Saturday, May 17, 2008


Update On Fatal Mining Accident

A Chatteroy man died Friday night after he was electrocuted at a Logan County underground mine.

The victim 24 year old Nathan Dove of Chatteroy was reportedly repairing a shuttle car when the accident happened.

A state spokersperson told EKB that the incident happened Friday night at the Alma No 1 Mine located at Melville.

Dove is a graduate of Williamson High School were he was a football standout


Hillary Cllinton To Visit Prestonsburg Monday

Ted George the principal of Prestonsburg High School as confirmed that former first lady and presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton will be speaking inside of his school's gymnasium sometime Monday.

George says that a definite time has not been worked out as of yet.

Kentucky's primary is Tuesday. Clinton is expected to carry Kentucky big.

The latest poll showed her leading Barack Obama by 27 percent.


Former Williamson High School Athlete Reportedly Killed In Mining Accident.

A Mingo County coal miner was reportedly killed Friday night at a Logan County underground coal mine.

According to a family member the victim is Nathan Dove of Chatteroy.

Dove was a standout baseball and football player at Williamson High School.

The family member told us that Dove an electrician at the mine somehow spliced into a live wire.

Dove was pronounced dead at Logan Regional Medical Center .

His body was sent to the state medical examiner office for an autopsy

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Pike County Man Arrested For Allegedly Stealing Copper Cable In West Virginia.

The Williamson Police department arrested a Pike County man after he allegedly stole copper cable that belonged to Norfolk Southern Railroad. The theft occurred behind the office of the Williamson Daily News.

26 year old Billy Joe Wallace III, of Aflex has been charged with grand larceny


23rd Annual Big Sandy Senior Games Set For Friday

The 23rd Annual Big Sandy Senior Games will be held Friday at Dewey Dam in Prestonsburg.

Over 320 residents that range in age from 50 to 95 years of age will be competing in several events.

The top three finishers in each event will be awarded a medal.

Liz Hamilton with Big Sandy ADD says that this is a way for seniors to get out stay active in return will keep them healthy


Two New Police Cruisers For Elkhorn City.

Thanks to the USDA, the Big Sandy ADD, state and county officials Elkhorn City received two new police cruisers. Kenneth Slone, Kentucky USDA Director handed the keys to the new cruisers to Mayor Billy Powell.

The USDA grant was $ 27,500 and the Pike County Fiscal Court kicked in the final $ 22,500.

Mayor Powell says that it has been a long time since his city has had adequate cruisers.

The city had been using an older model sheriff's cruiser that had been given to the city by the sheriff's office.


Pike County American Cancer Society Relay For Life Set For Friday

The annual Pike County American Cancer Society Relay for Life will begin Friday night at 6:30 p.m. from Bob Amos Park in Pikeville.

Chairperson Cindy May Johnson says that over 50 teams have signed up and the monetary goal for this year is $ 200,000.


Budget Allows For Pike County Election Officers To Receive Pay Hike For Primary Election.

The Pike County Fiscal Court heard comments from Pike County Treasurer Johnda Billiter during their last regular court meeting, and what they heard was good news.

Pike County election officers will receive an increase in pay for their work now, rather than later.

“In a review of the budget we found there was money that we could allow the increase to come during the primary election,” Billiter told fiscal court members.

In mid-February, the Court approved the pay increase, which would see officers paid $150, including training, for the day of the election, with Pike County Judge/Executive Wayne T. Rutherford saying the move to do so was essential.

“This was long overdue,” Rutherford said, “We had been paying below minimum wage, if you consider the number of hours these people work during election.”


Magoffin County Drug Investigation Leads To 21 Indictments , Discovery of Large Moonshine Operation.

