Thursday, July 17, 2008


Logan County Torture Case Defendent Pleads Guilty.

Bobby Brewster pleaded guilty in Logan County Circuit Court to charges of second degree sexual assault , malicious wounding and conspiracy to commit kidnapping. The charges stem from his involvement in the torture case of Megan Williams. The Kanawha County woman was held last year for one week against her will in a mobile home. Brewster will serve a 13 to 40 year prison sentence.

Brewster is the fifth person to plead guilty in the case.

Only one other defendant remains. Danny Combs will stand trial in September.


Pike County Judge Executive Proposes Man Made Whitewater Rafting At The Breaks.

Breaks Interstate Park –The Russell Fork may not be the only local place to go whitewater rafting in the future, if a project proposed by Pike County Judge/Executive Wayne T. Rutherford and Pike County Economic Development Director John Gatling becomes a reality.

Rutherford and Gatling want to build a manmade river with the capacity to shift from Class II to Class IV rapids in a matter of minutes at the Potters Flats section of the Breaks Interstate Park. They presented their proposal to the Breaks Board of Directors on Wednesday, July 16.

“This (a manufactured whitewater course) is just the type of attraction this park needs to skyrocket tourism in this area,” Rutherford said.

The construction of the river and additional rock climbing venues, said Rutherford, combined with the Breaks’ hiking and biking trails already in existence, would make the Breaks Interstate Park a premier adventure sports destination.

The concept is consistent with Governor Beshear’s focus on tourism in the Commonwealth, and with the Adventure Tourism Bill recently passed by the legislature, which seeks to make the Commonwealth a tourist destination for bikers, hikers, campers, fishermen, hunters, off-roaders and horseback riders.


Sheldon Clark Graduate Pleads Guilty In Federal Court.

A former Kanawha County school teacher pleaded guilty in federal court in Charleston.

Melissa Brown admitted that she helped her brother Jeremy Brown rob two Cabell County and Kanawha County in April.

The graduate of Sheldon Clark High School was released on a $ 10,000 bond into the custody of her parents that live in Louisa. She must also undergo drug testing and have electronic monitoring . She will be sentenced on October 14th.

Jeremy Brown is expected to go on trial in August.

Jeremy was a basketball standout at Sheldon Clark High School.


Domestic Dispute Ends In Death

The Kentucky State Police say 47-year old Anthony Wayne Phelps of Staffordsville in Johnson County was shot Wednesday during a domestic dispute.

He was taken to Paul B. Hall Medical Center where he later died. No charges have been filed as of this time.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Two Correction Officers At Martin County Prison Indicted.

Two correction workers at the Big Sandy Prison in Inez have been indicted in federal court for conspiracy to violate the civil rights of an inmate.

32 year old Larry Ray Miller of Hazard and 25 year old Kevin Christopher Fallen are accused of conspiring to violate the civil rights of an inmate.

If convicted both men face a maximum of 25 years in prison.


Two Eastern Kentucky Men Accept Plea Deals In Robbery Case.

Two eastern Kentucky men have admitted that they were behind the robbery of the Rite Value Pharmacy at Louisa. The incident happened in January.

Marty James will be sentenced to serve nine years in prison and Terry Howard will be sentenced to eleven years.

The two took oxycontin and cash.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Kentucky Governor To Hold Town Hall Meeting This Thursday In Pike County.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear will conduct a town hall meeting this evening from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. from the Virgie Middle School Auditorium.

The governor will be accompanied by members of his cabinet. They will field questions from the audience about issues concerning them. The governor is expected to hold 12 town hall meetings across the Commonwealth.


Cause Of Fire Determined In Fatal Pikeviile Apartment Complex Fire.

A spokesperson for the Kentucky State Fire Marshal's Office told East Kentucky Broadcasting that an electical problem was the cause of a fire that killed two people last week in Pikeville.

The spokesperson said the investigation found that the origin of the fire was in the living room of an apartment that was occupied by Tammy Lockhart and her son Justin Alvis Albert Lockhart. The mother and son perished.

Eight families remain homeless.


Governor Beshear Announces Initiatives To Help State Employees Battle Rising Fuel Costs.

