Friday, May 22, 2009


Pikeville Police Respond To Fatal Accident

The Pikeville City Police Department responded to a fatal accident around noon Friday on Hambley Boulevard in which the vehicle the victim was driving came to a rest after hitting the building of the former Thacker Funeral Home. Witnesses say, before the vehicle came to a complete stop, it veered out of control, suggesting something was happening or had already happened to the driver. The name has not yet been released, pending notification to family members.


Mingo County FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers

Three FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers have opened in Mingo County to serve as face-to-face meeting places with flood victims needing assistance. FEMA can help with such things as rental assistance, home repairs, special unemployment, replacement of personal property and Small Business Administration loans. The centers are open from 10:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Monday through Saturday and will be open Memorial Day. The centers are located at Town Hall in Matewan, the Larry Joe Harless Community Center in Gilbert and at the volunteer Delbarton Fire Department substation on Pigeon Creek in the Varney area. Telephone registration is from 7:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. at 1-800-621-3362 or you can apply online at

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Human Remains Found In Magoffin County Identified

Kentucky State Police report an anonymous tip led them to call in a Magoffin County rescue team who found human remains in a car, an early 1980s model, submerged in a pond in the Rockhouse community of Magoffin County Tuesday. Witnesses say, when the car was pulled from the water, the body fell out of the trunk. The remains were sent to the state medical examiner who identified the body as 29 year old Gregory G. Back, formerly of Salyersville, who was reported missing in 1989.


Truck Driver Killed In Letcher County Identified

Federal mine inspectors are investigating the death of a truck driver who was killed Thursday (today) when, around 8:00 A.M., his truck ran over an embankment at a coal mine near Jenkins of Letcher County and overturned. The driver has been identified as 32 year old Jeremy L. Steward of Jenkins. The accident occurred at a mine operated by J &A Mining Inc. near Mayking. This is the second coal fatality of the year in Kentucky and the sixth in the U.S. All have occurred at surface mines.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Pike County Damage Estimates Exceed Amount Needed For Disaster Declaration

Pike County Judge Executive Wayne Rutherford says, although no dollar figure has yet been assigned to the Pike County flood damage, the Kentucky Transportation Department has reported damage to roads and bridges is estimated between $7 million to $10 million, with $7 million verified. Director of Emergency Services, Charles Maynard, says, as of Monday, 84 homes had been categorized as totally destroyed, 204 with damage rendering them uninhabitable, 357 homes damaged, 2 water and 2 sewer systems damaged, 139 roads damaged, 78 bridges damaged, but usable, 22 roads blocked and 61 bridges destroyed. The minimum amount of damage required for a disaster declaration is $5.5 million.


Pike County Fiscal Court Gets FEMA Update

Personal antagonizm aside, the Pike County Fiscal Court meeting Tuesday dealt with recovery efforts in the county following the flood of May 9th. The key question was when and if FEMA would declare affected parts of Pike County and other counties a federal disaster area. Judge Executive Wayne Rutherford told the Court, within 72 hours after the declaration is signed, a video aerial survey will be provided to FEMA officials to be used in the assessment of damages.


Two Magistrates Criticize Rutherford

Tuesday at the regular Pike County Fiscal Court meeting tempers flared as Magistrates Chris Harris and Hillman Dotson criticized Judge Executive Wayne Rutherford for his participation in a video produced by Pikeville College which detailed relief efforts and the role of the East Kentucky Expo Center. The DVD was shown at the meeting, which prompted Harris and Dotson to suggest that Rutherford was not attending to the business of flood recovery, but, instead, used his time to produce a movie. Rutherford defended himself by pointing out that the video allowed those who could not personally view the activity at the Expo Center to still see what was happening at that crucial distribution location.


KSP Report Fatality In Elkhorn City

Kentucky State Police Post 9 in Pikeville report 33-year old Christopher L. Maynard of Warfield was killed Monday when the Mack truck he was driving overturned on KY Route 197 at Elkhorn City. The truck skidded approximately 76 feet and struck a vehicle driven by David Stewart of Elkhorn City.