An eight-month undercover investigation into illegal drug trafficking in Magoffin County has resulted in arrest warrants for 21 individuals on 45 charges.
Operation UNITE detectives, with the assistance from the Magoffin County Sheriff¹s Office, began serving the indictment warrants on Monday, May 12.
As of Thursday afternoon 14 of the suspects had been located.
Late Wednesday morning law enforcement officers happened upon a large indoor moonshine still at a residence on Roanne Road in a remote section of southern Magoffin County.
About 11:30 a.m., UNITE detectives and sheriff¹s deputies went to the home of 42-year-old Edison Porter, located at the end of a mile-long driveway on top of an abandoned strip mine, to serve a warrant for trafficking in marijuana (less than 8 ounces).
Porter apparently spotted the officers approach and fled out the back door of an outbuilding, which housed the still, items used to produce moonshine, and containers of the finished product.
Kentucky State Police troopers and Alcohol Beverage Control officers were called for assistance.
Inside the shed police discovered eight one-gallon jugs and 50 quart jars filled with moonshine, large tank being heated with a propane burner, four barrels of sour mash, and bags of corn, rye, yeast and other supplies.
ABC officials are continuing the investigation and will decide what charges to file.
Porter was charged Thursday after turning himself in to authorities.
In addition, on Tuesday, police arrested two Lawrence County men while attempting to serve a warrant at a residence on Flynt Branch. Police recovered approximately 200 Oxycodone pills and 100 Xanax bars from one of these subjects.
€ Terry Raines, age 45, of Highway 1690, Louisa, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and tampering with physical evidence.
€ Jackie B. Haney, age 40, Lawrence County, first-degree possession of a controlled substance (Oxycodone). Haney also had an indictment warrant from Floyd County for first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
Magoffin Sheriff Randall Jordan extended the resources of his department during the investigation, which involved mainly sales of OxyContin, Hydrocodone and some Percocet tablets. Sealed indictments were returned by the Magoffin County Grand Jury last week.
Officers continued to search for seven suspects Thursday afternoon.
Arrested as part of the investigation were:
€ David Arnett, age 41, of State Route 40, Salyersville, three counts of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (second offense), and second-degree persistent felony offender.
€ Creed Edward Arnett, age 33, of River Road, Salyersville, four counts of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
€ Lora Ball, age 38, of State Route 378, Salyersville, two counts of second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
€ Jamie Bailey, age 35, of Porter Road, Royalton, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
€ Kerry A. Burke, age 27, of Bull Mire Road, Royalton, two counts second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
€ Bridgette L. Carty, age 27, of State Route 7, Royalton, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
€ Elwood Fletcher, age 49, State Route 378, Salyersville, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
€ Amanda Howard, age 25, of Bull Mire Road, Royalton, three counts of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
€ Bobby D. Howard, age 36, of State Route 7, Royalton, three counts of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
€ James K. McGuire, age 68, of Route 40, Salyersville, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
€ Remonia Mills, age 36, of Boyd Branch, Paintsville (Johnson County), two counts of first-degree possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine and cocaine), possession of drug paraphernalia, and first-degree persistent felony offender.
€ Roger L. Nickels, age 46, of Mill Fork Road, Royalton, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
€ Edison Porter, age 42, of Roanne Road, Royalton, trafficking in marijuana less than 8 ounces. Additional charges are pending.
€ Jeremy M. Puckett, age 32, of Flynt Branch Road, Salyersville, first-degree conspiracy to traffic in a controlled substance (OxyContin) and possession of drug paraphernalia.


$ 4.6 Million Slated For Kentucky Emergency Management Capabilities.

U.S. Representative Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY05) announced today that Kentucky public safety agencies will be receiving $4.6 million in U.S. Department of Homeland Security Emergency Management Performance Grants. These funds assist state and local emergency operations centers – the coordination hubs during multi-agency responses to disasters.
Emergency management agencies bring together law enforcement, fire, EMS and public health, to coordinate government resources and maximize preparedness, response and recovery measures.
“We must enable our first responders on the front lines to work seamlessly with each other to effectively manage emergencies,” said Rogers. “These funds will increase Kentucky’s ability to manage those complex, multi-jurisdictional incidents where seconds count and lives are at stake.”
The Emergency Management Performance Grant program provides funding to states to boost capabilities at emergency operations centers across the country. This year, the Department of Homeland Security is awarding $300 million under this program.
Rogers is the top member of his party on the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, which writes the federal budget for DHS and has direct oversight of the Department’s wide-ranging security efforts


Congressman Hal Rogers Announces $ 597,000 To Protect Kentucky's Critical Infrastructure.

U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) announced today that Kentucky is slated to receive $597,000 to protect critical infrastructure– power plants, chemical facilities, stadiums, and other high-risk assets, through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s buffer zone protection program.
“Terrorists wish to wreak the most havoc and inflict the most loss of life, economic and property destruction they can,” said Rogers. “They are on the lookout for our vulnerabilities and increasing our security measures around our state’s most critical assets keeps us ahead of their planning and plotting and might very well thwart the next possible attack.”
A variety of upgraded security measures are eligible under the buffer zone protection program including protection against explosive attacks, preparedness planning, training, equipment and exercise funding.
Rogers is the top member of his party on the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, which writes the federal budget for DHS, and has direct oversight of the Department’s wide-ranging security efforts.


Kentucky Fire Departments Eligible For Funding To Increase Staffing Levels.

.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) announced today that Kentucky fire departments can apply for a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Grant that enables them to increase the number of firefighters. The nationwide goal of the grant is to help departments achieve 24-hour staffing and deployment capabilities.
“Firefighters are front and center for emergencies large and small,” said Rogers. “Increasing staffing levels at our fire departments make us better prepared not only for putting out fires, but also for any number of potential disasters.”
Known as SAFER grants, this initiative enables hiring of full-time firefighters and assists with recruitment and retention of volunteers. Fire departments can apply between May 27 and June 27. The grants pay a portion of the salaries of newly hired firefighters over the five-year time frame under grant rules.
SAFER Guidance and application materials are currently available for review at
Nationwide, DHS will award approximately $165 million in SAFER grants. As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, Rogers works to secure funding for important homeland security initiatives in the fifth Congressional district.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Eastern Kentucky Woman Receives Lifetime Award.

