Saturday, July 04, 2009


Happy Fourth Of July

People spent Independence Day in many different ways. While some remained at home and enjoyed a barbecue in their own back yard, some packed area state parks and some took to the roads. Several gathered with family and friends to enjoy cookouts , but, most of all, many took the time to reflect on the sacrifices and services others gave to preserve our nation's independence and to think on what the holiday really is, and that's more than parties, food and fireworks. While fireworks were rained out in some areas and had to be rescheduled, people remained hopeful that everyone enjoyed a safe holiday. Kentucky State Police, along with national police forces, traveled the roads in a campaign called "Over The Limit--Under Arrest." Troopers watched for speeders, seatbelt violators and drivers who were impaired.

Thursday, July 02, 2009


State Auditor Announces Audit For KACo And Kentucky League Of Cities

State Auditor Crit Luallen says she's appalled following a revelation that a provision in the insurance policy that the Kentucky Association of Counties has sold to 112 counties covers defense attorney fees for elected officials. The liability insurance plan has paid for more than $300,000 in criminal defense bills for five elected county officials accused of job-related crimes since 2001, and the total doesn't include pending cases. On Wednesday, Luallen announced her office wants to get to the bottom of excessive spending and inadequate oversight within KACo and the Kentucky League of Cities, and she sent letters to the organizations that spelled out her authority to conduct an investigation.


Waste Conversion Company Considering Clay County

Nothing is final yet, but Manchester city officials say they've reached a mutual agreement with Waste Not Technologies, a waste conversion company that's considering a site in Clay County to construct a new plant. Officials say it's possible more than 1,000 jobs could come with it. Waste Not Technologies is looking at a few other possible sites, but, if the company decides to build in Manchester, they hope to break ground by fall and open late in 2010.


Stolen Payroll Checks Surface In Eastern Kentucky

Police in Kentucky say they believe someone has stolen payroll checks and created fake banks and businesses, allowing them to cash bogus checks across eastern Kentucky. So far, the checks have been found in Letcher and Perry counties. Business owners say they're being scammed for hundreds of dollars. Police say a female suspect has cashed the checks, so far, at Jenkins IGA (Letcher County) and the Happy IGA (Perry County), but there could be more. The suspect is about 6 ft. tall and a white female with shoulder length blonde hair.


Pike County Miners At Cam Mining Get Permanent Layoffs

Four months after Cam Mining in Pike County laid off hundreds of miners in March, remaining miners were permanently laid off Wednesday. Officials declined to release details involved with the shutdown.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Convicted Knott County Judge Executive Says KACo Paid Legal Fees ...A Pleasant Surprise!!!

When Kentucky's elected county officials find themselves charged with abusing their public office, in most cases, their legal bills are paid by a taxpayer-bought insurance policy provided through the Kentucky Association of Counties. Prosecutors say they're surprised a taxpayer-bought policy pays fees for an elected official accused of crimes against taxpayers. Knott County Judge Executive Randy Thompson says it was a pleasant surprise to learn the county's insurance through KACo would cover his defense after being indicted on vote-buying charges stemming from the 2006 election, for which a U.S. District Court in Pikeville convicted him last year. KACo has covered legal fees for other elected officials in Kentucky, and, while some think it's o.k., others say it increases public mistrust of officials and is an epidemic in the state that has to stop.


Pike County Judge Executive Makes Census Top Priority

You may think you don't count, but you could make a difference in future federal funding. As a formal commitment to assure that every citizen in Pike County is counted, Pike County Judge Executive Wayne Rutherford has signed a proclamation making the 2010 Census a top priority for all elected and appointed officials. The Census labels Pike County as a "hard-to-count" area. The Pike County Census Committee, which consists of representatives from numerous community partner agencies and organizations, applies localized knowledge to better inform the public about the Census. Any organization within an area, with experience in outreach programs, can become a Census partner. Upon submitting an application, the organization may become eligible for $2,499 towards products and $2,999 towards services to promote the Census, while the money cannot be used for food nor advertisements.


Third Ward Williamson City Councilman Resigns

When newly elected members of the Williamson City Council were installed in office Tuesday afternoon, Third Ward Councilman Doffie Hall, who resigned two weeks ago, citing health problems, was missing. He tendered a resignation letter on June 14th., saying his deteriorating health problems, surgery, cancer and etc. had caused him to come to a conclusion he was unable to serve. He says the citizens deserve 100%, and his health will not allow him to do that.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


KSP To Participate In National "Over The Limit-Under Arrest"

Kentucky State Police Troopers say, in an effort to alert motorists of the dangers and consequences of driving while impaired, the agency will participate, over the July 4th. holiday, in a national campaign called "Over the Limit-Under Arrest." The campaign begins Thursday and runs through Sunday. Troopers will be watching for drunken drivers, while also citing drivers for speeding and seatbelt violations.


