Saturday, June 28, 2008


Assistant Mingo County Prosecutor Resigns.

Jerry Lyall has resigned as an assistant prosecutor in Mingo County..

Lyall has served in that capacity since 2004.

Lyall plans to open a law office in Williamson on July first


WV State Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Mingo County Sheriff.

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals reversed the Mingo County Circuit Court’s Jan. 30 order to reinstate Sgt. Glen Messer as a Mingo County deputy sheriff and remanded the case back to the Circuit Court with directions this week.“In so holding, this Court recognizes that the indefinite suspension of Sergeant Messer, thus reinstated, may constitute a de facto termination of his employment,” the court ruled.Sheriff Lonnie Hannah appealed the final order of the circuit court upholding the decision of the Mingo County Civil Service Commission for reinstating Messer to his former rank and position in the sheriff’s office with full back pay and with no charges placed upon his record. The Commission also awarded Messer reasonable attorney feesThe matter arose from Messer’s indefinite suspension in May 2006 for allegedly submitting false requests for overtime pay concerning his participation in specialized training at the State Police Academy in Kanawha County from April 10-13, 2006. Messer’s requests for overtime pay included sixteen hours in travel time for trips between Mingo County and the academy.
The Civil Service Commission and the Circuit Court determined that at least four hours of the requested travel time were questionable because Messer, unknown to Hannah, had rented a motel room near the academy for the three day period. Nevertheless, the Commission and the Circuit Court concluded that the transgression was trivial, inconsequential and without wrongful intention on the part of Messer.The Court stated in its ruling that the Civil Service Commission “failed to consider an important aspect of the problem.”“In this case, the decision of the Commission failed to mention the evidence of record concerning the Mingo County Prosecuting Attorney’s involvement during the investigation into Sergeant Messer’s requested travel time and his conclusion that Sergeant Messer’s integrity and credibility as a law enforcement officer has been irreparably compromised. Moreover, although acknowledging the Prosecuting Attorney’s involvement and conclusion, the Circuit Court failed to address those matters in its order affirming Sergeant Messer’s reinstatement,” the court ruled. While Messer requested 16 hours in overtime pay, MCSD’s Charlie Justice, who also attended the academy, requested only 12 hours. Although a check payable to Messer for the overtime was issued, Hannah withheld it after discovering the discrepancy.Justice told the sheriff he only requested 12 hours for travel time because on April 12, he and Messer stayed at a Motel 6 near the academy. Justice later testified before the Civil Service Commission that he and Messer were in a training session at the Academy until 10 p.m. that evening. In his request for overtime, however, Messer indicated that, on April 12, he began driving back to Mingo County at 9 p.m. He also indicated that he drove back to the Academy the following morning.In May of 2006, Hannah requested a State Police investigation, and Trooper Mike LaFauci was assigned to the case. Soon after, LaFauci spoke with Hannah and with Prosecuting Attorney Michael Sparks. At Spark’s direction, LaFauci obtained the guest record from Motel 6 which revealed that Messer rented the motel room for the entire April 10 - April 13 period.Trooper LaFauci also spoke with Messer, who admitted renting the room and stated that he “had stayed at the hotel some and that he had driven home a few times.”In addition, Messer indicated to LaFauci that he paid for the room himself and thought, at the time, that requesting the overtime would be less expensive for the county than requesting reimbursement for the motel stay.By letter dated May 12, 2006 Hannah placed Messer upon indefinite suspension without pay.Concluding that the evidence was sufficient to charge Messer with attempting to obtain money by false pretenses, Sparks directed LaFauci to prepare a grand jury report and, perceiving a conflict concerning his representation of county officials, sought the appointment of a special prosecutor.Although the record does not show that the matter of Messer’s overtime was ever presented to a grand jury or that a special prosecutor was appointed, Sparks, in a letter to Hannah dated July 7, 2006, indicated that Messer had violated the provisions of W. Va. Code 61-3-24 by obtaining money under false pretenses and W. Va. Code 61-11-8, which concerns the attempts.The letter further stated, “Sergeant Messer’s integrity and credibility as a law enforcement officer has been irreparably compromised. Therefore, I hereby advise you that I will not prosecute any case in which MCSD Sergeant Messer is the primary investigating officer. To do so would be inconsistent with the public interest in the fair administration of justice.”