Pike County Deputy Coroner Denver Bailey pronounced Maynard dead at the scene. The collision is under investigation by Trooper Johnny Slone and Trooper Melissa Hampton. KY Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers Barry Coleman and Kevin Belcher assisted in the investigation.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Humanitarian Flood Relief Drive For Funds And Supplies

It happened during Mother's Day weekend less than two weeks ago...a devastating flood hit east Kentucky and southern West Virginia. And now, the recovery effort is in full swing. Tuesday East Kentucky Broadcasting and Food City locations in Pikeville and South Williamson conducted a flood relief radiothon. The generosity of area residents and businesses was tremendous. Tractor trailers were strategically placed in Pikeville and South Williamson and donations of non-perishable food, cleaning supplies and equipment, personal hygiene items and disinfectant products poured in. Cash was also mentioned during the broadcast, and, almost immediately, an anonymous donation of $5,000 was given at the South Williamson location. Generous, open heart giving was needed, and the response was another example of the empathy and concern people of this area show toward their friends in need.


KSP Investigating Burned Body And Car Found In Johnson County

Kentucky State Police and Johnson County Deputies are investigating the discovery of a body found inside a burning car about four or five miles off Route 2040 near the town of Offut Tuesday around 6:00 A.M. by CSX employees. Trooper Mike Goble with the Pikeville KSP says the body has been sent to the state medical examiner who will determine if it is male or female.


Fifteenth Swine Flu Case Confirmed

The Kentucky Department for Public Health had, as of Tuesday afternoon, confirmed the state's 15th. case of swine flu. The 13th. case involved a staffer at Meyzeek Middle School in Louisville. Two new cases involve residents from Jefferson and Fayette counties.


Flood Relief

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. – Tuesday, May 19, 2009 – The American Red Cross will be setting up offices today to provide client assistance to those impacted by the May 9 flooding in Mingo County.
Paul McAllister, director of the Tug Valley Chapter of the Red Cross, said financial assistance will not be available, but referrals and other services will be provided. Client service offices will be set up at the follow:
Larry Joe Harless Center, Gilbert
Matewan Town Hall, Matewan
Delbarton Town Hall, Delbarton
The Red Cross kitchen in Gilbert is closing today. The kitchen in Matewan will remain open and mobile units will provide meals throughout the impacted areas.
“My fellow commissioners and I want to express our appreciation to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) officials who have been visiting residents already registered with FEMA,” said Mingo County Commissioner Greg K. “Hootie” Smith. “We want to remind all flood victims to call the FEMA hotline and register their damage.”
The numbers to call are 1 (800) 621-3362 and TTY 1 (800) 462-7585. Residents must register with FEMA so that the damage inventory process can proceed as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Tetanus shots will be available today at the Mingo County Health Department from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the Delbarton Volunteer Fire Department from 10:30 a..m. to 11:30 a.m.


Mingo County Flood Update.

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. – Monday, May 18, 2009 – Church groups and other volunteer organizations will soon be arriving to assist victims of the May 9 flooding in southern Mingo County.
The Mingo County Commission (MCC) and Office of Emergency Services (OES) Director Jarrod Fletcher report that anyone interested in receiving assistance with cleaning their property should sign up at the disaster relief center servicing their area. The telephone numbers for the centers are as follows:
Matewan Town Hall – (304) 426-4092
Varney Community Center – (304) 426-5070
Larry Joe Harless Center – (304) 664-2500
Officials stress that especially those who are elderly, disabled or widowed should apply for volunteer cleanup assistance. First priority will be given to these residents.
Tetanus vaccination clinics are scheduled today for people who have not yet been vaccinated. The vaccinations will be available while supplies last. The schedule is as follows:
Baisden Volunteer Fire Department – 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Wharncliffe Volunteer Fire Department – 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Beech Creek Volunteer Fire Department – 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Fletcher also wants to remind residents that the most effective manner in which to remove debris from their property is to place it by the side of the road. He stresses that piles of debris cannot block roadways, mailboxes or utility poles.
Another reminder for residents whose homes were impacted by flooding is to register their damage with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as soon as possible. The numbers to call are 1 (800) 621-3362 and TTY 1 (800) 462-7585.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Tennessee Animal Advocates Help Flooded Pike County Animal Shelter

This past weekend, Gina Austin, the founder of Lab and All Breed Rescue Network, led a group of animal advocates in hauling a horse trailer, filled with pet supplies, from Brighton, Tennessee to Pikeville. The resources, donated from communities in Mississippi as well as the Greater Memphis area, were brought to help the flooded-out Pike County Animal Shelter, which has been included on the FEMA disaster declaration. Pike County Deputy Judge Executive John Doug Hayes says the damage to the shelter was caused by a mine blowout, and work will be conducted to seal or drain the mine workings.


