Saturday, May 03, 2008


Eastern Kentucky Teen Sentenced For Deadly Hit and Run

18 year old Dale Wells Junior was sentenced to a term of 13 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with a deadly hit and run accident that killed Cecil Curtis last March.

Authorities say that the teen was driving high on drugs and hit Curtis’ motorcycle head on.

Wells tried to persuade the judge to allow him to withdraw his guilty plea because he didn’t realize that he would have to serve a lengthy prison term.

The judge denied the request. Wells will be eligible for parole in 11 years.


Johnson County Man To Serve 15 Year Prison Sentence

A Johnson County man was sentenced to serve 15 years in prison after he shoved baby wipes in the mouth of his girlfriend’s eight month old baby.

Johnathan Crum pleaded guilty to second degree assault and abuse charges.

The baby continues to recover.


Logan County Commission Cracking Down On Employees For Misusing County Vehicles.

Logan County Commission President Art Kirkendoll says that county vehicle misuse by county employees will stop or they will be sanctioned.

After two reports surfaced showing the county had been admonished by the State Auditor’s office for having a history of allowing its employees to use vehicles for there own personal use, reports of misusing county owned vehicles started to surface.

Kirkendoll says that the Solid Waste Director was sanctioned after it became public that he drove his county owned vehicle to Charleston in March to watch the Logan Wildcats basketball team play.

Last year a member of the Cora Volunteer Fire Department was using a van when they were arrested for DUI.

Kirkendoll says that he will allow deputies to drive there cruisers home because it creates a presence in the community. But. Kirkendoll says that he has told the deputies not to use there cruisers for personal use.


Mingo County Sheriff Cleared In Ouster Suit.

A special three judge panel has ruled that an ouster suit filed by a Mingo County resident on the Mingo County sheriff. has no merit.

Last year Larry Hamrick filed the suit against Sheriff Lonnie Hannah. It accused Hannah of malfeasance and official misconduct.

The petition alleged that the sheriff had illegally obtained subpoenas during an investigation of how FEMA money was spent following the flood of 2004 and also alleged that the sheriff ignored orders from the circuit court and ther County Commission to sign checks made out to two companies for work done after the flooding. Hannah had questioned the validity of the companies’ invoice.

The sheriff filed a similar suit against County Commissioner Greg “ Hootie “ Smith. Last year a special panel sided against the sheriff. Hannah has since appealed the ruling to the West Virginia State Supreme Court. If Hannah loses the appeal then the county would be required to compensate Smith the money that he has spent on his attorney fees. Two months ago Smith filed a motion requesting WV State Supreme Court Justice Spike Maynard to recuse himself from the appeal because Maynard and Hannah are friends.


11th Class Inducted Into WV Coal Mining Hall of Fame.

Royce Watts . Associate Dean of WVU College of Engineering and Mineral Resources and Charles Jones with Amhurst Industries were inducted into the West Virginia Coal Hall of Fame.

The HOF was created in 1998 to honor the careers and accomplishments of individuals who have had a significant impact on the West Virginia mining industry

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Pike County Judge Executive Announces Plans For Coal Miner Statue.

Pike County Judge/Executive Wayne T. Rutherford announced on Thursday, May 1, “Coal Miner Appreciation Day,” The county has plans to erect a miner’s statue outside the Pike County Courthouse. The statue will commemorate the many dedicated coal miners across the county and those who have lost their lives on the job.

Steps to see the statue erected at the courthouse will be a joint effort on the part of county officials, the local coal mining industry and private citizens, Rutherford said.

“This is something that is long overdue,” Rutherford told onlookers outside the Pike County Courthouse Thursday. “We are the number one coal producing county in the Commonwealth, and we should have something to pay tribute to the people who make that possible.”

Elder Kermit Wright of the Caney Creek Old Regular Baptist Church, and a former coal miner himself, gave an opening prayer following initial remarks from Judge Rutherford. Wright’s emotion-filled prayer focused on remembrance of the lives lost in Pike County coal mines.

The announcement for an upcoming statue came as part of a press conference to celebrate “Coal Miner’s Appreciation Day.” During the gathering, Judge Rutherford spoke on the importance of the coal industry and the importance of coal miners within that framework.

Also part of the day’s events was Kentucky Coal Academy President Dr. Bill Higginbotham, who pointed to training and advancements in safety procedures as steps that are being taken to improve the workplace for coal miners.

“We’re making great strides in mining safety and seeing that today’s miners are trained properly,” Dr. Higginbotham said. “Coal miners are the driving force behind this industry and any gesture to recognize them is certainly well deserved.”

Judge Rutherford also signed a proclamation Thursday officially recognizing May 1, 2008, as “Coal Miner Appreciation Day” in Pike County. Rutherford addressed in his proclamation the dedication and sacrifice of our coal miners, adding the debt we owe these individuals who work each day for the betterment of us all.



Pikeville Medical Center Soars In Saving Lives

Pikeville Medical Center exceeded its goal of blood donations during the spring blood drive by 117%! One hundred donors took the time to share the gift of life. Thanks to the commitment of the donors, more than 267 lives can be saved.

Pikeville Medical Center ranked as the 2nd hospital in the Commonwealth of Kentucky for the most units of blood collected earlier this year. Their goal for 2009 is to be the #1 medical donor in Kentucky.


July Jam Coming To Pikeville.

The annual "Open at the Jam" band competition was held on April 26th at Grace Fellowship Church in Pikeville, KY. The winning band "Delorean Grey" from London, KY has won the opportunity to open at JULY JAM on Saturday, July 19, 2008 at the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center in downtown Pikeville.
July Jam is an annual two-day Christian Rock event. The vision of July Jam is to see the youth of Eastern Kentucky impacted with the positive message of the gospel of Jesus Christ through the influence of Christian music. Too many teens and young adults are using drugs and July Jam is an event organized to help them understand there is an alternative
The event begins on Friday, July 18th at the city park in Pikeville KY with free music and refreshments for everyone. Delorean Grey will open for the 2nd night of July Jam. Other bands performing are StorySide:B, Santus Real and Pillar.
Tickets go on sale May 3rd. Floor tickets are $12.00 and general admission seating is $10.00. Discounts are available. Groups buying 10 tickets will get one free; buy one ticket and get one free for a child age 9 and under.
Tickets can be purchased by Ticketmaster on the web or by phone at 606-422-1793. Discount tickets can only be purchased at the Expo Box Office.


