Thursday, June 12, 2008


Mingo County Water Project In Jeopardy

Is the proposed water project that will put city water into over 500 homes in the Dingess area going to lose its main source of funding? It could if 80 percent of the families don’t commit.

Mingo County Commissioner Hootie Smith told us that 145 families need to sign up by August 1st for the project to go ahead.

So far 320 homes have signed the $ 100 tap fee .

If anyone would like to sign up remember you have until Aug 1. Residents can come to the Mingo County Commission office in Williamson . To schedule an appointment or for more information call 235-0376.


Jury Awards Mingo County Woman Nearly $ 900,000 After Surgical Sponge Was Left In Abdomen.

A Lawrence County, Kentucky jury awarded a Mingo County woman $ 861,000 in damages.

Lawyers Truman and Letitia Chafin say that their client Sophia Savage of Dans Branch received damages for mental and physical suffering as a result of a surgical sponge having been left in her abdomen during an operation performed at Three Rivers Medical Center in Louisa back in December of 2001.


Busy Day In Pike County Circuit Court.

Several people entered guilty pleas Thursday in Pike County Circuit Court.

Joseph Mullins pleaded guilty to second degree promoting contraband, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, and third degree possession of a controlled substance. The commonwealth recommended Mullins to serve 12 months to run concurrent on each count and he also must serve 24 months of supervised probation.

James Blankenship pleaded guilty to one count of receiving stolen property and one count of being in possession of a controlled substance third degree. The commonwealth recommended Blankenship to serve two years probated for two years.

Curtis Jones entered a blind plea to two counts of first degree trafficking of cocaine. A blind plea means that Jones entered a guilty plea without an offer being made by the commonwealth.

Anthony Kinder pleaded guilty to first degree being in possession of a controlled substance . The commonwealth recommended five years to serve probated for five years.

Jimmy Hopkins pleaded guilty to first degree trafficking of oxycontin. The commonwealth recommended the defendant to serve five years.

Robert Oakes pleaded guilty to second degree trafficking of hydrocone. The commonwealth recommended a sentence of two years, Oakes must serve 120 days in jail then serve the remainder of the sentence on probation.

Steven Varney pleaded guilty to one count of receiving stolen property. The commonwealth recommended a sentence of one year probated for two years.


Johnson County Man Sentenced For Kidnapping His Wife.

Johnson County resident Charles Lemaster Jr was sentenced to serve 12 years in prison after he was convicted of kidnapping his wife Nancy at gunpoint last year at a gas station located at Auxier.

LeMaster must serve 85 percent of the sentence before he is eligible for parole.


Pikeville Man Facing Up To 10 Years Following Escape From Pike County Jail.

Michael R. Gannon the inmate that was captured by authorities in Michigan after walking away from a work release program at the Pike County Detention Center has been indicted by a grand jury for one charge of second degree escape.

The 26 year – old faces an additional five to 10 years on top of a seven year sentence that he was serving after he was convicted of robbing the Pikeville Subway on Dec 22nd of last year.

The Pikeville native is awaiting an extradition hearing .


Police Still Searching For Man That Robbed Pike County Business.

The Kentucky State Police is still searching for a white male that held up the Shelby Gap Tobacco & Grocery on Wednesday.

The suspect left with an unspecified amount of money.

The male is 5’10 , medium build, and was wearing a visor with a black sweat shirt and dark colored cargo shorts with tennis shoes.

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

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Pike County Man Enters Alford Plea In Child Porn Case.

A Pike County man was ordered to register as a sex offender after he entered an Alford plea in Pike County Court.

David Wellman was arrested after he allegedly downloaded child pornography.

An Alford plea means that the defendent maintains his innonence however he admits that there is enough evidence to convict him.

Wellman must appear in court again on July 18th.


Pikeville Man Remains On The Run.

A spokesperson from the Pike County Detention Center said a Pikeville man remains on the run after he walked away from the jail's work release program Wednesday.

Michael R. Gannon is approximately 5'8 140 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. He is presumed to be armed and dangerous. Gannon was serving time on a robbery charge.

