Saturday, January 02, 2010


Meth Lab Bust In Corbin

Police were called to the scene of a fight in Laurel County and ended up finding a meth lab.It happened around 11:00 A.M. Saturday at a home on Dow Adkins Lane in Corbin. Laurel County Sheriff's Deputies discovered the meth lab being put into a vehicle in the driveway. Michael Lebanion, Nichole Parsley, and Roy Osborne are charged with manufacturing meth. Deputies are still searching for Jennifer Taylor.


Murder Suspect Arrested In Pike County

Kentucky State Police have arrested David Ratliff in connection with the fatal shooting of his niece, Rachel Ratliff, who was found dead Saturday morning at a home on Frankie Fork Road in the Regina area of Pike County. Authorities say, when they arrived at the home, David Ratliff was attempting to escape through an exit of the back door of the home. Police say although he was armed with a semi-automatic handgun, he was taken into custody without incident. Ratliff is charged with murder. Witnesses say Rachel Ratliff died almost instantly after being shot in the face.


Mine Deaths Down In Kentucky

The number of miners killed on the job in the United States fell for a second straight year to 34, the fewest since officials began keeping records nearly a century ago. U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration documents show 18 of the deaths occurred in coal mines and 16 were in gold, copper and other types of mines. Most involved above ground truck accidents on mine property, though some of the deaths resulted from rock falls and being struck by machinery. The deadliest year in recorded U.S. coal mining history was 1907, when 3,242 deaths were reported. That year, the nation’s most deadly mine explosion killed 358 people in West Virginia. Steve Earle, United Mine Workers of America international vice president for the Midwest, said getting inspectors into the field is the key. In 2006, five miners died in an explosion at the Darby Mine in Kentucky.


Pike County Traffic Fatality

A North Carolina man died in Pike County Friday after the car he was riding in rolled multiple times. 53-year-old Steven Wayne Threadgill from Lexington, North Carolina was a passenger in the vehicle driven by his girlfriend. The accident happened on US 460 East at Mouth Card.
The driver swerved to avoid a tree hanging over the eastbound lane. The vehicle overturned multiple times. Threadgill was pronounced dead at the scene. He was wearing a seat belt.
Drugs or alcohol are not suspected and charges are not expected to be filed.


Oil And Gas Drilling On Public Lands

A study says drilling oil and gas wells on public lands in Kentucky could raise up to $15.4 million annually for the state. The Kentucky Geological Survey's study says that amount wouldn't make a dent in the state's $1 billion shortfall, but it could help universities and other state agencies under the right circumstances.The study assessed 931 tracts of public land and found that 173 had almost 8,000 drillable locations. State Sen. Tom Jensen, R-London, asked for the study during the 2009 General Assembly. He said projected revenues were less than he anticipated and he doesn't know what legislators will do with the report.


Virgie Man Dies From Head Injury In Lexington

Police responded to the ramp from I-64 to I-75 on the "Southern Split" in Fayette County Friday morning...following the discovery of a man's body. The victim was identified as Clark Roberts of Virgie, KY. He was spotted around 8:00 A.M. by a passerby. Investigators say the 53 year-old had been the driver who fled from a crash the night Winchester Road and I-75. Roberts' vehicle was found abandoned, facing northbound on the interstate in the southbound emergency lane. The Fayette County Coroner's Office says it appears Roberts fell down an incline underneath a bridge. No foul play is suspected. The cause of death is listed as a closed head injury due to the fall.


Weather Makes The News

A frigid night and weekend are in store. Tonight's lows will drop to the mid teens. When you factor in the winds, it will feel like the single digits. Partly to mostly cloudy skies will be around tonight. Light scattered snow showers and flurries are also possible, especially towards eastern and southeastern Kentucky. Tomorrow's highs will only rebound to the low 20s, with windchills in the teens. We'll also have intervals of clouds and sunshine. Patchy clouds will linger, but it will be bitterly cold as lows plummet into the single digits. With winds, it will feel like it's below zero at times. Bundle up if you need to go out. Plus, don't forget about your pets. Make sure they have a warm place to go.


