Friday, July 25, 2008


Large Industrial Fire In Pike County

Belfry Fire Chief Nee Jackson just told us that firefighters have pretty much contained the fire that broke out Thursday night at K & W Metals junkyard. 50 firefighters from 10 departments responded. Crews battled several explosions. One firefighter was treated and released from a local hospital for dehydration. Dave Broderick Assistant State Fire Marshal told us that it was one of the largest industrial fires that he has witnessed in eastern Kentucky. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Mike's Branch Railroad Crossing To Be Closed Monday.



Tug Valley ACS Relay For Life Set For This Weekend.

The annual Tug Valley American Cancer Society Relay For Life will take place tonight through Saturday morning from Lefty Hamilton Park.

32 teams and over 1,000 people are expected to take participate.

It has already been a record year, Nearly $ 70,000 dollars has been raised so far, surpassing last years total of $ 64,064.

The walk begins at 6 p.m. The luminaria service will occur at 9:30p.m.

For more information or to make an online donation go to


Kentucky Sets New Record For Voter Turnout.

Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson announced that the commonwealth set a record as 32 percent of voters participated in the May Primary Presidential election.

Voter turnout in Floyd County was 45 percent that was the third highest in Kentucky. The top two were Franklin ( 55 percent) and Knott ( 47 percent ).

Voter turnout in Pike County was 28 percent.


Letcher County Man Indicted On Several Counts Of Identity Theft.

A Letcher County man was indicted Thursday by a Pike County grand jury on several counts of identity theft, forgery and fraudulent use of a credit card.

Terry G. Back, Jr is accused of forging two checks ( $ 151.45 and $ 170.66.

The 26 year old McRoberts resident is also accused of stealing the identity of a person to obtain credit and make purchases from Advance Auto Parts. McRoberts also made purchases at the Game Stop, Wal Mart, Pizza Hut , Hibbett Sports, and J.C. Penny this past April.


Pinson Fork Man Indicted On Sodomy Charges.

A Pinson Fork man was indicted by a Pike County grand jury on several sex charges including two county of second degree sodomy.

26 year old Joshua Hubbard has been indicted on charges of sodomy, possession of matter portraying a sexual performance and use of a computer or communications system for the purpose or promoting the use of a minor for unlawful sexual activity.

Hubbard is accused on two separate occasions of engaging in sexual intercourse with a person less than 14 years old who was then mentally incapacitated and using a computer to communicate with a minor for the purpose or promoting certain prohibited sexual activity.

The alleged crimes took place between July to August of 2006.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Justice Cabinet Awards Grants To Assist Law Enforcement

The Justice and Public Safety Cabinet today announced the award of 48 federal and state grants totaling nearly $3.1 million to police departments, sheriff’s departments and other criminal justice agencies. The grant money will help police officers and criminal justice professionals protect families against drunken driving, drugs and other crimes.
“The Justice and Public Safety Cabinet is committed to helping local law enforcement across Kentucky,” said Cabinet Secretary J. Michael Brown. “This money will assist officers as they perform the duties necessary to keep their communities safe.”
In all, 26 Byrne/Justice Assistance Grants were awarded. This federal money will help law enforcement agencies, drug task forces and other criminal justice programs stop the spread of drugs and improve the quality of life in Kentucky communities.
This year’s award decisions were particularly difficult due to recent reductions in federal funds, according to Tanya Dickinson, Branch Manager for the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet’s Grants Management branch. In order to maintain ongoing program services – particularly the state’s regional Drug Task Forces – the Cabinet had to supplement the FY2008 Justice Assistance Grant funds with one-time money from the Cabinet and de-obligated, old year federal grant funds, Dickinson said. She added that the competitive environment meant the Cabinet had to decline to fund many worthy proposals.
In addition, 22 grants were awarded through the Law Enforcement Service Fee program. This state money will help officers target drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
“Law enforcement officers witness firsthand how illegal drugs can devastate entire communities,” Brown said. “This grant money will help officers defend innocent children and protect neighborhoods against drugs.”


Mingo County's Unemployment Rate Increases .

According to Workforce West Virginia Mingo County’s unemployment rate of 6.3 percent is the third highest in southern West Virginia, only McDowell County at 8.3 percent and Wyoming at 6.6 percent has a higher jobless figure. Other counties in the listening area include Logan at 5.8 percent and Wayne at 6.1 percent.

Mingo County’s jobless rate has increased by 1.1 percent over the last month.

Pocahontas has the highest at 8.9 percent. The lowest is Monongalia at 4.0 percent.

West Virginia’s unemployment rate for June was 5.5 percent


Southern Kentucky Pharmacist Indicted.

