Thursday, October 30, 2008


Trooper Involved In Shooting

On Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 2:30 AM EST Kentucky State Police Post 9 in Pikeville received a request for assistance from Martin City Police Department in regards to a call of a disturbance at the Petry Apartments in the Martin Community of Floyd County.

Upon Trooper Isaac Whitaker and Martin PD Sgt Brian Ratliff’s arrival the suspect, later identified as James Rederick age 38 of Martin Kentucky, was at the door of the residence. Rederick then attacked Sgt Ratliff with a knife. As a result of this action both officers fired their duty weapons.

Rederick was transported to St Josephs Martin Hospital for medical treatment, where he was later pronounced deceased by the Floyd County Coroner’s Office.

Sgt Brian Ratliff of Martin Kentucky, was transported and admitted to St. Josephs Martin Hospital as a result of knife wounds sustained during the altercation. Sgt Ratliff is listed in good condition.

Trooper Isaac Whitaker, has been employed with Kentucky State Police for one year and is assigned to the Pikeville Post. Pursuant to Kentucky State Police Policy Trooper Whitaker will be placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Mingo County Man Waives Right To Preliminary Hearing.

Robert Warren, 33, of Williamson waived his right to a preliminary hearing after he was charged with three counts of intent to deliver cocaine. Warren's latest brush with the law came when members of the Mingo County Sheriff's Department confiscated $ 100,000 in cocaine during a drug bust at his residence.

Warren remains lodged in jail on a $ 75,000 bond.

Warren was aquitted in August by a Mingo County Grand Jury after he stood trial on charges of malicious assault and attempted murder.


Williamson Kiwanis Club To Sponsor Kids Safe Night Out Thursday Evening.

The Williamson Kiwanis Club will have their annual kids safe night out, Thursday evening from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Williamson Fieldhouse. 1,200 kids from around the area attended last year. Kids can play games, receive candy, win prizes and go through a haunted house.


Wyoming County School To Be Closed Thursday Due To Fire.

The principal at Berlin-McKinney Elementary in Wyoming County says the school will be closed Thursday after fire damaged a first grade classroom. Smoke drifted to other parts of the building.

The fire began in the heating and cooling system inside the room. A custodian heard the fire alarm Tuesday evening as she was leaving. The school is located in Oceana. Three fire departments answered the call.


Kentuckians To Expect Higher Natural Gas Rates This Winter.

