Friday, August 22, 2008


$ 31 Million In Marijuana Seized In Mingo County In Last Two Days.

West Virginia State Police out of Logan and Williamson confiscated 5,000 more marijuana plants . Authorities say that it was found at Beech Creek. The same communtiy where Thursday's recovery occurred. The street value of this discovery is $ 10 million.

Fifth District Congressman Hal Rogers presents a check for $16,027.45 to the Johnson County Sheriff¹s Office during a ceremony held on Monday, August 18, at the London Community Center. The money represents the department¹s share of forfeited illegal drug funds awarded by state and federal courts to Operation UNITE as a result of criminal investigations between October 1,
2006 and June 30, 2008. Pictured, from left, are UNITE Law Enforcement Director Dan Smoot, Lt. Tom Wyatt, Congressman Rogers, Sheriff Bill Witten, and Tom Handy, chairman of the UNITE Board of Directors.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


$ 21.3 Million In Marijuana Confiscated In Mingo County.

The West Virginia State Police seized 10,635 marijuana plants Thursday evening. The discovery was made in the Beech Creek area. The street value has been estimated at $ 21.3 million . Plants were estimated to be 12 to 15 feet high. No arrests have been made at this current time. Authorities told us that there is still more pot out there. It is the largest pot bust in the state this year and it is believed to be the largest bust in Mingo County since the 1980's.
Photos courtesy of Julia Goad of the Williamson Daily News


Kentucky Governor Announces Student Loan Provider Now Has Funding.

Governor Steve Beshear today announced that the state has finalized the deal to provide the state’s only public nonprofit student loan provider $50 million with which to make student loans during the 2008-2009 school year.
On August 15, Gov. Beshear announced that the state would purchase a bond from the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation (KHESLC) to provide short-term bridge financing for student loans. This week, the deal received final approval from the State Property and Buildings Commission and the Capital Projects and Bond Oversight Committee.
“A college education or technical training can no longer be viewed as a luxury—it is a critical element necessary to ensure economic opportunity for all of our citizens and for our great Commonwealth,” said Governor Beshear. “Because of its importance, we are very pleased to have provided The Student Loan People with an innovative solution that enables it to continue fulfilling its public-purpose mission of making higher education accessible for Kentucky students.”
“The Student Loan People can now originate student loans as normal,” said Edward J. Cunningham, CEO of The Student Loan People. “Participation interests in the loans will be sold to the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and the proceeds will be recycled into additional loans as often as needed to meet the student loan demand in Kentucky. We are indeed grateful for the assistance we have received from Governor Beshear and others in his administration.”
Since the agency had been unable to provide loan funds since Aug. 14, 2008, Cunningham added that his staff would be closely coordinating student loan disbursements with the agency’s school partners to ensure disruptions are as minimal as possible. “The process should be transparent for most students, and we expect our student loan processes will be back to normal by September,” Cunningham added.
After the national credit crisis threatened the ability for states to offer student loans this fall, Congress passed in May the “Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act of 2008.” As part of the implementation, the USDE determined lenders must obtain short-term bridge financing to initially fund new student loans before the USDE will provide liquidity to lenders for loans. Kentucky is thus far the only state in the nation to purchase a private placement bond to meet the state’s needs.
“In exchange for purchasing the bond, the Commonwealth has not only received a high quality investment security, but one that will pay a very competitive rate of interest,” said Jonathan Miller, Secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet. The bond is collateralized by guaranteed and federally re-insured loans, a reserve fund, and the commitment of USDE to purchase the loans. “This is not only an important investment in Kentucky's children, but with an interest rate that will be over one-percent higher than a comparable U.S. Treasury security, it is also a win for the taxpayers of the Commonwealth,” Miller added.
The Student Loan People was created by the state legislature in 1978 to ensure funding would be available to Kentuckians by making, purchasing, and financing student loans. Like other student loan providers, the agency traditionally issued bonds (taxable and tax-exempt) in the form of auction rate securities to finance student loans. For years, this financing vehicle provided lenders with an efficient means of raising capital. However, the credit crisis essentially closed the auction rate securities market, leaving KHESLC and other Federal Family Education Loan providers across the country searching for a new student loan financing method.


Five WV School Systems Met Required Instructional Time.

Mingo was one of only five school systems that met the state required 180 days of instructional time during the 2007-2008 school year.