Floyd County Students Will Begin School Day Fifteen Minutes Earlier.

The Floyd County Board of Education approved a measure stating students will begin their school day fifteen minutes earlier than last year.

Elementary students will go to school from 8:00 a.m until 2:45 p.m.

Everyone else will go from 8:15 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.


Two Female Inmates Escape From Eastern Kentucky Detention Center.

Two female inmates are still on the run as they escaped from the Big Dandy Detention Center in Paintsville.

The incident happened late Saturday afternoon.

The inmates are thirty-seven year-old Ramona Mills and twenty-two year-old Haley Smith.

Authorities are trying to determine how the escape happened.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Ramona Mills and Haley Smith contact the Kentucky State Police at 606-433-7711.


Fatal ATV Accident In Magoffin County.

A Magoffin County man died from injuries he received from an ATV accident Friday night.

The Kentucky State Police say that 56 year-old John Wayne Salyer was riding on Bee Tree Road , when he hit a tree lying across the road due to a storm.

Authorities say speed was a factor.


Hundreds Of Residents Take Advantage Of Free Medical Services.

Stan Brock brought his Remote Area Medical ( RAM ) program to Pike Central High School this past Saturday and Sunday.

About 1,500 residents from Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia took advantage of free medical services.

Residents lined up the night before the event.

530 medical professionals were on hand.

Pike County officials are hoping Brock will bring the program back to Pike County next year.


Johnson County Man Jailed On Drug Charges.

A Johnson County man was arrested by the Kentucky State Police this past weekend on the parking lot of the Coal Run McDonalds.

Eric Bailey was charged with second and third degree drug trafficking, public intoxication and possession of marijuana.

The KSP said that the Van Lear resident was a passenger in a vehicle.

Bailey is accused of being in possession of $ 995.00 , a bag of marijuana and 969 pills that were in a plastic container.

Bailey remains in the Pike County Detention Center on a $ 5,000 full cash bond.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Committee Approves Several Eastern Kentucky Flood Control Projects.

.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) announced today that a key committee in the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation this week that includes $9.425 million in federal funding for flood control efforts in southern and eastern Kentucky. Rogers secured the money in important funding bills for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“Recent flooding in the Midwest is a critical reminder of the damage and destruction high waters and overtopped banks can cause. Our families and communities know this reality all too well. That is why I remain vigilant in pursuing these funds for our region,” stated Rogers. “Critical flood protection projects in our counties will receive the funding necessary to guard homes, insulate businesses, channel rivers, and reduce the potential for flood losses.”
The FY09 Energy & Water Appropriations bill provides $7 million for flood control and flood reduction activities along the Levisa and Tug forks of the Big Sandy and Cumberland Rivers. This includes funding for construction projects in the Town of Martin, the Cities of Cumberland and Middlesboro, the community of Clover Fork, as well as Harlan, Martin, Bell and Pike Counties. Funding will also be made available to continue studies in Floyd, Knox, Johnson, and Whitley Counties.
The FY09 Homeland Security Appropriations bill also contains $2.425 million for FEMA to conduct a pilot project with federal, state, and local stakeholders for regional flood mitigation including hardening of flood walls and levees, pump system refurbishment, and bridge modifications. The demonstration project affords FEMA opportunities to work and think progressively on existing Corps’ flood mitigation projects within the Cumberland and Big Sandy River watersheds.
These agency funding bills are scheduled to be considered by the full House of Representatives later this summer. Rogers works to obtain federal funding for projects across southern and eastern Kentucky in his role as a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee.


Congressman Signs Petition To Repeal Coal To Liquids Ban.

