drivers license for taking a defensive driving course.

Public library board members still face term limits.

A bill giving preference to on-staff teachers for summer school teaching.

Addressing state retirement programs for teachers and deputy sheriffs.


ATM Stolen From Boone County Supermarket.

Authorities in Boone County are attempting to find the person that is responsible for breaking into the Fast Check Supermarket this past weekend in Whitesville and stole an ATM machine. They have no suspects at this current time.


WV Republican Chairman Announces Keynote Speaker

West Virginia GOP Chairman Doug McKinney says former Maryland Lt. Governor Michael S. Steele will be the WV Republican party keynote speaker at the GOP convention scheduled for June 21st in Flatwoods.


Gilbert Man Back In Jail

A Gilbert man is in the Southwestern Regional Jail after he allegedly violated the terms of his home confinement.

Steven Glanden was sentenced last month to one year of home incarceration after pleading guilty to negligent homicide. Last week he was arrested and charged with domestic battery.


Borderland Woman Inducted Into WV Voter Hall of Fame.

A Mingo County woman has been inducted into the West Virginia Voter Hall of Fame. 94 year old Katie Sprouse Elkins of Borderland was honored by Secretary of State Betty Ireland.

For someone to qualify for the prestigious honor a person had had to vote for the last 50 consecutive years.


Two Men Electrocuted In Boone County.

Copper theft is on the rise as the price for the metal continues to soar. A father and son from Boone County paid the ultimate price this weekend when they broke into a AEP substation. They paid with their lives. The two men were electrocuted in their attempt to steal copper.

Boone County Sheriff Rodney Miller has not released the identity of the victims.

Eyewitnesses said that they heard the father yelling and screaming for someone to help his son. They said that they tried to coax the father to come out. Onlookers say that he screamed he was sick of this then he touched a wire.

450 homes in the Printer community were out of power for a few hours.

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