Floyd County resident Garnett Fairchild received the Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement .

Fairchild was chosen for the honor because of her loyalty of being a volunteer at Highlands Regional Center for the last 35 years.

First Lady Jane Beshear presented Fairchild with the award during a ceremony that was held in Frankfort.


Two Pike County Teenagers Still Missing.

Two Pike County Central students remain missing, It was confirmed by the families of the teenage girls late Wednesday night.

16 year old Rachel Lakeyshia Brianna Grizzle of Raccoon was last heard from Saturday morning as she was last seen in Pikeville near College Street. She was scheduled to work that morning at McDonald’s on Cassidy Blvd.

Grizzle is caucasian with reddish blonde hair, has a nose and tongue piercing and a tattoo of a cross on her left arm .

15 year old Kayla West of Raccoon was last seen Friday night attending her prom.

West is caucasian, she is 5’4, weigh 120 pounds, West has dark brown hair and greenish eyes.

If you have any information concerning the location of these two teens contact the Kentucky State Police at 606 – 433 -7711


WVU Faculty Demands President To Resign.

By a vote of 563 – 35 West Virginia University’s faculty say that they want President Mike Garrison to resign due to the degree scandal involving Governor Joe Manchin’s daughter.

It has been 31 years since the faculty has cast such a vote.

Garrison has refused to resign.

Garrison has taken heat since it was discovered that Heather Bresch received a masters degree in business that she didn’t earn.


Kentucky State Police Looking For Man That Robbed Floyd County Bank.

Kentucky State Police continue to search for a male suspect that allegedly walked into the Citizens National Bank at Garrett gave a teller a note that said, "give me money or someone is going to get hurt".

The incident happened Wednesday afternoon

The man got away with an undetermined amount of cash.

Bank officials are offering a $ 5,000 award on information that would lead authorities to the arrest of the suspect.

If anyone has any information contact the Kentucky State Police at 606-433-7711


Pike and Martin Counties Receive Recreational Trails Funding

Gov. Steve Beshear, in conjunction with the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD) and the Recreational Trails Advisory Board, has announced the approval of 25 Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grants for a total allocation of $1,231,844.

Pike County received $ 100,000 to be used for the development of ATV trails.

Martin County received $ 20,100 that will go toward the creation of a nature and fitness trail project.

“I am pleased to approve these grants for projects which will continue to promote an active, outdoor lifestyle for families and individuals across the commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear. “The Recreational Trails Program is essential for maintaining and expanding our state’s existing network of trails that cater to such a variety of interests and ages.”

The RTP is an assistance program funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Kentucky’s RTP is administered by GOLD and requires that applicants match the amount of funds requested to receive a 50% reimbursement on approved projects. Those eligible to apply are city and county governments, state and federal agencies, and non-profit organizations.

RTP grants may be used to provide assistance for acquisition of easements, development and/or maintenance of recreational trails and trailhead facilities for both motorized and non-motorized use. Examples of trail uses include hiking, bicycling, in-line skating, equestrian use, off-road motorcycling and all-terrain vehicle riding.


Kentucky State Police Offer Free Motorcycle Course

With warm weather and high gas prices making the allure of a motorcycle especially appealing, KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer wants riders to make sure they have proper training before heading out on the road.

"Motorcycling attracts people of all ages – both new and veteran riders alike must make safety a priority every time they ride,” said Brewer.

“Matching the size and power of the bike to your skill and experience is critical. This is especially important for people who haven't ridden in years and whose skills may need refreshed. I encourage all to practice safe, responsible riding by wearing the proper gear, learning how to ride within their capabilities and enroll in a motorcycle safety course,” added Brewer.

KSP will offer a comprehensive motorcycle safety course on June 27, 2008 in Frankfort from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. at their headquarters location on Versailles road. The safety course will be free but is limited to the first one hundred people who register, due to space limitations. The course will be taught by Trooper First Class Walt Meachum, who is a certified Rider Coach for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF).

“Motorcycling is just like any other sport, the more you practice the better you become. Most of the time, if you are a safe motorcyclist, you will also be safe when driving a car,” said Meachum.

Trooper Meachum will utilize MSF video and materials that will cover several topics including: sharing the road with motorists; safe riding tips; baby boomers and mature riders; proper gear and riding sober.