Beloved Williamson Citizen Dies

James G. VanZant, a former journalist, teacher, city councilman and leader in local and state sports activities and other community events has died. VanZant, who had been in ill health for a time, died in St. Mary’s Hospital, Huntington, at the age of 81. His wife of 51 years, Barbara (Oakes) VanZant, and other family members were close by when he departed this earth. “Jim” or “Van,” as some friends called him, was sports editor, city editor and then editor of the Williamson Daily News.

“Jim” is remembered by football fans of the area as the man who helped establish the Kiwanis Senior Bowl, a southern West Virginia football classic that was held annually over a long period of years. He has long served the Williamson Kiwanis Club and was president in earlier years. Funeral services are scheduled for 1:30 P.M. Sunday at the First United Methodist Church in Williamson with the Rev. Greg Blair, officiating.


Second Arrest In Stacie Smith Case

A second arrest has been made in connection to the murder of a young mother.
24-year-old Joseph Daniel Hardwick from Putnam County was arrested Friday. He’s charged with accessory after the fact to murder of Stacie Smith.

After Timothy Sutherland was arrested Wednesday and charged with the Smith's murder, investigators learned Hardwick may have had knowledge of Sutherland’s actions the day Smith was found dead in her home. Hardwick was arraigned on the charge Friday evening and is being held in the Western Regional Jail.


Hybrid Buses For Charleston

Four hybrid buses have been added to the public transit system serving West Virginia's capital.
Kanawha Valley Regional Transit Authority's assistant general manager, Doug Hartley, said the diesel electric buses are designed to be more fuel efficient and have less impact on the environment than other buses in the fleet.

Two of the buses can carry 27 passengers each. The other two can carry 32. The shorter buses cost about $557,000 each; the longer ones about $569,000. Federal grant money paid for the difference in price between the hybrids and regular buses, which is about $240,000 per bus. The authority expects to save about 25 percent on fuel and reduce greenhouse gas production by 33 percent.


US Mining Deaths Down

The number of miners killed on the job in the United States fell for a second straight year to 34. That's the fewest since officials began keeping records nearly a century ago. It's down from the previous low of 52 in 2008. In 2006, 73 miners were killed, including 12 who died in a methane explosion at the Sago Mine in West Virginia and five who died in a similar explosion at the Darby Mine in Kentucky. The deadliest year in recorded U.S. coal mining history was 1907, when 3,242 deaths were reported. That year, the nation's most deadly mine explosion killed at least 358 people near Monongah, W.Va.


Watch For Money Scams

Beware of bargains that seem too good to be true. Because usually they are.. The Logan Banner asks, if you are contacted by people claiming to sell subscriptions at a bargain price, take their phone number and contact the newspaper at 304-752-6950. It's not the only scam floating around in our area, however. Seniors on medicare may be victims of identity theft and not even be aware of it. The West Virginia Senior Medicare Patrol is urging all medicare beneficiaries to scrutinize their Medicare Summary Notices and bills from any medical providers. Information can be used by criminals to receive hospital treatment, acquire prescription drugs, get a reduced doctor visit rate or collect money from false insurance claims. Victims can also be tipped off by receiving a strange bill for services or catching an error in their medical file.


Dog Park Location Selection

Members of the Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District are focusing on land behind the Ritter Park tennis courts as a possible permanent dog park.
Known as the Lion's Den, the two- to three-acre site is not used and has some overgrowth. But, it may be large enough for two large dog areas and a small dog area and is close to the main amenities offered by Ritter Park, including water fountains, parking and bathrooms.
Board members have spent the better part of a year trying to lock down a location and say this is the only site the committee is working on. They say it is important for the community at large to know that support for a dog park is growing. A fund as been established through the Foundation for the Tri-State, which has already garnered multiple donations.

Friday, January 01, 2010


KSP Investigating Floyd County Stabbing

The Pikeville Kentucky State Police Post 9 spent part of their New Year's Day investigating a double stabbing in Floyd County. After receiving a call, police responded by going to the scene on Corn Fork Road where they say Christopher Hayden and Ben Sheppard had both been stabbed. Although State Police say their injuries don't appear to be life threatening at this time, Sheppard was transported to Cabell Huntington Hospital.


