Saturday, May 24, 2008


Reed Guilty of Manslaughter

A Pike County jury deliberated for eight and half hours Friday night before coming back with a guilty verdict on Billy Reed.

The jury found the Varney resident guilty of second degree manslaughter.

He was facing a muder charge after authoriites say that the defendant slammed his vehicle into the motorcycle of Ronnie Church causing his death on January 7th in Pikeville.

Pike County Commonwealth Attorney Rick Bartley told us" that he disappointed with the verdict because if there was ever a case that deserved murder because of an impaired driver this was it ", " because we had a driver that ingested multiple drugs from multiple doctors that had no dispute on how the wreck happened."

A jury recommended the maximum sentence of 10 years. Officials told us that Reed will be eleigible for parole in about 17 months because of time already served.

Reed will be formally sentenced on July 23rd by Judge Steve Combs.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Pike County Murder Trial Expected To Go To Jury Friday.

The Billy Reed murder trial is expected to go to the jury sometime Friday after four days of testimony.

Reed is accused of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol when he slammed into a motorcycle that was being driven by Belfry resident Ronnie Church.

Pike County Commonwealth Attorney Rick Bartley wrapped up the state's side of the case Thursday afternoon after calling witnesses to the stand for two and a half days.

Reed’s defense attorney is expected to rest his side of the case sometime this afternoon.


Pikeville Woman Arrested In Car Accident That Kills Man

The Kentucky State Police has not released the name of the victim killed late Tuesday night in a single vehicle accident that occurred on mine property at Island Creek.

Authorities have arrested 26 year old Paula Childress of Pikeville.

According to the police report Childress admitted to being behind the wheel of a vehicle when she wrecked, resulting in the death of a male passenger.

Childress admitted she had consumed vodka and smoked marijuana prior to the accident.

Childress is charged with operating a motor vehicle under influence / drugs , ( third offense ) and 1st offense DUI suspended.

She remains in the Pike County Detention Center on a $ 50,000 full cash bond.

A pretrial hearing has been set for November 24th.


Congressman Rogers Announces Funding For Pike County Airport.

U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) announced the Federal Aviation Administration is awarding $111,000 to replace old runway lights requiring frequent maintenance with a new high-intensity lighting system at Pike County-Hatcher field.
Modern, reliable runway lights increase safety primarily for arrivals and also assist with taxi operations and departures.
“Investing in regional airports opens up new travel options, but safety is always the top priority,” said Rogers. “Economic development depends on a reliable and safe transportation infrastructure.”
As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, Rogers works to provide funding for important initiatives in the fifth Congressional district.


Fred Mahon Bridge Dedication Set For Saturday

Senate Majority Leader H. Truman Chafin (D-Mingo) is extending an invitation to all Mingo Countians to join him Saturday afternoon, May 24, 2008 at approximately 1:00 p.m., to participate in a dedication ceremony on U.S. Rt. 119 marking the naming of the "USN-R3C Fred Mahon Memorial Bridge".
Radioman 3rd Class Fred Mahon was born in Mingo County, and was the son of Rush Mahon. He believed in serving and protecting his country, and proudly enlisted in the United States Navy at a young age. During a fiery battle of World War II, Mahon was serving on board a ship that sadly, was sunk by enemy fire. The remains of Radioman 3rd Class Fred Mahon were never recovered, and to this day, lies alongside the bodies of his fallen comrades deep within the depths of the Pacific Ocean.
The Veteran’s of Foreign War (VFW) Post 8001 located in Delbarton, W.Va, bears the name of Fred Mahon, honoring the memory of a young man who’s life ended much too soon. Radioman Mahon’s fellow veteran’s asked that Bridge # 30-119-12.76 (2796) also be dedicated to his name, paying further tribute to a soldier who paid the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the freedom of our great nation.
"I think it is very fitting that we dedicate the "USN-RFC Fred Mahon Memorial Bridge following the conclusion of the Veteran’s Day Ceremonies scheduled in the town of Delbarton Saturday afternoon at 12:00pm.,"
stated Senator Chafin.
"What could possibly be a better time to dedicate this bridge to the memory of a fallen soldier than during a ceremony that honors all veterans who have served our country," remarked the Senator.
Family, friends and elected officials will gather at the U.S. Rt. 119 location immediately following the Town of Delbarton Veteran’s Day Memorial. The bridge is situated near the "Day Star Road" exit, approximately 3/4 of a mile north from Belo/Rt. 65. Special guests will speak during the dedication ceremony, with Senate Majority Leader H.
Truman Chafin serving as Master of Ceremonies.


West Virginia State Supreme Court Heard Motion For Appeal On Ouster Suit.