Last year, Captain Tim Lucas, Commander of the KSP Highway Safety Branch unveiled a new motorcycle safety program that included training sixteen public affairs officers by a certified MSF instructor in a ‘train-the-trainer’ style format. The troopers received training and visual resources that have been used for classroom instruction in their respective post areas.

“All too often after a motorcycle crash, the drivers of other vehicles involved say they never saw the motorcyclist and were unable to respond in time,” said Lucas.

“This is no excuse. Too many lives are being lost. Our goal is to increase public awareness through these safety courses and reduce motorcycle fatalities on Kentucky roadways,” he added.

Motorcycle fatalities account for eleven percent of vehicle fatalities nationally, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. There were 4,810 motorcyclist deaths nationwide in 2006.
Last year, Kentucky reported 1,965 collisions that resulted in 105 fatalities involving motorcycles. Each year these numbers have steadily increased.
“We want to encourage the motoring public to be vigilant in observing motorcyclists and to encourage riders to ride like their life depends on it,” added Lucas.

KSP also reminds the driving public that July 16 is national “Ride Your Motorcycle to Work Day” and urged extra caution on that day due to increased motorcycle traffic.

For more information about the free motorcycle safety course you can contact the Highway Safety Branch at (502) 695-6353 or download a registration form from the KSP website at


Canvass Count Begins Friday

The Mingo County Commission will canvass the votes beginning at 9 a.m. Friday morning in the election room inside the Mingo County Courthouse.

Only one office could be effected and that is the non partisan board of education race where Bill Kirk rallied late and currently leads Jackie Branch by a mere 57 votes.

A canvass count is required in order to make the election results final.

Forty – nine percent of registered voters voted.


Benefit Concert Featuring Big Sandy Singers Next Tuesday

The Big Sandy Singers with InHarmony and Serenade will present a benefit concert in Pikeville on Tuesday, May 20, at 7:00 PM at Booth Auditorium on the Pikeville College campus. Admission is $7 and tickets are available at the door.

The groups, who are all a part of the Big Sandy Community and Technical College Music Program, will be performing the benefit for a group of eastern Kentuckians, from across the region who will be taking a mission trip to Honduras to build homes for families.


Gas Prices Climb To Record High In Southern West Virginia.

Buying gas in southern West Virginia is pinching your wallet even more. Gas prices for regular unleaded from Williamson to Logan is ranging between a record $ 3.95 to $3.98.

The average price state wide has climbed to $ 3.86 per gallon. That is about nine cents more than the national average.


Final Mingo County Results

20th District House Race

(i) Steve Kominar 4,094

21st District House Race

(I) Harry Keith White 3,021

Circuit Court Judge
(I) Mike Thornsbury 7,024

Robert Carleton 1,975

Family Court Judge

Miki Thompson 6,872

County Commissioner

( I ) Hootie Smith 5,824

Jim Harvey 2,920

Prosecuting Attorney
( I ) Michael Sparks 6,530


( I ) Lonnie Hannah 5,290

Tennis H. Hatfield 3,265

John Maynard 384

Freddie J. Hall 142

( I ) Ramona Mahon 5,665

Halcy Hatfield 3,073

Magistrate ( top 3 )

( I ) Dee Sidebottom 6,215

( I ) Pam Newsome 5,877

( I ) Eugene Crum 5,326

Jason Ryan Varney 1,775

Lee Hatfield 1,401

Non Partisan Board of Education ( top 2 )

William D. Duty 4,204

Bill Kirk 3,505

Jackie Branch 3,447

Larry Todd Hamrick 2,434


No Surprises in Mingo County Primary

The incumbents were victorious in Tuesday's primary election.

The closest battle of the night was in the non partisan board of education race as William D. Duty and Bill Kirk were elected Jackie Branch lost out by just 58 votes.

Mingo County Circuit Court Judge Mike Thornsbury was easily re – elected to serve a second eight year term as he garnered 78 percent of the vote.

The high profile sheriff’s race was never close as Lonnie Hannah was re – elected to a second four year term as he defeated Tennis H .Hatfield by 2,025 votes.

Ramona Mahon was elected to her first full term as assessor as she defeated Halcy Hatfield by 2,600 votes.

The three magistrate’s were easily re – elected top vote getter was Dee Sidebottom 6,215, Pam Newsome 5,877 and Eugene Crum 5,326.

Miki Thompson was elected family court judge as she tallied 6,872 votes.

Michael Sparks was re – elected to a second term as prosecutor as he garnered 6,530 votes.

Commissioner Hootie Smith was re- elected to a second 12 year term as he received 66 percent of the vote.

No republicans are running for county office in the fall.

Forty – nine percent of registered voters visited the polls.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Mingo County and West Virginia Election Results

Refresh this page to see updated results.

Polls Closed.

