Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wynonna Judd To Hop On Board The Santa Train
Country music singer Wynonna Judd, who's celebrating her 25th. anniversary in the music industry, will sing her way through the mountains of Applachia on November 21st. as she hops on board the Santa Train. The Santa Train, sponsored by the Kingsport, Tennessee Chamber of Commerce, Florida-based CSX Transportation Inc. and Food City Grocers of Abingdon, Virginia, will make 14 stops in the mountains of Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee as Wynonna, Santa and several volunteers deliver 15 tons of toys, which includes 6 pallets donated by the Children's Miracle Network.
New Christian High School In Floyd County
After a seven year wait, a new high school, the Wesley Christian High School, is now under construction in Floyd County. The new school, which is expected to cost over $1 million, is scheduled to open in the fall with 12 classrooms and plans to build a new gym. School officials expect a student body of over 200 students.
Columbia Gas Accepts Cut In Rate
Lexington-based natural gas distributor Columbia Gas has agreed to reduce its rate increase request, accepting a hike of $6.13 million...down from the initial request of $11.57 million. The company also agreed to withdraw a rate mechanism that increased monthly consumer charges for its 91,000 customers in 33 counties. A rate adjustment hearing was scheduled for Friday.
Knott County Magistrate Faces Stolen Property Charge
Knott County Magistrate Levi Haskel Ritchie of Lotts Creek is scheduled for trial on November 17th. after being arrested last week and being indicted in late August on two counts of receiving stolen property. The indictment states that, in November 2004, Ritchie "did possess, conceal and store" a 2002 Kenworth T800b semi-tractor and a New Holland TC40 farm tractor, which had crossed state lines after being stolen. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Former Lynch Clerk Placed On Bond
Following a five month Kentucky State Police investigation, 33 year old Kellie Maggard, former Lynch City Clerk in Harlan County, was arrested Wednesday after being accused of stealing more than $137,000. Investigators say she wrote and forged Mayor Bob Collier's name on 75 checks totaling $50,804 and took cash payments of $86,348 while falsely entering utilities as paid. More than $500 in city electric bills had gone unpaid. Maggard was bonded for $25,000. She was taken to Harlan County Detention Center and placed on a $100,000 full cash bond.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Pike County Man Pleads To Kidnapping Charges
Twenty-three year old James T. Key of Pike County appeared in court to enter a not guilty plea to charges of kidnapping. Police say, on Tuesday, he forced his wife and children into a van, then drove to a local school where he picked up another child, and, according to his wife, headed to Falmouth, Kentucky, taking them against their will, before police caught and arrested him in Elkhorn City. Key's bond was set at $30,000 full cash, and a hearing was scheduled for September 24th.
Shooting Suspect Found Dead In Letcher County
Kentucky State Police say around 4:30 P.M. Wednesday (today) they were called to the Apple Branch area , just off Highway 317 near the Deane community of Letcher County. They were called to the area by Danny Hughes who was allegedly shot in the leg by his brother, Leslie Hughes, who was, within a short time, found dead close to a nearby cemetery.
Elkhorn City Councilman Pleads Not Guilty
Elkhorn City Councilman and former Pike County Sheriff Deputy volunteer, 41 year old Johnny Stewart, has pleaded not guilty to impersonating a sheriff's deputy while allegedly attempting to make an arrest in Elkhorn City. A preliminary hearing has been set for September 24th.
State Administrative Office Of Courts Makes Cuts
Faced with a deficit of about $35 million, the state's Administrative Office of the Courts has cut 47 jobs at their Millcreek campus in Frankfort. Affected employees were in the divisions of clerk services, mediation, real property, records and statistics and training. Statewide, AOC has 970 employees, while 273 are at the Millcreek campus. The AOC is also eliminating or reducing non-essential operating expenses such as furniture and equipment replacements, office supplies, cell phones and pagers. The move is expected to save about $4.5 million, with $2.1 million coming from the layoffs.
Kentucky Leads In National ATV Deaths
Kentucky leads the nation in ATV related deaths, with 14 being reported as of September 13th. According to statistics from the Kentucky State Police, 4 of the 15 motor vehicle fatalities reported between September 8th. and September 13th. were from all-terrain vehicles. During the week, people were killed on ATVs in Calloway, Floyd, Muhlenberg and Pike counties, while none of the victims were wearing helmets. Through September 13th., there were 549 people, so far this year, killed from motor vehicle crashes on Kentucky roadways.