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals heard a motion to petition for appeal Wednesday morning regarding the ouster case of a Mingo County Commissioner.A brief presentation was made to the high court in the hopes it will consider an appeal of a decision not to remove commissioner Greg "Hootie" Smith from office handed down last year by a three-judge panel.Williamson attorney Letitia Chafin made the 10-minute oral argument, stressing that she believes the panel didn't do the proper analysis when ruling on the original ouster petition in October of last year. "I thought it went well," Chafin said after returning to Williamson Wednesday. "(The court) seemed interested and I got all my legal points across. I think we got our facts before them."By rule, Smith's counsel didn't have the opportunity to rebutt. The supreme court now will consider the motion and make a ruling on whether or not to hear the appeal. If accepted, both sides will have the opportunity to submit briefs and make oral arguments.The court may make a ruling on the motion as early as next week.The appeal stems from the October 2007 ruling by a three-judge panel to deny an ouster petition filed against Smith on Dec. 15, 2006 by Mingo County Sheriff Lonnie Hannah and current county commissioner David Baisden.The original complaint accused Smith of engaging in official misconduct, malfeasance and misfeasance in office. The Williamson attorney was accused of violating his fiduciary duty as the fiscal superintendent for county citizens. Hannah and Baisden charged Smith failed to protect tax dollars, constituting official misconduct.In a side note to the case, Chief Justice Elliott "Spike" Maynard was present at the hearing and said he would be participating in the case if it continues. Smith filed a petition last month asking Maynard to recuse himself from the case, saying that a conflict of interest existed. Smith claimed Justice Maynard and Hannah entered into a property deal with one another.

Courtesy : Brad Davis Managing Editor of Williamson Daily News.


Two Sheldon Clark High School Graduates Indicted In West Virginia.

Two graduates of Sheldon Clark High School have been indicted in West Virginia after being accused of robbing two banks.

Police say Jeremy Brown and Melissa Brown robbed the City National Bank in Charleston and the First Sentry Bank in Barboursville last month.

Melissa Brown was an art teacher at Stonewall Jackson Middle School , she was also a cheerleader in high school.

Jeremy Brown was a basketball standout at Sheldon Clark.


Device Found In Logan County School Bus Turns Out To Be Hoax

A spokesperson for the West Virginia State Police in Logan says no arrests have been made after a bomb squad unit from Charleston was called to Man this morning as a school bus driver found what he believed was a pipe bomb.

Authorities say the object was a pipe with wires hanging out and a sign was attached reading "pipe bomb". Police say it was a hoax.

The driver found the object after his bus route had been completed.

Authorities say it was someone probably trying to get out of school.


Archer Park Pool To Open Season this Weekend.

The Archer Park Swimming Pool will open for the season this Saturday according to park director David Baldridge.

Season passes are $ 50 for individuals and $ 100 per family.

Day passes are $ 3 for adults and $ 2 for kids under 12 years of age.

The pool hours are noon to 5:45 p.m. daily.


West Prestonsburg Bridge Restoration Begins.

Surveyors met this week at the West Prestonsburg Bridge to perform a "laserscan" of the entire structure to determine the feasibility of restoration work to be done, said Brent Graden, Director of Eocnomic Development for the Cityof Prestonsburg. "We want to make sure that the structure will be safe forpedestrians. We also want to make sure that we come in under budget. Thisbridge is a symbol for not only our city but for a symbol of progress for EasternKentucky. Back in 1930, it was literally the only way that Eastern Kentuckywas connected to Northern Kentucky. It symbolizes our hard work and Appalacian know-how."The bridge scan, performed by Berding Surveying out of Milford, Ohio, workedmost of the week to complete the task. "This was a Lydar laser scan of the entire bridge. The scan works by recording the flight of the laser from Point A to Point B. It then goes on to record millions of "points" all over the bridge.Once we get this work data back, we can then use this information, or "point cloud", to create a 3D image of the structure. This saves a lot of time for our workers. They don't have to crawl all over the bridge and take handmeasurements. This system can be accurate to 1/8 of an inch. Next, we takethis "point cloud" and start coloring in the beams, the walls, the flooring, etc …until it starts to resemble the bridge. What's left is a very acccurate 3D imageof the bridge that will help us to determine structure concerns."The next company, Palmer Engineering from Winchester KY, will then come to the area and perform non-destructive core drilling to determine strength andmineral use. The feasibility study being performed on the West Prestonsburg Bridge is a part of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Transportation Cabinetand the Heritage Council to help restore the 78 year old structure to pedestrianstatus. The feasibility study could be ready for discussion in the next fourmonths with possible restoration to follow afterwards.


Mingo County Canvass Changes Outcome In Board Of Education Race.

The Mingo County Clerks office says the canvass of last Tuesday’s primary election is in the books.

The outcome in the non partisan board of education race has changed.

Incumbent Bill Duty remains the top vote getter .

However, second place flip flopped, as Jackie Branch claimed a spot on the board instead of Bill Kirk.

Branch defeated Kirk by 82 votes.

After Tuesday’s unofficial numbers came in Kirk had a slight lead.

There is no word yet if Kirk will demand a recount.

The other county results remained the same.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Invesigation Continues Into Fatal Coal Mining Accident.