If anyone knows the location of Gannon contact the Kentucky State Police at 433-7711.


Kentucky's Interim President On Postsecondary Education Making Serious Money

Three people are now in the running to be the commonwealth’s next president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education .

Interim president Richard Crofts was given a contract Tuesday. The deal runs through the end of the year with three one month renewals possible.

The 67 year old graduate of Georgetown College and Duke University will make $ 25,416.67 per month

Crofts is a former commissioner of higher education in Mississippi and Montana.


Five Enter Guilty Pleas In Mingo County Circuit Court.

Five people pleaded guilty Wednesday in Mingo County Circuit Court.

Robert Shawn Hitchcock III pleaded guilty to distributing Hydrocodone within 1,000 feet of Williamson High School. Prosecuting Attorney recommended a sentence of one to five years.

Pamela Massey entered a guilty charge to neglect of a elderly person. Massey was sentenced to serve one year in jail.

Kenneth Ray Chapman pleaded guilty of conspiracy to distribute Hydrocodone . Sparks recommended a sentence of one to five years in prison.

James Michael Newsome pleaded guilty to entry of building other than dwelling and conspiracy.
Sparks told us that he will recommend the defendant to serve a total of 2 – 15 years in prison.

Randy Dale Sheppard entered a guilty plea to entry of building other than dwelling and grand larceny.

Sheppard faces 2- 20 years behind bars.


Mingo County Man Faces Numerous Charges For Alleged Attack Of Ex-Wife.

A Lenore man appeared in Mingo County Circuit Court Wednesday morning after he allegedly attacked his ex-wife over the weekend at her Laurel Creek home.

Robert Paul Mullins faces numerous charges.

Mingo County Circuit Court Judge Mike Thornsbury set no bond for the kidnapping charge and a bond of $ 30,000 each for charges of attempted murder and first degree sexual assault.

If convicted Mullins face life in prison on the kidnapping charge, 3 -15 years on attempted murder and 15 – 35 years on first degree sexual assault.


Kentucky H.O.G Rally To Be Held In Eastern Kentucky First Time Ever

Pikeville will receive an economic boost this weekend as up to 1800 bikers are expected to attend the 22nd Kentucky Harley Owners Group Rally. The event will take place Thursday through Saturday.

Tim Spencer event coordinator says that this is the first time the rally will be held east of Lexington. Harley owners from 36 states will be represented.

The opening ceremony will occur at 6:30p.m. Thursday from the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center.


Kentucky Congressman Encourages Congress To Take Action To Combat Higher Gas Prices.

U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) joined Republican colleagues in the House to back immediate and sweeping legislative measures to reduce the cost of gasoline, which has now broken over $4.00 per gallon. The measures include opening new refineries, encouraging coal-to-liquids use, removing fuel blend requirements and exploring oil in Alaska and on the outer continental shelf.
“Congress needs to be in crisis mode,” said Rogers. “Instead, the Democratic leadership has wasted every moment since Memorial Day fiddling around with meaningless resolutions and considering climate change legislation among other issues that don’t have a thing to do with addressing ever-higher energy costs.”
House Republicans are using a procedural technique known as a discharge petition to force action on the Congressional legislative calendar. Under this plan, a simple majority of House members can vote to bring energy legislation to the floor. Once 218 members have signed on, House rules require the Democrats to bring legislation to the floor on an up-or-down vote on seven separate legislative measures to address the nation’s energy woes.
Each of the seven bills reduces the price of gas and other energy sources by increasing American-made energy and decreasing dependence on foreign oil. If this procedural technique should prove successful, the Congressional agenda would be focused between now and the end of July on energy.
Short-term solutions to energy costs are addressed by speeding up the approval process of building new refineries, the lack of which are causing a supply bottleneck. Then attention would turn to exploring energy in an environmentally-sound manner in Alaska’s ANWR refuge and the outer continental shelf. According to energy industry experts, ANWR alone holds nearly half of the reserves of the entire nation.
Long-term solutions include developing coal-to-liquid technology and other alternatives to gasoline such as wind and nuclear power.