With gas prices continuing to linger above $4 per gallon going into the July 4th congressional break, Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) urged Speaker Nancy Pelosi to immediately bring an end to a shortsighted prohibition, which denies federal agencies from contracting for or using coal-derived fuels. Rogers joined like-minded Members of Congress in signing a discharge petition to bring up legislation to repeal Section 526 of the Energy Independence and Security Act.

“With skyrocketing gas prices, it is absurd the reticence of Speaker Pelosi and her leadership team to deny consideration of diversifying our fuel stock and easing prices at the pump,” stated Rogers. “This senseless ban was slipped into legislation at the 11th hour and discourages coal-to-liquids development. The U.S. Air Force is clamoring for a domestic jet fuel alternative as prices have tripled in three years. We as a nation are wise to use our own energy resources and utilize our abundance of coal.”

Coal-to-liquids is the process of converting coal into a transportation fuel and continues to hold great promise as a domestic alternative to foreign oil, particularly for diesel and jet fuel purposes. Section 526 effectively prohibits any federal agency from entering into a contract for an alternative or synthetic fuel for any mobility-related use. The discharge petition calls for immediate repeal of Section 526.

With a simple majority of signatories, a discharge petition requires a legislative measure to be considered by the full House of Representatives under the rules. In recent weeks, Rogers has signed a number of petitions calling for Speaker Pelosi to bring federal legislation which reduces gas prices to the floor for debate. These measures include lifting the 28-year ban on new oil and gas leases along the outer continental shelf, opening up 2000 acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, and immediately permitting three new gasoline refineries.

Rogers will continue to press Speaker Pelosi to bring forward legislative measures to reduce the price of gasoline for the American public and urge the President to work with Congress to increase the production of American energy.


Officials Gear Up For RAM Weekend.

PIKEVILLE- The Remote Area Medical (RAM) Expedition in Pike County will be held this Saturday and Sunday, June 28-29, at Pike County Central High School. RAM clinics will run Saturday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“With the rising costs of health insurance, food, fuel and other necessities, more and more people in this area cannot afford to visit a family doctor, dentist, or other healthcare professional. I am pleased that RAM is coming to Pike County this weekend to provide citizens with services they would not otherwise be getting,” said Pike County Judge/Executive Wayne T. Rutherford.

Volunteer doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, dental hygienists and other medical professionals will be on hand to provide free-of-charge medical care to those who need them.

“This is a great opportunity for individuals in need of medical, vision or dental services, and I encourage everyone to participate in this wonderful event,” said Pike County Social Services Commissioner Carol Napier.

Services will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis and include the following:

Dental: cleanings, fillings, extractions, limited denture repairs
Eye Care: vision screenings, limited prescription eyeglasses
Medical: Diabetes Screening and Education, Cholesterol Screenings, Skin Cancer Screenings, Pap Smears, Breast Exams, Mammograms (limited number), Specialist Exams, and Medication Assistance.

According to Napier, parking will be available at the high school. Participants will need to turn at the entrance to Pike Central High School, and will then be directed by RAM volunteers and directional signs. A shuttle service will be provided from the parking area to the event site. Water and limited snacks will be provided for participants.

RAM was founded in 1985 and years of research and planning has yielded a vast, carefully developed network of men and women who have come together to make the organization a highly mobile, remarkably efficient relief force.


Lexington Man Pleads Guilty To Stalking.

A Fayette County man has pleaded guilty to one count of stalking.

Harry Chapman of Lexington will serve six years in prison after striking a deal with the Pike County Commonwealth Attorney.

Chapman admitted that he threatened and harassed his former girlfriend who resides at Elkhorn City.



West Virginia Man That Robbed Pike County Business Pleads Guilty.

A Logan County man will spend the next five years in prison after he pleaded guilty in Pike County Circuit Court to one count of second degree robbery.

23 year-old Charles Canterbury of Pecks Mill admitted he took purses from Dawahares at the South Side Mall. When confronted he brandished a knife.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Fugitive Caught In Ohio.