Recognizing the financial burden imposed by escalating gas prices, Gov. Steve Beshear today announced two initiatives designed to help state employees and their families with rising costs.
The governor introduced a new carpooling web site that will link commuting state employees, and he encouraged a more aggressive push toward flexible work hours throughout state government.
“Families across Kentucky are looking for relief. We must be responsive and we must be innovative,” Gov. Beshear said. “These two initiatives are creative and cheap. They will not only help our employees cut costs, but also by reducing driving time, they will help decrease fuel consumption, carbon emissions and highway congestion.”
The CarpoolKY Web site is thought to be the first of its kind for state governments across the nation. It will provide a safe and secure venue for state employees to connect with other state employees who are potential ride partners. Interested commuters can access the Web site at
The flexible work options already exist through Personnel Cabinet regulations. Gov. Beshear, though, has asked Cabinet secretaries and other agency heads to take a closer look at implementing a voluntary flexible schedule for employees whose duties would allow it.
The governor emphasized the flexible work options initiative will not affect delivery of services. The initiative also will not reduce operating hours for various offices nor reduce the quality of service provided to the public.
“Kentucky state government will remain open for business on the same schedule it operates on today,” he said.
The Personnel Cabinet provides an online tool to illustrate how various options can be put into practice. Managers can access that Web site at
Record-high gas prices are hurting families across the commonwealth. That pain is especially acute for Kentucky state government workers who commute long distances to work every day. Some 56 percent of executive branch state employees who work in Frankfort live outside Franklin County. That accounts for nearly 6,000 employees. Fifty-five percent of those commuters live at least two counties away.


Kentucky Attorney General Announces Bristol Myers Squibb Settlement.

The National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units announced on July 15, 2008 that 43 states, the District of Columbia, and the federal government have settled with Bristol-Meyers Squibb Company (BMS) and its former wholly owner subsidiary Apothecon, Inc., to resolve allegations of illegal drug marketing and pricing of prescription medication paid by the participating states’ Medicaid programs totaling $389 million plus interest. The federal portion of the settlement was concluded last fall. The Commonwealth of Kentucky will receive $3,078,211.78 of the settlement amount. The settlement addresses allegations that BMS engaged in a number of improper marketing and pricing practices, including:

Reporting inflated prices for various prescription drugs knowing that Medicaid and various federal health care programs would use these reported prices to pay for BMS and Apothecon products used by their recipients.

Paying illegal remuneration to physicians, health care providers, and pharmacies to introduce them to purchase BMS and Apothecon products;

Promoting the sale and use of Abilify, an antipsychotic drug, for pediatric use and for treatment of dementia-related psychosis, uses which the federal Food and Drug Administration has not approved; and

Misreporting sales prices for Serzone, an antidepressant, resulting in the improper reduction of the amount of rebates paid to the state Medicaid programs.

The settlement reimburses the federal government and the participating states for excessive amounts paid by Medicaid programs as a result of this conduct. As a part of the settlement, BMS has also entered into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, under which BMS will be required to report accurately its average sales prices and average manufacturers process in the future.

A team from the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units participated in the investigation and represented the states’ interests in the settlement negotiations. Team members include Unit Directors from Ohio and Vermont as well as Assistant Attorneys General form Massachusetts, New York, and New Mexico.


Additional Funding For Operation UNITE

WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) announced today that $1.15 million for Operation UNITE was approved by a key congressional subcommittee. Included in the FY09 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, $600,000 is set-aside for the Operation UNITE voucher program which helps make drug treatment programs affordable to low-income fifth district residents. In addition, $550,000 will fund Operation UNITE substance abuse counselors in schools throughout southern and eastern Kentucky.

“Operation UNITE has led the way in helping our loved ones, friends and neighbors kick drug addiction and these funds will help continue these impressive efforts,” stated Rogers. “If someone is serious about getting off drugs and turning his or her life around, Operation UNITE, in concert with area churches, drug programs, school counselors, and health care professionals, is there every step of the way.”
Operation UNITE, which stands for Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment and Education, serves 29 counties in southern and eastern Kentucky. The region-wide program has three main tasks: creating regional drug task forces for interdiction, confiscation and undercover operations; organizing local citizens’ groups and coordinating drug treatment programs; and working with educators to expand drug awareness and education programs in local schools. With this funding, Rogers has directed over $42 million for UNITE.
To date, UNITE detectives have confiscated over $8 million worth of drugs off the street, including more than 73,300 prescription pills, nearly 20 pounds of cocaine, and over 11 pounds of methamphetamine. Their efforts have led to the arrests of 2,550 drug dealers and a 98% conviction rate. Operation UNITE also provides non-violent offenders and those grappling with addiction with a second chance—over 1,590 non-violent offenders have participated in UNITE drug court programs, and more than 1,170 individuals have received vouchers for treatment. Finally, Operation UNITE continues to educate our youth about the dangers of drug abuse; to date, 64,595 counseling sessions have taken place with UNITE substance abuse counselors. For more information on UNITE, visit file:// or call 866-678-6483.