Kentuckians will pay more for natural gas in the coming months than they did a year ago, the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) says. “High heating costs will again be a burden for many of our citizens,” PSC Chairman David Armstrong said. “Although the prices have come down since August, natural gas still costs more than it did at this time last year.” On average, Kentucky customers can expect to pay about 17 percent more this year than last for the same quantity of natural gas. That is in line with national averages. Energy prices in general have been declining in recent months, and natural gas today is well below its peak price of this summer. But the summer prices will affect winter heating costs. A portion of the natural gas that will be used this winter was purchased and stored during the summer and its cost will reflect the higher price. “Fortunately, we are heading into the heating season with every indication that natural gas supplies will be sufficient to meet demand,” Armstrong said. “This would suggest that, unless there is widespread and extreme cold weather, prices should stay fairly stable.” Weather is always the main factor in determining the amount of energy that consumers use to heat their homes and thus the size of their heating bill, Armstrong said. Measures to improve energy efficiency and conservation are the best way to counteract the impact of high energy costs, he said. “Consumers are always wise to begin each winter with a plan for paying their heating bills, and should take steps to reduce those bills by conserving energy,” Armstrong said.
Wholesale costs, which account for the majority of natural gas bills during the heating season, have more than doubled since 2002, Armstrong said. Despite the recent declines, consumers should not count on further reductions, he said. “Nobody expects a return to cheap energy, and natural gas is no exception,” Armstrong said. By federal law, natural gas prices are not regulated at the wholesale level and fluctuate with supply and demand. Under Kentucky law, gas companies are entitled to recover the wholesale cost of the gas delivered to customers, including the fees they pay to interstate pipelines to transport the gas to their retail distribution systems. Companies are not allowed to earn a profit on their gas commodity costs. The companies’ gas cost adjustments are reviewed by the PSC to make sure they accurately reflect the wholesale cost of gas. About half of the natural gas used for winter heating is put into storage in the summer. In the past, this gas was less expensive and helped offset higher gas prices in the winter. Due in part to national demand for gas for electric generation, especially in the summer, that is no longer the case. Kentucky’s five major natural gas distribution companies expect their wholesale cost this November to be, on average, $11.70 per 1,000 cubic feet (mcf). That is up $2.24 (24 percent) from an average of $9.46 per mcf a year ago. But the November 2008 cost is well below the August 2008 average of $15.17 per mcf. The wholesale cost has declined $3.47, or 23 percent, in the last three months. In November 2002 the average wholesale cost was $4.90 per mcf. The wholesale cost of natural gas accounts for about three-fourths of a typical consumer’s winter bill. A typical Kentucky customer using 10 mcf next month will pay a total monthly bill of $150.78, up $22.38 – or 17.4 percent - from the $128.40 average bill a year ago. That increase is an average for Kentucky’s five major local natural gas distribution companies. The increase for any given customer depends on his or her gas company and individual usage patterns. The five major natural gas distribution companies in Kentucky are Atmos Energy, Columbia Gas of Kentucky Inc., Delta Natural Gas Co. Inc., Louisville Gas and Electric Co. and Duke Energy Kentucky Inc. Together, the five companies serve more than 750,000 customers in Kentucky and deliver about 176 billion cubic feet of gas annually. About 44 percent of Kentuckians heat their homes with natural gas. Those who heat with propane (10 percent) and fuel oil (3 percent) also will be paying more than a year ago. The 39 percent of Kentuckians who use electric heat are expected to see the smallest increase in their energy bills this winter. Regardless of the type of heat they use, many Kentuckians have difficulty paying their heating bills every winter, Armstrong said. Information on heating assistance is available from utility companies and local community action agencies, but funds are limited and sometimes run out during the heating season, he said. “Do not put off looking for assistance until your situation has become a crisis,” Armstrong said. “If you think you may need help paying your heating bill this winter, start looking for assistance now.’ A briefing held today on natural gas prices will be available for viewing at a later time in the PSC’s video library at A video of the briefing also will be available for download on the PSC’s FTP site The PSC is an independent agency attached for administrative purposes to the Energy and Environment Cabinet. It regulates more than 1,500 gas, water, sewer, electric and telecommunication utilities operating in Kentucky and has approximately 100 employees.


CAP To Take Heating Assistance Applications

Many people in Eastern Kentucky will turn to government assistance as heating costs are expected to rise. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has announced an increase in federal funds, from $30-million to $68-million.

LIHEAP helped more than 170,000 families last year and officials say they will be able to help an additional 150,000 nationwide this year.

Community Action Program in Pikeville will begin taking applications Monday, November 3.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Big Sandy Community And Technical College Hosts 8th Annual Scholarship Reception