A Logan County man remains lodged in the Southwestern Regional Jail on a $ 50,000 bond.

James Edward Bryant is charged with grand larceny and felony destruction of property.

Bryant is accused of breaking into an ATM machine at the Naugatuck Branch of The Bank of Mingo.

No money was taken as the suspect was scared off by a security guard.

Bryant was located in Meigs County , Ohio by authorities.


Official Misconduct Trial Of Pike County Teacher Delayed Again.

The trial of a Pike County educator was delayed until Thursday morning. Lincoln Shane Bentley a teacher at East Ridge High School is standing trial in district court on two counts of official misconduct.

According to a police complaint Bentley allegedly told a female student that if she exposed her breasts to him it would enhance her grade.

Bentley has denied the allegations.

The teacher has been placed on administrative leave with pay.

If convicted Bentley faces up to 90 days in jail on each count.


No Verdict In Eastern Kentucky Vote Buying Trial.

There is still no verdict in the vote buying trial of Knott County Judge Executive Randy Thompson. A federal grand jury deliberated for three and a half hours.

The jury will begin deliberations Thursday morning at 9 a.m.

The other co-defendants are Ronnie Adams, Mac Combs and Phillip Champion.


Murder Suspect Arrested In Texas

A North Carolina man is awaiting extradition back to West Virginia in connection with the stabbing death of a Wayne County man.

Jimmy Russell Davis was arrested earlier this week in Texas.

The 47 year-old is accused of stabbing to death 43 year-old Michael Smith of Crum.

The alleged incident took place on May 26th.

Smith died in a Huntington hospital 11 days later.


Former Logan Mayor Honored.

Logan City Council will rename the downtown area known as “ The Triangle” after former mayor Claude Ellis.

The 81 year-old Ellis passed away last November. He served as mayor for seven years.

Ellis passed away due to complications from gallbladder surgery.

The downtown section will be called “ Claude Big Daddy Ellis Memory Lane “.


Audits Of Former Perry County Sheriff's Office Tax Accounts Discover More Than $ 572,000 In Missing Funds Dating Back To 2002.

State Auditor Crit Luallen today released former Perry County Sheriff Dennis Pat Wooton’s 2005 and 2006 tax settlement audits, which led auditors to discover $573,025 in missing funds dating back to the 2002 tax settlement account of the previous sheriff.
The audits have been referred to the FBI for further action.
The deficit in Wooton’s official bank account “appears to be the result of a scheme to manipulate the accounting records by a former employee of the (former) sheriff’s office,” according to the audit.
Auditors noted that the deficit occurred when unreported corporate franchise tax payments were used to replace undeposited cash taken after Perry County homeowners paid their property tax in cash at the sheriff’s office.
Auditors found that these franchise tax payments were never included on a monthly franchise tax report for distribution to such taxing districts as library, health, agriculture and school. Auditors used deposit records obtained from a local bank to discover how the tax payments were manipulated.
Because of their findings, auditors reviewed Wooton’s tax settlement records dating back to 2002 when he was first elected sheriff and found a total of $561,488 in missing funds. Auditors found a $44,379 deficit in 2002, a $195,985 deficit in 2003, a $162,727 deficit in 2004, a $136,658 deficit in 2005 and a $21,739 deficit in 2006, according to the audit.
Additionally, auditors reviewed the last month of the tax settlement account of Wooton’s predecessor, Les Burgett, and found an additional $11,537 deficit occurring from the manipulation of franchise tax payments.
“This alleged theft is one of the largest in the history of the State Auditor’s Office. We are appalled at the magnitude of this apparent theft of local tax dollars,” Luallen said. “We appreciate the cooperation of the former sheriff as we uncovered this elaborate and technical manipulation of public funds.”
Luallen said her office strengthened its oversight of the reporting and managing of franchise taxes by county sheriffs in 2005 based on concerns in other counties. These new audit procedures helped uncover the Perry County scheme.
She said this case points out why she emphasizes to county fee officials across the state about the need to implement and oversee stronger controls in their offices regarding the handling of cash.
Auditors noted in the 2005 and 2006 audits that the internal control structure of the former Perry County Sheriff’s Office was weak because one individual performed almost all accounting functions. Auditors define this as “inadequate segregation of duties” and suggested in earlier audits that the former sheriff correct this finding.
The audit mentions that the former sheriff should have periodically reviewed and verified employees’ work and provided the necessary oversight of cash collections, reconciliations, reporting and distribution processes.
In the 2004 audit of Wooton’s official account, auditors commented on the office’s lack of oversight and provided the sheriff with specific recommendations to improve bookkeeping procedures. Wooton told auditors at the release of the 2004 audit that he would place his initials on the monthly tax reports.
In the 2005 and 2006 audits, auditors found that the former sheriff allowed an employee to sign his name to checks issued from the tax accounts. “Allowing one individual to be responsible for all phases of transactions significantly increases the risk that incorrect payments and other errors could occur and not be detected in a timely manner,” according to the audit.
In Kentucky, sheriffs are covered by bonds, which may reimburse losses such as those identified in the audits. Auditors recommend that the former sheriff take appropriate action to eliminate this deficit in his official bank account by asking the county attorney to notify the bonding company of the loss and by working with law enforcement officials regarding an investigation.
Wooton said in the audit, “Again let me emphasize my request for law enforcement to investigate (the) handling of franchise taxes during my term as sheriff and to express my appreciation to APA (Auditor of Public Accounts) for reviewing records prior to my assuming office and finding evidence of a history for this scam.”