Former Kentucky Speedway Owner Sued

A group of 4 trusts operated by Duchossois Group Chairman Richard Duchossois of Illinois filed suit Tuesday against Jerry Carroll, former majority owner of Kentucky Speedway, who announced earlier that the track would not continue with a lawsuit against NASCAR. The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order this month rejecting claims that NASCAR violated federal antitrust laws by working with other tracks to keep the 1.5-mile tri-oval in northern Kentucky from getting a Sprint Cup race. Duchossois has asked the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its ruling, saying Carroll doesn't have the legal right to stop an appeal of the suit.


Widow Fighting To Change Ky. Law

Jennifer Thacker, the surviving widow of Kentucky Alcohol Beverage Control officer Brandon Thacker of Louisville, heads the national group Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS). In 1999, a jury found Timothy Doyle guilty but mentally ill of manslaughter in the April 1998 death of her 27 year old husband. Less than 12 years later, Doyle is a free man after being released from prison Monday, and, even though a jury found him mentally ill, he won't be required to seek treatment. Jennifer Thacker says that puts the public at risk. Under Kentucky law, an inmate released on probation, parole or some other conditional release can be required to get treatment for mental illness, but inmates like Doyle who are considered to have served their time are no longer required to do anything. Thacker believes, as in some other states, when someone's found guilty but mentally ill, then there should be follow up for the rest of their life after they're released from prison. Thacker is researching Kentucky's law and laws in other states as part of an effort to have the state's law changed.


Weather Tracking For Kentucky

Over the past year, officials with the Kentucky Climate Center have added 25 weather-tracking stations around Kentucky, bringing the total of sites to 45. The goal of Kentucky Mesonet is to put together a statewide weather monitoring network in an effort to better predict weather moving from county to county. Kentucky Climate Center director Stuart Foster said that he hopes to install at least 20 more sites this year. Officials of the center at Western Kentucky University have been putting up 10-meter towers and station sites since 2007 through a four-year, $3 million federal grant. Foster says he hopes the Mesonet Project will obtain other funding to continue to install up to 100 weather-reading stations across the state.


Trust Account Mandatory

Because of declining interest rates, IOLTA (Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts) plummeted from $1.1million a few years ago to $400,000 last year. After being recommended by the American Bar Association twenty-two years ago, beginning in January, it will become mandatory for lawyers to participate in a banking program that raises money for legal aid to help the poor, making Kentucky one of forty other states requiring mandatory participation. In 1986, the Kentucky Supreme Court approved a lawyers' trust account program with voluntary participation, but, five years later, it made lawyers "opt out" of it, but, at the time, the court resisted making it mandatory. Under the accounts, interest generated by small sums of clients' money, which lawyers frequently hold for brief periods, will be pooled statewide and used for public-interest projects. Lawyers are exempt if they have no pooled client escrow account, or if a particular client has enough money in escrow to earn interest that would exceed expenses.


U.K. Case Waived To Grand Jury

Peeping Tom's were once thought to be a thing of the past, but, for one alleged incident, a Lexington man finds himself possibly being the subject having his picture taken from behind bars. The case for Terry Grossman, the former owner of the Mad Hatter in downtown Lexington, was waived to the Fayette County Grand Jury Tuesday morning after he pled not guilty to more than 20 charges of burglary, stalking and video voyeurism. Police say Grossman was shooting cell phone video through the windows of a home on Crescent Avenue, shooting video of nude female UK students. They also say he shot video of other women who have not been identified.


Film To Debut In Prestonsburg

It happened over fifty years ago and brought tears as it shocked the nation, but no one will ever forget the tragic Floyd County bus crash which took the lives of 26 children and their driver when it plunged into the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River.
"The Very Worst Thing" will debut at 7:30 P.M. February 19th at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg. The documentary film, directed by Michael Crisp, will chronicle the events and and memories of the February 28, 1958, crash, including photos and recordings made at the crash site and interviews with Martha Burchett, one of the children who escaped the bus and was rescued from the river.