University Of Kentucky Responds To Lawsuit Involving Former Coach

In response to a lawsuit filed in Dallas, Texas against the U.K. Athletics Association, the university had upped the deal by offering to pay former men's basketball coach Billy Gillispie more money and give him two cars. The lawsuit filed by Gillispie alleges the U.K. Athletics Association owes him $6 million for firing him two years into a seven-year agreement. At the center of the dispute, is a memorandum of understanding, which U.K. argues is not a contract. Gillispie's attorney says he's not particularly impressed by U.K.'s response to the lawsuit, and he argues the memorandum has the same legal weight as a contract. U.K.'s response to the lawsuit asks the case be dismissed or moved to Kentucky.


Kentucky Residents Arrested At West Virginia Care Center

Fifty-four year old Violet Faye Jude of Inez, Kentucky and her nephew, 34 year old Jonathan Coleman of Pilgrim, Kentucky were arrested Monday and charged with attempting to pass counterfeit bills and drug related charges. Authorities say Jude attempted to pay part of her $150 doctor's fee at the Mountain Comprehensive Care Center, referred to by Williamson Police as the "Wellness Center", with counterfeit (3 counterfeit $20 bills). Stached in a secret compartment in her purse, officers found $200 in counterfeit $20 bills.


Pikeville College Students To Study Pike County Health Issues

Two students from the Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine will be studying health issues in Pike County this summer, thanks to scholarships provided by the Applachian College Association. Janey Watts of Garner, Kentucky and Richard Wheeling of Elizabethtown will research topics pertaining to life in Pike County. They will be monitored by members of the Pike County Health Department.


State Auditor Alarmed By KACo Expenses

State Auditor Crit Luallen says she's alarmed by expenses at the Kentucky Association of Counties after learning that five executives spent nearly $600,000 on travel, meals and other expenses over the last two years. Bob Arnold, KACo's executive director, says, if Luallen has the statutory authority to audit them and decides to do so, the group will cooperate. Senator Damon Thayer (D-Georgetown) and chairman of the Senate State and Local Government Committee says he'd like officials from KACo and the Kentucky League of Cities to answer lawmakers questions during a committee hearing. It has been reported that the Kentucky League of Cities executive director Sylvia Lovely's 2008 compensation package was $317,000, and three top officials spent more than $300,000 in the past three years.


Lawyer Plans To Appeal Verdict Of Jailer Found Guilty Of Rape

A final sentencing hearing will be held next month for 51 year old Charles Howard, an Elliott County jailer found guilty on charges that he raped a female prisoner while transporting her from Sandy Hook to the Boyd County Jail in August. A Boyd County jury has recommended he spend 12 years in prison. His lawyer plans to appeal.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Contracting Company Hired For Pike County Project

The Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands has hired PhilMor Contracting Inc. to begin work on a $365,000 project in early July that will eliminate two landslides and seal auger holes on 5.5 acres of land about one mile east of Pikeville, in the Ferguson Creek area. Officials say the landslides have occurred intermittently over the past 13 years, causing a large amount of problems along old Town Mountain Road, bringing mud, mine refuse, trees and other debris onto the foundation of homes, properties, driveways and vehicles, as well as the local Log Cabin Restaurant.


Black Diamond Mining Of Floyd County Shuts Down Operations

After filing Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, the Black Diamond Mining Company, which operated three surface mines and ten underground mines in Floyd County, has shut down its operations, which produced around two million tons of coal per year. In June of last year, Black Diamond had hired Miller Buckfire and Company, which headquarters in the Greater New York City area, to provide financial advice involving a plan to restructure, but, in March, the company announced a withdrawal of a motion to enter into Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, which would have required liquidation.


Turkey Creek Residents Get Transfer/ Recycling Center

Pike County's District 6 has remained without a transfer station for several years, but, with the help of allocated coal severance money, residents of Turkey Creek now have available to them a transfer station/ recycling center. Although the site isn't totally complete, it will be open on an emergency basis to accommodate for flood debris.

The Turkey Creek Transfer Recycling Center will not accept tires or liquids and will not allow dump trucks. Hours of operation will be:
8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday
9:00 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. on Saturday
Closed on Thursday.


Newly Designed Golf Course To Open At Jenny Wiley

On July 3rd., a new executive, par-three golf course at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park in Prestonsburg will open to the public. Officials say it will be a different designed course, but, until the finishing touches are added, it will be played as it used to be played, as a disc golf course. One reason for this is the newly built green has not come in fully yet, and it is estimated it could take about a month before the course is fully completed. Prestonsburg City Council members have given their full support and votes to fund construction, in the amount of $25,000. Charges for play could be around $12 a round for adults and $8 a round for children.