For Statewide Results:

Mingo County Results Here

Mingo County Selected Races 21 of 39 precincts
County Assessor:
Mahon - 3940
Hatfield - 2049

Hannah - 3515
Hatfield - 2298

Smith - 3982
Harvey - 2035

Circuit Judge:
Thornsbury - 4750
Carlton - 1413


Gas Prices Hit Record In Pikeville.

Gas prices continue to climb as of yesterday, the price for regular unleaded is a record $ 3.95 a gallon . Crude oil is currently up a dollar to $ 125.00 per barrel .

The state average for unleaded is $ 3.76. On the national level customers are paying $ 3.95.
The highest reported cost for gas in Kentucky is at Grayson $ 4.09 a gallon.


Kentucky Man Drowns In Alabama

Authorities in Decatur, Alabama have identified the body of a Kentucky man found floating in Flint Creek.

Coroner Russ Beard identified the victim as 58 year old Eugene Collins . Authorities say that the drown was accidental.


West Virginia's Unemployment Rate Dipped Slightly Last Month

According to Workforce West Virginia job the state lowered its unemployment rate by one tenth of a percentage point in April to 5.2 percent.

Construction added 2,600 jobs , natural resources and mining added 200 jobs.

42,200 residents were unemployed last month, a decline of 600 from the same period in 2007.


Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce Elects Officers.

The Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce elected officers at a recent meeting.

For the fourth time local businessman David Akers was elected president…. Also elected was June Blevins ( vice president ) and Albert Totten ( treasurer ).

Akers says that he would like the chamber to be more active in both politics and business.

Akers added that they both go hand in hand. Akers says that it is time for the Tug Valley to get off the fence and start lobbying for change to drastically benefit the area.

Executive Director Cecil Hatfield says that for this to happen the chamber would have to change its constitution.

Hatfield says that the purpose of the chamber is to advance the commercial, industrial and civic interests of the region.


Mayo Campus Of BSCTC Celebrated 70th Birthday

The Mayo Campus of Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) celebrates 70 years of continuous service to the Big Sandy area this year. Governor A.B. “Happy” Chandler signed the legislation instituting the Mayo Vocational School on April 14, 1938 and on July 26, 1938, Kentucky's Lieutenant Governor Keen Johnson officially accepted the deed to the old Mayo Estate property from owner E. J. Evans. More than 10,000 were on hand to witness the ceremony which marked the beginning of post-secondary educational opportunities for citizens of eastern Kentucky that had previously been available only to those who could afford to travel to universities and colleges many miles remote from their homes.

Over the years, Mayo grew and adapted to meet the needs of a changing society. As the citizens of the Big Sandy region lived through the war years, Mayo responded to their needs with training that equipped workers to be employed in plants and factories that supplied war-time needs. After the war, the school again reorganized to meet the needs of soldiers returning from war to a different community and workplace than they had left. Many of them wounded and changed required re-training to become employable in a world that had modernized while they were at war. Women also found more opportunities at Mayo as they moved out of the roles of housewives and into the world of business and industry. Times had changed and Mayo Vocational School changed with it.

As the years passed, each generation brought their own needs and Mayo Vocational School became Mayo Vocational Technical Institute and then Mayo Technical College as it responded to students’ needs. Five Area Centers were added in the five counties served by the school to provide two years of vocational training to students while still in high school.

Mayo Technical College united with Prestonsburg Community College in 2003 to form the Big Sandy Community and Technical College, one of 16 colleges that makes up the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. BSCTC has grown since then to over 5,000 students enrolled per semester. A recent graduation celebrated the commencement of 266 students who earned a total of 709 credentials. These graduates will enroll at a 4-year college or university to pursue a Baccalaureate degree or enter the workforce after graduation as trained professionals, ready to take their place in business and industry. Statistics show that college graduates are better equipped and qualified to earn a living wage for themselves and their families. They also improve the standard of work for the employer they work for. They contribute to the community and evidence shows that the role model they become for their children and those around them has a lasting effect on the community as a whole.

Recently BSCTC planted maple trees on the Mayo Campus. One tree was planted for each of the directors that led the Mayo Vocational School and Mayo Technical College. A. L. Pigman was the first Mayo Director. Bobby McCool was the last. McCool was Mayo Director at the time of the consolidation into Big Sandy Community and Technical College. The school had a total of eight directors: A. L. Pigman, J. Milburn Taylor, C. W. Mathis, James Patton, George L. Ramey, Jess Conley, Gary Coleman and Bobby McCool. Each maple tree planted for this commemoration bears a brass plaque with the name and dates of service of a director.

The Mayo Campus has grown from a little vocational school to become part of a large, nationally recognized vocational and technical college system. They have stood the test of time, changed to meet the needs of the community and the world around them, and remains part of a student centered institution. When A. L. Pigman opened the doors in 1938 to the first 100 students, little did he know that in 70 years time, Mayo would become a part of the history of the majority of the families in the Big Sandy Region. It’s difficult to find a family that has not had a parent, uncle, aunt, cousin, or sibling to attend Mayo. Like the pebble in the pond, Mayo has made ripples that will keep on affecting lives for years to come.