The others were Boone, Lincoln, Kanawha and Putnam counties.

The state average was 176 days.


Logan County Man Murder Case Going To Grand Jury.

A Logan County man has waived his right to a preliminary hearing an now his case will go to a grand jury.

Jeffrey Finley of West Logan is accused of killing his wife and forcing his teenage daughter to drive a car to dispose of the body.

The daughter has not been charged.


Pike County Fiscal Court Receives Funding.

Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) announced today that the Pike County Fiscal Court will receive a $50,000 Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to promote economic revitalization in the Big Sandy area. The investment supports the composition of a comprehensive twenty-year economic development plan for Pike County that will guide the region’s future in industry, infrastructure, tourism, education, transportation, housing and community development.
“I have often said, ‘Plan your work and work your plan.’ This federal investment will assist Eastern Kentucky’s leaders in planning out how the region can play a significant role in meeting the growth demands of our nation be they economic, energy, road infrastructure, or otherwise,” stated Rogers. “We can’t simply wait for good things to happen to us; we’ve got to be pro-active, always looking ahead to the next opportunities. EDA has once again proved to be a critical partner in our endeavors to improve the quality of life for families and businesses throughout southern and eastern Kentucky.”
The Economic Development Administration, housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce, works to generate and retain jobs and stimulate industrial and commercial growth in economically distressed areas of the county. The EDA has directed $24.1 million in federal funds to the fifth congressional district since 2001. This total cost for this project is estimated at $100,000.


Energy Exibit Coming To Eastern Kentucky.

Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) announced today that the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has awarded $400,000 to the Big Sandy Community and Technical College for a permanent interactive exhibit at the East Kentucky Science Center in Prestonsburg. The exhibit entitled, Energy Transformations, will focus on building appreciation for energy concepts and promoting student interest in the fields of science, math, technology, and engineering.
“An affordable and plentiful energy supply is essential to our ability as a region and nation to create strong businesses and new jobs, heat homes and schools, and power our vehicles. We need to be engaging our children in pursuing careers that will strengthen our energy independence and this exhibit will do just that,” stated Rogers. “With $4 per gallon gasoline, it is high time we expand our current energy resources – coal, domestic oil production, natural gas, and nuclear – as well as invest in renewables and new conservation methods. I’m pleased to see this federal investment in raising awareness among our young people to the challenges and opportunities that exist in creating the power we need as a nation.”
Each hands-on, interactive kiosk at the Center will address a particular energy-related topic with the ability to adjust exhibits based on condition changes and program needs. A local Exhibit Advisory Committee has selected content and designed the exhibition format to assist school districts and teachers in meeting student educational needs. The Center anticipates 10,000 visitors will tour the exhibits annually. The awarded ARC funds will be combined with $90,500 from state sources and $15,000 from local sponsors bringing the total project funding to $505,500.


Pikeville Post To Sponsor Benefit Bike Ride.

Kentucky State Police Post 9 is sponsoring a motorcycle benefit ride for Trooper Island. This benefit ride allows Trooper Island to continue to send less fortunate children across the Commonwealth to summer camp free of charge. Trooper Island benefit ride is set for September 14, 2008 with registration beginning at 9 AM at the Pikeville Wal Mart Super Center, Pikeville, Ky. The ride will start no later than 11:00 AM.


Senior Citizen Art Show Coming To Area.

Calling all senior citizens” an art exhibit honoring area seniors will be held from October 15 until November 15th, at the Big Sandy Community and Technical College Art Gallery. Seniors interested in showing their art work, need to contact their local senior citizen centers directors, for this great opportunity to showcase their talents.
This exhibit will celebrate the contributions made by seniors to our area culture, and allow the general public to view what a life time of experience means to the continuity of our customs and heritage. Seniors using sewing needles, paint brushes, and knives have blazed many trails which today we cherish, and it is time they were honored for their often unschooled creativity that is recognized nationally as “Folk Art”

Any Person over the age of sixty is welcome to participate in the art show. Space is limited in the gallery, so sign up early to be sure to get a spot in the show.

Local senior citizens directors will be contacted two weeks prior to the exhibit to provide the names of those interested in the show. A reception will be held for seniors and the general public, Tuesday October 21st at 6:00pm, with refreshments being served at the B.S.C.T.C Art Gallery.