PRESTONSBURG KY (October 27, 2008) The Mayo Campus of Big Sandy Community and Technical College(BSCTC) was the site of the 8th Annual Scholarship Reception for BSCTC on Monday night, October 27, 2008.
Scholarship donors came together with scholarship recipients to exchange messages of gratitude and encouragement. The audience listened as donors told their own stories of life challenges they faced and their desire to give back to the communities they serve. Recipients spoke of gratitude and aspirations made possible through the generosity of donors who helped them meet the financial needs of getting an education.
Christine Conley, BSCTC Scholarship Committee member spoke about the needs students have and the ways scholarships meet those needs. She told the audience, “This year over $365,000 was awarded to 314 students.
We could have awarded twice that amount if the funding was available.”
She went on to say that over 500 students each year apply for scholarships and most meet the requirements for scholarships. “The committee works very hard to award the money that is available to the most deserving students,” Conley said.
Grover Arnett, a Salyersville attorney and a member of the Big Sandy College Educational Foundation, Inc. Board spoke about his struggles for an education in eastern Kentucky and his desire to be a partner in education with BSCTC and other colleges that offer students a quality education that they can afford. Arnett said that his mother always said to him, “Higher education is not an option, it’s a commandment.” He realized from early years, in the small three room house he grew up in, that an education was the way up and out of poverty. He shared stories of many of the people who helped him through their encouragement and financial assistance and the impact it had on him. He said, “I know I can make a difference in people’s lives because people have made a difference in my life.” Arnett established the William O. and Easter Arnett Foundation after he became a successful attorney and went on to establish the William O. and Easter Arnett Endowed Scholarship at BSCTC as a way to make a difference for others, just as others had done for him along the way.
Dennis Dorton, President of Citizens National Bank, spoke to the audience about corporate donorship. He said, “Scholarships and scholarship endowment is just good business.” He went on to say that a community benefits from each successful graduate and there can be no better way to support a community than through helping citizens earn an education and become contributing citizens. “Scholarships and scholarship endowments pay back for generations to come,” Dorton said.
Four students spoke to the crowd, expressing their appreciation for their scholarships and sharing a little of their hopes and dreams.
Susan Scott, a member of the Big Sandy Singers and a former student at BSCTC told of her pursuit of a degree in education. She will graduate this year from Morehead State University, prepared to teach. But Susan said, “I could not have done what I have over the past few years if it had not been for the scholarships I received at BSCTC. It allowed me to get an education, prepare for a future while I also pursued my passion, music.” Susan was a member of the original group of Big Sandy Singers and has stayed with the group through her college career. She told the assembled donors, “I want to thank you for the scholarships you give and I especially want to thank Dr. George Edwards for his support of the music program at BSCTC. I can’t tell you how much it has meant in my life and I am forever grateful for the opportunities that the vocal scholarship I was given have afforded me. ”
Jeff Green, from Savannah, Georgia, a John T. Smith Scholarship recipient said, “Being a recipient of a scholarship established by the first black doctoral graduate from the University of KY has inspired me.
“ Green plans to pursue his RN degree from Morehead State University and is determined to follow in the footsteps of his benefactor, John T.
Smith. Green said, “If he could be the first black to earn a doctorate from UK, then I can be successful also.” He concluded his remarks with a poem written by Gil Plants, in honor of Dr. Smith.
Nicole Johnson, also a recipient of the John T. Smith Scholarship spoke of a life of hardship and no roots. She said, “With the help of scholarships and the people at BSCTC, I have finally found a foundation I can build on. I plan to be a psychiatrist and I know I can achieve that.”
Sarah Adams, recipient of a Big Sandy Singers Vocal Scholarship said, “I came from a childhood that was interrupted. I was married at 15, dropped out of school and my life was on hold. I had a dream to get an education and to sing. When I dropped out of school it was all put on hold.” When Adams became aware of the scholarship through the Big Sandy Singers, she began to dream again. She enrolled in GED classes and auditioned for the Singers. She said, “There was nothing in my life that has meant as much to me as the chance to go back to school, get an education and to sing. This scholarship and Big Sandy Community and Technical College made that all possible. I am so grateful for the opportunity this scholarship has given me.”
The gift of scholarship is a gift that goes on giving. As Dennis Dorton said, “It impacts a community for generations to come.” When you give a scholarship, you improve the lives of not only the recipients but their children, grandchildren and all who come into daily contact with them.
You improve their image as a role-model in the eyes of their family, the earning power they have, the buying power they use in the community, the way they conduct themselves in daily life and the citizens they become as a result. Many of the donors who sat in the audience on Monday night were at former recipients of someone’s generosity. It instilled in them the desire to give back to the community that had given to them. Grover Arnett related a story about someone who had been a generous contributor to his education who said, “Don’t try to repay me, just do for someone else what I have done for you.” That’s the mark of good citizenship.
Some people call it “paying forward” instead of paying back.
Persons who would like to establish a scholarship or endowment can do so by contacting Jean Dorton at <> or call 606-886-7391 to talk to Leslie Bays. It may be the most important gift you will ever give.
Linda S. Lyon
Public Relations Director
big sandy horiz ctc tag clr copy


Kentucky Governor Announces State Universiites An High Schools To Share Federal Funding.