KACO To Interview Potential Executive Director

After meeting for nearly three hours behind closed doors Monday, Kentucky Association of Counties board of directors members decided to interview four finalists in an effort to replace Bob Arnold, the former executive director who resigned in September following repeated questions about the organization's spending. On December 21st, an 11-member selection committee recommended former state auditor and attorney Ed Hatchett for the executive director's position. Board members declined to say why the board decided to interview candidates rather than rely on the search committee's recommendation.
The full board wanted the opportunity to interview the four finalists: Hatchett, Denny Nunnelley, a long-time KACO deputy director, Bill Patrick, executive director of the Kentucky County Attorneys Association and a former county official and Tony Wilder, commissioner for local government, a former county official and a past president of the KACo board.


Bid-Rigging Trial Set

U.S. District Court Judge Karl Forester has ruled the trial of former Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert and road contractor Leonard Lawson will start on January 11th. Despite an attempt by Nighbert's attorneys to have it delayed or have him tried separately, Forester says attorneys have had adequate time to prepare for the trial and further delays would place significant impact on the court's calendar. Forester also denied Nighbert's request to be tried separately.


Huntington Mother Charged

According to the Huntington Police Department, officers were dispatched to Cabell Huntington Hospital at 4:41 P.M. Thursday after EMS workers transported the 5 year old daughter of 22 year old Brittany Raquel Briers with a gunshot wound to her foot. Although police believe the shooting was accidental, Briers was charged with child neglect resulting in serious injury, after the victim and her 2-year-old sibling gained access to a loaded AK-47 that was under the sofa in the family room.


Money Missing From Randolph County Clerk's Office

Investigation is underway to determine who is responsible for un undisclosed amount of money reported missing from the Randolph County Clerk's Office. Officials say, on Wednesday, County Clerk Brenda Wiseman discovered discrepancies in an account and reported it to the Randolph County Commission. The Randolph County Sheriff's Office and the West Virginia State Auditor's Office are conducting an investigation.


Brother Shoots Brother

An altercation of unknown origin on Caesar’s Mountain led one man to shoot his brother on Friday, December 18. Roy L. Walker, 43, of Hillsboro, was in the Tygarts Valley Regional Jail Monday in lieu of $50,000 bond. Walker was arrested Thursday, December 24, by Sr. Tpr. S. E. Cales, the investigating officer, and charged with unlawful wounding. According to police, Walker shot through a door, hitting his twin brother, Troy. The bullet from a .22 rifle struck Troy Walker in the abdomen. Troy Walker was transported first to Pocahontas Memorial Hospital and then to Greenbrier Valley Medical Center where he underwent surgery. Police said neither brother would discuss with law enforcement the nature of the altercation.


Advantage Toyota Donates To W. Va. Hospital

Officials say the children of the Huntington/Tri-State area deserve the best health care available without unnecessary out of state travel. In an effort to avoid that the Children's Hospital at Cabell Huntington Hospital will create a new space intended to offer children a cheerful, comfortable place to heal. Through a $12 million project. reconstruction of the hospital's fifth floor will hopefully provide help to sick or injured children and their families when they need it most. Advantage Toyota has pledged to donate $50,000 to the project, which is now approaching $6 million in donations and pledges. Donation tags are available at retailers throughout the Huntington/Tri-State area and can be purchased for $1. A list of participating merchants is available at by clicking on the "Children's Hospital" logo. For more information about the Children's Hospital project or to find a way to help the campaign, call 304-526-2009.


New Year Welcomes W. Va. Baby

As most were celebrating the new year with parties, one mother in West Virginia was waiting for the stork to deliver her new healthy 8 pounds, 3 ounces and 21 inches long baby boy. Keegan Lee Kinzel arrived at 12:07 A.M. New Year's Day at St. Mary’s Medical Center. The proud parents, Nicole Bowen and Drake Kinzel, welcomed the Tri-State's first baby of 2010. The baby wasn't due until January 11th, but the couple says it was a real cool experience to watch the the ball drop in Time Square then, within minutes, have the baby.


Arrests Made In Woman's Death

Police say a relative of a woman found dead in her St. Albans home has confessed to killing her. Timothy Ray Sutherland, 29, was charged Wednesday night with the first-degree murder of 32 year old Stacie Ann Smith who was found dead Monday afternoon in her Carson Street home. Wednesday afternoon, Sutherland had been questioned by investigators more than once since his initial arrest on failing to register with the sex offenders' registry. Wednesday night, the murder charge had been filed after investigators returned to the crime scene on Carson Street and found new evidence said to be near the victim's home. After it was found Sutherland confessed Wednesday evening to killing Smith. Friday, police arrested 24-year-old Joseph Daniel Hardwick from Putnam County and charged him with accessory after the fact to the murder.