For more information contact your local senior citizen center or the art gallery director Tim Sizemore at (606) 886-3863 ext. 64746.


Second Person Has Died From Millard Car Accident.

A second person has now died in a two vehicle accident that happened Tuesday afternoon at Millard.

According to the Kentucky State Police 47 year-old Charles Benny Justice of Shelbiana died in a Tennessee hospital from injuries he sustained in the accident.

Billy Coleman of Shelbiana was pronounced dead at the scene.

A third person Vickie Reid of Elkhorn City remains hospitalized in a Tennessee hospital.

The accident remains under investigation.


Ethanol Plant Forum Held

A public forum was held in the Pike County fiscal courtroom Wednesday. Agresti Bio-Fuels officials explained their plan to make Pike County a world leader in energy by turning the waste from the area landfill into ethanol fuel. Agresti says they will train employees on site.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Pike County Officials Issue Outdoor Burning Ban.

For the second consecutive year Pike County Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford has issued an outdoor burning ban for the county. Rutherford told us that he signed the executive order Wednesday afternoon. Rutherford says that he was told by forestry officials that the area has not seen any precipitation in the last ten days and that our region's rainfall total is on average of five inches below normal.

The fall forest fire season begins October 1st.


Major Fire At Saw Mill.

Forty-eight volunteer firefighters from Sycamore, Dorton , Elkhorn City and Marrowbone battled a major fire for about two and a half hours that broke out at a saw mill located at Shelby Gap.

Authorities told us when they arrived on scene the mill was fully engulfed, electric lines were down and several diesel tanks were exploding. The business was described as a total loss.


WV Governor Presents 17 New Trucks To Deliver Meals To Seniors.

Gov. Joe Manchin along with West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services Commissioner Sandy Vanin today presented 17 new hot/cold delivery trucks that will be used to provide meals to West Virginia senior citizens statewide.
“Many seniors throughout the state rely on our county service providers for daily necessities such as food. Being able to put these new vehicles on the road is essential to our collective effort to meet the needs of seniors in a timely and efficient manner,” Manchin said.
The trucks were purchased from a grant provided to the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services. The grant was made possible through the Table Games licensing fees paid by Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort and Wheeling Island. Additional funds were made by a donation provided by the Tri-State Racetrack & Gaming Center.
“This is a safe way to deliver meals to rural areas where the distance between homes can be great,” Vanin said. “The trucks are designed to maintain constant temperatures and can hold up to 200 meals. Gov. Manchin and the West Virginia Legislature are to be commended for their continued support of senior programs statewide.”
The addition of the new trucks is a part of the ongoing effort to provide more in-home services to seniors in the Mountain State. The delivery trucks will be used to serve the following counties: Barbour, Brooke, Cabell, Calhoun, Doddridge, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Harrison, McDowell, Mineral, Morgan, Nicholas, Pleasants, Preston, Putnam, Ritchie, Roane, and Upshur.


Kentucky's Jobless Rate Increases In July.