Three Arrested For Stealing Catalytic Converters

A spokesperson from the Floyd County Jail said three people accused of stealing catalytic converters from automobiles remain incarcerated on a $ 50,000 full cash bond.

The accused are 43 year-old Lowell Castle of Garrett, Regina Castle , 21, of Arkansas Creek and Ronald Spurlock, 29, of Rainelle, West Virginia.

A police officer from the Prestonsburg Police Department saw the trio attempting to cut off a converter from a vehicle on the Speedway parking lot.

Police recovered two converters and tools used in the alleged crimes.

Police in Prestonsburg have responded to about 15 complaints over the last several weeks.

Stolen converters are used for recycling and can bring in about $ 100 each. According to some victims the cost to replace them range between $ 300 to $ 600


Lincoln County Commission Says He Wants Decision To Hire Former Assessor Reconsidered.

A former Lincoln County Assessor that was convicted in 2005 for vote buying was recently hired by the Lincoln County Commission to work in the assessor’s office in a mapping position . The job was created for 58 year old Jerry Allen Weaver.

Now Commissioner Charles Vance wants the governing body to reconsider.

Weaver was the county’s assessor form 1980 until 2006.

The vote buying scam that he was involved in covered a time period from 1992 to 2004. Voters were given slates of candidates to vote for during that time.

Vance says that the public should have had input before the commission hired someone that has a prior felony conviction.


Martin County Boy Struck By Car

A spokesperson for the Martin County Sheriff’s Department told us that a 12 year old boy hit by a car Tuesday while he was driving his dirt bike will be ok. Authorities say that the teen suffered a broken leg after he was struck by a car being driven by Melodie Moore.

Authorities say that she was drunk at the time of the accident. She has been charged with second offense DUI , negligence in accident, operating a vehicle on a suspended license and child endangerment. Her passenger Scotty Griffith was arrested after he attempted to fight police officers after they told him that he wasn’t going to jail. Police say that Griffith was also intoxicated. A child was also in the car.

A spokesperson with the Big Sandy Detention Center in Paintsville says that Griffith is out on bond and that Moore remains incarcerated on a $ 500 surety bond . She also has previous bench warrants on her


Senator Rockefeller Outraged At Republicans.

With gas prices over four dollars a gallon, Sen. Jay Rockefeller today expressed outrage that Republicans blocked legislation that would have provided West Virginians with necessary relief at the gas pump. The legislation, the Consumer-First Energy Act of 2008, would have addressed the root causes of rising gas prices by taxing oil company windfall profits, stopping market manipulation by oil traders, and standing up to OPEC nations who are accused of price fixing.

“There’s absolutely no question that West Virginians are being crushed under the weight of rising gas prices. In fact, we’ve been paying more than four dollars a gallon for some time now and truly need some relief from the pain at the gas pump. This legislation would have put us on that path. That’s why I’m incredibly disappointed that Senate Republicans chose to put the interests of the oil companies ahead of the consumer,” Rockefeller said. “I can only hope that eventually those senators who chose to vote against this bill will have a change of heart when they hear from families and small businesses in their state, like I have, just how devastating the skyrocketing price of gas has become.”

To help create a long-term solution to help reduce gas prices, the Consumer-First Energy Act of 2008, specifically:

- gives the President authority to declare an energy emergency, making price gouging for fuel products illegal and punishable with fines of up to $5 million
- requires the Federal Trade Commission to give priority to cases involving Big Oil, allowing the attorneys general in all 50 states to enforce the law in U.S. district courts
- creates a permanent tax on “windfall profits” of the major oil companies
- prevents traders of U.S. crude oil from routing transactions through non-U.S. markets to evade speculative limits and reporting requirements set by the Commodities Future Trading Commission
- increases the oversight and enforcement authority of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission over petroleum markets and noncommercial market participants

“I can assure every West Virginian that I will continue to fight for gas price relief. This bill is just one part of a larger solution. We also need to invest in long-term strategies that will keep gas prices down in the future through investments in alternative fuels and clean coal technologies, and in the promotion of responsible and sensible energy conservation measures,” Rockefeller added.