Gov. Beshear today announced two major federal grants totaling over $14 million to fund high-tech research at Kentucky universities and efforts to increase Advanced Placement education in high schools.
Gov. Beshear announced the grants – from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Department of Education (USDoE) – on the University of Kentucky campus Monday morning.
“These grants further my administration’s goal of focusing on quality education for our children,” said Gov. Beshear. “We must broaden opportunities for students to stretch their minds and provide the necessary tools for them to learn, conduct research and develop innovative concepts that will, ultimately, improve Kentucky’s ability to compete in a 21st century economy.”
The NSF grant, which totals $12.5 million over five years, will fund university research in three key technological areas: biotechnology, nanotechnology and cyber-technologies.
Several universities will be involved in the research efforts. The major recipients are the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville. Other institutions involved include Kentucky State University, Northern Kentucky University, Eastern Kentucky University, Centre College, Berea College and Morehead State University.
The five-year award made through Kentucky’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) is expected to be matched with an additional $5 million from the commonwealth over the life of the grant.
Kentucky joined the EPSCoR Program, an initiative of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC), in 1986 and today is one of its most successful members. Kentucky’s program supports 178 active research projects with budgets totaling over $139 million. In terms of federal academic research and development dollars secured, Kentucky ranks in the top five out of the 25 states eligible to compete for funding and is recognized for more than doubling its share of federal research funds since the program’s inception.
The additional federal grant was received from the U.S. Department of Education Advanced Placement Incentive Program, which awarded $2.1 million to the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE).
This grant will help AdvanceKentucky expand the number of Kentucky high schools implementing a proven program to dramatically increase students enrolled in rigorous math, science and English Advanced Placement (AP) courses and achieve college readiness by success on these AP exams. This grant includes $200,000 to KDE in the first year to help expand an instructional priority for AP courses in Chinese, designated as a critical foreign language.
AdvanceKentucky is an initiative of the KSTC and is Kentucky’s affiliate of the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) under an existing $13.2 million six-year award that began in fall 2007. NSMI is the source of private matching funds for this federal grant.
In addition to grants from NMSI and KDE/USDoE, other funders for AdvanceKentucky include the Appalachian Regional Commission, KSTC and cost-sharing from participating schools and other partners. Early start-up was provided by KDE, the Council on Postsecondary Education and the Partnership for Successful Schools.
Six new schools will be added under this federal grant to the AdvanceKentucky program and those schools will be announced in January. Currently there are 12 schools participating in AdvanceKentucky and this program expects to be serving 90 high schools statewide by 2012.


Arard Winning Pianist To Perform At Pikeville College.

PIKEVILLE, Ky. – At the piano, Irina Voro brings music to life, delighting audiences with her powerful, breathtaking performances. An award-winning teacher and pianist, Voro has performed in Holland, China, Canada, Costa Rica, Slovakia, the U.S. and her native Russia. Dr. Voro, as she is known to her students, has a gift for uncovering the drama of the music and telling the world something new that is touching and wonderful.
Voro will be performing at Pikeville College on Tuesday, Nov. 4, at 7:30 p.m. in Chrisman Auditorium, located in Armington Learning Center, second floor. The concert is free and the community is cordially invited. She will give a master class prior to the concert at 5 p.m. in Chrisman Auditorium that is also free and open to the public.
An innovative performer, Voro is committed to bringing new audiences to classical music. In 2000 at Carnegie Hall, she unveiled “l’Excital” – a form of classical piano recital where listeners first hear the story of the performer’s vision of the piece and then “see” the story take musical form. Some performances are accompanied by lighting, video and even sound effects, making it an almost theatrical show. Voro has performed l’Excitals at more than 50 venues across North America, Europe and Russia, and always to the most enthusiastic audience response.
When not on stage, Voro teaches piano at the UK School of Music, guiding talented students from Kentucky and around the globe. Among her doctorate students are graduates of Oberlin College and Indiana University, as well as the celebrated Moscow and St. Petersburg Conservatories of Russia. Her students have won numerous state and national competitions and she is frequently invited to adjudicate in the state, regional and international contests. Voro’s teaching methods are built upon the Russian and French traditions of her own teachers and reflect her philosophy of seeking poetry in music and making music that is to be “seen.”
Voro has been invited to present at prestigious national and international conferences of the College Music Society, the Music Teachers National Association (USA) and the European Piano Teachers’ Association. She has served on the faculty of 2007 Prague International Piano Master Classes and was a guest artist for Indiana University’s School of Music Summer Music Academy in 2006.
A graduate of the Saratov Conservatoire in Russia and l’Universite de Montreal in Canada, Voro was a soloist with Tianjin Philharmonic Orchestra (China), L’Orchestre Philharmonique du Grand Montréal and Montreal Chamber Orchestra (Canada), Kislovodsk Symphony Orchestra (Russia) and Lawton Symphony Orchestra in the U.S. Her CD, “Ah! Practicing! My shortcut to Carnegie Hall,” was released in 2004 on the Classical Records label of Moscow.Voro’s Nov. 4 performance is presented by the Pikeville College Special Events Committee. For more information, contact the Public Affairs office at 606-218-5270.