Three coal miners who were in the vicinity of last Friday's fatal mining accident at Aracoma's Alma No. 1 mine involving a Chattaroy man are expected to be reinterviewed today by federal and state officials as the investigation into the circumstances surrounding Nathan Dove's death continues.
A spokesperson for the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training told the Daily News Wednesday investigators plan to speak with the trio for what could be "a variety of reasons."
"There may have been other questions," said OMHST communications specialist Jama Jarrett. "Or (investigators) may have needed further clarification on previous information they recieved."
Representatives from OMHST, the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration and Massey Energy met Wednesday to discuss the ongoing investigation and what has been discovered thus far. A preliminary report released Monday by MSHA said investigators believe the 24-year-old Dove cut into a live cable while attempting to repair a shuttle car and was electrocuted. He died 45 minutes later at Logan Regional Medical Center.
The cable investigators believe Dove cut into has been removed from the shuttle car and sent to an MSHA technical support center to be examined.
"We don't have any conclusion or formal information thus far," Jarrett said. "After today (investigators) will start working on an official report."
Jarrett said there is no timetable as to when that report will be completed and released, and said alot will depend on how long it takes for the investigation to wrap up.
Production in the section of the mine where Dove was killed resumed Tuesday, said Jarrett.
The Massey Energy-owned mine at Melville in Logan County was thrust into the national spotlight in January of 2006 when two miners were trapped underground after a belt line fire broke out. The miners were later found dead. The accident happened just days after the tragic accident at the Sago mine in Upshur County in which 12 miners lost their lives after being trapped underground.
Massey was cited after the Aracoma incident for safety violations and fined $1.5 million. However, last month MSHA awarded it and Hernshaw mines with a safety award for having no lost-time injuries.
The Daily News contacted the office of Massey spokesman Jeff Gillenwater Wednesday afternoon and was informed he would be out until next Tuesday.
Dove is the second West Virginia coal miner killed this year, and the ninth nationally.
He was laid to rest Wednesday in Chattaroy's Dove Family Cemetery after funeral services at the Nolan Freewill Baptist Church.

Courtesy : Brad Davis Managing Editor of Williamson Daily News


Gas Prices Over $ 4.00 Mark In Southern West Virginia!!!

Everyone’s budget is getting a little tighter as gas prices have hit over the $ 4.00 mark in Mingo and Logan Counties.

Gas prices were spotted in Mingo County at $ 4.05 a gallon. Travel 25 miles north into Logan the prices balloon up to $ 4.09.

West Virginia’s average for unleaded is currently $ 3.96 that is 15 cents higher than the national mark.


Gas Prices Over $ 4.00 In Part Of Pike And Eyeing The Mark In Pikeville.

Gas prices are at record highs in Pikeville. Late Wednesday night regular unleaded was for $ 3.95 per gallon. Premium grade is running around $ 4.13 and diesel is going as high as $ 4.60.

Gas prices have hit $ 4.05 a gallon in South Williamson, Kentucky

Oil prices climbed to a record $ 134 a barrel on Wednesday.

Kentucky’s average of $ 3.88 for unleaded is five cents over the national average.


Fatal Car Accident in Pike County. One Person Arrested.

A single vehicle accident that happened just before midnight Tuesday on a mine site at Island Creek left one person dead and injured another.

Authorities say that the car flipped over ejecting a man, killing him.

A woman driving the car was transported to a local hospital where she was treated.

The Kentucky State Police have not released the name of the deceased because they have not been able to notify a family member .

East Kentucky Broadcasting can confirm that a woman has been arrested, however, we won’t release that name until the victim’s family has been notified.


East Kentucky Straw Poll Reflects Voters In Eastern Kentucky

The East Kentucky Broadcasting straw poll showed a reflection on how strong Hillary Clinton fared in eastern Kentucky.

The results of the poll showed that Clinton garnered 88 percent of the vote while Barack Obama had 12 percent.

In Tuesday’s primary, Clinton in eastern Kentucky, on average, picked up 90 percent of the vote including 91 percent in Pike and 92 percent in Floyd.

East Kentucky Broadcasting will be conducting another straw poll in the near future.


West Virginia State Police Arrest Kentucky Man

A spokesperson for the West Virginia State Police says that a Pike County man was apprehended for allegedly stealing a large amount of copper ground wire from an American Electric Power substation located at Thacker.

Victor Henry Scott of Jamboree, Kentucky was charged with grand larceny and felony destruction of property.

Scott remains lodged in the Southwestern Regional Jail bond was set at $ 9,000.


Kentucky Voter Turnout

Les Fugate with the Secretary of State's Office says Tuesday's turnout at the polls was "steady, but, not heavy", estimating about 20% of registered voters turned out, with many saying the presidential race got them there.

Gas prices, health care, education, jobs and the economy were key concerns on voters' minds as they cast their ballots with hopes the candidate they voted for would know how to improve the country. Some said they came out to vote for a much needed change, and to take advantage of being a part of history.