Rockefeller Introduces Legislation That Would Provide Gas Relief At Pump

WASHINGTON, DC – In an effort to help West Virginians struggling with the high cost of gasoline Senator Jay Rockefeller is introducing legislation this week, the “Low-Income Gas Assistance Act of 2008,” that would provide immediate relief through a $100-$165 monthly stipend to low-income families who need it most. Rockefeller is also calling on Congress to pass a series of measures that would lower gas prices (averaging $3.71 a gallon in West Virginia) including increasing fuel efficiency standards, suspending deposits into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and imposing a tax on windfall gas profits.

“I’m absolutely outraged at the spike in gas prices and the hardship it is creating on thousands of West Virginians who are struggling to make ends meet,” Rockefeller said. “I’m equally outraged that this hardship is coming at the same time that oil companies are pocketing record-breaking profits.”

“Congress must take action now to provide immediate relief. This is about people and families who are struggling – and many of them have no choice but to drive far away because that’s where the jobs are,” Rockefeller said. “A monthly check of $100-$165 will help those who are really doing everything they can to find a way to pay for the increasing costs of gas, and now food. But, we also need a long-term solution. It’s past time our country gets serious about our energy needs and begins to make the necessary investments to lower gas and energy costs for the future.”

Rockefeller’s legislation to provide temporary, immediate relief is modeled after the successful Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which has helped working families and seniors cope with home heating costs. Rockefeller’s bill would give grants to states to provide checks to people who drive 30 miles a day (or an average of 150 miles a week) for work, education, or scheduled routine health care. Eligible families who meet income guidelines similar to those in LIHEAP (in West Virginia, it’s up to 130% of poverty or $26,845 annual income for a family of four) would receive monthly checks of $100 to $165 to help cover gas costs.

For years, Senator Rockefeller has advocated a comprehensive energy policy that includes alternative energy sources, such as clean coal. Unfortunately, the Bush Administration and some in Congress have succeeded in pushing back these efforts which has contributed to America’s increasing dependence on foreign oil.

Senator Rockefeller has supported efforts to increase domestic supply through oil and gas exploration in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, which could add 1.26 billion new barrels of oil in the short-term to our domestic supply. He has opposed speculative and damaging efforts to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), which is expensive and even under the best of estimates would provide no real benefit for at least 10-20 years.

Rockefeller also supports holding off on additional deposits into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). Currently, it is 97% full, and there is no economic rationale for filling it to the brim with $120 barrel oil. Finally, Rockefeller has long-supported, and is advocating for, a windfall profits tax on integrated, multinational oil companies.

As Rockefeller noted, “These companies are making huge, unconscionable profits off the hard-working people in my state, and it must be stopped.”

In addition to his efforts to work against excessive oil company profits, Senator Rockefeller has sponsored legislation that would force the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate price gouging.


Beshear Proclaims May OVR Month.

Governor Steve Beshear has proclaimed May Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) Job Placement Month. In addition to Governor Beshear’s proclamation, OVR is dedicating this month to Gina Hughes, a long-time Frankfort administrator, who died in October 2007 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

OVR Job Placement Director Robin Ritter said Hughes was dedicated to helping persons with disabilities seek employment. “She was a dear friend, who throughout her many years of service to the consumers of OVR showed a special devotion to job placement,” Ritter said. “Gina was a counselor in Richmond and Lexington as well as a job placement specialist and field administrator in Frankfort. She valued the rights, worth and dignity of all persons with disabilities and demonstrated this daily.”

Job placement is a statewide service of OVR that helps match qualified job seekers with employers. The activities that are planned for May will recognize and celebrate employer partnerships, placement activities and accomplishments of persons with disabilities in the workforce.

The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, an agency of the Education Cabinet’s Department for Workforce Investment, assists Kentuckians with disabilities to achieve gainful employment and independence. For more information about services, call the department toll free at 1-800-372-7172 or at 1-888-420-9874 (TDD) or visit the OVR Web site at


Ananymous Tip Results In Discovery of Stolen Prison Computer.

Through a special examination, the Office of Kentucky Auditor Crit Luallen found that over a 13-month period (January 2007-January 2008) a Kentucky State Reformatory work computer at Kentucky Correctional Industries (KCI) was used in an apparent theft of $6,877 that benefited 21 inmates.

The auditor’s office discovered the apparent theft after working with the Kentucky Department of Corrections to examine the agency’s inmate payroll processing system. The investigation originated after an anonymous caller used the auditor’s public hotline to question KCI inmate labor reimbursements.

“As the independent watchdog for taxpayers’ money, my office treats every hotline call regarding possible cases of mismanagement and abuse very seriously,” Luallen said. “In this case, we appreciate the assistance and the cooperation we received from Corrections staff as we reviewed this allegation at correctional industries.”

Kentucky Correctional Industries is located at the Kentucky State Reformatory in LaGrange and houses six active industrial plants employing 175 inmates. During the examination, IT auditors found that significant computer expertise was used to manipulate the payroll data at KCI to create higher payments on 21 inmate commissary accounts.

Based on the review, auditors recommend that KCI gain better oversight and control of the inmate payroll system and examine other pay periods to ensure additional theft or discrepancies do not exist. At the same time, auditors suggest the Department of Corrections implement many well-known principles in information security to prevent theft at this and other institutions in the future.

Corrections Commissioner LaDonna Thompson, in a letter to Luallen, said her office reviewed the recommendations and will take strong measures to implement them.


Williamson Memorial Hospital Diabetes Education Program Merits ADA Recognition.

The prestigious American Diabetes Association Education Recognition Certificate for a quality diabetes self-management education program was recently awarded to the Williamson Memorial Hospital Diabetes Management Clinic on February 4, 2008. The program was originally recognized in 2001. ADA believes that this program offers high-quality education that is an essential component of effective diabetes treatment.