Westcare To Purchase Old Lookout School Next Wednesday.

Next Wednesday officials from Westcare will present a check to the Pike County School System for the purchase of a building that formerly housed Lookout Elementary.

Westcare will open a 45 bed licensed residential treatment facility for women and their children. . The center is expected to open in 2010 and will be named after former Kentucky First Lady Judi Patton.

Westcare received the money from coal severance tax .

Officials say that they need to raise another $ 800,000 to begin the remodeling process.

Westcare operates the Hal Rogers Trail Recovery Center, an adult male facility at Ashcamp and the Perry A. Cline Emergency/Homeless Shelter in Pikeville.


Kentucky Congressman Urges President To Increase America's Energy Production.

— Congressman Hal Rogers announced his support today for a resolution encouraging President Bush to immediately and permanently lift the Executive order banning energy production on America’s Outer Continental Shelf.

“The average price of gasoline was $2.33 when this Congressional term began in January of 2007 and today the average price is almost $4,” stated Rogers. “Energy exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf is a positive step toward moving our nation toward energy independence and putting American oil into our cars and trucks. We are far too vulnerable to the whims of foreign cartels and regimes and it’s high time we drill here at home.”

A federal moratorium currently prohibits the safe exploration of our resources along the OCS. This moratorium was instituted in 1990 and will expire in 2012; however, the ban can be eliminated at any time by the President. H.Res. 1282 calls on the President to immediately lift this moratorium and allow for OCS drilling. Recent polling shows that 67 percent of the American people support more American-made energy by revoking leasing restrictions on the OCS.

The U.S. Minerals Management Service estimates the OCS contains at least 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The United States has developed a comprehensive framework of environmental laws and regulations and fostered the development of state-of-the-art technology that allows for the responsible development of these resources. Several countries, including the United Kingdom, Brazil, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and Norway, already allow exploration along their OCS.

“The families of my region are seeing 10-16 percent of their take home pay go to fill the gas tank. Coupled with rising food prices and the costs of services, we need to be in crisis mode and go after these oil reserves on U.S. territory,” Rogers said. “The President’s action on this issue is needed to bring our policies in line with the needs of Americans.”

Rogers will continue to encourage the President to revoke the Executive memorandum and urge the President to work with Congress to increase the production of American energy.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Murder Trial For Two Area Men Delayed Again.