Most voters said they'll head back to the polls in November to take part in the general election.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Turner On Way To Winning Re Election

29th District Senator Johnny Ray Turner is well on his way to winning another four year term.

With 78 percent of the precincts reporting Turner has a 1,651 vote lead over Shane Hamilton.


Boone County Business Robbed.

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department is still searching for a suspect that walked into the Little General Store late Monday night.

The store is located in the small community of Clothier which rests near the Boone – Logan County line.


Gas Prices Hit $ 4.00 In Logan County

Gas prices in Logan County have hit $ 4.00 per galloon for regular unleaded gasoline.

Motorists are paying on average of $ 3.98 per galloon for unleaded gas in Mingo County.

The average price for gas in West Virginia is $ 3.95 that is 15 cents higher than the national average.


Rockefeller Issues Statement On Ted Kennedy Being Diagnosed With Brain Tumor

“I know that if anyone is going to overcome this illness it will be my friend Ted Kennedy. He’s the original fighter and will face this challenge with the same tenacity he has shown in the Senate for the last 45 years.

“Ted is one of the most caring, genuinely thoughtful and brilliant men I have ever known. Many know him as an icon of the Kennedy family, but I know him as a warm and gentle soul with a big heart and a feisty sense of humor.

“Sharon and I, and all of West Virginia have an enormous and deep affection for the Kennedy family. Senator Kennedy has been a friend to West Virginia since the early 1960's – he truly loves our state and our people.

“Senator Kennedy, his wife Vicki, and their whole family will be in our prayers and close to our hearts.”


Coal Run Volunteer Fire Department Receiving Funding

The Coal Run Volunteer Fire Department will receive an additional $ 5,800 in funding . The announcement came from District 1 Magistrate Jeff Anderson.

Anderson says he was able to use the money left over from the parks and recreation account to give to the department . The money will be used to purchase equipment.


Pike County Budget For 2008-2009 Fiscal Year Is Tight.

Pike County Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford says that the county's proposed budget for the next fiscal year is $ 30.4 million. That is roughly 10 percent less than the current budget the county is operating on.

Rutherford says that although money is tight no services should be effected and also he doesn't anticipate any layoffs.

Here is a list of total budgeted appropriations.

General Fund $ 6,526,618 21.44 %

Road Fund $ 6,524,822 21.43 %

Jail Fund $ 3,771,837 12.39 %

L.G.E.A. Fund $ 5,991,410 19.68 %

Forestry Fund $ 8,208.00 0.03 %

Solid Waste Fund $ 5,704.778.00 18.74 %

LGEDF Fund $ 447, 422.00 1.47 %

Maint Garage Fund $ 1,468,041.00 4.82 %


Kentucky Attorney General Cracking Down On Illegal Telemarketers

Attorney General Jack Conway today announced a crackdown on illegal telemarketing, having obtained a temporary restraining order to halt one fraudulent telemarketer and a $10,000 civil penalty against a second company for violating Kentucky’s Do Not Call law.

The actions are part of a joint operation between state attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The partnership and telemarketing fraud sweep is being dubbed “Operation Telephoney.”

“When companies break the law by violating the Do Not Call list, they invade consumers’ homes and violate their trust,” Conway said. “Fraudulent telemarketers not only invade our privacy, they steal our money. It’s important for businesses to understand that if they break the law, they will face prosecution and significant penalties.”

In the first action, General Conway’s Office of Consumer Protection filed a joint suit with the FTC to obtain a temporary restraining order from the U.S. District Court in Atlanta against Direct Connection Consulting, Inc., owner Elliott Borenstein and office manager Joann R. Winter, of Alpharetta, Ga.

The legal action stems from deceptive marketing and illegal billing practices by the company in connection with sales of its “SureTouch” long-distance calling cards. Investigators found that the company fraudulently told consumers it represented a major retailer or credit card company, placed unauthorized charges on a consumer’s card, debited bank accounts without authorization or informed consent, provided false identities, and refused consumer’s request not to be called again – sometimes calling up to six times a day until consumers listened to the pitch.

Kentucky and the federal government are seeking injunctive relief, civil penalties and consumer restitution. A preliminary injunction hearing has been scheduled for May 28, 2008.

In the second telemarketing enforcement action, the Attorney General’s Office obtained a $10,000 settlement from DNH Consulting, of Oviedo, Fla., which also does business as “Health Services.” Investigators report that DNH violated Kentucky’s telemarketing laws while selling a discount prescription drug card by contacting Kentucky consumers whose residential phone numbers were listed on the Do Not Call list. The Attorney General also alleges that DNH violated the law by failing to provide consumers required disclosures, including notifying consumers of their 14-day right to cancel a telemarketing sales contract.

DNH agreed to enter into an assurance of voluntary compliance and pay $10,000 in civil penalties. DNH does not admit any violation of law or admit to any liability in reaching the settlement. The assurance of voluntary compliance was entered by Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas D. Wingate on May 15, 2008.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Pike County Murder Trial Underway

The murder trial of Billy Dwayne Reed got underway Monday in Pike County Circuit.