Attorney General Jack Conway today announced that a Franklin County Grand Jury has returned a six-count felony indictment against a Russell County pharmacist for allegedly engaging to defraud the Kentucky Medical Assistance Program.

Eric Grider, 43, a pharmacist from Russell Springs, Ky. was indicted on Wednesday, July 23. According to the indictment, Grider allegedly defrauded the Kentucky Medical Assistance Program by submitting fraudulent claims for prescriptions. The indictment alleges Grider billed Medicaid for a different drug than was given to the client.

The indictment was sought by Attorney General Conway’s Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control. Grider will be arraigned in Franklin Circuit Court on August 1, 2008.

Citizens are urged to report suspected Medicaid fraud or elder abuse by calling the Attorney General’s tip line at 1-877-ABUSE TIP (1-877-228-7384).

A criminal charge is an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.


Army Corps of Engineers Awarded Wolfe Creek Dam Project

Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) announced today that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has notified key congressional leaders that the agency has awarded a $341 million joint venture contract to Treviicos Corporation and Soletanche Bachy for the construction of a 4200-foot concrete barrier wall at Wolf Creek Dam.
After vigorous technical review, the contract is expected to be let by the Corps today, and construction on the barrier wall is slated to begin in 2008.
"Shoring up Wolf Creek Dam for boaters and fishermen, lake-dependent businesses, hydropower, and water strapped communities is of utmost importance and I am pleased to see a decision on the wall contract,"
stated Rogers. "Going forward, safety remains my top priority for the Wolf Creek Dam project, and while challenges remain, I am optimistic that the Corps and these contractors are well-equipped to safely move this important project towards completion and end seepage issues at the lake. We must continue to work cooperatively to solidify the dam and attract visitors from our communities and neighboring states."
Both companies have a long history with dam rehabilitation and construction efforts. Treviicos has successfully worked in conjunction with the Corps on a number of dam safety projects in the past, including the cutoff wall at McAlpine Lock and Dam in Louisville and a diaphragm wall at W.F. George Dam in Alabama. Soletanche Bachy specializes in all aspects of modern geotechnics and foundation engineering. In 1988, Soletanche was awarded a Corps’ contract to construct a diaphragm wall at Mud Mountain Dam on the White River in the State of Washington.
The Wolf Creek Dam project is the top dam safety project for the Corps in the nation. Already over $98 million in federal funding has been dedicated toward this initiative, including $57 million Rogers helped secure in the Army Corps of Engineers’ FY09 budget. The House Appropriations Committee approved this funding in the Energy & Water Appropriations bill on June 26, 2008.
Rogers serves as a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee.
Through this role, Rogers supports important initiatives in the Fifth Congressional District.


Kentucky Attorney General Announces Internet Sting Arrest.

Attorney General Jack Conway today announced an arrest in connection with a cybersafety predator sting that his office conducted in southern Kentucky.

On Tuesday night, a suspect who had been communicating online with a decoy from Perverted Justice arrived at a restaurant in Williamsburg, Ky. to meet with what he thought was a 12-year-old girl. Instead, he was met by investigators with the Attorney General’s Department of Criminal Investigations and officers from the Williamsburg Police Department.

“This arrest was the result of collaboration between investigators at the state and local level,” said General Conway. “I appreciate the fact that, working together, we were able to execute this arrest and help keep Kentucky families safe.”

Billy Williams of Knoxville, Tenn., age 48, was arrested without incident and charged with unlawful transaction with a minor in the first degree, a Class C felony, punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison. He is being held at the Whitley County Detention Center. The prosecution of this case will be handled by Commonwealth’s Attorney Allen Trimble.

The Office of the Attorney General has arrested 29 men in three previous sexual-predator stings. 27 cases have resulted in guilty verdicts or pleas. Two defendants are awaiting trial.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Strong Storms Cause Havoc From Floyd To Logan Counties.

Heavy storms Tuesday evening caused extensive storm damage throughout our entire listening area.

Around 15,000 American Electric Power customers were left in the dark in eastern Kentucky .

In Floyd County several trees were down in the Garrett and Allen area.

Pike County winds blew a small section of the roof off of the Belfry Speedway. Several trees county wide fell on power lines and on homes. Two inches of rain fell in the Kimper area.

In Mingo County trees were reported on power lines and on homes.

Logan County officials say that the hardest hit area was Chapmanville as trees blocked roads, fell on power lines and homes.

Around 5,000 AEP customers were without power in Mingo and Logan counties.