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate for July 2008 rose to 6.7 percent from June 2008’s revised 6.3 percent, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. July 2007’s jobless rate was 5.5 percent.
The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate rose to 5.7 percent from 5.5 percent in 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, grappling with the fallout from the housing crisis, tighter credit, and skyrocketing food and energy prices, suffered an increase in its unemployment rate. This reflects the continuing difficulty teenagers and young workers encounter as they search for a job that matches their skills,” said Justine Detzel, OET chief labor market analyst.
Six of the 11 major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) job sectors reported employment increases in July 2008, while five decreased, according to OET. An increase of 11,300 jobs in July 2008 brought Kentucky’s nonfarm employment to a seasonally adjusted total of 1,887,100. Since July 2007, Kentucky’s nonfarm employment has climbed by 17,800.
According to the seasonally adjusted employment data, the manufacturing sector gained 4,200 jobs in July 2008. Compared to July 2007, jobs in the sector were down by 4,200 in July 2008.
“The manufacturing sector rebounded in July from a 4,200 job loss in June. This marks the third time this year manufacturing employment has risen. We’ve seen a lot of fluctuation in the manufacturing sector this year. The durable goods subsector accounted for the job gains in July. This employment increase reflects employees at a major manufacturer returning to work after a layoff and expansions at two different manufacturers,” Detzel said.
“Since the start of 2008, manufacturing employment has increased by 1,400 professionals. The durable goods subsector added 1,300 positions, while the nondurable goods subsector gained 100 jobs.”
The government sector, which includes public education, public administration agencies, and state-owned hospitals, added 4,100 positions in July 2008. Since July 2007, this sector has risen by 11,700 jobs.
Kentucky’s leisure and hospitality sector reported an employment gain of 2,400 jobs in July 2008. Since July 2007, employment in the sector has increased by 3,600 positions. The leisure and hospitality sector includes arts, entertainment and recreation, accommodations, and food services and drinking places industries.
“Accommodation and food services enterprises accounted for the lion’s share of the employment gains in the leisure and hospitality sector in July 2008, reflecting the opening of two eateries.” Detzel said.
The number of jobs in the professional and business services sector rose by 1,400 in July 2008. This area had 700 more employees in July 2008 than in July 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.
Kentucky’s trade, transportation and utilities sector grew by 1,100 jobs in July 2008. This area includes retail and wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing businesses, and utilities, and it is the largest sector in Kentucky with 392,800 employees. Since July 2007, the number of jobs in this sector has jumped by 6,400.
“All industries in the trade, transportation and utilities sector reported year-over-year job growth. Since the start of 2008, the sector’s employment has risen by 2,900 professionals, with retail trade businesses gaining 5,100 workers,” Detzel said.
The educational and health services sector added 400 jobs in July 2008. Since last July, this segment has lost 500 jobs. This sector includes private and nonprofit establishments that provide either education and training, or health care and social assistance to their clients.
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 900 jobs in July 2008. This sector had 1,100 fewer jobs in July 2008 than in July 2007.
The construction sector recorded 700 fewer positions in July 2008. “This is the first decrease in employment since March 2008, which is reflective of weakness in construction of buildings,” said Detzel.
Since July 2007, employment in the construction sector has increased by 2,100 positions.
The number of jobs in the financial activities sector decreased by 300 in July 2008. This segment, which includes businesses involved in finance, insurance, real estate and property leasing or rental, has lost 400 positions over the past 12 months.
“Over the last year, real estate, and rental and leasing businesses lost 300 professionals, which is indicative of weaknesses in the housing market and the credit crunch. Tighter credit and a slowdown in the housing market crimp mortgage and home-equity loan applications,” Detzel said.
Between June 2008 and July 2008, the number of positions in the natural resources and mining sector fell by 300 jobs. The sector was at the same employment in July 2007 and July 2008.
The information sector dropped by 100 jobs in July 2008. This segment, which includes firms involved in publishing, Internet activities, and broadcasting and news syndication, has lost 500 positions since July 2007.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly estimate of the number of employed Kentuckians for July 2008 was 1,899,857 on a seasonally adjusted basis. This figure is down 13,525 from the 1,913,382 employed in June 2008, and down 32,252 from the 1,932,109 employed in July 2007.
The monthly estimate of the number of unemployed Kentuckians for July 2008 was 137,397, up 8,951 from the 128,446 Kentuckians unemployed in June 2008, and up 25,648 from the 111,749 unemployed in July 2007.
The monthly estimate of the number of Kentuckians in the civilian labor force for July 2008 was 2,037,254. This figure is down 4,574 from the 2,041,828 recorded in June 2008, and down 6,604 from the 2,043,858 recorded for July 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.


Pikeville College To Celebrate 120 Years.

Borrowing from the wisdom of the Psalmist, “Prospiciam Ad Montes,” or “Look to the Mountains,” became the time-honored promise of an institution of higher learning that has served the youth of the mountains for more than a century. On Tuesday, Aug. 26, Pikeville College will welcome students and commemorate its 120th year during Opening Convocation.
Professors will don their academic regalia for the formal ceremony, which will be led by a bagpiper and the bearer of the ceremonial mace. The convocation address will be delivered by Dr. James R. Ramsey, president of the University of Louisville.
Ramsey was named the 17th president of the university in 2002. He is also a professor of Economics and Public Administration in the College of Business and Public Administration. Prior to his appointment at UofL, he served as the governor’s senior policy advisor and state budget director. Ramsey has held professional positions at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Western Kentucky University, Middle Tennessee University and Loyola University. An accomplished scholar and teacher with more than 60 publications in the fields of economics and management, Ramsey received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Kentucky and his undergraduate degree from Western Kentucky University.
The Opening Convocation ceremony at Pikeville College will be held in Booth Auditorium, Record Memorial Building, at 11 a.m. The community is cordially invited to attend. For more information, contact the Office of Public Affairs at 606-218-5270.