Reed is accused of driving drunk and hitting a motorcycle being driven by Tommy Church.

The commonwealth called three witnesses to the stand.

The accident happened January 7th.

Reed was found guilty of a previous DUI.


Pike County Clerk Expects Heavy Voter Participation.

Pike County Clerk Lillian Pearl Elliott is expecting the Democratic presidential to bring a lot of voters to the county’s 57 precincts.

Elliott is expecting a heavy turnout. She says that a lot of voters used an absentee ballot.

No county races are up this time around.


Report Says That Mingo County Miner Cut Into Live Wire.

A preliminary report from MSHA indicates that a Mingo County man electrocuted in a Logan County underground mine appeared to have cut into a live wire when he was attempting to repair a shuttle car.

24 year old Nathan Dove of Chatteroy died Friday night the accident happened at the Alma # 1 Mine at Melville.


Floyd County Man Missing

A Floyd County Family says they are worried about a loved one that has been missing since last Thursday.

62 year old Sample Sparkman of Garrett left his nephew’s home. A family member says that he was heading to Somerset to visit his daughter, but Sparkman failed to show up.

Sparkman was believed to be driving a 2000 S – 10 four by four extended cab black truck.


Pilot Program Making Impact At Matewan High School.

Shiley Mahon is just like any other typical high school sophomore. Sitting down with parents to do anything, not to mention school work, just isn’t the “in” thing to do.But since Mahon began attending Matewan High School’s SEEDS program, a change has taken place. And it hasn’t been lost on her mother.“She’ll come home and say ‘Hey mom, can you do this?’” says Melissa Mahon of her daughter’s newfound passion for problem solving. “A lot of this stuff we didn’t have in school, so she teaches me a lot. She’ll sit down with me now...usually she doesn’t do that.”That’s one of the goals SEEDS, an acronym for Student Education Economic Development Success, sets out to accomplish — foster more interaction between students and their parents. And from the looks of things, the innovative first-year program is doing just that, and a whole lot more.“We’re trying to make an impact,” Matewan Principal Marcella Charles says. “And I think we are. I think you can feel the excitement.”SEEDS is a pilot program started in January which was modeled after a similar one developed in Florida. It is funded through a grant from the state legislature, with the money managed through the state Department of Education and the Arts. Five schools statewide (Valley-Wetzel High School, Matewan High School, Berkeley Heights Elementary, Clay Middle School and Raleigh Elementary) were selected after the initial application process to receive up to $25,000 per year for three years to implement SEEDS in order to target an area of weakness. In the case of Matewan High, as with most other schools nationwide, that happens to be math. In March the school began in earnest to aggressively engage both middle and high school pupils with a two-day-a-week after school program to help strengthen math skills. Charles says the 21 total students involved with SEEDS spend an hour and a half on Tuesdays and Thursdays with faculty, student mentors, a school “coach”, after school teachers and volunteer student tutors to accomplish this.And in the short time since its inception, results are starting to show.“Last year she struggled really bad,” Mattie Hammond, mother of SEEDS participant Magan Hammond, says of her daughter. “Since she started the program she’s gone from a C-minus (average) to a B-plus. “She now wants to be more of a leader instead of a follower. Math was always a downfall, but now she looks forward to it and enjoys it.”Making math enjoyable is half the battle. In order to do that, Matewan has taken a cutting-edge approach, incorporating learning tools students can both identify with and enjoy, such as a Wii video game system. The envelope-pushing initiative certainly has gotten kids in the door of what they would ordinarily look past — class after class is done for the day.“The games make it way more fun,” student participant Jeffree Pruitt says. “That makes more people come, and you can learn from them. When I found out they had the Wii I wanted to come. It’s not a problem coming after school any more.”Another sure way to get kids interested, says Charles, is to take them on a trip. At the end of the school year students who have attended at least 75 percent of the SEEDS sessions will be taken to Cedar Point’s Math and Science Day. It’s all, she says, about engaging students and getting them involved by any means necessary. It is, as the program’s name infers, all about planting seeds. State SEEDS Project Director Larry Lohan agrees, and adds it’s all about providing an opportunity. It’s all about giving a chance that ordinarily wouldn’t be available.“(A SEEDS participant) typically is a kid who isn’t engaged, and has attendance issues, as well as maybe home issues,” Lohan says. “This gives them a means to help improve what they might not ordinarily have. Going out and paying a tutor in math isn’t realistic for many of these kids. This can help them turn the corner.”Volunteer tutor Veronica Ross can see the corner being turned — inch by inch, step by step. She even can see the manifestation of results in her own math skill set. For her, SEEDS has had a reciprocal effect. And she has a future vision for the program that seems to be having, as Charles believes, such an impact on her school.“It’s even helped me with my own classes,” the Matewan junior says. “I want to see West Virginia and the entire country get a better math score, and maybe go on to other things that we need to improve.”

Courtesy : Williamson Daily News.


