Thursday, July 09, 2009


Major Alignment In Pike County Government

At a recent meeting of the Pike County Fiscal Court, a major announcement was made concerning departmental leadership. Roger Ford, head of the Office of Energy and Technology, was terminated. By a unanimous vote of the court, Ford was fired as of July 7th. At the same time, the department he headed was abolished. A newly created administrative department was approved...the Office of Energy and Community Development. An immediate hire to act as the department head was also announced...Charles Carlton, who formerly worked in the law offices of Michael DeBourbon. Carlton began his duties immediately. Judge Executive Wayne Rutherford declined to comment on the changes, except to confirm the actions of the Pike County Fiscal Court.


Two FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers To Transition To SBA Loan Outreach Centers

As of Monday, July 13th., two Kentucky disaster recovery centers will transition to disaster loan outreach centers. The FEMA centers changing are, in Pike County, at Johns Creek Elementary School, and, in Jackson County, at the Lifeskills Center. Numerous homeowners, renters and businesses that have already registered with FEMA for assistance have already or will soon receive in the mail disaster loan applications from the Small Business Administration.


Authorities Arrest Man Who Shot Martin County Woman

Martin County authorities arrested Henry Marcum, after he turned himself in Wednesday night, and charged him with assault and wanton endangerment. They say he instructed Michelle Cornett and her mother to pull their vehicle off the road on Veneers Branch, off new Route 3 in Martin County Monday night, and, using a small caliber handgun, he shot her in the leg.


Prestonsburg City Council To Discuss Smoking Ban

When the Prestonsburg City Council meets Monday evening at 6:00 P.M., officials will move one step closer to a decision of whether to ban smoking in all public buildings within city limits. During a regular meeting last month, members of the Floyd County Breathe Easy Coalition presented testimony as to the effects of second-hand smoke. Jean Rosenburg with the Floyd County Health Department says 70% of Floyd County residents are non-smokers, a figure supported by statistics from a study compiled by the Kentucky Institute of Medicine in 2007. The study showed the adult rate of smokers at 30% and the youth rate at 27%. One item to be discussed will be the effect of a smoking ban on revenue.


Two Longtime Perry County Officials Plead Not Guilty

Former Perry County Judge Executive, 68 year old Sherman Neace and former Perry County Circuit Clerk, 65 year old Chester Jones, have pleaded not guilty in federal court in London after being charged with vote-buying in last November's election. They,re accused of diverting $7,500 from the state Democratic Party to use it when Jones was running for a seat on the county school board and Neace was running for magistrate. The trial is scheduled for September 14th., but attorneys say they will be unavailable on that date, so it may be re-scheduled.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Pike County Bridge Work Underway By Highway District 12

The Kentucky Department of Transportation Highway District 12 has begun bridge work at the mouth of Big Branch between Lookout and Hellier in Pike County. While the work is underway, one lane of KY Route 195 will be closed at all times, while traffic flow through the work zone will be controlled by a signal light system. The project, which involves a latex concrete overlay of the entire bridge deck, is expected to be completed by July 24th., barring weather problems.


Pikeville Medical Center Applies For Loan For $44.6 Million Project

The Pikeville Medical Center has applied for a loan through the U.S. Department of Agriculture to pay for a $44.6 million project which will consist of a 1,008 space parking garage and a seven floor 112,000 sq. ft. medical office building. If approved, the project is expected to take 22 months to complete. Medical officials say the expansion would allow patients to have access to a "one-stop-shop" for all their health care needs


Former Mercer County Sheriff Facing Drug Charge

According to an information filed in the U.S. District Court in Bluefield, former Mercer County Sheriff Danny Wills, who resigned from the post in June, has been charged with fraudulently obtaining and possessing the painkiller hydrocodone. The information states that Wills, who also is a physician who ran a free clinic out of the sheriff's office, obtained the painkiller from October 2007 to May 5th.