The Association’s Education Recognition Certificate assures that educational programs meet the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education Programs. These Standards were developed and tested under the auspices of the National Diabetes Advisory Board in 1983 and were revised by the diabetes community in 1994 & 2000.

Programs apply for recognition voluntarily. Programs that achieve Recognition status have a staff of knowledgeable health professionals who can provide participants with comprehensive information about diabetes management. “The process gives professionals a national standard by which to measure the quality of services they provide,” comments, Vicki Hatfield, Director of the Diabetes Clinic. “The Recognition assures the consumer that he or she will likely receive high-quality service.” Education status is verified by an official certificate from ADA & awarded for three years.


Pike County Officials, Locals Host " Take A Stand " Event For National Child Abuse Awareness Month.

Pike County officials and organizers with Sunrise Children Services held an event outside the Pike County Courthouse to National Child Abuse Awareness Month.

The event began with an opening prayer from Whitney Blackburn of Pikeville First Baptist Church followed by the presentation of a proclamation prepared by Pike County Judge/Executive Wayne T. Rutherford and read by Pike County’s Economic Development Director John Gatling. The proclamation officially recognized April as National Child Abuse Awareness Month.

The resolution set forth that “child abuse and neglect is a complex and ongoing problem in our society, affecting many children in Pike County,” and further that “communities are stronger when all citizens become aware of child maltreatment prevention and become involved in supporting parents to raise their children in a safe and nurturing environment.”
Angela Horn, with Sunrise Children Services, along with guest speakers Laura Kretzer of Judy’s Place in Pikeville


Mingo County Legislators Attempting To Secure Funding For Laurel Lake Swimming Pool.

Mingo County House of Delegates member K. Steven Kominar and Senate Majority Leader H. Truman Chafin are seeking additional funds for the rebuilding of the Laurel Lake swimming pool.
Chafin, Kominar and Harry Keith White, Chairman of the House Finance Committee, have to date successfully secured $400,000 toward the estimated $1.1 million dollar project.
Delegate Kominar has met with the Lenore Wildlife Management Council and explained that he is contacting various private businesses and coal companies in the area seeking their assistance in this matter. Kominar and Chafin have informed area residents that this is a top priority for them, and assured the concerned community members they are diligently working to restore and rebuild the Laurel Lake swimming pool and bath house facilities for the benefit of the children and adults who utilize this location .

The Legislators received almost $1.1 million to dredge Laurel Lake, and this endeavor has been accomplished. Senator Chafin stated he is hopeful local private interest groups will contribute to this much needed project, as well as the Mingo County Commission. The Legislative team plans to request matching funds from the commission as well as the other private groups doing business within Mingo County. The focus of this plan has the benefits of all Mingo Countians in mind.

"This is an ongoing project and we are committed to doing everything in our power to raise the $1.1 million dollars needed for the rebuilding of the Laurel Lake swimming pool, which is an integral part of the recreational plans for the future of Mingo County," the Legislators said today.

In the past, the Laurel Lake swimming pool was not only frequented and enjoyed by local residents of Mingo County, but by Logan Countians as well. It was a tremendous disappointment for everyone when the decision was made to close the facility after it fell into a state of disrepair.
"With the price of gasoline steadily on the rise, our goal is to obtain funding to rebuild and successfully restore the Laurel Lake swimming pool, providing a place where families can enjoy their summer without driving a great distance," concluded Chafin.

"The citizens of Mingo County deserve the convenience of having quality recreational facilities in their communities and neighborhoods. The Laurel Lake Park is very important to our local area, and is receiving our immediate attention," stated Kominar.


Pikeville Man Injured In Accident Involving Train.

A Pikeville man was injured Wednesday night when his vehicle was struck by a train as he was attempting to drive over the railroad crossing at Vera Drive which is located in Pikeville

32 year-old Chad Salyer is listed in favorable condition at UK Hospital in Lexington.


Matewan Man Arrested For Drug Trafficking.

The Mingo County Sheriffs Department apprehended a Matewan man for drug trafficking.

42 year old Gary Collins is accused of selling hydrocodone to a confidential informant.

Bond was set at $ 40,000


City of Paintsville To Take Over Sewer Plants.

The Paintsville Utility Group is making plans to take over four sewer plants after owner David Bowling neglected the plants.

The City of Paintsville is expected to take over the sewer plants in late summer.

Bowling is accused of dumping septic waste into the Big Sandy River.


WV Receives Federal Grant For Seatbelt Useage

Vice Admiral Thomas J. Barrett, the U.S. Department of Transportation deputy secretary, this morning presented a $5 million grant award to Gov. Joe Manchin and the Governor’s Highway Safety Program for the state’s “elite” seatbelt usage level.
West Virginia was one of only five states to achieve that high of a level of seat belt usage among its residents.
“We’re very proud of the number of West Virginians who’ve recognized how easy it is to buckle up to save lives,” Manchin said. “Through this grant, we will be better able to make our roads safer.”
To receive the funding, West Virginia met Federal U.S. DOT criteria, which required states to have at least 85 percent seat belt usage rate, confirmed through scientific surveys, for two years straight. In 2006, the usage rate was 88.5 percent, and in 2007 the usage rate was 89.5 percent.
“With better, more consistent use of seat belts, West Virginians are not only protecting themselves – they are setting a great example for the rest of the nation,” Barrett said. “With continued efforts to drive seat belt use even higher, West Virginia will continue to be wild, wonderful and safe.”
The 9:30 a.m. presentation, held outside on the capitol grounds, also featured state and local law enforcement officers, who displayed some of the electronic reporting equipment that will be purchased with this funding.
In addition to the electronic reporting equipment, the Section 406 money will be spent on driver behavior programs such as “Click It or Ticket,” and impaired driving prevention initiatives.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


KY Highway District 12 Constructing Weigh Station For KVE

Kentucky Highway District 12 says expect delays beginning Thursday on US 23 near the Floyd / Johnson line for the next six weeks.

Highway officials said the reason for the occasional road closures was because a weigh station for the Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement is being built.


Pike County Grand Jury Indictments

A Pike County man will spend five years in prison because of drug trafficking.

54 year –old Kenneth Smith of Majestic admitted that he was trafficking in cocaine.

Smith made the admission in Pike County Circuit Court.