Matewan Receives Support For National Park Status

MATEWAN — The Matewan Amphitheater site dedication and the ‘Massacre’ reenactment weren’t the only activities going on in this historic town Saturday.Del. Harry Keith White (D-Mingo) announced Sunday that he has presented House Concurrent Resolution 7 to Matewan Mayor Sheila Kessler and resident Donna May. The resolution is in support to Matewan’s current efforts to obtain National Park status for its historic landmark district.In a statements released by White’s office, it is said that this designation would “enrich” the town by additional federal funding and drawing more tourism to what is already a prime destination in southern West Virginia for ATV trail riders and history buffs alike.U.S. Senators Robert C. Byrd and Jay Rockefeller, along with Congressman Nick Rahall, were instrumental in passing America’s Historical and Natural Legacy Study Act, which appropriated funds for the Battle of Matewan Study Act.“National historic landmarks should say something important about the nation as a whole,” Del. White said Sunday. “In 1920, the coal miners of Matewan fully illustrated the heritage of the United States. For that, the town of Matewan deserves to be recognized.

Courtesy : Williamson Daily News


West Virginia Super Delegate Endorses Obama.

Senator Robert C. Byrd announced today he’s endorsing Presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

The endorsement is a plus to Obama since Byrd is one of the state’s super delegates.

The announcement came a week after Senator Hillary Clinton won the state by a 2 to 1 margin.

With Byrd’s decision both Obama and Clinton have endorsements from three super delegates each.


Person Wears Halloween Character Mask Robs Martin County Business.

The Kentucky State Police is still searching for a suspect that walked into the Warfield Tobacco Mart late Sunday night brandished a handgun and then walked out with an undetermined amount of cash.

Authorities say that the suspect made entry through a drive thru window wearing a halloween scream character mask.

The case remains under investigation.


Pike County's 57 Precincts for Tuesday's Election

District # 1 ( 10 Precincts )

Precinct Location

Bessie Riddle Arnold Courthouse

Hurricane Hurricane Creek Volunteer Fire Department

Pikeville High School Pikeville High School

Lower Pike Blue Goose Gym

Myers Towers Myers Towers

Coal Run Coal Run Fire Station

By – Pass Board of Education Maintenance Garage

Mullins School Mullins Middle School

Brushy Sardis Association Building

Lower Johns Creek Gulnare Sycamore Fire Station


District # 2 ( 7 Precincts )
Precinct Location

Caney Shelby Valley Fire Department

Yeager Robinson Creek School

Old Shelby G.F. Johnson School

Long Fork Long Fork Fire Station

Dorton Dorton Elementary School

Elwood Virgie Middle School

Island Creek Island Creek Fire Department

District 3 ( 12 Precincts )

Precinct Location

Mouthcard Roger Shortridge Store

Upper Elkhorn Bailey Funeral Home

Elkhorn City Hall Elkhorn City Hall

Belcher Ferrells Creek Fire Station

Raccoon Fire Station

Rasnick Marrowbone Fire Station # 2

Lick Creek East Ridge High School

Grapevine Grapevine Park

Feds Creek Feds Creek Fire Station

Looney T & R Market

Burning Fork Pike County Chapel

Stone Coal Coal Run Fire Station

District # 4 ( 11 Precincts )

Precinct Location

Millard Millard Grade School

Greasy Creek Greasy Creek School

Upper Chloe Justice Supply

Marrowbone Marrowbone Fire Station

Rockhouse Duran Clevinger Store Building

New Shelby YMCA

Garden Village Millard East Shelbiana Fire Department

Henry Clay Lookout Fire Department

Hellier Library

York Days Inn Motel Meeting Room

Ashcamp Ashcamp Community Building


District # 5 ( 9 Precincts )

Precinct Location

Phelps McCoy Athletic Center

Blackberry Blackberry Community Center

Deskins Kimper School

Freeburn Inter Generational Center

Majestic Majestic Knox School

Wolford Phelps Courthouse Annex

Meta Johns Creek Middle School

Joe’s Creek Joe’s Creek Community Building

McCarr Blackberry Fire Department


District # 6 ( 8 Precincts )

Precinct Location

Belfry Belfry Courthouse

Lower John Creek Hatfield Fire Department

Dr J E Johnson Food City at Goody

Bevins School Bevins School

Runyon Runyon School

Turkey Creek Turkey Creek Fire Department

Huddy Debbie’s Alterations Building

Old Pond Southside Elementary


Maryland Aventures Sport Center Draws Pike County's Attention

With an already thriving whitewater rafting season along Russell Fork, Pike County Pike County Judge/Executive Wayne T. Rutherford and other community leaders took notice recently of a tourist attraction in McHenry, Md.

Visiting McHenry in the spirit of spurring along adventure tourism initiatives throughout the county, Rutherford and others traveled to get a first-hand look at the nonprofit tourism attraction, Adventure Sports Center International, Inc.