Welfare Payments Extended

After declining steadily for the past decade, temporary welfare payments from the state to families who have exhausted all other benefits are on the rise again. WV WORKS, administered by the Department of Health and Human Resources, was restructured in 1997 to provide temporary assistance to families who have exhausted other benefit avenues. Over the past 18 months officials have seen a steady uptick of about 1,800 additional cases, bringing the new total to almost 11,000 in West Virginia. WV WORKS received $900,000 earlier from the federal government as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, also referred to as the federal stimulus act. Program leaders want to direct that money toward creating jobs in some of the most economically depressed areas of the state, particularly in southern West Virginia.


Escape Attempt Ends Quickly

The flight from justice for a Logan County resident charged in a recent incident ended just a few short hours later at the home of his parents. Matsman Farley, 48, of Chapmanville traveled to the home of Daniel Messer, of Bell Road, just south of Danville on December 17th and began arguing with the man."We believe that at some point during the argument Matsman Farley drew a handgun and shot Daniel Messer in the abdomen." Deputies from the Boone County Sheriff’s Department and the West Virginia State Police responded quickly, but, by the time they arrived, the suspect was no longer there. Farley was quickly identified as the alleged gunman. It was possible to rapidly track him to his parents’ home in Chapmanville. Farley surrendered to Chapmanville Police and state troopers and was soon turned over to Boone County Deputies.

Thursday, December 31, 2009


Former Clay Co. Officials Face New Motion

Two former Clay County officials, R. Cletus Maricle, a longtime judge, and former school Superintendent Douglas C. Adams, have been accused of working with drug dealers more than 20 years ago to buy votes and control local politics, according to a court motion filed this week. Maricle's attorney, David Hoskins, says the allegations in the motion are false and witnesses have lied about Maricle, and drug dealers named as witnesses in the new motion are trying to curry favor with prosecutors in hopes of getting their sentences reduced. R. Kent Westberry, an attorney for Adams, said he "categorically" denies the claims. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen C. Smith seeks to present evidence against Maricle and Adams from a period not covered in the indictment against them.


Rand Paul Campaign Staffer Resigns

A second Rand Paul campaign staffer, Christi Gillespie says she felt it was “morally necessary” to resign because Paul has prohibited campaign staffers and his supporters from attacking the Republican Party or GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell. Gillispie also switched her party affiliation from Republican to Libertarian. Another campaign staffer, Christopher Hightower, had resigned in mid-December after a Kentucky political blog showed racist images that purportedly were posted on Hightower's MySpace page. Hightower denied any connection to the racist images but says he resigned because he feared the controversy might negatively affect Paul.


Burglars Target Family Dollar Stores

Police in several Kentucky counties, as well as Indiana and Ohio, say it appears Family Dollar Stores are being targeted for an outbreak of robberies.. Morehead police say they are also investigating after their store on East Main Street was added to a list Monday night. Officials in Morehead say they've been in touch with officers in Owingsville after their store was also broken into, along with stores in Fleming and Mason Counties. Investigators say they believe the break-ins may be connected to past burglaries in Grant County, but police in Morehead say they find it hard to believe the same people could hit stores across four counties in one night, but they are talking to some of the other departments.


Humane Society Offers Reward

The Humane Society of the United States has gotten involved in the search to find out who burned a small dog with bacon grease, cut off his tail, gouged out an eye and broke his jaw by offering $2,500 for information leading to whoever is responsible. Pike County Sheriff Charles Keesee says the dog was found December 1st on property just north of Pikeville, and Humane Society officials say the 1- to 2-year-old small terrier mix was howling in pain with his fur burned off and his collar melted to his skin. Jeremy and Amanda Gibson of Pike County say the dog belongs to them but had been missing since the middle of November.