Pike County Unveils Energy Study.

Pikeville—On Monday, July 14, Pike County Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford revealed the results of a recently completed energy study. The study explores the technical and economic aspects for placing both a coal-to-liquid facility and an energy research center in Pike County. The study outlines the estimated cost for construction and operation of a coal-to-liquid plant, and establishes a plan for advancing energy research for Eastern Kentucky and the rest of the nation.

“We have the answer to America’s Energy Crisis—120 billion tons of recoverable coal in the Central Appalachian Coal Basin,” said Judge Rutherford, during the press conference.

“There’s more coal here in Central Appalachia to be turned into liquid than there are oil reserves in the Middle East,” he added.

The majority of the study was funded through the Kentucky Department of Energy and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), and was conducted by Summit Engineering, with oversight provided by the Pike County Fiscal Court. The study cost approximately $850,000, of which the county paid 7 percent.

The proposed CTL facility is projected to produce 50,000 barrels of coal-to-liquid per day, and will use 24,533 tons of coal per day.

While, according to Rutherford, the Fiscal Court has received several proposals from companies desiring to construct a coal-to-liquid plant in Pike County, those proposals have not yet been adequately reviewed. He stressed that each of the proposals will be thoroughly examined upon several considerations, including the threat that each of the proposals poses to the environment.

“Whatever we do in energy, we’ll be conscious of the environment,” Judge Rutherford said. “But we must balance our ecology with our economy.”

While the study examined four different Pike County sites as potential sites for the CTL plant, the site at Big Shoal, located north of Pikeville, stood out above the rest.

Negotiations to acquire the 240 acres of land at Big Shoal are currently underway. The property has immediate access to rail and highway amenities, has access to municipal water, sewer and communication utilities, and access to commercial air service through the Pikeville/Pike County Airport. The close proximity of Big Shoal to the Big Sandy River will give the plant a direct water source for industrial use.

In addition to establishing a CTL plant, the study also designed a plan to create an American Energy Center. The 40,000 square foot facility will be a national consortium of universities, private industry and government agencies. The plan is to build pilot-scale alternative energy plants with commercialization as one goal and workforce training for the energy industry as another.

The proposed energy center will be a partnership between the Fiscal Court, the Kentucky Coal Academy and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System in order to improve workforce education concerning 21st Century energy technologies and processes. Partners in the Fiscal Court’s national research effort include the University of Kentucky, Virginia Tech, Oak Ridge National Laboratories, and the state of Kentucky.


Kentucky State Police Reorganization

Governor Steve Beshear announced a reorganization which will make the Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement a division of the Kentucky State Police.

Vehicle Enforcement officers will spend more time staffing weight stations along Interstate highways and less time patrolling, which Beshear says will save the state $750,000 to $1-million a year in personnel costs, fuel savings and other efficiencies, and, increase revenue through fines and fees.


Pike County Housing Authority Gets Funding

The U. S. Department of Housing has awarded nearly $2-million to the Pike County Housing Authority. The money will be used to construct 16 new homes in Elkhorn City.

The new homes will be located between Elkhorn City High School and the former Elementary School. Construction is expected to begin next March.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Nine Die On Kentucky Roadways

Preliminary statistics* indicate that nine people died in nine separate crashes on Kentucky roadways from Monday, July 7 through Sunday, July 13, 2008. Eight of the fatalities involved motor vehicles and four of those victims were not wearing seat belts. Motor vehicle crashes occurred in Breckinridge, Calloway (2), Jefferson, Marshall, Shelby, Warren, and Washington counties. Two of the crashes involved the suspected use of alcohol.

One motorcycle crash occurred in Laurel county and the victim was not wearing a helmet.

Through July 13, preliminary statistics* indicate that 388 people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways during 2008. This is 69 fewer than reported for this time period in 2007. Of the 305 motor vehicle fatalities, 190 victims were not wearing seat belts. Of the 39 motorcycle fatalities, 22 were not wearing helmets. Eleven people have been killed in ATV crashes and 10 of those were not wearing helmets. Thirty-two pedestrians have been killed. A total of 77 fatalities have resulted from crashes involving the suspected use of alcohol.


County Judge-Executives To Sue State

Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne Rutherford says, while inmates await their day in court and sentencing, the County is responsible for picking upt the tab.