Hikers Rescued After Chilly Night In Eastern Kentucky Woods

Two missing hikers who spent Sunday night lost in the rough terrain of the eastern Kentucky woods in the Red River Gorge while temperatures dropped into the mid-30s, were found around 6:30 A.M. Monday morning by a search and rescue team. The hikers, who had been missing since Sunday evening, were located about a half-mile from the cabin where they were staying.


Martin Mayor Doubts Small Town Can Handle More Flooding

Martin Mayor Thomasine Robinson says the recent flooding wiped out one elderly woman's home for the seventh time, and, despite a federal government pledge of $97 million in a plan to put the city on higher ground, away from Beaver Creek, no buildings have yet been moved. Robinson says she doubts the small town can handle another bout of flooding.


Pike County Detention Center Escapee Arrested In Virginia

Twenty six year old Bill Roark was captured at a hospital in Dickenson County, Virginia Saturday night after escaping Friday while on work release from the Pike County Detention Center.


FEMA Plans Mobile Units Set-Up For Flood Victims In Mingo County

Monday (today) FEMA opened its headquarters in the former Goody's location at Dudley Farms in Charleston, with more than 200 workers who will remain there for the next several weeks processing flood claims. The center will not deal with the public, but, by Wednesday, FEMA plans to have its mobile units set up in Mingo County to serve as a one-stop-shop for flood victims applying for federal assistance.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Updated Mingo County Update

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. – Sunday, May 17, 2009 – Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have arrived in Mingo County and are currently assessing damage caused by flooding May 9.
Early this morning, FEMA Coordinator Ed Budnick met with Mingo County Office of Emergency Services (OES) Director Jarrod Fletcher, the Mingo County Commission (MCC) and Mingo County Prosecutor C. Michael Sparks to review the county’s recovery plan, its process and progress. Officials discussed contracts related to the cleanup as Budnick explained and clarified situations that could complicate the funding process. Budnick said this process is an effort to avoid any situations that would delay FEMA funding.
The cleanup process began immediately after flood waters receeded and Mingo County was declared a national disaster area. Significant progress has been made, but county agencies, the National Guard and volunteer organizations agree that the cleanup process is far from over.
“We’re way ahead of the game,” stressed Mingo County Commissioner David L. Baisden. “But we have a long way to go. We can’t say enough how much we appreciate everyone who is helping us with this cleanup.”
FEMA representatives are in the process of setting up its own disaster relief centers in the affected areas. Residents impacted by flooding who have not yet contacted FEMA to report damage to their property are encouraged to do so immediately. The toll free numbers to call and report damage are 1 (800) 621-3362 and TTY 1 (800) 462-4092.
In addition to the three main disaster relief centers established by the county, residents can receive assistance and supplies at volunteer fire departments located in the impacted areas. Contact information for all centers is as follows:
Matewan Town Hall – (304) 426-4092
Varney Community Center – (304) 426-5070
Larry Joe Harless Center – (304) 664-2500
Baisden Volunteer Fire Department – (304) 664-8801
Beech Creek Volunteer Fire Department – (304) 426-4140
Delbarton Volunteer Fire Department – (304) 475-2530
Wharncliffe Volunteer Fire Department – (304) 664-3878


Mingo And Wyoming Counties FEMA Flood Assistance

FEMA does not make contact with individuals or businesses that have not contacted them first. If you have not applied, do not give out information over the phone. Residents and business owners who sustained losses in Mingo and Wyoming counties can apply for assistance online at or, to apply by phone, call: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing or speech impaired. Toll free numbers will operate from 7:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M.


Disaster Declaration Approved For Mingo And Wyoming Counties

President Barack Obama has approved a federal disaster declaration for Mingo and Wyoming counties. The declaration makes federal assistance available, including grants for temporary housing, home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners with flood recovery. State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit groups can obtain federal funding to recover part of their costs for emergency work and repair or replacement of damaged facilities. After damage assessments are reviewed, more counties may be added to the disaster declaration.

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