The dog was taken to the Pike County Animal Shelter where director Rose Deskins who had the choice to put him down or try to save his life contacted officials at the Pike County Humane Society who then contacted Lexington's United Rescues of Kentucky which used its resources to get the dog medical treatment. The organization has received nearly $500 in donations. You can help by visiting the Web site,

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Evidence Of A Can Lands Knox Co. Man In The Can

If not for his thirst for a can of Mountain Dew, authorities say 40 year old Johnny Hobbs of Flat Lick may have avoided arrest for second-degree burglary. When police in Knox County went to his trailer to talk to him as a potential suspect in a December 22nd burglary at the nearby home of Dustin and Paula Mills in which Christmas presents, a television, a DVD player and a case of Mountain Dew were taken, they found Hobbs drinking a can of Mountain Dew which matched the code on a can dug out of the trash at the victims' home. Hobbs and 23 year old John Robert Hubbard also of Flat Lick were charged with second-degree burglary.


Cuban Returning To Ky. After Alleged Scam

Wednesday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced 49 year old Leobaldo Perez Gonzalez, a Cuban citizen of Miami, will be transported to Kentucky by U.S. Marshals. He was detained Sunday after walking across the Gateway International Bridge from Matamoros, Mexico. According to court records, he set up a false medical supply company in Louisville, Ky. and billed Medicare for reimbursements for services never provided, defrauding Medicare of about $1.9 million.


Floyd County Case Expected To Bring Guilty Plea

Earlier this month, Robin Shumaker and Luther Johnson pleaded guilty, and, this week, Burnett Little filed a motion for rearraignment, signaling an intention to plead guilty after being indicted in September for their involvement in a Floyd County plot to fake a car crash and defraud insurance companies. Investigators say they rented a U-Haul, filled it with Shumaker's belongings and drove it twice into a Crown Victoria. Shumaker and Johnson will be sentenced in April, while five others are scheduled to appear in court in January.


Perry County Teen Fatally Shot

Kentucky State Police in Hazard were called around 2:55 P.M. Wednesday afternoon to respond to the fatal shooting of a 13 year old male victim in Viper. Police say the boy was an avid hunter and was found outside on his family's Perry County property, but the shooting appeared to be an accident. The teen was pronounced dead at the scene. His body has been sent to the state Medical Examiner's Office in Frankfort for an autopsy.


Open Records Request Fails

It went from an open records request to a break-in of a local sheriff's office. Under Kentucky state law, a government agency has three business days to respond to an open records request but may take longer, if needed, to actually produce the records. The Corbin Times-Tribune, on December 15th, asked for records from the Whitley County Sheriff's Office to show whether 18 guns seized during an arrest in 2004 were still at the sheriff's department or had been transferred to another agency. Whitley County Sheriff Lawrence Hodge failed to formally respond during the three-day period, and said someone broke into the department on December 21st, leaving some records in disarray and others in possession of the Kentucky State Police.


Kentucky Legislator Dies

Former state Representative 70 year old Denver Butler, a Democrat, served in the legislature from 1989 until he retired in 2006, died Tuesday afternoon at his home in Louisville after being hospitalized for a few days before Christmas with complications of diabetes and lung problems. Butler spent nine terms in the House and was a Louisville alderman from 1982 to 1988.


Manslaughter Indictment In Rowan County

Thirty-nine year old Brian Robinette has been indicted by a Rowan County grand jury on two counts of second-degree manslaughter in the August deaths of two motorcyclists, 62 year old William Walker and 64 year old Bruce Miller, both of Grayson. Kentucky State Police say Robinette lost control of his 1994 Camaro while traveling on Ky. 1274 in Rowan County, striking Walker and Miller who died after being transported to the University of Kentucky Hospital.


Letcher County Businesses Burglarized

Three businesses in the Isom community of Letcher County were the targets of early morning burglaries Tuesday. Kentucky State Police say, around 6:00 A.M., they received a call saying Breedings Plumbing and Electrical Supply had been burglarized. Upon investigation, officers discovered someone apparently threw a rock through the front door glass, went inside and stole three Husqvarna chain saws. A few hours later, they received a call about a burglary at Johnny Wheels, where an employee coming in to work noticed a lock had been cut from a storage trailer and someone had stolen four large truck tires. The same employee noticed the front door glass at Diana's Bows and Fashions was broken. Police found a large amount of clothing was missing.