Hit And Run Driver Being Sought

Paintsville Police say 59-year old Samuel Williams was knocked from his motorcycle, landing him in a ditch, when a chair came off a newer model green Chevy pick-up truck. The truck was hauling furniture.

The accident happened on Highway 321. Williams is listed in critical condition.

Police are searching for the truck and its driver.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Poll Shows That Senator Clinton Leads Kentucky . However McCain Has Upper Hand In Fall.

Senator Hillary Clinton is expected to win big today in West Virginia. Pollsters predict that Clinton will win the state by as much as 35 percent.

A poll recently conducted by the Lexington Herald Leader / WKYT Kentucky Poll shows Clinton is expected to win Kentucky’s Primary which will be held next Tuesday.

Clinton holds a 27 percent lead over Senator Barack Obama.

The poll of 500 probable Democratic voters showed 58 percent favoring Clinton, 31 percent favoring Obama and 11 percent undecided..

However the poll showed that either candidate trails Republican nominee John McCain by double digits if the general election was held today says 600 voters from all parties.


New Chief Justice of Kentucky Elected

On Monday, May 12, the justices of the Supreme Court of Kentucky elected the first new leader of the Judicial Branch in a decade. The justices chose John D. Minton Jr. as the fifth chief justice of Kentucky. Justice Minton will succeed Chief Justice Joseph E. Lambert, who announced April 24 that he would retire June 27.
Chief Justice Lambert will administer the oath of office for Chief Justice-Elect Minton at a formal investiture service at the Capitol on Friday, June 27. The public and the media will be invited to attend the swearing-in ceremony.
"I am honored by the vote of my colleagues," said Justice Minton in response to being elected chief justice. "I look forward to working with the members of the Court and the Court of Justice family in service to the citizens of the Commonwealth."
"Justice Minton is an outstanding scholar and a person of unquestioned integrity," said Chief Justice Lambert. "His experience serving as a judge for three levels of Kentucky courts equips him well to be an outstanding chief justice. I am delighted with his election."
Other justices on the Supreme Court are Deputy Chief Justice Will T. Scott and Justices Lisabeth Hughes Abramson, Bill Cunningham, Mary C. Noble and Wil Schroder.
Profile of Justice MintonJustice Minton, 56, was elected to the Supreme Court of Kentucky in November 2006 to represent the 2nd Supreme Court District. He had been appointed to the high court on July 24, 2006, to fill a vacancy created by Supreme Court Justice William S. Cooper, who retired June 30, 2006. Prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court, Justice Minton served as a judge for the Kentucky Court of Appeals, representing the 2nd Appellate District. He was elected to the Court of Appeals in November 2003 and served there until his appointment to the Supreme Court in July 2006.
He was a circuit judge from 1992 to 2003 for the 8th Judicial Circuit, which consists of Warren County, before being elected to the Court of Appeals. From 1996 to 2003, he also served by special appointment of the late Chief Justice Robert F. Stephens and Chief Justice Lambert as chief regional judge for the Green River Region, a 21-county area.
While on the circuit bench, Justice Minton was recognized by the Kentucky Court of Justice for his leadership in forming the Warren County Drug Court and for his commitment to law-related education programs. In 2003, the Kentucky Bar Association honored him with its Outstanding Judge Award. He is also a graduate of the National Judicial College.
Before his election to the Circuit Court bench, Justice Minton practiced law in Bowling Green for nearly 15 years. He earned a bachelor's degree with honors in history and English from Western Kentucky University in 1974 and a law degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1977. Justice Minton is a member of Broadway United Methodist Church in Bowling Green. He serves on the board of the Student Life Foundation at Western Kentucky University. He is also a member and past president of the Bowling Green Rotary Club and a former member of the board of directors of Shakertown at South Union.
Originally from Cadiz, Ky., Justice Minton grew up in Bowling Green where he continues to reside. He is married to the former Susan Lenell Page, a Bowling Green native. They have a daughter, Page Sullivan Minton, and a son, John D. Minton III.
Justice Minton is the son of Dr. and Mrs. John D. Minton of Bowling Green. Dr. Minton previously served at Western Kentucky University as a history professor and as the fifth president of that institution.


Pike County Judge Executive Blasts Consol

During the recent annual meeting of the Big Sandy Watershed Conference, Pike County Judge/Executive Wayne T. Rutherford made his views on Consol Energy’s dumping of brine discharge into the Big Sandy River perfectly clear.

“I support coal mining 100 percent,” Rutherford said, “but I also am 100 percent against degradation of the Big Sandy River.”