The murder trial for two area men has been rescheduled for September 23rd in Cabell County Circuit Court.

Donnie Evans of McCarr and Charles Blevins of Williamson are accused of shooting and killing Travis Huff 16 months ago at a mobile home just outside of Barboursville.

The attorney for Blevins says that he needed more time to get an expert witness.


Federal Trial Expected To Go To Jury Wednesday

The defense in the federal trial of four Knott County officials rested there case late Tuesday afternoon.

Knott County Judge Executive Randy Thompson did not testify.

Thompson, Ronnie Adams, Phillip Champion and Mac Combs are accused of using county money to do road work on private property prior to the 2006 election.

One resident says that no work was done to his road and that he never voted in the 06 election. He went onto say that his vote couldn’t be bought by gravel and blacktop.

The United States Attorney said that bridges were built, roads were paved and graveled , altering the election.

The defense attorneys for all four men again asked the judge to dismiss all charges against there clients saying there is no evidence against them. The judge said that he will allow the jury to decide that.

The jury is scheduled to begin deliberations late Wednesday.


Lawmakers In Special Session In Charleston.

Lawmakers in Charleston are expected to wrap up Wednesday a two day special session.

Governor Joe Manchin is asking lawmakers to freeze the state tax increase on gasoline that is scheduled to take place January 1st. The tax is expected to go up an additional six cents.

Manchin is also asking lawmakers to give an extra five million dollars to the public school system to offset the price of fuel for buses.
Manchin also wants to crackdown on scrap metal and catalytic converter thefts


Pike County Judge Executive Urges Congress To Introduce Transportation Revenue Sharing.

A dire budget emergency exists today, in local governments throughout Kentucky and nationwide. This emergency is due to rising fuel costs, and without help from the federal government, cities and counties, including Pike County, could become bankrupt by the end of the 2008-2009 budget year.

The Kentucky state government cannot help counties such as Pike, because its budget for 2009-2009 is “bare bones,” as well.

In order for Pike County bridges and roads to remain in good repair, for the Pike County Detention Center to remain open, and for the health needs of county citizens to be met, the federal government must take action.

For this reason, Pike County Judge/Executive Wayne T. Rutherford is asking Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers to introduce legislation that would bring about transportation revenue sharing between the federal government and the cities and counties of America.

More specifically, Judge Rutherford is asking Rogers to introduce transportation revenue sharing in a 2008 Revenue Sharing Transportation Act, and to inform President George W. Bush of the dire emergencies that local governments face today from the rising costs of fuel.

With all of the criticisms that could be said today of President Richard Nixon, those in local government saw him as the greatest president local government has ever seen.

“What’s wrong with sending money out of Washington to help provide essential needs of our citizens?” asks Rutherford.

“Restore the Federal-County Partnership. Help local governments answer challenges facing them. By revitalizing local governments, revenue sharing can keep courthouse doors open.”


Kentucky's Unemployment Rate Increases.

According to Workforce Kentucky the commonwealth's unemployment rate for the month of May rose six tenths to 6.2 percent. The increase was contributed to the loss of 1,800 jobs in the professional and business sectors.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Official Misconduct Trial For Pike County Educator Scheduled For Wednesday.

The trial of an East Ridge High School teacher is scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday in Pike County District Court.

Lincoln Shane Bentley is charged with two counts of official misconduct.

Assistant County Attorney Roger Varney said the trial is expected to last one day.

If convicted Varney says Bentley could face 90 days in jail on each charge.

Bentley has been suspended with pay by the Pike County School System.


Mingo County's Jobless Rate Unchanged.

West Virginia’s unemployment rate stayed the same at 5.1 percent.

Mingo, Wyoming and Lincoln counties rate stayed the same at 5.3, 5.6 and 5.9 percent respectively.

Boone fell two tenths to 4.8 percent. Logan fell by one tenth to 5.1 percent. McDowell County also fell by one tenth to 7.5 percent.