Rogers Announces Opposition To "Cap And Tax" Legislation

U.S. Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers has announced his opposition to the "Cap and Tax" bill, saying it is unimaginable that, in these challenging economic times, President Obama and Speaker Pelosi would push for passage of a legislation that would require every American to pay a "carbon tax" for turning on lights,driving to work or heating their homes. Rogers says he voted against the legislation under which one independent analysis suggests 2.3 to 2.7 million jobs would be lost over the next 20 years. He says it is irresponsible and unacceptable to support such a bill.


Transportation Cabinet To Spare Cities And Counties Ice Storm Cleanup

Keeping a promise to local governments, Governor Steve Beshear has announced a plan in which the state Transportation Cabinet will bear more of the cleanup cost of roadway debris in counties that were declared disasters from the disasterous ice storm of January. Seventy-five percent of the cost is covered by FEMA, while state and local governments bear the remaining 25% in the form of "matching funds," the affected cities and counties being liable for 13%, so far, an estimated $7.6 million. Under the Governor's directive, the cabinet will cover the 25% match, an estimated $14.6 million.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


FEMA Assists With Temporary Housing

This past weekend marked seven weeks since flash flooding heavily damaged parts of Mingo and Wyoming counties, along with others. Gilbert Mayor Vivian Livingood says the damage remains evident, and life is not back to normal for many residents, although major improvements are occurring every day. On Friday, FEMA and the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management toured Parks Manor, located 18 miles from Gilbert. FEMA determines who is eligible for temporary housing at the site which has more than 40 mobile homes. Parks Manor is located near Matewan.

The housing hotline number is : 1-877-444-0422.


West Virginia State Police Investigating Serious Accident

West Virginia State Police are investigating a serious accident which occurred Friday night at a home in Wharncliffe (Mingo County). Authorities say a three year old was transported to Logan Regional Hospital after receiving serious injuries when run-over by a truck being backed out of a driveway by a teenage driver.


Ethics Commission Warns Cabinet Members To Abstain From Battery Plant Plans

Governor Steve Beshear hopes to lure a lithium-ion car battery plant to a 1,551 acre industrial site in Glendale (Hardin County), where the state plans to put the National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Batteries. Just a few lots away from the site, acting Economic Development Secretary Larry Hayes and the family of Transportation Secretary Joe Prather own 8.5 acres. Additionally, Prather and his family own 81 acres around Glendale where the Transportation Cabinet plans to spend millions building roads and a new Interstate 65 interchange. The Executive Branch Ethics Commission has advised Hayes and Prather to abstain from any state activity that would improve or enhance the value,or, in any way, benefit their properities.


Kentucky Association Of Counties Expenses Questioned

Expenses for the Kentucky Association of Counties, a non-profit group which lobbies for counties and provides them with insurance and financing services, is now being questioned. Under the Kentucky Open Records Act, it was discovered the association sent six people to Washington, D.C. in March 2008, a $31,700 trip, which included two dinners totaling $4,277 and a $10,000 cancellation fee for hotel rooms not used. Records show that, over the last two years, the association's top five executives racked up nearly $600,000 in travel, entertainment and other expenses, more than half of it charged on the credit card of Executive Director Bob Arnold. The review of records shows thousands were spent to purchase sports tickets and gifts, while spending and salaries increased.


Rogers Secures Funding For Security

U.S. Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers has secured funding in the amount of $10 million for the Kentucky-based National Institute for Hometown Security. The money will be used for technology and research involved with protecting our country from terrorists attacks, preparing and responding to natural disaster and hardening the infrastructure which keeps America safe.

In addition, Rogers secured $3 million for the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium, hosted at Eastern Kentucky University, which is a rural training initiative which enables emergency responders to access comprehensive homeland security training programs and fill critical security gaps.


Jackson Preacher Arrested

Kentucky State Police have arrested 44 year old John Edward Smith, a preacher at a church in Jackson, and charged him with unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual activities. Police say he used text messages in an attempt to lure a 13 year old girl, whom he allegedly met through his position at the church, to meet him at a car lot in Winchester, where police say he was arrested. Smith was held on a $5,000 bond.


Sheriff's Deputy Opens Fire...Killing Suspect

Authorities say 35 year old James Goforth of London was pronounced dead at the scene in the Daniel Boone National Forest area near London early Friday morning. He was fatally shot by a Laurel County Sheriff's Deputy following a chase involving two suspects. Laurel County Sheriff Fred Yaden says the suspects exited the vehicle, causing the officer to open fire.

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