Lawsuit Filed Over Ten Commandments

Eugene Phillips Jr. of McKee and the American Civil Liberties Union have filed a lawsuit against Jackson County and Judge Executive William Smith. Phillips and the ACLU are seeking to have several displays of the Ten Commandments removed from the walls inside the courthouse. They say the postings are unconstitutional, while compromising First Amendment rights. Smith says the majority of the people want them to remain where they are, and he will do his best to do what voters elected him to do, which is carry out their will.


KACo And Kentucky Insurance Regulators Hold Informal Discussions

In the wake of a revelation concerning alleged overspending inside the non-profit organization, Kentucky Association of Counties, the Kentucky Department of Insurance is examining KACo operations. Tuesday, three KACo officials and an outside lawyer met for more than an hour with regulators for informal discussions. Lexington attorney Brent Caldwell, who has represented KACo's insurance programs since 1997, says insurance regulators wanted basic information about operational issues, how the programs run and how they operate.


A Former Louisville Oil And Gas Executive Pleads Guilty

A former Louisville oil and gas executive, 59 year old David G. Rose, has pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion and 21 counts of defrauding investors out of millions. Prosecutors say he swindled 60 victims by promising to invest in oil and gas exploration, but, instead, used the money on himself. Rose used a company called en Terra Energy LLC, which claimed it had deals with major oil companies including Texaco and Citgo. Rose paid $1 million toward a $2.9 million restitution and agreed to a 52 month prison sentence. A Bowling Green grand jury charged Rose with failing to pay taxes in 2001. Sentencing is set for November 16th.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Pikeville Medical Company Owners Sentenced

According to a U.S. District Court in Louisville, 60 year old Carolyn Sue Davis and 76 year old Otis Davis, both of Pikeville, were sentenced July 1st. to two years supervised release. The two owners of J&J Medical Inc. were sentenced for accepting kickbacks of more than $55,000 from Life Medical Systems, a pharmaceutical mail-order company to which they referred patients from 2003 to 2004. Carolyn Davis was sentenced to 8 months, to be served concurrently with a 5 year sentence on a previous conviction in a 2005 fraud case. Otis Davis was convicted in the case and was released in the fall of 2008. Each will be fined $800. In 2005, when the Davises were found guilty, they were also ordered to pay restitution of $171,000. In a separate case last year, a civil judgment of more than $433,000 was won against them. DeWayne Logan, of Ohio, part owner and operator of Life Medical, was sentenced to six months home incarceration, two years probation and fined $500.


Twenty-Seven Million In Federal Funds For Kentucky Road Repairs

Following the devastation of the January ice storm, the Federal Highway Administration is sending $27 million to Kentucky to help pay for repairs to the state's transportation system. The money is part of a $201 million appropriation being made available to 15 states. Under the program, Kentucky will be reimbursed for repairs to highways, bridges and other road structures, such as traffic signals, signs, guardrails and lighting, and the money can help pay the cost of debris removal.


Judge Rules Bid-Rigging Indictment Case Will Continue

U.S. District Judge Karl Forester has refused to dismiss a superseding indictment against former Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert, road contractor Leonard Lawson and Lawson aide Brian Billings. Forester says the high profile bid-rigging case will continue despite claims of "vindictive prosecution". A hearing in the case is set for July 9th. to determine whether the release of documents involving testimony Lawson provided to the Kentucky Attorney General's Office during a 1983-1985 investigation of bid-rigging regarding Lawson owned Mountain Enterprises should be released to newspapers.


Second Reading Scheduled For Paintsville Alcohol Ordinance

The second reading of the rules and regulations for alcohol sales in Paintsville is planned during a special called meeting of the Paintsville City Council to be held Thursday night. The proposed ordinance would allow restaurants, hotels, stores and caterers to sell alcohol from 6:00 A.M. to midnight, with no sales allowed on Sunday, while other rules follow state laws. If the proposed ordinance passes, business owners can begin to apply next week for licenses, which cost anywhere from $25 to $3,000.