Rutherford, along with other county leaders across the state, have voted to sue the staate over terms of the new jail policy, asking why should county governments be required to spend taxpayer money on an institution that belongs to the Commonwealth.

State Representative Greg Stumbo says they have a legitimate complaint. He says an audit of each jail may be necessary to determine if the system is taking advantage of counties. No hearings have yet been set.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Boil Water Advisory In Effect From Elk Creek To Delbarton.

According to Jarrod Fletcher Mingo County Emergency Service Director a boil water advisory has been issued for the next 48 hours from Elk Creek to and including the Town of Delbarton due to a water line break.


Federal Drug Indictments

Indictments were handed down against three people in United Stated Federal Court late last week in Pikeville.

Joseph Hall, Michael Amos Lumpkins and Teresa Sturgill are accused of conspiring to sell oxycontin, oxycodone and hydrocodone.

If convicted the three could spend up to 20 years in prison and pay a fine of
up to one million dollars.


2008 Pike County Schools Hall of Fame Inductees.

Fifteen individuals and three teams will be inducted into the 2008 Pike County Schools Academic / Athletic Hall of Fame. The ceremony will be held Tuesday, July 29th at 6:30pm.m. from the Mark V in Pikeville. Guest speaker will be Lt. Governor Dan Mongiardo.

Virgie Elizabeth Buckley, of Pike Central. Virgie achieved distinguished scores in each area of the CATS State Assessment Exam during her high school career while also maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. Buckley has a composite 31 ACT score and won the Pike County Spelling Bee for the last three years.

Kristen L. Burke of Pike Central. Kristen attained a 33 on the ACT. She is a Booth Scholar, was selected First Chair Flute on the All-County and All District Bands and currently maintains a 4.0 grade point average.

Lacey Kyle Ferrell of Phelps. Lacy attained a 32 on the ACT while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average.

Jonathan Hurt of Pike Central attained a 32 ACT score and currently maintains a 4.0 grade point average.

Cory Dwayne Kiser of Shelby valley attained a 32 ACT score, was chosen as a Governor’s Scholar and currently maintains a 4.0 grade point average.

Trevin Wade Little of Shelby Valley received First Chair Tenor Saxophone in 2008 All- State Jazz Band. Trevin was selected First Chair Alto Saxophone for four years in All – County Band, two years in All- District and two years in All- State Jazz Band.

Kayla Dawn Lowe of Pike Central was a recipient of First Team All State in Basketball by the Lexington Herald Leader and the Louisville Courier Journal. Kayla was a McDonald’s All American and 15th Region Player of the Year. She was chosen as a Governor’s Scholar and Booth Scholar and she also maintained a 3.98 grade point average.

Tyson Mauk of Pike Cental attained a 33 on the ACT, was chosen as a Governor’s and Booth Scholar and was selected to the All County and All District Bands for the past five years and the District Jazz Band for two years.

Lauren May of Pike Central won First Place at the Future Educators of America Nationals in Essay Competition and Impromptu Speaking. She was selected for the 2006 all state Chorus was selected as a Governor’s and Booth Scholar while maintaining a 3.9 grade point average and attained a 31 ACT score.

Dustin May of Belfry was selected First Team All State in football by the Courier Journal. Made All District Team three years, participated in the East/West All Star Football Game in 2008. Led Belfry’s football program to two state titles and one runner up. Dustin was also selected to the All district Team in basketball and also was a member of the baseball and track teams.

Marshall Miller of Pike Central attained a 33 ACT score, was chosen as a Governor’s Scholar and maintained a 4.0 grade point average.

William Seth Osbourne of Shelby Valley scored a 32 on the ACT, was chosen as a Governor’s and Booth Scholar and maintained a 4.0 grade point average.

Phillip Jamison Sowards of Johns Creek elementary captured first place at the Kentucky High School Speech League Tournament in Interpretation of Literature and First Place in 2007 at the East Coast National Speech Tournament in Storytelling.

Phillip Edward Verdida of Belfry attained a 32 on the ACT and was 2008 Governor’s Cup District First Place winner in Quick Recall and Writing Composition.

Nathan Wright of Pike Central attained a 34 ACT score and a 4.0 grade point average.

The 2007 Belfry Pirate Football Team was 14-1 and was AAA Runner-Up.

The Johns Creek Academic Team of Johns Creek Elementary was the 2008 State Runner-Up in the Kentucky Association for Academic Competition.

Johns Creek Elementary Future Problem Solving Team was the 2008 State Runner-Up in KAAC Governor’s Cup Compettion.

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