Congressman Rogers Announces ARC Funding For Kentucky Math And Science Initiative.

Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) announced today that the Lexington-based Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC) will receive $200,000 from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and $100,000 in local resources to expand the AdvanceKentucky program, aimed at increasing participation of Kentucky high school students in rigorous Advanced Placement (AP) classes.
“Encouraging our young people to perform to the best of their abilities and providing them with the proper skills development are critical to sustaining and improving our communities,” stated Rogers. “The ARC has long partnered with local organizations to ensure that opportunities are available for students in Southern and Eastern Kentucky to perform at the highest level. I'm pleased to see these educational advancement efforts go forward.”
Part of the National Math and Science Initiative, AdvanceKentucky was launched in 12 high schools in late 2007 including Corbin Independent High School, South Laurel High School and North Laurel High School; these new funds will accommodate three yet to be determined schools in economically distressed counties. AdvanceKentucky provides ongoing training for both AP and pre-AP teachers, afterschool and weekend AP preparation sessions, and scholarships to students to supplement costs associated with these assessments. For more information, visit KSTC’s web site at file:// or the National Math and Science Initiative’s web site at file://


Three Charged With Drug Trafficking

HAZARD An out-of-state drug supply line into Perry County was shut down Monday following an investigation by Operation UNITE.
Three people -- two from Hazard and one from Ohio -- were arrested August 18 by detectives from UNITE and deputies from the Perry County Sheriff¹s Office.
Charged were:
€ Kelvin Lamont Lomax, age 42, Cambridge Avenue, Dayton, Ohio, one count first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
€ Anthony Shawn Patterson, age 22, Creekside Drive, Hazard, three counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
€ John Herbie Patterson, age 51, Creekside Drive, Hazard, three counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
During a search of Lomax, officers recovered 13 OxyContin 80mg tablets and $4,940 in cash.
³It appears that Mr. Lomax has been been bringing pills to the Pattersons for some time,² said Dan Smoot, law enforcement director for UNITE. ³We are finding much of the prescription medications being sold illegally in southern and eastern Kentucky are originating from other states. Anytime we can close part of the pipeline we are reducing the amount of pills being sold to our residents.²
For more information about Operation UNITE visit their website at <> .
* * * * *
In 2003, Fifth District Congressman Harold ³Hal² Rogers (R-Somerset) worked to create Operation UNITE, a regional anti-drug initiative empowering citizens groups and community leaders in 29 southern and eastern Kentucky counties. UNITE, which stands for Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment & Education, seeks to fight the drug epidemic by expanding drug awareness and education programs to keep people from using drugs; coordinating drug treatment and outreach programs for those who are already addicted; and operating regional undercover law enforcement task forces for interdiction and prosecution of those dealing drugs. Rogers has directed
$36.6 million in federal funds to the counter-drug initiative over the past five years. For more information contact Karen Engle toll-free at 1-866-678-6483.
Drug Tip Hotline 1-866-424-4382 / Treatment Referral Hotline
1-866-90-UNITE (1-866-908-6483)