Kentucky's First Orbital Satellite Chosen For Nasa Mission In 2009

Kentucky Space today announced that its first orbital satellite, KySat-1, has been selected by NASA to fly on a mission projected for launch in mid-2009.
The selection of KySat-1 comes after a rigorous national review process by the NASA Launch Services Program of the Flight Projects Office at Kennedy Space Center. Satellites from the University of Colorado and Montana State University were also chosen for the mission.
“This highly innovative Kentucky effort is the epitome of the talent that lies within our state,” said Gov. Beshear. “The Commonwealth has been, and will continue to be, aggressive in its pursuit of technological and knowledge-driven economic opportunities.”
KySat-1, the first satellite ever built in Kentucky, is a cube shaped pico-class satellite powered by solar energy, weighs 1 kg and measures 10cm on a side. Once KySat’s on-board computers confirm its release into orbit, Kentucky Space ground controllers in Kentucky will operate the satellite for the duration of its expected 18-24 month mission. After proper operation is confirmed, KySat-1 will be made available to K-12 students throughout Kentucky, and the world, to allow them to issue select commands to the satellite and download the data received. The Commonwealth of Kentucky has invested approximately $850,000 over the last three years on this research and development of this project.
Kentucky Space, a consortium of universities, public organizations and companies, has launched a series of sub-orbital and near space missions; however, this selection by NASA marks a historic first for the program and for Kentucky. This is also the first time NASA will launch university built satellites into orbit.
The recommendations made by the launch panel and the NASA Flight Projects Office are being forwarded to NASA Headquarters for final approval and designation of the primary NASA mission. This announcement is expected as soon as December 2008. The KYSat-1 team has been asked to be prepared for a June 2009 launch.
More details and information can be found at


Pike County Fiscal Court Cracking Down On Stolen County Road Signs.

Pikeville, Ky.—The Pike County Fiscal Court is offering a $300 reward to anyone who contributes information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons who have stolen county road signs.

“Theft of the county’s road signs has to stop. These signs are very important and very expensive. Too important and too expensive to hang in the houses of adults, adolescents or college students because they consider them to be attractive pieces of artwork,” said Pike County Judge/Executive Wayne T. Rutherford.

“I want everyone in this county to know that if they have a road sign anywhere in their house, they, their children, and everyone living in that house is violating state law. Parents need to be sure their children know the severe consequences they will face if they choose to steal these important identifiers. Because they will be prosecuted when we catch them,” Rutherford added.

The Court’s decision to offer a reward came after the October 7 Fiscal Court Meeting, where several magistrates voiced frustration at having to replace the signs.

“I’m still having a time with people stealing road signs in my district. I have had to replace 115 signs this year from Jonancy to Dorton,” said District Two Magistrate Vernon “Chick” Johnson.

“These people are endangering lives, maybe even their own. If an ambulance driver is trying to find someone whose life is in danger, and he’s prevented because someone has removed the sign he’s looking for to guide him, and the delay from that missing sign causes the person to die, then I feel that the thief who stole that sign has blood on his hands,” Johnson said.