Twenty people were recently indicted by a Pike County grand jury.

Accusations that have been brought on the accused are rape, identity theft, robbery and drugs.

Billie S. Turnmire, 37, of Phyllis

I : identity theft ( Class D Felony )

II : theft by deception ( Class D Felony )

Alonzo P. West, 18, of Mouthcard

Brian K. Griffey, 19, of Mouthcard

Ronald Skeens, 18, of Mouthcard

I : Trafficking in a controlled substance second degree, hydrocodone ( Class D Felony )

II : unlawful transaction with minor first degree ( Class B Felony )

Richard Bartley, 63, of Pikeville

I : Rape third degree ( Class D Felony ) two counts

II : Unlawful transaction with minor first degree ( Class B Felony )

Crystal L . Osbourne, 31, of Pikeville

I : Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants ( misdemeanor)

II : Possession of controlled substance, second degree, hydrocodone ( Class A Misdemeanor )

III: Possession of controlled substance, third degree, clonazepam ( Class A Misdemeanor )

IV : Wanton endangerment, first degree ( Class D Felony )

Sabrina R. Gould, 38, of Dandridge, TN

I :Theft by unlawful taking ( Class A Misdemeanor )
II : Possession of drug paraphernalia ( Class A Misdemeanor )

III: Possession of controlled substance, third degree ( Class A Misdemeanor )

IV : Possession of controlled substance, second degree ( Class A Misdemeanor )

V : Promoting Contraband ,first degree ( Class D Felony )

Patrick Walters, Jr, 37, of Elkhorn City

I : Criminal mischief, first degree ( Class D Felony )

II : Assault, fourth degree ( Class A Misdemeanor )

Gloria J. Newsome, 23, of Pikeville

Theft by unlawful taking ( Class D Felony )

Donnie Coleman, 49, of Robinson Creek

Possession of controlled substance, first degree ( Class D Felony )

Chad Mullins, 26, of Pikeville

Wendy Reed, of Pikeville

Ermal Keith Rogers, 27, of Pikeville

Receiving stolen property ( Class D Felony )

Jessica L. Mabe, 31, of Oakwood, VA

Ersel Diles Jr, 27, of Oakwood, VA

Frank Beavers, 28, of Shelbiana

I : Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants ( Misdemeanor )

II : Trafficking in a controlled substance, first degree, ( Class C Felony )

Dallas H. Brown, Jr, 26, of Pikeville

Daniel Caines, 32, of Varney, KY

Theft by unlawful taking

Jane Ann Moore, 25, of Pikeville

Criminal possession of forged instrument, second degree ( Class D Felony )


Jane A. Moore ,25, of Pikeville

Theft by unlawful taking ( Class A Misdemeanor )

Fraudulent use of credit card ( Class D Felony )


Two WV Residents Plead Guilty In Robbery Of KY Motel.

Two Williamson residents pleaded guilty in Pike County Circuit Court to their roles in the robbery of the Super 8 Motel in South Williamson.

28 year -old Evaristo Valdelamar will serve 10 years in prison as he pled guilty to second-degree robbery.

His girlfriend, Sherri Wilkerson pled guilty to facilitation. Wilkerson will serve 24 months probation. Wilkerson received a lighter sentence because she didn’t have a direct role in the December 11th, 2007 crime. Wilkerson drove the getaway car.


Nine Year Old Wins Singing Contract.

Dignity Hospice held the Third Annual Gospel Talent Contest at the Coalfield Jamboree in Logan.

Nine year-old Seth Bunting of Danville, West Virginia, beat over thirty other participants from WV, KY , and Ohio to win a Nashville recording contract from Eddie Crook Company..

Second place went to Zydis Browning of Accoville.


Early Voting Continues In Mingo County.

Early voting continues for registered voters in Mingo County . Voters can cast their ballot in advance of the primary until May 10th from the hours of 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the office of the County Clerk.

Bridgette Puckett says just under 300 voters have already cast there vote. She says that's about average.

Mingo County has around 19,000 registered voters.

The county has 39 precincts.

Puckett says that they added one precinct at Delorme, and merged the Williamson High precinct with Goodman Manor.


Kentucky Wildflower Watch Report


This week at Greenbo Lake State Resort Park in Greenup, KY the woodland is green with all the trees leafed out. The redbuds and dogwoods are still in full bloom and the ruby-throated hummingbirds have returned to the feeders at the lodge. Flowers blooming around the park and along the trails include large-flowered trillium, Jacob’s ladder, wild geranium, bluets, star chickweed, dwarf cinquefoil, violet wood sorrel, blue phlox, wood vetch, foam flower, rue anemone, yellow and blue violets, cut-leaf toothwort, spring beauties, fire pink, large-flowered bellwort, pussytoes, ragwort, May apple, eared tickseed, crested dwarf iris, squawroot and Jack-in-the-pulpit.


The flowers at Carter Caves State Resort Park in Olive Hill are blooming everywhere. New to bloom this week are the dwarf crested iris, Jack-in-the-pulpit, shooting star, hairy buttercup, white violet, foamflower, stonecrop, fleabane and squawroot. The pink lady slippers, yellow lady slippers and showy orchis should be blooming by this coming weekend. Take a walk along any of the parks hiking trails and you can see many of these wildflowers blooming over the next couple of weeks.


The wildflowers at Natural Bridge State Resort Park in Slade are in peak bloom! Wildflowers currently in or near peak bloom include: showy orchis, yellow and spotted mandarin, Jack-in-the-pulpit, purple phacelia, wild geranium, miterwort, foam flower, long-spurred violet, halberd-leaved violet, star chickweed, stonecrop, squaw-root, Solomon’s seal, large-flowered trillium, wood vetch, wild ginger, columbine, and the bellworts. Those flowers that have buds or have just begun to bloom include: May apple, dwarf-crested iris, Indian cucumber-root, the lady’s slippers, doll’s eyes, and golden Alexander. The following trees and shrubs are displaying flowers: serviceberry, spicebush, redbud, dogwood, bladdernut and paw-paw. Two of the best trails at Natural Bridge for observing spring wildflowers are the Rock Garden and Whittleton.