No injuries were reported


WV State Banking Commisioner Stepping Down

After seven years as the West Virginia commissioner of banking, Larry A. Stark announced his resignation will be effective Aug.4, 2008.
Stark was appointed commissioner in 2001 by former Gov. Bob Wise, and he has presided over a remarkable growth in state bank assets. During his term, state charter assets grew from about $7 billion to $18 billion through charter conversions from a national charter to the state charter, which supplemented continued growth in existing state-chartered banks.
"From the outset, my goal was to demonstrate to the industry that the West Virginia state charter should be the charter of choice,” Stark said. “The Division of Banking provides professional, cost-effective regulation by experienced local examiners who have an understanding of the uniqueness of West Virginia markets that simply could not be matched by Washington.”
A native of Ceredo, W.Va., Stark had a long career in private banking in West Virginia prior to taking this post. Stark said he is leaving his current position to pursue employment in the private sector. His successor has not yet been named.
“I appreciate the opportunity to have served in Gov. Manchin’s administration,” he said. “The governor’s support was crucial in achieving passage of legislation in 2005 that provided West Virginia-chartered banks with the same powers as any national or other state bank in the country. That demonstrated the state’s commitment to provide a modern banking environment for state-chartered community banks of all sizes.”
The Division of Banking is the state regulatory agency responsible for the oversight of our state's financial services industry, including the supervision of financial institutions licensed and chartered by the State of West Virginia as well as other entities that engage in financial activity in the state.


Tug Valley American Cancer Society Relay Has Already Set A New Record

The annual Tug Valley American Cancer Society Relay For Life will be held this weekend at Lefty Hamilton Park in West Williamson. A goal of $ 75,000 has been set for this year. Already $ 68,162 has been raised for cancer research that figure breaks last year's record of $ 64,064. Thirty two teams are participating . The event will begin at 6 p.m. Friday and will run until 6 a.m. Saturday morning.

Co - Chairmen Wally Vanhoose and Ray Justice says that each cancer survivor will receive a medallion and that the luminaria service will begin at 9 : 30 p.m. There will be entertainment and games and plenty of giveaways.

If you would like to learn more about the event and make a contribution go to there website at


Residents In One Small Logan County Community Against Proposed Annexation.

The Town of Man says that they would be interested in annexing Buffalo Creek. Council members says that the move would expand the towm's revenue base and residents would receive adequate police and fire protection.

So far over 1,000 residents have signed a petition stating that they are against the idea.


