Friday, May 29, 2009



Exactly three weeks following the Mothers' Day weekend flooding that ripped through eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia, the bright light of federal assistance will begin to shine through. Twenty-two counties in Kentucky...and, that represents all the counties named in the application to FEMA, have been approved for public assistance.

This is one of two prongs of relief to be awarded to the region. Public assistance, or, "PA" will allow the affected counties to either be reimbursed for bridge and road repair or replacement, or, will provide much needed funds to pay for specific equipment and also to pay for the manpower needed to accomplish the painful recovery efforts. Yet, another aspect of the disaster declaration is individual assistance, or, "IA". This part of the declaration will deal with people who have suffered losses caused by the flooding. This would include damage or loss of property. The counties included in this part of the declaration include Floyd, Breathitt, Owsley and Pike. This means that residents in the four counties will be able to apply for assistance at designated disaster centers, yet to be announced, in the region.

The centers will be staffed with FEMA disaster professionals who have dealt with disasters of this kind all over the nation. The disaster centers will be open six days a week...Monday through Saturday. The locations of these centers will be announced very quickly following the major announcement.

Once again, the two-tiered approval of the FEMA disaster declaration...public assistance for counties and municipalities...and individual assistance for citizens directly affected by the flooding has been approved in Washington !!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Judge Orders Release Of Bid-Rigging Transcripts

At a hearing in Covington Tuesday, lawyers for the (Louisville) Courier-Journal and the Lexington Herald-Leader requested transcripts of a May 13th. closed hearing involving road contractor Leonard Lawson be released, saying too many documents in the case had been sealed. U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves has ruled the hearing in front of U.S. Magistrate James B. Todd, which involved the conduct of attorneys in the case and whether certain tapes should be admitted as evidence, was properly closed in an effort to prevent the premature release of inadmissable evidence which could jeopardize jury selection. On Thursday, Reeves said he had reviewed the transcripts and decided they can be unsealed " without unnecessarily jeopardizing the defendent's right to a fair trial."


U.K.Files Countersuit Seeking Dismissal Of Gillispie Lawsuit

On Thursday, one day after former U.K. men's basketball coach Billy Gillispie filed lawsuit against the U.K. Athletics Association in federal district court in Dallas, Texas, lawyers for the university filed a six-page countersuit, asking a Franklin County Circuit Judge to rule the memorandum of understanding between the parties involved is not a formal contract. U.K. says the memorandum was a temporary agreement, and officials, over the two years Gillispie served as head coach, proposed six versions of a formal employment contract, but, each time, counsel deleted or changed material terms contained in the latest offer. The countersuit also alleges there was no long-term contract in place when Gillispie was fired in March. University attorneys are seeking to have Gillispie's lawsuit dismissed.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Former U.K. Coach Files Lawsuit

Late Wednesday afternoon, former University of Kentucky men's basketball coach Billy Gillispie filed a multi-million dollar federal lawsuit in Dallas, Texas against the U.K. Athletics Association. The lawsuit accuses the association of breach of contract and fraud, and alleges, although Gillispie never signed a formal contract, he was operating under a memorandum of understanding and was terminated, without cause, two years into a seven year agreement. Gillispie is seeking $6 million he says is owed to him according to the memorandum he says stated, if fired, he would be paid $1.5 million a year for each remaining year. In addition, the suit alleges U.K. lured him away from Texas A&M when the university was negotiating a contract extension through 2015. Gillispie is seeking punitive damages, cost of attorney fees and a jury trial in Dallas. U.K. spokesman Jimmy Stanton says the lawsuit came as a surprise as university attorneys had been attempting to work out a settlement with Gillispie's attorneys and was continuing to negotiate a separation in good faith. The lawsuit alleges, although an actual contract was never signed, there were several instances when U.K. attorneys referred to the memorandum of understanding as the equivalent of a legally binding contract. U.K. President Lee Todd Jr. said at a news conference March 27th. he considered Gillispie to be working under a year-to-year contract, and U.K. had taken that stance because the beginning of the memorandum states a full seven year contract would be negotiated at the earliest possible date, which never happened.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Judge Says Beshear Can Find Time To Testify

U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves ruled Tuesday that Governor Steve Beshear will have to testify at the upcoming trial, which begins June 23rd. for former Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert, road contractor Leonard Lawson and aide Brian Billings. Reeves says, sometime during the three week trial, Beshear could make room in his schedule to testify, but Reeves says he will be open to discuss the schedule again next month.


Clay County Accident Kills Mother And Injures Son

Kentucky State Police report, at 1:51 P.M. Monday, 36 year old Cathy J. Hammons of Stinnett (Leslie County) was killed when, while driving on wet pavement on KY 66 in southern Clay County, she lost control of her vehicle, ran off the road and overturned, ejecting her and her six year old son. The boy was flown to University of Kentucky Medical Center.


Kentucky's April Unemployment Rate Remained Steady

State officials announced Tuesday Kentucky's unemployment in April remained steady at 9.8%. They say this sounds like a victory, but includes those who faced long-term unemployment and dropped out of the labor force. Nationally, the April unemployment rate was 8.9%. The manfacturing sector lost 2,400 jobs, while construction added 400 more workers, the first increase since October. Mining and logging added 200 jobs.