Wayne County saw an increase of three tenths to 5.7 percent.

Pocahontas County had the highest jobless rate of 11.5 percent.
Monongalia had the lowest at 3.4 percent.


Kick Boxing Instructor Named Miss West Virginia.

Kayla Lynam, a resident of Berkeley County will represent the mountain state in the Miss America Pageant that will be held in January.

The 21 year-old attends Grove City College in Pennsylvania where she is majoring in entrepreneurship and exercise science. Lynam is also a kick boxing instructor.


Operation FALCON Nets 194 Arrests.

The United States Marshals Office in Charleston announced Monday that law enforcement officials say that a weeklong sweep in twenty-three counties has resulted in the arrests of 194 criminal fugitives.

The joint federal, state and local operation dubbed “ FALCON “ issued 333 warrants against the nearly 200 fugitives.

The arrests involved fugitives sought on charges that included violent offenses, sex crimes and narcotics violations.

The release says the sting helped clear a backlog of warrants from local law enforcement files.


Defendant In Torture Case Pleads Guilty.

One of the defendants in the Logan County torture case accepted a plea deal from the office of the prosecuting attorney.

Lennie Burton, Junior pleaded guilty to battery. The deal was approved by the victim Megan Williams.

Burton was given a six month suspended jail sentence and placed on one year of supervised probation.

Burton admitted he struck the victim in the head with his fist.


Fifteen Die On Kentucky Roadways.

Preliminary statistics* indicate that fifteen people died in fifteen separate crashes on Kentucky roadways from Monday, June 16 through Sunday, June 22, 2008. Thirteen of the fatalities involved motor vehicles and eight of those victims were not wearing seat belts. Motor vehicle crashes occurred in Allen, Boyd, Calloway, Carter, Harlan, Henry, Jefferson, Lincoln, Logan, Oldham, Pike, Pulaski and Taylor counties. Two of the crashes involved the suspected use of alcohol.
Two crashes involved motorcycles and occurred in Bell and Boyle counties. One of the victims was not wearing a helmet.
Through June 22, preliminary statistics* indicate that 351 people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways during 2008. This is 50 fewer than reported for this time period in 2007. Of the 276 motor vehicle fatalities, 175 victims were not wearing seat belts. Of the 36 motorcycle fatalities, 20 were not wearing helmets. Seven people have been killed in ATV crashes and 6 of those were not wearing helmets. Thirty pedestrians have been killed. A total of 65 fatalities have resulted from crashes involving the suspected use of alcohol.


Two Cocaine Cases Yield Three Arrests.

Three people were arrested last week including an illegal alien following undercover drug investigations into cocaine trafficking in Perry County.
On Tuesday afternoon, June 17, UNITE detectives and officers from the Hazard Police Department, Perry County Sheriff¹s Office and Kentucky State Police
K-9 unit arrested two Georgia men after they sold approximately 12 ounces of cocaine during an undercover drug transaction in a Hazard shopping center parking lot.
Jose M. Escobar Canoles, age 29, of Pinehurst Drive, Smyrna, Georgia, and 51-year-old Arnie J. Lewis, of South Highway 27, Carrollton, Georgia, were each charged with first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
During the arrest, the officers discovered a loaded handgun on the front floorboard of their 2007 Chrysler 300-C along with $1,000 in counterfeit $100 bills.
The case against Canoles, who is an undocumented alien, and Lewis will be presented to a federal grand jury for possible indictment.
On Monday, June 16, detectives from UNITE and deputies from the Perry County Sheriff¹s Office charged 68-year-old Bill Stewart, of Middle Ridge Road in Bonnyman, with one count each of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and second-degree possession of a controlled substance.
Police had received complaints that Stewart was selling cocaine from a hotel room in Hazard.
Because Stewart had an outstanding Floyd County arrest warrant for theft by deception over $300, officers went to the hotel to serve the warrant.
During a search of the room officers found approximately one-quarter ounce of cocaine, $518 in cash, and various equipment used to prepare cocaine for sale.
All three suspects were lodged in the Kentucky River Regional Jail.