Come discover some of nature’s most misunderstood critters during Herpetology Weekend, May 2 and 3! Experienced herpetologists will lead field trips into the Red River Gorge Geological Area to observe reptiles and amphibians in their native habitat. Most Saturday fieldtrips will be offered at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Collection is prohibited. Friday and Saturday evening presentations will focus on reptile and amphibian natural history and conservation. Some demonstrations will include live venomous snakes! Registration upon arrival: $5/adult and $2/child. For more information contact Brian Gasdorf at .


Along the roadways and hiking trails you will find the following flowers in full bloom at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park in Prestonsburg: wood poppy, rue anemone, dwarf cinquefoil, corydalis, cut-leafed toothwort, Kentucky bluets, common purple violet, smooth yellow violet, long spurred violet, pussy toes, chickweed, large flowered trillium, wild geranium, golden ragwort, black mustard, crested dwarf iris, sweet cicely, May apple, stonecrop, blue phlox, fleabane, lyre-leafed sage, pennywort, Allegheny spurge, early scorpion grass, bedstraw, alumroot, wood anemone, foam flower, mountain wood sorel, French bluets, fire pink and violet wood sorel.

The migratory songbirds that have returned this week include the American redstart, hooded warbler, yellow warbler, Louisiana water thrush, common yellow throat, yellow-throated warbler, black and white warbler, cerulean warbler, black-throated green warbler, ovenbird, yellow- throated vireo, solitary vireo, red-eyed vireo, prairie warbler, wood thrush, northern rough-winged swallow, barn swallow, eastern meadowlark, horned larks and indigo bunting. Other birds observed include common resident songbirds like the northern cardinal, tufted titmouse, eastern bluebird, Carolina chickadee, song sparrow, eastern phoebe, Carolina wren, eastern towhee, and wild turkey. Woodpeckers include red headed, red bellied, pileated, downy, hairy, and northern flicker.

At Pine Mountain State Resort Park in Pineville the dogwoods are flowering abundantly and the chartreuse hues of newly emerged leaves has clothed the bonier parts of mountain landscapes in a cloak of luxuriant green. Some of the hardier, long-flowering wildflowers like violets, trilliums, phlox and geraniums continue to provide good displays. They're now being joined by crested dwarf iris, showy orchis, Solomon’s plume, Canada Mayflower, speckled wood-lily, yellow mandarin, Indian cucumber-root, Jack-in-the-pulpit, wild columbine, and wild comfrey. In addition, pink lady's slippers are beginning to flower and May apple colonies abound.

North Central

At Buckley Wildlife Sanctuary near Frankfort there is a profusion of colors covering the landscape. Wildflowers in bloom include: blue phlox, celandine poppy, chickweed, blue violet, dandelion, fire pink, garlic mustard, ground ivy, golden ragwort, henbit, hooked crowfoot, Jacob's ladder, purple dead nettle, purple phacelia, rue anemone, smooth yellow violet, speedwell, spring beauty, stonecrop, wild hyacinth, wild ginger, sweet cecily, wild pink, and Philadelphia fleabane daisy. Scarlet and summer tanagers, indigo buntings, ruby-throated hummingbird, Baltimore oriole and many other birds are frequent visitors now. The dogwoods, lilacs, spicebush and buckeyes are in bloom as well.

South Central

At Mammoth Cave National Park dogwoods are in full bloom. Other trees are blooming and budding out, giving the woods a wide variety of green hues. Wild geraniums and hoary cuccoon can been seen along roadsides and trails.

Rangers lead surface walks daily, starting at 9 a.m. to the Three Springs Pumphouse. On Friday and Saturday, at 3:30 p.m. there is also a guided walk to Cedar Sink. Check out the park webcam for a springtime view of Green River valley at


Along the trails at Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park in Dawson Springs spring wildflowers in bloom include: rue anemone, bluets, small bluets, pussytoes, star chickweed, early saxifrage, yellow woodland violet, prairie trillium, ragwort, Virginia bluebell, buttercup, blue phlox, wood betony, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, dwarf dandelion, violet wood sorrel, false garlic, wild geranium, dwarf crested iris, Virginia spiderwort, dwarf larkspur and spring beauty. The May apples have their umbrella-like leaves up and some will soon be in flower. Trees are flowering in the area with the showiest blooms belonging to flowering dogwood. Eastern bluebirds, Carolina wrens, and Carolina chickadees have begun nesting in the park. Belted kingfishers can be heard and often seen around the dam and Clifty Creek Trail. Orchard orioles are courting on the lake trail near the boat dock and male scarlet tanagers are beginning to vie for females’ attention on the cottage road near the Clifty Creek trail head. You may also catch a glimpse of rose-breasted grosbeaks at the birdfeeders around the lodge.


Jack-in-the-Pulpit is showing off at John James Audubon State Park in Henderson. In addition, blue-eyed Mary, butterweed, spring beauty, false rue anemone, small-flower baby blue eyes, drooping trillium, common cinquefoil, garlic mustard, common blue violet, smooth yellow violet and confederate violet are all in bloom.

Come celebrate the Ohio Valley Birding Festival May 1 through 4. Enjoy bird tours, a family day, bird of prey programs, bird banding programs, lectures, book signings and presentations. Visit or contact Julie McDonald at 270-826-2247 or for a full schedule of events.


Trails, hillsides and edge areas (where fields meet woods) are alive and in bloom at Lake Barkley State Park in Cadiz. The lovely, yet subtle, presence of Jack-in-the-pulpit, paw paw flowers, Solomon’s seal, wild ginger and May apple blooms adds to the showy colors of fire pink, trillium, larkspur, violets, trout lily, trumpet creeper and blue phlox. Spring has been long-lasting this year, adding a few more weeks to the splendor and variety of the season’s blooms – from the golf course to the roadsides and every trail in between!