Attorney General Announces Eli Lilly Settlement

The state Medicaid program will receive $3.8 million of a settlement reached with Eli Lilly. Tuesday State Attorney General Jack Conway announced a $5.1 million settlement with Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of the anti-psychotic drug Zyprexa. The state claimed the company persuaded physicians to prescribe the drug for pediatric and dementia patients for uses not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Under the deal, Eli Lilly will be required to provide samples of the drug to health care providers consistent with FDA approval. For the next six years, Eli Lilly must disclose payments in excess of $100 to promotional speakers and consultants and register all studies and results with the Attorney General's office.

Monday, May 25, 2009


$44.6 Million Funding Approval For Pikeville Medical Center

Late last week, members of the Big Sandy Area Development District's board of directors approved progress on five seperate projects, two of which are related to Floyd County, two to Magoffin County, and, by far, the largest project in terms of funding approval was just over $44.6 million for continued plans on a proposed parking garage and seven story office building for the Pikeville Medical Center.


Flooded Pike County Presses On While Awaiting FEMA Decision

Hard working Pike County residents are pressing on while awaiting much needed federal assistance. While the mud from recent flooding is clearing up, water services have mostly been restored and several kids have returned to school, people in eastern Pike County are wondering what has happened to the request for federal assistance. Governments and residents are waiting for FEMA while they watch West Virginia residents, who were hit by the same flood, apply for loans and grants to rebuild. FEMA says the disaster aid application has been received, and federal officials hope to make a decision this week. Churches, local governments and agencies, such as the Red Cross and Christian Appalachian Project, are helping people put their lives back together while awaiting word from the federal government.


Higher Taxes To Gap Budget Shortfall Unlikely

Governor Steve Beshear announced April 30th. that an anticipated revenue shortfall between $800 million and $1.1 billion for the next fiscal year would put all options on the table, including higher taxes. In a statement released last week, Beshear said, "It is becoming increasingly clear that now is not the time to raise taxes on working families and small businesses." Advocates for public education and state-funded social services say it's chilling to consider closing the gap without new tax revenue, while advocates for tax reform vow to press against political headwinds to get support for their ideas.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Operation Toxic Turkey Summons Nine For Illegal Turkey Trafficking

As part of an eight month statewide investigation known as Operation Toxic Turkey, nine people living from Pikeville to Murray were summoned Saturday for illegal turkey trafficking. In Kentucky, it is illegal for the general public to have wild turkeys, and fish and wildlife officials say the birds were imported from a New Mexico hatchery which did not have a permit to sell live turkeys. Those served Saturday have been charged with 421 counts of illegally importing, owning or selling wild turkeys. Fifteen wild turkeys and 25 wild turkey eggs were seized.


KSP Search For Double Kwik Robber

Kentucky State Police Post 9 in Pikeville responded to a robbery Friday night after receiving a call from the Zebulon Double Kwik that a male suspect, approximately 5 ft. 8 in. tall with a thin beard and blonde hair, had entered the store and demanded money. Police say the robber fled on foot with an undetermined amount of cash.


KSP Search For Hazard BP Armed Robbery Suspect

Kentucky State Police in Hazard are searching for a male suspect, approximately 5ft. 5in. tall and weighing around 165 pounds, who allegedly entered the BP station in the Grapevine community of Perry County about 1:27 A.M. Saturday morning, pointed a gun at the clerk and demanded cash before escaping in a dark colored passenger car.


Lawson Lawyers Seek Live Testimony From Beshear

The staff of Governor Steve Beshear will appear Tuesday at the federal courthouse in Covington in relation to a $130 million trial. Friday, Larry Mackey, a lawyer for road contractor Leonard Lawson, filed a motion stating Governor Beshear should be required to testify in person at the June 23rd. federal corruption trial involving former Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert, Lawson and aide Brian Billings. Federal prosecutors had filed an earlier motion asking Beshear be allowed to give a taped deposition. Mackey says he should testify in person because Lawson has the right to cross examine the governor, and the jury should be allowed to see and judge his credibility by the way he acts and talks. Senate President David Williams is also slated to testify at the trial.


Trial Set For Two Allegedly Involved In Counterfeit Ring

A July trial date has been set for 29 year old Scott Anthony Raney of Raceland and 20 year old Nelson Kile Miller of Flatwoods after being indicted of conspiracy to buy or sell counterfeit bills. Investigators say Raney obtained counterfeit $100 bills from a person in Nigeria with the intent of selling them in Greenup County and returning a portion of the profits to Nigeria. It's alleged Miller knowingly purchased five of the bills.


Mine Safety Advocates Question MSHA Decision

Mine safety advocates say a decision made by MSHA officials to delay looking at a new rule that would lower coal miners' exposure to harmful dust until 2011 is unacceptable. Advocates say high levels of coal dust cause black lung disease which has killed more than 21,000 miners since the mid-1980s, and MSHA's plan to wait two more years to tighten a rule reducing coal dust levels is under severe questioning.


Unusual Traffic Fatality In Pikeville

On Friday, Pikeville was the site of an unusual vehicle accident resulting in death. Jady Glenn Sowards, 54, of Pike County was killed when his vehicle went out of control on Hambley Boulevard. Because Sowards' vehicle was the only one involved, an investigation by the Pikeville City Police into the incident continues.

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