Trooper Island Offers Life Changing Experience For Young Campers.

In 1966, more than two dozen Kentucky State Troopers embarked on an ambitious project that later became known as Trooper Island. Under the watchful eye of then director Ted Bassett, a 34- acre island straddling the Kentucky/Tennessee border became home to a summer camp that would eventually benefit thousands of Kentucky youngsters less fortunate than most. However, from inception Trooper Island was envisioned as more of a life-changing experience than just another summer camping experience. Early supporters included churches, Optimists, Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis Clubs from around the Commonwealth.
Located on Dale Hollow Lake, the curriculum and camping experience has become more sophisticated to include courses in water safety, environmental awareness, gun safety, drug prevention, personal hygiene, citizenship, and self-esteem enhancement. However, the influence and interaction with strong role models from within the Kentucky State Police has remained unchanged. One of the many unique aspects of Trooper Island is the way that children are selected to attend. Troopers are charged with the responsibility of finding candidates from the respective areas in which they patrol in each of the 120 counties in the state.
Trooper Island has now evolved into a coed camp, but still focuses on at risk youth between the ages of 10 and 12 years of age, who otherwise might not have the opportunity to attend a summer camp. Trooper Island now offers 12 full weeks of camping each summer and has extended its focus to include a camping experience to children with special needs and physical handicaps. The project remains a non-profit organization operating without the benefit of tax dollars. Campers attend the program free of charge.
Although early records are fragmented, it is estimated that more than 20,000 Kentucky youngsters have experienced summer camp at Trooper Island. It is often difficult to see or measure the results of such a program. Perhaps the strongest testament to the project is that nearly two dozen Kentucky State Troopers attended the program as children. Although never intended to be a recruitment initiative, this certainly speaks to the powerful impression that the program leaves with those who attend. After three and half decades of growth, Trooper Island continues to instill positive values and change the lives of Kentucky youngsters across the Commonwealth.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


59th Annual Magnolia Fair Gets Underway Monday Evening.

The 59th annual Magnolia Fair will get underway Monday evening in downtown historic Matewan.

Tickets are ten dollars.

Tonight’s musical entertainment is the 70’s southern rock group Atlanta Rhythm Section.

The week long fair is put on by the Matewan Rotary Club and attracts over 12,000 people annually.


Pike County Man Jailed After Allegedly Shooting Gun At A Group Of People.

Pinson Fork, Ky., local Christopher Cline resides in a West Virginia jail after shooting into a group of people .Cline is being held at the Southwestern Regional Jail for five counts of wanton endangerment and one count of destruction of property.Williamson Police Officer Bert Gibson and J.E. Spence first answered a call from 911 dispatch as two men fighting. Gibson said when they reached the scene it had escalated into a shooting.Chris Cline and Roger Thacker had first got into an altercation at Victoria St. Cline allegedly walked to his van, pulled out a gun and waived it at the group of people warning them to stay back. Included in the crowd were two children; ages 16 and 12.
Cline then entered his vehicle, drove by the scene slowly and allegedly fired the weapon out of the car window, endangering the safety of all five people at the scene. The bullet lodged into the tire of Bobbie Thacker’s automobile damaging the rim.Cline left the state and traveled to the Goody, Ky. Southside Mall and told bystanders that he had been stabbed. Kentucky State Police arrived and called an ambulance for Cline. The troopers also alerted WPD that Cline was on his way to Williamson Memorial Hospital.

Courtesy : Williamson Daily News


Housing Project Underway In Elkhorn City.

Pike County officials are trying to get a grip on the housing shortage for low and middle income families.

Plans are in the works for a housing project in Elkhorn City.

The project calls for seventeen elderly and handicapped units, twenty two apartments and up to ten cottage units.

The development project will be built near the old Elkhorn City High School.

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