Accompanying Rutherford on his trip were his wife, Pat Rutherford, John Gatling, Pike County Director of Economic Development; Greg May, Break Interstate Park board member; Steve Ruth, a representative of the Elkhorn City community and government and a recognized whitewater expert; and Phyllis Hunt, Executive Director of Pikeville-Pike County Tourism.

“We hope to convince the board of the Breaks Interstate Park that this facility should be located at Potter’s Flats, and we’ll talking to the Breaks Interstate Park Board about this during a proposal in the future,” Rutherford said.

Rutherford stressed that the facility would have nothing to do with the already existing rafting season along the Russell Fork of the Big Sandy River.

“This has nothing to do with the annual whitewater season along Russell Fork in October,” he said, adding, however, that the facility could serve to expand the already popular destination spot, allowing some 160 additional days for visitors to enjoy the increasingly popular activity.

The attraction is a man-made, controlled whitewater course that is open to the public, but also invites school and group programs. The facility is also a training ground for Olympians, with novice- to Olympic-level kayak instruction available. The executive director, Matt Taylor, is a former Olympian. Other uses for the Maryland facility have included corporate retreats and national certification rescue school instruction.

There are only two of these facilities in the United States, the one located along a hilltop in Garrett County and the other in Charlotte, N.C.

During the visit, Rutherford and others also visited with the local Garrett County government and chamber of commerce to learn more about the economic impact of the attraction and further details.

John Hinebaugh, Garrett County Director of Economic Development, had good news for Pike County delegation.

“We are a tourist-based area,” Hinebaugh said, “but this was the biggest boost for tourism of anything that’s been done here.”

Last year, Garrett County officials opened for a partial season and could see that the interest and turnout was certainly worth continuing, according to Hinebaugh. Visitors from some 30 states flocked to the whitewater destination during the partial season, and the sports center has already released a full, 2008 season schedule.

In 1991, Garrett County’s educational community took notice of the level of interest, as well.

It was in 1991 that Garrett College started offering an Associate in Applied Science degree in Adventure Sports. This degree is designed, according to college officials, to assist students in developing the skills required to become professionals in the field of adventure recreation through academics, field studies and practical experience.

The college offers more than 50 Adventure Skills courses, as well as leadership development and program planning and several other options for those interested in the degree.

John Gatling, Pike County Director of Economic Development, visited the Garrett College while the Pike County group were visiting Maryland and came away with a wonderful impression of the work being done there.

“They have an impressive institution, the first of its kind in the nation” Gatling said. “It’s a good, solid program and has attracted students from all across the country. It seems to be thriving and vibrant and an asset to the community in general.”

Rutherford says he has now opened a line of discussion with Pikeville College after learning of Garrett College’s degree program.

“We have informally discussed the possibility with Pikeville College to offer a degree in adventure tourism,” said Rutherford. “We will continue these discussions in the future and hope to have open, productive conversations in that direction.”

Rutherford said the visit to Adventure Sports Center International left him considering what such a facility could do to expand on this already existing tourist draw in the Elkhorn City area. Some 400,000 people visit the Breaks Interstate Park each year.

“If we should move to another level in exploring this, we would certainly be in close talks with Elkhorn City, the Breaks Interstate Park Board and others,” Rutherford said. “Also, these officials in Maryland have offered to help us along the way to learn from any challenges they might have came across in completing their task, and I’m sure they can be a lot of help.”

As executive director of Pikeville-Pike County Tourism, Phyllis Hunt was enthusiastic after the group returned from Maryland for what this could mean for tourism in this area.

“It was a great trip, and the attraction was fabulous,” said Hunt. “I can imagine if we had it such an attraction here we would have a lot of people come here just for that alone. It would give families something to do and then even more in the evenings afterwards, because there are so many other things offered at the attraction.”

Energy has been a mainstay focus of this, Rutherford’s fifth term as Pike County’s judge/executive, but he says with the beauty of our mountains, we must look at tourism as economic development.

“We look at tourism as economic development,” he said. “In addition to energy, is should be in the forefront. This facility could put Pike County in that forefront in Kentucky for adventure tourism.”


Pike County Relay For Life Totals Are In.

Cindy May Johnson Chairman of the 2008 Pike County American Cancer Society Relay for Life says that this years' event raised slightly over $ 150,000. Fifty teams participated in the event which was held this past weekend at Bob Amos Park.

Money raised will be used for cancer research.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Two Paintsville Residents Accused of Selling Drugs From Inside Home.

Two Johnson County residents were recently arrested by the Paintsville Police Department.

Woody Estep and Alisha Gamble face several drug charges.

Authorities allegedly found narcotics and drug paraphernalia in the home.

Neighbors say that they have complained for several months about alleged drugs being sold from the residence.


Man Walks Into Pike County Business And Steals Computer.

Police are trying to track down a man that walked into the South Williamson Radio Shack , Friday morning, distracted employees for about an hour, and then took a computer from a display case.

Authorities say surveillance tape filmed the man cutting the security lock, stuffing the computer under his shirt and walking out.