Senator Rockefeller has a long history of fighting for comprehensive energy policies that would reduce our dependence on foreign oil. He has:

- supported efforts to increase domestic supply through oil and gas exploration in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, which could add 1.26 billion new barrels of oil in the short-term to our domestic supply
- opposed speculative and damaging efforts to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), which is expensive and even under the best of estimates would provide no real benefit for at least 10-20 years (see attached report showing negligible benefit from drilling in ANWR)
- supported holding off on additional deposits into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR)
- long-supported a windfall profits tax on integrated, multinational oil companies
- sponsored legislation that would force the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate price gouging

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


TVCC Receives Funding.

The Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce received a grant in the amount of $ 20,000 from the state. The funding will be used to help the Chamber continue its efforts in marketing the region.


Murder - Suicide In Wyoming County.

The last day of school in Wyoming County turned tragic for one Wyoming County school bus driver.

Authorities say that 43 year old Robin Perkinson was shot and killed by her husband while she was cleaning her bus after she completed her route.

George Perkinson was able to walk across the road into their home where he later died.

The murder suicide took place at Ikes Fork which is located 20 miles south of Gilbert.


Vehicle Caught Fire On US 23

An SUV traveling south on US 23 just south of Dorton caught on fire Tuesday afternoon . The vehicle was towing a boat when the mishap took place. When emergency personnel from the Dorton Volunteer Fire Department arrived on scene the vehicle was fully engulfed. No was injured.


City of Pikeville Ready To Accept Bids for New Soccer Field

The Pikeville City Commission has authorized city manager Donovan Blackburn to accept bids for the construction of a new soccer field at Bob Amos Park.

Blackburn says that the field will have a seating capacity of 1,000 and will add around 300 additional parking places at the top.

A baseball and t-ball field will be relocated to the bottom level.

Blackburn is hoping that ground can be broken for the project within the next six weeks.


Pike County Man to Serve Probation.

A Pike County man pleaded guilty in Pike County Circuit Court to one count of first degree fleeing.

Joshua Chaney of Belcher was sentenced to serve two years.

Ron Burchett with the Pike County Commonwealth Attorney's office says that Belcher will be allowed to serve his sentence on probation.


Pikeville and Logan Goody's Will Remain Open

Knoxville, Tennessee based Goody’s Department Store announced the company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company plans to close 69 underperforming stores. East Kentucky Broadcasting has confirmed that the Pikeville, Kentucky and the Logan, West Virginia stores will remain open.

Three stores will close in Kentucky...South Lexington, Lexington and Paducah.

The Morgantown location is the only store in West Virginia that will close.

Goody’s operates 355 stores in 20 states.


KSP Writes Over 7,000 Seat Belt Citations During Click It Or Ticket Program.

The Kentucky State Police announced that as a result of its seatbelt enforcement efforts, 7,021 seat belt and 223 child restraint citations were issued to unrestrained motorists during the national ‘Click It or Ticket’ enforcement mobilization (May 19 – June 1, 2008). KSP joined other state and local law enforcement agencies who participated in ‘Click It or Ticket’ as part of a statewide effort to increase seat belt use among those identified as least likely to buckle up. The campaign includes the Memorial Day Holiday travel period which is one of the deadliest for motorists in the Commonwealth.

KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer was pleased with his agency’s results in the statewide mobilization effort.

"Last year, there were 835 crashes in Kentucky during the Memorial Day weekend," said Brewer. "Eight people lost their lives and 355 were injured. Many of these fatalities and injuries might have been avoided if the drivers had buckled up, slowed down and avoided the use of drugs and alcohol. I applaud the efforts of our troopers during this campaign and their dedication to saving lives on Kentucky roadways."