At Land Between the Lakes, a great drive is the Cruther hollow, just south of the Homeplace. The ground is covered with dwarf crested iris and fire pink. You can also find in abundance recurved trillium, giant chickweed, hairy buttercup, Solomon’s seal, May apple, Jacob’s ladder, Jack-in-the-pulpit, wild blue phlox and a few remaining rue anemone. Driving up the Trace north of Golden Pond, dogwoods still dominate and are one of the best shows in many years. Here you will catch a few remnant redbuds dotting the landscape. Woodland Walk gives you a nice display of woodlands flowers. Look for dogwoods, tulip poplars, Jack-in-the-pulpits, Jacob’s ladder and trilliums. At the Nature Station, white trillium, Jacob’s ladder, Jack-in-the-pulpit, wild columbine, May apple, viburnum, bladdernut and pawpaw can be observed.


Statement From Outgoing KY Postsecondary Education President.

Today I announce my resignation as president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. I do this for one reason: in the foreseeable future, it would be necessary to devote excessive time and effort to unproductive activities, denying me the satisfaction of fruitful work.

I was drawn to this position by my desire to make a meaningful contribution in aligning the Commonwealth’s always-limited resources to our statewide postsecondary education goals.

During my eight month tenure, there has arisen within the Council a consensus agenda that focuses on affordability, performance funding, accountability and the state’s Double the Numbers educational attainment goal. The Council determined from my track record here that my experience and qualifications would be a good match with its long-term agenda.

I am not aware of any dissimilarity between the Council’s postsecondary education agenda and that of Governor Beshear. Iin the last two weeks, he has shown a determined interest in the Council’s presidency, contending that the organization must duplicate last year’s search and must exclude me from it.

I have no desire to wage a battle with the Governor over this matter. It would unduly harm Kentucky’s postsecondary education reform efforts, and the positive momentum that has been achieved to this point.
It has been a great pleasur
e to have had the opportunity to work over the past eight months with a deeply committed staff and outstanding board members. The Council’s work is nationally respected and should be a source of great pride to the Commonwealth.

The effective date of my resignation will be worked out with the Council to provide a seamless transition to new leadership.


Bridge Dedication Scheduled For Saturday.

Senate Majority Leader H. Truman Chafin (D-Mingo) is extending an invitation to all Mingo Countians to join him Saturday afternoon, May 3, 2008 at 12:30 p.m. in Delbarton, WV., to participate in the dedication ceremony marking the naming of the "Thomas Elbert Muncy, Jr. Memorial Bridge".

Thomas Elbert Muncy, Jr. was born on January 27, 1921, and passed away on December 30, 1976, at the young age of 55. Thomas spent the greater part of his life in the Puritan Mines area, devoting 34 years to a career in the local coal mines.
Thomas was married to the late Kathleen McCoy Muncy, and leaves behind a legacy of nine children, seventeen grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.

Thomas was dedicated to his family, his church, and his community. He played an instrumental role in pushing for the installation of a vital water project in the Puritan Mines community, which greatly benefitted all those who reside there. Thomas was always willing to lend a helping hand to his neighbor, and teamed with his fellow church members to distribute food baskets to ensure that local families would have a Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.
Thomas loved his church, now known as the Regional Church of God, and believed nothing was more important or a greater privilege than loving and serving God.

Senator Chafin was approached by members of the Puritan Mines community who felt a fitting tribute to the life of a "fine, country gentleman"
would be to name the recently completed Bridge # 10525 located in their community on Rt. 65/5 after Thomas Muncy.

"The memories of our neighbors, family and friends will remain in our hearts and minds long after we have forgotten who may have held office, owned businesses or who’s name was always in the news," stated Chafin.

"Men like Thomas Muncy who lead a quiet, country life should be remembered as the back bone that makes our county the fine place it is today," remarked the Senator.
"It gives me great pleasure to announce the naming of the Thomas Elbert Muncy, Jr. Memorial Bridge, dedicated to the memory of a man who, like most of his neighbors, worked here, worshiped here, raised his family here and devoted his time and energy to seeing this community grow and prosper."

I’d truly hate to think where Mingo County would be today without men like Thomas Muncy," concluded Chafin.

The dedication ceremony is slated to begin at 12:30 p.m. at the sight of Bridge # 10525, with several guest speakers including Senator Chafin schedule to address the crowd. A small reception will be held inside the Delbarton Opry House immediately following the completition of the event.


Postage Rates To Rise

On May 12, the Postal Service says the price of a first class stamp will rise from 41 cents to 42 cents. The Postal Service is already selling the newly priced stamps. Some are stocking up on the 41 cent stamp because it can be used anytime after the increase.

In a year's time, this is the second increase. The Postal Service attributes the increase to rising gasoline prices, saying they've been hit hard.


Unemployment Rate Rose in 86 Counties During Last Year

Eighty-six counties in Kentucky experienced a rise in their unemployment rate from March, 2007 until March, 2008. The rate fell in thirty-one counties, and remained the same in three counties.

The unemployment rate in Pike County stands at 6%...down .3% during the same period.


Dead Fish Result Of Sport Fishing

An investigation into the cause of dead fish found last week in the Russell Fork of the Big Sandy River near Millard shows it was not caused by toxic levels in the water.

Tom Gabbard, field operation manager for the state Division of Water, says the fish had been caught and filleted on the river bank.

Gabbard said, "the important thing is that local residents are aware of their surroundings and eager to report observations that appear out of the norm".

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Bob Pruett To Be Guest Speaker At SWVCTC Commencement.

Former Marshall University head football coach Bob Pruett will be the
featured speaker during Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College's Commencement on Saturday, May 10th. The program is set to begin at 10 a.m. at the Coalfield Jamboree in downtown Logan.

A native of Beckley, Pruett recently came out of retirement to become
the defensive coordinator for the Virginia Cavaliers in
Charlottesville, VA.

During his tenure at Marshall, Coach Pruett directed the Thundering
to a 94-23 record over nine seasons between 1996 to 2005.
During this time, Marshall had one of the most successful football
programs in the nation. Under Pruett's direction, the Thundering Herd also featured two undefeated seasons, won six conference
championships, won five of seven bowl games, and captured the I-AA
National Championship in 1996. Pruett coached three Heisman Trophy candidates and a host of NFL first round draft choices.

Since retiring from coaching in March of 2005, Pruett worked as an
on-air commentator for ESPN and served as a spokesperson for Friends of Coal.