Unemployment Rate Up In June For Kentucky

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate for June 2008 rose to 6.3 percent from May 2008’s revised 6.2 percent, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. June 2007’s jobless rate was 5.5 percent.
The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate stayed at 5.5 percent from May 2008 to June 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Unemployment statistics are based on estimates and are compiled to measure trends rather than actually to count people working.
“The Kentucky economy, weighed down by soaring food and energy prices, the housing crisis, and a softening in the labor market, treaded water in June 2008. Non-farm employment decreased by 4,400 positions. However, the vast majority of this decline is attributed to temporary layoffs,” said Justine Detzel, OET chief labor market analyst.
Four of the 11 major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) job sectors reported employment increases in June 2008, while seven decreased, according to OET. A decrease of 4,400 jobs in June 2008 brought Kentucky’s nonfarm employment to a seasonally adjusted total of 1,874,700. Since June 2007, Kentucky’s nonfarm employment has climbed by 3,600.
According to the seasonally adjusted employment data, the trade, transportation and utilities sector grew by 1,000 jobs in June 2008. This area includes retail and wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing businesses, and utilities, and it is the largest sector in Kentucky with 391,800 employees. Since June 2007, the number of jobs in this sector has jumped by 4,900.
“Retail trade businesses accounted for the majority of the 1,000 jobs added since May 2008, reflecting a store opening and an expansion at a different retailer. All industries in the sector reported year-over-year job growth, with the majority of these employment gains occurring in retail trade enterprises,” Detzel said.
The construction sector recorded 700 more positions in June 2008. Since June 2007, employment in this sector has increased by 2,100 positions. “This is the third consecutive month of employment gains in the construction sector, which is reflective of strength in specialty trade contractors,” said Detzel.
The government sector, which includes public education, public administration agencies, and state-owned hospitals, added 500 positions in June 2008. Since June 2007, this sector has risen by 9,200 jobs.
“A majority, 5,700, of the year-over-year employment gains in the government sector occurred in the local government subsector,” said Detzel.
Between May 2008 and June 2008, the number of positions in the natural resources and mining sector rose by 100 jobs. Since June 2007, the segment has gained 300 jobs.
The manufacturing sector lost 4,200 jobs in June 2008. Compared to June 2007, jobs in the sector were down by 10,700 in June 2008.
“This is the fourth time this year that manufacturing employment has declined. The durable goods subsector accounted for these job losses. This employment decrease reflects layoffs at major manufacturers and a plant closing,” Detzel said.
“While the year-over-year employment decrease in manufacturing is concentrated in the durable goods subsector, both the nondurable goods and durable goods subsectors experienced extensive employment losses. With the fragile economy and an anemic job market, consumers have become reluctant to reach into their wallets and purchase big ticket items such as automobiles. Financially strained consumers, faced with sluggish wages amid surging energy and food costs, are reducing discretionary purchases in effort to make ends meet,” she said.
Kentucky’s educational and health services sector lost 1,000 jobs in June 2008. Since last June, this segment has shrunk by 1,900 jobs. This sector includes private and nonprofit establishments that provide either education and training, or health care and social assistance to their clients.
Kentucky’s leisure and hospitality sector reported an employment loss of 600 jobs in June 2008. Since June 2007, employment in the sector has increased by 1,000 positions. The leisure and hospitality sector includes arts, entertainment and recreation, accommodations, and food services and drinking places industries.
The number of jobs in the financial activities sector decreased by 400 in June 2008. This segment, which includes businesses involved in finance, insurance, real estate and property leasing or rental, has added 300 positions over the past 12 months.
“This is the fourth consecutive month of employment losses in the financial activities sector. Of those 400 jobs that were lost in this sector in June 2008, 100 were in the real estate and rental and leasing industry, which is reflective of weakness in the housing market and the credit crunch. Both of these factors act to reduce mortgage and home-equity loan applications,” Detzel said.
The state’s other services sector, which includes such establishments as repair and maintenance businesses, personal and laundry services, religious organizations, and civic and professional organizations, decreased by 200 jobs in June 2008. This area had 100 fewer jobs in June 2008 than in June 2007.
The number of jobs in the professional and business services sector dropped by 200 in June 2008. This area had 1,100 fewer employees in June 2008 than in June 2007. The professional and business services sector includes professional, scientific and technical services, management of companies, and administrative and support management, including temporary help agencies.
The information sector fell by 100 jobs in June 2008. This segment, which includes firms involved in publishing, Internet activities, and broadcasting and news syndication, has lost 400 positions since June 2007.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly estimate of the number of employed Kentuckians for June 2008 was 1,913,340 on a seasonally adjusted basis. This figure is down 6,469 from the 1,919,809 employed in May 2008, and down 18,971 from the 1,932,311 employed in June 2007.
The monthly estimate of the number of unemployed Kentuckians for June 2008 was 128,294, up 647 from the 127,647 Kentuckians unemployed in May 2008, and up 15,547 from the 112,747 unemployed in June 2007.
The monthly estimate of the number of Kentuckians in the civilian labor force for June 2008 was 2,041,634. This figure is down 5,822 from the 2,047,456 recorded in May 2008, and down 3,424 from the 2,045,058 recorded for June 2007.
Civilian labor force statistics include non-military workers and unemployed Kentuckians who are actively seeking work. They do not include unemployed Kentuckians who have not looked for employment within the past four weeks.
Kentucky’s statewide unemployment rate and employment levels are seasonally adjusted. Employment statistics undergo sharp fluctuations due to seasonal events, such as weather changes, harvests, holidays and school openings and closings. Seasonal adjustments eliminate these influences and make it easier to observe statistical trends. However, because of the small sample size, county unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.
Learn more about the Office of Employment and Training at
A complementary experimental hours and earnings series is available at

Monday, July 21, 2008


Power Outage Monday Evening In Pike County.

Nearly 5,500 American Electric Power customers in Pike County were without power for about two hours Monday evening. Bob Shurtleff, spokesperson for AEP told us that two breakers tripped at the Johns Creek Substation. The outage affected the communities of Johns Creek, Lower Johns Creek, Upper Johns Creek, Meta, Kimper and Meta.


Woman That Was Arrested Last Week In Hall of Justice Arraigned.

A Pike County woman remains in jail after she was arrested inside of the Pike County Hall of Justice as she was returning her home incarceration bracelet . Jessica Hopkins must serve 30 days in jail on contempt of court charge and bond was set at $ 2,000 for the charges of public intoxication and child endangerment.

Her husband Shane is currently at Hazard for medical evaluation.

Authorities say that the two walked into the Hall of Justice. Authorities say that the couple drove themselves and they had there child with them.


Tripped Breakers Have Several Thousand Pike Countians Without Power.