Mountain Water District To Be Audited

The finances of the Mountain Water District will be examined by the office of State Auditor Crit Luallen. The review was requested by the Pike County Fiscal Court. The Court mentioned several controversies connected with the Water District, including possible ties to an ongoing federal corruption prosecution.


Pikeville Medical Center Celebration

Before an overflow crowd yesterday (Tuesday) at The Pikeville Medical Center, an appreciative gathering showered the Center with applause and accolades as everyone celebrated the selection of The Pikeville Medical Center as the National Hospital of the Year.

Local dignitaries, public officials, physicians, employees and the ordinary person who had received care from the Hospital in the past recalled the importance of the Hospital in their lives.

Walter E. May, President and Chief Executive Officer, was unable to attend the event due to illness, but, registered this observation on the Medical Center..."It has been a year of milestones for our institution. While we join our employees and our community in celebrating these milestones, we look ahead to the future."

Pam May, wife of the CEO, recalled the history of the Hospital from the time of its inception in 1924. In recognition of Pikeville Medical Center's honor, the City of Pikeville declared January as Pikeville Medical Center Month.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Kentucky Power Seeking Rate Increase

Kentucky Power Co. is asking the state Public Service Commission to approve a rate increase of nearly 35% officials say is needed to cover the costs of items such as labor, materials and equipment as well as investments in renewable energy...the first base rate increase the company has sought in more than four years. The company says if the PSC approves the request, a typical residential bill for 1,427 kilowatt hours of electricity in a month would rise from $114.57 to $154.62. The increase amounts to 2.81 cents per kilowatt hour.


Kentucky Budget Outlook Gloomy

Governor Steve Beshear says, over the next two years, Kentucky could be facing a budget shortfall of more than $1.5 billion. Beshear sent a letter to legislators Tuesday saying the state is facing a challenge much greater than many anticipated. Estimates have relied on official projections for state revenue over the two-year budget period as compared with current year spending, which is propped up by nearly $800 million in federal stimulus funds, but they failed to take into account an array of rising costs such as debt service and Medicaid obligations. Beshear estimated that, with the obligatory added expenses of paying debt on bonds already issued and Medicaid included, the size of the budget shortfall stands at $556.2 million in 2010-11 and $890.2 million in 2011-12, putting the shortage at $1.446 billion over two years, roughly $400 million more than the official estimate released last week.


Powerball Winner Not Yet Announced

Kentucky Lottery officials say the owner of Saturday night's $128.6 million Powerball ticket sold at a ProTravel Marathon in Georgetown, Ky. has still not come forward. But lottery spokesman Chip Polston announced in a statement Tuesday that officials have been contacted by lawyers representing a "person or persons" who claim to have the winning ticket and say it is being held in a secure location while the owner decides "how best to move forward." The jackpot is the largest in the history of the Kentucky Lottery.


Political Party Change Deadline

If you wish to vote in the May 18, 2010, primary election, Thursday is the deadline across the state for voters to change their political party affiliation. However, offices will be closed on Thursday due to the statewide shutdown of the Kentucky Automated Vehicle Information System.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Former Pike County Judge-Executive Dies

Sixty-five year old Stirl Eddie Harris died at Pikeville Medical Center on Christmas Day. Harris, a well known Pike County resident and politician, served as district six magistrate for several years and served one term as Pike County Judge-Executive (1991-1992). Visitation will be at 6:00 P.M. Tuesday at Big Creek Freewill Baptist Church with special services at 7:00 P.M. and funeral services at 11:00 A.M. Wednesday.


Pike County Fire Destroys Several Businesses

It wasn't fireworks that lit up Elkhorn City and left a large portion of a shopping center in ashes.
The Kentucky Fire Marshal's Office is investigating a Christmas Eve fire which started at the City Plaza shopping center in Elkhorn City and destroyed the Appalachian Wireless store, a Mexican restaurant, a pawn shop and a beauty shop. The Elkhorn City fire chief says the blaze kept crews on the scene for ten hours.


Ribbon-Cutting In Floyd County

Although plans began decades ago in the 1980s, state and local officials met Monday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the first section of the Kentucky 680 extension which, when completed, will connect Minnie to Harold in Floyd County and could cut travel time up to an hour to some places for those living in Mud Creek and Left Beaver. No construction date has been set for the other two sections which will complete the connector, but officials say it is in the state's six year highway plan.