Thirteen Targeted In Perry County Roundup

HAZARD An investigation into illegal drug trafficking in Perry County has resulted in 13 indictment warrants.
Operation UNITE detectives were assisted by officers from the Perry County Sheriff¹s Office, Hazard Police Department and Kentucky State Police in trying to locate the individuals. By early afternoon Wednesday 10 had been located and lodged in the Kentucky River Regional Detention Center.
The lengthy investigation involved the illegal sale of a variety of prescription pills primarily Methadone, OxyContin and Lortab.
³Many of these cases were made possible because concerned citizens called our Drug Tip Line (1-866-424-4382) to report suspected illegal activity,² said Dan Smoot, law enforcement director for UNITE. ³Several of these individuals -- a majority of whom have prior drug-related arrests were among the top people identified through tip line reports.²
³In fact, Perry County leads the 29-county Fifth Congressional District in the number of tip line calls received,² Smoot continued. ³Through July 31, Perry County citizens have anonymously placed 1,492 calls nearly 10 percent of the 15,337 total calls in the region.²
Those charged in connection with the investigation were:
€ Jim ³Jimbo² Baker, age 28, East Main Street, Hazard, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (second offense).
€ Betty Boggs, age 49, Pratt Mountain Road, Viper, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
€ Edna Stacy Campbell, age 47, Montgomery Creek Road, Vicco, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
€ Fred Caudill, age 46, Highway 476, Bulan, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (second offense).
€ Darrell Jones, age 50, Highway 476, Bulan, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
€ Robert ³Rob² Jones, age 51, Highway 476 North, Bulan, four counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
€ Brian J. Morris, age 32, Big Willard Road, Busy, two counts first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
€ David Padgett, age 52, Highway 451, Hazard, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
€ Ervin D. Pence, age 41, Dwarf, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and persistent felony offender.
€ Jessie Young, age 46, Highway 476, Bulan, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
For more information about Operation UNITE visit their website at <> .
* * * * *
In 2003, Fifth District Congressman Harold ³Hal² Rogers (R-Somerset) worked to create Operation UNITE, a regional anti-drug initiative empowering citizens groups and community leaders in 29 southern and eastern Kentucky counties. UNITE, which stands for Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment & Education, seeks to fight the drug epidemic by expanding drug awareness and education programs to keep people from using drugs; coordinating drug treatment and outreach programs for those who are already addicted; and operating regional undercover law enforcement task forces for interdiction and prosecution of those dealing drugs. Rogers has directed
$36.6 million in federal funds to the counter-drug initiative over the past five years. For more information contact Karen Engle toll-free at 1-866-678-6483.
Drug Tip Hotline 1-866-424-4382 / Treatment Referral Hotline
1-866-90-UNITE (1-866-908-6483)


Eastern Kentucky Roads Deadly In Past 24 hours

In Pike County, 38-year old Billy Coleman of Shelbiana was killed in a two car crash on US460, near the Millard schools. Apparently, Vickie Reid of Elkhorn City crossed the centerline and hit a car driven by 47-year old Charles Benny Justice. Billy Coleman was a passenger in the car driven by Justice.

Yvonne McGlothin, 42, of Big Rock, Virginia, was killed on KY1499. She was traveling north on the shoulder of the road on an ATV, when she made a left turn into the path of a Dodge Dakota. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

30-year old Brian Ratliff of Johnson County was killed yesterday on Highwar 80, near the Knott County/Floyd County line. His pickup rearended a coal truck owned by DANCO Trucking. James West, the driver of the coal truck said Ratliff was sitting beside the road when he drove past him. Apparently, Ratliff then pulled out and drove into the back of the coal truck.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Coal Truck Lands In Creek.

A coal truck driver was taken to a local hospital and trated for minor injuries after the rig he was operating went off of the road over an enbankment and into Shelby Creek. Doug Tackett, Pike County Emergency Services Director told us that the accident happened at Jonancy. approximately 10 to 12 gallons of fuel and oil spilled into the creek. Tackett says that emergency responders contained the spill.


PRIDE Announces ENVI Award Finalists.

SOMERSET, KY — Eastern Kentucky PRIDE announced today the finalists for its annual PRIDE Envi Awards, which recognize outstanding environmental education and cleanup efforts in southern and eastern Kentucky. There are three finalists for each award.

The finalists for the PRIDE Elementary School Campus of the Year Award are Clay County’s Manchester Elementary School, St. Camillus Academy in Corbin, and Wayne County’s Walker Elementary School.

The PRIDE Middle School Campus of the Year Award finalists are Lee County, Russell County, and Corbin Independent Middle Schools.

The Leslie County, Letcher County Central, and Somerset Independent High Schools are finalists for the PRIDE High School Campus of the Year Award.

The finalists for the PRIDE College/Community Project of the Year Award are the Knox County UNITE Coalition, Hazard’s Challenger Learning Center of Kentucky, and Friends of Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery, Inc., which is in Russell County.

The Tony Turner Volunteer of the Year Award finalists are John Strojan of Laurel County, Phillip Lucas of Lee County, and brothers Benny and Culley Abner of Perry County.

The finalists for the Rogers-Bickford Environmental Leadership Award are the Adair County Fiscal Court, Pulaski County Solid Waste Coordinator Gerald Hines, and Russell County Middle School teacher Jean Clement.