In addition to Rutherford, others attending the conference included Joann Palmer with the Kentucky Division of Water; Carolyn Baker, Chair of the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission; Jennifer Osborne, Environmental Coordinator with Equitable Production; Gerald Ramsey, Supervisor of Environmental Permitting for Consol Energy, in addition to guest speaker Judith Peterson, Director of Kentucky Waterways Alliance.

Rutherford has offered in the past the need for a balance that would adequately meet the needs of both citizens and coal corporations such as Consol in such matters.

However, during the watershed conference, Rutherford made more pointed remarks, reminding Consol representatives that officials on both state and local levels have been outspoken in opposition to the company’s discharge.

“Pike County officials, Buchanan County officials and officials with the city of Grundy have been unable to stop the dumping,” Rutherford said. “I would remind those attending this conference that the Big Sandy River Basin’s vision is to achieve and sustain drinkable, fishable and swimmable water in the Big Sandy Tri-State Watershed. We must continue.”

Consol Energy’s Buchanan No. 1 mine has been actively pumping the brine discharge from an abandoned mine through a 19-mile pipeline that leads into the Levisa Fork near Grundy, Va., 12 miles upstream from the Kentucky border leading into Fishtrap Lake, which provides drinking water to a large portion of Pike County.

Numerous attempts have been made to see Consol’s permit to discharge denied, as Rutherford mention during the conference, but eventually a permit was issued.

In March, the Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) assured Pike officials that weekly monitoring would take place along the Levisa Fork, along the Kentucky border and also at Fishtrap. The testing would check water quality and algae content, DOW officials said at the time.

However, Consol’s permit, issued by Virginia officials, does not require them to treat for the removal of chloride content in the discharge. Consol spokesperson Joe Cerenzia said last year “there’s not an easy way to remove the chloride.” The cost of addressing the chloride has been the key reason stated.

Instead the discharge will be dumped into the river at a rate of 1,000 to 1,500 gallons a minute over a three-quarter mile “mixing zone.”

This mixing zone has been scrutinized by at least one college professor, in addition to the constant opposition offered by Rutherford and many others.

Don Orth, a Virginia Tech professor of fisheries and wildlife science made the statement last year that “a mixing zone is a place where animals will die.”

Rutherford also cited this statement and his own responsibilities and duties in relation to such information while taking aim at attending officials during last week’s conference.

“I represent all citizens who rely on the waters of the Big Sandy River in various ways,” Rutherford said, and then, directing his attention to Consol’s Gerald Ramsey, added: “Consol’s great environmental record has been tarnished by this dumping, and it is one of the largest coal corporations in America. They can afford to treat this sludge before they dump. Shame on Consol.”


Eleven People Die On Kentucky Roadways.

Preliminary statistics* indicate that eleven people died in ten separate crashes on Kentucky’s roadways from Monday, May 5 through Sunday, May 11, 2008.

Nine of the fatalities were traveling in motor vehicles and six of those victims were not wearing seat belts. One double-fatality crash occurred in Woodford county.

A motorcycle fatality occurred in Fayette county and the driver was not wearing a helmet. A pedestrian fatality was also reported in Fayette county.

Four teens were among the traffic fatalities this week and those collisions occurred in Grayson, Muhlenberg, Scott and Woodford counties.

Single-fatality crashes occurred in Grayson, Hardin, Muhlenberg, Perry, Pike, Scott, and Trigg counties.

Through May 11, preliminary statistics* indicate that 248 people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways during 2008. This is 49 fewer than reported for this time period in 2007. Of the 203 motor vehicle fatalities, 134 victims were not wearing seat belts. Of the 18 motorcycle fatalities, twelve were not wearing helmets. Twenty-three pedestrians have been killed. Three fatalities involved ATV’s and one involved a bicycle. A total of 46 fatalities have resulted from crashes involving the suspected use of alcohol.

Citizens can contribute to highway safety by reporting erratic drivers to the Kentucky State Police toll-free at 1-800-222-5555. Callers will remain anonymous and should give a description of the vehicle, location, direction of travel and license number if possible.

*These statistics are still preliminary as KSP waits for all local law enforcement agencies throughout the state to report any crashes and fatalities that may have occurred in their areas.


Kentucky Could Be Facing Long Term Negative Implications For The State's Debt Service.