Kentucky Lawmakers Consider Protective Order Monitors
Murder and the violation of a protective order charges filed against former State Representative Steve Nunn have Kentucky lawmakers considering revamping the state's domestic violence laws to require ankle monitors for those served with protective orders. House Speaker Greg Stumbo says the proposal, which may spark a change in the January legislative session, would be costly but not cost prohibitive. If lawmakers approve the proposal, the ankle monitors would alert authorities if orders were violated.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Former Representative Could Face Death Penalty
According to arrest records filed in Hart County, former Kentucky Representative Steve Nunn told Kentucky State Police hours after his fiancee, 29 year old Amanda Ross, was shot to death outside her Lexington home that he "was at the end of his rope and wanted revenge." A criminal complaint written by Lexington Police Detective Todd Iddings states Nunn told police at the time of his arrest and while en route to Bowling Green Medical Center that "he was sorry for not completing the job" and that he spoke of revenge and going to the penitentiary. Nunn allegedly told police his domestic violence dispute with Ross caused him to lose his job, his money and become a burden to his family. Nunn could face the death penalty, with the murder charge coupled with the violation of a protective order.
Gillispie Seeks Change Of Venue
Former University of Kentucky men's basketball coach Billy Gillispie has requested that a lawsuit involving the contract or "memorandum of understanding" filed against him be moved to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky in Frankfort. U.K.'s lawsuit came after Gillispie sued the U.K. Athletics Association, alleging breach of contract and fraud. Now, at issue, is whether the memorandum signed by Gillispie and Mitch Barnhart is a formal contract, who actually employed him and whether he is owed $6 million.
Green Grants For The Bluegrass
Green grants have been awarded for the " Bluegrass." Kentucky will receive nearly $10.5 million in federal stimulus funds which will be administered by the state Energy and Environment Cabinet, with at least 60% going to local governments. The money will fund programs that lower energy use, reduce carbon pollution and create green jobs. Some will be used for photovoltaic systems to provide solar energy to one or more schools.
London Man Sentenced For Sex-Texting
Fifty year old Alfred Medley of London pleaded guilty Friday to one charge of pornography possession and one electronic means charge. Investigators say he had been sex-texting some high school girls and a search of his computer showed child pornography. Medley was sentenced to two years on each charge,which will be served concurrently. He will then be required to register as a sex offender.
State Renews Otter Creek Contract
Despite a recent review by the Kentucky Department of Corrections that found seven cases of sexual abuse allegations at the Otter Creek Correctional Center in Wheelwright that Corrections Corp. of America failed to report, Monday, the state renewed its contract. Under the 2003 Prison Rape Elimination Act, these allegations should have been reported and fully investigated. Under the new one year contract, CCA must tighten its reporting standards and report all sexual incidents. They must also increase the number of female officers at the facility, increase training and improve investigations of alleged sexual abuse. In June, corrections officials will evaluate the prison to determine if the changes have been made.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Nunn Charged With Murder
Former State Representative 56 year old Steve Nunn, son of late Kentucky Governor Louie B. Nunn, has been charged with violation of a protective order and the murder of his former fiancee Amanda Ross. Warrants were served Monday (today) after his bond was set at $57,000 for six counts of wanton endangerment. Police say Friday, when they arrested him at the Hart County cemetery where his parents are buried, his wrists were slit, just hours after Ross was found shot to death outside her Lexington home.
ATV Accident Results In Death Of Pike County Man
An ATV accident around 6:00 P.M. Sunday on Pinson Fork Road in McAndrews of Pike County resulted in the death of 31 year old Joseph V. Smith. Police say it appears Smith was driving a four-wheeler when he left the road and over-corrected, going over an embankment and into a ditch.
Man Drowns In Lake Cumberland
Wayne County rescuers recovered the body of 20 year old Brennan Wayne Thomas around 12:30 A.M. Sunday after he apparently fell off a houseboat his family was staying on in the Harmon Creek area. Authorities say, sometime between 10:30 and 11:00 P.M. Saturday night, Thomas fell into Lake Cumberland and apparently drowned.