Power Restoration In Eastern Kentucky

Public Service Commission officials say, as of Monday morning, about 1,035 customers in Breathitt, Floyd and Pike counties remained without power, Pike County having the most outages, with 712 accounted.


Bear Hunt Bags Empty

It was "Bears" still there..."Humans" zero. In the first bear hunt in 100 years it was the weather that protected the bears. No bears were killed in Pike, Harlan nor Letcher...the three counties where the hunt was legal. With a snow storm that approached 2-feet in some areas, the hunt netted nothing for the hunters. The hunt was held on Dec. 19-20 after officials with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources determined the bear population had increased to the point where they became a nuisance. There is no word on whether the hunt will be rescheduled or repeated next year.

Under a proposal that will be presented to lawmakers next month, State Representative Rick Nelson (D-Middlesboro) says he will be pushing legislation to protect Kentucky residents from criminal prosecution if they shoot black bears believed to pose a danger. If passed, bears could be shot if they get within 30 yards of a home if it's believed the action is necessary to protect against death or serious injury.


ATV Accident Kills Pike County Teen

A Pike County teenager was killed Friday (Christmas Day) as the result of an ATV accident which occurred on Dix Fork in Sidney. Kentucky State Police say 18 year old Andy Case was fatally injured when the left front tire came off the vehicle, causing it to overturn and hit a tree. Case was transported to South Williamson Appalachian Regional Healthcare Hospital, where he died.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Ky. Secures Military Funding

President Barack Obama signed a $636.3 billion defense spending package last Monday which includes more than $500 million in military research, projects and programs in Kentucky and Indiana. The funding includes $400 million for chemical weapons destruction at Blue Grass Army Depot near Richmond, Ky.; millions of dollars for weapons systems and military equipment overhauled or built in the region; and millions of dollars for research projects at the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky. The defense bill allows continued development of a second engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that is being developed by G E and Rolls Royce Corp. of Indianapolis. If the engine goes into production, fan blades would be made by the GE plant in Madisonville, Ky. Other than the Blue Grass money, the spending for local and state projects was requested by every member of the Kentucky congressional delegation and by Sen. Richard Lugar and Rep. Baron Hill, both of Indiana. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell asked for nearly $53 million, saying Kentucky is contributing to the nation’s defense.


Stimulus Funds To Help Kentucky's Homeless

Homelessness in Kentucky has long been a problem, and, with more people losing their jobs or having work hours cut, families are moving in with relatives or friends. While some $12 million in stimulus money, part of a $1.5 billion Homelessness Prevention Fund released this fall, will help an estimated 23,000 Kentuckians from becoming homeless in the next three years, officials say it's only about a third of what was requested. The Housing and Emergency Assistance Reaching program, or HEARTH, is aimed at helping renters on the verge of eviction. The Kentucky Housing Corp. is administering the program, but officials say there are very limited options. Participants must meet income guidelines, prove that after three months of rental subsidy they will ultimately be able to get back on their feet and must have already received a letter from their landlord saying they are at least seven days late on the payments.


Officials Consider Education Standards

To ensure the content taught to Kentucky students in preschool through 12th grade is consistent with that taught in as many as 47 other states and to line up with requirements of Senate Bill 1, the sweeping education update passed by the General Assembly last winter, Kentucky education officials will, early next year, consider adopting new "common core content standards" for math and English language arts. The new content standards would stress fewer and clearer topics, but with greater depth of understanding, although the state would not start testing students on the new standards until the 2011-12 school year. Adoption of the standards would require action by the state Board of Education, the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education and the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board, which could come at a meeting scheduled for Februrary 9th.


Winning Powerball Sold In Georgetown

Kentucky Lottery officials say the winning ticket for Saturday night's $128.6 million Powerball jackpot, the largest in the history of the Ky. Lottery, was sold in Georgetown, marking the 17th time a Kentucky player has won Powerball's top prize and the first time since a Bullitt County man claimed a $33.6 million jackpot December 12, 2007. The cash option for the winning ticket is $63.4 million, and it is the largest winning jackpot since $89.3 million was awarded in January 1996. The odds of winning the grand prize are one in 195,249,054.

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