Thursday, June 04, 2009


Expanded Gaming Added To Legislative Agenda

At a news conference Thursday (today), Governor Steve Beshear announced he has added expanded gaming to the agenda of a special legislative session set for June 15th. If approved, the legislation would allow video lottery terminals or slots at approved horse racing tracks, while hopefully leveling the playing field for the state's horse industry. The slots, if approved, would be run by the Kentucky Lottery Corporation, who would tax and generate revenue for the state and the industry.


Big Sandy Inmate Convicted After Beating Fellow Inmate

Twenty eight year old Manuel Cardosa, an inmate at the U.S. Penitentiary Big Sandy in Inez (Martin County), has been convicted in U.S. District Court in Ashland of assaulting a fellow inmate, Marvin Fontenette. The jury found that, in December, Cardosa assulted Fontenette, while attacking him from behind, knocking him to the ground and continuing to stomp and kick him until being restrained by prison staff. The victim suffered bleeding of the brain which led to paralysis of the left side of his body, loss of vision in his left eye and impaired cognitive functioning. Cardosa faces a maximum of ten years. No sentencing date was set.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009



On Wednesday, five FEMA assistance centers opened in four eastern Kentucky counties:

Breathitt County: Lifeskills Center,
1127 Main Street, Jackson
Floyd County: Martin Community Center
7199 KY 80
Pike County: Belfry Library
24371 U.S. 119 North
Johns Creek Elementary School
8302 Meta Highway, Pikeville
Owsley County: Molly of Action Place Center
Old Highway 11, Booneville

Centers are open from 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Monday through Saturday.

Those needing help should register first by phone or online.
To register, call:
1-800-621-FEMA (3362)
For hearing or speech impaired:
Register online at:

Computers and phone lines are also available at the centers for people to register. After registering, residents can visit the centers to ask questions, file paperwork and check on claims. Small Business Administration officials are also stationed at the centers.
On Wednesday, when the centers opened, officials said they would stay as long as needed.

Four days following a federal disaster declaration for Kentucky, 1,800 people in Breathitt, Floyd, Owsley and Pike counties had registered for loans and grants to repair homes and businesses and replace belongings not covered by insurance, and more than $3 million had already been approved.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


Big Sandy Inmate Arraigned On New Drug Charges

Mark Dennard Hoyle, also known as Slim, an inmate at USP Big Sandy prison in Martin County, has been indicted and will face new federal charges in Ashland on counts of possession and distribution of heroin inside the prison. Hoyle was serving a life sentence following a conviction as being one of the leaders of the Newton Street Crew, an organization found to be distributing crack cocaine in the District of Columbia and Maryland. Hoyle, along with others, were convicted of murder, robbery and the use of firearms. He was arraigned Monday in U.S. District Court in Ashland.


Coal Association Seeks Congressional Help For Mining Permits

The National Mining Association released a letter Monday asking Congress to change how Clean Water Act permits for surface mining are issued. The letter, signed by coal associations in West Virginia, Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Ohio and Virginia, is pushing Congress to ease rules which slowed the flow of permits in 2007, and have since been reversed. In March, the Environmental Protection Agency announced plans to give permits greater scrutiny. The association also released a letter asking the Corps of Engineers about backing them.

Monday, June 01, 2009


FEMA Assistance Process Can Begin Immediately

Special county disaster registration centers are expected to open this week to assist flood victims in applying for aid, but, in the meantime, you can complete an online application for individual assistance at, or apply by phone at 800-621-FEMA (3362), or, for hearing or speech impaired, at TTY 800-462-7585. No one is required to wait for an insurance inspection to begin the registration process.


Pike County School Plans Met With Opposition

Pike County School Superintendent Roger Wagner says rumors of selling the Bevins Elementary School to a local coal company are false. However, he says the sixty year old building is in terrible shape, and it may end up closing. On June 11th., he hopes to meet with parents to discuss budget cut options, which include possibly closing the school and busing students to Runyon Elementary, an idea opposed by several parents who say the ride is too long. Parents say they want the school renovated and reopened, but Wagner says that is not an option, since the state won't allow it. His long range ideas are to consolidate Bevins, Runyon and Blackberry Elementary schools, along with Belfry Middle School, but Wagner is also met with opposition on that idea. Parents say the consolidation would combine about a thousand students and a one lane bridge. Other plans include moving the third grade from Millard Primary to Millard Middle School and new buildings for Phelps and Virgie.


Pilot Found Dead In Wreckage South Of Elkhorn City

Crews found the wreckage of a small plane Sunday afternoon in a remote area south of Elkhorn City, just across the border in Virginia. The pilot found dead on board has been identified as 57 year old Victor Owens Jr. of Telford, Tennessee. The plane crashed Friday while bound for Ashland, Kentucky.


KSP To Step Up Summer Enforcement

In an effort to reduce fatal accidents, the Kentucky State Police is planning to step up traffic enforcement this summer, while especially being on the lookout for drivers who are impaired, speeding or breaking seat belt laws. As of May 29th., police say 309 people had died on Kentucky roadways, a 4% increase from the same period last year. The campaign will include over 1,000 road checks from now through Labor Day weekend.

Sunday, May 31, 2009


Kentucky Counties Get Disaster Declaration

In a news release Friday, Governor Steve Beshear announced twenty-two counties in Kentucky will be eligible for federal disaster funding, while four, Breathitt, Floyd, Owsley and Pike, will be eligible for individual assistance. From May 3rd. to May 20th., Kentucky was devastated by storms, tornadoes, flooding and mudslides. State officials say early damage estimates totaled more than $52 million.

The counties included are as follows:


Pike, Floyd And Other Counties Weigh In On Disaster Declaration

Many people in flood-stricken eastern Kentucky are excited about the federal assistance that is now on the way.

Floyd County Judge Executive "Doc" Marshall says the county has over 20 or 25 roads school buses cannot travel. Robyn Tackett, with the Big Sandy Red Cross, says water and sewage problems continue to affect many families throughout the region. Breathitt County Judge Executive Jason Richardson says nearly 400 roads in the county have from minor to impassable damage, with an estimate of about $3 million, over half the county's budget.

In four counties, Breathitt, Floyd, Owsley and Pike, federal grants for temporary housing and home repair, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs will be available for individuals and business owners. Federal funding will be available to eligible local governments and certain non-profit organizations on a cost-sharing basis.


Federal Assistance On The Way

Friday, President Barack Obama declared parts of Kentucky devastated by storms, tornadoes, flooding and mudslides, from May 3rd. to May 20th., a major federal disaster. For some, they're just relieved help is on the way to some of the hardest hit areas in Kentucky, while, for others, they're disappointed it took so long. Pike County Judge Executive Wayne Rutherford says he's also pleased, but the wait was too long. He wants a congressional investigation and hearing into why the wait was so long. Robyn Tackett, with the Big Sandy Red Cross, says the need is so great, and financial assistance is really needed at this time. She says the Red Cross began work as the flood waters started to rise, but so much more was needed. FEMA is expected to arrive sometime this week in Pike and other counties so badly devastated by the recent Mothers' Day flooding and other weather related incidents throughout the state.

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