Captain Tim Lucas, Commander for the Highway Safety Branch points out that, according to the National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), regular seat belt use remains the single most effective way to protect yourself and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. When worn correctly, seat belts have proven to reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent - and by 60 percent in pickup trucks, SUVs, and minivans.
“Kentucky has a seat belt usage rate of 72 percent and even though we have improved from past years, it is still disturbing that some individuals refuse to buckle up - the citation numbers bear this out,” said Lucas.We are hopeful that the numbers we achieve in 2008 will reflect that we are getting the message across to those who have cavalier attitudes when driving and less likely to buckle up,” added Lucas.In addition to the seat belt citations, KSP issued 6,333 speeding citations; 461 Driving Under the Influence (DUI) arrests; 46,308 vehicle inspections; 434 suspended license violations; 2,029 failure to provide proof of insurance citations; 77 reckless driving citations; 151 drug arrests; 6,279 miscellaneous traffic violations and 164 fugitives were apprehended during the enforcement campaign.

‘Click It or Ticket’ is a national enforcement effort that is supported by federal NHTSA funding allocated to the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety. KSP will continue its highway safety efforts through enforcement and public awareness throughout the summer.

The public is encouraged to report any unsafe operation of a motor vehicle by contacting the Kentucky State Police at 1-800-222-5555.


Pike County Judge Executive Addressed Graduates of National College

Pike County Judge/Executive Wayne T. Rutherford addressed graduates of National College this past week, the most recent of many commencement speeches Rutherford has given at the college.

“Commencement is a beginning,” Rutherford told graduates, faculty and attending family and friends, “an appreciation for knowledge and how it enriches our lives.”

Rutherford went on to share with the graduates advice which included setting goals, “both large and small goals” and learning to “get along with others and not avoid burning bridges.”

The college graduated 61 students in fields as diverse as Medical Assisting to Business Administration to Pharmacy Technology.

“We’re well pleased with our graduates and proud of their accomplishments,” said National College Campus Director Tammy Riley. “These students have worked diligently to achieve their goals and fulfil promises made to themselves. We were glad to be a part of that.”

Offering the invocation during the ceremony was Pastor Bill Staggs, while the college’s Community Resource Coordinator, Kelly Clark, presented the candidates for graduation.

Dwayne Smith gave a benediction and marshals for the event were students Lisa Givens and Derek Thacker.

Finally, Rutherford left the graduates with the advice that, along with seeking out a job that one finds enjoyable, there are also going to be the obvious hurdles along the way.

“Out in the world, you will see expectations and problems, challenges and temptations, not to mention discouragement,” Rutherford said. “But there are also always opportunities – one door will close and another will open.”


Phelps High School Honored For Seat Belt Usage

Unknown to Phelps High School students, faculty, staff, and administration, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet took notes. KYTC officials observed vehicles entering and leaving the schools parking lot and noted how many people had their seat belts buckled.

In Kentucky, an average of 72% of drivers and passengers buckle up, below the national average of 81%. At Phelps High School, the percentage was 72.5 Eabove the state average. The people of the Phelps community, especially the high school, are to be commended,Esaid Terry Tackett, Drive Smart Coordinator for Highway District 12. More people at Phelps High are using seatbelts than in the entire state. That is really something to be proud of, and should encourage the rest of us to be more aware that seat belts do save lives.

The seat belt audit resulted in the school receiving a custom-made Buckle Up sign in the schools colors, installed last month with a crowd of proud students and teachers watching.

Monday, June 09, 2008


Tug Valley Shrine Club To Conduct Another Fundraiser.

Grant Preece a member of the Tug Valley Shrine Club says that preliminary figures indicate that the organization took in around $ 1,500 during the annual car, truck and motorcycle show that took place this past Saturday.

Preece says that approximately 80 people entered. Preece added that is down by about 30 to 40 entries. With tempuratures over the weekend in the mid to upper 90's organizers say that heat was a factor.

The TVSC will conduct a Poker Run on Saturday, June 21st at the South Side Mall. Registration is from 10 a.m until noon. Cost is $ 10 for the driver and $ 5 for the passenger. The first 40 bikes entered will receive a free event t-shirt.


Pike County Coroner Doesn't Expect Drowning To Be Cause Of Death For Pike County Man

Pike County Coroner Russell Roberts said an autopsy report should be back within the next six weeks for a Pike County man that died after he was swimming at the Elkhorn City Pool last Friday.