“I want to congratulate our finalists and thank them for their leadership in caring for the environment,” said Tammie Wilson, PRIDE vice president and chief operating officer. “They were selected from nominees across 38 counties because they are making a real difference in their communities. I encourage everyone to thank them for their contributions, as well as consider following their lead.”

The Envi Award winners will be announced Nov. 10 at the Hal Rogers Center in Hazard. All finalists will be invited to participate in the Envi Awards ceremony.

The PRIDE Envi Awards are presented annually to honor the individuals and organizations who excelled at pursuing the PRIDE mission — Personal Responsibility In A Desirable Environment. PRIDE is an environmental cleanup and education initiative in 38 counties of southern and eastern Kentucky. It was founded in 1997 by Congressman Hal Rogers and James Bickford, the former Kentucky Secretary of Environmental Protection.

For more information about the PRIDE Envi Awards, please visit or call the PRIDE office, toll free, at 888-577-4339.


Kentucky And Virginia Leaders To Meet This Week

BREAKS INTERSTATE PARK—The Pike County Fiscal Court, in conjunction with Summit Engineering, the Breaks Interstate Park, the Eastern Coal Council and Utility Management Group, is hosting the 2008 Central Appalachian Leadership Forum Thursday and Friday, August 21 and 22, at the Breaks Interstate Park. The conference will begin Thursday at 1 p.m. and will end Friday at 3 p.m.

Local, elected leadership in Pike County, Kentucky, and Buchanon, Dickenson, Lee, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise Counties, in Virginia, will be in attendance to talk about several topics concerning the Central Appalachian Region, including infrastructure, transportation, economic development/tourism and energy.

“We live today in a global economy. Therefore, we must live and progress without borders and work together to promote Central Appalachia,” said Pike County Judge/Executive Wayne T. Rutherford.


Consumers Cautious About Gasoline Consumption

Despite recent gas price decreases, people say they're not ready to change the habits they've acquired. Gas prices are now below $4.00/gallon, but, one year ago it was about $1.00 less per gallon, and 5 years ago is was $1.58 a gallon.

AAA officials say it's hard to predict where prices will go next, but, most people say they're holding up on using more fuel.


Flagging Economy Causes State Retirements

More than 2800 state employees have retired over the past year to take advantage of incentives aimed at trimming the Kentucky government payroll.

The number is expected to grow even more before the offer of higher monthly pension payments expires on December 31.


Morehead School Bus Crash

The Kentucky State Police are investigating a school bus crash which happened Monday afternoon on Christy Creek Road in Morehead.

Officials say the bus was carrying 23 students. No injuries were reported.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Hobet And Environmentalists Reach Agreement. Jobs Saved.

Patriot Coal Company and several environmental groups announced that they have reached an agreement that will preserve 350 jobs.

Last week a federal judge ruled in favor of environmentalists that would have forced the closure of the state’s largest surface mine.

Now the environmental groups say that they will drop the lawsuit.

The company says that it can go forward with expansion plans for Hobet # 21 Mine , which is located along the Boone and Lincoln county line.

The company says that the water pollution permit will place limits on the release of selenium into nearby streams and that they will consult with a forester on forest reclamation efforts on the backside of the mining.

The UMWA says that since an agreement has been ironed out , they have cancelled a coal rally which was set for Monday at Scott High School.


Highlands Regional Medical Center Breaks Ground On New Clinic.

Highlands Regional Medical Center officially launched construction of the new Harold Primary Care Clinic with a groundbreaking Thursday, Aug 14th, across from Gearheart Communications on US 23.
Officials from HRMC, the Harold Primary Care Clinic, and members of the community listened as Highlands CEO Bud Warman and Chairman Ted Nairn talked about Highlands’ commitment of bringing outstanding healthcare to the people.
“I am proud to be part of an organization that is always looking toward the future and keeps the patients at the front of the decision-making process,” said Highlands CEO Bud Warman. “The choice to build a new Harold Primary Care Clinic is just another example of how Highlands’ is helping patients access quality and affordable healthcare.”
Harold Primary Care will be a full service clinic with room for four providers, a pharmacy, physical therapy office, lab, and radiology capabilities. The groundbreaking ended with a reception and open house for new Harold Primary Care physician Dr. Jeremy Parsons.

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