Coach Pruett has been honored by numerous organizations during his
successful career. In 1996 he was named the Frank Leahy and
Chevrolet National Coach of the Year and was a finalist for the Bear
Bryant Coach of the Year Award in 1999. He was the MAC Coach of the Year in
1998 and 1999. He was inducted in Marshall's Hall of Fame in 1999 and received the All-American Football Foundation's Johnny
Vaught Lifetime Achievement Award that same year. At the 2003 Marshall
commencement ceremonies Coach Pruett was honored by the College
of Education and Human Services with its Distinguished
Alumni Award. In 2006 Marshall opened the Bobby Pruett Training Complex
that includes the Thundering Herd's new weight room. In June of
2007 a football stadium in his hometown was named in his honor.

Pruett earned his undergraduate degree in education from Marshall
University in 1965. He lettered in football, wrestling and track while attending Marshall. Pruett received his Masters of Science in Organization and Administration from Virginia Tech in 1992. He and his wife, Elsie, have three sons.


Teens Arrested In Johnson County In Stolen Vehicle

Two teens were caught in Johnson County after a high speed chase led Paintsville Police on US23, going over 110mph. The chase ended when the teens' car tires blew out and they hit a parked school bus.

The car was reported stolen in Ohio, and they had more than $40,000 in stolen cash and several stolen guns in the car.

Police say neither was old enough to have a drivers' license.


Beshear Strikes Down Road Funding Bill.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear vetoed the two year transportation plan, which includes hundreds of road and bridge projects across the commonwealth. The Bill was recently approved by lawmakers.

Beshear says the General Assembly’s plan would hamper his administration’s ability to deal with any projects that cost more than originally expected.

The governor says that his administration will make a substitute plan to manage the road plans.


WVU President Not Stepping Down.

WVU President Mike Garrison says that although he is accepting the responsibility that the institution should not have awarded Governor Joe Manchin’s daughter a masters degree that she did not earn , he isn’t stepping down from his position.

Garrison says that he never ordered anyone to give credits, grades or a degree to Heather Manchin Bresch, or, to any other student.

Garrison added that the decision to award Bresch the degree was wrong.


Eight Die On Kentucky Roadways. Fewer Fatalities Thus Far In 2008

Preliminary statistics* indicate that eight people died in eight separate crashes on Kentucky’s roadways from Monday, Apr. 21 through Sunday, Apr. 26, 2008.

Five of the fatalities were traveling in motor vehicles and four of those victims were not wearing seat belts.

There were two motorcycle fatalities and one of those victims was not wearing a helmet. The fatalities occurred in Bullitt and Scott counties. One pedestrian fatality occurred in Hancock county.

Single-fatality crashes occurred in Clay, Fayette, Hopkins, and Pike (2) counties and two of those resulted from the suspected use of alcohol.

Through April 26, preliminary statistics* indicate that 221 people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways during 2008. This is 31 fewer than reported for this time period in 2007. Of the 183 motor vehicle fatalities, 121 victims were not wearing seat belts. Of the 16 motorcycle fatalities, ten were not wearing helmets. Twenty-one pedestrians have been killed. A total of 45 fatalities have resulted from crashes involving the suspected use of alcohol.


WV Senate Majority Leader Presents $ 5,000 Check To The Town of kermit.

West Virginia Senate Majority Leader Truman Chafin presented Kermit Mayor Johnny Linville a $ 5,000 check.

The funding was approved by the legislature.

Mayor Linville says that the money will be used to help make the Kermit Community Center handicap accessible.

Chafin says that the infrastructure grants are vital to small towns


Town of Kermit To Go After Homeland Security Grant.

Kermit Mayor Johnny Linville told town council Monday that the city will go after a Homeland Security Grant in the amount of $ 18,000.

Linville says that the town must purchase a barbed wire fence that would be installed around the two water tanks. Linville added that the WV Department of Health has made the requirement.


Pike County Judge Executive Responds To Reported Fish Kill

A reported fish kill on the Russell Fork of the Big Sandy River has Pike County Judge/Executive Wayne T. Rutherford concerned about the safety of the waterways in that section of the Big Sandy River.

While on an economic development trip in regard to adventure tourism in Maryland, Rutherford voiced concern about the fish kill and the root of the cause.

“We must find out why these fish died near Millard on the Russell Fork. We must be proof positive as to the cause and that the watershed is safe—both for recreational purposes and for drinking water. Both the Levisa Fork and Russell Fork eco-systems could be on the brink of a major toxic event,” Rutherford said.

Rutherford pointed out he has always had concern about the selenium build-up that could affect the reproductive systems of the fish. Selenium toxicity would spiral out of control and our fish population would collapse.

Selenium is a non-metal chemical related to sulfur and can be toxic in large amounts. Water systems and fish may be severely impacted as a result of agricultural runoff courses through normally dry, undeveloped lands. This process leaches natural soluble selenium compounds into the water, which may then be concentrated in the water system. High selenium levels produced in this fashion have been found to have caused certain congenital disorders in animals.
Rutherford is calling for a full investigation into this recent fish kill to see if there is any link between mine discharge, such as is ongoing in Grundy, Virginia, by Consol and the fish kill.
“I want to ensure that this is not a coal industry problem; I want to be sure there is a balance between the economy and the ecology concerns. I support the industry 100% but want to make sure that there is balance,” Rutherford continued.

Rutherford will be working with the Fiscal Court that, once the cause of the fish kill is identified, that if any further action is needed they will respond as necessary.
“We are very concerned over this situation. We want to ensure the wildlife and the people in that area and downstream are safe. We are asking to the state to respond immediately. The Fiscal Court will decide what action it can take to protect the watersheds within the County, and to make sure the health of the people are protected,” Rutherford concluded.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


50 Year Anniversary Of Floyd County Fire and Rescue Squad

Hundreds of people gathered under a tent Sunday to celebrate the 50th birthday of the Floyd County Fre and Rescue Squad.

The squad was formed just two months after a devastating bus crash that killed 26 students and the driver.

James Noble and Graham Tackett came up with the idea to form the squad after they lost children in the bus crash.

The FCFRS was the first of its kind in Kentucky.

Petty Thompson one of the charter members told us that recruiting members was easy everyone was interested in joining. The 80 year-old was an active member for three decades.