Roberts says that 20 year –old Brian K. Matlock of Greasy Creek was swimming with his foster sister. Matlock was bobbing up an down in the water. He was pulled back to the surface by his foster sister after she realized that he was underwater for a longer amount of time. Roberts says that he told emergency officials that he was "ok" before he blacked out. Matlock later passed away at Pikeville Medical Center.

Roberts said he doesn’t expect Matlock’s death to be ruled a drowning. The coroner suspects that Matlock had a medical issue.


Kentucky Highway Fatality Report

Preliminary statistics* indicate that nine people died in nine separate crashes on Kentucky's roadways from Monday, June 2 through Sunday, June 8, 2008. Seven of the fatalities involved motor vehicles and four of those victims were not wearing seat belts. The motor vehicle crashes occurred in Clay, Graves, Hopkins, Leslie, Mason, Pulaski and Warren counties. The suspected use of alcohol was a factor in one of these crashes.

Two of the crashes involved motorcycles and occurred in Boyle and Pike county. One of the victims was wearing a helmet.
Through June 8, preliminary statistics* indicate that 309 people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways during 2008. This is 55 fewer than reported for this time period in 2007. Of the 247 motor vehicle fatalities, 158 victims were not wearing seat belts. Of the 27 motorcycle fatalities, 15 were not wearing helmets. Seven people have been killed in ATV crashes and 6 of those were not wearing helmets. Twenty-seven pedestrians have been killed. A total of 56 fatalities have resulted from crashes involving the suspected use of alcohol.


One Killed Five Injured in Car Accident In Eastern Kentucky.

An eastern Kentucky man died in a two vehicle accident that took place Sunday afternoon on the Hal Rogers Parkway in Leslie County.

According to the Kentucky State Police the victim James Mark Dean age 32 of Fallrock, Kentucky attempted to make a left turn from KY 118 onto the Hal Rogers Parkway and failed to yield the right of way to another vehicle.

Five other people that were in the other vehicle were transported to the hospital.

The names of the injured were not available.


Motorcycle Fatality

Sheila Damron died Saturday night after she and her husband Gregory were hit while riding a motorcycle. The Kentucky State Police said they were going north on US23 when Lisa Cantrell pulled into their path.

Cantrell was transported to the Pikeville Medical Center, and Gregory and Sheila Damron were taken to Holston Valley Hospital in Tennessee, where Sheila was pronounced dead.

The accident occurred at the junction of Route 805 and US23.

Sunday, June 08, 2008


Widow Says Husband Was Walking Along Road When He Was Struck And Killed.

The widow of a Logan County man killed last week when he was hit by a car says that he rhusband, 68 year old Norman Sprouse, was hit while walking along old Route 10 at Godby Branch. Last week the Logan County Sheriff’s Department issued a release saying the victim was hit while crossing the highway.

The driver of the vehicle, 30 year old Chandela Vincent of Lake, remains lodged in the Southwestern Regional. Jail.

Katheryn Sprouse says her husband was walking to a neighbor’s house to visit.


Road Work In Hardy Area To Continue For Next Seven Weeks.

Motorists that travel in the Hardy area can still expect delays as work continues to reconstruct the curve near the post office.

The project which is in its second week is expected to last three months.

At this current time a temporary traffic light has been installed . The work includes : site clearing, silt control , roadway excavation, trench cuts and pipe replacements for drainage , guardrail and pavement removal and replacement and rocks to be installed in the ditch line.

The project is estimated to cost $ 575,000


Busy Day In Mingo County Circuit court.

Mingo County Circuit Court Judge Mike Thornsbury accepted four guilty pleas and conducted one sentencing hearing Friday.

Stephen Ellis pleaded guilty to one count of grand larceny.

Jimmy Ellis admitted to obtaining property by worthless check.

Debbie Renee May one count of conspiracy to deliver cocaine.

Brian Keith Lambert one count of fleeing and one count of driving under the influence of a controlled substance and other drugs.

The defendants will be sentenced on July 15th.

Paul Mills was sentenced to two to 10 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit grand larceny. Mills must also pay a $ 2,000 fine

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