Nearly 5,500 American Electric Power customers in Pike County are without service at this current time. Bob Shurtleff, a spokesperson for AEP told us that two breakers tripped at the Johns Creek substation.l

The effected communities include Johns Creek, Upper Johns Creek, Lower Johns Creek, Kimper, Meta and Raccoon.

The outage began at around 6 p.m.


New Pike County Animal Shelter Site Purchased

The Pike County Humane Society is happy to announce that it has purchased 4.4 acres on Lykins Creek to be the home of the new Animal Shelter.

The deal was consummated on Friday, July 18, when the Heirs of Hazel Allen conveyed the property for the sum of $152,000. The Allen Heirs graciously donated $32,000 of the purchase price to the Humane Society.

The property is an ideal location according to David Stratton, Board Member of the Humane Society. It is less than one-half mile past the railroad tracks behind Walter’s Toyota and approximately one mile from Wal-Mart.

The location gives the board the space to construct an indoor animal shelter that residents can be proud of.


Kentucky Highway Fatality Report

Preliminary statistics* indicate that nine people died in eight separate crashes on Kentucky roadways from Monday, July 14 through Sunday, July 20, 2008. Seven of the fatalities involved motor vehicles and five of those victims were not wearing seat belts. Motor vehicle crashes occurred in Boyle, Knott, Madison, Taylor and Webster counties. A double-fatality motor-vehicle crash occurred in Russell county.

A motorcycle fatality occurred in Pike county and the suspected use of alcohol was a factor. The victim was not wearing a helmet.
A bicycle fatality occurred in Jefferson county when a motor vehicle struck the bicycle as it was exiting I-65 onto the outer loop. The victim was not wearing a helmet.

Through July 20, preliminary statistics* indicate that 403 people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways during 2008. This is 73 fewer than reported for this time period in 2007. Of the 315 motor vehicle fatalities, 197 victims were not wearing seat belts. Of the 42 motorcycle fatalities, 23 were not wearing helmets. Eleven people have been killed in ATV crashes and 10 of those were not wearing helmets. Thirty-three pedestrians have been killed. A total of 79 fatalities have resulted from crashes involving the suspected use of alcohol.


Knott County Family Busted For Drugs.

HINDMAN A Knott County couple and three of their sons were arrested Friday, July 18, following an 14-month undercover drug investigation by Operation UNITE. Two other members of the family are still being sought.
During the arrests, police recovered approximately 15 one-half gram bags of powered cocaine valued at about $750 on the street.
³This family has been involved in the illegal drug trade for a long time,² said Dan Smoot, law enforcement director for Operation UNITE. ³They were well-known in Knott County for providing cocaine, Methadone and Oxycodone.²
According to UNITE, numerous purchases of drugs primarily cocaine were made between May 2007 and January 2008.
Armed with District Court arrest warrants, officers from UNITE, the Knott County Sheriff¹s Office and the Kentucky State Police K-9 unit went to the Pratt¹s homes off Mallet Fork Road and Walnut Hollow Drive in the Pine Top Community about 9:45 a.m.
Those arrested and taken to the Kentucky River Regional Detention Center
€ Yeart Pratt Sr., age 71, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (cocaine).
€ Lillis Pratt, age 66, one count first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (cocaine).
€ John D. Pratt, age 49, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (cocaine).
€ Hubert Pratt, age 47, one count first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, second offense (Oxycodone).
€ Aaron Pratt, age unavailable, arrested on an outstanding Knott County Bench Warrant for an unpaid fine.
Police are still searching for 40-year-old Yeart Pratt Jr. and his wife, Susan Hall on drug trafficking charges.


Martin County Mother and Son Located

Anne Horn, 38, and her 8-year old son William Curtis Maynard, missing since last week from their home, have been located.

No further details are available at this time.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Shriners Helping Kids.

The 3rd annual Hillbilly Christmas in July was held this past weekend. The two day event began Saturday in Pikeville as children got to play games and witness a parade. A silent auction was also held. Proceeds benefit the Shriners’ Hospital in Lexington. Sunday several bikers including our very own Randy Jones left Pikeville for Lexington to deliver the donations. Later in the week we will update you on how much money was raised.


Cabell County Woman Pleads Guilty To Embezzlement.

A former administrator for the Guyan District Conservation Office pleaded guilty last week in federal court of embezzling $ 713,000 from her employer.

Marcia Masters is accused of embezzling the money from May 2004 to September 2007.

Federal prosecutors want her to forfeit two vehicles and proceeds from the sale of her former pet supply store in Huntington.

The Guyan Conservation District receives federal funding for various soil and watershed conservation projects in Mingo, Logan, Lincoln, Boone, Cabell and Wayne counties.

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