“The Pike County Attorney’s Office is committed to stopping the dangerous act of theft of road signs, and we will be treating these thefts as felonies,” said Chief Assistant County Attorney Roger Varney.

If anyone has knowledge as to the whereabouts of Pike County road signs, he or she is urged to contact the Pike County Judge/Executive’s office at (606) 432-6247, or their local magistrate’s office.

– END –

Monday, October 27, 2008


Residents Are Outraged Over Natural Gas Hikes

Many customers with the largest natural gas company in West Virginia are outraged with the recent rate increase that was recommended by a WV Public Service Commission Chief Administrative Law Judge.

Unless the full commission overturns the recommendation, 226,000 customers of Mountaineer Gas will pay 33.4 percent more. The company has customers in Mingo and Logan Counties. The average monthly gas bill will go from $ 161 to $ 215 per month. The company says the rate increase is justified because the company had to pay more for natural gas when prices were high. The rate increase will go into effect Saturday.


Jury Selection Begins In Lawsuit Against Massey.

Jury selection began Monday in Logan County Circuit Court in a lawsuit filed by the widows of Don Bragg and Elvis Hatfield. The two died in a mine fire that occurred at Massey's subsidiary Alma #1 in January of ' 06. The widows are accusing Massey of putting production over safety.
Massey CEO Don Blankensip is named as a defendant in th case along with the company. Circuit Court Judge Roger Perry denied Blankenship's request to remove him from the suit.

The trial is scheduled to begin November 10th.


Seven Die On Kentucky Roadways.

Preliminary statistics* indicate that seven people died in seven separate crashes on Kentucky roadways from Monday, October 20 through Sunday, October 26, 2008. Five of the fatalities involved motor vehicles and three of those victims were not wearing seat belts. Motor vehicle crashes occurred in Boone, Clark, Pendleton, Warren and Woodford counties. One of these crashes involved the suspected use of alcohol.

There was one motorcycle fatality that occurred in Rowan county. The victim was not wearing a helmet. A pedestrian fatality occurred in Daviess county.

Through October 26, preliminary statistics* indicate that 630 people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways during 2008. This is 90 fewer than reported for this time period in 2007. Of the 471 motor vehicle fatalities, 295 victims were not wearing seat belts. Of the eighty motorcycle fatalities, forty-eight were not wearing helmets. Twenty-four people have been killed in ATV crashes and twenty-two of those were not wearing helmets. Fifty pedestrians have been killed. A total of one-hundred and twenty eight fatalities have resulted from crashes involving the suspected use of alcohol.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


66th Annual Santa Train To Be Held Next Month.

The 66th Santa Train will be held Saturday, November 22nd. CSX, Food City and The Kingsport Chamber of Commerce announced that the celebrity guest for this year will be county music superstar and Cross Lanes, West Virginia native Kathy Mattea.

Santa delivers 15 tons of toys, gifts, candy and clothing to thousands at 14 stops along the 110 mile train route which runs from Shelby, Kentucky to Kingsport , Tennessee.

In Pike County the Santa Train will leave Shelby at 7:30 a.m. The train will be at Marrowbone from 7:45 a.m until 7:55 a.m and at Elkhorn City from 8:20 a.m. until 8:33 a.m.


Car Crash Claims The Life Of Logan County Man.

A Logan County man is dead and his wife is recovering in a Huntington Hospital after they were involved in an automobile accident this past weekend.

The victim, 76 year-old James Miller of Pecks Mill reportedlty pulled in front of a oncoming ambulance. His wife 72 year old Mona Miller is recovering from her injuries.

The accident happened on Route 10 in Cabell County near the communtiy of Green Valley.


Logan County Man Pleads Guilty To Sex Abuse.

A Logan County man faces anywhere from 4 to 20 years in prison after he pleaded guilty late last week to five counts of first-degree sexual abuse.

38 year old Timothy Scott Hubert of Holden will be formally sentenced November 14th.


South Williamson Dairy Queen Robbed.

The Kentucky State Police say they are looking for a black male that entered the South Williamson Dairy Queen Friday night shortly before midnight and fled by foot with an undetermined amount of cash. Authorities say the suspect was armed with a handgun. The case remains under investigation.

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