Capt. Timothy Cooley says that the department operates on donations.

Floyd County Judge Executive Doc Marshall says that he has tremendous respect for the individuals that have helped keeping the department going for the last 50 years.


Nationally Acclaimed Chemical Engineer and Scientist Will Be New Cabinet Secretary For Energy and Environmental Affairs.

A nationally-acclaimed chemical engineer will become Kentucky’s next Energy and Environmental Secretary when the current Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet is reorganized.
He is Dr. Leonard Peters, 68, who recently stepped down as vice president of Global Laboratory Operations for Battelle Memorial Institute, headquartered in Columbus, OH.
In announcing Peters’ selection, Gov. Steve Beshear said the famed scientist would assume this role upon announcement of the new cabinet’s structure, which is expected in the next few weeks.
“Len is a man of impressive credentials. He has achieved in so many areas – as a leader of large organizations, as an educator, researcher and author on multiple environmental issues,” he noted.
Citing Peters’ vast knowledge of the coal industry and renewable energy sources as a result of 19 years at the University of Kentucky, Beshear called Dr. Peters “a perfect selection in helping balance energy needs with environmental concerns.”
“Dr. Peters, Secretary Bob Vance (secretary of the EPPC Cabinet) and I have conferred extensively on how Kentucky can gain the greatest benefit in such an important reorganization,” the governor added.
At Battelle, Peters led the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., where he directed 4,200 scientists and support staff with a budget of nearly $750 million. Much of that revenue came from contracts, grants and private fund initiatives.
He realigned the lab’s research priorities for a diverse customer base in meeting their 21st century needs. Another major achievement was in defining Battelle’s partnerships with universities. The laboratory has major research and development programs in fundamental science, energy, environment, and national and homeland security.
From 1993 to 2003 Dr. Peters served in several key positions at Virginia Tech, including vice provost for research, president of Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, Inc., and as dean of the graduate school.
Before that he spent almost two decades with the University of Kentucky. Among a number of capacities were professor of engineering, Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies and acting VP for Research and Graduate studies. He also was chairman of the Chemical Engineering Department.
In his administrative capacity at UK, Peters was responsible for the Kentucky Geological Survey as well as the Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research and other research centers.
At present he is a member of the University of Pittsburgh’s Mascaro Sustainability Institute Board as well as Microsoft Research’s Academic Advisory Board. Dr. Peters is a native of the Pittsburgh area.
An international lecturer, he has written and published extensively in journals, proceedings and books.
Among honors received are the Oak Ridge Associated Universities’ Outstanding Leadership award, the NASA Group Achievement Award, and Outstanding Contribution in Research by the Southeastern Section of the American Society for Engineering Education.
He also received The National Science Foundation Award in recognition of contributions to science and technology in Kentucky. The College of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh has recognized him as an Outstanding Alumnus.
Dr. Peters and his wife, Georgiana, live in Shelby County.


Beshear To Sign Mortgage Bill Into Law.

On Monday, Gov. Steve Beshear will sign into law House Bill 552, which makes changes in Kentucky’s mortgage industry designed to protect consumers and reduce fraud. Unless stated otherwise in the bill, these changes will take effect immediately. The bill was drafted by the Office of Financial Institutions – which regulates the mortgage industry in Kentucky – in conjunction with legislators, consumer groups and industry representatives. The bill’s sponsor is Rep. Tommy Thompson (D-Owensboro).


WV Governor Announces Funding For New Lincoln County School.

West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin paid a visit to the small Lincoln County community of Harts Friday night to announce that the School Building Authority has awarded the Lincoln County Board of Education $ 12.3 million to construct a new k-8 school. About 100 people attended the ceremony.

One board member says that the next step is to look for property for the new school.


WV Supreme Court Over Turns Two Convictions

The West Virginia State Supreme Court unanimously overturned the convictions of Betty Jarvis and Wanda Carney.

Both women were convicted of conspiracy and obstruction after allegedly interfering in the 2005 probe of drug informant Carla Collins.

Jarvis is the aunt of Walter Harmon, who was among those charged in a plot to kill Collins and Carney worked for Harmon’s defense lawyer.

The two women were sentenced to three years probation and community service.

The high court said the duo’s actions did not amount to crimes.


Massey Announces $ 310 Million Expansion Plan.

Massey Energy announced it will spend $ 310 millions on expansion over the next year.

The company plans to reinvest cash from operations to finance the expansion plan. The company says it will see new mines opening at a rate of once every 17 days this year.

Massey says that the plan is aimed at taking advantage of soaring demand and prices for coal.


Convicted Murderer Has Sentence Reduced

Cabell County Circuit Court Judge Dan O’ Hanlon has reduced the murder sentence of Rafelle Harris from 40 to 25 years on Friday.

Harris testified against two other defendents that were responsible for the death of Logan County resident Wendy Morgan.

The 31 year-old Morgan was killed in 2004.


Dead Bear Found On Porch.

One Man resident was surprised when she walked out on her back porch last week.

Elaine Short discovered a large dead bear .

The Department of Natural Resources says that someone shot the bear with an arrow and the animal wandered onto the porch.

An investigation is now underway authorities want to find out on who killed the bear because archery season for bear is still several months away.


One Killed Two Injured After Accident at Robinson Creek.

According to the Kentucky State Police the victim was 77 year-old Billy E. Johnson, Sr. of Pikeville. Injured were 39 year-old Scott Mullins and 31 year-old Wendy Mullins both of Virgie.

According to the accident report the accident happened on KY 122 at Robinson Creek.

Johnson was attempting to make a left turn into the Robinson Creek Post Office. Mr. Johnson pulled into the path of a vehicle that was occupied by the Mullins’. Scott Mullins was transported to Pikeville Medical Center while Wendy was airlifted to another facility.


Elkhorn City Man Killed In Single Vehicle Accident.

An Elkhorn City man was killed in a single vehicle accident early Saturday morning.

The victim, 41 year-old Derek Pergrem lost control of his vehicle and struck a utility pole. The vehicle landed on its top in a nearby creek.

The mishap occurred on Route 197 at Elkhorn City.

According to the Kentucky State Police, Pergrem wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.

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