According to recently released reports from two national financial ratings services, Kentucky could be facing long-term negative implications for the state’s debt service. Both Moody’s Investor Service and Fitch revised downward from “stable” to “negative” the outlook for state supported bonds.
In January 2008, Gov. Steve Beshear met with the rating agencies while formulating his budget recommendation. At that time, no change in the rating outlook was expected. Upon review of the General Assembly’s final enacted budget, Moody’s and Fitch expressed concern because of the current economic situation, the structural imbalance in the final budget, the draining of the state’s Rainy Day fund, the failure to pass meaningful pension reform and the continued use of one-time measures, including $100 million of debt restructuring for FY09-10 fiscal relief, to “balance” the budget for the next two years.
Although both services revised the outlook downward, Kentucky’s bond ratings with Moody’s Investors Service remain unchanged at Aa3 and AA- with Fitch Ratings.
“This sends a clear signal that continued inaction in addressing pension reform and new revenue sources will only bring more bad financial news for the people of Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “Because of the revised outlook, my administration will have to take a cautious view when determining how and when to issue bonds to fund projects authorized by the General Assembly.”
A negative outlook indicates the respective rating agencies’ views that the likely direction of the commonwealth’s rating over the intermediate term is down and moving toward the ‘A’ rating category, if circumstances remain unchanged. Standard and Poor’s already rates Kentucky’s General Fund supported obligations in the A category.
While these actions do not change the state’s actual credit rating, they do indicate that if the state’s financial condition continues on this trend, the Commonwealth could be put on Watch List or Credit Watch, which indicates that a rating change is likely.
“Just like any household, our credit quality or score is directly related to our ability to borrow funds and the rate at which we can borrow,” said Gov. Beshear. “A one-notch rating downgrade would have a significant impact on the state’s cost of borrowing money to fund state projects, and would place Kentucky in the lowest rating category among states. It could further impede other spending priorities such as education, human services, and future state construction projects.”
The Commonwealth’s credit ratings are in the lower end among states because Kentucky is a comparatively poor state with relatively high debt. A downgrade could increase interest costs as much as .33 percent in the current market, which could result in an increase of approximately $58 million in debt service over the life of the bonds for the newly authorized debt from the 2008 legislative session alone. This does not include the increased cost for future authorizations that will follow.
“In light of the bleak economic environment the Governor and I will work to prudently manage our debt program within available resources,” Finance and Administration Cabinet Secretary Jonathan Miller said. “We will issue the authorized debt on a measured basis to assure that we move forward on critical projects in the most cost-efficient manner possible. These actions are critical to preserve the state’s affordable access to the capital markets for needed investments.”

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Strong Storms Pass Through Southern West Virginia

Thunderstorms and pea-sized hail in parts of southern West Virginia Sunday knocked out power to approximately 52,000 homes.

The hardest hit areas were Logan and Fayette counties .

Mingo County 911 reported trees were down in the road at Laurel Creek.


Hillary Clinton To Campaign At Logan Memorial Fieldhouse Monday

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will speak in Logan Monday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. from the Logan Memorial Fieldhouse. Doors will open at 1:30 p.m. The event is free to the public.

Clinton is expected to win West Virginia overwhelmingly. Clinton is hoping voters in the coalfields will come out in record numbers to show support for her on Tuesday.

Clinton's campaign is losing momentum outside of West Virginia as more superdelegates have crossed over to support Barack Obama.

Bill Clinton spoke at a rally in Williamson last Friday. The former president urged residents to get out and vote so it would keep Hillary's presidential hopes alive.

WV has 28 delegates, including 10 supers.


Massey Energy Pledging Money For Scholarships

Massey Energy will invest one million dollars for college and postgraduate scholarships over the next five years.

Blankenship says the money will go to central Appalachian students pursuing degrees in engineering and health care.

Blankenship says the announcement is the best investment his company can make in the region because it will help students who need financial help achieve a higher education. Blankenship says that it also fits the needs for medical professionals and mining engineers.

Blankenship was also in Logan County on Friday as he gave a $ 300,000 donation to the Logan County Commission. The money will be used for projects such as a new baseball field at Chapmanville High School and a new recreation facility at Chief Logan State Park.


Fatal Car Accident In Perry County

Friday afternoon at approximately 4:23 p.m. Kentucky State Police received a 911 call of a two-vehicle collision on Ky-15 in the Grapevine Community of Perry County.

Investigation indicates that Katherine Jones the operator of a passenger car lost control crossed over into the other lane of traffic and struck a commercial vehicle operated by Reed Brewer. The passenger in the car, Carl E. Powell age 35 of Hazard Ky. was transported to the Hazard ARH where he was pronounced dead. The deceased was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident. The investigation is continuing by Sgt. John Begley.


Kentucky State Police Searching For Missing Johnson County Woman.

The Kentucky State Police says they need public assistance in helping them find a missing Johnson County woman.

23 year old Stephanie Leann Blanton was last seen April 20th at the Ramada Inn in Paintsville.

The KSP says Blanton could possibly be in the Georgetown area.

Stephanie Leann Blanton is caucasian, blonde hair and blue eyes. She is approximately 5’5 and weighs 125 pounds.

If you have any information that can lead authorities to the whereabouts of Stephanie Leann Blanton contact the KSP Post in Pikeville at 606-433-7711.

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