Obama Names New MSHA Head

President Barack Obama has chosen Joseph Main, the retired longtime safety and health administrator for the United Mine Workers of America, to head the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. It has drawn praise from safety advocates and criticism from the coal industry. Main's nomination was seen as a signal of a change of directions in terms of mine safety in this country, a 180-degree shift from the policies of the Bush administration and its favoring of coal industry executives, who were left disappointed by the decision. Bill Caylor, president of the Kentucky Coal Association, says it will be frustrating to have someone with an agenda that is pro-union.

Monday, July 06, 2009


FEMA Deadline Approaches

Here's some dates you may want to make note of...July 27th. and July 28th. If you are eligible for individual federal disaster assistance, you now have until July 27th. to apply for aid. The deadline for disaster loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration for disaster-related real and personal property losses is July 28th., two dates you should be aware of... July 27th. for individual assistance through FEMA...and July 28th. for loan assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration.


Anthrax Scare In Pikeville.

The scene from downtown Pikeville, KY as anthrax contamination precautions were underway at the federal courthouse building on Main Street.

Haz-Mat crews and the FBI, along with city, state and local officials, were on the scene at the federal courthouse Monday after, what witnesses say was a white powder, was found inside the federal building. Several people were decontaminated outside the courthouse, and nine were transported to the Pikeville Medical Center.

According to a U.S. Marshal, Mike Klein, a Big Sandy Detention Center inmate sent letters to about 25 to 50 places, including the London, Pikeville and Frankfort federal courthouses. The letters threatened anthrax exposure, which led to evacuations of the buildings. The inmate has told prison officials the white substance inside the envelopes was Sweet N Low artificial sweetener. At least four congressional offices, U.S. Representatives Geoff Davis, Brett Guthrie, Ed Whitfield and John Yarmuth, received letters in the mail Monday morning. The downtown portion of Pikeville was reopened shortly after 4:00 P.M. Law enforcement officials from the Pikeville Police Department, the Kentucky State Police, the Pike County Sheriff's Department, the FBI and the U.S. Marshal's Service are involved in an ongoing investigation.

Sunday, July 05, 2009


State Auditor To Arrange Meeting With Kentucky League Of Cities

State Auditor Crit Luallen says she'll contact the Kentucky League of Cities Monday to arrange the first meeting to discuss what she calls a serious concern over spending. Luallen says her decision to audit the League was partly based on the organization's decision to stop releasing documents to the Lexington Herald-Leader, a decision which was reversed Thursday, although Luallen says it won't stop her work. She says her office will proceed with plans to conduct an audit. She also plans to audit the Kentucky Association of Counties.


Lawsuit Surrounded By Question Of Who Actually Employed Billy Gillispie

A big question involved in a lawsuit filed against the University of Kentucky Athletics Association by former men's basketball coach Billy Gillispie is not whether he coached the U.K. team, but, rather, who was actually his employer. The university announced in a news release on May 28th. that Gillispie worked for the university, not the athletics association. However, 2007 tax returns, filed by the U.K. Athletics Association, lists Gillispie as the organization's highest paid employee, more than $1,220,667 with contributions to employee benefit plans and deferred compensation of $293,524. Failure to give accurate information with the IRS could risk the organization's tax-exempt status. If Gillispie worked for U.K. University, his lawsuit must be heard in Kentucky.


Mingo County Men Charged With Pike County Robbery

Forty-four year old John William Fields of Williamson Towers (East Williamson) and 49 year old Arvil Martin of Dan's Branch near Chattaroy had been arrested Thursday and were arraigned Friday morning on charges of receiving and transporting stolen property from the Family Dollar Store at Sidney, Kentucky. Kentucky State Police are seeking the store manager, Tim Cook, whom they plan to charge with burglary and grand larceny. They say Cook staged a robbery in the wake of a June flooding at the store which resulted in approximately $2,000 in stolen merchandise. The case remains under investigation.


TEA Party Protestors Spend Fourth Of July At Capitol Steps

As millions celebrated the 4th. of July and the freedoms represented in our country by the holiday, "TEA Party" protestors gathered statewide and nationwide, while hundreds of Kentuckians gathered Saturday at the Capitol steps in Frankfort to protest taxes and government. The TEA stands for taxed enough already.

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