Accident In Wolfe County Results In Death
Kentucky State Police say 29 year old Kenneth Pierson of Stanton and 20 year old Ronda Banks of Campton were traveling north on a motorcycle on KY 15 at Myrtle Little Road in Wolfe County around 12:15 A.M. Monday (today) when they slammed into a pickup truck driven by 36 year old Jason Patrick of Campton. Pierson and Patrick were pronounced dead at the scene, while Banks was airlifted to University of Kentucky Hospital in critical condition. She died just after 4:00 P.M.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Former State Representative Person Of Interest
Former State Representative 56 year old Steve Nunn, the son of late Governor Louie B. Nunn, was taken into custody Friday and charged with six counts of wanton endangerment after allegedly firing a .38 caliber handgun when police approached him at the cemetery where his parents are buried. Nunn was taken to Bowling Green Medical Center with self-inflicted wounds on his wrists. Police say he is a person of interest in the death of his former fiancee, 29 year old Amanda Ross who was found shot to death in front of her home in Lexington. Nunn had resigned in March from his post as Governor Beshear's Deputy Secretary for Health and Family Services, after being placed on a domestic violence order following charges he assaulted Ross.
EPA To Review Eastern Kentucky Mining Permits
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced it will further review 79 requests for surface coal mining permits. Forty-nine of those permit requests are in eastern Kentucky, and 23 of the mines are in West Virginia. The EPA says it wants to make certain the proposed mines won't cause water pollution, a violation of the Clean Water Act. Bill Caylor, president of the Kentucky Coal Association, says the reviews are frustrating, causing a lot of uncertainty in the coal industry and could end up hurting the Applachian economy. Six thousand miners in Kentucky work at surface mines.
Mingo County Trial Reset After Hung-Jury
After two days of testimony and about five hours of deliberation last week, a Mingo County Circuit Court jury failed to reach a verdict in the trial of 61 year old Lewis Allen Sheppard of Dingess. A predominantly female jury, 10 women, 2 men and 1 female alternate, heard testimony from three alleged victims who claim that, as children, they were lured to Sheppard's home where they were sexually abused. Three state witnesses and six witnesses for the defense testified concerning the allegations stemming from at least one occasion in April 2007. A new trial date has been set for November 10 th.
Victory Lane Robbery Bound Over To Grand Jury
The robbery trial for Josh Daniel of Dan's Branch and James Greg Robertson of Williamson has been bound over to the grand jury. The two men waived their rights to a preliminary hearing late last week after being accused of robbing the Victory Lane Convenience Store on August 29th., allegedly taking $1,400 in cash and 10 to 15 packages of cigarettes. Bond was set at $100,000 each. A third suspect, Cecil Ray Diamond, was arrested last Thursday and charged with conspiracy, second-degree robbery and grand larceny. It's alleged Diamond supplied Daniel with Cap-stun and clothes used in the robbery.
Stumbo Urges State Lease Of Otter Creek Prison
Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo is continuing to push for state control of the Otter Creek Correctional Center in Wheelwright. Last week, Stumbo sent a letter to Justice and Public Safety Secretary J. Michael Brown urging him to consider possibly leasing the prison from Corrections Corp. of America. Stumbo says a lease would allow the state to humanely house inmates and keep citizens safe. It would also allow the prison to exclusively house Kentucky inmates, relieving county jails, and could be staffed by state employees with state pay and benefits.
Eastern Kentucky Scammer Sentenced
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office in London, 68 year old David C. Thomas of Greenville, S.C. has been sentenced to two years in prison. Thomas admitted he falsely portrayed himself as an agent of insurance provider Lloyd's of London to mortgage companies in Pikeville, Hazard, Paintsville, Corbin and Richmond, while pocketing insurance premium checks issued by the companies to cover their clients' first year's worth of homeowner's insurance. He also admitted he issued bogus certificates indicating Lloyd's had secured the insurance.
New Hearing Sought For Former Perry County Official
The attorney for former Perry County Judge Executive 68 year old Sherman Neace has filed a motion seeking a rearraignment hearing to allow Neace to enter a guilty plea on charges of federal vote buying. Neace, along with 65 year old Chester Jones, is charged with using $7,500 from the state Democratic Party to buy votes in last November's election when Neace was running for magistrate and Jones was running for school board. The men are also charged with mail fraud for allegedly sending a false campaign report to a state agency.