Murder Trial To Begin Monday in Pikeville.

The trial of 32 year old Billy Reed will get underway today in Pike County Circuit court.

Reed is accused of having methadone, xanax, nordiazepam and diazepam in his system when the vehicle he was operating slammed into a motorcycle that was being driven by 42 year old Tommy Church of Belfry.

The fatal accident occurred on Jan 7th on US 119 near the Town Mountain Road intersection.


Nine Area McDonalds Join Kentucky In Kicking Off Click Or Ticket Program.

Terry Tackett, Drive Smart Coordinator for Highway District 12, said that Southern Style Chicken Biscuits will be given to the first 300 people wearing their seatbelts at each of the following McDonald’s drive-thrus: Salyersville, Martin, Inez, Paintsville, Prestonsburg, South Williamson, Coal Run (North Mayo Trail), and the two Pikeville locations – Baird Avenue and Cassady Boulevard .

Buckle Up key chains and seatbelt information cards will also be given away as long as supplies last.

Checkpoints will be conducted by city police, county sheriffs’ officers, Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement, and Kentucky State Police from May 19 through June 1. Those not buckled up will receive a citation. But people who are wearing a seat belt will receive a different kind of ticket – a “Click It FOR Tickets” voucher. Those who are following the rules of the road can register to win one set of twelve tickets to the Kentucky Speedway. Two sets of tickets will be available to the NASCAR Nationwide Series on June 14, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series on July 19, and the Indy Car Series on August 9.

Seventy-two percent of passenger vehicle occupants who were involved in a fatal crash in 2006, but who were buckled up, survived. When worn correctly, seat belts are proven to reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat occupants by 45 percent – and by 60 percent in pickup trucks, SUVs, and minivans.

“In spite of all the studies which prove that seat belts save lives – and also in spite of the fact that it is mandatory in Kentucky to wear seatbelts, our state remains at the bottom nationally in seatbelt usage rates, at 67 percent,” Tackett said. Click It or Ticket will attempt to change that as officers buckle down on those not buckled up.

“The majority of those who still don’t use their seat belts are men 18 to 34,” Tackett said. “We hope to reach this target group, but ‘Click It or Ticket’ is not about writing tickets. It’s about saving lives.”


Johnson County Woman Missing For Nearly One Month

Authorities continue to search for a Johnson County woman that has been missing for nearly a month.

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

Blanton is a white female, with blonde hair and blue eyes.

She is 5’5 and weighs around 125 pounds.

If you have any information that can help investigators locate Stephanie Leann Blanton contact the Kentucky State Police in Pikeville at 606-433-7711


Authorities Continue To Search For Man That Held Up Floyd County Bank

A man that walked into the Garrett branch of Citizen’s National Bank last week and left with an undetermined amount of cash remains on the run at this time.

Authorities say that the man walked into the bank and threatened a worker with a note.
The case is being investigated by the Kentucky State Police.


Mingo County's Jobless Figures .

The unemployment rate in Mingo and most of the surrounding counties dropped slightly in the month of April.

The jobless rate in WV for the month was listed at 5.3 percent.

Mingo was 5.3 % , Logan 5.2 % , McDowell 7.6 %, Wayne 5.4 % .

Boone County 4.9 % was a slight increase from the previous month.

Pocahontas County had the highest at 11.9 % .

The lowest jobless figure was reported in the northern panhandle county of Monongalia at 3.3 %.


Belfry Middle School Honored

Belfry Middle School joined 47 exemplary middle schools chosen nationally as "Schools to Watch," during an awards ceremony Thursday held in the school's gymnasium.STW is part of a recognition program developed in 1999 by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform, an alliance of more than 60 educators, researchers, and officers of national associations and foundations dedicated to improving schools for young adolescents across the country.BMS became one of nine middle schools in the Bluegrass to be chosen. Principal James Hurley welcomed several local and state leaders to the ceremony, including Kentucky Department of Education Commissioner Jon E. Draud."You can go tell everyone across the state that James Hurley said he thinks he's got the best school in the state," Hurley said to the Commissioner. "I know I have the best students."Draud agreed and told the crowd of teachers, students and parents, "You are now a model middle school and a lot of people will be watching you.""We are proud of you and we are going to be bragging about you throughout the state of Kentucky," he said. "We want other school districts in Kentucky to be like Belfry Middle School."STW Specialist Karen Hamilton told Hurley people were already talking about his school."I was in Boyd County Middle School and the first words to come out of the Principal's mouth were 'what about Belfry,'" said Hamilton. "(BMS) will be viewed as a place where people want to come to get a good education."The Center for middle school academic achievement Director Fran Salyers spoke about the vision of BMS which states, "Striving to be the best.""Well, you are one of the best," she told the students. "You've worked hard and this award wouldn't come to this school without you."Using the National Forum's criteria, 150 schools in 16 states have been designated as STW. According to STW website, these schools are characterized by academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity and organizational support

Courtesy : Article written by Pamela Scott Johnson of Williamson Daily News

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